Talk of the Nation on KUER 1

Mon - Thu, Noon - 2pm
Neal Conan, Monday - Thursday. Ira Flatow, Friday
Mike Anderson

When Americans want to be a part of the national conversation, they turn to Talk of the Nation, NPR's midday news-talk show. Journalist Neal Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape. From politics and public service to education, religion, music and healthcare, Talk of the Nation offers call-in listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with decision-makers, authors, academicians, and artists from around the world.

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Podcasts

  • Monday, June 10, 2013 11:00am
    The man who leaked details of two secret U.S. surveillance programs told The Guardian that he hopes to trigger a national debate about the NSA programs that gathered phone and Internet records. NPR's Neal Conan reads from a range of reaction to the leaks and the motives of the leaker.
  • Monday, June 3, 2013 11:00am
    Midnight dinner service will be canceled at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan in June. Officials say it's part of the drawdown process, and though it might not sound like a big deal, former U.S. Army paratrooper David Brown says Marines at Camp Leatherneck stand to lose more than just food.
  • Monday, May 20, 2013 11:00am
    Prominent women such as Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo's Marissa Mayer are proving that women are finding their place at the table. But in an op-ed for The New York Times, former programmer Ellen Ullman argues that women in the field today face "a new, more virile and virulent sexism."
  • Monday, May 6, 2013 11:00am
    Job seekers often rely on friends, family members and other connections to land jobs. Nancy DiTomaso, professor at Rutgers Business School, explains her research that shows that such seemingly harmless favoritism in networking is driving black unemployment in the U.S.
  • Monday, April 29, 2013 11:00am
    The Boston Police Department and cooperating law enforcement entities were praised for working together to track down suspects in the marathon bombings. Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi asks whether police could have done more in the months, weeks, and even hours before the explosions.

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NPR Story
11:25 am
Fri May 18, 2012

From Rooftops And Abandoned Lots, An Urban Harvest

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 11:53 am

From rooftop apiaries in Paris to a vegetable-and-chicken farm in Philadelphia, agriculture has come to the city. Urban farmer Mary Seton Corboy and food writer Jennifer Cockrall-King talk about the future of food in the city. Plus, Tama Matsuoka Wong gives tasty tips for eating garden weeds.

NPR Story
11:25 am
Fri May 18, 2012

The Itching Question That's More Than Skin Deep

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 11:30 am

Studies show that the power of suggestion can induce itchiness — but scientists don't know what this irritation is, what causes it, or why it feels so good to cure. Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, talks about how talking about the science of itches might have you scratching right now.

Europe
12:38 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

If Greece Starts Dominoes Falling, What's Next?

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 2:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. New elections are now set for June 17 after a failure to form a government in Athens earlier this week, but some worry that Greece might be out of the eurozone before votes can be cast. While the great majority of Greeks say they want to keep the euro, opinions polls also show anti-austerity sentiment rising.

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Remembrances
12:16 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

One 'Last Dance' With Disco Queen Donna Summer

Donna Summer, who sang some of the most memorable anthems of the disco era from "Love to Love You Baby" to "Bad Girls," has died after a long battle with cancer. She had a top 40 hit every year from 1976 to 1984, including the song she once told NPR she'd perform till the very end, "Last Dance."

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Truvada And At-Home Test Join Fight Against HIV

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 12:23 pm

Truvada is a pill that's already used to treat people with HIV. A daily dose can also significantly reduce the risk of new infection. And a panel recommended the FDA approve an over-the-counter HIV test, OraQuick. Users could test and interpret their results at home in as little as 20 minutes.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Non-White Birth Rate May Inspire Policy Changes

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 12:33 pm

The Census Bureau announced that for the first time non-whites now make up the majority of births in the U.S. The demographic shift raises questions about how this trend will affect policy in the country, particularly with regard to education and social programs.

Digital Life
12:00 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Facebook Users Should Expect Changes After IPO

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 12:40 pm

Facebook hopes to raise more than $100 billion in its initial public stock offering. In a piece at Slate.com, tech columnist Farhad Manjoo warns that Facebook users can expect to see changes, including lots more ads. But he warns the company must balance profit seeking with the desires of users.

Asia
12:10 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Activist Bob Fu Helped Chen Call Congress

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Health
12:08 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

'Life, Interrupted' By Cancer Diagnosis At 22

On the day before Suleika Jaouad's first chemotherapy treatment in June 2011, an oncology nurse shaved her head.
Seamus McKiernan

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:14 am

Just months after moving to Paris to start her first full-time job, Suleika Jaouad was diagnosed with cancer — acute myeloid leukemia. Like many who face life-threatening illnesses in their 20s, she is coping with a dwindling sense of independence — increasingly relying on her parents for care — while simultaneously dealing with the very adult issues of mortality, infertility and disease.

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Opinion
12:01 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Democrat 'Appalled' By Wisconsin Recall

Wisconsin Democrats hope to unseat Republican Governor Scott Walker in a recall election. In the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Zimmerman, a lifelong Democrat, says he is "appalled." The recall, he writes, "epitomizes the petty, loser-take-all vindictiveness of contemporary American politics."

Politics
11:58 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Hickenlooper And List On Pre-Election Atmosphere

The push for civil unions recently failed in Colorado, and Governor John Hickenlooper has some ideas about why. Also, former Nevada Governor Bob List talks about the influence of Ron Paul on the Republican Party. And NPR's Political Junkie columnist Ken Rudin rounds up the news.

From Our Listeners
12:32 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Letters: Losing Faith And Military Marriages

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 8:07 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Race
12:28 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

The Politics Of Fat In Black And White

Alice Randall is also the author of The Wind Done Gone.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 10:13 am

"Many black women are fat because we want to be." With those words in a New York Times op-ed, novelist Alice Randall sparked a controversy. Touching on flashpoints of race, weight, politics and gender, her contention prompted a debate and raised serious questions about health, culture and race.

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Law
12:24 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

'Stop And Frisk' Works, But It's Problematic

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 8:07 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

The New York City police reported that its officers stopped and frisked almost 700,000 people last year, which prompted a fresh round of protests over the controversial policy. In today's Washington Post, Richard Cohen writes that these questionable tactics have to be measured against their effects. New York City is heaven on earth, he wrote, possibly because it is a certain kind of hell for young black and Hispanic men. Do results justify questionable police tactics?

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NPR Story
12:17 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

At 96, Historian Lewis Reflects On 'A Century'

Bernard Lewis is also the author of the best-selling What Went Wrong?
Alan Kolc

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 6:42 am

Over his long academic career, Bernard Lewis has arguably become the world's greatest historian of the Middle East. Now, at 96, Lewis turns his attention inward in a memoir that looks back on his life, work and legacy.

The linguist and scholar's career began before World War II, and in a new memoir he covers more than a few sensitive areas, from race and slavery in Islam, to the clash of civilizations and his long argument with scholar Edward Said, to his role as an adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

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Sports
12:07 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Fan Says Tear Down Wrigley To Save The Cubs

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 8:07 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Fans of the Chicago Cubs come up with all kinds of explanations for the team's epic ineptitude: the curse of the Billy Goat, Steve Bartman's 2003 foul ball catch, and generations of incompetent management. In the Wall Street Journal today, Rich Cohen comes to a different conclusion: Wrigley Field. Destroy it, annihilate it, he wrote. Implosion or explosion, get rid of it, not merely the structure but the ground on which it stands.

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Opinion
12:52 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Op-Ed: Euro Crisis 'Uniquely Greek'

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And now, the Opinion Page. Markets around the world continue to fall. After losing ground several days in a row, the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 80 points at last glance as the political stalemate drags on in Greece. A final push is set to begin tomorrow in Athens to form a coalition government after elections that served as an angry rebuke of austerity by Greek voters. Analysts are increasingly concerned that Greece's political paralysis may lead that country to leave the eurozone and head towards default.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Teddy Roosevelt's 'Shocking' Dinner With Washington

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 8:35 am

In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited African-American educator Booker T. Washington, who had become close to the president, to dine with his family at the White House. Several other presidents had invited African-Americans to meetings at the White House, but never to a meal. And in 1901, segregation was law.

News of the dinner between a former slave and the president of the United States became a national sensation. The subject of inflammatory articles and cartoons, it shifted the national conversation around race at the time.

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Education
12:11 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Third Grade A Pivotal Time In Students' Lives

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The age of eight or nine, when kids complete third grade, represents a key turning point. Up until then, children are learning to read. Afterwards, they read to learn. Many educators believe that kids who can't read should be held back, and several states use standardized tests. Kids who don't pass are automatically held back, or retained.

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Politics
12:07 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

The Job: Dig Up Dirt On Politicians

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Every politician knows that a drunk driving charge or a secret lover can come back to haunt come campaign time, but so can an unfortunate turn of phrase in an interview decades-old, a now-outdated policy position, a master's thesis or even, as Mitt Romney learned this past weekend, high school pranks that may have gone too far.

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Environment
11:50 am
Fri May 11, 2012

'The Garbage-Men' Rock A Trashy Sound

The Garbage-Men is a band of high school-aged musicians who play instruments made out of recycled cereal boxes, buckets, and other materials they've rescued from the trash. Guitarist Jack Berry and drummer Ollie Gray talk about the band and their signature "trashy" sound.

Politics
11:29 am
Fri May 11, 2012

The Case For A Presidential Science Debate

A group of science advocates say the American president should have the basic scientific know-how to understand policy challenges, evaluate options and devise solutions. Ira Flatow and guests discuss how a presidential science debate can help voters decide if a candidate is up for the job.

Presidential Race
11:23 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Why Race Could Color The Vote Against Obama

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If the polls are a good indicator, the economy, jobs, the deficit, health care and education are likely to be the issues that weigh heavily on voters' minds when they head to the polls in November. But researchers say there may be another factor that influences the presidential vote this election cycle, and that's racial attitudes.

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NPR Story
11:15 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Sizing Up Americans In 'The Weight Of The Nation'

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 11:43 am

A new four-part documentary airing on HBO next week looks at America's growing weight problem. John Hoffman, vice president of HBO Documentary Films and executive producer of The Weight Of The Nation, describes his three year-project to document the causes and effects of being overweight and obese in America.

NPR Story
11:15 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Tracking The Spread Of A Nasty Virus

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 11:47 am

When members of a travel soccer team in Oregon fell ill last year, the details of how the disease spread through the team were mysterious. Kimberly Repp, an epidemiologist in Washington County, Oregon, describes the medical detective work that led epidemiologists through the chain of transmission of the norovirus.

NPR Story
11:15 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Disguising Secret Messages, In A Game Of Spy Vs Spy

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 11:36 am

Last May, German investigators found secret files embedded in a pornographic video on memory cards being carried by a suspected al Qaeda operative. Peter Wayner describes the history and technology of the technique for hiding information, known as steganography.

Politics
10:55 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Country Reacts To Obama's Approval Of Gay Marriage

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 2:01 pm

Three days after Vice President Joe Biden voiced his own support, President Barack Obama described his "evolution" on the issue and became the first sitting president in U.S. history to declare himself in favor of same-sex marriage. Listeners react to the news.

The Impact of War
10:55 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Faris Family Fights For Their Military Marriage

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 7:45 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. To all appearances, Chris and Lisa Faris seemed to have it all together. He rose through the ranks of the U.S. Special Operations Command to become its top enlisted man, command sergeant major, and his wife tended to their family and many others on his long deployments.

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Latin America
10:55 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Haiti Aid Worker Reflects On The Limits Of Help

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:20 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Aid workers often win applause for their courage and selflessness, for leaving often comfortable lives to help out in wars, famines and catastrophes. But in a recent post on his blog, Quinn Zimmerman, an aid worker in Haiti, gives us a different understanding of the experience. He vented his frustrations, including resentment from some Haitians' incessant begging, and the unwillingness or inability of people to help themselves. Of course, he adds, the need is real, the cause important. Much remains to be done.

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Around the Nation
2:14 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Pushing The Limits: Solo-Sailing The Americas

Matt Rutherford sailed for Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating, which gives sailing opportunities to people with mental and physical disabilities.
Mark Duehmig

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 9:24 am

On June 11, 2011, Matt Rutherford set sail from Annapolis, Md., on an epic voyage. He traveled down the Chesapeake Bay, up the East Coast, then through the Northwest Passage, down the Pacific, around Cape Horn, back up the coast of South America, and all the way back home.

In 10 months, he sailed over 27,000 miles in a 27-foot sailboat — named the St. Brendan after the 6th-century explorer — and became the first person to complete a solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas.

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