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.
3:05 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Obama Warns Of Dangerous Consequences If Debt Limit Isn't Raised

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

We begin this hour with the end of President Obama's first term. He's got less than a week before next Monday's inauguration. This morning, he capped things off with an hour-long news conference in the White House East Room. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, most of the focus was on a rash of recent financial crises that Washington itself has created.

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The Salt
3:04 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Women With A Berry-Snacking Habit May Have Healthier Hearts

Regular consumption of blueberries, such as these found at Butler's Orchard in Maryland, may prevent heart attacks in middle-aged women.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 8:08 am

When it comes to supernutritious foods, the blueberry has long had a health halo floating over it.

Going back to Colonial times when Native Americans and English settlers ground up blueberries and added them to porridge, in both dried and fresh forms, there have been hints of health-promoting effects.

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The Impact of War
2:56 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Military Suicides Hit Record High In 2012

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The war in Afghanistan may be winding down, but the toll on soldiers and Marines back home is not. The military has tallied suicides among active duty troops last year, and the number is at a record level. NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman joins us now. And, Tom, suicides were up again among troops in 2012?

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National Security
3:45 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

Uncertainty Looms For Pentagon In Obama's Second Term

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 5:25 pm

America's military future is decidedly undecided.

Looming sequestration cuts of massive proportions, coupled with a U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan are adding to the boiling partisanship over nominating Chuck Hegel as defense secretary. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that some of the biggest challenges for the Department of Defense come from inside U.S. borders.

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Books
3:12 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

A 'Beautiful Vision' In Science Forgotten

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 11:48 am

Emily Dickinson's poem that begins with the line "I died for beauty" inspires the title of a new biography of Dorothy Wrinch, the path-breaking mathematician who faced the kind of tumult that scientific inquiry can inspire.

Few people outside the sciences have heard of Wrinch. In 1929, she became the first woman to receive a doctorate of science from Oxford University. But that only begins her largely unknown story.

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NPR Story
3:12 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

A Bookstore Devastated By Sandy Limps Back With Some Help

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Now, to New York. Printed Matter is a bookstore in Manhattan's Chelsea district. But it's not just any bookstore. The nonprofit works with artists to create, publish and sell their work in book form. It also hosts exhibitions and performances. Over the course of nearly four decades, it's become a beloved institution in New York's art community.

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Animals
2:15 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

The Kraken Is Real: Scientist Films First Footage Of A Giant Squid

A giant squid stars in this still image taken from the footage Edie Widder shot. It's the first-ever video of these giant squids, and it'll debut in a Discovery Channel documentary airing in late January.
Edie Widder Discovery Channel

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 5:25 pm

For thousands of years, sailors have told stories of giant squids. In myth and cinema, the kraken was the most terrible of sea monsters. Now, it's been captured — on a soon-to-be-seen video.

Even after decades of searching, giant squids had only been seen in still photographs. Finally, in last July, scientists filmed the first video of a live giant squid swimming some 2,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Edie Widder is the ocean researcher who shot the footage, which is slated to be released in a Discovery Channel documentary later this month.

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Music
10:03 am
Sun January 13, 2013

'Global Village' Presents New Sounds From Spain

Barcelona-born guitarist José Luis Montón draws from classical influences, including Baroque music, in his flamenco compositions.
Dániel Vass Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 8:48 am

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Environment
3:53 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

From Corn Belt To Main Street: The Drought's Far-Reaching Grasp

The sun shines above a farm near White City, Kan., in November.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 5:37 pm

The U.S. had its hottest year on record last year. That heat, combined with the relatively dry winter that came before, has brought a historic drought.

From forest fires and low crop yields, to infrastructure and recreation, the drought has been costly, with early estimates putting the cost at between $50 billion and $80 billion.

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Analysis
2:56 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Week In News: The Debt Ceiling Whack-A-Mole

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 5:37 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS REPORTS)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The Federal Reserve should knit a trillion dollar platinum coin.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: And the government could use that to pay the debt, avoid default and pre-empt the debt ceiling crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: This is the kind of stuff that happens right before the downgrade. The last days of Rome, this is what happened.

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Movie Interviews
2:56 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Ann Dowd's One-Woman Oscar-Nomination Campaign

Ann Dowd plays Sandra, a hard-nosed Midwestern manager of a fast-food franchise in Compliance. The actress spent $13,000 to try to get an Oscar nomination for the role.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 9:01 am

Actress Ann Dowd won huge praise from critics for her role in the indie movie Compliance. But when it came time to start campaigning for nominations ahead of awards season, Magnolia Pictures — the studio that produced the film — told her they didn't have the budget to lobby the Academy for a best supporting actress award for her.

So Dowd did something exceedingly rare in Hollywood: She started her own campaign.

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Remembrances
2:56 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Remembering PFLAG Founder And Mother

Jeanne Manford, gay rights advocate and PFLAG founder.
PFLAG National

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 8:32 pm

President Obama spoke about Jeanne Manford in a speech he gave at the annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in 2009. Her son, Morty, was an important figure in New York City's gay community during the turbulent 1970s.

"Soon after the protests at Stonewall 40 years ago, the phone rang in the home of a soft-spoken elementary school teacher named Jeanne Manford," he said. A police officer told her Morty had been arrested.

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Energy
4:31 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Coal Loses Crown As King Of Power Generation

Georgia Power's coal-fired steam-turbine electric generating Plant Bowen in Euharlee, Ga., seen in 2009. The utility is planning on shuttering 15 coal- and oil-fired generating units at its facilities.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Just a few years ago, Georgia Power generated nearly three-fourths of its electricity with coal. Last year, for the first time, natural gas edged out coal, and just this week the company announced plans to close 10 coal-fired power generators within the next few years.

"We do recognize this is a historic event for our company. We've never announced this many closings at one time," says Mark Williams, a company spokesperson.

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U.S.
3:34 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Cigarette Makers Frustrated As Product Approvals Stall

A clerk prices cigarettes at Discount Smoke Shop in Ballwin, Mo. The Food and Drug Administration, which must approve all new tobacco products or any changes to existing brands, has not cleared any products since assuming that responsibility in 2009.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 5:28 pm

It's been only a few years since Congress granted the federal government the power to approve how tobacco products are made and sold in the U.S.

The Food and Drug Administration's new Center for Tobacco Products, established under a 2009 law that gives the agency jurisdiction over tobacco, must review all new cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, as well as any changes to existing brands.

But the agency has yet to clear any products under the new system, and some cigarette makers are frustrated by the backlog of applications.

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Books
2:54 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

No Going Back: A Hard Look At Bipolar Disorder

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:11 pm

For years, I've taken issue with depictions of mentally ill characters in books and movies. Irrational behavior is easily explained away: They're crazy! No need to elaborate further.

So when I picked up Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, I was apprehensive that the main character, an untreated bipolar Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and child for an international adventure, might be a kooky manic cliche.

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Business
4:26 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

To Catch Worker Misconduct, Companies Hire Corporate Detectives

Companies are turning to corporate monitors to check on employees who may be misbehaving.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:32 pm

As businesses face more complex regulations and heightened scrutiny by prosecutors, companies are turning to investigative firms to help keep watch over their employees.

The idea behind the "corporate monitoring" business is to nip misconduct in the bud before law enforcement catches a whiff of it. These corporate detectives-for-hire are seeing good business these days, and finding new ways to snoop.

We all know our employers have access to tons of data about us. They can see every person we email from our company email account, every phone number we dial from our desk.

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It's All Politics
3:57 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

For Young Republican, Defying Boehner In Washington Plays Well Back Home

Republican House Speaker John Boehner administers the oath of office to Amash during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 5, 2011, at the start of Amash's first term.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:50 pm

When the rumored rebellion against House Speaker John Boehner's bid for a second term played out last week, the very first Republican to not vote for Boehner was Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., just three names into the alphabetical roll call.

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Theater
3:52 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

'Adventure Hour' Is A New Take On Old-Time Radio

Mark Gagliardi and Autumn Reeser, as aviator Amelia Earhart, perform in The Thrilling Adventure Hour. Actors dress up and read scripts onstage in front of a live nightclub audience.
Jonathan Reilly The Thrilling Adventure Hour

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:26 pm

The creators of The Thrilling Adventure Hour proudly call it "fake radio." It's less an homage to old-time radio and more of a clever update. A live monthly performance at Largo, a 200-seat, scruffy-chic Hollywood nightclub is also available as a popular podcast through Nerdist.

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Shots - Health News
10:26 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Wake-Up Call: FDA Pushes Drugmakers To Weaken Sleeping Pills

Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:26 pm

The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it was requiring companies that make Ambien and similar sleeping pills to sharply cut the doses of the drugs.

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U.S.
3:49 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Ohio Town Roiling As Rape Case Accusations Fly

Protesters gather at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio, on Saturday, to demand justice for a girl allegedly raped by Steubenville High School football players last August.
Rick Senften WKSU

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 6:17 pm

The small river town of Steubenville, Ohio, is in turmoil over an alleged rape involving high school football players, a 16-year-old girl and accusations of a cover-up.

Steubenville is nestled in the foothills of Appalachia at the juncture of Ohio and West Virginia, less than 10 miles from the Pennsylvania border. To the west, reclaimed strip mines, woods and hills stretch far into rural Ohio. Pittsburgh lies 37 miles to the east.

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Shots - Health News
3:49 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

U.S. Ranks Below 16 Other Rich Countries In Health Report

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:46 pm

It's no news that the U.S. has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than most high-income countries. But a magisterial new report says Americans are actually less healthy across their entire life spans than citizens of 16 other wealthy nations.

And the gap is steadily widening.

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Latin America
3:29 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Buyback Program Gets Some Guns Off Mexican Streets

These weapons, in the Iztapalapa neighborhood of Mexico City, were handed over by their owners during a government program that accepts weapons in exchange for bicycles, computers, tablets or money.
Marco Ugarte AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:31 pm

In Mexico, a country plagued by drug cartel violence, the mayor of the capital city is offering residents cash, new bikes and computers in exchange for their guns. He says the buyback program will get dangerous weapons out of the hands of residents and make the streets safer.

But not all mayors in Mexico — where it's extremely difficult to legally buy a gun — are rushing to replicate the program. In fact, in cities overrun by drug traffickers, some say law-abiding citizens should be able to have them for protection.

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Around the Nation
3:11 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Thanks, But No Thanks: When Post-Disaster Donations Overwhelm

Volunteers sort through piles of donated clothes for Superstorm Sandy victims at an impromptu Staten Island aid station in November. Relief groups are still trying to figure out what to do with donated clothes people sent to New York and New Jersey in Sandy's aftermath.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:31 pm

Newtown, Conn., was so inundated with teddy bears and other donations after last month's school shootings that it asked people to please stop sending gifts. Relief groups in New York and New Jersey are still trying to figure out what to do with piles of clothes and other items sent there after Superstorm Sandy.

It happens in every disaster: People want to help, but they often donate things that turn out to be more of a burden. Disaster aid groups are trying to figure out a better way to channel these good intentions.

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Book Reviews
2:54 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

'A Life In Friendships' Is A Life Well-Lived

She Matters cover detail

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:31 pm

You know how sometimes in life you make a friend, and at first you want to talk to her all the time, feverishly telling her details that, by their very personal nature, will bind you to this other person forever, or so you hope? But inevitably, of course, friendships shift and change and become something different from what they initially seemed.

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Middle East
1:59 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Wary Of Syria's War, Israel Plans A Fence In The Golan Heights

An Israeli tank in the Golan Heights overlooks the Syrian village of Bariqa in November. Israel, which captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, says it's building a fence there because it's concerned about spillover from the Syrian war.
Ariel Schalit AP

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:04 am

Concerned about spillover from Syria's civil war, Israel says it will build a fence in the Golan Heights along the line that has effectively served as the border since wars between them in the 1960s and 1970s.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently made the announcement, says he's concerned about Syrian rebel groups that have succeeded in capturing areas close to the frontier. He says that building the fence, which would extend for more than 40 miles, is a precaution.

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Shots - Health News
12:11 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Alzheimer's Drug Dials Back Deafness In Mice

If you know some mice that took This Is Spinal Tap too literally, they might want to know about an experiment to restore hearing with a failed Alzheimer's drug.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 6:34 am

If you've spent years CRANKING YOUR MUSIC UP TO 11, this item's for you.

A drug developed for Alzheimer's disease can partially reverse hearing loss caused by exposure to extremely loud sounds, an international team reports in the journal Neuron.

Before you go back to rocking the house with your Van Halen collection, though, consider that the drug has only been tried in mice so far. And it has never been approved for human use.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Colorado Shooting Hearing Ends With Chilling Photos, No Defense Witnesses

James Holmes in a photo from the Arapahoe County (Colo.) Sheriff's Office.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 4:31 pm

In the weeks before the attack, James Holmes took photos of the Colorado movie theater where 12 people were killed and dozens more wounded in last summer's mass shooting, prosecutors revealed Wednesday at a court hearing in Colorado.

They also introduced photos he took on the night of the midnight massacre, the Denver Post reports:

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The Salt
4:52 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Farm Bill Critics Claim Partial Victory Despite Stalemate

Peanut plants grow on a Halifax, N.C., farm that received federal subsidies in 2011.
Robert Willett MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 8:20 am

It's amazing how many different kinds of people have been trying to abolish or at least change the government's payments to farmers. They include economists, environmentalists, taxpayer advocates, global anti-hunger advocates and even a lot of farmers. Some have been fighting farm subsidies for the past 20 years.

This past year, those critics laid siege to offices on Capitol Hill because the law that authorizes these programs — the farm bill — was about to expire. (It has to be renewed every five years.)

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Business
4:43 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

After The 'Fiscal Cliff,' Businesses Say Some Uncertainty Remains

U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during the tense negotiations to resolve the fiscal cliff. But the unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent last month.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:23 pm

Businesses complained that the uncertainty surrounding the "fiscal cliff" froze their decisions about hiring and expanding, which hurt the economy. Washington has now managed half a deal, which settles tax issues, at least for the time being. But has that removed enough uncertainty to boost some business hiring and investment?

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Environment
4:43 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Deep In Canadian Lakes, Signs Of Tar Sands Pollution

The Shell Oil Jackpine open pit mine uses trucks that are 3 stories tall, weigh 1 million pounds and cost $7 million each. There is explosive growth in the oil field areas around Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Canadian researchers have used the mud at the bottom of lakes like a time machine to show that tar sands oil production in Alberta, Canada, is polluting remote regional lakes as far as 50 miles from the operations.

An increasingly large share of U.S. oil comes from Canada's tar sands. There are environmental consequences of this development, but until recently, Canadian regional and federal governments left it to the industry to monitor these effects.

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