Sarah Handel

For the past several years, Beth Ditto was known as the dynamic frontwoman of the dance-punk band Gossip. She established herself as a singer with a helluva voice who embraced being queer, feminist and fat.

John Wark has had an unusual view of his home state of Colorado. He's a freelance photojournalist who pilots his own plane above the landscape, making pictures of flames and floods, farms and cities as he goes.

This fall, the more than 38 million kids who get their lunches through the National School Lunch Program are seeing big changes on their trays.

Ben Gibbard, the man behind indie rock darlings Death Cab for Cutie, has been a Seattle Mariners fan since he was five-years-old, and is such an Ichiro Suzuki devotee he wrote a song about the outfielder.

When Talk of the Nation's Neal Conan asks for callers on a given topic, there's no telling what he'll get. Today, the show followed up with NPR's Tom Bowman on his series about the tremendous sacrifices of the "Darkhorse" Battalion — the Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment. Lance Cpl. Jake Romo lost both his legs in Afghanistan with the battalion, and he spoke with Conan and Bowman about his tour.

One of the strongest storms to hit western Alaska in almost 40 years tore through several coastal communities Wednesday, tearing up roofs and leaving many residents without power. Winds as high as 89 mph were recorded in some places, and flooding was a concern for many villages already soaked by rain.

President Obama's announcement that all U.S. troops will withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year has prompted significant debate over the prudence of the policy. From the the politics of the decision, to possible threats of sectarian violence and the influence of Iran, opinion is sharply divided. Ted Koppel, Ret. Gen. Jack Keane, Bob Woodward, Brian Katulis and Peter Van Buren joined NPR's Neal Conan on Talk of the Nation today and weighed in.

As details emerge about the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S., some experts say the plan is uncharacteristic of Iran's Quds Force, which is said to be behind the plans. So what is known about this elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards?

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