All Things Considered

On May 3, 1971, at 4 PM central, All Things Considered debuted on 90 public radio stations.

In the 40+ years since, almost everything about the program has changed, from the hosts, producers, editors and reporters to the length of the program, the equipment used and even the audience.

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However there is one thing that remains the same: each show consists of the biggest stories of the day, thoughtful commentaries, insightful features on the quirky and the mainstream in arts and life, music and entertainment, all brought alive through sound.

All Things Considered is the most listened-to, afternoon drive-time, news radio program in the country. Every weekday the two-hour show is hosted by Audie Cornish, Kelly McEvers, Bob MeyerRobert Siegel, and Ari Shapiro.  In 1977, ATC expanded to seven days a week with a one-hour show on Saturdays and Sundays, 4-5 PM.  Michel Martin hosts on the weekends.

During each broadcast, stories and reports come to listeners from NPR reporters and correspondents based throughout the United States and the world, along with reports from NPR Illinois journalists. The hosts interview newsmakers and contribute their own reporting. Rounding out the mix are the disparate voices of a variety of commentators, including Sports Commentator Stefen Fatsis, Poet Andrei Codrescu and Political Columnists David Brooks and E.J. Dionne with The Week in Politics.

All Things Considered has earned many of journalism's highest honors, including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and the Overseas Press Club Award.

 

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca — who oversees the largest municipal jail system in the country — is facing growing pressure to bow out of the race for what could be his fifth term.

There's a lot that's been piling up against Sheriff Baca lately. At the top of the list is an FBI probe into what's been described as a systemic pattern of unnecessary force against inmates in county jails.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And we wrap up this week's All Tech Considered with a story out of Finland.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This past weekend, 80 people from six countries competed in the annual Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships. The Finns shut out the competition, winning first, second and third place overall.

SIEGEL: The top tosser threw his handheld device an impressive 320 feet. The top woman on the field was a 31-year-old Swede - Asa Lundgren. Her distance: 132 feet. She's a newcomer to the sport but threw javelin in her youth.

Cubicle culture can be so confining that it's become a cliche. A line from the cult film classic Office Space sums it up: "I have eight different bosses right now," grouses bleary-eyed tech company employee Peter Gibbons. "So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation. It's not to be hassled."

"There is no second chance ... there is no margin of error whatsoever."

News that National Security Agency officers sometimes abuse domestic intelligence gathering practices to monitor potential love interests has led to a sweeping, satirical response by The People of The Internet. On Tumblr and Twitter, the #NSAPickupLines and #NSALovePoems hashtags have sparked all sorts of creativity from users poking fun at the potential intrusion of the NSA into our personal lives.

Quitting Your Job For Fantasy Football

Aug 25, 2013

You may just call it late summer; for many die-hard sports fans, it's called fantasy football drafting season.

Fantasy sports is a huge business, with an estimated 36 million people in the U.S. and Canada picking teams and talkin' trash, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

And now we may be at a tipping point.

One man - Drew Dinkmeyer - actually left his job as an investment analyst to play fantasy sports full-time.

The Howl Of The Eastern Timber Wolf

Aug 25, 2013

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JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's August, and that means a lot of us are looking for something out of the ordinary to do. And every August for the past 50 years, people from all around the world have made the journey to Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario to hear the howl of the eastern timber wolf, once a ubiquitous sound in the wild. Reporter Natasha Haverty sends this postcard.

RICK STRONKS: OK. How many people are here from outside Canada and the U.S.? Look at that. Amazing.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, 15 members of the Renaissance Street Singers gathered under a bridge in New York's Central Park. With little fanfare, they launched into a free, two-hour concert of music by Palestrina, des Prez and other composers who lived more than 500 years ago.

A suburban county on Long Island, N.Y., is taking a novel approach to monitoring sex offenders: It's giving the job to a victims' advocacy group.

The measure was approved unanimously earlier this year; lawmakers call it a cost-effective way to keep citizens safe. But a local lawyer calls it a "vigilante exercise," and convicted sex offenders are organizing to challenge the legislation.

'The Trackers'

Patricia Polacco has written and illustrated more than 90 picture books. Her young readers are drawn to her stories about family and growing up. She has won many awards for her illustrations, which are done in gorgeous, full watercolor. Polacco's latest book is called The Blessing Cup.

Polacco tells NPR's Jacki Lyden that early life had a profound effect on her work. Many of her books feature her grandmother, called "Babushka" in Yiddish, and take place on her grandmother's farm in Michigan.

Evan Roth knows how to get a rise out of the people and organizations he targets.

Over his career, the Michigan-born "hacker-artist" has taken on Google, the Transportation Safety Administration, and — most bravely of all — Justin Bieber's fans, Beliebers.

Some might call him a prankster, a rabble-rouser, or an enfant terrible, but Roth prefers "hacker-artist" despite the connotation that "hacker" might hold for some people.

On that sweltering August day in 1963, almost a quarter-million people thronged the National Mall, from the Washington Monument to the columned marble box that is the Lincoln Memorial. The crowning moment, of course, was Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Next month, a scientific committee sponsored by the United Nations will put out its latest assessment of climate change. The report is expected to underscore yet again that climate change is a serious problem and human beings are largely responsible.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents a consensus view of hundreds of scientists from around the world. The effort shared the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

By the standard of normal golfing mortals, Tiger Woods has had an incredible summer. He's won multiple tournaments and millions of dollars in prize money. What he didn't do was win any of golf's four major championships, and that has led some to write off Woods' 2013 as a failure.

Haven't I Heard This Song Before?

Aug 23, 2013

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Nothing suggests summer like a game of softball. As part of our Summer Nights series, we're visiting Murdy Park in Huntington Beach, California, for a game of senior women's softball. It was a game between the Mighty's and the Misfits. Gloria Hillard reports.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: All right. Let's go, ladies.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. As a television network, ESPN pays billions of dollars to sports leagues for the right to show their games, but its reporters also cover those leagues. Those two roles came into conflict this week when ESPN announced it is pulling out of a project investigating the concussion crisis in the National Football League. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now, as he does most Fridays. Hey there, Stefan.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

China's Communist Party had hoped a high profile corruption trial this week would send a message that the party punishes its own and operates under the rule of law. But so far, the trail of former Politburo member Bo Xilai hasn't quite worked out that way. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports on how China's biggest case in decades is toying with the expectations of the millions of people following the trial.

As thousands gather in Washington over the next week to the mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, you may be moved to look for video of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech," which he delivered in front of the Lincoln Memorial during that march.

It might surprise you that it is actually quite hard to find — because while many copies have been uploaded to Internet video sites, many have also been taken down.

Why, you ask? It's all about copyright.

Ichiro Suzuki got his 4000th hit on Wednesday, joining Ty Cobb and Pete Rose as the only baseball players to reach that milestone.

The former politician Bo Xilai offered a spirited defense in court in China on Thursday, surprising observers who had expected a quick show trial to end the country's biggest political scandal in decades. However Bo was allowed to cross-examine witnesses and tell judges he had been framed in the bribery charges against him. He said he had confessed to the charges under psychological pressure during interrogation.

More than 330,000 people filed new claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week. That sounds like a big number — and is a slight increase over the previous week — but it's being taken as some very good news. For a month, now, fewer new people are asking for unemployment insurance than at any time since November, 2007. That's before the Great Recession.

One day about eight years ago, chef Dan Barber of the famed Blue Hill restaurant at Stone Barns in the Hudson River Valley got a FedEx package from someone he didn't know.

Inside were two ears of corn. And a letter.

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios pulls out his smartphone, enters his library-card number and begins downloading an album by local metal band Blizzard at Sea.

"So it's extracting now," he says, eyes on the screen. "It's at about 90 percent."

The download takes about five minutes to complete. Paulios says it's a great way to check out local music: You could be waiting for a concert to start, download an album by the band you're about to see and then listen to it on the way home.

When the drug company Merck Animal Health announced plans to suspend sales of its Zilmax feed additive last week, many observers were shocked.

Yet concern about Zilmax and the class of growth-promotion drugs called beta agonists has been building for some time. In an interesting twist, the decisive pressure on Zilmax did not come from animal welfare groups or government regulators: It emerged from within the beef industry itself, and from academic experts who have long worked as consultants to the industry.

It's back-to-school season for college students — and President Obama plans to be right there with them.

The president will spend the next two days on a bus tour of New York and Pennsylvania that includes stops at three colleges and a high school. At each stop, he'll be talking about ways to make college more affordable.

The president's big black bus will make its first stop at the University at Buffalo on Thursday — the same day incoming freshmen will be moving in, hauling suitcases and mini-refrigerators.

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