July 11th: What's On Today's Show

President Barack Obama said in a news conference today it was "not acceptable" for the United States to default on its debt and vowed to meet with congressional leaders every single day to forge a deal.

President Barack Obama said in a news conference today it was "not acceptable" for the United States to default on its debt and vowed to meet with congressional leaders every single day to forge a deal. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Debt Ceiling
President Obama told Republicans today that it's time to "do the right thing" and "rip off the Band-Aid" on a spending deal. He'll meet again later today with Congressional leaders in hopes of ending the impasse over the deficit, taxes and raising the debt ceiling. Speaker of the House John Boehner retreated over the weekend from his support of a broad $4 trillion dollar deal that includes more taxes. Republicans in Congress signaled they wouldn't support the plan. The president faces pressure on the Democratic side, where proposed cuts to entitlement programs alienated the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Host Neal Conan talks with guests about the politics of the debt ceiling.

News of the World
After 168 years of publishing, the British tabloid News of the World published its final edition on Sunday with the headline, "Thank you and Goodbye." The newspaper shut down in the wake of a phone hacking scandal where it stands accused of illegally hacking into the cell phones of celebrities, newsmakers and a young murder victim. Howard Kurtz, Washington bureau chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, argued in an opinion piece that American news outlets often succumb to tabloid antics. Host Neal Conan talks with Kurtz on today's Opinion Page about his opinion piece in The Washington Post, "British tabloid tactics are rampant in American journalism, too" and the effects of journalism gone wrong.

Sudan
The world's newest nation is three days old. After more than 50 years of fighting, the Republic of South Sudan declared independence over the weekend. Host Neal Conan talks about the challenges and the possibilities facing the new country with NPR's West Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton who is in the new country's capital, Juba, and Alek Wek, a Sudanese refugee who became an international supermodel. He also talks with Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations about the role of the U.S. in Sudan's partition and the future of South Sudan.

Synthetic Organ
Last month, a cancer patient with advanced tracheal cancer had a completely artificial windpipe implanted, replacing his own. It's the first surgery of its kind to use a synthetic organ grown entirely in a lab. Scientists are calling the operation a success. We'll talk to NPR science correspondent Richard Knox about how it happened, and what it means for the future of synthetic organs.

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