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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Television
4:22 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Medicinal Laughs: Could 'Daily Show' Sour Millennials On ACA?

Jon Stewart, shown here interviewing President Obama on The Daily Show in October 2012, has been lampooning the problems with the Affordable Care Act website in recent episodes.
Brad Barket PictureGroup

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:00 pm

Problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act have been all over the news — and the not-quite news. Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has been one news-ish outlet that hasn't been too kind in its coverage.

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans spoke with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish about why negative coverage on The Daily Show might be worse for the Obama administration than negative coverage on the nightly news.

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Politics
3:49 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Texas' Voter ID Law Creates A Problem For Some Women

Marta Rangel Medel vacuums the stage in preparation for the Texas Democratic Party 2012 election watch party in Austin. The state's controversial voter ID law is unexpectedly hindering women at the polls.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:03 pm

In 2012 a federal court struck down Texas' ID law, ruling it would potentially disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of minority voters.

But that federal decision was invalidated when the Supreme Court last year ruled part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. So now Texas is test-driving its voter ID law — one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the nation.

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Around the Nation
3:49 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

On Capitol Hill, A Statue And A Rock God Bring Politicians Together

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:00 pm

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, an unlikely scene unfolded as a bust of Winston Churchill was unveiled in Statuary Hall Wednesday. The entertainment: Roger Daltrey. Who? Yes, Roger Daltrey of the 1960s rock band The Who.

Media
3:49 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Prosecutors Press Case In 'News Of The World' Phone-Tapping Trial

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:00 pm

At the Old Bailey Courthouse in London Wednesday, the prosecution laid out the case against former journalists of the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World.

Shots - Health News
4:31 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Insurance Cancellations Elbow Out Website Woes At Health Hearing

Marilyn Tavenner was the first Obama administration official to testify before Congress about the troubled launch of HealthCare.gov.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

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

When the head of the agency responsible for the troubled Healthcare.gov went before Congress for the first time since its foibles became apparent Oct. 1, she probably didn't expect that many questions would be on something else altogether.

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Law
4:30 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Illinois Files Suit Against Online Adoption Agency

A Web-based adoption can hold great appeal for all sides.
iStockphoto

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

The Adoption Network Law Center is based in California, but when someone in Illinois searches "adoption" on the Web, up it pops, right near the top.

"They're very specific in directing their advertising and marketing to people in Illinois," says Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, even though they're not licensed in the state. Illinois prohibits for-profit adoption agencies.

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Sports
4:30 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

NBA Preview: On Valuable Knees And Building Legacies

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The NBA begins a new regular season today with three games. Among the match-ups, the two-time defending champion Miami Heat play the Chicago Bulls. That game features the regular season return of Bulls' all-star point guard Derrick Rose. He hurt his knee badly a year and a half ago. As NPR's Tom Goldman reports, knee injuries are just one of the storylines of the new season.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Chicago's preseason began 24 days ago with a game in Indianapolis, and with Bulls fans holding their collective breath.

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Parallels
3:34 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

100 Days To The Sochi Olympics: Some Key Things To Know

One of the participants of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay runs near the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, on Oct. 8. Controversies surrounding costs, security and gay rights swirl around the games, to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort city.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 6:58 am

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, open in February, just 100 days from now.

The games have already given rise to some superlatives: most expensive (at more than $50 billion), most heavily guarded and, potentially, most controversial.

Here are key questions surrounding the Sochi games, and some answers:

An Islamist militant leader has called on Muslim fighters to attack the Olympics. Can Russian officials keep visitors and athletes safe?

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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.

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U.S.
4:56 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.

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Science
4:56 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.

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Shots - Health News
4:56 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.

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NPR Story
3:47 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.

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NPR Story
3:47 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Syria On Course To Meet Weapons Destruction Deadlines

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The U.S. and Russia don't agree on much when it comes to Syria. But the deal they reached to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons seems to be paying off. Syria met its deadline to declare all of its stockpiles to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the OPCW announced today that it has visited nearly all of the sites it needs to see.

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NPR Story
3:47 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

How Should Justice Distribute $4 Billion To Harmed Homeowners?

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Justice Department is negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement with JPMorgan over its handling of mortgage-related securities during the financial crisis. The deal could be announced this week, and it reportedly includes $4 billion set aside for homeowners who lost substantial value on their homes. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on lessons learned from the payout of similar settlements.

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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.

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Shots - Health News
2:48 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!

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Business
2:43 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Trains Gain Steam In Race To Transport Crude Oil In The U.S.

A Norfolk Southern train pulls oil tank units on its way to the PBF Energy refinery in Delaware City, Del. As U.S. oil production outpaces its pipeline capacity, more and more companies are looking to the railways to transport crude oil.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:00 pm

On a quiet fall morning in the Delaware countryside, a lone sustained whistle pierces the air. Within moments, a train sweeps around a broad curve, its two heavy locomotives hauling dozens of white, cylindrical rail cars, loaded with 70,000 barrels of crude oil.

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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.

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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.

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Author Interviews
4:59 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

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

iStockphoto.com

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.

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Movie Interviews
4:07 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.

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Arts & Life
4:07 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.

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The Record
2:47 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Lou Reed, Beloved Contrarian, Dies

Lou Reed onstage in London in 1975 playing a transparent, Plexiglass guitar. Reed died Sunday. He was 71.
Denis O'Regan Getty Images

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

One of rock's most beloved and contrarian figures has died. Lou Reed epitomized New York City's artistic underbelly in the 1970s, with his songs about hookers and junkies. He was 71.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Author Interviews
4:05 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."

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Shots - Health News
5:48 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.

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