Blog Of The Nation
April 19th Show
Cell Phones And Cancer
Despite years of research and a lot of fear, there has never been a conclusive study that links cell phone use and brain cancer — or one that rules it out. Cancer's unofficial biographer, Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, joins host Neal Conan to discuss the ongoing quest to figure out if cell phones are carcinogenic and why finding specific causes of cancer is so difficult.
Know Thy Neighbor
After a move, there's so much to do that getting to know the neighbors can be the least of people's concerns. Even as the years go by, too often becoming friends with the neighbors is not on the agenda for many residents. Yet, ironically, Americans profess to love the idea of community. So why is it so hard to extend a hand to the person right next door? Host Neal Conan speaks with author Peter Lovenheim about his quest to get to know his neighbors, one sleepover at a time.
Complaints over the Home Affordable Modification Program, enacted two years ago with money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, arose when struggling owners slipped back into default. Homeowners trying to keep up with payments can be plagued by many events, such as the loss of a job or illness. So once they've missed a payment or two, where do they turn? Neal Conan talks with freelance reporter Geoff Williams, Dina ElBoghdady of The Washington Post, and Felix Salmon of Reuters about what steps homeowners take to save their homes from foreclosure.
U.S. Credit Rating
Standard and Poor's has warned the United States it could lose its top credit rating. The rating agency gave the country a one in three chance that within the next two years, it could lower its financial rating. It's in large part because the U.S. has more than $14 trillion in debt, and the government is unlikely to seriously act on the issue until after the 2012 elections. NPR correspondent Jacob Goldstein will update explain what all this means for the long-term financial health of the country, and whether it will affect people's lives. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.