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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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Politics
12:03 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Romney Narrows Potential List Of Running Mates

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 12:10 pm

With the veepstakes underway, NPR's Jennifer Ludden and Political Junkie Ken Rudin talk with Dan Schnur, director of the Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, about the strategy of selecting a vice-presidential candidate.

On Aging
12:44 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Recipe For Good Friendships: Best If Formed By 30

"Schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends," Alex Williams writes in a piece in The New York Times.
Sean Locke iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:17 am

Making close friends after college can be challenging. As the days of dorm life, dining halls and synchronized schedules fade, it can be tough to form solid bonds. Once marriage and children enter the scene, adults have even less say in choosing friends.

In a piece for The New York Times, writer Alex Williams explores his own changing friendships and his sometimes failed efforts to connect.

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From Our Listeners
12:37 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Letters: Downward Mobility, 'Crazy Brave'

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 12:38 pm

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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Economy
12:06 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

States Make Tough Calls To Close Budget Gaps

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 12:30 pm

Over half of U.S. states will have to close a combined budget gap of 55 billion dollars, according to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in the 2013 fiscal year. To avoid raising taxes, most states are implementing continued cuts to deal with budget shortfalls.

NPR Story
11:58 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Laying Down New Rules For The 'Not-So-Empty Nest'

In 2001, Sally Koslow's then 25-year-old son moved back home after graduating from college.
Jim Tierney

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 8:16 am

A few years back, Sally Koslow was settling into an empty nest. Her two 20-something sons were launched out of the house and into the wider world. Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, her sons landed back home. She was startled and depressed to learn they were part of a much larger trend.

According to the Pew Research Center, one-fifth of young adults aged 25-34 live in multigenerational households. The bad economy is the main contributing factor, but the trend also reflects shifts in social norms.

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Africa
11:58 am
Tue July 17, 2012

One Year Later: South Sudan's Ongoing Conflict

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 12:32 pm

A year after South Sudan declared its independence, intractable problems remain: tribal conflict, oil disputes, corruption, hunger and continued fighting. New Yorker staff writer Jon Lee Anderson traveled to the remote Nuba Mountains, in Sudan, where the conflict between north and south rages on.

Health
12:46 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Plugging In For A Better Night's Sleep

High-tech gadgets, like smartphones, keep us connected at all hours and are making it more difficult to get a good night's sleep. But several new smartphone apps claim to help users sleep better. New York Times health and fitness reporter Anahad O'Connor explains the science behind apps.

NPR Story
11:58 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Piecing Together Stories Of Families 'Lost In Slavery'

While many families were ripped apart, some were preserved. Charlie Crump, a former slave from North Carolina, kept ties with his granddaughter.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:26 am

For decades, slavery tore apart African-American families. Children were sold off from their mothers, and husbands were taken from their wives. Many desperately tried to keep track of each other, even running away to find loved ones. After the Civil War and emancipation, these efforts intensified. Freed slaves posted ads in newspapers and wrote letters — seeking any clue to a family member's whereabouts.

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Law
11:58 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Should Ex-Felons Have The Right To Vote?

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 1:15 pm

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. In a year where a tight presidential race could be determined by a few swing states, the issue of who is allowed to vote could turn the election, which is why recent moves in Florida and Iowa are getting so much attention.

Bucking a larger trend, these two states are making it harder for former felons to vote. This comes as a number of other states in recent years have made the process easier.

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Opinion
11:58 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Op-Ed: 'Ban Penn State Football'

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 12:58 pm

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

And now, The Opinion Page. A damning report last week found that four of the most powerful people at Penn State helped cover up the child sex-abuse allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. The report charges the college with total disregard for the safety of the victims in an attempt to avoid bad press for the university. The university also faces civil suits over the abuses. So is that the end? Sports columnist Buzz Bissinger says it should only be the beginning.

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