July 14th Show : Blog Of The Nation In our first hour, the political junkie, and  Cuban prisoners, In our second hour, consumer reviews, and Roman Polanski.
NPR logo July 14th Show

July 14th Show

In our second hour, the editors of Consumer Reports and Consumerseach.com talk about how to sort out consumer reviews in choosing what to buy. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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In our second hour, the editors of Consumer Reports and Consumerseach.com talk about how to sort out consumer reviews in choosing what to buy.


The Political Junkie
Today on our regular visit from Ken Rudin, NPR's Political Junkie, we'll talk with Representative Bob Inglis (R-SC).  He lost his primary challenge to Trey Gowdy by 42 points, and now he's speaking out about what he calls, "demagoguery" in the Republican Party.  Later on, Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll in California joins us to handicap the races there, and to give us some insight into California's new Proposition 14, which requires that candidates run in a single primary open to all registered voters, with the top two vote-getters meeting in a runoff.

Cuban Prisoners
Two more Cuban political prisoners flew to Spain today, the latest of 52 dissidents that the Cuban government promised to release. The move coincides with a potential turning point in world and U.S. policy toward Cuba since the transfer of power from Fidel Castro to his brother Raul.  The United States continues its long-standing embargo on the country, but President Obama last year described Washington's policy toward Cuba as "failed."  Julia Sweig, author of Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know, talks about why Cuba chose this moment to release the prisoners, what it may mean for relations between Cuba and the US, and the significance of Fidel Castro's reemergence in public this week.

Consumer Reviews
Whether you want to buy a new smart phone or a new washing machine, reviews and advice are everywhere.  But in a world awash in Apples and Androids and Maytags and Whirlpools... who do you trust?  Apple says the antenna problems on its new iPhone 4 aren't all that bad, but Consumer Reports testers say otherwise.  And sifting through the blogs and anonymous online raves and rants of any product can make your head spin — while some companies post online spin of their own. Neal Conan will talk to the editors of Consumer Reports and Consumersearch.com, about how to be a savvy consumer — of consumer reviews.


The Release of Roman Polanski
The United States government promises to continue its pursuit of fugitive director Roman Polanski.  Earlier this week, Polanski was freed from house arrest in Switzerland after the government there refused a U.S. extradition request for the filmmaker. He's wanted for sentencing in California on a conviction of assaulting a thirteen-year-old girl in the 1970's. Polanski can move freely in France, Poland, and now, Switzerland — but still faces an Interpol warrant in effect for 188 countries. While some in Hollywood still support the director, others say Polanski deserves to be punished. Opinion writers in the writers in the U.S. generally favor his extradition, and the Swiss media is spilt — some publications are in favor of the decision, while others say that he's still getting celebrity treatment. Neal Conan rounds-up opinion pieces, and asks listeners what they think about Polanski's release.