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.

Composer ID: 
5182781de1c8c2244542ab94|518277d6e1c88c51b3133b4c

Pages

Politics
4:28 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Can Congress Figure Out How To Rescue The Post Office?

U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Jamesa Euler delivers mail in the rain in Atlanta in February.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:56 pm

The U.S. Postal Service lost some $16 billion last year and continues to bleed red ink. Congress has been unable to agree on a rescue plan.

The latest proposal would allow the post office to end Saturday delivery in a year and enable it to ship wine and beer.

The Postal Service's woes are familiar: People don't really send letters anymore, so first-class mail is down, and Congress makes the post office prepay future retiree benefits to the tune of $5.5 billion a year.

Read more
Education
4:20 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Common Core Curriculum Brings Big Shifts To Math Instruction

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

To big changes now in the classroom. Most states have adopted new math and literacy guidelines for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. They're called the Common Core standards, and they rewrite the rules of what students should know grade by grade. When it comes to math, not only are the standards changing, some of the work kids will be doing and bringing home will actually look different.

To explain, here's NPR's Cory Turner.

Read more
Television
4:20 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Why Hasn't The Internet Blown Up Cable TV's Business Model?

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Since Friday, CBS has been off the air for millions of Time Warner Cable customers. The two sides are fighting over how much Time Warner pays to carry CBS. Then a remarkable thing happened. Time Warner offered to unbundle the TV network, meaning only customers who want it would pay for it. That's close to blasphemy in the cable business and CBS quickly shot down the idea.

Read more
Energy
4:20 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Leaking 300 Tons Of Tainted Water Daily

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:56 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Asia
4:11 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

As Myanmar Opens Up, A Look Back On A 1988 Uprising

Democracy demonstrators wave the Burmese flag in August 1988, when millions of Burmese took to the streets. Students led the protests, but were soon joined by civil servants, police, soldiers and ordinary citizens.
Courtesy of Gaye Paterson

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 1:21 pm

Until two years ago, Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the longest-running military dictatorship in the world. In 2010, the military began to loosen its grip on the country, increasing civil freedoms and offering some political and economic opportunity for citizens.

But some are wondering whether the country can truly transition to democracy if it fails to reconcile with its brutal past.

Read more
Environment
4:10 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Swinging CO2 Levels Show The Earth Is 'Breathing' More Deeply

Plants accumulate carbon in the spring and summer, and they release it back into the atmosphere in the fall in winter. And a change in the landscape of the Arctic tundra, seen here, means that shrubs hold onto snow better, which keeps the organic-rich soils warmer and more likely to release carbon dioxide that's stored there.
Jean-Erick Pasquier Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 8:34 pm

Plant life on our planet soaks up a fair amount of the carbon dioxide that pours out of our tailpipes and smokestacks. Plants take it up during the summer and return some of it to the air in the winter. And a new study shows that those "breaths" have gotten deeper over the past 50 years.

This isn't just a curiosity. Plant life is helping to reduce the speed at which carbon dioxide is building up in our atmosphere. That's slowing the global warming, at least marginally, so scientists are eager to understand how this process works. The new study provides some clues.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:10 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

'Dream 9' Win Small Victory In Fight To Stay In U.S.

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:56 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.

A group of young people, known as the Dream 9, won a small victory yesterday in their fight to remain in the U.S. legally. They were released from a federal detention center in Arizona. All nine grew up in the U.S. but returned to their native Mexico, then publically tried to cross back into this country last month.

Read more
NPR's Backseat Book Club
3:03 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

'Dork Diaries' Reveal Secrets Of 'Not-So-Fabulous' Teen Life

Aladdin

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:13 pm

This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club goes snooping in Nikki Maxwell's "private and confidential" Dork Diaries. But the secret's already gotten out; the series launched four years ago, and there are already 12 million books in print in 34 different languages. The sixth in the series — Tales From a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker — was just published in June.

Read more
Found Recipes
2:51 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Don't Let The Price Of Pine Nuts Keep You From Pesto

Julia della Croce says pistachio pesto is an economical — and delicious — alternative when Italian pine nuts can cost up to $120 per pound.
Nathan Hoyt Courtesy of Julia della Croce

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 4:10 pm

Basil is growing thick and leafy in many backyard gardens throughout the U.S. right now, which means many people are thinking about pesto. It's one of the more basic sauces you can make — in addition to basil, all you need is Parmesan or Romano cheese, a little garlic, some extra virgin olive oil and Italian pine nuts.

Read more
Parallels
2:38 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Egypt's Top General And His U.S. Lessons In Democracy

Downtown Cairo is plastered with huge posters of Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the U.S.-trained Egyptian army chief who helped overthrow President Mohammed Morsi.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:56 pm

Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the man at the center of the military takeover in Egypt, is the latest in a series of American-trained foreign officers to oust a civilian government.

Just seven years ago, he was a student at the Army War College in rural Pennsylvania. At a recent military graduation ceremony in Alexandria, Egypt, el-Sissi talked about his ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on July 3.

The army was forced to take that step, the general said, in the wake of mass protests against the elected government.

Read more
Environment
4:58 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

EPA Wants To Allow Continued Wastewater Dumping In Wyoming

More than 40 years ago, the EPA banned oil companies from releasing wastewater into the environment, but made an exception for the arid West. If livestock and wildlife can use the water, companies can release it. Cows like these grazing near a stream of waste on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming are supposedly the reason the EPA lets oil companies release their waste into the environment.
Elizabeth Shogren NPR

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 9:16 am

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to let oil companies continue to dump polluted wastewater on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. This includes chemicals that companies add to the wells during hydraulic fracturing, an engineering practice that makes wells produce more oil.

Read more
U.S.
4:36 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

For One-Time Tech Exec, Leading D.C. Charity Is No Small Job

Patty Stonesifer once watched Martha's Table serve food to the homeless outside the Washington, D.C., offices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When the top post at the charity came open, she knew it was the job for her.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:43 pm

On a recent morning, Patty Stonesifer sat cross-legged on the floor of a day care classroom, laughing as pre-schoolers clambered into a fire truck made out of a cardboard carton.

This is a far cry from Stonesifer's old life. She made her fortune in the tech world, where she rose through the ranks at Microsoft to become its highest-ranking female executive.

Later, she became the founding CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — the largest philanthropic organization in the world, with huge, global goals and an endowment of $34 billion when she left in 2008.

Read more
Business
4:13 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

The History — And Future — Of Cable's Bundling

Though you'd never see it listed on your monthly cable bill, nearly every channel you get has a secret price.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:13 pm

For Time Warner Cable customers in major cities, the battle for the future of television is playing out before their eyes.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

4 Years After Fiery Town Halls, Activists Try To Revive Spark

Members of the audience argue before a town hall forum on the health care overhaul hosted by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, in Reston, Va., on Aug. 25, 2009.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 11:24 am

It's been four years since protests of the president's health care agenda boiled over in town hall meetings around the country.

The summer of 2009 marked the rise of the Tea Party movement and set in motion the GOP takeover of the House of Representatives the following year.

Read more
Space
3:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Black Holes One Of Space's Great Paradoxes

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 4:48 pm

Late summer tends to be a slow month for news. But at All Things Considered, we put on a two hour program, no matter what. So — without a trace of irony — one of our science correspondents offered to help fill some holes in the show with a series of stories about holes. In this edition: Black holes.

Law
3:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Attorneys Assigned To Fort Hood Shooter Want To Back Out

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 4:48 pm

There was an unexpected hold-up on day two of the court martial of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of gunning down fellow soldiers at Fort Hood. His "standby" attorneys have told the judge that don't believe it's ethical for them to keep assisting a man who they believe is trying to get the death penalty.

The Salt
1:52 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

After Immigration Bust, Herb Grower Tries A New Path

Ted Andrews, CEO of HerbCo International, says the H-2A agricultural guest worker program needs improvements.
Liz Jones for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:58 pm

The ongoing immigration debate in Congress often spotlights the job market for people living in the U.S. illegally. Not long ago, that market included one of the country's top organic herb farms — until an immigration bust forced the business, based in Washington state, to clean up its payroll.

Ted Andrews, owner of HerbCo International, says he's learned some tough lessons during the transition to a legal workforce. Lesson No. 1: "There are events that can destroy a business in the snap of a finger," he says. "This was one of them."

Read more
Parallels
12:59 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

'It's Too Hot': Shanghai Wilts In Record-Setting Heat Wave

People cool off Wednesday in a pool in Shanghai, where temperatures reached an all-time record: 105.4 degrees.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:41 pm

Temperatures Wednesday in Shanghai hit an all-time high: 105.4 degrees, according to officials here. It was the hottest day in 140 years, since the government began keeping records.

The Chinese megacity is in the midst of its hottest summer ever.

Usually bustling streets are near empty at noon and thousands have gone to hospitals for relief. To get a feel for how people are handling the heat wave, I waded into a public pool in the city's Hankou district. By early afternoon, the temperature was 98 degrees in the shade, according to the thermometer I brought along.

Read more
Parallels
12:51 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Migrants Flock To Russia, But Receive A Cool Welcome

Migrant workers follow a police officer during a raid by Russian immigration authorities at a construction site in Moscow, in 2012.
Karpov Sergei ITAR-Tass/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 12:26 am

Russia's immigration issues would be familiar to Americans: Millions of impoverished migrants have come and found low-wage jobs. Some are in Russia illegally and are exploited by their employers. And a growing number of Russians fear this influx of migrants, many of whom are Muslim, is changing the face of the country.

At 3:30 on a recent morning, the train from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, pulls into Moscow after a four-day journey. The passengers hauling their bags out onto the damp, ill-lit platform are mostly men. Russian police eye the new arrivals with suspicion.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Why Were The Baboons So Sad? Many Theories, No Answers

The Emmen Zoo's baboons last week, when they were looking so sad.
Courtesy of the Emmen Zoo

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:06 am

  • Wijbren Landman, biologist and press officer at the Emmen Zoo, on why baboons sometimes act so sad.

When the keepers at the Netherlands' Emmen Zoo opened the night enclosure for 112 baboons on July 29, they expected the animals would be, as usual, eager to get inside.

After all, the baboons knew there was food for them in there.

Instead, biologist and zoo press officer Wijbren Landman tells All Things Considered the baboons didn't want to budge. "It took us about an hour to get them inside," he says. That night, the baboons didn't eat.

Read more
Law
6:25 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

DOJ Sues Bank Of America Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

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 Justice Department is bringing civil charges against one of the nation's largest banks. The government alleges Bank of America made false statements about the quality of $850 million worth of home loans. Those loans were then sold to investors. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

Read more
Business
5:26 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

With An Industry In Turmoil, Why Buy A Newspaper Company?

The Washington Post is now in its seventh straight year of declining revenues, says the paper's chairman, Donald Graham. Rather than continue to watch the paper struggle, Graham and Publisher Katharine Weymouth decided to look for a buyer.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:20 pm

Donald Graham, chairman of The Washington Post Co., is the son and grandson of its leaders for the past 80 years. And along with his niece, publisher Katharine Weymouth, Graham admitted in a video on The Post's website that the family simply didn't have the answers to questions about the paper's future.

Read more
U.S.
5:19 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Border Drug Busts Putting Strain On Texas County's Budget

Trains that once deposited travelers for shopping and dining in dusty Sierra Blanca, Texas, no longer stop here. Interstates further eroded the local economy as more people chose to live and shop in El Paso, 85 miles away.
G.W. Schulz The Center for Investigative Reporting

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 6:25 pm

As they walk through the front door, visitors to the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office in Sierra Blanca, Texas, get punched by the overpowering odor of marijuana.

Read more
Environment
4:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Wells Are Running Dry In Parts Of Kansas

Nate Pike fears that wells, like this one that supplies his ranch with water, will dry up completely after years of water pumping and irrigation in Kansas.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 6:27 pm

Imagine enough water to fill a couple of Great Lakes, but spread under some of the driest parts of eight Western states. That was the High Plains Aquifer 60 years ago.

But now, Nate Pike, whose been riding the dry rolling ranch lands south of Dodge City, Kan., for most of his 80 years, can't even go fishing at his favorite spring called St. Jacob's Well.

"And that thing had a lot of water in it. It never went down, never changed," he says. "But as you can see now, I can't believe I can't see the water from up here."

Read more
Environment
4:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Earth Scientists Pin Climate Change Squarely On 'Humanity'

Pedersen Glacier, 1917
Louis H. Pedersen climate.gov/National Snow and Ice Data Center

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:12 pm

The weather is one of those topics that is fairly easy for people to agree on. Climate, however, is something else.

Most of the scientists who study the Earth say our climate is changing and humans are part of what's making that happen. But to a lot of nonscientists it's still murky. This week, two of the nation's most venerable scientific institutions tried to explain it better.

Read more
Pop Culture
4:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Fear Of Clowns: Yes, It's Real

Tim Curry as Pennywise in a 1990 TV adaptation of Stephen King's It. Come on, tell us you aren't just a little creeped out.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 11:53 pm

Warning: The following story may be upsetting to some people.

That's because it's about clowns.

Yes, clowns. Painted white faces, red lips, receding hairlines with tufts of wild hair, and — of course — the red foam nose. Fun for all ages, yet plenty of people are downright scared of them. There's even a word for it: coulrophobia, though that's not an official diagnosis.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:22 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Cory Booker: Supermayor Or Self-Promoter?

Newark Mayor Cory Booker speaks about his Senate campaign, outside the Grove Path Station in Jersey City, N.J., last month.
Ashlee Espinal The Jersey Journal/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 6:25 pm

In one week, voters in New Jersey go to the polls in a special primary election for a U.S. Senate seat.

No one on the ballot has more name recognition than Cory Booker, the 44-year-old mayor of Newark, who is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. But Booker's critics say he's been more focused on his own ambitions than on governing New Jersey's largest city.

Read more
From Our Listeners
3:08 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Vacation Horror Stories: Train Troubles In Budapest

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 6:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

It's time now for another one of our cautionary listener travelogues, also known by the catchier title...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Vacation...

(SOUNDBITE OF A SCREAM)

SIEGEL: ...Horror Stories.

DORIE PICKLE: My name is Dorie Pickle. I live in Austin, Texas. If my parents are listening, I urge you to turn off the radio. I believe I've never told you this story.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Read more
Media
3:08 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

'Washington Post' May Find Conflicts In Amazon Coverage

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 6:25 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The sale of The Washington Post to Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos could bring up conflict between the owner's interests and the paper's editorial independence. I talked about some of those issues with longtime media executive and consultant Merrill Brown. Among his jobs, he was a reporter and then corporate executive for The Washington Post. Later, he was founding editor-in-chief of msnbc.com. I asked Brown what he sees as potential conflicts of interest with Bezos at the helm of The Post.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:43 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Falling Obesity Rates Among Preschoolers Mark Healthful Trend

This map from the CDC shows decreases (light blue) and increases (gray) in obesity prevalence among low-income, preschool-aged children from 2008-2011.
CDC

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:47 am

A fresh analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the tide may be turning on the childhood obesity front.

After decades of steady increases, 19 states and U.S. territories saw small decreases in their rates of obesity among low-income preschoolers. And another 20 states held steady at current rates.

A CDC map shows several Southern states — including Florida, Georgia and Mississippi — that are part of the downward trend.

Read more

Pages