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.  

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Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

South Boston Transformed In Whitey Bulger's Absence

Four decades after James "Whitey" Bulger first rose to power, "Southie" is not what it used to be. The once blue-collar, Irish-Catholic neighborhood is now an ethnic melting pot that has been invaded by young urban professionals who have gentrified the area and smoothed out its once-rough edges.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:31 pm

When the FBI brought reputed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger back to his old stomping ground of South Boston to be tried in federal court after 16 years on the lam, he must have done a double take. The neighborhood that Bulger is accused of terrorizing with murders and extortion is booming.

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Detroit Files For Bankruptcy

Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 3:32 am

(This story last updated at 6:45 p.m. ET)

The city of Detroit has filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, seeking Chapter 9 protection from creditors and unions owed some $18.5 billion in debt and liabilities.

In a news conference on Thursday, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said he didn't want to go into bankruptcy, but the city will now "have to make the best of it."

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Environment
3:22 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Wildfires Will Worsen, And Further Strain The Forest Service

An aircraft lays down a line of fire retardant between a wildfire and homes in the dry, densely wooded Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs, Colo., on June 13.
John Wark AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:13 pm

The deaths of 19 firefighters near Yarnell, Ariz., this summer have focused a lot of attention on just how bad wildfire has become in the West. And research predicts the situation is going to get worse.

Over the past decade, the region has seen some of the worst fire seasons on record. In addition to lives lost, the fires have cost billions in terms of lost property and in taxpayer money spent fighting the blazes.

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Where Are All Of Wyomings Escalators?

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Turning now to escalator news, specifically Wyoming escalator news.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There is a reported paucity of moving staircases in the Cowboy State, and that shortcoming has been posited as an argument for Wyoming to have fewer than its allotted pair of senators.

CORNISH: The argument goes like this: Why should a state with only two escalators get two senators?

BLOCK: Well, for some insight, we turn to the self-proclaimed escalator editor of the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune.

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U.S.
3:12 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Furloughs Cut Into Classtime At U.S. Military Bases

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:31 pm

Civilian furloughs have begun at U.S. military installations worldwide. The mandatory days off without pay, prompted by the current round of budget cuts known as sequestration, are looming over Defense Department-run schools that serve the children of military families. For teachers at the nation's most populous Army base, Fort Bragg, cuts mean no new textbooks and a loss of school days.

Shots - Health News
2:37 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

World's Biggest Virus May Have Ancient Roots

Pandoraviruses were discovered lurking in the mud of Chile and Australia, half a world apart.
courtesy of Chantal Abergel and Jean-Michel Claverie

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 5:14 am

Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.

In mythology, opening Pandora's Box released evil into the world. But there's no need to panic. This new family of virus lives underwater and doesn't pose a major threat to human health.

"This is not going to cause any kind of widespread and acute illness or epidemic or anything," says Eugene Koonin, an evolutionary biologist at the National Institutes of Health who specializes in viruses.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Man Who Hoped To Testify Against Whitey Bulger Is Found Dead

Stephen Rakes as he arrived at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Boston on June 12 for the first day of the "Whitey" Bulger's trial.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:31 pm

Stephen "Stippo" Rakes, who claimed that notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger forced him — at gunpoint — to sell a liquor store in 1984, was found dead Wednesday in Lincoln, Mass.

According to the Middlesex (Mass.) District Attorney's office, "there were no obvious signs of trauma. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death."

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The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

EPA Building Named For Bill Clinton; He Says That's Fitting

Former President Bill Clinton hugs House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California as another Democrat, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, looks on at Wednesday's ceremony naming the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters for him.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:11 pm

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Arts & Life
4:53 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

For Actress Ruby Keeler, Another Opening, Another Show

Broadway performer Ruby Keeler was a source of optimism for many during the Depression era, and nostalgia hit audiences hard when she returned to the stage decades later.
General Photographic Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:11 pm

Ruby Keeler was an unknown actress when she starred in the 1933 production of Busby Berkeley's 42nd Street.

But the movie was so popular she was able to land two more splashy musicals that same year — and seven more by the end of the decade. There was nothing extraordinary about her talents as a vocalist or as an actress, but audiences of the Depression era really bought into Keeler's "innocent" onstage persona. In fact, they craved it.

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Politics
4:22 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Congress Debates Taking A Step Back From The Mortgage Market

The government took over mortgage giants Fannie Mae (seen in 2010) and Freddie Mac in 2008, during the worst of the housing crisis.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:11 pm

The mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got hit so hard by the housing crisis that they required a massive federal rescue. Now lawmakers are looking to scale back the two entities' role — and the government's — in the mortgage market.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote Thursday on President Obama's nominee to head the agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie.

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Planet Money
4:05 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

The 'Ask Your Uncle' Approach To Economics

The Federal Reserve, home of the Beige Book.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:11 pm

The Beige Book is weird. It's an economic report released by the Federal Reserve every few months, but it doesn't have many numbers in it. Mostly, it's a bunch of stories gathered by talking to businesses around the country. A Fed economist once described it as the "Ask Your Uncle" approach to figuring out what's going on in the economy.

In the Beige Book released today, for example, we learned that:

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

'We're Here To Stay' Says Newly Confirmed Consumer Watchdog

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Ron Sachs/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:11 pm

One day after his two years in limbo ended and he was confirmed by the Senate as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray told NPR that though political bickering held up his nomination he now believes he has bipartisan support for the bureau's work.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Bernanke Gives Economic Road Map With Uncertain Timeline

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:11 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

One month ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke introduced the idea of winding down the Fed's massive stimulus programs. On that announcement, the markets tanked. Today, Bernanke said pretty much the same thing. But this time, the markets yawned.

As NPR's John Ydstie explains, the Fed chairman appears to have finally found the formula to ease Wall Street's concerns.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

'Rolling Stone' Cover On Bomb Suspect Stirs Controversy

Rolling Stone's August cover shows accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev. Melissa Block speaks with Will Dana, managing editor of Rolling Stone magazine, about the editorial process of choosing cover photos, and why they chose this one.

The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Newly Discovered Dinosaur Sure Had One 'Supersize Schnoz'

An artist's image of Nasutoceratops titusi.
Lukas Panzarin for the Natural History Museum of Utah

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:11 pm

The Proceedings of the Royal Society politely refers to it as a "short-snouted horned dinosaur."

National Geographic is less reserved and gets right to the obvious point: "Paleontologists have discovered a new dinosaur, a Triceratops relative with a supersize schnoz that once roamed present-day Utah."

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All Tech Considered
1:51 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Clever Hacks Give Google Glass Many Unintended Powers

Stephen Balaban has re-engineered his Google Glass to allow for facial recognition.
Courtesy of Stephen Balaban

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:55 pm

At Philz Coffee in Palo Alto, Calif., a kid who looks like he should still be in high school is sitting across from me. He's wearing Google Glass. As I stare into the device's cyborg eye, I'm waiting for its tiny screen to light up.

Then, I wait for a signal that Google Glass has recognized my face.

It isn't supposed to do that, but Stephen Balaban has hacked it.

"Essentially what I am building is an alternative operating system that runs on Glass but is not controlled by Google," he said.

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Book Reviews
7:00 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Book Review: 'Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish'

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The writer and humorist David Rakoff died last year at the age of 47 of cancer. He left behind his final work: a brief novel in verse with the long title "Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish." It was published today, and Alan Cheuse has this review.

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Education
4:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

The Charter School Vs. Public School Debate Continues

The latest study says kids learn better in charter schools than in public schools. But even charter school supporters question the study and its methods of research.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:00 pm

Charter schools turn 21 this year. In that time, these privately run, publicly funded schools have spread to 41 states and enrolled more than 2 million students.

But one key question lingers: Do kids in charter schools learn more than kids in traditional public schools?

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Television
4:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

McCarthy's Vaccination Stance Complicates Job On 'The View'

Jenny McCarthy, a regular guest host on The View, has been selected as a permanent co-host beginning in September. The appointment has sparked controversy because of McCarthy's anti-vaccination advocacy.
Donna Svennevik ABC via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:59 pm

The newest co-host for Barbara Walters' chatfest The View is a vivacious and outspoken model, actor and activist for children, seemingly a perfect person to have at the table of the successful network talk show.

But Jenny McCarthy is also one of the nation's leading skeptics about the safety of vaccines. And in that role, ABC's newest star has stirred consternation.

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Around the Nation
4:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

San Diego Mayor Accused Of Sexually Harassing Women

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Pressure is growing on the mayor of San Diego to resign. Democrat Bob Filner is being accused by former friends and supporters of sexually harassing women. Filner has apologized, but he also says he's innocent until proven otherwise.

Sandhya Dirks of member station KPBS has the story.

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The Salt
3:49 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Can Oysters With No Sex Life Repopulate The Chesapeake Bay?

Young oysters live on old oyster shells and slowly mature while forming a complete shell.
Astrid Riecken Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:00 pm

The Chesapeake Bay once supplied half the world's oyster market. But pollution, disease and over-harvesting have nearly wiped out the population. It's a dire situation that's united former adversaries to revive the oyster ecosystem and industry.

Scientists and watermen have joined forces to plant underwater farms in the bay with a special oyster bred in a lab. Called triploid oysters, they have been selected for attributes like disease tolerance and fast growth.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

LISTEN: 'Light Warlpiri,' The New Language In Australia

A screen image from a video that professor Carmel O'Shannessy has created. In it, a girl tells a story in "Light Warlpiri," the language O'Shannessy reports she discovered in Australia.
Carmel O'Shannessy

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:00 pm

  • From 'All Things Considered': Carmel O'Shannessy tells Audie Cornish about the origin of 'Light Warlpiri.'

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Author Interviews
3:31 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

A Dark Family Secret Hidden For Years In Alaska's 'Wilderness'

Before Alaska, the Pilgrim family — seen here in 1992 — lived an isolated life in New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Courtesy of Kurina Rose Hale

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:00 pm

In early 2002, a pair of battered old trucks drove through deep snow into a tiny Alaska ghost town carrying a large family that looked to be from another century.

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Baseball League Creates 'Islands' Of Refuge For Camden Kids

Angel Ramirez, a North Camden Little League player, walks through the Sixth Street drug corridor, known as "Heroin Highway," on his way home from practice in Camden, N.J. The Little League program is aimed at keeping kids in the struggling city engaged in a sport after school.
Gabe Dinsmoor for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:00 pm

At a small park in Pyne Poynt on the north side of Camden, N.J., kids take practice cuts on the infield dirt and adjust their hats. A small but enthusiastic crowd shouts words of encouragement, but the cheering parents and playful bench-side scuffles only momentarily disguise the troubles in the city. Baggies, vials and hypodermic needles litter the same field where practice is being held.

"Each day, our kids walk past drug sets and open air drug use," says Bryan Morton, the North Camden Little League president.

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Race
5:13 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Zimmerman Verdict Feels Personal For Some In Service Sorority

Attorney General Eric Holder greets Alexis Margaret Herman, member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, before speaking at the organization's convention.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 6:54 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder looked out over a sea of women in red on Monday and invoked his wife, a member of the influential African-American sorority Delta Sigma Theta. Holder was addressing the sorority's national convention in its centennial year.

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Books News & Features
5:13 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Aparecium! J.K. Rowling Revealed As 'Cuckoo' Mystery Author

Rowling says writing under a pseudonym was a "liberating experience."
Debra Hurford Brown

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:54 pm

It's a detective story — about a detective story. The book in question is The Cuckoo's Calling, a debut novel released earlier this year by a former British military man named Robert Galbraith.

The reviews were excellent — especially for a first novel. There was just one hitch: The Cuckoo's Calling wasn't a debut at all. Nor was it by Robert Galbraith. As The Sunday Times revealed this weekend, Galbraith is a pseudonym for one of the best-known writers working today: Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling.

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Books News & Features
4:37 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

How Scholastic Sells Literacy To Generations Of New Readers

Scholastic started out in 1920 as a four-page magazine written for high school students. Above, an early issue published in September 1922.
Courtesy of Scholastic

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:13 pm

Chances are you have had contact with Scholastic Publishing at some point in your life: You might have read their magazines in school, or bought a book at one of their book fairs, or perhaps you've read Harry Potter or The Hunger Games? From its humble beginning as publisher of a magazine for high schoolers, Scholastic has become a $2 billion business and one of the biggest children's book publishers in the world.

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The Salt
4:18 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

The Secret To Georgian Grilled Meats? Grapevines And Lots Of Wine

Shashlik cooks on a hot grill. Kakheti, the easternmost province in the Republic of Georgia, is known for meats grilled over grapevines, which burn quickly, leaving a heap of finger-sized coals.
Nick Grabowski via Flickr

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 2:27 pm

Tucked between Russia and Turkey, the Republic of Georgia is renowned for great food: cheese dishes, pickles, breads and stews. This is a cuisine that you should not miss.

And on summer evenings in the capital, Tbilisi, the air is fragrant with the smells of one of Georgian cookery's highlights: grilled meat, or shashlik.

You can find good shashlik at restaurants with white tablecloths, but the very best in all Tbilisi is said to be at a roadside stop called Mtsvadi Tsalamze. It's an unassuming place with rows of wooden picnic tables in an open yard.

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The Salt
4:13 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

In Argentina, Coca-Cola Tests Market For 'Green' Coke

Coca-Cola Life, a new product being rolled out in Argentina with a green label, is being marketed as a "natural" and therefore lower-calorie cola.
Coca-Cola

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:40 pm

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Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court
3:17 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

After DOMA Ruling, Binational Gay Couples Face New Issues

Brian Mathers calls his husband, Isidro, in Mexico from his living room in Sioux City, Iowa. Brian and Isidro have been separated for more than a year by immigration laws that did not recognize their marriage.
Durrie Bouscaren NPR

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:13 pm

Now that the Supreme Court struck down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, same-sex couples can apply for their foreign-born husbands, wives and fiancees to join them in the United States.

There are an estimated 28,000 gay and lesbian binational couples in the country, and for years many have been separated by immigration laws that didn't recognize their marriage.

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