Show rundown for 7/18/2008

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US and Iran

Iran's foreign minister is saying that forthcoming nuclear talks in Geneva and the participation of the US look positive. Borzou Daragahi of the Los Angeles Times joins us from Tehran.

Can Lightning Strike Twice?

John S Friedman tells the stories of people who have been struck by lightning - including an Oklahoma man who says he was struck six times by lightning. How come lightning can kill one person and not another? And what do survivors say about being struck? Friedman is author of "Out of the Blue: A History of Lightning: Science, Superstition, and Amazing Stories of Survival."

Pakistan Update

A two-week plunge in Pakistan's stock market has wiped out many life savings and caused rioting. The country's recently elected democratic government remains mired in rivalries, and seemingly unable to address growing economic problems, including shortages of food and fuel that have become common throughout the country. And while the military reports today that it killed ten Taliban-affiliated militants in Pakistan's North West, the growing strength of Islamic insurgents operating out of Pakistan has become an urgent problem for U.S. operations in neighboring Afghanistan. We'll speak with the BBC's long-time South Asia Correspondent, Owen Bennett Jones.

Speeding through Airport Security

A new airport priority security system that was much talked about after 9-11, is now a reality. It's called the Clear Fast Pass. It uses fingerprint and eye scanners to speed passengers through the airport. People enrolled in the program can go from the ticket counter to the plane in a matter of 20 to 25 minutes. Kaleel Sakakeeny of explains how it works and how much information you have to give up to register for the program.

Mandela at 90

Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela celebrates his 90th birthday today. We review Mandela's legacy with Joe Richmond, creator of the the public radio series, Radio Diaries. Richmond has just produced a new CD about Mandela's life called "Mandela: An Audio History."

This program aired on July 18, 2008.

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