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Renee Montagne

Renee Montagne, one of the best known names in public radio, is a Special Correspondent and Host for NPR News.

Montagne's most recent assignment has been a yearlong collaboration with ProPublica reporter Nina Martin, investigating the alarming rate of maternal mortality in the U.S., as compared to other developed countries. The series, called "Lost Mothers," has won every major award in American journalism, including a Peabody award, a George Polk Award, Harvard's Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Journalism. The series was also named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.

From 2004 to 2016, Montagne co-hosted NPR's Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the United States. She also co-hosted All Things Considered with Robert Siegel for two years.

After leaving All Things Considered, Montagne traveled to South Africa in early 1990, arriving to report there on the day Nelson Mandela was released from prison. Four years later, she and a small team of NPR reporters were awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton for their coverage of the country's historic elections that elevated Mandela to the Presidency.

Since 9/11, Montagne has made ten extended reporting trips to Afghanistan. She has traveled to every major city, from Kabul to Kandahar, to peaceful villages, and to places where conflict raged. She has profiled Afghanistan's presidents and power brokers, but focused on the stories of Afghans at the heart of that complex country: school girls, farmers, mullahs, poll workers, soldiers, midwives, and warlords. Her coverage has been honored by the Overseas Press Club, and, for stories on Afghan women in particular, by the Gracie Awards.

One of her most cherished honors dates to her days as a freelance reporter in the '80s, when Montagne was awarded "First Place in Radio" by the National Association of Black Journalists for a series on African American musicians marching to the wars of the 20th century.

Montagne graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley. Her career includes teaching broadcast writing at New York University's Graduate Department of Journalism (now the Carter Institute).

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

OK, it's Black Friday, and you know what that means.

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MONTAGNE: Stampeding customers crashing through doors, elbowing and shoving to get in on some incredible bargains.

Miranda Lambert has painted herself as one of country music's bad girls: Whether it's solo or with her trio Pistol Annies, she's got a deep catalog of songs about revenge, guns, cigarettes and beer. But her new album, Platinum, shows a more vulnerable side.

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This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Herat is one of the most graceful cities in Afghanistan. Its traditions go back to the Persian empire, with its exquisite blue and green glass, and its thriving poetry scene.

Now Herat is struggling with a darker side: drug addiction at a higher rate than almost anywhere else in the country.

In a dusty ravine on the outskirts of the city, Ahmad, a scruffy 20-year-old, is striking a match to inhale heroin.

It's a simple act he repeats throughout his day — heating a dark slab of heroin paste smeared on a bit of foil so he can smoke it.

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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And I'm Renee Montagne.

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And as our listeners, Renee is just back from Afghanistan. Renee, I should say welcome back.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Thank you very much, Steve. Glad to be back.

INSKEEP: It wasn't easy to report in Afghanistan either.

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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As Afghans prepare to choose a new president Saturday, it's hard not to notice a striking contradiction.

The three leading candidates are all urbane, Westernized men inclined to wear suits and ties in public. And yet, as they crisscross this impoverished, traditional country, they've all had to remake themselves to some degree, in their dress, their speech and even in the surprising choices they've made for vice presidential running mates, who range from notorious warlords to a woman.

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NPR's business news starts with Starbucks after hours.

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This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Green.

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And I'm Renee Montagne.

In Russia today, President Vladimir Putin made this declaration to a joint session of the Russian parliament.

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Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

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Let's talk more about changes to the National Security Agency that President Obama is announcing as we speak at the Justice Department. And we're joined in our studio by Tamara Keith and Tom Gjelten. And let's just begin.

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