All Things Considered

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All Things Considered is a NPR radio newsmagazine that delivers in-depth reporting and transforms the way listeners understand current events and view the world. The program presents breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features.

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Presidential Race
3:30 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Obama Hits Battleground States In Final Blitz

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:18 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish, and we begin this hour with a sprint. The 2012 presidential debates are now history and today, President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney begin the two-week race to Election Day. Mr. Obama is widely considered the winner of last night's foreign policy debate, but he didn't spend much time crowing today.

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Middle East
3:02 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Syrian Activists Attack Assad Regime, With Puppets

This episode of Top Goon featured the Syrian president on the left, a member of the security forces on the right, and a photo of the former president, Hafez Assad, who is the father of the current leader.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 8:07 am

"I'm not crazy," the figure says, standing alone in a dark room, as if trying to convince himself.

"I'm not crazy?" almost a question this time.

"I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy!" he yells, finally making up his mind.

And, of course, he sounds crazy.

Meet Beeshu, an avatar of the embattled president of Syria, Bashar Assad, rendered in papier-mache and mounted on someone's finger. He's the star of the show Top Goon and the inspiration for its title.

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Asia
12:24 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Cambodia Vs. Sotheby's In A Battle Over Antiquities

The United States and Cambodia are locked in a legal battle with the auction house Sotheby's over this 1,000-year-old statue of the Hindu warrior Duryodhana that may have been looted from the Cambodian temple complex at Koh Ker.
Courtesy of the U.S. Attorney's Office

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:18 am

The governments of Cambodia and the United States are locked in a legal battle with the auction house Sotheby's over a thousand-year-old statue. The two governments say the statue was looted from a temple of the ancient Khmer empire. Sotheby's says this can't be proved, and a court in New York will decide on the matter soon.

The case could affect how collectors and museums acquire artifacts, and how governments recover lost national treasures.

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Animals
11:44 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Baby Beluga, Swim So Wild And Sing For Me

This image, from an archival video, shows the white whale NOC swimming around and under researchers' boats.
Current Biology

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:18 am

Whales are among the great communicators of the animal world. They produce all sorts of sounds: squeaks, whistles and even epic arias worthy of an opera house.

And one whale in particular has apparently done something that's never been documented before: He imitated human speech.

The beluga, or white whale, is smallish as whales go and very cute, if you're into marine mammals. Belugas are called the "canaries of the sea" because they're very vocal.

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Youth Radio
4:12 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Teen Debaters Parse Candidates' Style And Substance

Young debaters at the Bay Area Urban Debate League in Oakland, Calif., say that there are a lot of differences between the way that they debate the issues and what they see the presidential candidates doing on debate nights.
Jenny Bolario/YouthRadio for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 4:25 pm

The high school debaters at the Bay Area Urban Debate League get together every week in downtown Oakland, Calif., to hone their arguments and debating styles. But the young debaters have had a chance during the recent presidential debates to see how it's done on the national stage.

They watch with pen and worksheet, taking notes and analyzing the candidates' debating styles, hoping to glean some lessons from the pros.

There is a lot for these young debaters to observe and compare, but they have also noticed some key differences.

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All Tech Considered
3:34 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

European Union Protests Google's New Privacy Policy

In this photo illustration, the Google logo is seen through a pair of glasses in Glasgow, Scotland. The European Union says a change in Google's privacy policy is a breach of European privacy law.
Jeff J. Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 4:53 pm

Parisian dance professor Charlotte King says she needs Google for her job and life, but she doesn't trust the world's top Web search engine.

"When I'm doing some research, the day after I have some proposition of products, of stores, of places, and it's really espionage. I was spied on. I don't want that. It's unacceptable," King says.

That viewpoint resonates in Europe. The European Union says a recent change in Google's privacy policy that allows it to combine and share data collected from all of its different services is a breach of European privacy law.

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Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

For Many Florida Ex-Cons, Voting Booth Is Off-Limits

Richard Flores, 47, had his civil rights restored at a clemency board hearing on June 28. Convicted of vehicular manslaughter in 1994, he served one year of house arrest. He had been waiting since then to have his right to vote restored.
Michael Ciaglo News21

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 5:44 pm

Across the nation, the number of people who have lost the right to vote because of a felony conviction has grown dramatically in the past three decades. Currently, almost 6 million people don't have that right — and about 1.5 million of them live in Florida.

While some states are making it easier for felons to get their voting rights back, Florida has taken the opposite approach — and the path for former convicts trying to get those rights back is often an arduous one.

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Asia
2:46 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

In Election, Indonesia Watches U.S. Economic Policy

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 4:25 pm

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation. President Obama spent part of his youth living in the nation and residents cheered him in 2008. This election, with a focus on U.S. economic policy and its role in the region, they are watching the U.S. election campaign — and the fate of Obama — closely.

Law
2:24 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

What Happens After Jurors Get It Wrong?

Juror Anita Woodruff is haunted by her decision to help convict Santae Tribble of murder.
Carrie Johnson NPR

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 6:16 pm

About 300 people have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated in the U.S. thanks to DNA evidence. But overlooked in those stories are the accounts of jurors who unwittingly played a role in the injustice.

One of those stories is playing out in Washington, D.C., where two jurors who helped convict a teenager of murder in 1981 are now persuaded that they were wrong. They're dealing with their sense of responsibility by leading the fight to declare him legally innocent.

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Music Interviews
1:58 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Kendra Morris: Skateboards And Karaoke Machines

Kendra Morris' debut album is titled Banshee.
Eric White Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 4:25 pm

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Africa
11:33 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Will The '24-Hour City' Of Cairo Call It A Night?

Nighttime shoppers pause to look at a display at Cairo's Ataba market in May 2011. The government says shops must close earlier in order to save scarce electricity, but many Cairo residents are complaining.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 4:54 pm

When the sun goes down, Cairo bursts to life. Men play backgammon and smoke water pipes. Young fashionistas meet friends for midnight coffees. Families go shopping with small kids in tow.

Life in the Egyptian capital is lived at night. Last year, one study rated Cairo the "most 24-hour city" in the world. New York City trailed far behind at No. 32.

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Russell Means, Indian Activist And Actor, Dies

Russell Means, left, talks to media in 1973 in the village of Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 1:48 pm

Russell Means, who was best known for his movie roles and his unrelenting and oftentimes controversial protests in favor of Native Americans, died this morning at his ranch in Porcupine, S.D.

Means starred in a number of Hollywood films including the Last of the Mohicans. South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Charles Michael Ray filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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Presidential Race
3:43 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

Foreign Policy At Debate: Rhetoric Vs. Reality

A container ship from China is offloaded at Massport's Conley Terminal in the port of Boston in July. Trade issues with China has been a major talking point for the presidential candidates.
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 7:44 am

President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney are getting ready to answer any and all possible questions about foreign policy for Monday night's debate, the last one before the Nov. 6 election.

Iran, Israeli-Palestinian talks and China are among likely topics for the debate — and also major issues awaiting the next president. Each case is a matter of building and maintaining alliances while applying pressure to protect U.S. interests.

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Art & Design
3:34 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

How A Texas Postman Became An Hermès Designer

One of Kermit Oliver's designs for Hèrmes
Jason Sheeler

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 6:12 pm

About a year ago, writer Jason Sheeler was working on a story about Hermès scarves — the elaborately decorated silk squares that can cost as much as $400. He traveled to Lyon, in southern France, to visit the factory, and on his first day there he found an even more interesting story: A French woman threw out a big scarf with a turkey on it and asked Sheeler if he knew Kermit. He didn't.

Kermit, as it turns out, is Kermit Oliver. He lives in Waco, Texas, and he's the only American to ever design scarves for Hermès.

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Books
3:04 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 5:40 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Just two weeks until we announce the winner of Round Nine of our Three-Minute Fiction contest here on WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, that's where we ask you to come up with an original piece of fiction that can be read in about three minutes. In this round, we received nearly 4,000 stories.

Now, graduate students from a dozen schools, including from the University of Houston and Indiana University, have read through all of them. And now, our judge this round, Brad Meltzer, is making his decision.

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It's All Politics
2:47 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

Little-Known Florida School Hopes For Presidential Debate Bump

The Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center is the site off the upcoming presidential debate at Lynn University. The small Florida college is awaiting its big moment in the spotlight on Monday.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 5:40 pm

Whenever 19-year-old Robbie Walsh tells friends and family back home in Maryland that he goes to Lynn University, they do a double-take.

"They go, 'Lynn University? What?'" he says. "Then I have to tell them it's in Boca Raton, Florida, and a lot of them say, 'Oh, FAU,' or 'The University of Miami.'"

Many of Lynn's students and faculty who gather at the campus cafe say they hear that sort of thing all the time. But university spokesman Joshua Glanzer says a new T-shirt showing up on campus gives it right back.

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Author Interviews
2:27 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

A Reminder To Tolkien Fans Of Their First Love

Associated Press

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 5:40 pm

Seventy-five years ago, J.R.R Tolkien wrote a book for his children called The Hobbit. It isn't just a landmark piece of fantasy literature; it's a movement — a work that's inspired everyone from director Peter Jackson to the band Led Zeppelin to Leonard Nimoy (who recorded his own homage to the book in the late 1960s — "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins").

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Music Interviews
12:48 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

Stephen Hough's 'French Album,' A 'Musical Dessert Trolley'

Stephen Hough's newest release is the French Album.
Sim Canetty-Clarke Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 5:40 pm

As with food, as with fashion, as with film, there does seem to be a distinct French style when it comes to composition. The much-heralded English pianist Stephen Hough has been studying what makes a piece of music uniquely French. It's resulted in his latest collection: the French Album.

With works by Debussy, Faure, Poulenc and a number of lesser-known composers, Hough says he considers this new album "a sort of musical dessert trolley."

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Asia
3:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

China Criticized In U.S. Debates, But Stays Close

With the final presidential debate on Monday tackling foreign policy issues, surely China will be a familiar topic. It seems every four years, the U.S. relationship with China takes a beating during campaign events. Host Guy Raz speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about why candidates attack China yet presidents always balance their rhetoric.

Music Interviews
3:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Ben Gibbard: Living With Ghosts

Ben Gibbard's first album as a solo artist is called Former Lives.
Ryan Russell Courtesy of the artist

Death Cab for Cutie is known for bittersweet love songs, stirring melodies and frontman Ben Gibbard's unmistakable voice, soft and sincere. After 15 years in the band, Gibbard is releasing his first solo album, Former Lives.

"Over the years, I've accrued a number of songs that I've always been very fond of but didn't fit tonally, lyrically, musically in with the palette of songs that were in front of us for a Death Cab for Cutie record," Gibbard tells NPR's Guy Raz.

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From Our Listeners
3:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: Check-In With The Judge

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

RAZ: For the past few weeks, we've been reading close to 4,000 stories about fictional and real presidents - stories that were submitted by you to our writing contest, Three-Minute Fiction, here on WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. That was the challenge by our judge this round, the thriller writer Brad Meltzer. Your story had to revolve around a U.S. president who could be fictional or real.

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Technology
3:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

French Tweet Sweep Shows Twitter's Local Struggles

Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 4:35 pm

Friday, Twitter agreed to pull racist tweets after a French organization threatened to sue. The company has resisted efforts to police its content. But hate speech is illegal in many European countries, and anti-hate groups there are grappling with how to deal with the challenge of social media.

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Monkey See
3:58 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Home Video Review: Universal's 'Classic Monsters' Collection

1954's Creature from the Black Lagoon is featured in the new release of Universal's classic monster movies.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Time now for a home viewing recommendation from film critic Bob Mondello. This week, Bob's getting ahead of the Halloween curve, with an 8-disk Classic Monsters collection from Universal Pictures.

The scene you know best is nowhere to be found in the novel Frankenstein. No electrifying the creature with lightning, no ecstatic doctor's cry of "It's alive, it's aliiiiiiive!"

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National Security
3:58 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Minnesota Case Re-Opens Wounds Among Somalis

Burhan Hassan of Minnesota was recruited to fight in Somalia for al-Shabab, which the U.S. calls a terrorist group. He was killed there in 2009. This undated file photo released by his family in 2008.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

For nearly three weeks, the benches at the back of a federal courtroom in Minneapolis were filled with local Somalis. The man on trial, Mahamud Said Omar, was accused of conspiring to help a terrorist group recruit some two dozen young Minnesota men to fight a holy war in Somalia.

It took a federal jury just eight hours to convict him of all of the five terrorism charges leveled against him, but the verdict is only the beginning for the Somali community in the Twin Cities.

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Race For Arizona's Open Senate Seat Gets Personal

Democrat Richard Carmona (left) and Republican Rep. Jeff Flake shake hands before Thursday's debate in Chandler, Ariz.
Ross Franklin AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

For the first time in nearly a generation, Arizona voters will elect a new senator. Republican Sen. Jon Kyl is retiring after 18 years. His ideological successor is Republican Rep. Jeff Flake, and a lot of people expected Flake to have an easy time of it.

But recent polls suggest Democrat Richard Carmona — a former surgeon general and a Hispanic — has a shot at winning. The race has become heated, and the airwaves are filled with brutal ads.

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It's All Politics
3:17 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

White Men, A Key GOP Demographic, Discuss The Romney Appeal

Annual "Biketoberfest" participants ride along Beach Street in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla., in 2010.
Daytona Beach Visitors Bureau

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

For all the attention paid to women in this race, there's another gender gap — with white men.

The Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan campaigned in northeastern Florida on Friday, where thousands of men had descended on Daytona Beach for the annual motorcycle festival Biketoberfest.

A bunch of them were at Willie's Tropical Tattoo smoking cigarettes, drinking beer and listening to music.

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It's All Politics
2:35 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Colorado, A Big Win For Obama In 2008, Now A Harder Sell

Supporters turned out for President Obama's first post-debate rally on Oct.4 in Denver. The president is facing a fierce fight for Colorado after winning it by 9 points four years ago.
RJ Sangosti AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

In Colorado, the presidential race is a statistical dead heat. The state went heavily for candidate Barack Obama in 2008 — but the president is now facing fierce headwinds.

Obama won last time by 9 points, an astounding margin in a state that hadn't gone Democratic since 1992. One Democratic strategist calls 2008 a one-time case of "irrational exuberance," especially among Colorado's large contingent of swing voters.

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Health
2:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

For Cancer Survivors, Armstrong An Inspiration

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tonight in Austin, Livestrong, the cancer organization founded by Lance Armstrong, is holding its 15th anniversary gala and Armstrong is scheduled to speak at the event. But it's been a bad stretch for the champion cyclist. In the face of a scathing report linking him to doping, he stepped down as chairman of Livestrong and he lost major sponsors, including Nike.

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Sports
2:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Pitching Puts Tigers In World Series

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The Detroit Tigers are in the World Series. The St. Louis Cardinals are close. And sportswriter Stefan Fatsis is with us to discuss baseball's playoff season. Hiya, Stefan.

STEFAN FATSIS: Hey, Robert.

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Food
2:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Record-Breaking Bratwurst Story Has A Twist

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We'd like to take a moment now to recognize greatness. Earlier this month in a grocery store parking lot in Prescott, Wisconsin, the world's largest bratwurst was cooked.

PATRICK PTACEK: Fifty-two feet and two inches.

(APPLAUSE)

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The brat was grilled in honor of the 100th anniversary of Ptacek's IGA. Patrick Ptacek co-owns the store. He and his family paid for the massive brat and made it in the store.

SIEGEL: Actually, we should say brats. They made two.

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