All Things Considered

Hosted by 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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Science
4:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Sixth-Grader's Science Project Catches Ecologists' Attention

Scientists previously underestimated the ability of the lionfish to live in less salty water.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 2:40 pm

(July 24, 2014: See the editor's note at the bottom of this page for an explanation of the story's new headline.)

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.

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Around the Nation
5:18 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

As Superheroes Go Mainstream, Comic Cons Get Corporate

Anna Swope, dressed as a stormtrooper from Star Wars, and her husband Stephen Goss, dressed as the films' Boba Fett, wait to use an ATM while attending the Fan Expo convention in Vancouver, B.C.
Darryl Dyck AP

Darren Tompkins attended his first comic convention (or comic con) in Roanoke, Va., back in the mid-1980s. At the time, these gatherings were only for die-hard comic fans — people who might invest in a Batman or Joker costume to wear once a year.

"Really, it was just a small ballroom filled with cardboard boxes," Tompkins says. "I mean, there weren't any actors or famous people or panels or anything. It was just a place for comic book dealers to get together and sell their wares."

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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Learning To Love The Ocean After A Lifetime Of Fearing It

Every Wednesday for a decade, Tim Bomba has been helping people in Santa Monica, Calif., get over their fears of the ocean.
Carlo Allegri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 10:14 am

Tim Bomba is a tall, rangy guy with a quick smile. He's a marathoner, a triathlete (he's done two Ironman races), and every Wednesday morning for the last decade, Bomba has taught a ocean swimming course in Santa Monica, Calif.

The course, called Ocean 101, isn't for accomplished swimmers like Bomba. It's for people who are new to the ocean, and many participants are afraid of the water when they arrive. Bomba knows what they're going through. He himself was terrified of swimming until he was in his 50s.

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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Community Groups Help Immigrants Settle Amid Political, Legal Turmoil

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 5:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEver's.

(SOUNDBITE OF RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The following message will be repeated in Spanish and English.

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World
4:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

At Crash Site In Ukraine, Rebels Restrict International Monitors

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 5:18 pm

Separatist rebels at the site of the shot down Malaysia Airlines jet in Eastern Ukraine have been giving restricted access to international monitors Saturday. Corey Flintoff speaks with NPR's Kelly McEvers from Donetsk on the effort and the outcry over the slow pace of the body recovery and evidence gathering.

Author Interviews
4:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

To Meet A 'Mockingbird': Memoir Recalls Talks With Harper Lee

Harper Lee, pictured in 2007 before receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 7:34 am

In 1960, Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird, won the Pulitzer Prize, and overnight became one of America's most beloved writers. But Lee was overwhelmed by the media blitz that followed. She retreated from the public eye, became wary of journalists, and never published another book.

Then, in 2001, a reporter for The Chicago Tribune showed up in Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Ala., to work on a story about the town, which is the model for the fictional setting of Lee's novel.

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Code Switch
6:54 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

New York's 'Night Of Birmingham Horror' Sparked A Summer Of Riots

Helmeted New York City police carry away a rioter at West 130th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem on July 19, 1964.
AP
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This Week's Must Read
4:47 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Surviving An Adult World In Fairy Tales, And Real Life

cover detail

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

I live in Tucson, Ariz. National news about thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border — some as young as 2 years old — is local news here. A front-page headline from this week's Arizona Daily Star reads, "Immigration tension boils over in Oracle." It's subtitled "Protesters, supporters, clash; bus carrying children fails to show."

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News
4:47 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Wrap-up: The Day's Events In Eastern Ukraine And Gaza

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to recap the major stories of the day. The United States is pinning the blame for the crash of a passenger jet in Ukraine on pro-Russian separatists. President Obama said today that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by the separatists. Mr. Obama called for a cease-fire to allow for a full investigation.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Parallels
4:47 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Inside Gaza And Under Israeli Fire, A Family Tries To Stay Safe

Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City on Friday.
Hatem Moussa AP

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

The beginning of Israel's ground invasion Thursday night was loud. Explosions lit up the sky to the north and east and boomed throughout the Gaza Strip.

But Friday started pretty quietly for Rashad Abu Tawila.

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Movie Interviews
3:40 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

In New Film, Zach Braff Asks: How Long Can You Pursue Your Dreams?

In Wish I Was Here, Braff plays a father who embarks on a chaotic attempt to home-school his kids, Tucker (Pierce Gagnon ) and Grace (Joey King).
Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP Focus Features

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Zach Braff is currently performing on Broadway, and for a time he starred in the TV comedy Scrubs. But he's also known for directing and starring in the 2004 film Garden State, a model of 20-something angst.

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Middle East
3:40 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

A Hamas Response To Israeli Peace Terms And The Violence In Gaza

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Ihab al-Ghussein, deputy information minister for Hamas in Gaza, about the conditions under which Hamas would accept a cease-fire.

Law
3:05 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Unanimous Vote Could Mean Reduced Penalties For 46,000 Defendants

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to a major decision that could bring big changes to as many as 46,000 prison inmates. Those are people convicted of drug crimes, and today, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to reduce prison sentences for drug defendants who are already behind bars. This would start next year. NPR justice correspondent, Carrie Johnson, has our story.

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News
3:05 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Obama: U.S. Confident That Missile Came From Rebel-Held Region

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

The U.S. says that evidence suggests the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was fired from separatist-held territory in eastern Ukraine. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports what is now known about the crash.

Middle East
3:05 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Israeli Forces Move Into Gaza, 'Terrorist Tunnels' In Cross Hairs

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on the latest news from the Gaza Strip, where Israel has undertaken a ground invasion against Hamas operatives. It's the first time in five years that the Israeli military has conducted a ground operation.

Pop Culture
3:05 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

So, Thor Is A Woman And Cap Is Black: Is This A Big Deal Or Not?

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Europe
7:40 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

At The Scene Of The Crash: An Attempt To Make Sense Of The Wreckage

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:59 pm

Audie Cornish talks with reporter Noah Sneider, who's at the crash site of the Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region.

News
4:57 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

A Day Of Tumult, Tragedy And Violence In Europe And Middle East

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, what we know about today's two big stories - the ground invasion that's now underway in the Gaza Strip and the crash of a Malaysia Airlines flight in Ukraine. We'll begin with the downing of the Boeing triple seven. It left Amsterdam at twelve fifteen p.m. local time, and was supposed to arrive at Kuala Lumpur national airport early tomorrow morning. Malaysia Airlines says when it lost contact with flight 17, its last known position was over Ukrainian airspace.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Latin America
4:35 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

The Corrupt Structures Driving The Exodus Out Of Central America

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

Many of the immigrant children now crossing the U.S.-Mexico border come from Central America, escaping violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. To find out more about the unstable conditions in those countries, Robert Siegel speaks with Joy Olson, the executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America.

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Book Reviews
4:29 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

William T. Vollmann's Ghost Stories Are Frighteningly Self-Indulgent

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

In certain writers, the sense of profound moral inquiry is like a bell tower in a country church: You can see it from a long way off, and even when it's not making a sound, you can hear its reverberation. William T. Vollmann's work is like that: Regardless of his subject, he writes from a place of grave moral seriousness. In his masterpiece, the 2005 novel Europe Central, he wrestled the 20th century into one huge, luminous tome that bristled with insight and dread.

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News
4:24 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

White House Urges Lawmakers To Address Popular Tax Dodge

Ireland (shown here in this Dingle Peninsula photo) has been among the greenest pastures for countries seeking to reduce their tax liabilities through a process called "corporate inversion."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

When is it OK for an American company to avoid paying American taxes?

That's the question the Senate Finance Committee will wrestle with next week as the Obama administration urges lawmakers to make it harder for companies to duck corporate taxes by setting up shop overseas.

The latest tax-cutting strategy to go under the microscope, these so-called corporate inversions are a buttoned-down variation of an older, sexier tax dodge called the "naked inversion."

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U.S.
3:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

As Immigration Crisis Grows, A Protest Movement Gains Steam

In Oracle, Ariz., on Tuesday, protesters gather near the entrance to a juvenile facility in an effort to stop the arrival of a busload of Central American immigrant children. The bus never arrived.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:01 pm

Anti-illegal immigration activists are planning several hundred protests in cities across the country on Friday and Saturday, part of a growing backlash against the federal government's efforts to temporarily house migrant children detained at the border.

Protesters say they are concerned about safety, as the Obama administration pushes to move detainees from Texas to shelters run by nonprofits in other states.

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Men In America
3:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

The Face Of The Millennial Man, Sketched In Data

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We've been hearing from men about what they think it means to be a man and what their lives are like.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

JOE EHRMANN: I recognize that I was a socialized male that had separated my heart from my head, trying to live life from the neck up.

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Theater
3:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Actress Elaine Stritch, 'Her Own Greatest Character,' Dies At 89

Stritch first appeared on Broadway in 1944 — and was still performing occasionally even at age 89. She is pictured above in 1955.
AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:19 pm

Elaine Stritch — one of Broadway's boldest and brassiest performers — has died. With that gravelly voice — and those long legs — and that utter command of the stage, Stritch was a bona fide Broadway star. Not as a classic leading lady, necessarily, but as the hardened-yet-vulnerable performer audiences couldn't forget. Stritch died of natural causes Thursday morning at her home in Birmingham, Mich. She was 89.

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News
7:02 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Obama Unrolls New Sanctions Against Russia

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama had some announcements today on U.S. policy overseas. In the White House briefing room, the president ran through a long list of what he described as pressing foreign policy challenges - questions about the election results in Afghanistan, Iranian nuclear talks, the ongoing violence between Hamas and Israel and finally, the situation in Ukraine. The U.S. government imposed new sanctions on Russia today over interference in that country. Here's how President Obama summed it up.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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U.S.
5:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Lotteries Take In Billions, Often Attract The Poor

A customer holds his Mega Millions lottery ticket at Tobacco Plus in Muncie, Ind. Researchers say lotteries often draw low-income gamblers who are on welfare.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 9:13 pm

Santo Domingo Liquors in Lawrence, Mass., has two cash registers. But sometimes only the lottery register has a line.

Elizabeth Correia, eight months pregnant, is running that register with her mother — her family owns the store.

"We do this seven days a week. Seven days a week. My mom, sometimes she'll do it open to closing," Correia says.

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The Salt
5:07 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

This Dirty Little Weed May Have Cleaned Up Ancient Teeth

This young male, buried at a prehistoric site in Central Sudan, probably munched on the roots of a plant called purple nutsedge.
Donatella Usai Centro Studi Sudanesi and Sub-Sahariani

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:35 pm

The menus of millennia past can be tough to crack, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. For archaeologists studying a prehistoric site in Sudan, dental plaque provided a hint.

"When you eat, you get this kind of film of dental plaque over your teeth," says Karen Hardy, an archaeologist with the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

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All Tech Considered
3:45 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Visa Makes Big Move To Boost Consumer Spending Online

Visa Checkout will store customers' credit card numbers and billing addresses once without their having to re-enter the information each time they shop online.
Visa

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 10:28 am

Here's an experience many of us have had: You're shopping on your smartphone. You click on the shoes or books you want. But then, when you get to the shopping cart, you abandon ship.

Visa says that's a big problem for retailers. On Wednesday, the credit card company announced it's rolling out a brand new system designed to get us to spend more money online.

One Password, Many Tokens

Visa is actually trying to fix two problems with one swipe.

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Shots - Health News
3:11 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Patients With Low-Cost Insurance Struggle To Find Specialists

Dr. Charu Sawhney examines patient Mang Caan. Sawhney supports the Affordable Care Act, but has been frustrated by how difficult it is to find specialists who accept some of the plans her patients bought.
Carrie Feibel for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 7:02 pm

The Hope Clinic in southwest Houston is in the very heart of Asia Town, a part of the city where bland strip malls hide culinary treasures — Vietnamese pho, Malaysian noodles, Sichuan rabbit and bubble tea.

Inside the clinic, internist Charu Sawhney sees patients from many countries and circumstances. She's a big believer in the Affordable Care Act since most of her patients have been uninsured. She actively pushed many of them to sign up for the new plans.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Miss. Primary Saga Rolls On, As McDaniel Refuses To Back Down

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 7:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Mississippi's Republican Senate runoff was decided three weeks ago, but the loser in that race refuses to accept the results. Longtime Sen. Thad Cochran is the certified winner, but his tea party-backed challenger, Chris McDaniel, alleges there might have been thousands of improper votes cast and today another twist. NPR political editor Charlie Mahtesian joins us now to talk about that twist. And Charlie, State Sen. Chris McDonnell's campaign held a much anticipated press conference today. But what actually happened?

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