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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Science
1:37 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Neanderthals: The Oldest Cave Painters?

Reporting in Science, researchers write that a red disk painted in Spain's El Castillo cave is at least 40,800 years old--making it the oldest known European cave art. Archaeologist Alistair Pike discusses how his team dated the disk, and whether Neanderthals could have painted it.

World Health
1:32 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Virus Hunter Recalls Discovery Of Ebola And HIV

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. Imagine a cargo plane dropping you off in a remote corner of the African jungle. The area you've just entered is under quarantine for a mysterious plague. Nobody knows how many people it has killed, but all who have fallen sick die within eight days, first high fever, headache, hallucinations, then usually bleeding to death.

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Science
1:26 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Putting a Friendly Face on Statistics

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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Law
2:29 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Coroners: Inside The Lives Of Death Investigators

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. After 32 years, the mystery has been solved. A coroner in the fourth inquest into the death of an Australian couple's baby declared the dingo did in fact take the baby. You know a bit about the case if you saw the Meryl Streep movie "Cry in the Dark."

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Theater
2:24 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

'Old Jews' Take Jokes To The Stage

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Afghanistan
2:22 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

On The Ground With Troops In Afghanistan

NPR's Pentagon correspondent, Tom Bowman, recently spent several weeks in Afghanistan following the last major combat offensive in the region. He and Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security talk about the situation on the ground just two years shy of the withdrawal deadline.

Africa
2:18 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

The Future Of Democracy In Egypt

Egypt's Supreme Court declared recent elections illegal and ordered the Islamist-led parliament dissolved. The decision, by judges who were appointed by former dictator Hosni Mubarak, escalates the power struggle between the military government and the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists.

Around the Nation
2:04 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

'Marriage,' The Word At Heart Of Cultural Debate

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 2:32 pm

In a recent column, Ben Zimmer wrote, "Is there any word currently more contested in our culture than marriage?" As the debate about same-sex marriage continues, he examines the definition of marriage and the ways advocates and opponents of same-sex unions use language to advance their positions.

Politics
2:49 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

June Primaries Set Stage For Senate Control

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Cornyn calls for Holder's head. Giffords hands off to Barber. And the president trips over unemployment. It's Wednesday and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Doing fine...

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?

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

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NPR Story
2:04 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

'Push Girls' Wheel Chairs Through Life And Love

Tiphany Adams, Chelsie Hill, Angela Rockwood, Auti Angel and Mia Schaikewitz make up the cast of Push Girls.
Greg Zook

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 9:39 am

At 15, Mia Schaikewitz was a star on her high school swim team, when a blood vessel ruptured in her spine and left her paralyzed from the waist down. In 1992, Auti Angel was a professional hip hop dancer when the impact of a car crash severed her spinal cord and left her a paraplegic.

Schaikewitz and Angel are two of four friends featured on the new Sundance Channel reality show Push Girls, which hopes to defy the stereotypes of women in wheelchairs.

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Middle East
2:04 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Reporting From A Rapidly-Deteriorating Syria

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 2:51 pm

NPR's Deborah Amos followed a team of U.N. observers in Syria in June before returning to Damascus, and has been reporting on the latest developments in the region. NPR's Neal Conan speaks with Amos about her experiences reporting from Damascus and what she's seen on the ground.

Sports
2:04 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Pacquiao Fight Raises Questions About Sports Calls

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Last Saturday night, Manny Pacquiao moved quicker across the ring in Las Vegas, landed more punches than Timothy Bradley and many more heavy blows. Fans, experts, the TV commentators all agreed the man widely considered the best boxer in the world dominated the fight. And then the judges shocked everyone, and Pacquiao's amazing seven-year win streak was over. Controversial decisions are hardly new to boxing or to sports in general.

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National Security
2:32 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Ahead Of Moscow Talks, U.S. Options On Iran

Originally published on Sun June 17, 2012 9:07 am

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

First Lady Fights Obesity With Moves And Good Food

First Lady Michelle Obama gardens in Soweto township, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The first lady has planted a garden on the South Lawn of the White House — it's the first vegetable garden to be planted there since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden.
Charles Dharapak AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 2:43 pm

Many first ladies choose a mission, and when Michelle Obama moved into the White House, she decided to take up the cause of combating childhood obesity. It's an epidemic that affects up to one-third of all children in the U.S. It's also a personal issue for the first lady. A number of years ago, her pediatrician asked her to rethink her daughters' diets.

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From Our Listeners
1:44 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Letters: Jobs For Teens And Buddy Guy

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 2:34 pm

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener feedback on previous Talk of the Nation programs, including shows on summer jobs for teens, the complications of claiming Native American ancestry and blues guitarist Buddy Guy.

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