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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From Our Listeners
12:22 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Letters: New Graduates And Jobs, And Joshua Bell

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 12:31 pm

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous Talk of the Nation show topics including the outlook for new graduates and jobs, guns and "Stand Your Ground" laws, and violinist Joshua Bell's new job.

Asia
12:12 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Scandals Test U.S.-China Relationship

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 12:31 pm

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's China visit comes at a fragile moment in diplomatic relations. Some analysts describe the Chen Guangcheng and Bo Xilai incidents as a "perfect storm" that will test the relationship between the U.S. and China.

Law
12:20 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

How New Immigration Laws Are Changing States

Since Arizona passed SB 1070 in 2010, five other states signed similar legislation into law: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Utah and Indiana. Some of those laws are on hold pending court rulings, but lawmakers in say they've already seen successes, as well as unforeseen consequences.

Music
12:13 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

On Jazz Day, Jason Moran Makes The Case For Relevance

Jazz pianist Jason Moran was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010.
Clay Patrick McBride

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 7:53 am

Some of the world's most renowned musicians recently gathered in Paris and New Orleans to celebrate the first annual International Jazz Day. UNESCO, the U.N.'s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has set April 30 as a day to raise awareness of jazz music's significance and potential as a unifying voice across cultures.

In spite of the celebrations, though, in the U.S. the jazz audience continues to shrink and grow older, and the music has struggled to connect with younger generations.

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Opinion
12:02 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Op-Ed: U.S. Has Abdicated Responsibility For Syria

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 12:22 pm

As Syria continues its violent crackdown, Hoover Institution senior fellow Fouad Ajami argues that the U.S. has forsaken Syria and its people and provided the regime with a lifeline. In the Wall Street Journal, Ajami writes that "everyone is waiting on Washington's green light and its leadership."

Africa
12:02 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

What's At Stake In Sudanese Border Battle

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 12:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

For weeks now, war has been simmering along the world's newest border between Sudan and South Sudan. Both countries blame the other as the aggressor in a conflict that includes disputes about contested territory and about access to oil reserves. Before an American sponsored peace agreement, what's now South Sudan fought a long war for independence that killed an estimated one and a half million people. Now less than a year after separation, the two states stand on the brink of full scale war.

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Technology
12:07 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Designing The Pied Piper Of Fish

Mechanical engineer Maurizio Porfiri, of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, designs robot fish. A few years ago, he found that real fish would mill about his aquatic robot, and now he's trying to understand why. His research suggests that it has less to do with how the robot looks, than how it makes fish feel.

Health
11:57 am
Fri April 27, 2012

A New Stage Play Tackles Athletes And Concussions

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 1:44 pm

Can the repeated brain injuries suffered by some athletes cause problems with brain function later in life? A new play, Headstrong, opening next week in New York, looks at athletes and head trauma, and the high price some athletes end up paying for playing the game.

Technology
11:52 am
Fri April 27, 2012

The Idea Factory: How Bell Labs Created The Future

In The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation, Jon Gertner writes of the legendary innovations developed at AT&T's Bell Labs, from lasers and transistors to solar cells and cell phones, and discusses how the lab became a hotbed for new ideas.

Space
11:47 am
Fri April 27, 2012

An Astronaut Explores NASA's Scientific Frontiers

He's flown the space shuttle five times, and performed eight spacewalks to service the Hubble telescope. Now astronaut and astrophysicist John Grunsfeld heads up NASA's Science Mission Directorate, where he manages scientific investigations on the home planet--and beyond.

NPR Story
11:39 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Mining Quarries Millions Of Miles From Earth

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 12:00 pm

A private company has unveiled plans to mine precious metals and water from nearby asteroids. Planetary Resources co-founder Eric Anderson discusses the various stages of the mining process and how the excavated minerals could impact future space exploration and innovation on Earth.

NPR Story
11:39 am
Fri April 27, 2012

How Buffett's Cancer Is Shaping National Dialogue

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 12:02 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

America's 'Great Divergence' Is Relatively New

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 10:05 am

Thirty years ago, CEOs of America's largest businesses earned an estimated 42 times as much as their average employee. These days, that number has jumped to more than 200 times as much, by many counts. Since the economic crisis of 2008, there has been much more focus on income inequality, not just from economists and social scientists, but also from politicians and from protesters who occupied Wall Street.

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NPR Story
12:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

'Ball Four': The Book That Changed Baseball

New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton holds two balls that his teammates hope will lead them to victory in the 1964 World Series.
AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 10:53 am

Fifty years ago, a young pitcher won his first major league game for the New York Yankees. Jim Bouton went on to become a top-flight player.

But he became famous, or notorious, for Ball Four, a memoir that described the petty jealousies on the team, as well as camaraderie, raucous tomcatting, game-winning heroics, routine drug use and the pain professional athletes endure.

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Theater
11:56 am
Thu April 26, 2012

'Best Man' John Larroquette Takes Broadway

Sen. Joseph Cantwell, played by Eric McCormack (left), is an ambitious striver who throws mud at his rival, Secretary William Russell, played by John Larroquette, who debates whether to use some dirt of his own in The Best Man.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 8:38 am

Perhaps most recognizable for his role as despicable but lovable lawyer Dan Fielding on Night Court, John Larroquette has recently taken to the stage. He earned a Tony Award for his role in the 2011 production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

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World
11:56 am
Thu April 26, 2012

The Taylor Case And International Justice

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 12:43 pm

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was found guilty by an international tribunal of planning, aiding and abetting war crimes during the 1990s. This marks the first time since World War II that a current or former head of state was convicted by a tribunal of crimes committed while in office.

Politics
11:41 am
Wed April 25, 2012

As Newt Fades, Eyes Turn To VP Picks

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 1:06 pm

Mitt Romney swept all five primaries on Tuesday, solidifying his hold on the GOP presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich made a last stand in Delaware, but came up short and aides to the former House speaker say he plans to suspend his campaign soon and will likely endorse Romney.

Europe
11:41 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Andres Breivik Awaits Sentence In Norway

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 1:06 pm

Anders Breivik testified that he was sane during his shooting and bombing spree, but argues that he did not commit a crime. He hoped they would force Norway to change its policy on immigration. Peter Talos, a reporter for the Norwegian News Agency, talks about what this case has meant for Norway.

Education
11:41 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Parents Hold Bake Sales To Pay Teachers

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 1:06 pm

After years of cuts to public school budgets across the country, many districts are relying on parents to pay for classroom supplies, extracurricular activities and even teacher salaries. But some worry that uneven distribution of funds will widen disparities between schools and between districts.

Law
11:41 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Supreme Court Hears Immigration Arguments

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 1:06 pm

SB 1070, the Arizona immigration law that requires local police to question and detain people suspected of being in the country illegally, has served as a model for similar legislation. Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune Supreme Court correspondent David Savage listened in on the arguments.

From Our Listeners
11:41 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Letters: 'Bully' And Smuggling Immigrants

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 1:06 pm

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics including the Secret Service prostitution scandal, Harvey Weinstein's new movie Bully, and the process of smuggling immigrants over the border.

Books
2:00 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

'America's Great Debate' Saved Union From War

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 10:32 am

The Civil War remains the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history and the defining crisis of the nation. But it might easily have started 12 years earlier.

In 1850, California's application to join the Union threatened to unhinge the delicate balance of pro- and anti-slavery forces. The flood of European immigration had shifted power in the House of Representatives decisively to the North. Another free state would tilt the U.S. Senate.

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Music Interviews
12:28 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Classical 'Rock Star' Joshua Bell Takes On Conducting

Joshua Bell.
Ethan Miller Getty Images for The Smith Center

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 3:17 pm

Joshua Bell, the violin prodigy who grew into what some call a classical-music rock star, has taken the helm of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Bell is the orchestra's first music director since Sir Neville Marriner, who created the group.

On his first tour with the group as both music director and conductor, Bell plays the violin while conducting the orchestra simultaneously, gesturing with his bow. And he leads from the concert master's chair, rather than the podium, which seems unusual to some audiences.

Read more
Opinion
12:24 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

The NRA And 'Stand Your Ground' Laws

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 2:01 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Education
12:18 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Un- and Under-Employment Awaits Many College Grads

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 2:01 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In a few weeks, long lines of college seniors will cross the stage, turn a tassel and walk into one of the worst job markets in a decade. According to an analysis by the Associated Press, about half of college graduates under the age of 25 were either jobless or underemployed last year, taking jobs as cashiers or barristas to pay the bills.

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Your Health
12:43 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Gerson: Dieting's A Bore We're Ill-Prepared For

Regular readers of Michael Gerson's column in the Washington Post know he usually tackles timely issues in politics, religion, foreign policy and global health and development. Recently, he dealt with what may be an even more challenging — and personal — issue: the difficulties of dieting.

World
12:24 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Egyptian Elections Complicated By Controversy

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In a few weeks, Egyptians vote in a presidential election that many hoped would mark a full transition from military rule. Then the Egyptian Election Commission disqualified 10 candidates, including the two leading Islamists and the former intelligence chief.

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NPR Story
12:05 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Op-Ed: Obama And Romney, Quit 'Hispandering'

Columnist Esther Cepeda says it is "a sign of respect" when candidates reach out to Hispanics by speaking Spanish, but there ought to be substance behind the effort.
Rob Boudon Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 10:19 am

Esther Cepeda recently learned a new word: "Hispandering." And, she writes in an op-ed for The Washington Post writers group, "it perfectly captures the spirit of the moment" in presidential politics.

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Religion
12:05 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Vatican Reprimand Of U.S. Nuns Divides Faithful

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 12:39 pm

The Vatican reprimanded America's largest organization of Catholic nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The Holy See charged the LCWR with promoting programs with "radical feminist themes" that are incompatible with doctrine on issues ranging from homosexuality to women's ordination.

NPR Story
11:14 am
Fri April 20, 2012

How Movie Makers Use Science To Make Magic

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:58 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're here in California, broadcasting from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. And while you might think Silicon Valley or biotech when you think of Northern California, this part of the state is also home to some of the biggest names in the movie business.

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