NPR logo December 8th: What's On Today's Show

December 8th: What's On Today's Show

Stephen Greene works a street corner hoping to land a job as a laborer or carpenter on June 3, 2011 in Pompano Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Stephen Greene works a street corner hoping to land a job as a laborer or carpenter on June 3, 2011 in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Stability vs. Sovereignty In The Euro Crisis
The European debt crisis has reached a tipping point, with European leaders meeting in Brussels this week to determine the future of the euro and the shape of the European Union itself. German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy proposed reforms that would rewrite the E.U. treaty and give E.U. leaders more power to demand fiscal discipline from member states. Chancellor Merkel has even said that European countries should set aside their differences in favor of fiscal and political integration. The ongoing crisis and latest summit have raised difficult questions about the sovereignty of European countries in the E.U. Host Neal Conan speaks with historian Timothy Garton Ash and scholar Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff about the crisis in Europe and the continent's struggle to balance sovereignty and fiscal stability.

Kyra Sedgwick Closes 'The Closer'
After seven seasons and over 100 episodes, TNT's The Closer is coming to a close. Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson has led the major crimes department of the Los Angeles Police Department on the hit show since 2005. Played by Kyra Sedgwick, she catches killers, brings them to often tearful confessions, and gets the case closed. Host Neal Conan talks with the Emmy award-winning actress on saying goodbye to Deputy Chief Johnson and what lies ahead.

Low Expectations At Climate Conference
Delegates from nearly 200 countries are gathering for a U.N conference in Durban, South Africa to confront fundamental disagreements over how to respond to climate change. The goal of an updated global agreement on how to reduce carbon emissions was all but ruled out at the start by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. NPR science correspondent Richard Harris is covering the conference. He'll join host Neal Conan to discuss the expectations for the meetings, whether or not major emitters like China, India, and the United States are willing to consider caps on emissions, and new developments out of the meeting.

Responding To Hard Times
NPR's Debbie Elliott and Richard Gonzales spent the past month on a road trip through America, reporting stories of economic struggle across the nation for the special NPR series, Hard Times. From Maine to Mississippi, Montana to Solano County, Ca., they heard stories of people and places confronting economic hardship and going through a process of reinvention. In the process, they also found a few bright spots. Host Neal Conan talks with Elliott and Gonzales about their journey across America and the various ways people are changing in the face of hard times.