Talk Of The Nation

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 health care, Talk Of  The Nation offers call-in listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with a variety of guests.

Composer ID: 
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Middle East
10:58 am
Thu January 31, 2013

After Benghazi Attack, Improving American Security Abroad

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 11:35 am

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton "got away with murder" for her handling of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who led the independent investigation into the attacks, talks about the future of diplomatic security.

National Security
10:58 am
Thu January 31, 2013

What 'The New York Times' Hack Tells Us About China

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

According to The New York Times' own investigation, Chinese hackers have been attacking the newspapers' computer system for the last four months. Infiltration happened as The Times broke a story on the vast wealth accumulated by the family of the Chinese prime minister. Officials warned The Times the story would have consequences. But hacking is not anything new in China, and they're definitely not the only country doing it today. We'll look at what China's after, who they're targeting, how they do it and why.

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Mental Health
11:27 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Balancing Work, Medication And Mental Illness

With a proper balance of medication and therapy, some people diagnosed with mental illness can succeed in the workplace.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 3:04 pm

Thirty years ago, when Elyn Saks was diagnosed with schizophrenia, her doctors told her she would never be able to hold a job.

"The idea was that I should lower my expectations," she tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I was advised to be a cashier for a year or two and then think about another job or possibly going back to school."

She didn't listen.

Despite hospitalization, years of psychoanalysis and continued delusions, Saks discovered that work was essential to managing her psychosis. She is now a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

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Politics
11:27 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Immigration, Gun Legislation And The Shakeup In Iowa

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. An African-American governor appoints an African-American senator; immigration moves to the front burner, and Bobby Jindal scolds the GOP. It's Wednesday and time for a...

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: The stupid party...

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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Asia
11:27 am
Wed January 30, 2013

The Role For The U.S. In The East China Sea Dispute

The Senkaku Islands, as they are called in Japan, sit in a strategic location between Okinawa and Taiwan.
Matt Stiles/NPR

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 12:57 pm

The dispute between Japan and China over small islands in the East China Sea is escalating. The two nations first dispatched unarmed vessels to stake their claims, then patrol boats, and then, unarmed aircraft.

Most recently, both countries sent fighter jets to the islands — known as the Senkaku in Japan, and the Diaoyu in China. The islands are uninhabited, but sit in a strategic location between Japan and Taiwan.

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Economy
11:19 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Paul Krugman's Unconventional Outlook On The Economy

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Over the past several years, Democrats and Republicans have disagreed on how address the problems of deficit and debt, but there's broad consensus that we need to reduce both by significant numbers, and soon. In his columns in New York Times and in a book called "End this Depression Now!" Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman defies the conventional wisdom. He argues for more spending, not less, says the deficit's not too bad, and that a little inflation might be a good thing.

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Around the Nation
11:18 am
Tue January 29, 2013

In Night Clubs, The Steps Taken To Prevent Tragic Fires

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Boston, November 1942: 492 people died in a fire at the Cocoanut Grove. June 1974: 24 dead at Gulliver's in Port Chester, New York. In February 2003, 100 killed at The Station in West Warwick in Rhode Island. Tragedies that seared back into memory following the death of at least 230 on Sunday at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, preventable tragedies that could have been mitigated or stopped altogether by adherence to fire safety laws.

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Middle East
10:56 am
Tue January 29, 2013

The Challenges To Democracy In Egypt

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Today, Egypt's defense minister warned that rising conflicts and chaos in the country could result in the collapse of the state and that it poses a threat to the future of coming generations, this after days of violent anti-government protests and demonstrations in cities across Egypt, including Cairo, the capital, and Port Said, just north of the Suez Canal.

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The Impact of War
10:56 am
Tue January 29, 2013

War And Foreign Policy Through The Eyes Of Vietnam Veterans

During the Vietnam War, more than 58,000 Americans died, as well as more than 2 million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 12:25 pm

Sen. John Kerry was confirmed Tuesday by the Senate to become the next secretary of state. Former Sen. Chuck Hagel awaits his turn before the Senate Armed Services Committee to become secretary of defense.

Both men are decorated Vietnam War veterans, and their critics and supporters point to their experiences in Vietnam as essential to their qualifications.

Hagel volunteered to serve in Vietnam and was wounded twice. Kerry commanded a swift boat in the Mekong Delta, and on his return home, he angrily threw away his decorations to protest the war.

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From Our Listeners
10:56 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Letters: Inauguration, Memory Loss, National Geographic

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Thursday, and time to read from your comments. Last week, during the inauguration here in Washington, D.C., we asked listeners for a snapshot of their lives right now.

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Asia
11:09 am
Mon January 28, 2013

North Korea's Rhetoric And Nuclear Capabilities

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 9:48 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Late last week, North Korea responded to new U.N. sanctions with hyperbolic language. A statement described the new measures as a declaration of war. Pyongyang deserves special vitriol for the United States, our sworn enemy, it said. A new nuclear weapons test would target the United States, and it described its new long-range missile as designed to strike U.S. territory.

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Business
10:35 am
Mon January 28, 2013

A 'Permatemp' Economy: The Idea Of The Expendable Employee

According to the American Staffing Association, the U.S. temp industry has added more jobs than any other over the past three years.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 11:00 am

As lawmakers in Washington debate job creation, and unemployment rates remain high, the temporary labor workforce continues to grow.

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Law
10:35 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Senators Propose Principles For Immigration Reform

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 12:13 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. A year ago, most political observers would have dismissed the idea of a comprehensive immigration reform bill as pie in the sky. Today a bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators offered an outline that includes a key Democratic demand - a path to citizenship for those millions who entered the country illegally; and key Republican demands for tighter border security and a program to keep track of foreigners who overstay their visas.

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Books
10:08 am
Fri January 25, 2013

The Book Club Catches 'The Andromeda Strain'

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

It's that time again, the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club. Regulars are gathered here. With me are Flora Lichtman, correspondent and managing editor of video for SCIENCE FRIDAY, Annette Heist, our senior producer. And this month, we had a page-turner, "The Andromeda Strain."

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Yes.

FLATOW: It goes very quickly, that book, doesn't it? Poof.

LICHTMAN: It did. I was thinking of 300 and something-odd pages, but I, you know, in one sitting, was halfway through. I couldn't put it down.

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NPR Story
9:06 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Shakespeare's Sonnets, Encoded In DNA

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 10:00 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

How much information do you think exists in the entire world? Take a guess. Forget megabytes and gigabytes and terabytes and petabytes, even exobytes. We're talking zetabytes here or 10 to the 21st bytes. Take the number 10, put 21 zeroes after it, that's what you've got because one recent estimate says there may be around three zetabytes of digital information out there. That's over one trillion gigabytes. Just imagine all those hard drives piled up, and then imagine them not starting up when you plug them in.

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