Talk of the Nation

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Journalist Neal Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape. From politics and public service to education, religion, music and health care, Talk of the Nation offers call-in listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with decision- makers, authors, academicians and artists from around the world.

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.

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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.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Rather than relying on cell towers, phone lines, or fiber optics, Google plans to beam 3G-speed Internet to the world's most inaccessible corners using helium balloons. The experiment is called "Project Loon." Leader Mike Cassidy talks about the project's first step: providing balloon Internet to New Zealand and the 40th …
China's "Tianhe-2" (Milky Way 2) supercomputer took first place in one recent speed test, clocking in at 30 quadrillion calculations per second--about twice as fast as the best American machines. The U.S. still has more supercomputers than any other nation, but some experts say computer speed is a measure of …
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.
Coffee's Natural Creamer June 21, 2013
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 …
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.