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January 20th Show

by Sarah Handel
Jan 20, 2011

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30 Years After The Iranian Hostage Crisis

As that nation marks 30 years since the conclusion of the Iranian hostage crisis, analysts have weighed in on its lasting legacy. Some say that American reaction to the events proved to the world that terrorism works, while others say it's time to let go of the grudge and finally improve Iranian relations that have remained sour for three decades. Host Neal Conan talks with former Nightline news anchor Ted Koppel and foreign correspondent Stephen Kinzer about what went wrong and how to move on.

When Does Secession Make Sense?

Southern Sudan's week-long referendum ended Saturday and early results indicate that Christian south will likely secede from the mostly Muslim north to form Africa's newest state. In an op-ed in Foreign Policy Parag Khanna, a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, applauds this development, and says that other autonomous political units should follow suit. He argues that "the way to create a peaceful and borderless world is, ironically, by allowing even more nations to define themselves and their borders." Host Neal Conan talks with Khanna about why he believes "breaking up is good to do."

Maxine Hong Kingston

Maxine Hong Kingston has been writing memoir most of her life. Her newest book, I Love A Broad Margin To My Life, is no different. In it, Kingston, now 65, confronts aging in her own inimitable way, in verse. Ghosts from past books and novels weave in and out as she explores what it means to be "an elder." Host Neal Conan speaks with Maxine Hong Kingston, and takes your calls, on the art of aging thoughtfully.

Portugal's Drug Experiment

Nine years ago Portugal decriminalized illegal drugs - from marijuana to heroin. The small European nation believed that doing so would reduce the amount of burgeoning addictions and drug-related violence. Today, record amounts of people are in rehab and drug use is on the rise. Journalist Keith O'Brien explains how Portugal paired decimalization with rehabilitation, and asserts, it's actually made the problem worse. He'll discuss his piece "Drug Experiment" which ran in the Boston Globe with host Neal Conan.

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