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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U.S.
8:29 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Ala. Bunker Standoff Ends With Gunman Dead, Boy Alive

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Seigel.

A week-long hostage standoff in Alabama is over. Last week in the southeastern part of the state, a man kidnapped a boy from a school bus and took him into an underground bunker. Authorities had been trying to negotiate his release ever since. Late today, it was announced that the kidnapper is dead and the five-year-old hostage is OK.

Here's the FBI's Steve Richardson giving a statement in Midland City.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Parisian Women Now (Officially) Allowed To Wear Pants

French Minister for Women's Rights and Government Spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem wearing pants.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 5:09 pm

Parisian women have finally caught up with the 21st century (and the end of the 20th century for that matter): They can now wear pants!

January 31, the 213-year-old ban was officially lifted.

"The repeal of the law... was made by France's Minister for Women's Rights, Ms. Vallaud-Belkacem," Digital Journal reports.

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Business
4:00 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

How One Company Reinvented The Hand Dryer

Craig McCarl dips Xlerator covers two at a time into a chrome bath. He has worked for Excel Dryer in East Longmeadow, Mass., for 31 years.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:52 pm

There's a lot of talk in politics about the desirability of American manufacturing and "green" jobs. President Obama talks about both often, especially wind turbines and long-lasting batteries that are made on U.S. soil.

Robert Siegel, host of All Things Considered, recently visited a Massachusetts factory that makes a product that hits those same parameters. It's arguably a force for sustainability, nearly 40 Americans assemble it, and it's an interesting case study in innovation: the high-speed hand dryer.

'We Had A Product People Hated To Use'

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Shots - Health News
3:32 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Aging Poorly: Another Act Of Baby Boomer Rebellion

Health researchers say the proportion of people in their late 40s to 60s with diabetes, hypertension or obesity has increased over the past two decades.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:40 am

Baby boomers have a reputation for being addicted to exercise and obsessed with eating well.

But that story didn't jibe with what physician Dana E. King and his colleagues see walking through the door of their family practice every day in Morgantown, W.Va.

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Music Reviews
2:46 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Is Fleetwood Mac's Expanded 'Rumours' A Bit Much?

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 8:29 am

An expanded version of Fleetwood Mac's 1977 album Rumours comes out this week, to mark the 35th anniversary of one of the top-selling albums of the '70s. The deluxe set includes demos, outtakes from the recording sessions, live recordings and a documentary DVD, along with a vinyl pressing of the original album.

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Music News
2:09 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Remembering Karen Carpenter, 30 Years Later

Karen Carpenter, of The Carpenters, performs in London in 1974.
Tim Graham Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:38 pm

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Middle East
1:03 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Iran's Leader Embraces Facebook; Fellow Iranians Are Blocked

Iranian authorities are using cyberpolice units to crack down on people who try to access banned websites, including social media sites such as Facebook. Here, Iranians use computers at an Internet cafe in Tehran in January.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 8:29 am

When Iran's supreme leader got a Facebook page in December, Iranians sat up and blinked.

Some thought it was a fake, finding it hard to believe that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would be using a technology that his own government blocks. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman skeptically wondered how many "likes" it would attract.

But some of Khamenei's supporters quickly rallied behind the move, which first came to light in a reference on — you guessed it — the ayatollah's Twitter account.

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National Security
10:56 am
Mon February 4, 2013

The CIA And The Hazards Of Middle East Forecasting

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is flanked by senior military officers as he reviews maps of battlefield developments in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. He's shown at army headquarters in Cairo on Oct. 15, 1973. Egypt and Syria attacked Israel, catching Israel and the CIA off-guard.
AP

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 6:48 am

Government agencies do not often acknowledge their own errors, but the CIA has done just that with the declassification of intelligence memoranda on the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

The documents show that agency analysts, down to the last minute before the outbreak of fighting, were assuring President Nixon, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and other policymakers that Egypt and Syria were unlikely to attack Israel.

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Europe
8:45 am
Mon February 4, 2013

For Greeks, Painful Cuts Keep Tearing At The Social Fabric

Georgia Kolia, 63, has two adult children, both unemployed. She works as a volunteer distributing loaves of bread at the Agia Zonis Orthodox church soup kitchen for the poor in Athens, Greece, in April 2012.
John Kolesidis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 4:12 pm

Greeks are feeling the squeeze. The social repercussions of three years of austerity measures imposed by international lenders are hitting hard. Thousands of businesses have shut down, unemployment is nearly 27 percent and rising, and the once dependable safety net of welfare benefits is being pulled in.

With further cutbacks and tax hikes about to kick in, Greece's social fabric is being torn apart.

Nowhere are cutbacks more visible and painful than in health care.

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Health
4:16 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Health Care Aides Await Labor Decision On Minimum Wage

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 2:11 pm

Home health care aides are waiting to find out if they will be entitled to receive minimum wage. A decades-old amendment in labor law means that the workers, approximately 2.5 million people, do not always receive minimum wage or overtime.

The Obama administration has yet to formally approve revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would change that classification.

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Author Interviews
2:37 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

'Disaster Diaries' Will Help You Survive The End Of The World

Courtesy Penguin Press

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:16 pm

From movies about outbreaks, to television shows about zombies, to books about Armageddon, we're in love with the end of the world.

Author Sam Sheridan wants to teach you how to survive it, no matter the catastrophe. His new book is called Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse.

He's got the skill set to prepare us: Sheridan's resume includes wilderness firefighting, construction work in the South Pole, and everything in between.

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Health
1:26 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Got A Superbug? Bring In The Robots

Disinfecting robots at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore spray rooms with toxic doses of hydrogen peroxide to kill dangerous drug-resistant bacteria.
Rebecca Hersher/NPR

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:16 pm

Drug-resistant bacteria are a growing problem at hospitals across the country. The bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and Clostridium difficile, are difficult to prevent and impossible to treat.

"The problem is expanding, and it's going up and up and up," explains Dr. Trish Perl of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "We're running out of antibiotics to treat, and so the challenge is can we prevent?"

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Animals
1:13 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Wood Stork's Endangered Status Is Up In The Air

A wood stork soars over its nest in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Fort Myers, Fla., in 2008, as baby wood storks wait in their nest for an adult to bring food.
Peter Andrew Bosch MCT /Landov

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:16 pm

The last few years have been especially tough in South Florida for wading birds such as egrets, herons, ibises and wood storks that feed and nest in the region's wetlands.

The problem is there are fewer wetlands, and the last few years have been dry, reducing water levels in critical areas.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
12:20 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

The Movie Jonathan Levine Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Jon Voight and Jane Fonda in a scene from the Hal Ashby film Coming Home.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:16 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.

The movie that writer-director Jonathan Levine, whose credits include The Wackness, 50/50 and Warm Bodies — currently playing in theaters — could watch a million times is Hal Ashby's Coming Home.

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Sports
9:57 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Keeping Those Jerseys Unwashed For The Big Win

49ers fan Kristofer Noceda (third from left) with friends at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
Kristofer Noceda

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:16 pm

Sports fans and athletes alike are notorious for superstitions. Take Michael Jordan, who would famously wear his North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform.

On Super Bowl Sunday, fans on both sides of the country are engaging in some odd behavior: donning unwashed jerseys, sporting fresh facial hair and sitting in that oh-so-special spot.

While the routines may seem silly, superstitions may actually have helped us evolve as a species.

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The Record
6:28 am
Sun February 3, 2013

A Small-Time Wordsmith Hits It Big In Nashville

Once a poet and an English teacher, Jim McCormick has become a powerhouse Nashville songwriter.
Scott Saltzman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:21 pm

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Sports
2:49 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Inside The Training Room: Uncovering Football's Scars

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 4:41 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan. And if it's anything like last year, tomorrow's Super Bowl will reach more than 111 million viewers, in this country alone. And while the game ends for the fans tomorrow night, for players, the effects will likely linger on.

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Medical Treatments
2:42 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

FDA Challenges Stem Cell Companies As Patients Run Out Of Time

Scientists have seen promise in the potential of stem cells, but not everyone agrees stem cell replacement therapy is ready for prime time.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 8:30 am

Americans seeking stem cell replacement therapy hope the process can heal them of myriad diseases, and a 2011 report by the Baker Institute estimated the industry could bring in $16 billion in revenue by 2020.

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Music Interviews
2:27 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Wayne Shorter On Jazz: 'How Do You Rehearse The Unknown?'

Wayne Shorter turns 80 this year. His newest album is called Without a Net.
Robert Ascroft Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 4:41 pm

The New York Times doesn't mince words when it writes, "Wayne Shorter is generally acknowledged to be jazz's greatest living composer."

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Three-Minute Fiction
10:03 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Round 10: Leave A Message After The Beep

Author Mona Simpson is the judge for Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction. She has written five works of fiction (among other short stories and essays): Anywhere but Here, The Lost Father, A Regular Guy, Off Keck Road and My Hollywood.
Alex Hoerner

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 9:59 pm

It's Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction, the short story contest from weekends on All Things Considered. Here's the premise: Write a piece of original fiction that can be read in about three minutes (no more than 600 words).

Our judge for this round is author Mona Simpson, whose most recent book is My Hollywood. She most recently won a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among other prizes. Here's her twist for Round 10:

Write a story in the form of a voice-mail message.

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Shots - Health News
5:17 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

White House Tries Again To Find Compromise On Contraception

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:35 pm

The Obama administration on Friday issued another set of proposed rules — and asked for yet another round of public comments — in a continuing quest to find a way to ensure that women receive no-cost contraception as part of a package of preventive health services under the 2010 Affordable Care Act without requiring religious employers to violate their beliefs.

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Health Care
4:33 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Obama Administration Wades Into Birth Control Coverage Fray

The Obama administration has issued a proposal detailing how coverage for contraception will be paid for under Obamacare. The health overhaul law requires insurance plans to provide birth control coverage, but those opposed to artificial contraception argue they should not be made to use their own funds to pay for it. Audie Cornish talks to Julie Rovner.

It's All Politics
4:13 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

What's Behind Rubio's 'Full Circle Back' On Immigration?

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, is among a bipartisan group of eight senators who this week announced a plan to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Marco Rubio has been the junior senator from Florida for barely two years, but he's already considered a likely 2016 presidential contender.

The 41-year-old Republican's political star rose still higher this week when he joined a bipartisan group of senators offering a path to citizenship to millions of unauthorized immigrants.

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Economy
4:02 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Pentagon Remains Big Target In Likely Budget Cuts

The winding down of the war in Afghanistan and efforts to slice the budget deficit will likely mean more spending cuts for the Pentagon.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

The economy shrunk in the fourth quarter — for the first time in three years — and one of the critical reasons was a drop in defense spending. Apparently, contractors took precautionary steps and held onto money in case the federal government failed to avert the fiscal and tax crisis known as the fiscal cliff.

But there's now a new deadline — automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, which may hit at the beginning of March.

The Effect On Contractors

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Latin America
3:59 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

The Mexico-Canada Guest Worker Program: A Model For The U.S.?

Armando Tenorio at his home in Mexico last December. Tenorio spends most of the year working on a blueberry farm in Canada, on a temporary work permit, to support his family in Mexico.
Dominic Bracco II The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:29 am

In the U.S., farmers and farm workers alike say the current system to import temporary workers, especially in agriculture, is slow and fraught with abuses.

But the shape of a new guest-worker program is still being hashed out. Some say the U.S. should import temporary workers the same way Canada does. For nearly four decades, the governments of Canada and Mexico have cooperated to fill agriculture jobs that Canadian citizens won't do, and that Mexicans are clamoring to get.

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Latin America
3:31 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

As U.S. Consumes Less Cocaine, Brazil Uses More

Brazilian federal police patrol the Mamore River, which separates Brazil from Bolivia. The river is used by traffickers to ferry cocaine from Bolivia into Brazil, where cocaine consumption is rising rapidly.
Juan Forero Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 5:55 pm

As cocaine consumption falls in the United States, South American drug traffickers have begun to pioneer a new soft target for their product: big and increasingly affluent Brazil.

And the source of the cocaine is increasingly Bolivia, a landlocked country that shares a 2,100-mile border with Brazil.

As Brazilian police officers and border agents can attest, the drug often finds its way to Brazil by crossing the Mamore River, which separates the state of Rondonia from Bolivia in the heart of South America.

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Around the Nation
3:05 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

South L.A. Teens Doubt New Laws Will Change Gun Culture

Handguns collected in South-Central Los Angeles as part of a Gun for Gift Card exchange in 2009. One teenager here says getting a gun on the streets is just "one phone call away."
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:04 am

On 53rd Street and Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles, violent members of at least six gangs run the streets. A landmark church is boarded up and tagged. There are liquor stores and abandoned lots. On Tuesday night, there was a drive-by shooting two blocks away, and folks are expecting retaliation. This is an area where murders, robberies and rapes are common — and so are guns.

"There's too many guns out there," says Randolph Wright, 18. "I can tell you right now, every hood has an AK[-47]. Regardless of whatever other gun they got, they have an AK."

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Business
4:18 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Grounding Of 787s Creates Doubts About 'Business As Usual' At Boeing

Investigators are still looking into the cause of fires and overheating aboard Boeing's new 787s.
Shizuo Kambayashi AP

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 5:39 pm

Boeing generated more cash than expected last year and reclaimed the top spot over rival Airbus as the world's biggest airplane maker.

But all that was overshadowed by the fact that its entire fleet of 787s is grounded after batteries on two of its planes either overheated or caught fire.

"For 2013, our first order of business, obviously, is getting the 787 back into service," Boeing CEO James McNerney says.

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Shots - Health News
4:18 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Gut Microbes May Play Deadly Role In Malnutrition

Researchers followed 300 sets of twins in Malawi for the first three years of their life. In many cases, only one twin developed severe malnutrition, while the other remained healthier.
Photograph courtesy of Tanya Yatsunenko

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 8:44 am

There's a part of our body that's only now getting mapped: the trillions of microbes, mostly bacteria, that live in our guts.

Some scientists describe this community as a previously unnoticed vital organ. It appears to play a role in how quickly we gain weight and how well we fight off disease.

A study published in the journal Science suggests that changes in this community of microbes also may cause kwashiorkor, a kind of deadly malnutrition.

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Music News
3:51 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Remembering Butch Morris, The Man Who Conducted Improvisation

Butch Morris leads a conduction at the 2007 Skopje Jazz Festival in Macedonia.
Samir Ljuma for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 4:18 pm

The jazz musician Butch Morris was beloved by his fellow musicians and acclaimed by critics and fans for his ability to conduct improvisation. While that may sound like a contradiction, Morris pulled it off — with jazz musicians and symphony orchestras around the world.

A resident of New York City, he died yesterday in a Brooklyn hospital of cancer. He was 65 years old.

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