2011 brought exceptionally mild winters in most of the U.S., deadly tornadoes in the Midwest and extended drought in the West and Southwest. Kevin Trenberth, distinguished senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, discusses the correlation between climate change and extreme weather.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Over the past several years, doctors who performed weight loss surgery noticed an unexpected benefit: Many patients no longer needed to take their medication for their diabetes.
Mali is in political crisis after a coup d'etat in March that toppled the president and drove him into hiding. An Islamic rebel group has taken control of the north of Mali. NPR foreign correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton discusses the rapidly changing situation from the capital city Bamako.
Bike lanes accommodate cyclists and help with visibility, and some people view the lanes as a way to facilitate urban transportation. But sharing the road has its challenges. Drivers bristle at the thought of losing parking spaces, and drivers and pedestrians both worry about reckless riders.
Like every parent who's watched a son or daughter fly off to Iraq or Afghanistan, David Freed worries that the next car that pulls up outside his house will carry a casualty notification team. In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, he wrote of his disdain for those in Washington, D.C. who for the most part send other people's kids off to fight and die. We want to hear from parents whose children are on active duty. What should the president and Congress consider before they send your children off to war?
Argentina invaded the British-controlled Falkland Islands in 1982. This led to a war with Britain and the death of hundreds of servicemen on both sides. Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl explains why Argentine and British leaders are sparring over the territory 30 years later.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We've all become accustomed to robots on the assembly line. We don't even think about automatic doors and the card swipe that lets us fill up when the gas station is closed. But Marketplace special correspondent David Brancaccio recently drove across the country with the goal of never speaking to another human being along the way.
He did meet a robot comic, hotel check-in kiosks and a robot receptionist.
DAVID BRANCACCIO, BYLINE: So Tank(ph), I'm looking for Room 2111.
Earlier this year in the run up to the primary election, political analysts explained that Florida really isn't a Southern state anymore and would not vote the same way as Alabama or Mississippi or Georgia. Then the shooting death of Trayvon Martin prompted some to argue that nothing's changed in a part of the state steeped in racial violence. In a way, both statements hold up.
NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics including extreme rivalries in sports, those living with obsessive-compulsive disorder and the legacy of legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summit.