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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U.S.
6:40 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Held Dear In U.S., Free Speech Perplexing Abroad

Arab-Israeli men protest a video mocking the Prophet Muhammad, in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

The French government announced Wednesday that it will prohibit demonstrations planned for Saturday to protest the anti-Muslim video that has sparked violence in Muslim countries around the world.

The decision came after a French satirical magazine published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

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Opinion
5:48 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Bama Fan By Marriage

Alabama Coach Nick Saban is not alone on game day. Die-hard fans, and their families, are willing the team to victory.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

Let me tell you about the day my husband bolted into the room and asked, "Are you free for lunch on Sept. 21?"

It was the middle of July, and I'm not Oprah. Usually, I can be booked for lunch at a moment's notice. But I played along. I flipped through my virtual calendar, scrolled down to the very date in question, and gave it a good stare.

'Yup, I'm open!' I told him.

"Good," Ken said, 'because I got us tickets to see Coach Saban."

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Science
5:13 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Hungry Snakes Trap Guam In Spidery Web

Invasive brown tree snakes have gobbled up most of Guam's native forest birds. Without these avian predators to keep their numbers in check, the island's spider population has exploded.
Isaac Chellman Rice University

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

The Pacific Island of Guam is experiencing a population explosion — of spiders.

There are more spiders there now than anyone can remember. To get a sense of how weird the situation is, I started out in Maryland. On my front porch, overlooking the Severn River.

At 6:30 in the morning on a cool fall day, I find two spider webs in a matter of five minutes. But if I were on the island of Guam, I might find 70 or 80 spider webs in five minutes.

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Asia
5:12 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

China Offers Glimpse Of A New Stealth Fighter

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has lunch with engineering cadets at the Chinese military academy in Beijing on Wednesday. Just before Panetta's arrival for talks with top leaders, China released photos of a new stealth fighter under development.
Larry Downing Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:27 am

Ahead of high-profile talks in China by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, there was a high-impact leak. Photos emerged of a second Chinese stealth fighter jet — one that had been rumored but never seen before.

The J31, as analysts call it, shows how fast China is moving.

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Music Interviews
5:08 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Adrian Sherwood: Dub Without Borders

Adrian Sherwood's latest album, Survival and Resistance, was released on Sherwood's own On-U Sound label in August.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

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The Salt
3:42 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

FDA Weighs Federal Standard To Limit Exposure To Arsenic In Rice

A combine harvests rice near Tucker, Ark., as consumer groups pressure the FDA to set federal standards on arsenic in rice.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

Scientists have known for a long time that rice — often babies' first food and the staple of much of the world's diet — is good at absorbing inorganic arsenic from soil during the growing process.

Two separate analyses, one by Consumer Reports and one by the Food and Drug Administration, have raised concerns that we might be getting too much of this known human carcinogen in our diets.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Deep South Democrats Seek Path Back To Relevance

Albert N. Gore Jr., a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss., on Aug. 2. Gore is running against incumbent Republican Roger Wicker. He says there should have been younger people interested in taking on Wicker — "but they didn't want to fight."
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

It can be lonely being a Democrat in the Deep South. Just ask Steve Wilson.

The young lawyer was a first-time delegate at the Democratic National Convention, but it's not something he brags about back home in Meridian, Miss.

"I don't talk about it," he says. "It's the elephant in the room, so to speak. Most of my friends are Republican, I think, but I just don't bring it up."

That climate can make it hard to recruit viable Democratic candidates in the Deep South — once a solidly Democratic region that is now reliably Republican.

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U.S.
3:21 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Smoke Cleared, Texas Gun Owners Remain Wary

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian was born two blocks from where he now lives in what is called Deep East Texas.

"We were not wealthy people, [we were] common laborers, but that was typical in rural East Texas at that time," he says.

When he was growing up, Christian says, by first or second grade, an East Texas boy would accompany his father or grandfather on a hunting trip. But before a boy got a gun, he had to learn how to act — how to address the other men respectfully, to watch how it worked.

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Middle East
10:20 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Syrian Rebels Fear Radicals May Hijack Revolt

Syrian rebels pose after seizing control of the Bab al-Hawa border post on the Syrian-Turkey border on July 20. Now, the rebels are facing a new challenge: radical Islamists, who they say do not represent them.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

Homegrown rebels have done most of the fighting against the Syrian government troops. But Islamist militants from abroad, including some with links to al-Qaida, are now joining the fight against the government in growing numbers.

The local rebels are not pleased with this development, and there is growing tension between the groups that share a desire to oust President Bashar Assad but little else.

Until a few weeks ago, the border crossing at Bab al-Hawa on Syria's northern frontier with Turkey was the site of a training camp for a militant Islamist group.

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Education
6:29 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Chicago Teachers Union Delegates Vote To End Strike

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Chicago, teachers have suspended their strike. That means teachers and students could be back to class as soon as tomorrow. The strike lasted seven days.

And with us to explain what has transpired in Chicago is NPR's Claudio Sanchez. And, Claudio, teachers, as we've said, have suspended the strike. What has the reaction been?

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Presidential Race
5:11 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney Still Doing Damage Control For '47 Percent'

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:09 pm

Anytime a candidate calls an unexpected press conference in the evening, you know it's not good news. We look at the latest news and political fall out from the release of Mitt Romney's remarks at a private fundraiser. The comments were made in May and the recording was released by Mother Jones magazine.

NPR Story
4:51 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

How 'Mother Jones' Got The Secret '47 Percent' Video

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Mother Jones magazine is known for its small but passionate following of liberal readers. And right now, it's getting a huge amount of attention. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik joins us now for more on Mother Jones and how it got this story. Hi there, David.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.

CORNISH: So this video of Mitt Romney was recorded a while back. Some of the clips were living on YouTube months ago. So what did Mother Jones do to acquire the story and get so much attention for it now?

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Shots - Health Blog
4:49 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Link Between BPA And Childhood Obesity Is Unclear

Canned food is a source of BPA exposure, but researchers aren't sure whether it causes childhood obesity. Above, the soup isle at a grocery store in Washington, D.C.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:23 pm

BPA could be making kids fat. Or not.

That's the unsatisfying takeaway from the latest study on bisphenol A — the plastic additive that environmental groups have blamed for everything from ADHD to prostate disease.

Unfortunately, the science behind those allegations isn't so clear. And the new study on obesity in children and teens is no exception.

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Theater
3:33 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Shorts Inspire Music In 'Sounding Beckett' Trilogy

In Ohio Impromptu, one of three short plays featured in Sounding Beckett, the silent character (Philip Goodwin, left, with Ted van Griethuysen) inspired music based on knocks and repetitions.
Jeremy Tressler Sounding Beckett

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:09 pm

It all began last year, when the Library of Congress presented Samuel Beckett's Ohio Impromptu alongside a piece of music by composer Dina Koston, which responded to the text. A New York group, the Cygnus Ensemble, played the music, while Washington, D.C., director Joy Zinoman staged the play, for one night only.

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Music Reviews
2:58 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Two Attempts To Turn Summer Platinum Into Fall Gold

Carly Rae Jepsen and the cover of Kanye West's latest album, Cruel Summer.
Vanessa Heins Courtesy of Universal Music Group

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 9:47 am

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Shots - Health Blog
1:55 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Botswana Doctors Stop Cervical Cancer With A Vinegar Swab

Doreen Ramogola-Masire, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Botswana, hopes that a simple, quick screen for cervical cancer with vinegar will catch the disease early and save women's lives.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 1:56 pm

In the U.S., the pap smear has become a routine part of women's health care, and it's dramatically reduced cervical cancer deaths. But in Africa and other impoverished regions, few women get pap smears because the countries lack the laboratories and other resources necessary to offer them.

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Presidential Race
6:39 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Romney Disparages Obama Voters In Hidden Video

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to a development surrounding Mitt Romney's campaign. After several days of stumbles on the trail and internal squabbling spilling into public view, Romney's campaign vowed to get back to substance today. Romney delivered a speech to a Latino group in Los Angeles today touting his economic plan and touching on immigration. But the spotlight was stolen by a report on the website Mother Jones.

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Middle East
5:53 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

As Sanctions Take A Toll, Debate In Iran Heats Up

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech in Tehran in July. Khamenei says Western-led sanctions will not force Iran to change its policies, but there are signs of other concerned voices in Iran.
AP

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 6:41 pm

Yukiya Amano is frustrated.

Last week, Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told a meeting of the agency in Vienna that he is aggravated by Iran's unwillingness to show the IAEA what's going on at a base called Parchin.

"Iran should engage with us without further delay on the substance of our concerns," he said. "We need to stop going around in circles, discussing process."

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'Another Thing': Test Your Clever Skills
5:53 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

'Another Thing': Obie The Dachshund's Big Slim-Down

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 1:57 pm

Each week, All Things Considered and Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, bring you "Another Thing," an on-air puzzle to test your cleverness skills. We take a trend in the news and challenge you to help us satirize it with a song title, a movie name or something else wacky.

This week's challenge: The owner of a 77-pound dachshund named Obie is blogging about her efforts to slim him down by 40 pounds. If she succeeds, we can probably expect a book.

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It's All Politics
5:25 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Obama, Romney In Tug Of War Over China Trade

Shipping containers sit at a port in Tianjin, China, on Feb. 28.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 6:04 pm

President Obama kicked off the week in the battleground state of Ohio, where he spent much of the time Monday talking about China.

His administration filed a new trade complaint against China with the World Trade Organization on Monday. The White House is challenging Chinese subsidies for auto parts.

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