April 5th Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, sex discrimination in the workplace, and the national debt crisis. In the second hour, the outlook for jobs, and an update on fighting in the Ivory Coast.
NPR logo April 5th Show

April 5th Show

In our second hour, we'll look at the latest numbers from the Labor Department for the millions of Americans looking for work. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Sex Discrimination: Is The Battle Won?
The largest case of sex discrimination in the workplace landed at the Supreme Court last month. The class-action against Wal-Mart faced resistance from justices who expressed skepticism about whether it qualifies for class-action status. While the Supreme Court is set to decide on a technical legal issue, the heart of the case is about women who say they've consistently received fewer promotions and less pay than their male colleagues. Host Neal Conan talks with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg about the Wal-Mart case and with Ilene Lang, CEO and president of the Catalyst organization, about the progress of women in the workplace.

What To Do About The Debt
The Chairman of the House Budget Committee lays out his plan today to tackle the long-term federal debt and save $4 trillion dollars over the next ten years. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) aims to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid; programs politicians have long treated as a political third rail. Today, host Neal Conan continues a series of conversations on solutions to the long-term debt crisis. Alison Acosta Fraser directs the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation and will lay out her plans for controlling long-term government spending.

Jobs Report
The unemployment rate last month fell to the lowest level in two years — 8.8 percent — as employers added more than 200,000 workers to their payrolls. The latest numbers from the Labor Department were good news for the millions of Americans looking for work. But many economists warn that the recovery is fragile at best and the economy faces a long, painful road to full employment. Neal Conan talks with employers about where the jobs are--and are not--and what has changed in the job market.

Ivory Coast
Fighters loyal to Ivory Coast's democratically elected president, Alassane Ouattara, have reportedly surrounded strongman Laurent Gbagbo, who officials say is huddled in a bunker with his family and trying to negotiate his surrender. After four months of deadlock, U.N. and French military helicopters yesterday attacked arms stockpiles and bases belonging to Gbagbo and troops backing Ouattara fought their way into the city of Abidjan. Neal Conan talks with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton about what's happening in Ivory Coast and why the U.N. decided to step in.