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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It's All Politics
3:26 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

What Did Congress Really Know About NSA Tracking?

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is among the lawmakers who say they were never briefed about the government's surveillance programs.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:20 pm

If you're a member of Congress and you didn't know about the National Security Agency's phone records program before it was disclosed last week, President Obama has this to say to you: Where have you been?

"When it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program," Obama said to reporters last Friday.

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Shots - Health News
3:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Administration's Plan For Morning-After Pill Pleases No One

Plan B One-Step might be the only emergency contraceptive available to all ages without a prescription.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:20 pm

Reaction was swift to the Obama administration's announcement Monday night that it was dropping a long-running legal battle to keep age restrictions on one type of the morning-after birth control pill.

But like just about everything else in this decade-long controversy, the latest decision has pleased just about no one.

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Around the Nation
3:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Massive Bat Cave Stirs Texas-Size Debate Over Development

Millions of bats live in Bracken Cave, in a rural area near San Antonio. Conservationists are worried that plans for a multithousand-unit housing development will disrupt the bat colony.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:28 pm

The Bracken Bat Cave, just north of San Antonio, is as rural as it gets. You have to drive down a long, 2-mile rocky road to reach it. There's nothing nearby — no lights, no running water. The only thing you hear are the katydids.

The cave houses a massive bat colony, as it has for an estimated 10,000 years. Bat Conservation International, the group that oversees the Bracken Cave Reserve, wants it to stay secluded, but the area's rural nature could change if a local developer's plan moves forward.

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Monkey See
3:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

What Kids Are Reading, In School And Out

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:11 pm

Walk into any bookstore or library, and you'll find shelves and shelves of hugely popular novels and book series for kids. But research shows that as young readers get older, they are not moving to more complex books. High-schoolers are reading books written for younger kids, and teachers aren't assigning difficult classics as much as they once did.

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U.S.
3:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Border Drones Fly Into Fight Over Immigration

A Predator drone operated by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine taxis for a flight over southern Arizona near the Mexican border on March 7 from Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Ariz.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 4:21 pm

The runways at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., are busy. This is where the Army tests its military drones, where it trains its drone pilots, and where four Customs and Border Protection drones take off and land.

From here, the CBP drones survey the Arizona-Mexico border — mainly looking for immigrants and drug smugglers.

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Law
12:26 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Pushed Off The Job While Pregnant

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:20 pm

At a time when most pregnant women work, there are new efforts to keep companies from unfairly targeting employees because of a pregnancy. The allegations of pregnancy discrimination persist and have even risen in recent years despite a decades-old law against it, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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Code Switch
10:01 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

A Meeting On Tolerance Turns Into A Shouting Match

Sabina Mohyuddin was heckled as she spoke at the town meeting last week in Manchester, Tenn.
William Hobbs

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 10:33 am

The public meeting in Manchester, Tenn., about 70 miles from Nashville, was supposed to address and tamp down discrimination toward Muslims there.

But instead it turned into a shouting match.

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NPR Story
8:35 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Feds Drop Opposition To Restriction On Sales Of Morning-After Pill

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The morning-after pill will soon be available - without a prescription - on pharmacy shelves, with no restrictions on age. That's because the Obama administration has dropped a long-running battle to keep age restrictions on emergency contraception. NPR's Julie Rovner joins me to explain this policy change. And Julie, this was an unexpected development. It came tonight. What happened?

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Around the Nation
3:43 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Cooper Union Students Fight For Freedom From Tuition

An image of Cooper Union founder Peter Cooper is projected on the office of school President Jamshed Bharucha, in protest of the institution's decision to begin charging tuition.
Courtesy of The Illuminator

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

When students at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York took over the president's office one month ago to protest the school's decision to charge tuition, they painted the lobby black.

They also took a painting of the school's founder, and hung a piece of red fabric from the frame, as if Peter Cooper himself had joined in the protest.

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Music Interviews
3:02 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Jason Isbell: A 'Southeastern' Songwriter's Path To Sobriety

Jason Isbell's new album is called Southeastern.
Michael Wilson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 10:07 am

There are a few things worth knowing about singer-songwriter Jason Isbell: The round softness of his speech comes from his roots in rural Alabama. He has lyrics from a Bob Dylan song inked on his forearm.

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Shots - Health News
2:31 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Triple Threat: Middle East Respiratory Virus And 2 Bird Flus

Men outside a hospital in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, wear surgical masks as a precaution against infection with a coronavirus.
Stringer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

The World Health Organization is warning health care workers everywhere to suspect a disease called Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, whenever they see a case of unexplained pneumonia.

Monday's warning comes at the end of a six-day WHO investigation in Saudi Arabia, where 40 of the 55 cases of the respiratory disease have occurred. Sixty percent of those people with known infections died.

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Music
2:15 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

The Creole Choir Of Cuba: Reviving Caribbean History In 'Santiman'

The Creole Choir of Cuba's latest album, Santiman, has a satisfying flow from celebration to solemnity.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

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Three-Minute Fiction
3:53 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction: The Round 11 Winner Is ...

Ben Jahn, the winner of Round 11, received a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts grant in fiction to begin the novel he's currently working on.
Courtesy of Ben Jahn

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 4:36 pm

The search is over for the winner of Round 11 of Three-Minute Fiction, the contest where listeners submit original short stories that can be read in about three minutes.

We received help this round from graduate students at 16 different writing programs across the country. They poured through thousands of submissions and passed the best of the best along to our judge this round, novelist Karen Russell.

Here was your challenge for this round: A character finds something he or she has no intention of returning.

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Your Money
3:53 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Golden Years Tainted As Retirement Savings Dwindle

Michael and Katharine Powers don't expect to be able to retire. Here, they are with two of their daughters and Michael's grandfather.
Courtesy of the Powers family

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 6:58 am

"I'm a carpenter/cabinet-maker/woodworker, and I think I'll be retiring the day I die."

Michael Powers, 47, is not alone in his retirement insecurity. According to a Pew study published in May, members of Generation X — aged 38 to 47 — are on track to be the first generation to do worse in retirement than their parents. Assuming they retire at all.

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Interviews
3:04 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

NSA Whistleblower Revealed

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Tess Vigeland.

After a steady drip, drip of leaks to the media about the secret surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency, this afternoon, The Guardian newspapers revealed the name of their source.

EDWARD SNOWDEN: My name is Ed Snowden. I'm 29 years old. I work for Booz Allen Hamilton as an infrastructure analyst for NSA in Hawaii.

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Interviews
3:02 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Baseball Prepares For Suspensions

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

Major League Baseball is preparing to hand down suspensions to some of its marquee players according to a recent ESPN report. It's the result of information the league obtained through a man named Tony Bosch, who reportedly supplied banned substances to athletes through his company Biogenesis of America.

Dave Zirin is sports editor for The Nation, and he joins us. Hello.

DAVE ZIRIN: Hey. Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

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News
2:19 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Britain Apologizes For Colonial-Era Torture Of Kenyan Rebels

Mau Mau leader Gitu wa Kahengeri, right, poses with British High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner at the end of a news conference announcing the settlement last week.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 4:36 pm

A 60-year-old wound in Kenya has finally found its recompense.

Last week, the British government finalized an out-of-court settlement with thousands of Kenyans who were tortured in detention camps during the end of the British colonial reign. The historic apology — and the unprecedented settlement — has been years in the making.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:26 am
Sun June 9, 2013

David Finckel On The Emerson Quartet's Changing Of The Guard

David Finckel is a longtime member of the Emerson String Quartet. Journeys: Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg is his last recording with the group.
Christian Steiner Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 10:09 am

The Emerson String Quartet is one of the most acclaimed chamber groups in the world of classical music. Since their founding in 1976, the group has won nine Grammys for its recordings. Now, it has a new album out called Journeys: Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg — and it's the last recording with cellist David Finckel, one of the quartet's longtime members.

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Science
4:03 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Aquarium Sculptors Create Coral For Conservation Awareness

Projected image of the complete Blacktip Reef exhibit.
Courtesy of the National Aquarium

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 8:42 pm

Most aquarium visitors are there to see sharks, sea turtles, fish and other marine life. But at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, there's another star attraction: Coral.

The Aquarium's Blacktip Reef exhibit will open later this summer, and give visitors a look at an Indo-Pacific coral reef. But curators can't just carve a chunk out of a wild reef to put in the vast tank, that would destroy the very ecosystem for which they hope to raise conservation awareness. And corals take hundreds of years to develop into a reef, so the aquarium can't grow its own in-house.

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National Security
3:30 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Week In News: Spying Suspicions Come To Light

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Revelations this week that the National Security Agency has been running an extensive domestic surveillance program involving companies like Google, Facebook and Apple has caused many Americans to ask what's left of their privacy. Guest host Tess Vigeland speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic.

U.S.
3:30 pm
Sat June 8, 2013

Signs Point To Destructive Wildfire Season Ahead

Originally published on Sat June 8, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

Authorities are still searching for a motive in yesterday's shooting rampage in Santa Monica, California. Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the alleged shooter had weapons with the capacity to fire 1,300 rounds of ammunition.

Meanwhile, north of Los Angeles, fire officials say the so-called powerhouse fire in the Angeles National Forest is 90 percent contained. Twenty-four homes were destroyed, and state officials say the blaze cost some $16 million to knock down.

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U.S.
6:29 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Fatal Shootings In Santa Monica Leave Several Injured

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A grim and chaotic scene today in Santa Monica, California. That's where authorities say at least six people are dead after a shooting rampage that ended violently on the campus of Santa Monica Community College. Several more people are being treated at area hospitals. Authorities say some injuries are serious, others minor. The shooting triggered lockdowns at the college and at other nearby schools. NPR's Kirk Siegler joins us now with the latest from NPR West in Culver City. And Kirk, what have you learned so far?

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Code Switch
3:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Black Americans Give Entertainment Options Failing Grades

A poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that African-Americans are unhappy with their local entertainment venues.
Corbis

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

All this week on Code Switch and on air we've been digging into the findings of a survey of African-American views of their communities, finances and social lives. We conducted the poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

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Around the Nation
3:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Plug Pulled On California Nuclear Plant, For Good

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Southern California, a nuclear power plant that supplied energy to more than a million homes is shutting down for good. As NPR's Ina Jaffe reports, the San Onofre nuclear plant has been idle for repair since January of 2012.

INA JAFFE, BYLINE: The twin, white domes at the San Onofre nuclear power plant have been landmarks on the California coast for more than four decades.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTESTERS CHANTING)

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Politics
4:09 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Sunnylands: Where Movie Stars And Presidents Play (And Work)

President Bill Clinton with Walter and Leonore Annenberg at the entrance of the historic estate on Feb. 14, 1995.
White House The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:38 pm

President Obama arrives in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Friday to spend two days with China's new president, Xi Jinping, at a 200-acre estate called Sunnylands.

The house at Sunnylands is built of lava stone. The private golf course includes a pink pagoda. And if the presidents feel like fishing in one of the property's 11 lakes, they will hardly be the first world leaders to dip a line in the water.

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Music Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Peter Pan And Don Quixote Find The 'Home Of Song'

Paul Spring's first album of family music draws from his own childhood, as well as that of Mark Twain.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:38 pm

I remember my youthful summers as a time of reading and exploration — diving into books, seeing new places and rediscovering nearby ones. After listening to Home of Song, the first album of family music from Minnesota singer Paul Spring, I think we spent summers in much the same way.

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Monkey See
1:48 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

When 'G' Movies Are For Kids, Do Kids Avoid 'G' Movies?

The 1939 film The Wizard Of Oz was rated G. The 2013 film Oz the Great and Powerful was rated PG. The difference? Maybe a little violence and a womanizing leading man.
AP/Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:38 pm

If you're a parent with small children, summer is traditionally a time when there's lots for them to see at the multiplex. That's not untrue this summer. But if you're specifically looking for a film with a G rating, you may just be out of luck.

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Science
4:59 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Tiny, Ancient Tree-Dweller Was One Of Earth's Earliest Primates

Artistic reconstruction of Archicebus achilles in its natural habitat of trees.
Xijun Ni Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The origin of the first primates — the group that includes humans, apes and monkeys — is thought to lie in the deep past, about 55 million years ago.

Fossils from that period are rare. But now, there's an exciting new one. It's called Archicebus achilles, roughly meaning "beginning long-tailed monkey." Actually, this creature lived before the monkeys we know of today, a mere 10 million years after the dinosaurs died out.

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Code Switch
3:16 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

The Force Is With The Navajo: 'Star Wars' Gets A New Translation

Star Wars has been translated into many languages — most recently, Navajo. Above, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in a scene from the 1977 classic.
20th Century Fox Film Corp. AP

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:26 pm

If you've ever wondered how to say "May the Force be with you" in Navajo, you're in luck. On July 3, a new translation of Star Wars will be unveiled on the Navajo Nation reservation in Arizona. The 1977 classic has been translated into many languages, and the latest effort is the brainchild of Manuelito Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:16 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

The Cliburn Competition After Van

Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong, 22, performs at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. The Juilliard School graduate student is among six musicians chosen for the final round.
Ralph Lauer Cliburn Foundation

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:26 pm

Six finalists for the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition were announced last night in Fort Worth, Texas. For the first time since its inception more than 50 years ago, the contest is taking place without its namesake. Cliburn died in February of cancer, and the competition is dealing with his loss and other changes as well.

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