Talk of the Nation

Mon. - Thurs. from 11am to 1pm (not including Science Friday)
Hosted by: Neal Conan

Talk of the Nation® links 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 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.

Monday through Thursday, host Neal Conan invites callers to discuss areas of topical interest, including politics and public service, education, religion, music, and healthcare. Talk of the Nation goes behind the headlines with decision-makers, authors, thinkers, artists, and listeners around the world, who become part of the conversation by calling 1-800-989-TALK.

Talk of the Nation won the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton Award in 1994-95 for "The Changing of the Guard: The Republican Revolution," as well as the 1993-94 duPont-Columbia Silver Baton for part of NPR's coverage of the South African elections. The program also won the 1993 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award.

Below, you will find articles, transcripts, and clips of many of the stories heard on Talk of the Nation.

Visit Talk of the Nation on NPR.org

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Your Health
11:16 am
Wed May 30, 2012

With Prostate Cancer, Is It Better Not To Know?

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 11:24 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For years, many doctors questioned the value of the PSA screening test for prostate cancer. Yes, it can catch dangerous cancers and save lives, but last week a federal task force recommended against routine PSA tests.

The panel concluded that too often the blood test leads to unnecessary procedures that can leave patients impotent, incontinent or both. Essentially, the panel concludes, that men are better off not knowing. Some experts cheered, others were outraged.

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Politics
11:10 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Texas Vote Boosts Romney Amid 'Birther' Revival

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 11:24 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Romney rings up the magic number, Barrett and Walker wind up in Wisconsin, and on CNN, the Donald brings up the birther business again. It's Wednesday and time for a...

DONALD TRUMP: Ridiculous...

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?

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Politics
10:58 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Former 'Car Czar' Takes On Auto Bailout And Bain

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 11:24 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

Steven Rattner now finds himself in the middle of two debates that will be key parts of this presidential campaign. President Obama's former car czar dismissed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's claims about the auto bailout as complete fantasy. But Rattner is also among the Democrats who criticized the president's attacks against Romney and private equity as unfair.

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From Our Listeners
1:23 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Letters: Organ Donations And Changing Hospitals

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Cathy May(ph) in Bigelow, Arkansas heard our conversation about possible compensation for organ donors and wrote: I'm donating a kidney to a friend this coming August. While I don't care to be paid for donating, I would love to be reimbursed from my loss of salary while recovering from the process. It's a great honor to help another person, but it comes at a cost for me.

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NPR Story
11:39 am
Tue May 29, 2012

'How Soldiers Die': A History Of Combat Deaths

A U.S. Army honor guard stands at attention during a ceremony to mark Memorial Day, this week at Arlington National Cemetery.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 10:29 am

In The Last Full Measure: How Soldiers Die In Battle, Michael Stephenson describes how soldiers fight and die, how those who have lived deal with the experience of combat, and what it reveals about warfare and human nature.

He acknowledges it's a sensitive subject, but he argues it's an important one. Understanding how soldiers die, Stephenson tells NPR's Neal Conan, "is central to an understanding of what combat is. And I think we have to engage with it."

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Middle East
11:06 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Egyptian Election Marred By Violence

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 1:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In another dramatic turn in Egypt, the first free democratic presidential election in the nation's history set up a run-off vote next month between two divisive candidates: Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmed Shafik the last prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak. Between them, the two top candidates received just under 50 percent of the votes.

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Middle East
11:06 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Few Good Options Remain To End Syrian Attacks

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 1:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Countries around the world expelled Syrian diplomats today, explaining that the representatives of a country that slaughters its own people are not welcome. United Nations observers confirmed the massacre of over 100 men, women and children, many of them children, in the village of Houla last Friday. U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus today to demand that his government abide by a cease-fire agreement that now lies in bloody taters.

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Middle East
11:06 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Journalist Interviews, Films 'Al Qaeda In Yemen'

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 1:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Science
2:16 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Breaking Out Of A Web Of Fear

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

So if tiny ticks carrying Lyme disease weren't scary enough for you, how about something even creepier and crawlier? What happens when you see a spider in the sink? Do you panic? Do you shriek? Do you call in someone else to squash it?

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Science
11:00 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Tick Talk: Lyme Disease Under The Microscope

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 2:17 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky, in for Ira Flatow. You've probably already encountered them this year, buried deep in your pet's fur, maybe on your own skin - yes, ticks. These bloodsuckers are often no bigger than a poppy seed, but they can wreak havoc with your health and your pet's.

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