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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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Flipping The Switch: What It Takes To Prioritize Electric Cars

A Ford Focus electric concept car with a home charging unit on display at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., in January.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 9:48 am

"Electricity is the most likely out of all of the alternative fuels ... to be the next fuel for the consumer."

That's what Jonathan Strickland of the website HowStuffWorks tells NPR's Jacki Lyden.

But electric vehicles are not without their controversies or challenges. One of the biggest questions is how a transition from gasoline to electric fuel can actually take place.

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Author Interviews
4:35 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Craving Solitude In 'Ten White Geese'

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 5:40 pm

Gerbrand Bakker's new international best-seller, Ten White Geese, opens with a mysterious woman alone on a Welsh farm. Humiliated by an affair with a student, she turns up alone at the farm, looking for nothing and no one. She answers to the name Emily, but that is actually the first name of the American poet about whom she is writing her doctoral dissertation. Her husband has no idea where she is.

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NPR Story
3:51 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Oscars By The Numbers

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 5:40 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Anthony Breznican said he can't predict Oscar winners. But here's a guy who says he's done just that. Conor Gaughan is the chief strategy officer for Farsite, and they've been looking at all kinds of data to predict who will take home those little golden men.

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NPR Story
3:51 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Week In News: Sequestration Looms

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 5:40 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Later in the show, a haunting and sometimes menacing Dutch novel, a talk with former Smiths' guitarist Johnny Marr and backstage at the Oscars. But first, we're back to the sequester debate.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Instead of compromising, instead of asking anything of the wealthiest Americans, they'd rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class.

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NPR Story
3:51 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Reading: 'Voice Mail Is For ...' And 'Chubby Bunny'

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 9:20 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Tamara Keith read excerpts from Round 10 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest. The entries are "Voice Mail Is For Suckers" by Kristin Bonilla of Fulshear, Texas, and "Chubby Bunny" by Katie Camlin of Warrensburg, Mo. Read the full stories below and see other submissions and past winners on our Three-Minute Fiction page.

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Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards
8:03 am
Sat February 23, 2013

EW's Oscar Guy: Predictions, Backstage Tales

Anthony Breznican is a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly and its chief Oscars correspondent.
Anthony Breznican

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 5:40 pm

Like millions of Americans, Anthony Breznican will be watching the Oscars this Sunday night. But unlike the rest of us, Breznican, a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly, will be watching from backstage. As EW's chief Oscars correspondent, he escapes the confines of the press rooms for a more intimate look at the ceremony — the kind of view most journalists can only dream of.

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It's All Politics
5:06 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

What's The Sequester? And How Did We Get Here?

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (left) answers questions during a briefing with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:26 pm

They've been everywhere this week: dire warnings about threats posed by across-the-board federal spending cuts.

Unless Congress acts, the cuts are due to take effect a week from Friday. The administration is trying to drive home the ways that could affect you.

For example, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Friday that air traffic controllers will have to take unpaid days off beginning in April. Fewer controllers on the job could mean airport delays, and some airlines may decide to cancel flights.

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Science
5:06 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Boston Grapples With The Threat Of Storms And Rising Water

The Boston Tea Party museum sits right on the edge of the harbor. With rising sea levels and the increasing threat of strong storms, buildings like these are at particular risk of flooding.
Christopher Joyce NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:02 pm

Since the drubbing that Superstorm Sandy gave the Northeast in November, there's a new sense of urgency in U.S. coastal cities. Even though scientists can't predict the next big hurricane, they're confident that a warmer climate is likely to make Atlantic storms bigger and cause more flooding.

Cities like Boston are in the bull's-eye.

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It's All Politics
4:56 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Sequester In South Carolina: A Tale Of Fighter Jets And Preschools

Four F-16s from the 77th Fighter Squadron of Shaw Air Force Base fly over Darlington Raceway before a NASCAR race in Darlington, S.C., in May 2012.
Geoff Burke Getty Images for NASCAR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:47 pm

In Sumter, S.C., home of Shaw Air Force Base and the 20th Fighter Wing, cars sport bumper stickers that say, "Jet noise is the sound of freedom."

Throughout the day, F-16s on training runs blast from a runway on base, disappearing into the foggy sky. But if automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts slated for March 1 go into effect, there will be a lot less of that sound.

"To cut to that level, we just could not pay for the amount of flying hours that we currently have," says Capt. Ann Blodzinski, the base's chief of public affairs.

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World
4:51 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

After Long Isolation, Myanmar Now Has Suitors

Engineers from China and Myanmar work to bury an oil pipeline outside the Myanmar city of Mandalay. Chinese media reports say the 700-mile-long oil and gas pipelines will be completed in May.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:47 pm

For decades, Myanmar was isolated diplomatically, an economic backwater that seemed almost frozen in time amid a Southeast Asian region that was modernizing at a rapid pace.

But the political reforms under way in Myanmar, also known as Burma, are redefining its place in the world. President Obama's visit in November was a sign of the dramatic turnaround in relations with the United States.

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U.S.
4:46 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

As Police Drones Take Off, Washington State Pushes Back

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:28 pm

Last year, Seattle became one of the nation's first cities to buy unmanned drones for use by the police department. Public reaction was less "Gee-whiz" than "What the heck?"

The phrase "unmanned drones" typically conjures images of places like Afghanistan. But the Federal Aviation Administration says it wants to start testing the civilian use of aerial drones here in the U.S. and has already issued special permits to a few police departments interested in trying them out.

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Middle East
3:47 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Damascus Dragged Into Syrian War With Latest Wave Of Bombings

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:47 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

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Asia
3:47 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Obama's Meeting With New Japanese Leader Focuses On China

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:47 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The Japanese flag flew over Blair House in Washington today. That's where foreign leaders stay when they visit the White House. Japan's new prime minister is here for his first meeting with President Obama, and they've been discussing economic and security issues as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

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Health Care
3:47 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

This Year's Flu Vaccine Falters In Protecting Elderly

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:47 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This year's flu vaccine looks like it's not doing much to protect older people. New numbers in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the vaccine has only been effective about a quarter of the time for people 65 and older. NPR's Rob Stein joins me to explain what that means. And Rob, tell us more about these numbers coming from the CDC.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

FBI Raids The Scooter Store; Will TSA Crack Down On 'Wheelchair Miracles'?

Scooter Store ads are ubiquitous.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:47 pm

Somehow, the image of a slow-speed chase comes to mind:

Federal agents have "wrapped up their search of The Scooter Store's offices in New Braunfels," the San Antonio Express-News reports.

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Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards
11:54 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Despite Dark Themes, A Big Oscar Bounce

Despite its dark themes (slavery and the Civil War are hardly feel-good topics), Lincoln, like other Oscar nominees, has done very well at the box office. Disney has spent about $10 million campaigning for the best-picture prize, hoping for a payoff down the line.
DreamWorks

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:47 pm

How much is a best-picture Oscar worth? Not the statuette — winners are required to sell that back to the Academy for a buck if they want to get rid of it. No, what's the Oscar worth at the box office?

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Media
6:17 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

CNBC Adopts Tougher Tactic In Booking Wars

Morning rush hour commuters pass by a CNBC crew in front of the New York Stock Exchange in September 2006. The channel has adopted a policy that prohibits guests from appearing on rival channels amid breaking news.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:26 am

CNBC is far and away the television ratings leader in the financial cable news business. Now, evidence arrives that its executives, producers and reporters are going to great lengths to maintain its status.

The channel has adopted a policy that prohibits guests from appearing on rival channels amid breaking news if they want to be seen by CNBC's larger audience.

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It's All Politics
4:51 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

The 'Line' For Legal Immigration Is Already About 4 Million People Long

Newly sworn-in U.S. citizens recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony in Baltimore in 2012.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:26 am

In the back and forth between Congress and the White House over immigration, both sides seem to agree that people now in the U.S. illegally should wait at "the back of the line" for legal residency — meaning no green card until all other immigrants get theirs.

But that presents a problem, because the wait for a green card can take decades.

Maria has been waiting in line with her husband for 16 years and counting for what the government calls a priority date for legal residency. Because she is in the U.S. without documents, Maria asked NPR to use only her first name.

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Shots - Health News
4:47 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Morning-After Pills Don't Cause Abortion, Studies Say

Plan B is one of two emergency contraceptives available in the U.S.
UPI/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 3:51 pm

The most heated part of the fight between the Obama administration and religious groups over new rules that require most health plans to cover contraception actually has nothing to do with birth control. It has to do with abortion.

Specifically, do emergency contraceptives interfere with a fertilized egg and cause what some consider to be abortion?

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Africa
4:47 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

In Algeria, Sahara Attack Revives A Fear Of Renewed Terrorism

Algerian police stop cars at a checkpoint in In Amenas, deep in the Sahara near the Libyan border, on Jan. 18. Islamists took hostages at a nearby gas field in a major international incident.
Farouk Batiche AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:30 am

When Muslim extremists overran an oil and gas facility in Algeria's Sahara desert last month, Algerians saw the drama through the lens of their own painful history.

The news that terrorists had seized the In Amenas oil and gas plant stunned people in Algiers, the Algerian capital, who thought they'd seen the last of such attacks.

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The Salt
3:09 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Former Peanut Firm Executives Indicted Over 2009 Salmonella Outbreak

A sign outside the Peanut Corp. of America's processing plant in Blakely, Ga.
Ric Feld AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:26 am

Four former executives from Peanut Corp. of America and a related company are facing federal criminal charges for covering up information that their peanut butter was contaminated with salmonella bacteria.

The charges are related to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella back in 2009. More than 700 people became ill, and federal investigators traced the source of the bacteria to peanut butter manufactured in Blakely, Ga., by the Peanut Corp. of America. The company is no longer in business.

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Sports
2:21 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Fans Pitch Bids For Former Red Sox Pitcher's Bloodstained Sock

Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's bloody sock and spikes are displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Schilling, whose video game company went bankrupt, is selling the bloodstained sock he wore during baseball's 2004 World Series.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:26 am

The 2004 Major League Baseball playoffs will always be remembered for an astonishing Red Sox comeback and a bloody sock worn by pitcher Curt Schilling.

Well, actually there were two bloodstained socks. But the first was thrown away, and now the second sock is being auctioned off to repay Schilling's debts.

Ask any die-hard Red Sox fan and he or she can recall the game by heart. It was Oct. 19, 2004. Schilling took the hill with a bum right ankle in a do-or-die playoff game against the Yankees.

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World
10:02 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Corruption Reigns In Spain; King's Son-In-Law Accused Of Embezzling

Iñaki Urdangarin, Duke of Palma and the Spanish king's son-in-law, is accused of embezzling millions of dollars in public funds.
Manu Mielniezuk AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 9:26 am

There is no end, it seems, to revelations of corruption in Spain, exacerbated by the country's economic crisis. The latest scandal threatens to topple the pedestal on which Spain's royals have long stood.

The newest suspect is the king's son-in-law, who is accused of embezzling millions of dollars in public funds and faces a judge this weekend.

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Middle East
4:33 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

A West Bank Story, Told Through Palestinian Eyes

Emad Burnat, a Palestinian who co-directed the Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras, displays the cameras destroyed by Israeli settlers and security forces. The film focuses on a Palestinian village protesting Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank.
Kino Lorbor Inc. AP

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 7:49 am

The Academy Award-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras tells the story of Bil'in, a modest Palestinian village perilously close to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

After the Israeli government began putting up its West Bank separation barrier, Bil'in resident Emad Burnat picked up a video camera, and in 2005 began a multiyear documentary project.

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Media
4:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

New York Times Plans To Sell 'Boston Globe'

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

The Grey Lady is shedding more of its assets. This afternoon, The New York Times Company announced that it intends to sell The Boston Globe and other properties it owns in New England.

For more on this, NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik joins me from our bureau in New York. And, David, what can you tell us? Why this sale, and why now?

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It's All Politics
4:01 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Republicans Make 'Benghazi' A Frequent Refrain

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., confer at the start of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week on the appointments of military leaders. McCain and Graham have been among the Republicans pushing the Obama administration for answers about the Benghazi attack.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 5:02 pm

The White House hopes the Senate will confirm Chuck Hagel next week as defense secretary.

Republicans delayed the vote for the same reason they scuttled Susan Rice's bid to be secretary of state: Benghazi.

The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last September killed four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya. And Benghazi has since become a rallying cry for Republicans.

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Business
3:41 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

For The Publicly Traded, Going Private Can Be Risky Business

Dell's founder and another tech company have announced plans to take the computer giant private. While companies can benefit from withdrawing from the stock market, there are potential pitfalls as well.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:11 pm

It's been a busy month for corporate America.

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Book Reviews
3:20 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

'The Dinner' Offers Food For Thought

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:11 pm

Food doesn't matter much in novels. Years will pass in a person's life without a single description of a snack. Not a moment between adverbs for a taco. No wonder so many characters in contemporary fiction are glum: They're not hopeless; they're hungry.

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Afghanistan
2:57 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

The Afghan Battle Over A Law To Protect Women

Students in Kabul protest violence against women in Kabul last fall. Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a decree in 2009 protecting women's rights, but parliament has not passed a law making the decree permanent.
Mohammad Ismail Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:11 pm

Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a decree in 2009 banning violence against women. But the parliament, which is currently on its winter recess, has been unable to pass it and give it permanence as a law.

There's major disagreement on key provisions where Islamic and secular law come into conflict. And activists say the gains made in women's rights since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 are slipping away.

Masooda Karokhi, a female member of parliament, has been pushing to get the proposal through the male-dominated legislature.

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Sports
2:39 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

NASCAR Champ Finds Fans With Beer, Tweets And Bangin' Fenders

Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, gets out of his car after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona on Feb. 17.
Jonathan Ferrey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:11 pm

The first big race of the NASCAR season is on Sunday, and Brad Keselowski, the sport's brash, young champion, will begin defending his title.

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