Listen to NPR Stories Online

Host Michel Martin and editor Ammad Omar crack open the listener inbox for Backtalk. This week, listeners spar over parents and grandparents sending mixed messages.

We communicate with each other in all sorts of ways, spoken and unspoken. In this hour, TED speakers reflect on how our words and methods of communication affect us, more than you might expect.

One reason North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had his uncle executed, some analysts say, is that he felt disrespected. The uncle, Jang Song Thaek, allegedly failed to applaud with enough enthusiasm when Kim was given a key post. It's also thought that Kim wanted to send a message: Don't mess with me.

The Senate this week pushed through the nomination of Democrat Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The FHFA controls Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Watt replaces an official who was a thorn in the side of Democrats and the move changes the landscape of housing finance reform.

The players that year faced a sobering new reality: The nation was at war and they'd soon leave the football field behind for the battlefield. In All American, author Steve Eubanks recalls that game through the eyes of two players — Army quarterback Chad Jenkins and Navy linebacker Brian Stann.

If you can pronounce that long word, you'll be cured of any Friday the 13th fears, according to some. NPR's Korva Coleman offers an audio pronunciation guide.

The agency is launching a new coordinated research effort to stop citrus greening, a disease imported from Asia that turns fruit bitter and unmarketable. It first turned up in Florida eight years. Now, it threatens to destroy the nation's citrus industry.

Even for those with the will and drive to pursue treatment, the process remains difficult, frightening and full of holes. Mental health advocates say little has come, on the federal level, from the task forces and promises that followed the Newtown shootings.

A year after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., gunman Adam Lanza's motives are still unclear. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy says people may just have to be satisfied with what they've known from the beginning — that on Dec. 14, 2012, a horrible thing happened.

Maria Vasquez-Rojas was thrilled when she learned she was pregnant. But soon afterward she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer — at the same time her brother Francisco was struggling with drug addiction. Maria's daughter's birth has transformed not just Maria's life, but Francisco's, too.

Pages

©2014 WLRH PUBLIC RADIO

Address

WLRH Public Radio
UAH Campus
John Wright Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899

Get Directions

Phone

LOCAL:
(256) 895-9574

TOLL-FREE:
(800) 239-9574