All Things Considered

Weekdays, 4pm to 7pm and Weekends 4pm to 5pm

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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Science
3:04 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Can Science Plant Brain Seeds That Make You Vote?

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:03 pm

In 2008, just a few days before the Democratic presidential primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, a large group of Pennsylvania voters got a very unusual phone call.

It was one of those get-out-the-vote reminder calls that people get every election cycle, but in addition to the bland exhortations about the importance of the election, potential voters were asked a series of carefully constructed questions:

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Middle East
2:39 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

A Syrian Defector Confronts A Sectarian Divide

Syria's ongoing fighting is increasingly a sectarian conflict with the majority Sunni Muslims facing off against the Alawites who make up most of the country's ruling elite. Here, government opponents rally in the northern town of Mareh on June 29.
Vedat Xhymshit AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:16 pm

The violence in Syria is increasingly being called a civil war, and it can also be called a sectarian war, because much of the fighting pits the majority Sunni Muslims against the minority Alawites who make up much of the country's leadership.

Yet not everyone fits neatly into a category. There are some Alawites who have joined the uprising.

One 30-year-old Alawite man, who doesn't want his name revealed, is nervous as he lights another cigarette and tells the story of how he came to side with the opposition and turned his back on the Alawite rulers.

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Economy
2:09 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Call Me Maybe When Your School Loan Is Paid In Full

Some young adults say their student loan debt affects their dating and marriage potential. A few have had partners break up with them over debt, while other couples forge ahead, but keep finances separate and avoid legal marriage.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 3:12 pm

The increasing debt load of college graduates has affected young people's lives in untold ways, from career choices to living arrangements. Now add another impact on a key part of young adult life: dating and marriage.

Rachel Bingham, an art teacher in Portland, Maine, learned this a few years back, when a guy broke it off after four months of a budding relationship. Among other reasons, he cited her $80,000 in student loan debt.

"He said it scared him," she recalls, "that it really made him anxious. And he just did not want to take on my responsibility."

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Law
2:06 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Even Scalia's Dissenting Opinions Get Major Scrutiny

Justice Antonin Scalia testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 5, 2011.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 8:01 pm

As legal observers have sifted through the ashes and the tea leaves of the recent Supreme Court term, one justice has stood out for his dissents.

Justice Antonin Scalia was the first name on the joint dissent filed by four justices in the health care case. But it was Scalia's dissent in the Arizona immigration case, written for himself alone, that drew particular attention, and especially harsh criticism.

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Africa
12:27 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Kenya's Free Schools Bring A Torrent Of Students

Kenya's attempt at universal education faces multiple challenges. In many rural areas, families want their kids to work during the day. At this school in central Kenya, Samburu kids who herd the family livestock are now taking classes in the evening.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:22 pm

Parents of U.S. students often complain about things like too many standardized tests or unhealthful school lunches. Kenya wishes it had such problems.

Kenya dropped or greatly reduced fees at public schools nearly a decade ago in an effort to make education available to all children. On one level, it's been a success — school attendance has soared. Yet this has also exacerbated chronic problems that include shortages of qualified teachers, books, desks and just about every other basic need.

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Movie Interviews
3:44 pm
Sun July 15, 2012

'Dark Knight Rises,' But Saga Ends For Director Nolan

Christopher Nolan on the set of The Dark Knight Rises, drawing some Batman graffiti.
Ron Phillips Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 6:05 pm

The new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, is perhaps the most anticipated movie of the summer. It's the last film in the Batman trilogy that writer-director Christopher Nolan has crafted over the past 7 years.

Nolan wanted The Dark Knight Rises, which will be released in theaters July 20, to feel like a historical epic. As he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, he looked to films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis, David Lean's Dr. Zhivago, and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

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Environment
3:18 pm
Sun July 15, 2012

From Coal To Gas: The Potential Risks And Rewards

Oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to coax out oil and gas has led to a natural gas boom, but some remain concerned of the potential environmental impact.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:58 am

This past week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report linking climate change to some of the extreme weather events of 2011, like the devastating drought in Texas and record high temperatures in Britain.

None of this bodes well for the future, but there is a glimmer of hope. It turns out that U.S. carbon emissions are down nearly 8 percent since 2006.

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News
3:18 pm
Sun July 15, 2012

Who Killed Jean McConville? A Battle For IRA Secrets

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, right, carries the coffin of senior IRA commander Brendan Hughes, in West Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Peter Morrison AP

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 9:15 pm

A legal showdown is evolving. It affects an American university, the British government, a brutal Irish paramilitary organization and the murdered mother of 10 children.

Journalist Ed Moloney is fighting to keep secret interviews with former paramilitary members of the Irish Republican Army out of the British government's hands. Those interviews are kept under lock and key at Boston College as part of an oral history project that Moloney started in 2001.

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The Record
2:07 pm
Sun July 15, 2012

Def Leppard's Joe Elliott On Covering Def Leppard

Joe Elliott fronting Def Leppard in London last year.
Jo Hale Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:30 pm

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Author Interviews
1:57 pm
Sun July 15, 2012

Chewing Chia Packs A Superfood Punch

The chia plant is "a petite nutrient-packed powerhouse" writes Wayne Coates. There is evidence that the Aztecs used the seeds as early as 3,500 B.C.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 4:10 pm

When you hear the word chia, you probably think of chia pets. Maybe you even mutter that catchy slogan: "ch-ch-ch-chia."

Or maybe not, but lately, chia seed has been getting buzz beyond those terra cotta figurines. It's becoming a popular health food. Rich in fiber, protein and the highest plant source of Omega 3s, the little seeds pack a major nutritional punch.

Wayne Coates grows and sells chia seeds and has a book called Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood.

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Remembrances
11:43 am
Sun July 15, 2012

'Oklahoma!' Actress Celeste Holm Dies At 95

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 4:10 pm

Academy Award-winning actress Celeste Holm has died. A star on both stage and screen, Holm was best known for roles in Gentleman's Agreement, All About Eve and Oklahoma! She was 95.

Holm died early Sunday morning in her Manhattan apartment with her husband, family and close friends by her side. She had been hospitalized a couple weeks ago following a fire in actor Robert De Niro's apartment in the same building.

If there was one role that put Holm on the map, it was as the coquettish Ado Annie, in the 1943 hit musical, Oklahoma!

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Energy
3:29 pm
Sat July 14, 2012

Miners Weather The Slow Burn Of Coal's Demise

Equipment for transporting and housing coal sits idle in Cowen, W.Va. Since the natural gas boom, several mines in Webster County have either slowed or shut down operation, laying off hundreds of workers.
Guy Raz NPR

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 6:21 pm

At some point today, you will probably flip on a light switch. That simple action connects you to the oldest and most plentiful source of American electricity: coal.

Since the early 1880s — when Edison and Tesla pioneered the distribution of electrical power into our homes — most of that power has come from the process of burning coal.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:12 pm
Sat July 14, 2012

Pennsylvania Cuts Medicaid Coverage For Dental Care

Marcia Esters hopes charity will pay for dental work that Medicaid used to cover.
Erika Beras

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 5:41 am

Marcia Esters needs crowns fused to six of her bottom teeth and new dentures. But because of changes made to Medicaid in Pennsylvania, she now has to pay for it all herself.

"It's thousands of dollars' worth of work that I cannot afford," she says.

Esters also uses a wheelchair. Because she couldn't get get her teeth fixed, she has spent the last few months eating pureed food and avoiding people.

"I don't go anywhere unless I have to," she says. "If you could look or feel halfway decent, it just helps, it really does."

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Analysis
3:12 pm
Sat July 14, 2012

Week In News: The 'Swiftboating' Of Mitt Romney

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 5:21 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

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

MITT ROMNEY: I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I think most Americans figure if you're the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does.

ROMNEY: That's ridiculous and disturbing to come from their campaign and beneath the dignity of the president.

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Author Interviews
2:31 pm
Sat July 14, 2012

'Sunny Chernobyl': Beauty In A Haze Of Pollution

Garbage litters the banks of India's holy Yamuna River on World Water Day 2010. For decades, the Yamuna has been dying a slow death from pollution. According to Blackwell, even its most ardent defenders refer to it as a "sewage drain."
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 2:04 am

In some of the dirtiest places on Earth, author and environmentalist Andrew Blackwell found some beauty. His book, Visit Sunny Chernobyl, tours the deforestation of the Amazon, the oil sand mines in Canada and the world's most polluted city, located in China.

Blackwell says his ode to polluted locales is a bid for re-engagement with places people have shrunk away from in disgust.

Radioactive To Its Core

His first stop was the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
11:14 am
Sat July 14, 2012

The Movie Mira Sorvino Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Marlon Brando starred in the 1955 film, On the Waterfront.
AP

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 7:08 am

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen a Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Music Interviews
10:03 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Dirty Projectors: A Polarizing Sound At The Fringes Of Pop

David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors. The band's new album is titled Swing Lo Magellan.
Jake Longstreth

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 5:21 pm

Opinions about Dirty Projectors couldn't be more divided. At a recent NPR Music listening party, audience members gave the band's new album, Swing Lo Magellan, both very high marks and very low marks. It was a genuine split decision.

Intrigued, weekends on All Things Considered spoke with Dirty Projectors bandleader Dave Longstreth to figure out why. One thing became clear pretty quickly: Longstreth and Dirty Projectors take a lot of risks.

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Presidential Race
5:38 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Romney Makes Media Rounds Defending Bain Record

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Republican Mitt Romney gave a rare round of interviews today to reporters from five TV networks, in which he stood by his assertions that he had no active role in running Bain Capital after 1999. And he called on President Obama to apologize for comments from his campaign.

MITT ROMNEY: It's disgusting. It's demeaning. It's something which I think the president should take responsibility for, and stop.

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Business
5:38 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Credit Card Companies Settle Swipe Fee Suit For $6B

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

Visa, MasterCard and some of the biggest banks in the U.S. have agreed to a historic settlement of more than $6 billion in a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 7 million merchants. NPR's Steve Henn has been reviewing this settlement agreement. He joins me now. And, Steve, what's this case about?

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Politics
4:58 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Immigration Spurs A Rare Split Among Ariz. Mormons

Paul Morgan met his wife, Evelyn Oyuki Morgan, during his two-year Mormon mission to Mexico. Today, they belong to a Spanish-speaking Mormon congregation and speak Spanish at home with their two daughters, Isabella and Amaya.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:34 pm

Mitt Romney is the most famous Mormon running for office this fall. But he's far from the only one.

In Arizona, two other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Rep. Jeff Flake and businessman Wil Cardon — are vying for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

All three candidates have said they'll be tough on immigration. And while Mormons in Arizona have been closely identified with conservative politics, the immigration debate has exposed a rare divide on the issue.

Shared Faith, Different Political Views

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All Tech Considered
4:26 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Apple's Change Of Heart On Green Certification

Attendees of Apple's 2012 World Wide Developers Conference look at the new MacBook Pro with Retina display.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

It's not often that one of the world's biggest companies says, "We goofed."

But in a surprising turn of events Friday, Apple admitted it made a mistake in pulling out of an environmental rating system for computers and other electronics. The company said it would rejoin the so-called EPEAT certification system, placing all 39 of its originally certified products back on the list. The company is also requesting certification for more products, including its new MacBook Pro model.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:09 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Governors Spar Over Medicaid And Health Exchanges

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says Medicaid should be overhauled before it's expanded.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

The nation's governors — well, many of them, anyway — are gathering in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., for their annual summer meeting this weekend.

It's no easy trick for the National Governors Association to get Republican and Democratic chief executives on the same page, or even the same room.

This year, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, it's even harder.

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NPR Story
2:40 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Obama, Romney Trade Barbs Over Bain Capital

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. It's Friday and we'll begin the hour with the week in politics. The presidential campaigns are trading barbs over Republican Mitt Romney's role at his private equity firm Bain Capital, specifically when did he stop managing the company. SEC filings appear to contradict Romney's claim that he ended his active management role in 1999 when he left to run the Salt Lake City Olympics.

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Opinion
1:55 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Wish You Were Here: The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk

The Dolle's sign is part of the magic of the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
Steve Snodgrass Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 2:16 pm

David Rowell is an editor with The Washington Post. His first novel, The Train of Small Mercies, is just out in paperback.

When I was growing up in North Carolina, my family went to the same beach every year; it had the sand, the water and pretty much nothing else. Mostly that was OK, but the idea of a boardwalk, which I caught glimpses of on TV or in movies, seemed wondrous to me — like a carnival rolled out from a wooden carpet.

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Poverty In America: The Struggle To Get Ahead
1:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Struggling Families Lift Themselves Out Of Poverty

Support group members Pamela Travis (from left), Dominique Martin, Yovanda Dixon, Shanna Chaney and Ramona Shewl hold a meeting as part of the Family Independence Initiative. The Oakland nonprofit encourages low-income families to form small groups to help each other get ahead.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

It's been almost 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a "War on Poverty." But today, the poverty rate in the U.S. is the highest it's been in 17 years, affecting some 46 million people.

The economy is partly to blame, but even in good times, millions of Americans are poor.

That's been a longtime concern for Maurice Lim Miller. He ran social service programs in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years. Then one day, the painful truth hit.

"The very first kids I had trained back in the early '80s, I saw their kids now showing up in my programs," he says.

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World
12:45 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Al-Qaida: Now Vying For Hearts, Minds And Land

Militiamen from the Ansar Dine Islamic group, an al-Qaida affiliate, ride on a vehicle in northeastern Mali in June. Mali is one of the places where al-Qaida-linked groups are trying to take over territory and win over local residents to their cause.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:33 pm

Al-Qaida has been subtly testing a new strategy. In the past couple of years, the group's affiliates have been trying their hand at governing — actually taking over territory and then trying to win over citizens who live there. It happened with various degrees of success in Somalia and Yemen, and recently in the northern deserts of Mali.

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The Salt
11:45 am
Fri July 13, 2012

An Olympic-Sized Outrage Grows Over French Fry Sales At The Games

McDonald's and the American flag — ruling the London Olympics?
Keoni Cabral Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:24 pm

When McDonald's cut a deal to make itself the exclusive purveyor of french fries and the similar (but please don't say matching) chips at the 2012 Olympic Games in London later this month, it may not have anticipated the flurry of responses. Foodies raged, nutritionists nagged, and many called it another example of an American cultural takeover.

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Movies
10:48 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Looking For The Megabucks? Think Megapixels

Ice Age: Continental Drift, which comes out July 13, is the fourth film in the animated franchise. Since Toy Story marked the beginning of the era of entirely computer-animated films, they've been a studio's safest bet for big earnings at the box office and beyond.
Blue Sky Studios & 20th Century Fox

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:30 pm

Imagine you're a movie producer, and you've got a couple of hundred million dollars to gamble on a single massive blockbuster. Which genre do you suppose will be your safest bet — superhero? Action-adventure? Sci-fi? All of those have had huge successes, but they've also all had hugely expensive failures.

There's one genre, though, that's hardly a gamble at all. It's been almost foolproof since it first came into being in 1995: computer animation.

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It's All Politics
4:11 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Between Touchdowns And Triple Jumps, Politicians Are Popping Up On Sports TV

Will these Green Bay fans be cheering as much as they did during the 2011 Super Bowl when their beloved Packer games are interrupted by local political ads this fall?
Matt Ludtke Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:10 am

Along with the highlights, the trade rumors and news of misbehaving athletes, viewers of ESPN's SportsCenter are about to get a bigger dose of politics.

The sports giant says it will sell commercial time to candidates in local markets now instead of just nationally. Executives are selling it as a good fit for politicians.

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Election 2012
4:10 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Arizona Tea Party Activists Say They're Back

Arizona businessman Wil Cardon attends a luncheon in Scottsdale. Cardon faces six-term Rep. Jeff Flake in the Republican primary race for U.S. Senate.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 4:37 pm

Maricopa County, Ariz., where 3 out of 5 Republicans in the state live, has become a hotbed of Tea Party activism.

That's where the head of the Original North Phoenix Tea Party lives. His name is Wesley Harris, and he used to manufacture precision rifle barrels. These days, his son runs the business, while Harris spends most of his time as a full-time Tea Party activist.

Running Against Disenchantment

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