All Things Considered on IPR News and News/Studio One

Hosted by Melissa Block, Robert Siegel, Audie Cornish and IPR's Pat Blank

Weekdays at 4 p.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One
 

Every weekday, NPR's "All Things Considered" presents a mix of the day's news, analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts & sports.

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Code Switch
8:41 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

As First Black American NHL Player, Enforcer Was Defenseless Vs. Racism

Val James of the Toronto Maple Leafs takes warmup prior to a preseason game against the Boston Bruins at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1986.
Graig Abel Collection Getty Images

The first black American hockey player in NHL history is telling his story almost 30 years after he retired.

Val James was a revered and feared fighter — known in hockey as an enforcer — during short stints for the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1980s. But he was defenseless to the racist taunts and slurs that showered down on him from opposing teams' fans.

James and his wife, Ina, dropped off the map after an injury forced him out of hockey.

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National Security
6:14 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Families Of Sept. 11 Victims Watch Guantanamo Hearings With Mixed Feelings

Relatives of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks are periodically flown down to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to witness court proceedings against five men accused of plotting the attacks. For the witnesses of the most recent court session, the experience raised questions about justice, humanity and the ethics of the death penalty.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:42 pm

Thad Rasmussen, 36, lost his mother, Rhonda, in the Sept. 11 attacks; she died at the Pentagon. This month, he sat in a courtroom at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and looked at five men accused of planning those attacks.

"It was very difficult to see them as humans," he says.

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Cities Project
5:11 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Living Small In The City: With More Singles, Micro-Housing Gets Big

Jay Austin's tiny house in Washington, D.C., has 10-foot ceilings, a loft bed over the bathroom and a galley-style kitchen.
Franklyn Cater NPR

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:42 pm

Back in 2012, something unusual got started in an alleyway in an already tightly developed part of northeast Washington, D.C.

On an 11th-of-an-acre lot next to a cemetery, behind a block of row houses, tiny houses started to go up. And not just one little house in backyard, like you might see in many places. The builders billed this as an urban tiny house community.

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Parallels
5:11 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

For One Parliamentarian, A Stronger Jordan Is Key To Fighting ISIS

Jordan's election laws make it impossible for any one political party to build a strong bloc in Parliament. Observers say that's one reason for the country's weakness — and for the growing appeal of the messages used by militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Khalil Mazraawi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:42 pm

There's a election law implemented in 2010 in Jordan known as "one person, one vote" that advocates of reform and democratization there regard, surprisingly, as a big step backward.

That's because of the strong ties Jordanians feel to family, clan and tribe, says Omar Razzaz, an economist and banker in Amman, the Jordanian capital.

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Music News
4:09 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

A Wrong Note Sets The Right Mood In 'House Of Cards'

House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as the ruthless politician Frank Underwood.
David Giesbrecht Netflix

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:42 pm

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Middle East
4:09 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

ISIS's 'Jihadi John' Revealed As Londoner Born In Kuwait

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:42 pm

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Washington Post contributor Souad Mekhennet. The Post broke the news about the identity of "Jihadi John," the masked man with a British accent who has beheaded several hostages held by the Islamic State and who speaks directly to the camera in ISIS videos. The identity was revealed as Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated college with a degree in computer programming.

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Author Interviews
4:09 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

'Don't Be Afraid Of The Bullets' A Memoir Of Reporting In Yemen

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:42 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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U.S.
7:46 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Wisconsin Governor To Sign Right-To-Work Bill Amid Protests

State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald is the lead author of the right-to-work bill, which he says is a step towards modernizing Wisconsin's labor laws.
Shawn Johnson WPR

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 10:13 pm

Update 11:10 p.m.

As expected the state Senate passed the right-to-work bill late Wednesday, 17-15, after eight hours of debate, Wisconsin Public Radio's Erik Lorenzsonn reports.

Most of the protesters from earlier in the day had left the Capitol by the time of the bill's passage. Nevertheless, the few that remained chanted "Shame!" at lawmakers as they exited the Senate chambers, while some began singing protest songs in the Capitol rotunda.

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Law
5:28 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

High Court Leans Toward Religious Protection In Headscarf Case

Samantha Elauf outside the Supreme Court Wednesday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 7:46 pm

At the U.S. Supreme Court, you know that it's going to be a hot argument when the usually straight-faced Justice Samuel Alito begins a question this way: "Let's say four people show up for a job interview ... this is going to sound like a joke, but it's not."

The issue before the court on Wednesday was whether retailer Abercrombie & Fitch violated the federal law banning religious discrimination when it rejected a highly rated job applicant because she wore a Muslim headscarf.

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All Tech Considered
5:28 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

What Net Neutrality Rules Could Mean For Your Wireless Carrier

T-Mobile CEO John Legere pitches a plan that allows unlimited music streaming without additional data charges. Some net neutrality proponents want the FCC to limit plans like these; the commission says it will review them on a case-by-case basis.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:37 am

After a decade of debate, the federal government is poised to change how it regulates Internet access, to make it more like telephone service and other public utilities.

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Africa
3:58 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Terrorism Fears Complicate Money Transfers For Somali-Americans

Customers wait to collect money at the Juba Express money transfer company in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Feb. 12.
Mohamed Abdiwahab AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 7:46 pm

Regulations intended to block money from getting into the hands of terrorist groups has led the last bank that handles most money transfers from the United States to Somalia to pull out of the business.

Somali refugees in the U.S. say their families back home need the money they send each month to survive, and they're counting on lawmakers and Obama administration officials, who are meeting in Washington on Thursday, to try to find a solution.

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Europe
3:58 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Controversial Austrian Law Encourages Teaching Islam In German

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 7:46 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs, about revising a 1912 law giving Muslims the same rights as Christians and Jews. The new law would restrict foreign financing of mosques and Imams and encourage teaching Islam in German.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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National Security
3:58 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

The Strange World Of Guantanamo Bay's War Court

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:14 pm

From the tent city it's set up in, to a judge banning defense lawyers from mentioning a former CIA interpreter's having appeared before all of them, the war court in Guantanamo Bay borders on surreal. FBI infiltrations and hidden microphones — and a pile of evidence that remains classified — have hobbled the effort to try five Sept. 11 defendants who face death penalties should guilty verdicts ever be reached.

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History
7:20 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Even Pickaxes Couldn't Stop The Nation's First Oil Pipeline

Tanks holding oil in Pithole, Pa., in 1868. Samuel Van Syckel built his first pipeline over just five weeks in 1865. At 2 inches in diameter, it was tiny by modern standards — but it was an engineering marvel.
Drake Well Museum/Courtesy of PHMC

One-hundred-fifty years ago, a man named Samuel Van Syckel built the nation's first commercial oil pipeline in the rugged terrain of northwestern Pennsylvania.

His pipeline transformed how oil is transported — and it would change the modern world, too — but not before a battle that makes the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline look meek by comparison.

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Digital Life
3:59 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

A Stolen iPhone, A New Connection And Minor Celebrity In China

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 6:16 pm

Months after Buzzfeed writer Matt Stopera's phone was stolen, new pictures from China started uploading to his photo stream. He wrote about it and Chinese twitter, Weibo, picked it up. Kelly McEvers talks to Stopera about his stolen iPhone and newfound fame in China.

Shots - Health News
3:59 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Gerbils Likely Pushed Plague To Europe in Middle Ages

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:43 am

Gerbils are a beloved classroom pet, but they might also be deadly killers. A study now claims that gerbils helped bring bubonic plague to Medieval Europe and contributed to the deaths of millions.

Plague is caused by bacteria (Yersinia pestis) found in rodents, and the fleas that live on rodents. The rodent that's usually Suspect Zero is the rat.

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Law
3:50 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Little-Known Laws Help Sex Trafficking Victims Clear Criminal Records

This woman, who has had her prostitution charge wiped away, says she got the lotus tattoo to cover up the brand of a former pimp. "Once they put their name on me, I was their property," she adds. She says she got the word "persist" tattooed as a reminder to keep moving forward.
Evie Stone NPR

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 8:05 am

Advocates for women arrested on prostitution charges want the justice system to adopt a different approach. They say instead of being locked up, many prostitutes should actually be considered victims of human trafficking. And they're starting to offer those women a way to clean up the criminal records left behind.

One of them lives in an apartment not far from Dallas. Inside, a 24-year-old woman pushes up her sleeve to show off a tattoo of a lotus flower. The deep purple ink covers up an older mark.

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Asia
3:16 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Indonesian Authorities Worried About Return Of Islamic Radicals

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 6:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

U.S.
3:16 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

VA Secretary Apologies For Exaggerating Military Service

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 6:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Deceptive Cadence
3:16 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Podium Diplomacy: Conductor Takes Chinese Music West And Vice Versa

Chinese conductor Long Yu.
P.A.D. Studio Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 1:40 pm

By some measures, China is now the world's largest economy. It's also a gigantic market for American brands, from Hollywood blockbusters to KFC and Pizza Hut. But one Chinese conductor, Long Yu, would like these cultures to hear each other a little more clearly. He's launching a new project to do just that, and it's starting tonight with the New York Philharmonic.

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Sports
5:40 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

'Cold Actually Feels Good' At The U.S. Winter Swimming Championship

Daina Bouquin competes in the first U.S. Winter Swimming Championships on Saturday in Lake Memphremagog near Newport, Vt. The event drew swimmers from around the world to race in icy water that was below 32 degrees F.
Herb Swanson for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 6:37 pm

One way to test your mettle in winter is to take one of those quick penguin plunges in icy water. But some stoic swimmers actually carve pools out of frozen lakes and race each other.

The sport of winter swimming is popular abroad, especially in Russia, Scandinavia and China. But last weekend, a newly formed organization to promote winter swimming in the United States held its first national competition on the Vermont-Quebec border.

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Author Interviews
5:40 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

'After Birth' Author On 'Mommy Wars': 'It Doesn't Have To Be This Way'

After Birth by Elisa Albert
Emily Jan NPR

Writer Elisa Albert believes that the so-called "Mommy Wars" have gone on long enough — they are both a distraction and a cop-out, she says. "It's a way of avoiding the actual issues, which is: Women don't have enough support for any of the choices that we make," Albert tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "We are pitted against each other and ultimately, then, are pitted against ourselves. And everybody is unhappy, and everybody feels judged. It doesn't have to be this way."

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Around the Nation
4:31 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Awash In Social Media, Cops Still Need The Public To Detect Threats

Some colleges and police departments are starting to use software that scans social media to identify local threats, but most tips still come from members of the public.
Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 10:30 am

On Valentine's Day weekend, Jonathan Hutson found himself exchanging tweets with somebody unpleasant: a Holocaust-denying anti-Semite, by the look of things.

Then Hutson looked up the person's earlier tweets. This guy was tweeting about shooting up a school. He said that he wanted to execute 30-plus grade-school kids."

So Hutson decided to draw the person out — "engage with him," as he puts it — to see if the threats were real.

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Parallels
4:31 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Jordan's Army Preps For A Bigger Role Against ISIS

Jordanian soldiers stand guard at the Iraq-Jordan border last year. Jordan also shares a border with Syria and has had to deal with a flood of refugees from both its neighbors over the past decade.
Jamal Nasrallah EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 3:55 pm

Jordan's King Abdullah was way out ahead of the people in his support of the war against the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS. Many Jordanians used to say it was someone else's war even though it's only a 90-minute drive from the capital, Amman, north to the Syrian border.

But Jordanian opinions changed dramatically after the horrific video in which ISIS immolated a Jordanian pilot, Moaz Kassasbeh, who was captured back in December.

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Parallels
4:31 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

In Battered Ukraine, Spirit Of Defiance Lives On In Maidan Square

On Sunday, thousands of people gathered in Maidan to mark the first anniversary of anti-government demonstrations that left scores of protesters dead.
Geovien So Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 5:40 pm

A year ago, clashes killed scores of anti-government protesters in Ukraine and the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled the country.

Over the weekend, thousands of people turned out in Kiev's central square, known as the Maidan, to mark the anniversary.

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Author Interviews
5:44 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

The Woman Behind Marvel's Newest Team Of Heroines

She-Hulk, Dazzler, Medusa and Nico Minoru are some of the characters that make up Marvel's A-Force.
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:01 pm

Fasten your seat belts, true believers. If you haven't flipped through a comic book in a while, you might be in for quite a surprise come May. The entire Marvel multiverse is collapsing.

Forget about seeing the Wolverine we knew any time soon. And the current Ghost Rider? Before long, his current story line will be gone like, well, a ghost. In the new Marvel universe, coming in May, characters and continuities will be reimagined.

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Afghanistan
4:18 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

New Defense Secretary Makes Unannounced Trip To Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 6:21 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Author Interviews
4:18 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon On Marriage, Music And Moving On

Kim Gordon is a founding member of Sonic Youth.
Alisa Smirnova Courtesy of HarperCollins

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 6:23 pm

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U.S.
4:18 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

For Some Mothers In Prison, A Sentence Doesn't Mean Separation

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 5:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Arts & Life
4:18 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

The Scents And Sensibility Of LA's Nosy New Perfume Enthusiasts

Scent Bar, in central Los Angeles, is home to over 700 niche fragrances — several of which are neatly arranged here.
Courtesy of LuckyScent

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:54 pm

The sense of smell is a powerful trigger — capable of calling to mind the sight of a new car, or the memory of a freshly mown lawn from many years past. But this power doesn't just serve to remind; it's also captivating scientists and inspiring a burgeoning subculture in Los Angeles, where many people are collecting fragrances like some people collect stamps.

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