Talk of the Nation on WLRN

Monday - Thursday at2:00pm
Neil Conan

Each day, Talk of the Nation combines the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result is a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

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Your Health
2:32 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Do You Want To Know Your DNA's Secrets?

Decoding the information in DNA may soon be as routine as checking blood pressure. Recent advances make it possible to spell out a person's complete genetic code in a matter of weeks, for roughly the cost of an MRI. NPR's Rob Stein explains the rewards and risks of complete genome sequencing.

Presidential Race
2:30 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Political Ad Wars Fought On New Battlegrounds

NPR's Ari Shapiro spent a week in one city in a battleground state, Colorado Springs, where campaign spending has tripled since 2008. He discovered how it's changing, and the campaign strategy behind targeting specific ads for specific markets in hopes of winning over undecided voters.

Middle East
2:25 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

In Syria, Tensions And Buildings Burn

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 8:23 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Over 18 months Syria has come unraveled. Infuriated by government brutality and emboldened by the Arab Spring, protestors in provincial cities took to the streets and spawned a movement that evolved in the face of ever-escalating violence to a revolution.

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NPR Story
2:19 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Bill Pullman, Headed Back To '1600 Penn'

Bill Pullman plays Ken, and Marcia Cross plays his wife, Mary, in Bringing Up Bobby.
Monterey Media

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:10 pm

Bill Pullman enjoyed a star turn as the president of the United States in Independence Day. And in an upcoming NBC show, 1600 Penn, he's back in the White House. He's also starring in a new film, Bringing Up Bobby.

"This is an amazing time to be making a comedy about the White House," Pullman tells NPR's Neal Conan. "There's all these ... articles about the misspeaking that the presidents have done ... and I thought, boy, these are the lines I get to say, you know?"

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Science
1:03 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Ice Age Co-Stars: Horses, Camels And Cheetahs

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 1:59 pm

Mammoths and saber-toothed cats may be the most famous beasts of the Ice Age. But they shared the prairie with horses and camels, too--both of which evolved in North America and crossed the ice bridge into Eurasia, before disappearing here. Matthew Kohn and Christopher Hill talk about the lesser-known fauna of the Ice Age.

NPR Story
12:04 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Analysing The Evidence On DNA

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 1:57 pm

When police find DNA at a crime scene, the amount and how it's handled are crucial components in solving a case. Greg Hampikian, Director of the Idaho Innocence Project, discusses the use and misuse of DNA analysis, and why he says all DNA evidence is not created equal.

NPR Story
12:04 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

The Biology Of Birds Of Prey

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 3:30 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, the biology of raptors, moving from giant animals to the birds, we're going to talk about here in Boise. Just outside of town is the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. And that park has one of the highest concentrations of nesting raptors in the world, more than 20 different birds of prey, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, screech owls.

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NPR Story
12:04 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Fires And Invasive Grass Threaten American West

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:02 pm

Cheatgrass, an invasive weed, is choking out native sagebrush in the Great Basin--and setting the stage for hotter, more catastrophic fires there. Jen Pierce, an expert on ancient fires, and Mike Pellant, of the Great Basin Restoration Initiative, talk about how fires are reshaping landscapes in the American West.

Education
2:17 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Parent-Trigger Laws: A Bold Plan To Save Schools

Several states have passed what are known as parent-trigger laws, which give parents a path to make operational changes in failing schools. Education Week reporter Sean Cavanagh talks about where parent-trigger laws are in place and what we know about whether or not they are working.

Asia
2:06 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

China, On The Eve Of A New Presidency

China has been plagued by political scandal and controversy, just as the Communist government prepares for its once-a-decade transfer of power. It's an important moment for the government, which faces questions about how its economy will be governed and how it will handle deal with foreign powers.

Middle East
1:58 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Netanyahu To Press Case For Stronger 'Red Lines'

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:48 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This week, we've been taking time to listen to several world leaders address the U.N. General Assembly in New York with special emphasis on the looming crisis over Iran's nuclear ambitions. We heard from President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday, from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday. Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the gathering and outlined the situation in stark terms. He warned that Iran will have enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb by next summer.

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Education
1:58 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Healthier School Lunches May Leave Kids Hungry

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 2:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. More than 38 million kids get their lunches through the National School Lunch Program, and with more than a third of the nation's youngsters overweight or obese, the cafeteria has become a battleground.

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Law
2:24 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Human Trafficking Still A Problem In The U.S.

Federal prosecutors and law enforcement are working to eliminate human trafficking. How that happens and how they help victims, from the sex trade to agricultural work, differs. Writer Noy Thrupkaew, WGBH reporter Phillip Martin and Amy Bennett Williams of The News-Press explain.

Middle East
2:15 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Tensions With Iran, Center Stage At The U.N.

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:46 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Earlier today, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations General Assembly while Israelis openly debate a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities and President Obama warned yesterday that time for diplomacy was not unlimited. President Ahmadinejad did not directly mention his country's nuclear program nor did he address the sanctions that strain Iran's economy. He did denounce what he called the hegemony of arrogance and laid out his vision for a new world order.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Presidential Race
2:10 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Crunch Time For The Presidential Campaigns

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Akin fights on, McCaskill unloads, Brown and Warren drop the gloves, and Ann Romney hits back at GOP critics. It's Wednesday and time for a...

ANN ROMNEY: Stop it.

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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