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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NPR's Backseat Book Club
2:17 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Gross-Out Gags AND Life Lessons In 'Wimpy Kid'

Jeff Kinney Abrams

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 8:26 pm

We've chosen some popular books for our monthly Backseat Book Club selections, but nothing quite like the boffo best-sellers in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

How popular are these books? Consider the numbers: There are six books, and a seventh is on the way. They've been translated into 40 languages and there are 75 million copies in print worldwide. And it was our 2009 interview with author Jeff Kinney that originally inspired us to start a book club just for kids.

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Health Care
2:17 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

How Health Law's Taxes, Penalties Will Be Enforced

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 8:26 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're going to try to break down now just what those penalties will be for those who don't buy health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office projects in the year 2016 four million people will pay the penalty. I'm joined now by Timothy Jost. He's law professor at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and he's been looking into these numbers. We should say, Professor Jost, first off, you are also a supporter of the Affordable Care Act, right?

TIMOTHY JOST: That's correct, yes.

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Health
1:44 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Sole Abortion Clinic In Miss. Fights Law To Stay Open

Abortion opponents demonstrate outside Mississippi's only abortion clinic in Jackson.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 8:26 pm

A new Mississippi law requires doctors who perform abortions in the state to be board-certified OB-GYNs. They also must have privileges to admit patients at a local hospital.

The law is regulatory in nature, but at a bill-signing ceremony in April, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves was clear about the intent.

"We have an opportunity today with the signing of this bill to end abortion in Mississippi," he said.

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World
10:52 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Will Reforms End Myanmar Monks' Spiritual Strike?

Buddhists donate food and other necessities to monks as a way of earning merit for future lives. Monks have refused donations of alms from the military as a political protest in 1990 and 2007, a boycott that some monks insist is still in effect.
Ye Aung Thu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 8:26 pm

In response to political reforms in Myanmar — also known as Burma — the U.S. and other Western countries have eased some sanctions targeting the country's former military rulers.

But so far, one of the most powerful institutions inside the country has kept its sanctions in place. For some time, Myanmar's Buddhist clergy have effectively been on a spiritual strike by refusing to take donations from the military — a serious blow to the former regime's legitimacy.

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Movie Reviews
7:37 am
Fri June 29, 2012

A Boy And His Bear, At Large In A Man's World

Ted (voiced by writer-director Seth MacFarlane) and Johnny (Mark Wahlberg) share a laugh in Ted. The talking teddy bear got his powers when 8-year-old Johnny wished upon a falling star for Ted to speak.
Universal Pictures/Tippett Studio

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 8:26 pm

Seth MacFarlane is known mostly for creating, writing and directing the animated TV show Family Guy. In the show, he also voices Peter and Stewie Griffin, and their dog, Brian.

With his new movie, Ted, he has moved to the big screen for the first time, again creating, writing and directing. And though it's a live-action picture, he has again voiced one of the characters — the titular teddy bear, whom I tried to resist but couldn't.

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Judging The Health Care Law
4:09 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

The Reaction In Florida: From Protesting To Partying

Todd Long, a conservative activist, is running for the GOP nomination in Florida's 9th Congressional District.
Art Silverman NPR

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Just after 10 a.m. on Thursday, a cheer went up at Hispanic Health Initiatives, a nonprofit in Casselberry, Fla., just north of Orlando.

The enthusiasm for the Supreme Court's decision to uphold nearly all of the federal health care law was unmistakable at the nonprofit, which advocates for health care for the local Latino population.

The news took Josephine Mercado, the nonprofit's founder and executive director, by surprise — and changed her plans for Friday.

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Law
4:09 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Tight Court Decision Produces Explosion Of Emotion

This artist's rendering shows Chief Justice John Roberts (center) speaking at the Supreme Court on Thursday. From left are Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan. The court voted 5-4 to uphold President Obama's health care law.
Dana Verkouteren AP

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 8:45 am

  • NPR Special Coverage: The Health Care Decision

Shock, dismay, relief, confusion — all those emotions played out Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court announced its 5-to-4 decision to uphold almost all of President Obama's health care overhaul.

The ruling, with shifting majorities on different provisions and multiple dissents, covered close to 200 pages and provoked initial confusion. Both Fox News and CNN got it wrong, reporting at first that the individual mandate had been struck down. But when the dust cleared, the law labeled derisively by Republicans as "Obamacare" was largely intact.

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The Salt
2:34 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

How the Taste Of Tomatoes Went Bad (And Kept On Going)

Notice how some of these tomatoes have unripe-looking tops? Those "green shoulders" are actually the keys to flavor.
pocius Flickr.com

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:32 pm

The tomato is the vegetable (or fruit, if you must) that we love to hate. We know how good it can be and how bad it usually is. And everybody just wants to know: How did it get that way?

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Media Get Health Care Ruling Wrong, At First

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. On the biggest story of the day, one of the biggest of the year, two leading television news channels got it wrong. CNN and Fox News mistakenly and repeatedly told viewers that the linchpin of the health care law had just been struck down by the Supreme Court. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik breaks down the reporting breakdown.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Cheers, Jeers Outside Court After Health Care News

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Supreme Court decision today to uphold the president's health care overhaul law drew strong reaction around the country, including right outside the court where a small sea of supporters and opponents had gathered.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHANTING)

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Unintelligible) Obamacare. (Unintelligible) Obamacare.

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Law
2:13 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Justice Roberts Breaks The Tie On Health Care

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

So in the end, it was the chief justice, John Roberts, providing the key fifth swing vote to uphold the health-care law. Roberts, the conservative appointee of George W. Bush, ended up siding with the liberal wing of the court.

To talk about that turn, I'm joined by Jeffrey Rosen, law professor at George Washington University. Welcome back, Jeffrey.

JEFFREY ROSEN: Good to be here.

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Health Care
2:13 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

How One Patient's Health Care Outlook Has Changed

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We want to find out what today's ruling means for someone who's had difficulty with his health-care coverage. So we're turning to Shawn Pollock. He's 30 years old. He said he had excellent benefits until he was laid off from his job at a TV station, in 2009. He couldn't afford insurance, even under COBRA. And then he got viral meningitis and was hospitalized, leading him to be labeled high risk when he applied for insurance.

Shawn Pollock joins me now from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Welcome to the program.

SHAWN POLLACK: Thank you.

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Law
2:13 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Attorney General Cited For Contempt Of Congress

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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Politics
2:13 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Republicans Say Health Care Fight Still Has Life

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Across the street at the Capitol, lawmakers lined up to issue their reactions to the court's ruling upholding the health care law. Democrats celebrated what for many of them was an unexpected victory. Republicans denounced the decision and vowed to repeal the law.

NPR's David Welna has that story.

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Politics
2:13 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Obama Hails Health Care Decision As 'A Victory'

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For President Obama, today's high court ruling brought vindication. It would have been a stinging embarrassment for the former constitutional law professor had his signature domestic policy been struck down as unconstitutional. NPR's Scott Horsley reports on the political impact of the ruling.

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Law
2:13 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Ohio Attorney General: Ruled Against, Not Defeated

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to the attorney general of Ohio, Republican Mike DeWine. Ohio was among the plaintiffs seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act. And again, they ended up on the losing side today as the court upheld the law, including the individual mandate. Mike DeWine, welcome to the program.

MIKE DEWINE: Good to be back. Thank you very much.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Insurance Industry Tries To Swallow Health Care Law

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For more now on the political impact of the Supreme Court ruling, we're joined by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, hi.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.

BLOCK: We heard jubilation from Democrats, some shock from Republicans there. This is clearly a very important legal win for the president and for his policy on health care. But until this point, health care has not always been a winning issue for the president. Let's listen to some of what he said today addressing that question.

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Election 2012
3:51 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Some Democrats To Skip Obama's Renomination Party

Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, N.C., where President Obama will accept his party's nomination on Sept. 6.
Jeff Siner MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 1:52 pm

This summer's Democratic National Convention has already gotten shorter, shrinking from the traditional four-day extravaganza to three days. Now it appears the attendance for the event is shrinking, too.

At least a dozen Democrats say they won't be able to make it to Charlotte, N.C., when the convention begins Sept. 4. It's no coincidence that all are facing tough election campaigns in places where President Obama's popularity lags.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:47 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Can IVF Treatments Reverse A Woman's Biological Clock?

Human embryos under a microscope at an IVF clinic in La Jolla, Calif.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:20 pm

Modern reproductive technologies can give older women the same chances of having a baby as younger women, researchers reported Wednesday.

The new study found that women age 31 and younger have about a 60 percent to 75 percent chance of having a baby after three IVF cycles. The chances drop to about 20 percent to 30 percent for women ages 41 or 42, and to about just 5 percent to 10 percent for those age 43 or older.

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Around the Nation
3:47 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Pieces Of AIDS Quilt Blanket Nation's Capital

People view the AIDS Memorial Quilt at the National Mall this week.
Ebony Bailey NPR

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:06 pm

The AIDS Memorial Quilt is too big to display all in one piece. Since 1987, it has grown to more than 48,000 panels that honor the lives of more than 94,000 people who have died of AIDS. The last time the whole quilt was shown together was in 1996, on the National Mall. Now it's back in Washington, D.C., for its 25th anniversary.

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Europe
3:13 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

European Union Tradeoff: Sovereignty For Stability

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:50 pm

In order to salvage its common currency, Europe is working toward a tighter fiscal union. That will require a tradeoff — sovereignty for economic stability. Over the next two days European Union leaders will try to come to an agreement to boost growth.

Architecture
3:13 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Still Unimplemented, Ariz. Law Has Chilling Effect

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:49 pm

It will be weeks — maybe longer — before the one part of Arizona's immigration law the Supreme Court left standing goes into effect. A lower court has to remove its injunction before local police are required to ask about immigration status. But as NPR's Ted Robbins reports, there's already been a backlash.

Shots - Health Blog
2:56 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Medicaid Expansion Goes Overlooked In Supreme Court Anticipation

When the U.S. Supreme Court rules Thursday on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it will also rule on whether the expansion of Medicaid is an unconstitutional infringement of states' rights.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:20 pm

When the Supreme Court announces its long-anticipated decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, all eyes will be on the so-called individual mandate. That's the section of the law that requires most Americans to either have health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
2:30 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Chris Thile's First Musical Memory

Chris Thile says he was only a year old when he first heard "The Girl from Ipanema."
Danny Clinch

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:54 pm

It's clear Chris Thile has an ear for music: The 31-year-old mandolinist, best known for his bands Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers, has been playing music his entire life.

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Election 2012
2:28 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Influx Of Puerto Ricans Changes Fla.'s Voter Calculus

A sign lets voters know they can cast early ballots for the Florida primary election in January at the South Creek Branch Library in Orlando.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:51 pm

Florida is a perennial battleground state in presidential elections. And within Florida, the area around Orlando is a battlefield where the terrain has changed radically.

It used to be a tossup. But four years ago, Barack Obama won in Orlando — or technically in Orange County — with 59 percent of the vote, a margin of almost 80,000 votes.

What happened in Orlando?

There were several things: The Democrats registered a lot of black voters. Obama ran well among independents. But the biggest difference was the number of new arrivals to the area.

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Around the Nation
2:27 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

The State Of Affairs For Veterans Seeking Jobs

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:20 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, retired Army General Eric Shinseki, is attending that job fair in Detroit and he joins me now. Welcome to the program.

SECRETARY ERIC SHINSEKI: Well, thank you, Melissa. Great to be joining you.

BLOCK: When you talk with employers, what do they tell you about the hurdles or the challenges of hiring veterans? What are the problems there?

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Shots - Health Blog
1:01 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

What Clementines Can Teach Surgeons

University of Michigan

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 4:20 pm

Clementines and pelvic anatomy are two things you probably wouldn't ever talk about in the same sentence, unless you're Pamela Andreatta.

Andreatta, a medical educator at the University of Michigan Medical School, knows all about how people learn. And lately, she's been spending a lot of time scrutinizing how residents are taught to do minimally invasive surgery.

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Remembrances
7:06 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron, Filmmaker, Is Dead at 71

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 7:41 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The writer Nora Ephron has died. Over the course of six decades, she chronicled the lives of women in newsprint, in books, on the stage and on screen. She was 71 years old, and died of complications from a blood disorder. She's best known for romantic comedies such as "Sleepless in Seattle" and "When Harry Met Sally," but she also brought to the big screen Karen Silkwood and Julia Child.

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Sports
5:18 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

BCS Presidents Approve Four-Team College Football Playoff

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 7:06 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

At long last, big-time college football has a playoff, if you want to call four teams a playoff. Today, a committee of university presidents agreed to a system that replaces the current Bowl Championship Series beginning in 2014.

NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins me now. And, Tom, this is something that college football fans have wanted for years. President Obama has said he wants this championship game. What do you know about the deal?

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Sports
3:22 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Ready, Set, Sail: America's Cup Back In Rhode Island

The Oracle Racing AC45 catamarans practice in the San Francisco Bay in February. The AC45 is a smaller version of the AC72, which teams will race in next year's America's Cup Finals in 2013.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 7:06 pm

An America's Cup sailing event is being held to Newport, R.I., for the first time in 29 years. Sailors began arriving in Newport last week for the final leg of the America's Cup World Series regatta, which has been held at stops all across the world to gin up excitement for the official America's Cup next year in San Francisco.

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