All Things Considered

Weekdays 4 -6 p.m.
Robert Siegel
Melissa Block

 In-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Every weekday, hear two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special - sometimes quirky - features.  

Genre: 

Pages

Around the Nation
4:01 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Maine Town To Vote On Key Tar Sands Ordinance

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 6:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Environmentalists are doing everything they can to prevent the transport of heavy crude known as tar sands oil through the U.S. The debate has become the focus of protests, television ads and lobbying efforts nationwide, and Maine is no exception. Maine Public Radio's Susan Sharon reports on a small but significant battle against a proposal to transport tar sands oil from Canada to a port on the coast of Maine.

Read more
Planet Money
11:12 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Top Reviewers On Amazon Get Tons Of Free Stuff

What's this?
Amazon

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:41 pm

You're on Amazon.com. You're buying, say, a toaster, and you're checking out the customer reviews. You assume the people writing these reviews are people like you — people who wanted a toaster, went online and bought one. As it turns out, a lot of reviews on Amazon are written by people who are nothing like you. They're written by elite reviewers who are sent free merchandise to review products. In other words, it's possible that the guy reviewing that toaster you're looking at wasn't in the market for a toaster to begin with and didn't pay a cent for it.

Read more
Science
5:28 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Science On Shaky Ground As Automatic Budget Cutbacks Drag On

Budget cutbacks threaten a planned upgrade of the massive Titan supercomputer, seen here, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Charles Brooks Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 11:15 am

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scientists use a powerful computer known as Titan to simulate everything from the inner workings of a nuclear reactor to the complicated effects of climate change on human populations — on a global scale. Until recently, Titan was the most powerful supercomputer on the planet, but now there's a new No. 1.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:30 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

More Technical Issues For Obamacare, But Good News For Medicare

Gone is the smiling young woman who used to grace HealthCare.gov. Now it's time to get down to work.
www.HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 4:02 pm

Monday was yet another troubled day for the Affordable Care Act.

Sunday night, the outside vendor that operates two key parts of the website that lets people browse and sign up for health insurance experienced a failure.

The failure took place at a vendor called Verizon Terremark and presumably affected other clients as well as HealthCare.gov, the federal website that people use to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Read more
U.S.
4:21 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Taking Stock Of What Was Lost And Found Post-Sandy

A house damaged by Superstorm Sandy, in Tuckerton, N.J.
Tracey Samuelson WHYY

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 11:15 am

After Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast, people returned to waterlogged homes and began to assess the damage. They created lost-and-found lists on the walls of town halls or Facebook pages to try to recover some of what the storm had swept away.

Lost: Two cedar Adirondack chairs, a necklace passed down through generations. Found: a floating dock, a high school diploma.

Now, one year after the storm, residents on the Jersey shore are still reflecting on what they lost during the storm — and what they might have gained.

Read more
NPR Story
4:21 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

How To See Forever On Your Dirty Car

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 11:15 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When you're in love with science, ordinary everyday stuff can suddenly seem extraordinary. At least that's how NPR blogger and astrophysicist Adam Frank sees it, even down to the dust on his car.

ADAM FRANK, BYLINE: Carl Sagan, an astronomer with the soul of a poet, liked to remind us that we are all star stuff. It was without a doubt one of his most beautiful images. But what really was Carl Sagan talking about? Well, there are two answers to this question.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:36 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Eeek, Snake! Your Brain Has A Special Corner Just For Them

Illustration by Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:17 pm

Anthropologist Lynne Isbell was running through a glade in central Kenya in 1992 when something suddenly caused her to freeze in her tracks. "I stopped just in front of a cobra," she says. "It was raised with its hood spread out."

Isbell, who is at the University of California, Davis, says she has spent the past couple of decades trying to understand how she could have reacted before her conscious brain even had a chance to think — cobra!

Read more
Parallels
2:50 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Brazil's Restrictions On Abortion May Get More Restrictive

Demonstrators who are critical of the Catholic Church and favor abortion rights take part in a protest in Rio de Janeiro during Pope Francis' visit to Brazil on July 27. Abortion is illegal in Brazil with rare exceptions. Some lawmakers are attempting to make it even more restrictive.
Tasso Marcelo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 11:15 am

The doctor's office is clean and white and comfortingly bland in an upscale neighborhood of Sao Paulo. We were given the address by a health professional who told us one of the doctors here gives safe abortions in a country where they are illegal.

The doctor agrees to speak on condition of anonymity after we prove we are not there to entrap him. He does not admit on tape that he terminates unwanted pregnancies. But he says openly he favors legalizing abortions.

Read more
All Tech Considered
11:47 am
Mon October 28, 2013

What You Need To Know About Babies, Toddlers And Screen Time

Eva Hu-Stiles virtually interacts with her grandmother. iPad assist by Elise Hu-Stiles.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 11:15 am

This week, we're exploring the tech frontier through the eyes of our children. So we're starting with the littlest ones — babies. Can certain kinds of screen time help babies learn?

To find some answers, I employed the help of my 1-year-old daughter, Eva. She's still a wobbly walker and the sum total of her speaking skills sound like gibberish. But she has no problem activating Siri, the virtual assistant on my iPhone. Her 16-month-old friend, Lily, is even savvier with the gadgets.

Read more
Environment
4:59 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Predicting Quakes Still Shaky, But Being Prepared Is Crucial

Cars lie smashed by the collapsed Interstate 5 connector a few hours after the Northridge earthquake on Jan. 17, 1994, in California.
AFP/Getty Images

Morning recess at St. Augustine Catholic School in Culver City, Calif., is like recess in many other schools. Children run and play in the afternoon sun. But nearby, away from the basketball hoops and the games of tag, the staff is preparing.

Next to the playground sits a cargo container full of supplies: water, duct tape, an axe, a shovel and a generator along with gasoline. All of these supplies are here just in case the freeways are cut off or the power goes out — in case there is a major, destructive earthquake.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:36 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

'We Walk In Circles,' Pursuing Dreams And Finding Creativity

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 4:59 pm

At Night We Walk in Circles is set in an unnamed, war-scarred Latin American country. The book follows young actor and aspiring playwright Nelson as he traverses his nation, performing in a provocative play called The Idiot President.

It's Daniel Alarcon's second novel — his first was Lost City Radio, published in 2007. The Peruvian author says there are some parallels between him and his protagonist, dreaming of a life as an artist.

Read more
Movie Interviews
4:36 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Word On The Street Is Oscars 'Whisper Campaigns' Have Begun

Tom Hanks stars in Captain Phillips, a film that's recently been subject to a "whisper campaign" of pre-Oscars criticism.
Hopper Stone Hopper Stone, SMPSP

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 4:59 pm

The Academy Awards are still months away, but some Hollywood insiders are already on the attack.

Studios have huge publicity machines that lobby for their movies to win, but there's also a shadowy strategy that's not as visible as the advertising blitz. It's good old-fashioned trash-talking: So-called "whisper campaigns" are a sneaky way to lobby against the competition.

Read more
Arts & Life
4:36 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

One Way For An Indie Bookstore To Last? Put Women 'First'

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 4:59 pm

As recently as 25 years ago, there were more than 100 self-described feminist bookstores in the U.S. — stores focusing on books written by and for women. Like most independent bookstores, though, their numbers have dropped dramatically over the years.

Chicago's Women and Children First is among the few feminist stores still standing, and one of the largest. The store opened 34 years ago in 1979. Now, after a long, successful run, the store's owners say they're ready to retire — and they're looking for a buyer to continue the store's mission.

Read more
Ecstatic Voices
11:13 am
Sun October 27, 2013

Accordions, Beer And God: Zydeco In Gran Texas

After years of attending church dances, Step Rideau says he was moved to connect with his heritage on a deeper level.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 4:07 pm

The modest, cream-colored '50s-era chapel that's home to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Houston looks like many other places of worship you might find in urban America. The first clue to a unique tradition here pulls up Sunday afternoon.

Read more
Music Interviews
6:05 pm
Sat October 26, 2013

For 'All Is Lost,' A Songwriter Embraces Silence

Alexander Ebert is best known for his band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, a folk band with a dozen members. His latest project is the score for All Is Lost, a film about one man lost at sea.
Stewart Cole Courtesy of the artist

Alexander Ebert may be best known as the singer and songwriter of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros — a band named for his messianic alter ego — which produced the addictive and catchy song "Home" in 2009.

He has also enjoyed a successful career as a solo artist since releasing his self-titled debut album in 2011.

Read more
Law
4:50 pm
Sat October 26, 2013

Lacking Lethal Injection Drugs, States Find Untested Backups

States across the country are facing a shortage of the drugs used for lethal injections. Some are going from a three-drug cocktail to a single drug.
Amber Hunt AP

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 6:32 pm

The U.S. is facing a shortage of a drug widely used for lethal injections. With few options, states are turning to new drugs and compounding pharmacies, rather than overseas companies.

The move is raising safety concerns, and in some cases delaying executions. Other executions are proceeding, however, and advocates are asking whether the use of new drugs violates the inmates' Eighth Amendment protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

A Witness To Lethal Injection

Read more
Author Interviews
4:19 pm
Sat October 26, 2013

Drawing Rock 'N' Roll And Sympathy Into Frankenstein's World

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 7:01 pm

Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein has been adapted countless times over the years — into films, television shows and even musicals.

In his new graphic novel adaptation of Shelley's story, illustrator Gris Grimly says he set out to make the original text more accessible.

"The first time I tried to read Frankenstein, I didn't get through it," Grimly tells NPR's Arun Rath. "Frankenstein is not the easiest read when you're young."

Read more
The New And The Next
4:19 pm
Sat October 26, 2013

A Teenage Music Phenom, Infographics, Motorcycles In Vietnam

Ozy co-founder Carlos Watson talks about a teen singer with a grown-up voice and Harleys in Vietnam.
Courtesy of Ozy.com

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 8:45 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest discoveries.

Read more
NPR Story
5:28 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Agrees To Pay $5.1 Billion To Feds

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

JPMorgan Chase agreed pay $5.1 billion to settle litigation over mortgage assets sold during the housing bubble. The deal, announced late Friday afternoon, is to resolve claims the company misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the housing market crashed. It is part of a tentative $13 billion deal the company is trying to reach with federal and state agencies over its mortgage liabilities.

Shots - Health News
5:26 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

For Obamacare To Work, It's Not Just About The Numbers

Ashley Hentze (left) gets help signing up for the Affordable Care Act from a volunteer in Florida. The government says that 40 percent of the expected enrollees for 2014 must be young and healthy for health insurance premiums to remain affordable.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 2:38 pm

Relatively few people have enrolled in new health insurance plans since the Affordable Care Act exchanges launched this month. But some health care experts say it's early days yet — and that getting the right proportion of healthy, young new enrollees is just as important as how quickly people sign up.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that 7 million people will buy health insurance for 2014 through the new exchanges, integral to the implementation of the government's new health care law.

Read more
Recipes
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Death Becomes Whimsical On Dia De Los Muertos

Melissa Block/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

On the Mexican Dia de los Muertos holiday, the living remember the dead. Some believe they are communing with the deceased. While it may sound morbid, Pati Jinich, a Mexican-born blogger, food show personality and author of Pati's Mexican Table, says it's a joyous occasion.

"People get ready to welcome people — those who have deceased and that presumably have license to visit just once a year," Jinich told All Things Considered host Melissa Block.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Pennsylvania Governor Talks Up Plan To Expand Medicaid His Way

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett speaks at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Corbett visited the hospital to promote his Healthy Pennsylvania initiative.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett may have been watching fellow Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio who bypassed the Republican Legislature in his state this week to expand Medicaid.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to make coverage available to low-income adults, with the federal government picking up the entire tab for the first three years.

Read more
Music Reviews
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Arcade Fire Takes A Dancey Turn Down A Well-Trod Path

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 1:25 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Canadian rock band Arcade Fire released their first record "Funeral" back in 2004 on a small independent label. But these days there's nothing small about them. Their third record, "The Suburbs," won a Grammy and the band's upcoming fourth album is one of the most anticipated releases of the year. It's after a much hyped appearance on "Saturday Night Live" and a half hour special on NBC. Will Hermes has this review of "Reflektor."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Read more
Parallels
3:27 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Little 'Libraires' That Could: French Law Would Keep Amazon At Bay

France's government has taken legal steps to protect the country's independent booksellers from behemoths like Amazon. It already prohibits discounts of more than 5 percent on books. Now it's considering a law that would not allow online retailers like Amazon to offer both a 5 percent discount and free shipping.
Christine Zenino Flickr

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Last year, the U.S. government took Apple to court, charging that the company illegally drove up the price of e-books. This summer, Apple lost the case.

In France, just the opposite is happening. The French government has accused Amazon of trying to push the price of physical books too low.

Limiting discounts on books is one of the ways that France is trying to ensure the survival of its independent booksellers.

Read more
Fine Art
1:54 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Forget The Lottery; You Have Better Odds Of Winning This Picasso

Pablo Picasso drew L'Homme au Gibus, or Man With Opera Hat, in 1914.
(c) Succession Picasso 2013

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Imagine buying a genuine Pablo Picasso painting valued at $1 million — and paying only $135.

That's the prize if you win the "1 Picasso for 100 Euros" raffle Sotheby's is currently putting on. It's the first time a Picasso has been offered as a raffle prize, and while 100 euros (about $135) isn't cheap for a raffle ticket, at one in about 50,000, your chances of winning are a lot better than the megalotteries a lot of people enter.

Read more
The Salt
5:25 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Almonds For Skinny Snackers? Yes, They Help Curb Your Appetite

The protein, unsaturated fat composition and fiber in almonds all very likely play a role in helping to curb appetites.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 1:54 pm

Americans seem to have a love affair with snacking.

As a society, we eat twice as many snacks as we did a generation ago. Women, on average, nosh on upwards of 400 snack calories per day, according to federal survey data. And men consume almost 600 calories a day in between meals.

So, if nibbling is our new pastime, researchers have a suggestion for one satiating snack that seems to help control our appetites: almonds.

Read more
U.S.
5:25 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Feds Recast Child Prostitutes As Victims, Not Criminals

The FBI and Department of Justice are working to encourage local law enforcement agencies to view child prostitutes as potential human trafficking victims rather than criminals.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 12:48 pm

Across the country, newly formed task forces made up of local, state and federal law enforcement officers are starting to view what was once seen as run-of-the-mill prostitution as possible instances of sex trafficking.

With support and funding from the FBI and the Justice Department, agencies are starting to work together to identify and rescue sex trafficking victims and arrest their pimps.

The new approach is being hailed by victims of trafficking and their advocates as a much-needed paradigm shift — and, the FBI says, is reaping results.

Read more
Music Interviews
4:22 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

The Life Of Doc Pomus, Songwriter To The Stars

Doc Pomus, pictured here in the 1980s, was an obscure, yet prolific songwriter who died in 1991. A.K.A. Doc Pomus is a documentary about his life.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 6:40 pm

His name would spin around and around on the vinyl, the writer of a thousand songs: Doc Pomus. As the man behind smash records including Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas," Ray Charles' "Lonely Avenue" and The Drifters' "This Magic Moment," he shaped the early sound of rock 'n' roll.

Read more
U.S.
4:22 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Abuse Allegations Leave Twin Cities Archdiocese In Turmoil

Jennifer Haselberger, former top canon lawyer for the archdiocese, found stored files detailing how some priests had histories of sexual abuse. She resigned in April.
Jennifer Simonson Minnesota Public Radio

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:25 pm

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been rocked in recent weeks by revelations from a top-level whistle-blower. The former official says church leaders covered up numerous cases of sexual misconduct by priests and even made special payments to pedophiles.

The scandal is notable not only because of the abuse but also because it happened in an archdiocese that claimed to be a national leader in dealing with the issue.

Read more
Sports
3:23 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Reversed Call Gives Sox Opening To Win World Series Game One

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The St. Louis Cardinals hope to come back against the Boston Red Sox in game two of the World Series tonight. In game one, well, just about nothing went right with the Cardinals. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us. He's covering these games from Boston. Hey there, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hi.

CORNISH: So, in the first inning, there was this big mistaken call by the umpire at second base and then a reversal of that call. What happened?

Read more

Pages