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.

 

Ways to Connect

How much does auto insurance cost in Detroit?

For an estimated 50 to 60 percent of Detroit drivers, it's actually a very good deal: "They're paying nothing, because they don't buy insurance," says Wayne Miller, an adjunct professor at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit.

He studies insurance and says Detroiters, who pay some of the highest insurance rates in the nation, have found other ways to game the system.

John Sopko, whose job is to watch over U.S. government spending in Afghanistan, says it's not his job to be a cheerleader — it's to speak truth to power.

"I am often the bringer of bad news to people. Or at least that's what some people think," he says.

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The Senate looks ready to move ahead with trade legislation, after a daylong delay that the Obama administration repeatedly described as a "snafu."

"These kinds of procedural snafus are not uncommon," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest after Democrats held up the bill, which would give President Obama authority to expedite passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

A new study finds that employer-based programs to help people stop smoking would work better if they tapped into highly motivating feelings — such as the fear of losing money.

This conclusion flows from a study involving the employees of CVS/Caremark. Some workers got postcards asking them if they wanted a cash reward to quit smoking. One card ended up in the hands of Camelia Escarcega in Rialto, Calif., whose sister works for CVS.

In recent years, Twitter has become the go-to destination for news junkies. Now, Facebook is entering a deal with nine news organizations, including The New York Times, NBC News and Buzzfeed, to run some of their in-depth articles, photos and videos inside Facebook. No need to leave the app!

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Amtrak was formed in the 1970s out of the ashes of several bankrupt rail lines, including the Penn Central. Its has been criticized for poor service, and shaky finances, but its safety record has been good.

More than 31 million passengers rode Amtrak in fiscal year 2013, the last for which figures are available. In the Northeast Corridor, more than 2,000 trains operate daily on Amtrak's rails, between commuter lines and Amtrak trains. And far more passengers ride Amtrak between Washington, New York and Boston than fly.

Negotiations are underway between the U.S. government and immigration advocates over family detention after a federal judge issued a tentative ruling that detention facilities violate standards for children.

The result of the talks could force the three family detention centers operating in the U.S. — two in Texas and one in Berks County, Pa. — to close.

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Now, to another city that's grown in population, but at the same time, has managed to cut its total water consumption, Santa Fe, N.M. We're going to find out how they've done that from Santa Fe's mayor, Javier Gonzalez. Welcome to the program.

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President Obama says overcoming poverty requires both strong families and a strong economy.

Speaking at Georgetown University Tuesday, Obama said that political debates over poverty often get hung up over the role of government, families and religious institutions.

"I think it's important when it comes to dealing with issues of poverty for us to guard against cynicism and not buy the idea that the poor will always be with us, and there's nothing we can do," Obama said. "Because there's a lot we can do."

The Texas Legislature is sending a message this week on the subject of same-sex marriage. And that message is: Hell no — again.

The bill that just got initial approval in the Texas Senate would protect clergy from having to conduct any marriage ceremony or perform any service that would violate their sacred beliefs.

"We want to make sure they are not ever coerced into performing a marriage ceremony that would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs," State Sen. Craig Estes told NPR. Estes sponsored the bill.

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The Whitney Museum of American Art has never stayed in one place for long. It has had four different homes in its 84-year history — the latest a $422 million glass-and-steel construction that recently opened in Manhattan's Meatpacking District — and each of those homes speaks to a particular moment in the evolution of American art and museum culture.

Even though it's crept up in the past couple of months, the price of a gallon of gasoline is still about $1 less than it was a year ago. That's saving drivers $15 to $20 every time they fill up.

Economists were quite convinced late last year that would boost growth because consumers would go out and spend that extra money. But things have not unfolded exactly as forecast.

There's no doubt the plunge in oil prices and the lower costs for gasoline, heating oil and natural gas gave consumers a big windfall.

If you've ever walked out of the house without your phone and wallet — as I did yesterday — you might have wondered: Am I starting to lose it?

Even if you're too young for any real concern about dementia, this kind of precursor to a "senior moment" can be rattling.

But a new study suggests we're not powerless when it comes to keeping our mental acuity and memory intact.

Researchers have documented that a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fish, whole grains, along with daily servings of nuts and olive oil can help fend off age-related cognitive decline.

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It has been almost a year since the World Cup in Brazil. The party is long over, but the country is still dealing with the hangover — in the form of "white elephant" stadiums and unfinished infrastructure projects. They come at a time when the country faces economic woes and the prospect of another expensive mega event: next year's summer Olympics.

The most expensive World Cup stadium — located in the capital, Brasilia, and with a price tag of $550 million — is being used as a parking lot for buses.

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So that's water conservation. What about water production? Is there some way for us to harvest water?

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE")

SHELAGH FRASER: (As Aunt Beru) Luke...

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Since October of last year, four teenagers in California's Palo Alto school district have taken their own lives. Tragically, it's not the first cluster of teen suicides this area has seen: In 2009 and 2010, five local teenagers killed themselves by stepping in front of trains, and more suicides followed the next year.

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