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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Reporter's Notebook
5:04 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

New York: A Concrete Jungle And 'City Of Trees,' Too

Tulip
Courtesy of Benjamin Swett

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 7:26 pm

You expect to find great trees in city parks and botanical gardens. But you might not expect to find ancient or unusual trees in the inner city or smack dab in the middle of a highway.

Benjamin Swett has a love of trees so deep that he's written pamphlets about them, created photo exhibits and now has a new book, New York City of Trees. His book has pictures and stories of some 60 trees in the city.

I took a walk with him to some of the great trees, often in unexpected places.

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
3:37 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Sequester Puts Some Needing Housing Aid 'Back To Square One'

Roger Bottomley of Fairfax, Va., has been homeless for 10 years. He expected to get a housing voucher, but then his appointment with the local housing authority was canceled because of sequestration. He keeps his belongings in a locker at a homeless day center.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 7:01 pm

Congress decided last week to ease the effects of the across-the-board federal spending cuts on travelers upset over airport delays. But low-income Americans who rely on government housing aid are still feeling the pain.

Housing authorities across the country have all but stopped issuing rent vouchers as they try to deal with the cuts known as sequestration. Many newly issued vouchers have been rescinded, leaving some people homeless or doubled up with family and friends.

And the cuts come at a time when there's a severe shortage of affordable housing across the country.

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Shots - Health News
3:24 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

How Doctors Would Know If Syrians Were Hit With Nerve Gas

Doctors at a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, treat a boy injured in what the government said was a chemical weapons attack on March 19. Syria's government and rebels accused each other of firing a rocket loaded with chemical agents outside of Aleppo.
George Ourfalian Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:02 am

President Obama affirmed Tuesday that there's evidence Syrians have been attacked with chemical weapons — in particular, nerve gas.

But that's not the same as proof positive.

"We don't know how they were used, when they were used, who used them," Obama said. "We don't have a chain of custody that establishes what exactly happened."

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Music Reviews
2:52 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Marc Ribot Isn't Trying To Comfort Anyone

Ceramic Dog is Marc Ribot, Ches Smith and Shahzad Ismaily.
Barbara Rigon Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 7:01 pm

After six years as a sideman for many soul veterans, Marc Ribot made his name in 1985 with Rain Dogs, the album that marked Tom Waits' permanent transition from eccentric singer-songwriter to truly weird singer-songwriter. Ribot has held down straight gigs since then, but his work has tended toward the avant-garde. That's much less true on the song-oriented second album by the trio he calls Ceramic Dog.

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U.S.
2:19 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

On California Prisons, It's The Governor Vs. The Courts

Gov. Jerry Brown in January calls for federal judges to return control of California prisons to the state. This month, a federal appeals court denied Brown's request and ordered the state to reduce its prison population immediately.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 4:32 pm

California Gov. Jerry Brown is locked in a legal battle over control of his state's prison system. Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling ordering the state to drastically reduce its prisoner population. Brown claims the state has made substantial progress, but the governor has stopped short of complying fully with the court order.

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The Salt
2:11 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Why An Immigration Deal Won't Solve The Farmworker Shortage

American farms like this iceberg lettuce field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods outside Salinas, Calif., are facing a dwindling supply of farmworkers from rural Mexico.
Kirk Siegler

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 7:01 pm

The Salinas Valley in Northern California grows about 80 percent of the country's lettuce, and it takes a lot of people to pick and pack it. In a field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a dozen lechugueros, or lettuce pickers, are bent at the waist, cutting heads of iceberg lettuce. They work frantically to stay in front of a line of 12 more packers, who seal them with tape and toss them onto a conveyor belt.

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Latin America
1:39 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

As Youth Crime Spikes, Brazil Struggles For Answers

A youth smokes crack in the Manguinhos slum in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. A crack epidemic is one factor contributing to the sharp rise in crime committed by Brazilian minors.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:34 am

In Rio de Janeiro, tourists are drawn to Copacabana for its wide beach and foliage-covered cliffs. But a month ago, not far from the tourist hub, an American woman and her French male companion were abducted. She was brutally gang-raped; he was beaten.

Perhaps what was most shocking to Brazilians, though, was the age of one of the alleged accomplices: He was barely in his teens.

"Why? That's what you ask yourself," says Sylvia Rumpoldt, who is walking with a friend at dusk by the sea in Rio. "It's horrible. It's criminal energy."

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All Tech Considered
4:51 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

How One College Is Closing The Computer Science Gender Gap

Harvey Mudd President Maria Klawe often uses her longboard to get around campus and chat with students like senior Xanda Schofield.
Wendy Kaufman NPR

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:48 pm

This story is part of our series The Changing Lives of Women.

There are still relatively few women in tech. Maria Klawe wants to change that. As president of Harvey Mudd College, a science and engineering school in Southern California, she's had stunning success getting more women involved in computing.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:49 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Remembering Janos Starker, The Cellist 'Born To Be A Teacher'

Cellist Janos Starker with one of his classes at Indiana University. He said he was "put on this earth to be a teacher."
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:48 pm

Renowned concert soloist and prolific, Grammy-winning cellist Janos Starker died Sunday. He was 88.

Starker's career began in his native Hungary, where he entered the Budapest Academy at age 7 and made his solo debut four years later. Starker dedicated his life to music, and left a legacy of teaching and performing.

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Shots - Health News
3:26 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Big Sibling's Big Influence: Some Behaviors Run In The Family

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:02 am

Patricia East is a developmental psychologist who began her career working at an OB-GYN clinic in California. Thursday mornings at the clinic were reserved for pregnant teens, and when East arrived the waiting room would be packed with them, chair after chair of pregnant adolescents.

It was in this waiting room, East explains, that she discovered her life's work — an accidental discovery that emerged from the small talk that staff at the clinic had with their young clients as they walked them back for checkups.

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Music Interviews
3:02 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Iron And Wine: Words Like Seedlings

Iron and Wine's new album is titled Ghost on Ghost.
Craig Kief Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:48 pm

It's kind of surprising that Iron and Wine's Sam Beam has ended up making his living in music. Early on, he received a cautionary lesson from his dad.

"My father used to book Motown bands in college," Beam says. "And he imparted some wisdom on me that it's an easy gig to lose your shirt in."

Beam grew up in South Carolina; he studied art in college, then got into making movies. Music was just something he did on the side, for fun.

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It's All Politics
2:27 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Rubio Tries To Convince Conservatives He Hasn't Been Duped

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at a Capitol Hill news conference with the Senate's "Gang of Eight," the bipartisan team pushing an immigration overhaul, on April 18.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:48 pm

In the current debate over revamping the nation's immigration laws, there may be no elected official with more on the line than Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

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Asia
2:26 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Chasing The Chinese Dream — If You Can Define It

A woman in downtown Beijing walks past a building adorned with a patriotic mural by Chinese graffiti artists on April 22.
Stephen Shaver UPI/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 7:16 pm

Forget about the American dream. Nowadays, the next big thing is the Chinese dream. In Beijing, it's the latest official slogan, mentioned on the front page of the official People's Daily 24 times in a single week recently.

With this level of publicity from the official propaganda machine, the Chinese dream even looks set to be enshrined as the new official ideology.

But what exactly is it?

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U.S.
2:26 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

With Or Without Overhaul, Immigration Lawyers In Short Supply

People attend a legal clinic for deferred action applicants in New York in August. Immigration attorneys say demand for their services outstrips the nation's supply of trained immigration lawyers.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:48 pm

With immigration a hot-button issue in Washington, some version of immigration reform is likely this year. Even so, immigrant activist Sandra Sanchez concedes that the country might not be ready for an overhaul of its immigration laws.

Sanchez, director of the American Friends Service Committee Iowa's Immigrants Voice Program, doesn't mean that in political terms, but in practical ones. "We need to be prepared for the wave of millions of potential applicants that will be needing ... legal services," she says. "And we will not have enough resources to serve them."

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U.S.
4:18 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Teen Sexual Assault: Where Does The Conversation Start?

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:59 pm

The narrative has become all too familiar: accusations of sexual assault, followed by bullying of the victims on social media.

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Author Interviews
3:56 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Iran's Political Scene Is Sketchy For Cartoonists

"War" by Touka Neyestani: Neyestani received a degree in architecture from Tehran's Science and Industry University, and has been a cartoonist for more than 30 years.
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:32 am

Iranian newspapers are rife with cartoons. They are a tradition, and play a big role voicing criticism of the country's authoritarian regime.

Increasingly, though, Iranian cartoonists have been imprisoned, received death threats, or gone into exile because of their work.

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Music
3:31 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

New Cuban Sounds Rooted In Tradition From 'Global Village'

The Miami group Tiempo Libre combines hip-hop, R&B, rock and pan-Latin sounds to create a distinctive version of Cuban party music known as timba.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 5:38 pm

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Author Interviews
5:13 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Hard Hits, Hard Liquor In 'The Summer of Beer and Whiskey'

PublicAffairs

The summer of 1883 proved to be a pivotal time for American baseball.

A brash German immigrant and beer garden owner, Chris Von der Ahe strode onto the scene to found a new franchise, the St. Louis Browns — a team that would later become the St. Louis Cardinals.

His motivation? To sell more beer. And while he made a fortune, he also changed the sport forever.

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NPR Story
4:39 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Chemical Weapons Aside, Syria Faces Daily Grind

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

And while the news out of Syria focused on the use of chemical weapons and what, if anything, the U.S. should do about it, in Syria, the war continues daily.

NPR's Kelly McEvers has been covering the conflict. She's in Washington this week. She's been on this story for over two years. Kelly, we're so glad that you could be with us today.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: Hi, Jacki.

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Business
4:39 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

E-Cigarettes Bring Smokers Back Inside, For Now

Actor Stephen Dorff smokes an e-cigarette in a commercial for Blu E-Cigs.
YouTube

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 6:07 pm

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Politics
4:39 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Conservative Shift Has Some Kansans Yearning For The Past

Karl and Twilla Eisele, of Wellsville, Kan., leave the old Brown School after voting on Nov. 6, 2012, in rural Wellsville, Kan. Recent elections have made the Kansas Legislature the most conservative in the state's history.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 7:17 pm

Kansan journalist Jason Probst says the Kansas he knows has disappeared.

"The great state of Kansas passed away on March 31, 2013 after a long and difficult battle with extremism," he wrote in an editorial for The Hutchinson News.

His faux obituary, lamenting Kansas' embrace of conservatism, went viral. Tens of thousands of people read it. Many were fellow Kansans who wrote to Probst to say they, too, were disturbed by their state's dramatic swing to the right.

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NPR Story
3:57 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Week In News: Cuts Up In The Air And Stirrings In Syria

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 4:39 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

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

Coming up this hour, classic soap operas relaunch online and how beer begat baseball. But first...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LYDEN: This week, Americans felt the effects of massive federal spending cuts.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This week, the sequester hurt travelers who were stuck for hours in airports and on planes and are rightly frustrated by it.

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Television
3:57 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Two Daytime Soaps Return, But Will Fans Follow Online?

New episodes of All My Children will be airing on Hulu starting Monday.
Hulu

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 2:15 pm

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Music Interviews
3:42 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Karl Hyde, Underworld Music Maker, Surfaces

Karl Hyde's debut solo album is titled Edgeland.
Perou Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 5:20 pm

Karl Hyde is one-half of the English electronic dance duo Underworld. But he's also an installation artist, a painter and a composer. Last year, he collaborated with director Danny Boyle on the music for the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.

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Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

30 Years On, Educators Still Divided On Scathing Schools Report

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:32 pm

Thirty years ago this week, President Ronald Reagan's administration released "A Nation at Risk," a report warning of "a rising tide of mediocrity" in American public education.

According to the report, only one-third of 17-year-olds in 1983 could solve a math problem requiring two steps or more, and 4 out of 10 teenagers couldn't draw inferences from written material. In an address to the nation, Reagan warned that "about 13 percent of 17-year-olds are functional illiterates and, among minority youth, the rate is closer to 40 percent."

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It's All Politics
3:47 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Democrats Invoke Boston, West To Defend Government's Role

Last week, FBI investigators and a Watertown, Mass., police officer investigate the scene near the boat where bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding. Democrats have argued that the way the government responded to the Boston attacks makes a case for not cutting too deeply.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:23 pm

President Obama has spoken at two memorial services in just over a week — one for victims of the Boston Marathon attack and one for those who died in the chemical plant explosions in West, Texas. In both speeches, he focused on victims and survivors.

But other Democrats are using these events to talk about another subject: the role of government.

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Middle East
3:47 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Syrian Rebels Want Enough Help To Turn The Tide

Audie Cornish talks to Kelly McEvers about her reporting out of Syria and what people there are saying about U.S. intervention.

Commentary
3:47 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Week In Politics: Syria, Immigration Reform

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're joined now by our Friday political observers, columnist E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to see you.

CORNISH: And David Brooks of the New York Times, good to see you.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to see you.

CORNISH: So we're going to go back to the news we heard at the top of the hour about Syria. We heard Tom Bowman talk about three U.S. options all having downsides. Here's President Obama on this topic today.

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Animals
3:47 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Navy Sonar Criticized For Harming Marine Mammals

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The U.S. Navy is planning to ramp up training activities off California and Hawaii. But that has rekindled a battle over Navy sonar, which is known to harm marine mammals. From member station KQED, Lauren Sommer reports.

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: We humans are visual creatures and for good reason. If someone is far away, you can usually see them before you hear them. Underwater, it's the opposite.

BRANDON SOUTHALL: The physical environment of the ocean really favors the use of sound, and the animals have evolved accordingly.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
3:47 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Carjacking Victim Of Boston Suspects Recalls Harrowing Night

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A 26-year-old Chinese engineer turned entrepreneur who is in Boston developing a start-up played one of the more interesting and dangerous roles in the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt. He was driving the Mercedes SUV that he'd leased when it and he were carjacked by the Tsarnaev brothers. He escaped when they stopped for gas. Ever since, this man has kept a very low profile, but he did give an exclusive two-and-a-half-hour interview to Boston Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz, who joins us now. Welcome.

ERIC MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Robert.

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