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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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Around the Nation
2:18 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

In Night Clubs, The Steps Taken To Prevent Tragic Fires

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:24 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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From Our Listeners
2:07 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Letters: Inauguration, Memory Loss, National Geographic

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 2:39 pm

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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Middle East
2:04 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

The Challenges To Democracy In Egypt

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:24 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
1:56 pm
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 3:25 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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NPR Story
1:35 pm
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 2:00 pm

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

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NPR Story
1:35 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

North Korea's Rhetoric And Nuclear Capabilities

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 12:48 pm

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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NPR Story
1:35 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Senators Propose Principles For Immigration Reform

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:13 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
1:08 pm
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
12:06 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Shakespeare's Sonnets, Encoded In DNA

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 1:00 pm

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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NPR Story
12:06 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Canine Mystery: How Dogs Became Man's Best Friend

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. We all know the phrase a dog is a man's best friend. But how did they become such loyal companions? Scientists agree that dogs descended from wolves, eventually evolving into the first domesticated animals, but that's where the consensus ends.

Researchers have been using archaeological records and genetic studies to tease out clues about how dogs and humans came to live together, but they seem to tell different stories of how it happened.

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NPR Story
12:06 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Cold Snap Shakes Up Winter Weather Outlook

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 1:03 pm

Unusual activity in the atmosphere over the Arctic Circle is triggering snow and frigid temperatures across Canada, the U.S. and parts of Europe. Climatologist Jeff Weber, of the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research, explains why this winter could pack a punch.

Opinion
2:27 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Roe v. Wade at 40: A Look at Its Legacy

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

We didn't have a chance on Monday to get to our opinion page, so now a special Thursday edition of the opinion page. This week marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision. In a recent piece for The New York Times, that newspaper's former Supreme Court correspondent, Linda Greenhouse, wrote that the ruling that legalized abortion across the entire country was much more about the rights of doctors than the rights of women.

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NPR Story
1:01 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

The Self That's Left When Memories Fade

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:41 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In a piece in The Atlantic, neuroscientist Daniel Levitin describes the day a teacher, a famous neuropsychologist, told the class that his colleague, a close friend, had just called him to say he had a brain tumor, would gradually lose his memory and, the teacher said, would soon no longer understand who he was.

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NPR Story
1:01 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

A Closer Look at Women In Combat

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 1:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Today, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced he will lift rules that barred women from service in units likely to find themselves in combat on the ground.

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NPR Story
1:01 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

The Changing Nature of American Diplomacy

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 9:18 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Later this hour, we'll talk about women in combat. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced today that the Pentagon will lift the military ban on women serving in combat roles. So we want to hear from women in the Armed Forces. What changes now?

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