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Talk of the Nation

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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.

After 11 Years Behind The Host Mic, Neal Conan Signs Off

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NPR's Neal Conan reflects on his 11 years of hosting Talk of the Nation and thanks some of the influential contributors to the show along the way. After 36 years at NPR, Conan signs off.

Hopes And Fears For The Future Of The World, With Ted Koppel

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The conflict in Syria rages on, the United States' relationship with Iran remains strained, and China is taking hold as an emerging superpower. As part of TOTN's "Looking Ahead" series, NPR commentator Ted Koppel looks to the future of international relations.

So Hard To Say Goodbye: Advice For Farewell Notes

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On the final day of Talk of the Nation, staff and colleagues have been faced with the dilemma of how to say goodbye. When your words fail, a greeting card can supply the right sentiment. Former Hallmark greeting card writer David Dickerson gives advice on saying goodbye.

What's The Talk Of Your Nation?

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In the final broadcast of TOTN, NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving, senior business editor Marilyn Geewax and science correspondent Richard Harris discuss the big stories they're covering. Callers talk about the issues that have their communities and social circles abuzz.

Gospel Legend Mavis Staples Comes 'Full Circle'

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The gospel legend, whose new album is titled One True Vine, has a career spanning more than 60 years. She says of the record, made in collaboration with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, "I've gone from the strictly gospel to folk to country, and here I am right back at home where I began."

What Changes After Supreme Court Rulings On Prop 8 And DOMA

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In a 5-4 decision in U.S. v. Windsor, the Supreme Court ruled the federal Defense Of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The court rules that supporters of California's Proposition 8 case did not have standing to bring the case to court, which means same-sex marriages in California may resume.

A Look Ahead And A Farewell To The Political Junkie

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In the final edition of the Political Junkie, NPR's Ken Rudin looks ahead to 2014 and 2016 elections with democratic pollster Anna Greenberg and Republican strategist Vin Weber.

'Let The Fire Burn': A Philadelphia Community Forever Changed

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On May 13, 1985, after a long standoff, Philadelphia municipal authorities dropped a bomb on the headquarters of the African-American radical group MOVE. In the documentary Let the Fire Burn, director Jason Osder uses archival footage to chronicle the years of tension that ended in tragedy.

Surgeons Nuland And Gawande Look To The Future Of Medicine

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As the Affordable Care Act rolls out and technology changes certain procedures, the role of doctors continues to shift. As part of TOTN's "Looking Ahead" series, Dr. Sherwin Nuland and Dr. Atul Gawande discuss the future of the practice and profession of medicine.

Saudi Arabia Solidifies Support Of Syrian Opposition

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Secretary of State John Kerry held a press conference Tuesday with the Saudi foreign minister. Prince Saud al-Faisal said his country cannot ignore Iran and Hezbollah's support of Assad's regime. NPR foreign correspondent Deb Amos explains Saudi Arabia's role in Syria.

What Changes After Supreme Court Ruling On Voting Rights Act

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In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, stating that the legislation was based on now outdated data. The ruling removes the coverage formula that required federal oversight for voting processes in nine states.

Op-Ed: Emerging Labor Movement Is A Presidential Opportunity

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Retail and fast-food workers protesting for higher pay are creating a new kind of U.S. labor movement. Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page argues that the president could "set a good example" by requiring fast-food vendors who have contracts with the federal government to pay minimum wage.

'The Will To Adorn': What We Wear And What It Says About Us

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The fashion choices we make can say a lot about how we see ourselves, and can affect how others see us. The 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival includes a program called "The Will to Adorn," which explores the ways African Americans culture is shaped by fashion.

What's Changed In The Military, And What's Next

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A shrinking Pentagon budget, a changing role for women in combat, and the planned 2014 exit from Afghanistan are just some of the factors that will shape the future of military life. As part of TOTN's "Looking Ahead" series, guests discuss what's ahead for men and women in uniform.

After Supreme Court Ruling On Affirmative Action, What's Next?

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The Supreme Court issued its decision Monday in Fisher v. the University of Texas, which challenged the constitutionality of the use of affirmative action in college admissions. The court sent the case back to the lower court to apply "strict scrutiny" to the University's admissions policy.

Physicists Find New Particle, Look for Answers

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Researchers say that they've discovered a new subatomic particle - one that appears to contain four quarks bound together. Physicist Sean M. Carroll describes the significance of the find, and talks about the ongoing effort in physics to explain why the universe is the way it is.

Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Math

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Should you skip the bedtime stories and do math problems instead? Laura Overdeck, the founder of "Bedtime Math," thinks so. Overdeck discusses her program for tucking kids in with equations, and tells why she thinks it helps kids keep up their math skills over summer vacation.

E.O. Wilson's Advice for Future Scientists

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In his new book, Letters to a Young Scientist, biologist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson aims to inspire a new generation of scientists. Among his observations and advice: Geniuses don't make the best scientists, and don't worry if you aren't good at math.

Coffee's Natural Creamer

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Coffee beans are filled with oils that emerge from coffee grounds under high pressure. These oils form the crema - "the frothy stuff" on top of an espresso. In the last installment of Science Friday's series on coffee, food-science writer Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking, explains the chemistry of crema.

Vegetables Respond to a Daily Clock, Even After Harvest

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Vegetables plucked from grocery store shelves can be made to respond to patterns of light and darkness, according to a report in the journal Current Biology. Janet Braam and colleagues found that cabbages change their levels of phytonutrients throughout a daily cycle.