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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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

How Chemical Weapons Could Change Strategy For Syria

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 9:51 am

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Accusations that the Syrian government has repeatedly used chemical weapons against its own people are piling up. First were British and French officials who say they have credible evidence. Today, an Israeli military official joined the chorus.

The U.S. says it's evaluating the allegations. The stakes are high. Last year the Obama administration said the use of chemical weapons would be a game-changer that could provoke a stronger U.S. response.

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NPR Story
2:04 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Learning To Live As An Amputee

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Too many of those injured in Boston last Monday lost limbs in the explosion and now face a long and difficult recovery. Because the pressure-cooker bombs were in bags placed on the sidewalk, the shrapnel maimed and shredded many people's legs. Their basic challenge, of course, is to walk again. But the physical, mental and emotional process stretches far beyond those first steps.

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NPR Story
2:04 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Big Op-Ed: Shifting Opinions On Surveillance Cameras

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 2:54 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. And now it's time for the Opinion Page. Investigators in the Boston Marathon bombings used all kinds of images to identify the suspects in Boston: pictures from cell phones, portable video recorders and from TV. But the most useful came from surveillance cameras placed to monitor public places like the entrance to the Lord and Taylor department store and Forum Restaurant.

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NPR Story
2:04 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

South Sudan: A Warn-Torn Nation Transforms To Tourist Destination

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 2:58 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Mental Health
1:55 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Oliver Sacks: Hallucinations

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:11 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

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Environment
1:55 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Climate Change Takes Flight in New Novel

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:11 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

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Science
1:55 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Robert Ballard: 50 Years Exploring Deep Waters

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:10 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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National Security
2:13 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Investigating Explosions And Chemical Threats

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 2:44 pm

Explosions at the Boston Marathon, potentially ricin-laced letters intercepted en route to the White House and Sen. Roger Wicker, and an explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas have each prompted investigations. In each case, authorities sift through evidence to construct a timeline of events.

World
2:05 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Malala: How A Young Girl Became A World Symbol

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 2:28 pm

Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai has become a symbol of hope for change in Pakistan and the world. Since her near-fatal shooting in 2012, her voice and reach has grown, as she speaks out against the Taliban's influence, and advocates for education for Pakistani youth.

Around the Nation
2:05 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Boston: The Conversation In Arab-American And Muslim Communities

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 2:45 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee.

For Arab and Muslim-Americans, news of a terrorist attack or possible terrorist attack on U.S. soil is complicated by fears that the perpetrator might be a member of their own community and in the hours after the Boston Marathon, rumors of a young Saudi suspect spread like wildfire despite statements from law enforcement that no suspect had been identified.

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Sports
2:25 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

What Spectators Add To The Marathon Experience

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

You know, many of those injured and all three of the people who were killed at the scene of the Boston Marathon were there to cheer on the runners. They weren't running. Running is usually a fairly solitary sport, but a marathon is a unique moment when these athletes run alongside others, for one thing, and they're cheered on by sometimes thousands of spectators. Runners rely on those familiar faces and their cheerful signs to motivate them through all 26.2 miles.

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National Security
2:20 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Public Safety: The Measures Taken To Keep Crowds Safe

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee. Neal Conan is away. The attacks on the Boston Marathon have had a ripple effect around the world. Organizers of the London Marathon are working with local police to increase security measures there. And organizers of smaller marathons, like the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon, are meeting to discuss how to best protect runners and spectators in the wake of the Boston tragedy. We'll speak to the emergency coordinator of that marathon in just a moment.

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Politics
2:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Governing During Threats To National Security

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, in Washington. It's Wednesday, and it's time for the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

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?

SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

SENATOR LLOYD BENTSEN: Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: You don't have Nixon to kick around anymore.

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Around the Nation
3:57 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

The Kindness Of Strangers After The Tragedy In Boston

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:07 pm

In the hours after two explosions rocked the finish line at the Boston Marathon, social media was alight with offers of assistance — from restaurants inviting guests to pay what they could, to Bostonians offering couches and inflatable mattresses to anyone who needed a place to stay.

NPR's Celeste Headlee talks with three Bostonians who offered help to strangers after the crisis.


Interview Highlights

Jim Hoben, owner, El Pelon Taqueria in Boston, offered pay-what-you-can service at his restaurant.

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National Security
2:34 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

What We Know About 'The Act Of Terrorism' In Boston

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington; Neal Conan is away. It's been less than 24 hours since two explosions rocked the Boston Marathon, and there are still more questions than answers about what happened. We can tell you so far that three people were killed, more than 170 injured.

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Law
2:16 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

The Immigration Bill's Chances In Congress

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Though the Gang of Eight has postponed the full, public unveiling of their immigration bill until tomorrow, the rollout began in earnest over the weekend with Republican Senator Marco Rubio making the rounds on Sunday talk shows.

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Explosions Boston Marathon

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:01 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Op-Ed: What Exhumation Means For A Legacy

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 3:34 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

But now to The Opinion Page. A week ago today, Chilean authorities exhumed the remains of Pablo Neruda, a poet, politician and diplomat who penned thousands of works, some of them like "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair" almost ubiquitous in Hispanic culture. For nearly 40 years, it's been generally accepted that Neruda died of cancer, but some still insist Neruda was actually poisoned just days after General Augusto Pinochet came to power.

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NPR Story
2:01 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Life After Exoneration, For The Victims On Both Sides

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 3:34 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington. In the summer of 2002, Brian Banks was a promising high school football player with a verbal agreement to play college ball on a scholarship at USC. But when another student accused him of rape, that all changed.

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NPR Story
2:01 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Taxes Without Returns: Pipe Dream Or Possibility?

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 3:34 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington. Imagine April 15 but without tax returns, without the mad scramble to finish them, the long wait at the post office, the piles of receipts piling up for deductible expenses, in other words an America without tax returns.

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Animals
1:03 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Monitoring the Monarchs

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

Next up, a case of life imitating art. A few months ago, we talked to writer Barbara Kingsolver about her latest book, "Flight Behavior." The book is a fictional account of an ecological disaster in the making, and the fate of millions of monarch butterflies is at the center of the plot. Would the species survive? That's the art part.

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NPR Story
11:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Red Meat's Heart Risk Goes Beyond The Fat

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira today. You know the phrase you are what you eat? Well, new research suggests a slight modification: Your gut bacteria are what you eat. And if you eat more red meat, for example, you'll nurture populations of microbes that like to eat red meat, too, which might not seem like a bad thing except that researchers have pinpointed a compound in red meat called L-carnitine that when broken down by gut bacteria might contribute to heart disease.

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NPR Story
11:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Looking To Nature For Antibiotic Inspirations

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. Later in the hour, a teenage science activist and the plight of the monarch butterfly. But first, researchers have developed a new way to fight antibiotic-resistant microbes by borrowing a trick from a longtime foe of the bacteria, the bacteria phage.

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NPR Story
11:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Pouring Over The Science Of Coffee

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 6:55 am

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Up next, another mover and shaker in the alimentary canal - coffee. Whether you're a home brewer or a latte devotee, whether you take it light and sweet or on ice, your coffee is guaranteed to be chock full of chemistry. It starts in the bean, which is actually not a bean at all.

It's a seed, according Harold McGee, author of "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen" along with other books on science and food. And we caught up with Harold, to hear more about how coffee gets its signature taste.

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Around the Nation
2:38 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

How Parents Talk To Children About Consent

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 5:40 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In late 2011, four teenage boys at a party allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl in Nova Scotia. A picture of the incident circulated among classmates and then went viral. In a Facebook post, the girl's mother said she'd been shunned by her friends, bullied and called a slut. She moved, transferred schools, made new friends, started therapy, but a week ago Rehtaeh Parsons hanged herself. Her family took her off life support this past Sunday.

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Medical Treatments
2:35 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Is There A Doctor Aboard? Medical Emergencies In The Clouds

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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World
2:16 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

What's At Stake In Elections In Venezuela And Pakistan

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Elections come up in Venezuela this weekend and Pakistan next month, two very different places of critical importance to the United States and to their regions. More on Pakistan in a few minutes.

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Politics
1:38 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Congress Nears Agreements On Guns And Immigration

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Robin Kelly's in in Chicago, Anthony Weiner wants back in in New York, and Mitch McConnell claims somebody broke in and bugged his campaign office. It's Wednesday and time for...

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: Nixonian...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

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?

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Arts & Life
1:26 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

The Prickly Process Of Changing Your Name

At 24, Silas Hansen left his birth name, Lindsay, behind.
Raena Shirali

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 2:00 pm

Names are possessions that we carry with us all our lives. But we seldom think about what goes into picking the right one. Some choose to change their first names in adulthood, because of family history or pure disdain for a moniker. For Silas Hansen, the reason was that he's transgender.

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Economy
1:26 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

How The Latest Budget Could Affect You

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:51 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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