Seven people were reported killed today in Syria as protests erupted a day after President Bashar al-Assad offered little hope for political reform in a speech in which he denounced protesters as "saboteurs." While the Syrian revolt remains one of the bloodiest of the Arab Spring movements, the United States has done little to intervene. With the U.S. military supporting airstrikes in Libya, U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and little leverage over Syria's rulers, President Obama's options are limited at best. Still, critics argue that the price of inaction will prove far higher than the cost of any meaningful intervention. Neal Conan talks with NPR's Deb Amos about the latest developments in Syria and the difficult choices facing the United States.
Talk of the Nation begins a three-part series today focusing on documentaries from the American Film Institute's Silverdocs festival. The first film, Buck, tells the story of Buck Brannaman, who channeled a childhood of abuse into a unique career as what some have dubbed a horse whisperer. Brannaman was one of the inspirations for the Robert Redford film The Horse Whisperer. Host Neal Conan speaks with Brannaman and the film's director, Cindy Meehl, about Buck's remarkable life and career and the unexpected lessons we learn from working with horses.
As bad as the unemployment rate is — it's even worse for younger workers. New graduates must compete not only with each other, but with grads from recent years who still haven't found work. The recession also forced many baby boomers to shelve their retirement plans. And Ronald Brownstein notes in an column in the National Journal, "For every member of the millennial generation frustrated that she can't start a career, there may be a baby boomer frustrated that he can't end one." The New York Times recently hosted a forum — "Do Older Workers Need a Nudge?" Host Neal Conan talks with Brownstein, with one of the participants from the Times' debate and with workers about how this is playing out in their workplace.
Bill Kling was a 24-year-old student in Minnesota when he founded what would become Minnesota Public Radio. He went on to serve as one of the founders of NPR, and in 2004, helped launch American Public Media. At the end of the month, Bill Kling steps down as the president and CEO of MPR and American Public Media to focus on the future of public media. As local newspapers cut staff and coverage, Kling sees an opportunity for local public stations to fill the void. And he's calling for millions of dollars to make that possible. Host Neal Conan talks with Kling about his 45-year career that he says has "never not been fun" and the role and relevance of public media in the future.