Talk of the Nation

Weekdays 12:00 pm

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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Election 2012
11:00 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Perry Leaves Race, Iowa GOP Puts Santorum In Lead

Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the Republican presidential race Thursday, saying he saw no way forward. The same day, the Iowa Republican party announced that Mitt Romney is no longer the winner of the caucuses there.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Quizmaster Reflects On 50 Years Of 'It's Academic'

Host Mac McGarry (top left) poses with student contestants on the set of It's Academic in 1988.
Courtesy of 'It's Academic'

For 51 seasons, the Washington, D.C.-based TV quiz show It's Academic has pitted three teams of high school students against each other in a sports game atmosphere — complete with chants and cheerleaders.

The show first aired in the Washington area in 1961 and spurred similar programs in several other cities. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New York Senator Charles Schumer and political commentator George Stephanopoulos have all appeared on versions of the show.

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Your Health
11:00 am
Thu January 19, 2012

When, And How, To Ask For A Second Medical Opinion

When faced with a major medical decision, it can be difficult for patients to determine when it's appropriate to seek a second opinion. Asking another doctor can help catch misdiagnoses or prevent unnecessary treatments, but they can also be a waste of time and resources.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Thu January 19, 2012

'Justified' Producer Shares Crime Writing Secrets

Crime novelist Elmore Leonard with Justified star Timothy Olyphant.
Courtesy of FX

Elmore Leonard has had the kind of writing career many aspiring writers dream of. Over six decades, he's written scores of successful crime novels, short stories and scripts for the big and small screens.

The acclaimed TV series on FX, Justified, is based on one of Leonard's short stories, "Fire in the Hole." The show has garnered awards for its gritty yet likeable characters.

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Politics
12:04 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Previewing Three 2012 Senate Races To Watch

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 12:09 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Huntsman hangs up his cleats, Wisconsin Dems step up to the plate, and Newt Gingrich swings for the fences in South Carolina. It is Wednesday and time for a...

NEWT GINGRICH: Paychecks versus food stamps...

DONVAN: 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?

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Freedom Not 'Paradise' For 'West Memphis Three'

In 1994, three teens were convicted of the murder of three boys in West Memphis, Ark. The trial drew national attention, due in part to the documentary series Paradise Lost. The "West Memphis Three" appealed their convictions and were released from prison in August 2011.

On Disabilities
11:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Learning To Love, And Be Loved, With Autism

Emotions can be hard to gauge in the beginning of any romantic relationship. But for people with autism, who often struggle to interpret social cues, romance can be particularly challenging to navigate. And for some, the prospect of loving and being loved seems out of reach.

The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Facing Disaster, What Is A Ship's Captain Expected To Do?

The Costa Concordia lies stranded in the Giglio harbor on Tuesday.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty

The captain of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia has been pilloried by many for what they say was cowardice in the wake of the accident off the coast of Tuscany Friday.

The dramatic recordings of the exchange between Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco's and Capt. Francesco Schettino, reveal a captain unwilling to return to the listing ship, even as De Falco mocks him.

But under maritime law, what was Schettino supposed to do?

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Please 'Stop Doing That': Redefining Good Manners

John Woo

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 11:36 am

We've all witnessed bad manners: The rider who showers the bus with his uncovered sneeze; the woman who cuts into the movie line; the person texting mid-film at the movie theater.

But while we know bad manners when we see them, good manners can be harder to define. What's the problem with saying "No problem" as a substitute for "You're welcome"? Is it acceptable to answer a phone call with an email? Is it offensive to ask a taxi driver where he's from?

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World
11:00 am
Tue January 17, 2012

In Ship Accident's Wake, Scrutiny Turns To Captain

Five more bodies were recovered Tuesday from the Italian cruise ship that ran aground off the shore of Tuscany. Prosecutors have accused Capt. Francesco Schettino of manslaughter for abandoning the ship before evacuation was complete. Maritime law professor Bob Jarvis offers insight into the responsibilities of ship captains.

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