And now, it's time for BackTalk, where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere and get to hear from you, our listeners. Ammad Omar is with me. He's an editor here at TELL ME MORE. Welcome back, Ammad.
AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Thanks, Michel.
MARTIN: Now, I understand that our parenting conversation this week got quite a response.
The Barbershop guys weigh in on the Penn State scandal, Rick Perry's debate flub, and Herman Cain's handling of sexual harassment accusations. Host Michel Martin hears from former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, as well as author Jimi Izrael, attorney Arsalan Iftikhar and sports reporter Pablo Torre.
In 1942, the first black recruits allowed in the Marines trained at a facility in North Carolina called Montford Point. They're being awarded a Congressional Gold Medal. But at first, the U.S. didn't want them fighting. Host Michel Martin speaks with the head of the Montford Point Marines Association, and 90-year-old former Marine James Rudolf Carter.
The Bay State Winds, the clarinet quartet of the Air Force Band of Liberty, plays music ranging from patriotic songs to Bach to Broadway. The three clarinetists and one bass clarinetist who make up the group routinely play for community members and troops both stateside and overseas.
"Volatile" is one of the words that probably best describes the race for the Republican presidential nomination and a new CBS News poll captures that flux. The national poll indicates a three-way tie, showing Herman Cain at 18 percent and Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich at 15 percent each.
That's essentially a tie since the margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
"My heart aches for the victims and the families and my mind searches for answers," Penn State University's interim president, Rodney Erickson, just said at the opening of a meeting of the school's board of trustees.
Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary.
Here are some of the latest developments in the scandal at Penn State, where former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing young boys for more than a decade (he says he's innocent) and head coach Joe Paterno has been fired after coming under withering criticism for not having done more to investigate the allegations:
Angry that her daughter was eliminated from a 4-H competition, Jeannie Groat of upstate New York protested, using the F-word. According to the Walton Reporter, she was charged with disorderly conduct and sentenced to 15 days in jail. Even prosecutors say they didn't ask for such a harsh penalty. Another judge blocked the jail time.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. You may think it's Veteran's Day, but that's not what one social club celebrates tonight. The Corduroy Appreciation Club loves this date because it's 11-11-11. They say it most resembles the fabric corduroy. I guess because of all the vertical lines. Anyway, this is a real club which denounces velvet as the poor man's corduroy and is meeting tonight in New York. In order to get in, you may wear at least three items made of corduroy. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Before we move on to the day's news, serious and silly, we want to pause for a moment to note that it's Veterans Day.
As President Obama's declaration states, on this day Americans "pay tribute to our veterans, to the fallen, and to their families." And, the proclamation adds, "to honor their contributions to our Nation, let us strive with renewed determination to keep the promises we have made to all who have answered our country's call."
Marvin is a great storyteller, which is at odds with his insistence that he can't be around people. A Mohawk from Canada, he thinks the war was responsible for his over-the-top temper.
Suzanne Opton is the author of Soldier/Many Wars.
When the war in Iraq began, I worried there would be a draft. What if my son was called? How would he ever recover from going to war?
I decided that I wanted to meet the young men and women who voluntarily sign up. I began at Fort Drum in upstate New York where I photographed soldiers between tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. There was little conversation as I asked each soldier to adopt a vulnerable, intimate position, and lay his or her head on a table. I did not give these images captions.
Karl Marlantes is the author of What It Is Like To Go To War.
I returned to America in October of 1969 after 13 months as a Marine in Vietnam. While I was there, I would comfort myself by imagining all the girls I ever knew hugging me in a huge warm group embrace. Somehow, I thought something similar would be waiting for me when I came home.
Florida Tea Party activists helped push presidential candidate Herman Cain to the head of the GOP pack at the state Republican straw poll in September. Since then, a series of women have come forward with sexual harassment allegations against him. Cain's campaign has raised $90 million since Oct. 1 — more than double the amount raised in the previous 9 months.
The new movie J. Edgar is directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover who headed the FBI for 48 years. Hoover championed scientific crime fighting in general and the use of fingerprints in particular.
The rating agency Standard and Poor's sent out an alert downgrading France's debt on Thursday. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it took nearly two hours for S&P to clarify that. S&P says it's investigating the mistake.
A law passed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill requires the government to assess the biological damage from big spills so fines can be fixed and damage paid for. The National Academy of Sciences has a report describing the methods and metrics of determining the "ecosystem services" that have been lost due to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The American Farm Bureau Federation has released its 26th annual price survey on the cost of the classic Thanksgiving dinner. That includes the turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie. This year, the average cost for a feast for 10 people is $49.20. That's up almost $6 from last year.
Penn State University's Board of Trustees today holds an open board meeting. Earlier this week, the board fired head football coach Joe Paterno and President Graham Spanier. Two high-level administrators have been charged with failing to report alleged child sex abuse by a former coach.
Women attend a talk on Wednesday at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Portland, Ore. The conference offers mentoring and recruiting for women in technology fields.
Credit Paul Sakuma / AP
Anita Borg received a Ph.D. in computer science from New York University in 1987 – a rare feat at the time. Realizing how few women were in the industry, Borg created Systers, a community email discussion group for women in computing. In 1997 she founded the Institute for Women and Technology, which was later renamed in her honor.
Credit Jae C. Hong / AP
Meg Whitman joined eBay as its CEO in 1998, when the company had approximately 30 employees. Two years later, she became the first female billionaire in the Internet industry. She stepped down in 2008 after expanding the company to more than 15,000 employees, and in September 2011 she was named the new CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
Credit Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Although Silicon Valley faces challenges in recruiting more female employees, woman have played vital roles throughout the history of computing. Augusta Ada Byron King, daughter of the poet Lord Byron, assisted Charles Babbage in the 1840s with his description of the Analytical Engine, the original design for a computing machine. Her notes on the theoretical machine are thought to be an early model for software, over 100 years before it became a reality.
This week thousands of women gathered in Portland, Ore., for the Grace Hopper Celebration, the world's largest technical conference for women and computing. High-tech companies are hiring, but there aren't nearly enough women to meet the demand.
Kate Schmalzried, a graduate student at Stanford, recalls one of her very first classes at the university — Computer Science 106A.
"That was really a good introduction to women in tech — there weren't many women in the class," she says, chuckling. "I distinctly remember being the only girl in my section."
Myanmar President Thein Sein (shown here in March 2010, left) has promised change, but some fear that he's a puppet of the repressive military leadership. He pleased many onetime critics by suspending construction on a controversial dam.
Credit Courtesy photo
Yangon residents enjoy the sunset on the city's river. For decades, the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar has suffered under a repressive military rule. But a new government installed in March says it's sincere about reform.
Credit Courtesy photo
Outside Mandalay, ordinary people crowd onto the most common form of transportation in Myanmar — private bus.
Credit Courtesy photo
In largely Buddhist Myanmar, monks occupy a revered position in society and have often led anti-government protests. Here, monks walk along the U Bein Bridge in Amarapura, a former capital located just outside Mandalay.
The government of Myanmar bars or severely restricts reporting by foreign correspondents. NPR is withholding the name of the veteran journalist who recently entered the country and filed this story, in order to protect his identity and his ability to return in the future.
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi promised Tuesday to resign after parliament passed economic reforms demanded by the European Union. The debt crisis in Europe has been compounded by political problems.
Barely two weeks ago, it appeared that European leaders had a package to contain their debt crisis. Greece's problems would be managed, with private bondholders taking a hit on their investments and a new bailout to help the government meet its obligations. A European rescue fund would protect Italy and Spain from any risk spreading from Greece.
Markets soared. And then, this week, they crashed.
The Senate has approved just in time for Veterans Day a series of tax credits designed to make it easier for veterans to find jobs.
Some 240,000 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are out of work. The Senate bill would provide tax breaks of up to $9,600 to private employers who hire them.
The tax credits are the first sliver of President Obama's $447 billion jobs package to actually win bipartisan approval in the Senate. Obama says service members who fought for their country shouldn't have to fight for jobs when they come home.