All Things Considered

Weekdays at 4pm

Since its debut in 1971, this afternoon radio newsmagazine has delivered in-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Heard by almost 13 million* people on nearly 700 radio stations each week, All Things Considered is one of the most popular programs in America.

Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block , Robert Siegel, and Audie Cornish present breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features.

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Music News
1:42 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Waylon Jennings: The 'Last Recordings' Of A Dreamer

Goin' Down Rockin': The Last Recordings is a new album of songs by Waylon Jennings, who died in 2002.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:14 pm

Known for his gritty baritone, Waylon Jennings embodied the outlaw side of country music. He was 64 when he died of complications from diabetes, leaving behind a collection of vocal tracks that remained unfinished until now.

"It was almost shocking when I first heard it," says the singer Jessi Colter, who was married to Jennings for more than 30 years. "It took me several times to be able to listen to it. It sounded like he was there, that he's opening his heart to you, and he's telling you how he feels."

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Shots - Health Blog
1:28 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Democrats And Republicans Differ On Medicaid Fix

Isabelle "Simone" Svikhart, 3, has spent 13 months in the hospital for treatment of a range of health conditions. The Children's Hospital Association distributed a trading card with her picture and details of her case to lobby against Medicaid cuts.
Children's Hospital Association

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:14 pm

Medicaid is already the nation's largest health insurance program in terms of number of people covered: It serves nearly 1 in 5 Americans. Yet at the same time it's putting increasing strain on the budgets of states, which pay about 40 percent of its costs.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Pope's Butler Pleads Innocent, But Says He Betrayed Pontiff

Pope Benedict XVI and his former butler, Paolo Gabriele (center), are shown at the Vatican in this file photo. The pope's private secretary, Georg Gaenswein, is on the left.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:14 pm

Pope Benedict XVI's former butler took the stand at his trial Tuesday and offered a somewhat contradictory message: He declared himself innocent of stealing papal documents, but acknowledged betraying the trust of Pope Benedict XVI.

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, Paolo Gabriele, 46, is charged with stealing documents pointing to corruption and power struggles with the church. Prosecutors say Gabriele has confessed to giving the material to an Italian journalist, and that his motive was to expose "evil and corruption" in the church.

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Middle East
3:56 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Turkey Pushes Syrians Into Limbo Across Border

Syrian refugees gather amid olive trees in an area controlled by the rebel Free Syrian Army, in northern Syria near the Turkish border, on Sept. 25. The area has become a way station for Syrian refugees pushed out of neighboring Turkey.
Michel Moutot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 3:34 am

Long before the Syrian uprising, Antakya, Turkey, was a storied place. Once known as Antioch, the city was home to Greeks, some of the earliest Christians, Jews and Armenians. It once was a major stop on the Silk Road.

Most recently, the Turkish city became a hub for the Syrian rebellion. For many months, Turkish authorities tolerated Antakya's status, and even encouraged it. Turkey built refugee camps for tens of thousands of Syrians, and even one for officers who defected from the Syrian army to join the rebel cause.

That support, however, is starting to fade.

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Asia
3:22 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Cambodian Court Case Stokes Fear Of Crackdown

Supporters of Cambodian journalist Mam Sonando protest outside a Phnom Penh courthouse on Monday, when judges sentenced him to 20 years in jail for leading an alleged secession movement. Critics say the pro-democracy activist's case was politically motivated.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:20 pm

A court in Cambodia has convicted a prominent journalist and pro-democracy activist on charges of convincing villagers in eastern Cambodia to rise up and declare independence from the country. Civic groups say the case is part of a worrying trend of government efforts to stifle freedom of expression, and attempts to take land away from farmers.

Hundreds of supporters vented their fury outside the courthouse Monday as judges sentenced Mam Sonando to 20 years in jail. Speaking before the verdict, his wife, Dinn Phanara, says the case was politically motivated.

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Author Interviews
3:11 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Housekeeping Tips From One Mercurial 'Mommy'

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:20 pm

The cursing mommy likes her scotch. She also likes a martini — or four — and a full bottle of Kahlua consumed in the afternoon while soaking in a steaming bathtub and ignoring the knocks of her children locked outside. Along with her dubious parenting skills, the cursing mommy has no shame, and she swears an extremely blue streak.

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It's All Politics
3:08 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Montana Democrat Faces An Uphill Battle To Keep His Senate Seat

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., (center) campaigns at a parade Saturday in Belgrade, Mont.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:23 pm

Republicans are still within reach of a big political goal this year: retaking control of the Senate. They lost the majority in 2006, in part because of the razor-close victory of Democratic challenger Jon Tester in Montana.

Now, Tester is the incumbent facing a tough challenge of his own. And if he's going to win re-election, he has to turn out a lot of younger voters, the way he did in 2006. And on that front, he does have some allies.

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Presidential Race
2:54 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Stakes High For Romney At First Presidential Debate

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:20 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Solve This
2:47 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Obama, Romney On Taxes: Similar Plans, Few Details

Both President Obama and rival Mitt Romney say the tax code is too complicated. But they haven't been specific about which tax breaks they want to eliminate.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:20 pm

Here's something President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on: America's tax system is too complicated. Both men have outlined changes that are broadly similar, but with some important differences.

The Problem:

Today's tax code is like a department store, where the price tags are high, but there are lots of coupons, sales and weekend specials. That creates some inequities. Just as shoppers can pay different prices depending on which day they buy, taxpayers with the same income can pay very different rates depending on which deductions they qualify for.

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Politics
2:18 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Presidential Campaigns Rock The Gamer Vote

An ad for President Obama's re-election campaign appears in Madden NFL 13.
EA Games

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:27 pm

Let's say you're pushing 115 mph on the highway, racing neck and neck with a Chevy Camaro — in an online video game, of course.

Right as you're pulling into the lead, you notice a billboard pop up on your TV screen. Early voting has begun? Voteforchange.com? Whoa, keep your eyes on the road!

This is Need for Speed: Carbon, one of 18 games that the Obama campaign advertised in during the 2008 campaign. This year, President Obama is back at it, running ads in Madden NFL 13, on the free online game site Pogo.com, and in mobile games like Tetris.

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All Tech Considered
12:49 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Cloud Computing Saves Health Care Industry Time And Money

Researchers are increasingly using cloud computing to discover new drugs and medical treatments. Cloud computing is often cheaper and quicker than in-house computing.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:36 pm

The cloud's vast computing power is making it easier and less expensive for companies and clinicians to discover new drugs and medical treatments. Analyzing data that used to take years and tens of millions of dollars can now be done for a fraction of that amount.

Most of us know Amazon as the world's largest online retailer. But its cloud computing business is booming too.

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Books
5:11 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Stories: 'The Interview'

iStockphoto.com

The judging process for Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction is now under way. NPR's Bob Mondello reads an excerpt from one standout story, The Interview, written by Georgia Mierswa. You can read the story in its entirety below, and read more stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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Science
3:49 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

A Tiny Ocean World With A Mighty Important Future

Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life and provide half of the oxygen on the planet. Scientists are working to figure out how climate change may be affecting these important microorganisms.
M. Ormestad Tara Oceans

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 5:11 pm

As you take in your next breath of air, you can thank a form of microscopic marine life known as plankton.

They are so small as to be invisible, but taken together, actually dwarf massive creatures like whales. Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life.

"This invisible forest generates half of the oxygen generated on the planet," Chris Bowler, a marine biologist, tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

And, as climate change alters the temperature and acidity of our waters, this mysterious ocean world may be in jeopardy.

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Education
3:42 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Online Education Grows Up, And For Now, It's Free

Coursera founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller are computer science professors at Stanford University.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 3:26 pm

Online education isn't particularly new. It has been around in some form since the 1990s, but what is new is the speed and scale in which online learning is growing.

In barely a year, many of the most prestigious research universities in the world – including Stanford, Caltech, Oxford and Princeton — have started to jump onto the online bandwagon.

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Music
2:42 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Son Jarocho, The Sound Of Veracruz

Las Cafeteras, from Los Angeles, have made their own version of the classic son jarocho song "La Bamba."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 8:56 pm

Betto Arcos is the host of Global Village, a world music show on KPFK in Los Angeles, and a native of Xalapa, capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz. He recently spoke with Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about son jarocho — a style of music played mostly in the south of his home state. He says the music is so vibrant because it comes from the Caribbean side of Mexico and has all the influences of that region: African, indigenous and Spanish.

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Interviews
2:40 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

The Man Who Jump-Started Modern Presidential Debate

Vice President Richard Nixon listens as Sen. John F. Kennedy talks during their televised presidential race debate. This photo was made from a television screen in New York, Oct. 21, 1960.
AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 5:11 pm

President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are prepping for Wednesday's presidential debate. It's a well-worn tradition now, but it wasn't always that way.

The 1960 Kennedy-Nixon face-off wasn't just the first televised presidential debate, it was also the first presidential debate in more than a century.

Four years earlier, a young German emigre named Fred Kahn, a student at the University of Maryland, wanted to see whether the nominees — Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson — might want to engage with students.

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Author Interviews
1:51 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

From Tea To T-Shirts: The History Of U.S.-China Trade

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 3:25 pm

You probably don't give much thought to the phrase "Made in China" when you see it written on the bottom of your coffee mug, or on the tag of your T-shirt, but Americans have traded with China for hundreds of years.

In his new book, When America First Met China, Eric Jay Dolin takes us back to the beginning of the long and complicated trade relationship between the two countries.

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Politics
12:43 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Being 'Better Off' May Not Be Enough To Win Colo.

President Obama speaks during a campaign event at University of Colorado Boulder Sept. 2. He and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will have their first debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 5:11 pm

Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.

The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.

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Presidential Race
5:00 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Ohio County A Historic Predictor Of State's Vote

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney both campaigned in the battleground state of Ohio this week.
AP

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 6:35 pm

President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney both barnstormed Ohio this week, holding rallies just miles apart in the state's northwest. Obama's event was smack in the middle of Wood County, with Romney's just north.

The county may have a population of only 125,000, but it has an outsized importance in presidential elections.

"Since 1960, [Wood County] has predicted every election except for one," says Wood County GOP Chairman Matt Reger. "I think that it is a microcosm of Ohio, which in some parts is a microcosm of the United States."

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Technology
3:31 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

QR Codes For Headstones Keep Dearly Departed Close

Lorie Miller holds the brass QR code for her grandmother's gravestone. Smartphone users who scan it will be directed to an online tribute.
Emma Lee Newsworks

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 5:02 am

Lorie Miller bends over her grandparents' grave in north Philadelphia. She holds a two-inch brass square she's going to attach next to the headstone's names and dates.

Printed onto that square is a QR code — that square digital bar code you can scan with a smartphone. Miller peels off the back of her square to expose the adhesive and pushes it into place. The headstone, which otherwise looks the same as many others around it, has just jumped into the modern age.

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Arts & Life
3:17 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Stories: 'Butterflies'

Nemanja Zivancevic iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 5:05 pm

Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction has closed and the judging process is now under way. Susan Stamberg reads an excerpt from one standout story, Butterflies, written by Jennifer Dupree. You can read the full story below along with other stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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Remembrances
3:17 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Publisher Who Transformed The 'New York Times' Dies

Former New York Times president and publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, center, died on Saturday. He was 86.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 12:52 pm

The quiet man who modernized The New York Times over more than three decades and stubbornly defended the press against government interference died early Saturday at his home in Long Island.

Former publisher and Times Company chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger Sr. had suffered from Parkinson's disease. He was 86.

Sulzberger's family had owned the Times since 1896, and he was named publisher when his brother-in-law, Orvil Dryfoos, died unexpectedly in 1963.

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Politics
2:50 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

What Winning The 'Catholic Vote' Means Today

Archbishop John J. Myers stands outside Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. The archbishop has urged followers to assess the presidential candidates for their views on abortion and gay marriage.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 5:05 pm

Since 1972, every single presidential candidate who has won the popular vote has also won the Catholic vote. But with Catholics making up one in every four voters, pinning down what exactly the Catholic vote is becomes tricky.

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Author Interviews
2:28 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Actor Robby Benson Is 'Not Dead ... Yet!'

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 9:34 am

Robby Benson began his career at the age of 12, on the Broadway stage, and became a teen heartthrob in the '70s, starring in films such as Ode To Billy Joe, Ice Castles and One on One, which he co-wrote. He was also the voice behind the Beast in the 1991 Disney film, Beauty and the Beast.

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Music Interviews
10:03 am
Sat September 29, 2012

After A Dozen-Year Disappearance, Ben Folds Five Is Back

Ben Folds Five (from left): Robert Sledge, Darren Jessee and Ben Folds.
Autumn de Wilde Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 5:05 pm

In the early '90s, Ben Folds Five achieved underground success by playing the college circuit, selling out small clubs all across the country.

That all changed with the success of its 1997 album Whatever and Ever Amen. Its hit single "Brick" went to No. 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks list, only the second single in the band's history to chart.

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Afghanistan
4:31 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Can't Change Your Money In Iran? Try Afghanistan

A money-changer in the Afghan city of Herat counts a stack of Iranian bills. More and more Iranian currency is being brought in by smugglers to exchange for dollars, which then go back to Iran.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:24 pm

The western Afghan city of Herat has become a thriving hub for the money exchange business, a consequence of geography and politics. Money-changers throng the currency market carrying thick stacks of Iranian currency, much of it brought in by the hundreds of thousands of Afghan workers who earn their living in Iran.

While the stacks of crisp 100,000 rial notes that money-changers bring to the market might look like a small fortune, the 10 million rials in each of these stacks is worth less than $400, because the Iranian currency recently lost more than half of its value.

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Presidential Race
4:16 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

In Ohio, China's A Top Campaigning Point

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

According to Bloomberg, President Obama and Mitt Romney have aired nearly 30,000 TV spots addressing the issue of trade with China, and that's just in the past month. Many of those ads aired in Ohio where both candidates are spending a lot of time. NPR's Sonari Glinton explains the Ohio-China nexus.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: If there's a boogeyman in the Ohio presidential sweepstakes, it's China.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

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Politics
3:45 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

In Presidential Ads, A Shared Strategy For Connection

President Obama and Mitt Romney campaign in August: Obama in Leesburg, Va.; Romney in Waukesha, Wis.
AP

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:29 pm

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World
3:26 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

The Tricky Business Of Reintegrating The Taliban

Former Taliban fighters display their weapons as they join Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province on Sept. 18.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 3:59 pm

In an attempt to put down the insurgency in Afghanistan, the international community has spent millions to try to reintegrate former Taliban fighters and other militants back into society.

So how well has it worked?

Critics like Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network say many militants use these programs to gain access to arms and money, without necessarily changing their ways.

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NewsPoet: Writing The Day In Verse
2:50 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

NewsPoet: Philip Schultz Writes The Day In Verse

Philip Schultz visits NPR headquarters in Washington on Monday.
Ryan Smith NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:24 pm

Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.

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