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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Movies
2:32 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

The Straight-To-DVD World Of 'Mockbusters'

Paul Bales, David Rimawi and David Latt of The Asylum call their films "mockbusters."
Mike Digrazia

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 7:32 am

Dreamworks' animated movie Puss in Boots was a big deal. It won an Oscar, and its swashbuckling, sloe-eyed kitty was voiced by Antonio Banderas.

The meticulous computer-generated animation took four years and something like $130 million to make. But another cartoon, Puss In Boots: A Furry Tail, was hand-drawn in six months for less than $1 million. It went straight to DVD — one of the many low-budget productions riding the coattails of Hollywood blockbusters.

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Election 2012
2:11 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Voting Laws In Several States Remain Unsettled

In South Carolina, Pennsylvania and several other states, new voter ID laws are being challenged in court just eight weeks before the general election.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:26 pm

Eight weeks before the presidential election, new laws passed by Republican legislatures that concern who can vote and when remain in the hands of federal and state judges.

Among the cases: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week will hear an appeal to overturn that state's new voter ID law. An appeal is expected in a case involving early voting in Ohio. And a federal court is still considering whether South Carolina can go ahead with its new voter ID law.

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Education
1:46 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

College Course Lumps Homosexuality, Rape, Murder

Franciscan University of Steubenville's Christ the King Chapel seen at dusk in this image taken in 1980, in Steubenville, Ohio.
Courtesy of David E. West

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:26 pm

The Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio faces questions about its accreditation because of a course description that links homosexuality with crimes like murder, rape and robbery.

The university's social work program offers the course, called SWK 314 Deviant Behavior. The course description reads: "The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness and drug use."

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Shots - Health Blog
1:09 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

When Heat Kills: Global Warming As Public Health Threat

A man stands in a fountain in Washington Square Park on July 18, in New York City. Temperatures were expected in the upper 90's during another heat wave in the city.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:26 am

The current poster child for global warming is a polar bear, sitting on a melting iceberg. Some health officials argue the symbol should, instead, be a child.

That's because emerging science shows that people respond more favorably to warnings about climate change when it's portrayed as a health issue rather than as an environmental problem.

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Middle East
11:39 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Syrian Activists Take On New And Riskier Roles

Rebel fighters take up position near the military airport outside the rebel-held town of Azaz in northern Syria on Aug. 21. In rebel-held towns like Azaz, activists are taking on new, risky roles as the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad continues.
Youssef Boudlal Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:58 pm

On a recent day in the northern Syrian town of Azaz, there's an edgy energy when a pickup truck armed with a heavy machine gun screeches to a halt.

Wild-eyed and high-flving, the young rebels in the truck are happy to be alive after they hit a government helicopter landing at an air base 8 miles outside Azaz.

This rebel-held town is under nightly attack. This lightly armed rebel crew races out to the air base every day to target regime aircraft from hidden sites in the olive groves.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Who Benefits In Money Game: Democracy Or Donors?

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 4:07 pm

There's a new stimulus plan underway in America: $5.8 billion is being injected into the U.S. economy, particularly in states like Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Florida.

We're talking of course about campaign spending, and this year's elections will be the most expensive in history. In fact, by the time we all head to the voting booth on Election Day, nearly $6 billion will have been spent on campaigns — big and small — all across America.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Parsing The 2012 Party Platforms

One overlooked part of the convention frenzy was the party platforms. They seemed to cause more embarrassment than excitement at the DNC, where party leaders fumbled at reinserting clauses about Jerusalem and God into their platform. And at the RNC, Rep. John Boehner admitted he'd never even read his party's platform. NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving joins weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz to talk about the platforms and what — if anything — they mean in 2012.

Politics
3:08 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Case Will Test Constitutionality Of The Filibuster

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. There was a time when the Senate would, every once in a while, use a special tool to protect the rights of the minority party.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Half of official Washington is here to see democracy's finest show, the filibuster, the right to talk your head off, the American privilege of free speech in its most dramatic form.

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Music
2:29 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

It's The Perfect Music For A Funeral

David Young plays "Time To Say Goodbye" ("Con Te Partiro") on two recorders at once.
YouTube

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 3:08 pm

Musician David Young is a new-age artist who records the sort of atmospheric music you'd hear in spas or doctor's offices.

For 25 years, he's made a decent living at it. Young says he's sold over a million CDs.

And while you might hear his music getting a massage or in your doctor's waiting room, there's one place you might not expect to hear it. Young tells this story:

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Election 2012
12:59 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Critics Say Ryan's Record Belies Tough Deficit Talk

Paul Ryan waves as he takes the stage at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 29. Ryan has been celebrated as a deficit hawk with bold vision, but some critics have called his record on deficit-reduction "dismal."
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 3:08 pm

Paul Ryan has a reputation as a deficit hawk. Mitt Romney's running mate has proposed budgets that cut non-defense spending significantly, and advocated controlling Medicare costs by making it a voucher program. But critics argue there's a lot in the Wisconsin congressman's record that undermines his deficit-hawk reputation.

When Ryan gave the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address last year, he restated his commitment to debt and deficit reduction.

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Author Interviews
12:09 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Michael Chabon Journeys Back To 'Telegraph Avenue'

Michael Chabon's books include The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The Yiddish Policemen's Union and Manhood for Amateurs. He lives in Berkeley, Calif., with his wife, novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.
Jennifer Chaney

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 9:24 am

Michael Chabon's latest novel, Telegraph Avenue, is named after the famed road between Oakland and Berkeley in California.

In the book, that's also where two couples — Nat and Aviva, who are white, and Archy and Gwen, who are black — are struggling to get by. The two men are friends, partners in a vinyl record shop. Their wives work together as nurse midwives.

Over the course of a couple of weeks, the characters deal with threats to their work, to their relationships and their very way of being. Chabon delves deeply into issues of art, race and sexuality.

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Music Interviews
8:30 am
Sun September 9, 2012

Pet Shop Boys Leave 'West End' To Explore 'Elysium'

The Pet Shop Boys' new album is called Elysium.
Ann Suma Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 11:40 am

For 25 years, the London synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys have done one thing better than any other duo in the UK: sell records.

In fact, they've sold 50 million records worldwide since Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe met at an electronics shop in 1981.

Many people were reminded of the Pet Shop Boys when they helped close out the 2012 Olympic Games in London with their biggest hit, "West End Girls." The duo, however, continues to make new music and has just released their 11th studio album, Elysium.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:04 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

The Movie Jon Favreau Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Robert De Niro leaning against a wall in a scene from Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 6:55 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For actor-writer-director Jon Favreau, whose credits include Swingers, Rocky Marciano, The Replacements and Iron Man, the movie he could watch a million times is Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets.


INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

On when he first saw the film

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Sports
3:04 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

At 42, Detroit Lions Kicker Earns Admiration

Detroit Lions place-kicker Jason Hanson attempts a field goal in a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. Hanson, 42, has played 21 consecutive seasons for the Lions.
Thearon W. Henderson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 6:55 pm

As the NFL's regular season gets under way this weekend, one player is adding another year to an already record-setting career. At 42, Detroit Lions place kicker Jason Hanson is the oldest active player in the NFL.

And despite playing a notoriously tenuous position, Hanson has also been with one team longer than anyone in the history of the league — no small feat in an industry where players often switch teams in search of a bigger paycheck or where a missed kick can cost you your career.

A High-Pressure Position

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NPR Story
2:44 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

Is The 'Better Off' Question The Right One?

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 6:55 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Hello, St. Pete.

RAZ: President Obama campaigning today in St. Petersburg, Florida, two days after accepting his party's nomination for president...

OBAMA: I am fired up.

RAZ: ...where his new stump speech emphasizes job creation.

OBAMA: We can keep giving more tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas just like the other side is arguing for.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOOING)

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NPR Story
2:44 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

Week In News: The Post-Convention Push

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 6:55 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD)

MITT ROMNEY: In the last four years, we've seen that promise fade away. Hispanics are hurting.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But Mitt Romney would break that promise, replace your benefits with a voucher.

RAZ: Some of the latest political ads coming out of the Romney and Obama campaigns. James Fallows of The Atlantic joins me now, as he does most Saturdays, for a look behind the headlines. Jim, welcome.

JAMES FALLOWS: Hello, Guy.

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Music Interviews
10:51 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Dave Matthews On His Band's 'Unique Sort Of Love Affair'

"I can remember saying 'I can't imagine that I'm going to be doing this when I'm 45' — and I'm 45," Dave Matthews says.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 6:55 pm

For many people, the definitive soundtrack of the mid-1990s was a band out of Virginia with unusual instrumentation and an unmistakable sound. Born and partially raised in South Africa, Dave Matthews was a bartender in the college town of Charlottesville when he founded the Dave Matthews Band in 1991. Two decades on, the group has sold 40 million records and become one of the biggest live acts in the world.

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Three-Minute Fiction
10:04 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9: Pick A President

Best-selling author Brad Meltzer is our judge for Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction. His books include The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate and The Millionaires. His latest book, The Fifth Assassin, is due out in January.
Eric Ogden

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 1:49 pm

This election season, Three-Minute Fiction is getting political. Weekends on All Things Considered has a new judge, a new challenge and a new prize for Round 9. For this contest, submit original, short fiction that can be read in about three minutes, which means no more than 600 words.

The judge for this round is writer Brad Meltzer. He's the author of seven novels, including the best-seller The Inner Circle. His newest thriller, The Fifth Assassin, will be out in January.

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The Two-Way
4:18 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Armless Archer Matt Stutzman Describes How He Shoots A Bow — And Wins Medals

Archer Matt Stutzman of the U.S. prepares to shoot in the London Paralympics. Born without arms, Stutzman uses a release trigger strapped to his shoulder to fire.
Dennis Grombkowski Getty Images

American Paralympian Matt Stutzman won the silver medal in archery this week, a feat he accomplished despite being born without arms. In the men's compound open final, he was narrowly beaten by Finland's Jere Forsberg, who has the use of both arms.

In the gold medal match, Forsberg fired a perfect 10 on his final arrow to avoid a shoot-off with Stutzman.

The Paralympics have helped Stutzman, who is from Fairfield, Iowa, become something of a celebrity, thanks to his competitive spirit and his refusal to let his talents go to waste.

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Presidential Race
3:01 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Obama, Romney Spin New Jobs Report Differently

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Politics
3:01 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Russia Talk Throws DNC And RNC Back To Cold War

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:48 pm

Robert Siegel speaks with Susan Glasser, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine, about Russia. Speakers at both the Republican and Democratic conventions brought up America's relations with the country.

Sports
3:01 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

New Orleans Football Players Have Suspensions Lifted

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:31 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

New Unemployment Report Weaker Than Expected

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:18 pm

The jobs report released Friday morning came in weaker than expected. Employers added 96,000 jobs to payrolls. The unemployment rate did fall to 8.1 percent, but that was because so many people left the workforce.

NPR Story
2:31 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Obama Administration: 'Recovery Has Been Resilient'

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Joining us now to talk about today's jobs numbers is Alan Krueger. He's the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Welcome.

ALAN KRUEGER: Thank you.

SIEGEL: Is it fair to say that the good news here, the lower unemployment rate is produced by bad news, so many people leaving the workforce and that 96,000 jobs in a month is a discouraging jobs report?

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Planet Money
1:06 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

The Economics Of Stealing Bikes

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:18 pm

The normal bike market is pretty straightforward — supplier, middleman and buyer. The market for stolen bikes has the same roles, but different players. Here's a quick look at how it works.

The Supplier

The supplier, instead of Schwinn or Cannondale, is the bike thief.

Hal Ruzzal, a bike mechanic at Bicycle Habitat in Manhattan, describes two types of thieves.

Thief Type 1: "Your standard drug addict."

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Summer Nights: Funtown
1:02 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

A Slamming Good Time On The Jersey Shore

Keith Van Brunt (left) and Tom Mgerack, known as the "Bumper Car Psychos," go for a ride July 27 at the Keansburg Amusement Park in Keansburg, N.J.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:31 pm

The "Bumper Car Psychos" are easy to spot. While the other bumper cars at New Jersey's Keansburg Amusement Park spin wildly from one collision to the next, the Psychos cruise gracefully around the track, grinning from ear to ear as they slam their targets into the wall.

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Sports
12:59 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

A Year After War Wound, Vet Wins Paralympic Gold

Lt. Brad Snyder mounts the starting blocks while training on his starting technique. Snyder was permanently blinded last year by an IED in Afghanistan, and is now competing in the Paralympics in London.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 8:06 pm

The first thing you need to know about Navy Lt. Brad Snyder is that he's a bit intense.

If you go to the U.S. Naval Academy, swim competitively, and make the cut for the Navy's elite bomb-disposal squad, you're probably going to be the competitive type.

"Crossfit, surfing, biking, running, swimming, you name it I'm into it. Rock climbing," says Snyder.

The second thing you should know is that Snyder plans to continue doing all these things — even though he's now blind.

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
12:30 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

'American Pie' And The Box Of Records A Father Left Behind

Mel Fisher Ostrowski played Don McLean's American Pie until she "learned every word."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:18 pm

This summer, All Things Considered has asked listeners and guests to share a personal memory of one song discovered through their parents' record collection.

NPR listener Mel Fisher Ostrowski wrote in to tell us about how Don McLean's "American Pie" helped her "bridge a gap between my long-deceased father and baby boy." Hear the radio version at the audio link above — and read a lightly edited version of Ostrowski's original letter to NPR below.

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Book Reviews
12:04 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Safe Landing For 'Stag's Leap'?

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:18 pm

What do you do when, after 30 years, your husband tells you he is leaving you for someone else? If you're poet Sharon Olds, you grab your spiral-bound notebook and write about it. And though the marriage ended in 1997, she has waited 15 years to tell us about it — half as long as her marriage lasted.

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Education
5:18 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Students Say They've Been Denied The Right To Read

Michelle Johnson and her family talk about conditions within Detroit's Highland Park schools, in July.
Mike Glinski Mlive Detroit

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 6:08 pm

Eight Detroit-area public school students returning to classes this week are plaintiffs against a school system they say has failed them.

Their families and the American Civil Liberties Union say that the Highland Park school system has denied the students the right to learn to read, and that the state has a responsibility to fix that.

Michelle Johnson has five children in Highland Park schools. Her daughter is heading into the 12th grade, but can read at only about the fourth-grade level.

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