All Things Considered

Weekdays, 4pm - 6:30pm

Since its debut in 1971, this afternoon radio newsmagazine has delivered in-depth reporting in context and transformed the way listeners understand the world. Heard by more than 10 million people on over 560 radio stations each week, All Things Considered is one of the most popular programs in America. Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel present two hours of insightful news mixed with commentary and interviews, as well as special - sometimes quirky - features.

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Shots - Health News
4:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Hear That? In A Din Of Voices, Our Brains Can Tune In To One

Scientists say that understanding how the cocktail party effect works could help people who have trouble deciphering sounds in a noisy environment. Guests make it look easy at a Dolce and Gabbana Lounge party in London in 2010.
Paul Jeffers AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Scientists are beginning to understand how people tune in to a single voice in a crowded, noisy room.

This ability, known as the "cocktail party effect," appears to rely on areas of the brain that have completely filtered out unwanted sounds, researchers report in the journal Neuron. So when a person decides to focus on a particular speaker, other speakers "have no representation in those [brain] areas," says Elana Zion Golumbic of Columbia University.

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Music News
4:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Britain's Brass Bands: A Working-Class Tradition On The Wane

Cornetist Adam Rosbottom rehearses with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in January. The band was founded in South Yorkshire, England, in 1917.
Christopher Werth

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

The world often feels full of fading traditions, from drive-in movie theaters to the dying art of good old-fashioned letter writing.

For the British, add brass bands to that list. Traditional brass bands have played an important cultural role in working-class British communities for centuries. But some warn that without funding, they could become a thing of the past.

Take the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in South Yorkshire. The band was originally formed in 1917, and nearly 100 years later, a group of tuba, euphonium and other horn players still bears the band's name.

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Planet Money
3:27 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

If The Catholic Church Were A Business, How Would You Fix It?

Now that Pope Benedict XVI has officially gone into retirement, the next leader of the Catholic Church has a lot to consider, including finances.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

The next pope will be the spiritual leader of the world's Catholics. He will also be leading a multibillion-dollar financial empire. And from a business perspective, the Catholic Church is struggling.

We talked to several people who study the business of the church. Here are a few of the issues they pointed out.

1. Globally, the church's employees are in the wrong place.

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Latin America
2:56 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Cubans Wonder If Aid Will Still Flow Following Death Of Chavez

Cuba's Fidel Castro was a mentor to Hugo Chavez, and the Venezuelan leader provided oil and other assistance to Cuba. The two men met in Havana in June 2011 when Chavez went for cancer treatment.
Granma AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is an especially tough blow for Cuba, whose feeble state-run economy has been propped up for more than a decade with Venezuelan oil shipments and other subsidies.

The Castro government has declared three days of mourning, calling Chavez "a son" of Cuba, but privately Cubans are quietly fretting about the potential loss of billions in trade and the threat of a new economic crisis.

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Business
6:20 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

As Construction Picks Up, American Truck Makers Race

Ford unveils the F-150 Atlas concept pickup during January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Experts say the boom in construction will boost pickup sales.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:34 pm

Economists look at many tea leaves as they try to determine the health of the economy. One of the most important surrounds vehicle sales, and more specifically pickup truck sales, which are tied to the construction industry. And as last month's sales rose 18 percent, the auto industry is betting big on a real estate rebound.

It's arguable that the Ford F-150 is the most important vehicle to come out of Detroit since the Model-T. It's also built where many parts for the old Model-T were made in Dearborn, Mich.

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Theater
6:20 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

For This Pair Of Clowns, 'Old Hats' Means New Laughs

Nellie McKay, David Shiner and Bill Irwin use old-time comedy, newfangled tricks and zany music to score laughs in their new theatrical revue, Old Hats.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 7:14 pm

Twenty years ago, theatrical clowns Bill Irwin and David Shiner collaborated on a Broadway show called Fool Moon — a giddy mixture of slapstick, improv and audience participation that proved such a success that it came back to Broadway for two more runs and toured both the U.S. and Europe. Now Irwin and Shiner have put together a new show called Old Hats, and it's been receiving rave reviews off-Broadway.

Irwin and Shiner's rubber-faced, loose-bodied clowning hasn't gotten easier over two decades.

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Latin America
5:45 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Rivalries And Infighting Could Follow In Wake Of Chavez's Death

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Joining us now to talk about what comes next is NPR's Tom Gjelten. He's covered Latin America for us.

And, Tom, Hugo Chavez, such a dominating figure in Venezuela. What happens now in the immediate aftermath of his death?

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Sports
5:45 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

No Obvious Favorites As NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Starts

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR.

Every spring, you hear that almost anyone can win March Madness. Well, this year, it's true. There's no obvious favorite in this month's NCAA men's basketball tournament, at least a dozen contenders from schools big and small. And conference championships began today. So who knows which contender will fall on its face and which dark horse no one considered will emerge in the next two weeks?

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NPR Story
5:22 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Posthumous Pardon For Heavyweight Boxer Jack Johnson A Bipartisan Effort

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Some members of Congress have put aside partisan sparring in defense of a legendary fighter. Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Harry Reid are among those calling for a posthumous pardon for the heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. Johnson became the first black man to win that title back in 1908. His next win in 1910 sparked race riots and his relationships with white women added to the controversy.

Here's actor Samuel L. Jackson as Johnson in the 2005 Ken Burns documentary, "Unforgivable Blackness."

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Remembrances
5:22 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Venezuela's Chavez: An Outsized Personality, A Domineering Figure

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks in a televised address in January 2002 at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas. Chavez vowed justice for two men who were shot and killed Jan. 3 at a political rally in a battle between Chavez supporters, opposition marchers and security forces.
Miraflores/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:20 pm

A fiery leftist, Hugo Chavez was a steadfast ally of dictators like Cuba's Fidel Castro while loudly opposing the United States. He claimed capitalism was destroying the world and tried to transform Venezuela into a socialist state. Millions of Venezuelans loved him because he showered the poor with social programs.

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Middle East
5:22 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Kerry: We're Trying To Offer Syrian President A Rational Choice

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As Secretary of State John Kerry wraps up his first official trip overseas, he's walking a fine line on Syria. Kerry says the Obama administration has been stepping up assistance to rebels who are trying to topple the Syrian regime. But the U.S. is also worried about how all of this will play out. NPR's Michele Kelemen spoke with the secretary of State today in Doha, Qatar, and he said he's taking this one step at a time.

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Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Sequestered Spring Means Fewer Rangers, Services At National Parks

Hikers walk on the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall at Yosemite National Park in California. The National Park Service has to cut $134 million from sites around the country, including Yosemite, due to the lack of a budget deal in Congress.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Spring has come early to the Yosemite Valley, and the melting snow makes for a spectacular rush of water off the granite face of Yosemite Falls, the tallest in North America.

Early March is when park officials would normally be gearing up for the busy tourist season. Instead, they're figuring out how to cut $1.5 million from their budget. Without a budget deal, the sequestration has forced the Park Service to cut a total of $134 million from sites around the country.

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Health
3:00 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Infections With 'Nightmare Bacteria' Are On The Rise In U.S. Hospitals

Klebsiella pneumoniae, seen here with an electron microscope, are the most common superbugs causing highly drug-resistant infections in hospitals.
Kwangshin Kim Science Source

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:34 pm

Federal officials warned Tuesday that an especially dangerous group of superbugs has become a significant health problem in hospitals throughout the United States.

These germs, known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, have become much more common in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the risk they pose to health is becoming evident.

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Commentary
5:34 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Cologne: Cultural Choice Or Necessity?

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Can we keep evolving as we get older? That's a question comedian and commentator Kevin Heffernan decided to explore. And his approach to changing himself was an aromatic one.

KEVIN HEFFERNAN, BYLINE: Cologne, it's a life choice. Some say it's hereditary. If your dad did it, you will. Like what sports team you root for or circumcision. Some say it's cultural. Some say it's a necessity.

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U.S.
5:17 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Steamship Anchors A Community, But Its Days May Be Numbered

The nation's last coal-burning ferry, the SS Badger, sits on Lake Michigan in the port town of Ludington, Mich. The EPA permit that has long allowed the ship to dump coal ash into the lake is now under review.
Courtesy photo for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 5:50 pm

On the shores of Lake Michigan, the tiny town of Ludington, Mich., is home port to the last coal-fired ferry in the U.S. The SS Badger has been making trips across the lake to Manitowoc, Wis., during the good-weather months since 1953. And as it runs, the 411-foot ferry discharges coal ash slurry directly into the lake.

An Environmental Protection Agency permit allows the Badger to dump four tons of ash into the lake daily. But now, the agency has put the permit under review — and that means the Badger could stop sailing.

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The Salt
5:17 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

In Kazakhstan, No Horror At Horse Meat

Signs advertise the type of meat sold in each section of the Green Market in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Sly06/Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 6:24 pm

Though the thought of horse meat in British lasagna or Ikea meatballs may be stomach-churning to some people, in some cultures the practice of eating horse meat is not just acceptable, it's a treat. NPR's Peter Kenyon just returned from the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan and checked out the meat market at the Green Bazaar in Almaty.

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All Tech Considered
4:43 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Street Lights, Security Systems And Sewers? They're Hackable, Too

An analyst works at a federal cybersecurity center in Idaho in 2011. Experts say Internet-connected infrastructure is a possible target of cyberwarfare.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 6:05 pm

Allegations that the Chinese military has been hacking U.S. corporations are raising tensions. But in the case of a full-fledged cyberwar, things would look very different.

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Remembrances
4:43 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Three Motown Artists Die Within Weeks Of Each Other

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 5:34 pm

Audie Cornish has more on three Motown artists who died recently — Bobby Rogers, a founding member of the hit-making Motown group the Miracles; Richard Street, a member of the Temptations; and Damon Harris, who sang with the Temptations on many of their hits.

Music Reviews
3:50 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Latin Gold In The Frozen North At Toronto's Lula Lounge

Jane Bunnett's "Ron Con Ron" is featured on Lula Lounge: Essential Tracks.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 5:34 pm

For years, Canada has welcomed waves of newcomers from Latin America and the Caribbean. A thriving music scene has grown out of this migration — like the one at Lula Lounge, a nightclub in a working-class neighborhood of Toronto. The club's co-founder, Jose Ortega, cut his teeth in New York's legendary Latin scene. When he came to Toronto, he found the vibe fresher, more open to experimentation. And he found talent. It was just a matter of time before the country produced great Latin bands.

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Education
4:20 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

Teaching 2.0: Is Tech In The Classroom Worth The Cost?

Students at Westlake High School in Waldorf, Md., participate in an interactive digital conversation with historian Kenneth C. Davis about late 19th and early 20th century American history on Thursday. The school uses a state of the art "telepresence center" for students to connect with experts all over the world.
NPR Celeste Headlee

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 5:05 pm

The hallways at Westlake High School in Maryland are just like thousands of other school hallways around the country: kids milling around, laughing and chatting on their way to class.

On a recent morning, about 30 kids took their seats in a classroom that initially seems like any other. The major difference here is that instead of a chalkboard and a lectern at the head of the class, there are two enormous flat-panel screens and thin, white microphones hanging in four rows across the ceiling.

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