January 31st Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, Bill Gates and the eradication of polio, and the opinion page. In the second hour, unrest in Egypt, and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, author of Harlem Is Nowhere.
NPR logo January 31st Show

January 31st Show

An Egyptian army Captain identified as Ihab Fathi holds the national flag while being carried by demonstrators during a protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo on January 31, 2011, on the seventh day of mass protests calling for the removal of President Hosni Mubarak. Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

Bill Gates' Push to Stamp Out Polio
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation releases its annual letter today, outlining goals for the coming year. On the list? Getting rid of the once-dreaded disease, polio, once and for all. Vaccines reduced the disease in this country by 99%, but it still erupts in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Host Neal Conan talks with Bill Gates, on the final eradication of polio.

The Opinion Page
The uprising in Egypt is notable because, unlike many mass demonstrations in the Middle East, the protesters are not denouncing the United States. American officials have not fully embraced the demonstrators. But Time magazine editor-at-large Romesh Ratnesar tells Neal Conan the Obama administration should not fear the instability democracy may bring to Egypt — they should embrace the change underway.

A "New Era" For Egypt
As the protests in Egypt continue, calls for President Hosni Mubarak to step down have increased. The Egyptian army is patrolling the streets, and American tourists are being evacuated. The world is watching events in Egypt and trying to understand what the the unrest might mean for political stability in the region. Host Neal Conan will get the latest from Hannah Allam, McClatchy newspapers' Cairo bureau chief and former Ambassador to Egypt and Israel, Daniel Kurtzer.

Harlem is Nowhere
Harlem has served as both an incubator for African-American optimism and for ongoing racial conflict. In her first book Harlem Is Nowhere, author Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts presents Harlem as a place with dueling legacies of triumph and misfortune in America, with the reality somewhere in between. She talks with host Neal Conan about what has given Harlem such an enduring presence in the nation's cultural memory.