Talk of the Nation on AM 870 NewsTalk

Mon - Thurs 2pm - 4pm

When Americans want to be a part of the national conversation, they turn to Talk of the Nation, NPR's live, midday news-talk program. Host Neal Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape.

From breaking news, science, and education to religion and the arts, Talk of the Nation offers listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with decision-makers, authors, academicians, and artists from around the world.

For two hours each Monday through Thursday, Talk of the Nation listeners weigh-in, share their thoughts and ask questions by calling, emailing, messaging through social media.

On Fridays the conversation turns to the topics of science, with Talk of the Nation: Science Friday with Ira Flatow, focusing on news and issues about the world of science and technology.

A long-time NPR journalist, Conan has been a reporter, editor, and anchor for NPR live events coverage. Conan played a major role in anchoring continuous live coverage of developments during the terrorist attacks and aftermath of September 11, 2001. His broadcasts are marked by their clarity, accuracy and eloquence.

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From Our Listeners
1:00 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Letters: Lost In Translation And Holiday Travel

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics, including an example of how meaning gets lost in translation, the challenges of raising a terminally ill child, and advice on how to travel with kids this Thanksgiving.

Mental Health
1:00 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

ADHD Sufferers Fear An Adderall Shortage

Up to 15 million children and adults are thought to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many of them take Adderall to treat it. In recent weeks, some patients have complained they can't find the drug in pharmacies and fear it's the latest prescription medication to face a shortage.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Can Sanctions End Iran's Nuclear Ambitions?

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 2:31 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. After a U.N. report earlier this month bolstered the case that Iran continues work on nuclear weapons, the U.S., Britain and Canada announced new sanctions today. But there's no indication that these or any other sanctions will change Iran's determination, which leaves a range of bad options.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Fallout Expected Without Debt Agreement

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 2:31 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's not yet official, but all signs indicate the so-called supercommittee will raise the white flag on Capitol Hill later today. The bipartisan panel was charged to cut more than a trillion dollars from federal spending over the coming decade. Failure to reach an agreement means automatic cuts in 2013, half to the defense budget. Yesterday, Democrats and Republicans traded blame on the Sunday talk shows. Does the supercommittee's failure matter to you, and if so, why?

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Sexual Predators Often Elude Casual Profilers

After allegations of child sexual assault at Penn State, many wonder why more people didn't see warning signs. Former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole says many predators spend years grooming victims and parents and gaining their trust. O'Toole and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Harold Burszatajn explain.

Opinion
1:00 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Op-Ed: 'Sympathy' For Pepper-Spraying Policeman

A video showing an officer methodically spraying pepper spray in the faces of seated protesters has created an uproar. While some say the incident represents a wider problem with the way police confront protesters, Santa Clara University professor Marc Bousquet argues that misses the point.

Health
1:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Strangers Can Spot Genetic Disposition For Empathy

Reporting in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers write that complete strangers are capable of spotting individuals with a genetic predisposition to empathy and sociable behavior. Author Sarina Saturn discusses the study, and how sociability has evolved across cultures.

Pop Culture
1:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Balloonatics Prepare For Thanksgiving Day Parade

With the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade less than a week away, it's crunch time for the balloon technicians. Science Friday goes behind the scenes at Macy's design studio to find out about the final preparations for the parade.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Geron To End Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Citing "capital scarcity" the Geron Corporation said it will abandon its research into using human embryonic stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries. Stem cell expert Leonard Zon discusses the announcement and what it means for the future of embryonic stem cell research.

Space
1:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Is A Moon Necessary For A Planet To Support Life?

For years, a theory has held that Earth's large moon played a critical role in stabilizing the planet's tilt, damping down differences between the seasons. Now, astronomer Jason Barnes says that life on our planet would endure even without a moon, a finding that might increase the number of potentially habitable planets in our galaxy.

Energy
1:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Solar Sector At War Over Cheap Chinese Panels

Seven solar companies have filed a trade complaint with the federal government, accusing China of dumping artificially cheap solar panels on the US market. But solar installers welcome the low prices. Ira Flatow and guests discuss what's best for the domestic solar industry--and US jobs--in the long run.

Technology
1:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Building A Better Toilet

Toilets, as most of us know them, haven't changed much since the 1800s--they use a lot of water, and require an infrastructure that many communities can't afford. Ira Flatow and guests look at the problem of access to sanitation, and how engineers are making toilets better.

Theater
1:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Cirque Du Soleil Reinvents The Big Top Show

Since Cirque du Soleil was founded in 1984, it has grown from a troupe of street performers in Montreal to a billion-dollar entertainment industry with over 5,000 employees from over 40 countries. Quidam is one of the company's 22 shows. It's the story of a girl searching for the meaning of life.

Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

The Practical Traveler's Advice For Family Flying

Boarding a flight with kids can be a nightmare for everyone. And as airlines cut back on amenities and pack cabins, flying as a family has grown more and more difficult. Michelle Higgins, the New York Times' Practical Traveler, compiled a list of family-friendly airlines and flying tips.

Children's Health
1:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Channeling Dragons To Parent Terminally-Ill Kids

Emily Rapp and her husband eagerly anticipated their baby's birth. But when their son Ronan was nine-months-old, he was diagnosed with a terminal disease. All of their plans suddenly felt inconsequential and they refocused their lives on being fierce, loyal and loving "dragon parents."

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Lamenting The Loss Of Local Rock Radio

DJ Christine Pawlak enjoyed playing music by the band Rise Against, which hails from Chicago.
Courtesy Of The Band

Rock music on FM radio faces more competition than ever. With iPods, satellite radio and online streaming, many companies have given up on rock music to boost ratings and revenue.

But former Q101 Chicago DJ Christine Pawlak argues that there will always be an important role for rock on the radio, played by DJs rooted in their communities, not voice-tracked elsewhere and piped in.

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NPR Story
2:27 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

'Small-Press Author' After Winning The Book Award

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Tonight, the American literary establishment gathers here in New York for the National Book Awards. It's not quite the Oscars, but the honor can change the career of a novelist, historian or poet and vault a book to the top of the best-seller lists. Last year, the fiction award went to a little known author for her novel "Lord of Misrule," which had an initial press run of 2,000 copies. They've had to reprint. Jaimy Gordon joins us in just a moment. We'd like to hear from you too.

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NPR Story
2:24 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Binges Of 'High-Beta Rich' Shake Up U.S. Economy

"The rich are not only getting richer, they are becoming more dangerous," Robert Frank writes in his new book The High-Beta Rich: How the Manic Wealthy Will Take Us to the Next Boom, Bubble and Bust.

The spending binges of the top 1%, he says, are "the most unstable force in the economy."

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Politics
1:00 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Candidates Sink Or Swim In Numerous Debates

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 2:28 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in New York. The Supreme Court puts health care on the docket for the presidential campaign. The supercommittee can't move off the dime, while Cain and Perry suffer forgettable moments.

It's Wednesday and time for a...

GOVERNOR RICK PERRY: I stepped in it.

CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad, where's the beef?

Read more
Opinion
1:00 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Protesters' Eviction: The End, Or An Opportunity?

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 2:20 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Yesterday, New York City Police evicted hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters from privately owned Zuccotti Park in New York, on the orders of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. A judge in New York ruled that the removal was legal and protesters could use the park, but their free speech rights did not extend to putting up tents or staying overnight. Similar evictions in other cities have raised serious questions about the future of the Occupy movement.

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NPR Story
2:19 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Businesses Reeling In Wake Of NBA Lockout

After weeks of game postponements, the NBA league made a final offer to players — and the players rejected it. Cancelling games affects the players and the fans, but it can also be devastating for the many businesses that revolve around the industry.

Mental Health
1:00 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Meeting Child Victims' Needs After Sexual Abuse

In the wake of high-profile child sex abuse scandals, the public often focuses on the accused. Victims and their needs often draw far less attention. Experts who work with young victims explain how children respond to abuse, and what treatment options can help them cope with the aftermath.

Opinion
1:00 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Op-Ed: GOP Should Recast Its Message On Inequality

Occupy Wall Street and reports on the nation's growing income gap have helped rally the political left, argues Matthew Continetti of The Weekly Standard. It is not the government's responsibility to redress wealth disparities, he says, and the GOP must do a better job of communicating that message.

From Our Listeners
1:00 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Letters: Reporting Abuse, Finding Personal Renewal

Transcript

BRIAN NAYLOR, host: It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. When we talked to author P.J. O'Rourke about his new book "Holidays in Heck," many of you offered suggestions of where P.J. should go next. Wu Nyen Proul(ph) in Franklin, Kentucky, wrote: Visit Easter Island. It's such a humbling experience to stand before the Moai, sleep to the sound of waves, pure unpolluted air and great fish. Even a 4G iPhone can't get a connection. You and your family will enjoy what it's like to live without the Worldwide Web - these days, something one can only imagine.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Re-Telling The Story Of 'The Trail Of Tears'

The trail of tears — The forced migration of thousands of Native Americans from their ancestral homeland in the south West to Oklahoma — is taught in many classrooms as one of the darkest moments in American history.

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NPR Story
2:19 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

'Meaning Of Everything' Often Lost In Translation

There's a word for light blue and a word for dark or navy blue in the Russian language, but no word for a general shade of blue. When a translator is tasked with translating English "blue" into Russian, he or she must choose which shade to use.

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Economy
1:00 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Company Towns, After The Company Leaves Town

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Huntsville, Alabama, to some, is better known as Rocket City, where NASA engineers build rockets and kids come every year for space camp. With nearly half of the city's jobs linked to space and defense spending, the city is deeply connected to the nation's space exploration programs.

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Opinion
1:00 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Op-Ed: Cultivate Innovation To Kick-Start Economy

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, host: And now the Opinion Page. The Obama administration is expected to spend up to $1 billion to fund training and job placement for health care workers, a decision under the White House's We Can't Wait agenda. With unemployment at 9 percent, government officials have a single focus, and that is to create jobs. But inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen argues that the talk of job creation is actually setting a low standard. He says: We need more people who are passionate about finding new solutions and new industries.

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Television
1:00 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Abrams And Nolan Nab A 'Person Of Interest'

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, host: The new CBS crime drama "Person of Interest" tells the story of two men who prevent crimes before they can be committed. Excuse me. They find out about the crimes by looking at data gathered by intelligence surveillance designed to catch terrorists. The series was picked up by CBS after the network says it tested better than any other series in recent memory.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Rethinking How Kids Learn Science

How important are museums, TV shows and after school clubs to teaching kids science? Ira Flatow and guests look at "informal science education" and what researchers are learning about learning science. Plus, what's the best way to keep undergraduate science majors in science?

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