Talk of the Nation

Talk of the Nation linked the headlines with what's on people's minds, providing a springboard for listeners and experts to exchange ideas and pose critical questions about major events in the news and the world around them. Each day, Talk of the Nation combined the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result was a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

Talk of the Nation ended its 17-year run on June 27, 2013.

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NPR Story
1:41 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

'Green-On-Blue' Attacks Challenge Afghan Security

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:06 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. As the U.S. and NATO start to withdraw combat forces from Afghanistan, many in Kabul are considering the lessons of history this summer, and two years in particular: 1989 and the withdrawal of Soviet troops after 10 years; 1992 and the Afghan civil war.

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NPR Story
1:41 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Preventing The Spread Of West Nile Virus

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:10 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 2012's outbreak of West Nile virus is on track to be the worst in U.S. history. The mayor of Dallas recently authorized an aerial spraying program to kill the mosquitoes that carry the virus, which provoked protest from area residents.

NPR Story
2:16 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Drought Forces Ranchers Into Difficult Decisions

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:29 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Parts of the country have suffered from record heat and drought for several years in a row now, and this summer, it's been just brutal. In past programs, we talked with farmers about their crops. Today, we focus on difficult choices facing ranchers and dairy farmers.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Political Junkie: Todd Akin And Negative Campaigning

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:29 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. A congressman skinny dips in holy water and still can't buy a headline because another congressman redefines rape and biology, defies his own party and stands up Piers Morgan. It's Wednesday and time for a...

PIERS MORGAN: Gutless little twerp...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL JUNKIE INTRO)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Social Workers Help Navigate Path To Transplant

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:28 pm

Each year, some 2,000 heart transplants are performed in the U.S., and the number of people on the waiting list is even larger. Between finding the perfect donor to worrying about insurance, the wait can be grueling, but heart transplant social workers are here to help.

NPR Story
2:16 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

What Pussy Riot Ruling Means For Russian Regime

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:21 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This weekend, a court in Moscow sentenced three women from a previously obscure punk band guilty of hooliganism. They got two years in prison and made Pussy Riot an international sensation. In the Washington Post today, columnist Anne Applebaum writes that for all the attention paid to the case, Madonna's was by far the most damaging, not because she's a serious political figure, but because she isn't.

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Education
2:38 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Economy Exacerbates College Students' Stress

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:57 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. In the coming weeks, millions of college students will move into dorm rooms, make new friends and hit the books. And if that sounds pretty much like the experience of their predecessors over the years, some things have changed.

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From Our Listeners
2:24 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Letters: Duty To Warn And Hate Groups

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments about mental health professionals and their "duty to warn," and about what we know about hate groups. And we remember comedian Phyllis Diller who died Monday at her home in Los Angeles.

Presidential Race
2:05 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Romney's VP Pick Puts Focus On Medicare

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:34 pm

Paul Ryan's controversial plan to reshape Medicare has provoked conversation, some of it confusing, about entitlement reform. Traditionally a campaign rallying cry for Democrats, Republicans seem to be putting President Obama on the defensive about Medicare and the new health law.

Sports
2:05 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Olympians Are Faster And Stronger, But How?

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:54 pm

The Olympic motto says it all. It translates to: "Faster, Higher, Stronger." But as athletes come up against the limits of human potential, writer Emily Sohn wondered, how do they continue to improve? The answer, she found, has to do with technology, psychology and access to a range of sports.

Politics
2:05 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Akin's Remarks Highlight Political Cynicism

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:55 pm

After Rep. Todd Akin's remarks about rape, the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus posed a question: "Is it any wonder Americans hate politics?" Republicans, she says, reacted just strongly enough to serve their own interests. And Democrats, Marcus argues, do their own part by driving voter cynicism.

Fitness & Nutrition
2:30 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Getting Fit: Why More People Are Walking The Walk

More people are getting their exercise by walking, according to a new study by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The health benefits are clear: Walkers generally have a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes. If walking is your form of exercise, why does it work for you?

Middle East
2:23 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

In Syria, Factions Gain Strength Amid Chaos

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 2:30 pm

Syria's civil war erupted again on Monday, just one day after the U.N. ended its monitoring mission in the country. Reporter Jon Lee Anderson joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss the different factions that are rising up amid the current confusion.

On Disabilities
2:13 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Wheelchairs Welcome? Not Everywhere.

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 2:30 pm

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, former Major League Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent describes incidences of clubs, offices and public spaces posing obstacles for him and his wheelchair. He joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss the places where those in wheelchairs still don't feel welcome.

Mental Health
2:13 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Behind Mental Health Stigmas In Black Communities

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 2:30 pm

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder has focused attention on the shame that sometimes accompanies mental health diagnoses in the African-American community. Psychiatrist William Lawson joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss why such a stigma exists.

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