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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Commentary
3:30 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Week In Politics: The '47 Percent,' Senate Races

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Robert Siegel talks to regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss Mitt Romney's "47 percent," new polls on the presidential race, and close Senate races.

NPR Story
2:56 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

'No Place Like Home' Shoes Use GPS To Get You There

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

British artist Dominic Wilcox has designed a pair of shoes called "No Place Like Home," inspired by Dorothy's red slippers in The Wizard of Oz. The shoes are equipped with GPS and tell the wearer how to get to his or her destination with a click of the heel. Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel have more.

NPR Story
2:56 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Republicans Face Uphill Battle To Take Over Senate

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Just a few months ago, most observers believed Republicans had a pretty decent chance to take control of the U.S. Senate. Now, that doesn't seem as likely.

Around the Nation
1:31 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

One Afghan Girl's Healing Journey To The U.S.

Arefa with her host family, sisters Jami Valentine (left) and Staci Freeman. Doctors in the U.S. have been treating Arefa's third-degree burns, and also performed skin-graft surgery for the top of her head. Each morning still requires a fresh dressing.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 8:09 pm

There is limited medical infrastructure in war-torn Afghanistan, so severely wounded children are sometimes brought to the U.S. for medical care. Doctors in America say that for one little girl, her struggle to stay alive for three years until finding her way from central Afghanistan to a hospital in Los Angeles is nothing short of a miracle.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Romney's 2011 Tax Return Shows He Paid At 14.1 Percent Rate, Campaign Says

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Mitt Romney and his wife Ann paid $1,935,708 in federal taxes last year on income of $13,696,951, an effective tax rate for the couple of 14.1 percent, the Republican presidential nominee's campaign just reported.

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Election 2012
4:05 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Senate Race Tough To Call As Wisconsin Swings

Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin sits with state delegates during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5.
David Goldman AP

Republicans hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate in November's elections are banking on Wisconsin where they want to flip the seat held by Democrat Herb Kohl, who's retiring.

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Middle East
3:33 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Mideast Violence Prompts Calls For New U.S. Policy

Egyptians destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Sept. 11, during a protest over the film that insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:05 pm

The protests and violence aimed at U.S. interests in the Middle East have set off a domestic debate about what the U.S. could or should do to relate to new political movements in the region. The Obama administration says it will continue to engage the region. The campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, says the U.S. needs to do more to lead.

But there are others who say that both parties have it wrong, and that U.S. policies from both Republican and Democratic administrations have failed.

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Election 2012
3:31 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Parties Debate Meaning, Value Of 'Redistribution'

Mitt Romney speaks in Miami on Wednesday.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:19 pm

Cuban-Americans know a thing or two about what can happen when a government seizes wealth and redistributes it, as Fidel Castro's regime did five decades ago in Cuba.

So Mitt Romney had an especially receptive audience Wednesday night at a rally of Cuban-Americans in Miami, when he launched his campaign's latest line of attack on President Obama.

"He said some years ago something which we're hearing about today on the Internet," Romney told the crowd. "He said that he believes in redistribution."

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Africa
3:21 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Libyan Militiaman Says He Warned U.S. Of Dangers

U.S. officials and Libyan militiamen met to discuss the deteriorating security in Benghazi just two days before the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Stevens is shown here at the consulate in June.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:15 pm

Two days before the deadly Sept. 11 attack on Americans in Libya, three U.S. officials met pro-government militias working to provide security in the city of Benghazi.

In that meeting, which included the American economic and political counselors, Mohammed el Gharabi, a leader of a prominent militia, says he warned the Americans that the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating.

Assassinations are becoming rampant; no one is safe, including militiamen like himself, he says he told the Americans.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:38 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Who's Next In Line For A Kidney Transplant? The Answer Is Changing

Surgeons transplant a kidney in 8-year-old Sarah Dickman at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in 2008. The proposed changes in the transplant list attempt to maximize kidney life in young patients.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 7:38 am

There's some big news out today about one of the most sensitive issues in medicine: Who's next in line for a transplant?

The United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS, a nonprofit in charge of distributing organs, wants to revamp the system for distributing the most sought-after organ — kidneys — for the first time in 25 years.

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U.S.
2:22 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

You Can Buy An Island, But Can You Really Own It?

The Four Seasons resort on Lanai. Software mogul Larry Ellison recently bought virtually the entire Hawaiian island.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:23 pm

We don't know how much software mogul Larry Ellison recently paid for the Hawaiian island of Lanai — for 98 percent of the island, to be exact — but estimates run upward of half a billion dollars. So what do you get for that kind of money?

Beautiful beaches, for starters. A view of Maui, just eight miles away. A couple of luxury resorts built by the previous owner. And, as a bonus, some delicate history.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

U.S. Speedskater Accused Of Sabotaging Rival

Simon Cho of the U.S. celebrates during the 500 meter men's final race at the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden in 2011.
Jens Meyer AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

The allegations of physical and verbal abuse at U.S. Speedskating have a new twist: A coach allegedly directed a skater to tamper with the skates of a Canadian competitor at an international competition last year — and the skater complied.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:25 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Could Genes For Stripes Help Kitty Fight Disease?

The genetic factors responsible for a cat's stripes might help researchers understand disease resistance in humans.
kennymatic via Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:04 pm

At this point it's just an interesting hypothesis, but it's possible that understanding cat coloration could help scientists understand resistance to infectious diseases.

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Planet Money
1:01 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Are Chinese Exporters Cheating?

Workers assemble one of the many car models at Chinese carmaker's Chery Automobile plant in Wuhu, east China's Anhui province.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:35 pm

The Obama administration filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization this week alleging that China is illegally subsidizing its auto industry.

The US says China provides cheap loans and grants and other incentives to their car industry, and that these favors go to companies who are already successful exporters. That, says US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, is unfair.

Read more
Presidential Race
6:09 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

In Univision Forum, Romney Reaches Out To Latinos

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is reaching out to Latino voters tonight. He took part in a forum on the Spanish-language television network Univision. He's also hosting a rally for Latino supporters in Miami. NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now from Miami.

And, Scott, describe the tone of the questions tonight.

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U.S.
4:28 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 6:09 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
3:47 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 6:09 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
3:04 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 6:09 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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Music
3:00 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 6:09 pm

Adrian Sherwood was born in London in 1958. As a kid he fell in love with Jamaican music.

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Asia
2:52 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 6:27 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.

Read more
The Salt
1:42 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 6:09 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
1:32 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 6:09 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.
1:21 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Smoke Cleared, Texas Gun Owners Remain Wary

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:09 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
8:20 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 6:09 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.

Read more
Education
4:29 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Chicago Teachers Union Delegates Vote To End Strike

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:09 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?

Read more
Presidential Race
3:08 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney's '47 Percent' Argument Counterproductive

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Some conservatives have denounced Romney's remarks. The "Weekly Standard's" Bill Kristol called them arrogant and stupid. In the New York Times, David Brooks wrote that it shows Mitt Romney doesn't understand the country or its culture. But others, such as radio personality Rush Limbaugh, have come to the candidate's defense.

(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO BROADCAST)

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Presidential Race
3:07 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney Conflated Different Groups With '47 Percent'

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney admits he could've used more elegant language, but he's not backing down. Romney was secretly recorded speaking at a fundraiser in May and his comments were publicized yesterday by the liberal magazine, "Mother Jones." Here he is telling wealthy backers that President Obama has a built-in base of support.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

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Shots - Health Blog
2:48 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 6:23 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
1:33 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 5:09 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
12:58 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 7:47 am

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