2:21pm

Thu November 3, 2011
NPR Story

The 'Best Sports Writing' Is Rarely In The Newspaper

The best sports writing forces us to confront wonder, horror, disappointment and joy. These days, those stories are found not on the sports pages, but in magazines and on the Web.

Jane Leavy, editor of The Best Sports Writing 2011, shares her favorites, including Jake Bogoch's piece on hockey, "School of Fight: Learning to Brawl with the Hockey Goons of Tomorrow."

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2:19pm

Thu November 3, 2011
The Two-Way

After 520 Days In Isolation, 'Astronauts' About To End Fake Mission To Mars

Members of the Mars500 crew posing during their Mars500 mission.
AFP/Getty Images

To us it sounded like the premise of a particularly cruel reality TV show: Six men are picked to live in a windowless, cramped mock spaceship for 18 months to see how humans would react to conditions similar to what one would expect on a mission to Mars.

Tomorrow, after 520 days of isolation, the hatch will finally be open and the volunteers will return to normal life. With a cost of $15 million, the project, dubbed Mars500, is a serious experiment commissioned by the European Space Agency.

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1:23pm

Thu November 3, 2011
The Two-Way

Cuba Approves Buying And Selling Of Residential Property

Beginning Nov. 10, citizens and permanent residents in Cuba will be able to buy and sell residential property on the island. The move is one of the more major acts of reforms instituted by President Raúl Castro.

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1:00pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Law

Second Chances, Not Jail Time, For Criminals

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 2:27 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. If the threat of prison is supposed to deter crime, it's not working; record numbers are behind bars. And while all those bad actors off the street may contribute to lower crime rates in recent years, many believe there have to be better ways.

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1:00pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Afghanistan

Offering Advice To Top Brass On Afghanistan

As international forces prepare to leave Afghanistan, deep questions remain about the country's security and its government. Former NPR reporter Sarah Chayes lives part of the year there. She has served as special adviser to two commanders of NATO forces in Afghanistan, and Adm. Mike Mullen.

1:00pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Around the Nation

Occupy Oakland Morphs From Protest To Strike

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 2:21 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, host: Demonstrators continue to march and camp out in cities across the country, inspired by Occupy Wall Street. But yesterday, protesters in Oakland tried something different. Thousands marched through the city in what they called a general strike. They paraded through the streets through much of the day then down to its busy port where they blocked entrances and closed it down. Later, police in riot gear fired teargas as some protesters broke windows and lit fires downtown.

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12:07pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Music Reviews

Kelly Clarkson's Vocals Keep Getting 'Stronger'

Kelly Clarkson.
Harper Smith

Like a lot of successful American Idol contestants, Kelly Clarkson made her reputation as a belter — as someone who could project to the rafters and rouse a crowd — which doesn't necessarily translate into good pop singing. Ever since Bing Crosby started using the microphone as an instrument for achieving intimacy and nuance, the idea of delivering popular song as operatic aria is a flawed strategy. But everybody loves an anthem, right?

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12:00pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Your Money

Young Woman Wins Fight Against Big Bank

After facing public outcry and cancelled accounts, Bank of America abandoned plans to impose a monthly five dollar fee for debit card users. Twenty-two-year-old Molly Katchpole drew in more than 300,000 signatures for her online petition drive against the bank. She speaks with host Michel Martin.

12:00pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Religion

Life Begins At Conception? Faith Leaders Debate

On November 8, Mississippi will vote on a controversial initiative that would define a fertilized egg as a person. If approved, it would effectively ban abortion, and possibly some forms of birth control. Pastor Jason Dillard says the initiative is important for preserving life. But Rev. Timothy McDonald III argues that it could harm women's health. They speak with host Michel Martin, who's also joined by NPR Correspondent Kathy Lohr.

12:00pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Politics

Under Political Stress, Turning To Spouses

GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain is still facing questions on whether he sexually harassed women in the 1990s. But now his wife may step up to his defense. Reports say she'll do an exclusive interview with Fox News. Host Michel Martin discusses political spouses' roles with The Washington Post Political Reporter Nia-Malika Henderson, and The Chicago-Sun Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet.

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