Audie Cornish

Audie Cornish is host of All Things Considered, along with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block.

Previously, she served as host of Weekend Edition Sunday. Prior to moving into that host position in the fall of 2011, Cornish reported from Capitol Hill for NPR News, covering issues and power in both the House and Senate and specializing in financial industry policy. She was part of NPR's six-person reporting team during the 2008 presidential election, and had a featured role in coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Cornish comes to Washington, D.C., from Nashville, where she covered the South for NPR, including many the Gulf states left reeling by the 2005 hurricane season. She has also covered the aftermath of other disasters, including the deaths of several miners in West Virginia in 2006, as well as the tornadoes that struck Tennessee in 2006 and Alabama in 2007.

Before coming to NPR, Cornish was a reporter for Boston's award-winning public radio station WBUR. There she covered some of the region's major news stories, including the legalization of same sex marriage, the sexual abuse scandal in the Boston Roman Catholic Archdiocese, as well as Boston's hosting of the Democratic National Convention. Cornish also reported for WBUR's syndicated programming including On Point, distributed by NPR, and Here and Now.

In 2005, Cornish shared in a first prize in the National Awards for Education Writing for "Reading, Writing, and Race," a study of the achievement gap. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Cornish has served as a reporter for the Associated Press in Boston. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

More than 330,000 people filed new claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week. That sounds like a big number — and is a slight increase over the previous week — but it's being taken as some very good news. For a month, now, fewer new people are asking for unemployment insurance than at any time since November, 2007. That's before the Great Recession.

The Justice Department is suing the state of Texas over its strict voter ID law, saying it discriminates against minorities. The attorney general also wants a judge to order Texas to get federal permission before it changes its election procedures.

Trading on the Nasdaq exchange was halted today due to an unspecified technical glitch. The shutdown rattled investors and raised fresh concerns about the safety and stability of financial markets. Nasdaq in particular has experienced technological mishaps, most notably during the Facebook IPO in 2012.

Witnesses from Afghanistan have testified in the sentencing phase of the court martial of Sgt. Robert Bales. He's admitted to killing 16 Afghan villagers during a nighttime massacre, and a military jury in Washington state is deciding whether his life sentence should come with any possibility of parole.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has teamed up with other tech giants to pursue the goal of providing Internet service to five billion people in the developing world. The group, called Internet.org, says data can be used more efficiently and participating partners can work cooperatively to make access to the web affordable in emerging economies. Zuckerberg makes the case on his Facebook page for how a global Internet infrastructure can be created. But the document doesn't have tangible commitments from Facebook or other participating companies.

The Republican National Committee meets this week in Boston with lots to argue about — if they choose to do so. There's immigration and Obamacare resistance and the 2016 presidential nominating system.

Lavabit, an encrypted email service reportedly used by former government contractor Edward Snowden, ceased operations yesterday. In a message to users, the owner of Lavabit hinted that the company was the target of a request for information about customers from the federal government. He said he chose to shut down his service instead of becoming "complicit in crimes against the American people." Later in the day, another secure email service, called Silent Circle, also shuttered itself.

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In Egypt, the military-backed government issued a warning today: A crackdown is imminent. The target: supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi who have been protesting at two sit-in camps in Cairo for more than a month. The warning comes after the interim president declared diplomatic efforts to end the political crisis a failure.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is in Cairo with the latest. And, Soraya, have Egyptian officials said when this crackdown will take place and what it will entail?

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President Obama was back on the road talking about the economy today. Lately, he's been taking a trip or two a week all over the country with a different focus each time. Today, he was talking about housing in Phoenix, where the 2008 crash was louder and more painful than in most places. The president laid out some new proposals to help the housing industry, and he described some old ones too.

NPR's Ari Shapiro joins us here. Hi, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

Jurors in the James "Whitey" Bulger trial got to listen to several hours of closing arguments in a Boston federal courtroom on Monday. Bulger is the former mob boss accused of litany of crimes including racketeering, murder, extortion and money laundering.

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In New York City today, a victory for the Securities and Exchange Commission: A federal jury held former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre liable on six of the seven counts against him. The SEC had accused Tourre of intentionally misleading investors about a mortgage-backed security just as the housing sector was beginning to collapse. The investment created huge losses.

Tensions are growing among the thousands of pro-Morsi supporters camped out around a mosque in eastern Cairo. The government has ordered the protesters to disperse, sparking fears of fresh bloodshed.

The local food movement has received a lot of attention both for changing diets and buying habits. But has the movement has become a significant economic force?

President Obama traveled to Tennessee on Tuesday, another event in his recent push to emphasize jobs and the economy.

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Turning now to escalator news, specifically Wyoming escalator news.

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There is a reported paucity of moving staircases in the Cowboy State, and that shortcoming has been posited as an argument for Wyoming to have fewer than its allotted pair of senators.

CORNISH: The argument goes like this: Why should a state with only two escalators get two senators?

BLOCK: Well, for some insight, we turn to the self-proclaimed escalator editor of the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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The push for a big rewrite of the nation's immigration laws has moved from one side of the Capitol to the other. Late last month, the Democratic-led Senate passed a sweeping immigration overhaul. Now it's up to the GOP-led House to act.

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The U.S. continues its cat and mouse game with the man who confessed to leaking NSA secrets, Edward Snowden. After spending the last few weeks in Hong Kong, Snowden caught a plane to Moscow this weekend, and he's believed to still be in Russia. But his exact whereabouts are uncertain. The U.S. has urged Russia not to let Snowden leave.

This week, All Things Considered host Audie Cornish traveled to Birmingham, Ala., to cover the 50th anniversary of the tumultuous civil rights protests that happened there. It's all part of NPR's series commemorating the monumental summer of 1963.

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And I'm Audie Cornish. All this week, I'm in Birmingham, Alabama, where the city is in the midst of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the tumultuous and influential civil rights protests that occurred here. One place that might not come to mind when you think about this period is the golf course.

As the Civil Rights Movement was unfolding across the US in 1963, the entire nation had its eyes on climactic events taking place in Southern cities like Birmingham, Ala., and Jackson, Miss. But there's a stark difference between how the national press covered the events in Birmingham and how Birmingham's papers covered their own city.

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What if you could know tomorrow's news before anybody else? And if your first thought is, hey, I could get really, really rich, then we have a job for you. You are probably a good candidate for one of the many trading firms that have found a way to do just that. They pay money to get an advanced peek at crucial economic data before anybody else does.

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Today on Capitol Hill, the director of National Intelligence, the head of the National Security Agency and other intelligence officials briefed the Senate. They talked about the two surveillance programs that were leaked to the media recently.

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While President Obama is acknowledging that the government is tapping into records from major Internet companies, most of those companies have issued broadly worded denials. That includes Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Yahoo.

NPR's Steve Henn joins us now to explain how these companies can deny taking part in a program that both the president and the intelligence community say exists. And, Steve, first, what do these firms say exactly when they are asked about PRISM?

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

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Today we learned of some news from the Associated Press in which the AP is at the center of the story. The newswire service reports that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of editors and reporters' phone records from last year as part of a government investigation. Late today, the Justice Department issued a statement saying it strives to strike a balance between the need for information in criminal cases and the rights of individuals and news organizations.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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And I'm Audie Cornish.

Audie Cornish talks with Chana Joffe-Walt of the Planet Money team about her series on federal disability benefits.

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