March 1st Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, women in combat, and what it means to establish a no-fly zone. In the second hour, actor Alan Arkin talks about his improvised life, and states and opting out of the health law.
NPR logo March 1st Show

March 1st Show

U.S. Army Spc. Monica Brown, a medic from the 82nd Airborne Division who served in Afghanistan. In 2008 she became the second female since World War II to receive the award for gallant actions while in combat. Army Spc. Micah E. Clare/AP Photo hide caption

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Army Spc. Micah E. Clare/AP Photo

Women In Combat
The U.S. military restricts women from being assigned to the front lines. But those lines are often unclear in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many women have been in direct combat. NPR national security correspondent Rachel Martin reported a series on the changing roles for women in the military. She'll join guest host Mary Louise Kelly to discuss how the service of female troops has evolved, and why this policy often doesn't match the realities of war.

No Fly-Zone
Under pressure to take more action against Moammar Gadhafi, the U.S. and its allies are considering a variety of military contingencies against Libya. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says "nothing is off the table," including a no-fly zone. But what exactly does that mean, and how does it work? Guest host Mary Louise Kelly explores the implementation of a no-fly zone.

Alan Arkin's Improvised Life
From the age of five, Academy Award-winner Alan Arkin knew he was going to be an actor. He grew up a film junkie, devoting his life to what he calls "pretending to be a human being." From acting in plays, to stints as a musician, he struggled with the notion of keeping his roles fresh and creative. But when he started performing with Chicago's Second City troupe, he fell in love with improvisation. In his new book, An Improvised Life: A Memoir, Arkin talks about the highs and lows of acting life — and life in general — and how spontaneity shaped his career as a performer.

Health Law
Since the health care overhaul was passed last year, some have argued that it is unconstitutional because it requires all Americans to purchase health insurance. Yesterday, the Obama administration backed an amendment that would give states the option to to opt-out of that mandate, as long as they can come up with a way to cover as many people as the health care law would. Guest host Mary Louise Kelly talks with NPR health policy correspondent Julie Rovner about the amendment and what it could mean for the health care law.