All Things Considered on IPR News & Studio One

Weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Robert Siegel, Michele Norris, Melissa Block, Pat Blank

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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NPR Story
6:24 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

White House: Obama To Tap Janet Yellen For Fed Chair

The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama will nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve Wednesday. She would replace Ben Bernanke, who's stepping down from the post. Yellen has been the presumptive nominee for weeks, after Lawrence Summers announced his intention to remove himself from the running in September. She'd be the first woman to head the Fed.

Religion
5:47 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Imam: 'We Can't Imagine' The Beauty Of Paradise After Death

A St. Louis-area imam spoke with NPR about what Muslims believe about life after death.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 6:26 am

This week, All Things Considered is talking with leaders from different faiths about their perspectives on the afterlife. NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Mufti Asif Umar, a Muslim scholar and imam of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, about what Muslims believe and about his own beliefs.

Umar, the 29-year-old son of Indian immigrants, said Muslims believe that when a person dies, two angels appear and ask that person three questions about his or her faith. Those questions, Umar says, have correct answers.

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Parallels
4:08 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Asian Allies' Anxieties Rise Amid Washington Paralysis

President Obama listens as Chinese President Xi Jinping answers a question after a bilateral meeting in California on June 7.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:24 pm

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has all sorts of costs — not only in the United States, but also overseas. President Obama had to cancel a trip this week to visit four nations in Asia so he could stay in Washington to deal with the political crisis. That has disappointed — even worried — some of America's friends in the region, who are counting on the United States to stand up to an increasingly assertive China.

The disappointment over the president's no-show in Asia was palpable.

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Environment
4:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Flood Forensics: Why Colorado's Floods Were So Destructive

Flooding brought down a house in Jamestown, Colo., on Sept. 18.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 9:25 am

Parts of Colorado are still drying out after floods hit the state last month. Eight people died, and damage from the worst flooding in decades is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Scientists are now venturing into the hardest-hit areas to do a sort of "flood forensics" to understand why the floods were so bad.

Geologist Jonathan Godt takes Peak Highway in northern Colorado up into the Rockies. The road there winds past ravines and streams where water is still rushing.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Verdi's Gift: Wringing Catchy Music From Touchy Subjects

In his operas, Giuseppe Verdi had a knack for empowering marginalized people — like the title character of Aida, who is an enslaved Ethiopian princess (played in this 2011 French production by American soprano Indra Thomas).
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:24 pm

Two hundred years ago this week, Giuseppe Verdi was born in an Italian town midway between Bologna and Milan. On the occasion of his bicentennial, All Things Considered wanted to know what makes the great opera composer so enduring — why his work is still so frequently discussed and performed these two centuries later. The answer, says conductor and arranger John Mauceri, is that Verdi had a knack for making thorny topics accessible.

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Religion
4:56 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

To Pastor, Afterlife Is Where We 'Learn To Live Together'

Detail of the central compartment of The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, completed in 1432 by Jan van Eyck, where pilgrims gather to pay homage to the lamb of God. Many art historians interpret the painting's fountain as a symbol of eternal life.
DEA Picture Library De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 3:39 pm

A majority of Americans from all walks of life believe in life after death. Yet conversations about the afterlife — from what it might look and feel like to who else one may find there — often remain highly personal ones, shared with family members, clergy or others who share one's faith.

To better understand how many Americans conceive of the afterlife, All Things Considered has spoken with leaders from different faith traditions on their views on life after death.

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The Government Shutdown
4:56 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Even Antarctica Feels Effects Of The Government Shutdown

A helicopter is unloaded from an LC-130 in Antarctica last December. Researchers on this mission were studying the Pine Island Glacier, one of the fastest-receding glaciers on the continent.
August Allen National Science Foundation

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:50 pm

It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.

That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Raids Project Presidential Power Amid Shutdown's Gridlock

President Obama arrives to speak about the government shutdown at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Response Coordination Center on Monday.
Shawn Thew-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:50 pm

The American system of government was built on gridlock. Yet even by that standard, this past week has demonstrated new levels of immobility.

So the special forces operations carried out in Libya and Somalia over the weekend were a bracing change. President Obama decided to do something — and it happened.

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Economy
4:26 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

In A Debt Crisis, U.S. May Have To Decide Payment Priorities

House Republicans have proposed directing the Treasury Department to pay bondholders first if there is not enough money available to pay all the nation's debts.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:02 am

The government is just 10 days away from defaulting on its debt. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said that by Oct. 17, the department will likely have less money on hand than it needs to pay all its bills.

"The reality is that if we run out of cash to pay our bills, there is no option that permits us to pay all of our bills on time, which means that a failure of Congress to act would for the first time put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations as a government," Lew said on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday.

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Sports
3:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

His Dodgers In The Playoffs, A Legendary Announcer Keeps On

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

For the first time in four years, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the playoffs. They have plenty of stars on the field, but the most famous and beloved member of the organization is in the radio booth. Eighty-five-year-old Vin Scully has been broadcasting games for 64 years. Ben Bergman of member station KPCC got a rare interview with Scully, who says he'll keep going for at least another year.

VIN SCULLY: It's time for Dodger baseball.

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Pop Culture
3:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

George R.R. Martin, Author And ... Movie-Theater Guy?

George R.R. Martin prepares to introduce author Neil Gaiman and performer Amanda Palmer at charity benefit at his newly renovated Jean Cocteau cinema in Santa Fe, N.M., on Sept. 29. Reopening the old movie house has been a passion project for the Game of Thrones author — but for some of his fans, it's one more distraction that's come between them and Martin's unfinished epic.
Grayson Schaffer for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 1:21 pm

George R.R. Martin's hit fiction series A Song of Ice and Fire has sold more than 25 million copies and sparked an HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones, that won two Emmys in 2013, bringing its total to 10.

But many fans are grumbling that Martin hasn't been spending enough time of late in his mythical kingdom of Westeros and its surroundings. On the list of things Martin is doing instead of writing the next Game of Thrones book? Reviewing the latest episodes of Breaking Bad, editing a sci-fi series and writing a novella.

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Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Deepwater Horizon Trial Enters Second Phase

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 5:50 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.

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Around the Nation
4:06 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Holdout Pennsylvania Pelted With Gay Marriage Lawsuits

Sasha Ballen and Dee Spagnuolo (far right) are party to two of five lawsuits filed since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage in June. Attorney Robert C. Heim (left) is helping to represent them.
Emma Jacobs NewsWorks/WHYY

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 4:47 pm

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act said that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages from states that allow them. Since the decision, couples in states which do not recognize same-sex marriages have filed a flurry of lawsuits.

Conditions are ripe for litigation in those states, like Pennsylvania. In July, a rogue county clerk outside Philadelphia started granting marriage licenses to gays and lesbians, defying the state's ban.

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Business
4:06 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Tesla Slips From Pedestal That May Have Been Too High

It's been a rough week for Tesla, but extra scrutiny is expected for the new car on the block, says Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:52 am

Over the last year of so, Tesla motors has received some really good press. But this past week, it's been knocked off its pedestal.

"We're a country that likes to put things up on pedestals and then tear them down from pedestals. We do that with people, I think we do that with things," says Jack Nerad, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

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NPR Story
4:06 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Breaking The Silence Between The U.S. And Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reviews the honor guard upon arrival from the U.S. at Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran, on Sept. 28. Iranians from across the political spectrum hailed the historic phone conversation between President Barack Obama and Rouhani, reflecting wide support for an new tone between the two nations.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 5:14 pm

Tension, distrust, hostility: For more than 30 years, those words have described the relationship between Iran and the United States. But there's one other overriding word to describe it: silence.

Since 1979, no American president had spoken with a leader of Iran. That all changed on Sept. 27, when President Obama entered the White House briefing room and said that he had spoken with Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new president, by telephone.

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Digital Life
4:06 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Composing Game Soundtracks That Move 'Faster Than Light'

Composer Ben Prunty creates soundtracks and sound effects for video games.
Courtesy of Ben Prunty

This weekend, independent video game developers and fans gathered for the international IndieCade Festival in Los Angeles.

One of the featured speakers Saturday was sound designer Ben Prunty, who integrates audio into some of the most popular independent video games. Prunty composed the soundtrack to the computer game Faster Than Light, which was nominated for IGN's Best Overall Music and Best PC Sound of 2012.

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Digital Life
2:47 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Isabella Rossellini, Getting Animal Again With 'Mammas'

In her Web series, Mammas, film star Isabella Rossellini portrays animal mothers. Here, she's an oil beetle.
Courtesy Sundance Channel

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 4:06 pm

Film star Isabella Rossellini has a fish on her head.

She is a mouthbrooder, she explains, helpfully — meaning a fish who incubates her eggs in her mouth.

Rossellini's newest Web series is Mammas, an unconventional look at the natural world and our accepted notions of it.

"My films are comical films. They are made to laugh at," Rossellini tells NPR. "They are comical — and scientifically correct."

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Music Interviews
11:03 am
Sun October 6, 2013

Returning To Music, Tested By Loss

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander's new album is titled Claws & Wings.
Angelo Merendino Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 4:06 pm

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander lost his wife of many years, dancer and choreographer Lynn Shapiro, to breast cancer in 2011. She'd been diagnosed a decade earlier, and Friedlander says music became a place of vital release for him as her condition worsened.

"During the difficult years, I did take refuge in working," he says. "It was a place where I could make the rules; where I could control what I could control."

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NPR Story
5:36 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

House Votes To Give Back Pay To Furloughed Feds

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Christina Bellantoni is the politics editor for "PBS NewsHour." She joins us to talk about the latest from Washington. Christina, welcome.

CHRISTINA BELLANTONI: Thanks for having me.

RATH: So first, let's talk about how this is playing out politically. There's been a lot of talk about who's to blame for the shutdown. Polls are showing most Americans blame the Republicans in the House. But do you think that's going to continue, if the shutdown drags on?

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Remembrances
4:56 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Angola 3 Inmate Tastes Brief, 'Bittersweet' Freedom

Herman Wallace (left) and his legal team discuss his trip home to New Orleans after his release from prison on Tuesday. Wallace died on Friday.
Lauren McGaughy The Times-Picayune /Landov

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 5:36 pm

Herman Wallace died early Friday in New Orleans, three days after gaining his freedom. Wallace had spent the previous 41 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana.

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Pop Culture
4:56 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

The New And The Next: Fighter Who Won't Quit And Country Rap

Zach Lynch/MMA Photography

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 1:27 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
4:56 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

How Verdi Improved On Shakespeare

Johan Botha as the title character and Renée Fleming as Desdemona in the Metropolitan Opera's fall 2012 run of Verdi's Otello.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:22 pm

This past week may have been a rough one for the classical world, but there is something to look forward to.

This coming week, we celebrate the 200th birthday of Giuseppe Verdi, composer of the best opera of all time. (That's right, Wagner fans. Start writing those letters.)

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World
3:45 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

What A Downed Black Hawk In Somalia Taught America

A U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flies over Somalia in September 1993, a month before the battle of Mogadishu.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 8:44 am

This week marked the 20th anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu, the deadliest firefight U.S. forces had faced since Vietnam.

The incident ultimately pushed the U.S. out of Somalia, leaving a safe haven for extremist groups.

It continues to impact U.S. foreign policy today, from the rise of Islamists to the nation's reaction when asked to send American troops into harm's way.

'Things Did Not Go Well'

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Author Interviews
2:58 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

How Reddit Emerged From A Rejected (And Very Different) Idea

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 5:36 pm

Reddit calls itself "the front page of the Internet." The social news site and global discussion board has become increasingly popular since it launched in 2005. Topics range from politics and entertainment to animal videos and conspiracy theories. Many public figures have used Reddit to reach out to fans and supporters, and last year, President Obama used the site to answer voter questions live.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:18 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

It's Been A Really Bad Week For Classical Music

In Minneapolis, demonstrations in support of musicians have drawn regular support during the yearlong Minnesota Orchestra labor dispute.
Euan Kerr Minnesota Public Radio

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 5:36 pm

The world of classical music has had a very turbulent week. Carnegie Hall's labor dispute with its stagehands led to the cancellation of its opening-night gala.

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The Government Shutdown
4:24 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

You've Got Shutdown Questions. We've Got Answers

Efforts to resolve the government shutdown are at a standstill.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:47 pm

There's no end in sight to the partial shutdown of the federal government, which has now gone on for four days.

Earlier this week, All Things Considered asked you to submit your questions about the shutdown. NPR's Audie Cornish put those questions to a crack team of NPR reporters for answers:

Is our food or medicine unsafe?

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Religion
4:24 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Snake-Handling Preachers Open Up About 'Takin' Up Serpents'

Andrew Hamblin preaches while holding a snake above his head, LaFollette, Tenn.
Ciaran Flannery NGT

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:35 pm

Snake handlers dwell at the edge of the spiritual frontier — a community of people who are willing to die for their faith three times a week in church. Members of the Pentecostal Holiness Church take up venomous serpents to prove their faith in God. The practice is still widespread in Appalachia, though mostly hidden.

Pastor Jamie Coots warns about the scent in the snake room behind his house in Middlesboro, Ky.

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Europe
4:24 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Tories Tell Jobless Brits: It's Time To Work For Your Dole

Job seekers line up outside a work support office in London in 2009. New measures proposed by the Conservative-led government will require recipients of unemployment benefits to do unpaid community work, spend workdays at a job center or participate in intensive programs to help solve personal issues that prevent them from working.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:18 pm

Britain's Conservative-led government delivered a one-two punch to more pillars of Britain's social benefits system this week. It announced more cuts to the country's social welfare programs — moving ever closer to "workfare."

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Books News & Features
3:05 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

New E-Book Lending Service Aims To Be Netflix For Books

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:24 pm

Movie lovers have Netflix, music lovers have Spotify — and book lovers (whether they read literary fiction or best-selling potboilers) now have Scribd. The document sharing website has been around since 2007, but this week it launched a subscription service for e-book lending.

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Movie Interviews
1:55 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Sandra Bullock, Boxed In On The Set Of 'Gravity'

Many of the special effects in the action-adventure film Gravity were generated by computers — but star Sandra Bullock also had to put in a good deal of work, with choreographed movements simulating weightlessness.
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:24 pm

The eye-popping new movie Gravity will make you very grateful you're planted on terra firma. It's a thriller directed by Alfonso Cuaron, in which shuttle astronauts on a spacewalk are stranded after a collision with a vast cloud of space debris.

And one of those astronauts — played by Sandra Bullock — is left on her own, hundreds of miles above Earth. She's running out of oxygen and tumbling untethered through the void of space.

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