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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is bringing up bills that are putting Republicans on the spot — like a measure to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It's pre-election-year positioning — and Republicans are trying to do the same.

Distraught over the devastation wreaked on his nation by Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippines' representative at a global climate change conference said he will fast during the 11-day forum. Yeb Sano links weather catastrophes of recent years to global warming.

Author Colin Woodard says it's better to think of the U.S. as 11 distinct nations, instead of 50 states. He tells guest host Celeste Headlee how those nations came about, and why they play a role in everything from gun control to tax policy.

The home ownership rate in the U.S. is at its lowest since 1995. That's despite what was thought to be a rip-roaring recovery in real estate, and a long stretch of record low mortgages. Guest host Celeste Headlee learns more from Bloomberg Business Week contributor Roben Farzad.

The October unemployment numbers cast a brighter picture than economists expected. NPR's Senior Business Editor, Marilyn Geewax talks to guest host Celeste Headlee about what the strengths and weaknesses of the economy are right now, and why it's been so difficult to read.

For women in the military, serving can present its own set of challenges, especially when they have to balance duty to their county and duties at home. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with two women veterans, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato and Miyoko Hikiji, about their devotion to helping other military women and veterans navigate those challenges.

On April 18, 1942, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, 80 men took off from an aircraft carrier on a secret mission to bomb Japan. Led by Lt. Col. James "Jimmy" Doolittle, the men became known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders. On Saturday, three of the four remaining Raiders met for what is probably the last time.

It is "worse than hell" in the areas that were leveled by the powerful storm, a survivor says. Rescue efforts are under way, but getting to the stricken areas is proving to be difficult.

Alex Sugiura says he understands why people ask. "I have always thought I've had a particularly strange face," he explains. And the query, he says, gives him a chance to really talk about what it means to be mixed-race in America.

A New Jersey fire department has hired 43 military veterans on to the force this year. The fire chief says their background makes them well-suited to the job, and the recruits say firefighting gives them the sense of camaraderie and responsibility they've missed.

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