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National Security
1:03 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

The F-35 Fighter Jet: The Cost And Controversy

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

If plans go ahead, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be the workhorse of the Air Force, Navy and Marines for decades to come. The F-35 boasts a sleek profile that makes it nearly invisible to radar, and it's scheduled to replace as many as 10 planes that are currently in service, including the venerable F-16. Lieutenant Colonel Todd LaFortune is among the first to make the transition.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

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Television
1:02 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

'Downton' Returns With Aristocratic Class And Clash

Social changes, romantic intrigues and financial crises grip the English country estate in the third season of Downton Abbey, starting Sunday on PBS. Shirley MacLaine joins the cast as Cora's wealthy American mother, Martha Levinson.
Nick Briggs Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for Masterpiece

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 1:16 pm

Downton Abbey, the drama series about the residents and servants at a grand estate in early 20th-century England, has done for PBS what the commercial broadcast networks couldn't achieve last year. It generated a hit show — one with an audience that increased over its run and left fans hungry for more. And that's a lot of hunger because when the second season was televised here in the states, it averaged 7 million viewers, more than most TV shows on any network, cable or broadcast.

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Africa
1:02 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Northern Mali: A Violent Islamist Stronghold

A Malian troop member checks bushes after a military raid in the Wagoudou forest.
Serge Daniel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 1:16 pm

This past spring, Islamic extremists allied with al-Qaida took control of northern Mali after a coup destabilized the country. Adam Nossiter, the West Africa bureau chief for The New York Times, has been reporting on the Islamist takeover in the north — but has had to do so by telephone. The kidnapping threat for reporters covering the conflict is virtually 100 percent, he says.

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Law
12:59 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Op-Ed: The Constitution Is Just 'A Poetic Piece Of Parchment'

Law professor Mike Seidman argues that it's time to reexamine the role of the Constitution.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 10:01 am

One of the cornerstones of American democracy is the pledge that every federal officer takes to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

In a piece in The New York Times, Georgetown law professor Mike Seidman argues that our reliance on the document has created a divisive and dysfunctional political system.

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Author Interviews
12:55 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

From Puberty To Pop Culture: What It Means 'To Be A Woman'

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Every year, we look back at some of the books we missed the previous year. Today, "How to be a Woman." British columnist and critic Caitlin Moran describes that process through her own experiences - the embarrassing moments of puberty; and the perils of fashion, career, marriage, childbirth; and along the way, explores what it means to be a feminist today - and does it all with a rare sense of humor.

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