Afghanistan
1:00 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

For Afghan Soldiers, A Battle For Respect

Manullah Ahmadzai, 27, lost the sight in his right eye while serving as a front-line soldier in the Afghan military. Ahmadzai is one of many soldiers who have been severely injured and say promised government benefits don't always arrive.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 4:07 pm

Last month, the Taliban carried out their largest coordinated attack across Afghanistan, including three sites inside the capital Kabul. It took an 18-hour gunfight to end the assault.

But even as they took cover, Kabul residents saw something new: their own soldiers taking the lead, with limited help from NATO. Television footage showed Afghan soldiers moving confidently into the building where the militants were holed up, avoiding reckless gunfire that might have endangered civilians in the crowded city.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:00 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

These Health Law Bets Are No Figure Of Speech

How much would you wager on the constitutionality of the sweeping federal health law?
Images_of_Money Flickr

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 6:43 am

The stakes are high in the U.S. Supreme Court's consideration of the 2010 health law, as countless commentators have observed. In some circles, however, the gambling metaphor has been pushed to its logical conclusion.

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Afghanistan
12:47 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

As The Clock Ticks, Americans Train Afghan Troops

U.S. troops are training Afghan soldiers to take more responsibility in the war against the Taliban. But the Afghans still depend heavily on the Americans. Here, an Afghan solider fills up gas cans with diesel fuel from a U.S. Army tanker in southern Afghanistan.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 4:07 pm

Just outside Kandahar, the main city in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military is starting a new program it hopes will wean Afghan troops off American assistance.

A dozen or so American soldiers make up one of the Security Force Assistance Teams, and the goal is to help the Afghan army plan for operations and supply itself in the field.

But the mission is still a work in progress.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

GOP Senators Block Democrats' Student Loan Bill

Senate Republicans gave a thumbs down to a Democratic plan that would have frozen interest rates for 7.4 million students taking out new federally subsidized Stafford loans.

The vote was 52-45. Sixty votes were needed to avoid a certain Republican filibuster and to move the bill toward debate.

From the Republican perspective, it wasn't the idea of keeping the rate at 3.4 percent rather than letting it double starting in July. The impasse was over how to fund the one-year rate freeze, which would cost the government $6 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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Music Reviews
12:15 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Chicha Libre: Sonic Predators Rock Peruvian Grooves

A Brooklyn band with musicians from three continents, Chicha Libre has just released its second album, Canibalismo.
Txuca

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 4:07 pm

Chicha is a corn-derived liquor native to the South American Andes since ancient times. It's also a quirky style of pop music that developed in the Peruvian Amazon in the 1960s and '70s. All of that provides inspiration for the Brooklyn band Chicha Libre, which has just released its second album, Canibalismo.

Founder Olivier Conan developed a passion for chicha music while crate-digging through old vinyl in Peru. He says all pop-music innovators are really sonic predators.

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It's All Politics
12:10 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Romney Praises Bill Clinton As New Democrat, Bashes Obama As Old One

Mitt Romney praised Bill Clinton as an enlightened centrist Democrat for reforming welfare and other polices and attacked President Obama as a big-government liberal.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 12:25 pm

As if further proof were needed that the Republican primaries are essentially dead and buried, here's another piece of firm evidence: Mitt Romney praised former President Bill Clinton in a speech in Michigan Tuesday, and not once but twice.

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Strange News
11:35 am
Tue May 8, 2012

The Secret Life Of The Other Alan Feuer

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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From Our Listeners
11:32 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Letters: 'Zuul The Terrordog' And New Graduates

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments about previous shows including living with cancer, mainstreaming special education kids, and advice for new graduates. And "Zuul the Terrordog" sings along to the Talk of the Nation theme.

National Security
11:14 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Busted Bomb Plot Advanced Underwear Scheme

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 11:30 am

FBI bomb experts continue to study the device involved in the latest al-Qaida plot to bring down a U.S.-bound airliner. U.S. officials say the explosive is a more advanced version of the underwear bomb that malfunctioned aboard a jet in 2009.

Your Money
11:14 am
Tue May 8, 2012

'Sandwich Generation' Must Make Tough Choices

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:01 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Over the past few weeks, our colleagues at MORNING EDITION have been telling a series of stories called "Family Matters," about the challenges that over 50 million of we Americans now face: multigenerational households, homes where two or more generations of adults live under one roof.

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