NPR logo December 28th: What's On Today's Show

December 28th: What's On Today's Show

The Iowa flag flies in Newton, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall/AP hide caption

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Charlie Neibergall/AP

The Political Junkie
The Iowa caucuses are less than one week away. While it's make-or-break for candidates like Rep. Michelle Bachmann and former Senator Rick Santorum, it's a chance to steal the national spotlight for Rep. Ron Paul. Host Neal Conan and Political Junkie Ken Rudin preview the Iowa caucuses from Iowa Public Radio in Des Moines. They'll speak with Iowa GOP power players Steve Scheffler and Doug Gross, as well as pollster Ann Selzer about who could place well next week. Neal and Ken will also recap the week in politics, from Senator Ben Nelson's retirement announcement, to the Justice Department's decision to strike South Carolina's voter ID law.

Kids On A Farm
The United States Department of Labor is proposing new regulations that seek to limit the kinds of work that children can do on farms. The new regulations are mostly aimed at children under 16 who may be performing risky or labor-intensive tasks on farms. Proponents say the regulations could help keep kids safer on farms. But opponents believe the new rules could hinder family farms, which rely on younger family members to help with daily operations, and often teach children, through experience, how to manage the family business. Host Neal Conan speaks with Iowa Public Radio reporter Pat Blank about the proposed regulations and how Iowans are responding. Neal also speaks with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Bill Northey, who has been a vocal opponent of the proposed rules, and Nancy Leppink, deputy administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.

HIV Status And The Law
Failing to disclose positive HIV status to sexual partners is a crime in more than 30 states. In Iowa, it's a class B felony that can land someone in jail for 25 years, whether or not the virus was actually transmitted. Advocates are urging state governments around the country to reword disclosure laws that solely target HIV, and not other transmittable diseases like HIV, because they say the rules discriminate against people who are HIV positive. Host Neal Conan speaks with Iowa Public Radio research assistant Lindsey Moon about the story.