All Things Considered on IPR News and News/Studio One

Robert Siegel, Michele Norris, Melissa Block, Pat Blank

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

Every weekday, "All Things Considered" hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present the program's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews and offbeat features.

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Code Switch
4:00 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Drive For Diversity, NASCAR's Commitment To Race

Darrell Wallace Jr., a graduate of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity Program, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 26 in Martinsville, Va.
Robert Laberge NASCAR via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 8:18 pm

On Sunday, the K&N Pro Series East begins down in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. And if the track and pit look a little more diverse than they have in the past, that's in part because of a NASCAR program designed to entice different communities to try out the sport.

Market research says NASCAR's bread-and-butter fan base is about 60 percent male and 80 percent white, mostly from the Southern and Midwestern states. But as the country continues to become even more diverse, the sport is working to make sure its fan base is, too.

That's a challenge.

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The Salt
5:36 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

For The Love Of Oysters: How A Kiss From The Sea Evokes Passion

Lunch with oysters and wine by Frans van Mieris, 1635-1681.
Universal Images Group UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:58 pm

Question: Which of these foods are said to stir passion? An oyster, and avocado or a turnip? (Scroll down to the bottom for the answer.)

One of these, at least, is a gimme. The stories linking oysters and other shellfish to lust go back to at least the ancient Greeks.

Think of the image of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, rising out of the sea from the half-shell.

"There's something primal about eating oysters," says oyster-lover MJ Gimbar. He describes them as creamy and velvety. "It's like a kiss from the ocean."

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Parallels
4:53 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Will Helping Muslims Flee Central African Republic Aid 'Cleansing'?

Muslim women line up at a Red Cross distribution outside the mosque in Bouar. United Nations peacekeepers guard the mosque, where thousands of Muslim residents gather each evening for safety.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 6:58 pm

It is almost impossible to buy soap anymore in most small towns in the Central African Republic. Same with sugar, powdered milk, batteries, baby formula. Up until January, these kinds of imported goods — in the stratified society of this country — almost always would have been sold to you by a Muslim.

But for the past few weeks, bands of Christian militia groups called anti-Balaka have waged war on Muslims and their property.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Of Book Yanked In India Says Move Has Backfired

Indian activists from the student wing of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party protest near the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi on May 25, 2010, against Wendy Doniger's The Hindus. Penguin Books, India, said this week that it would withdraw the book and pulp it.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:09 pm

We told you earlier today [Friday] about a University of Chicago professor whose book was withdrawn in India after a Hindu group brought a court challenge against the publisher, Penguin Books, India.

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World
5:23 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

More Ambassador Posts Are Going To Political Appointees

TV producer Colleen Bell, shown here in a 2013 photo, was a big donor for President Obama before she was nominated to become ambassador to Hungary. Obama has chosen more political appointees than his predecessors.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:05 pm

The nominee to be U.S. ambassador to, say, Hungary should be able to explain what the U.S. strategic interests are in that country — right?

But Colleen Bell, a soap opera producer and President Obama's appointee to be U.S. envoy to that European country, struggled to answer that simple question during her recent confirmation hearing.

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The Edge
5:12 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

In Men's Figure Skating, U.S. Pins Hopes On A New Class

Jason Brown skated to Prince during his short program Thursday.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 6:58 pm

What's the hardest sport at the Winter Games — biathlon, aerial skiing, snowboarding, or high-flying slopestyle?

Jeremy Abbott thought it was one of those until an Olympic official told him otherwise. "Hands down," he was told, "absolutely, figure skating is the hardest."

Abbott may not completely agree, but he says it's the rare affirmation he's gotten as a male figure skater.

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Shots - Health News
4:19 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Stopping Microbes Not Missiles: U.S. Plans For Next Global Threat

Hannah Rood, 3, receives an H1N1 vaccine at a clinic in San Pablo, California, during the 2009 swine flu epidemic.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 6:58 pm

Spot the next plague before it arrives. Predict the next swine flu outbreak before it makes headlines. Even detect a biological weapon before it's launched.

These are the goals of an ambitious initiative, launched Thursday, to build a worldwide surveillance system for infectious diseases.

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Afghanistan
3:12 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Afghan Prisoner Release Promises To Inflame Tensions

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 6:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Sports
3:12 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

What's Important In Sochi? Depends Where You Ask

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 6:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Eighty-eight countries have sent athletes to the Sochi Winter Olympics - from Albania to Zimbabwe. We're going to hear now from three reporters in Sochi from three different countries, starting with the Netherlands. They cheer their athletes on this way.

EDWIN PAQUES: Hop-hop-hop, we always say. (Foreign language spoken)

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Remembrances
5:27 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Sid Caesar, Who Got Laughs Without Politics Or Putdowns, Dies At 91

Actor/comedian Sid Caesar
NBC NBC via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 7:00 pm

Comedian Sid Caesar, one of early network TV's biggest stars, died Wednesday morning at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 91.

Caesar didn't do smut, putdowns or smarmy remarks. Instead, he did skits: grown-up, gentle comedy for the whole family.

In one skit, Caesar was the smarter-than-anyone German "professor." Carl Reiner played a movie executive with money problems. The professor's solution? Make a musical — and get the greatest composer in the world. He is shocked to discover that his top choice won't be available.

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Remembrances
3:29 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Sid Caesar, One Of TV's Earliest Stars, Dies At The Age Of 91

The comic actor Sid Caesar died on Wednesday at the age of 91. He starred in the popular 1950s program, Your Show of Shows, television's first live comedy show, featuring skits and musical numbers.

Politics
3:29 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Senate Follows House Lead In Passing Debt Limit Raise

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 7:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Music Reviews
3:29 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Album Review: 'Sun Structures,' By Temples

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 7:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Finally this hour, a new perspective on the enduring influence of The Beatles. It comes from another four-piece British rock band called Temples. The group is from the town of Kettering. Critics have been raving about them since last summer. Their debut album, "Sun Structures," has now been released here in the U.S. And hearing it might whisk you away to 1960s Liverpool. Here's our critic, Tom Moon.

TOM MOON, BYLINE: If nothing else, Temples has impeccable timing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHELTER SONG")

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Around the Nation
4:56 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Straw Buyers Exchange Vermont Guns For East Coast Drugs

An evidence locker at the Vermont field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is filled with confiscated guns.
Taylor Dobbs VPR

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 7:00 pm

In Vermont, opiate addiction is the high-profile focus of Gov. Peter Shumlin's latest set of policy initiatives. But the state's addiction problem has led to another dangerous issue:

Vermont's loose gun laws and a high demand for drugs make a lucrative market for drug dealers who accept guns in return for the drugs they sell.

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Around the Nation
4:56 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Going To College May Cost You, But So Will Skipping It

A new study shows that the income gap between young adults who go to college and those who don't only continues to grow.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 7:00 pm

In America, total student loan debt tops $1 trillion and a four-year college degree can cost as much as a house — leaving many families wondering if college is really worth the cost.

Yes, a new study of young people finds. The study, released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, looks at income and unemployment among young adults. Paul Taylor, executive vice president of special projects at Pew, says it's pretty much case closed when it comes to the benefits of going to college.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

House Passes 'Clean' Debt Limit Bill

A woman looks at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 31 in Washington.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 7:00 pm

Tuesday saw a rarity in Congress these days: a "clean" bill.

The House passed one to raise the debt limit, a move that avoids a possible default later this month.

In the past, House Republicans have used this debate to extract concessions from President Obama and congressional Democrats.

But not this time. House Republicans demanded nothing in return. The House passed the no-strings-attached debt hike Tuesday evening — though just 28 Republicans voted with the Democratic minority to pass the extension, 221 votes to 201 votes.

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The Edge
6:59 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

The Norwegian Athlete Who's One Medal Away From History

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway practices in Sochi on Monday.
Harry How Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:55 pm

On Monday, Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen came a ski-length away from winning a 13th Olympic medal and becoming the most decorated athlete ever at the Winter Games.

The biathlon pursuit Olympic event — cross-country skiing with rifle shooting — is a pretty devious race. The fastest man goes first, and then everyone else in the race tries to catch him before the finish line. And in Monday's competition, Bjoerndalen went first.

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The Edge
5:42 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Slopestyle Skier Devin Logan Keeps It Cool, But She's 'All In'

Devin Logan practices during a ski slopestyle training session in Sochi on Friday. She says she doesn't stress about competing, even on a course that some have called dangerous. "What we do is scary in general," she says. "But we know how to do it."
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:01 pm

Much of the attention on the slopestyle events in Sochi has been focused on snowboarders like Shaun White. But Devin Logan and her other American teammates twist and soar down mountains, too — on skis.

I first met Logan at an Olympic qualifier event in Colorado back in December. We were hanging out at the base of the halfpipe watching the competition. She's 20. She smiles a lot. We bonded over Instagram and 2 Chainz. I told her I'd look for her in Sochi — but she didn't know then if she'd even make the U.S. team.

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Author Interviews
4:58 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Sounds Intriguing: The World's Most Interesting Noises

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:55 pm

Trevor Cox has heard it all. He's a professor of acoustic engineering at the University of Salford in England, and he delights in discovering unusual noises. He's also author of The Sound Book: The Science of the Sonic Wonders of the World, which describes some of what he's found.

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Health Care
4:58 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Health Law's Employer Mandate Hits Another Speed Bump

Still waiting for job-linked health insurance? Check the size of your company.
Vasilyev iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:55 pm

The Obama administration is, again, delaying implementation of a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide health insurance to their workers (or, potentially, face penalties). But this time it's not the entire "employer mandate" that's being delayed (as it was in 2013) — just part of it.

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All Tech Considered
3:53 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

That's Just Like 'Her': Could We Ever Love A Computer?

Joaquin Phoenix stars in the film Her, in which his character falls in love with an operating system. When will artificial intelligence programs like Siri evolve to the point where we'll fall in love with them?
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:36 pm

The film Her, about a man who falls in love with his computerized personal assistant, has been nominated for five Oscars including best picture. It takes place at an unspecified time in the future when computer voices sound like Scarlett Johansson instead of Siri. This made me wonder if it was really possible to fall in love with an artificially intelligent being.

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Environment
5:33 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Kansas Mayor Says Sustainability Is About Community, Not Politics

The community of Greensburg, Kan., was hit hard by an F5 tornado in 2007. The event inspired one resident to run for mayor.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:36 pm

In Washington, the debate over what to do about climate change is split largely down party lines. But it hasn't always been that way.

Republican Sen. John McCain campaigned on the issue in his presidential runs. "Climate change is real," he said in 2007. "The Earth is warming, and it is the result of greenhouse gas emissions."

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Books News & Features
5:33 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Romance Novels Sweep Readers Off Their Feet With Predictability

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:26 pm

Romance novels are a $1.4 billion industry, dwarfing the literary book market by millions.

Last summer, Harper's editor Jesse Barron attended the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas. Emceed by a handsome novel-cover model named Jimmy, the event helped professionals and novices alike to pool resources, share ideas and generally have a love fest.

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Author Interviews
4:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

With Fearlessness And A 'Code Name,' Iraqi Helped Navy SEALs

Courtesy of HarperCollins

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 5:33 pm

For years, Johnny Walker interpreted for the U.S. Navy SEALs on missions all over his home country of Iraq. He served on over a thousand missions, and stood out as an invaluable part of nearly every team he worked with.

No, Johnny Walker isn't his real name. The SEALs gave him the nickname in honor of his love of Johnnie Walker Whisky — and to protect his identity, a necessary precaution even today.

"Bad guys, if they hear your real name, they can find you," he tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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Digital Life
5:34 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Dr. Wikipedia: The 'Double-Edged Sword' Of Crowdsourced Medicine

giulia.forsythe Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:17 pm

Wikipedia has become a go-to source for definitions, celebrity facts, and now, medical information. A study by the IMS Health Institute published in January names Wikipedia as the "single leading source" of health care information for both patients and health care professionals.

Unfortunately, some of that information is wrong.

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Arts & Life
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

People, Language And Controversy In The Headlines

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 5:34 pm

Writer and comedian Hari Kondabolu speaks with NPR's Arun Rath about India being excluded from the Olympics, a controversial Coke commercial, and comments from Sen. Pat Roberts from Kansas during the confirmation hearings for surgeon general nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy.

Books
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Lessons On Addiction And Escaping The 'Death Grip From Satan'

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 5:34 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died last weekend from an apparent heroin overdose. Since then, many of his fans have been trying to make sense of it. Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon turned to the work of a journalist who investigated his own effort to escape what he calls the death grip from Satan. Bazelon recommends David Carr's "The Night of the Gun."

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Law
4:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

Justice Department Extends New Privileges To Gay Marriages

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 5:34 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder has directed the Justice Department to give same-sex married couples "full and equal recognition." This means they will now have spousal privileges in federal courts. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with justice correspondent Carrie Johnson about the policy shift and what it means for same-sex couples.

All Tech Considered
5:53 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Technology Tracks Crews Through The Fog Of Wildfire

Crews work a controlled burn in Geneva, Fla., in December. The state's forest service has rolled out a system to track equipment during fires, and hopes it can eventually be used to pinpoint firefighters, too.
Joshua C. Cruey Courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:04 pm

For crews fighting wildfires, the ability to get accurate information quickly is crucial. A breakdown in communication was one factor in a fire that killed 19 firefighters in Arizona last year, and in the deaths of two Florida firefighters in Arizona in 2011.

Florida officials hope to address some of those communication problems with a new tracking system designed to keep tabs on crews in the field.

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Africa
4:35 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Muslims Flee CAR Capital, Chased By Christian Jeers

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:04 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is beginning an investigation of possible war crimes in Central African Republican and we're going to check in now on the latest state of horrific sectarian violence in that country. Thousands of Muslims filled an enormous convoy of vehicles today fleeing the capital city of Bangui.

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