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.

It's like a bad joke. Why did the Greek government borrow so much money?

Because it couldn't get its own citizens to pay taxes.

The Greek government estimates that one third of taxes owed never get paid. And apparently it was far easier to borrow money even at outrageous rates than to make Greeks pay what they owe.

So in 2009, the Greek finance ministry called in an unlikely hero: A methodical, computer science professor at Athens University, Diomidis Spinellis.

Rick Santorum has been upsetting elections from the beginning.

He was only 32 years old when he toppled a seven-term incumbent in a majority Democratic district in western Pennsylvania.

Just four years later, Santorum rode the Republican wave of 1994 into the Senate representing Pennsylvania. And from the beginning, Santorum has stood for unwavering social conservatism, especially on the issue of abortion.

"Give the baby a chance to live," said Santorum while delivering a speech on the Senate floor in 1997.

Eve Arnold, Photojournalist, Dies At 99

Jan 5, 2012

Photographer Eve Arnold died Wednesday, just a few months shy of her 100th birthday. Arnold is best known for her intimate portraits of both the rich and famous — including Marilyn Monroe, Malcolm X and Joan Crawford — and of the down and out.

As Robert Capa, one of the founders of the agency Magnum Photos, once put it: Arnold's work "falls metaphorically between Marlene Dietrich's legs and the bitter lives of migratory potato pickers."

Cordray Discusses His New Position

Jan 5, 2012

Robert Siegel speaks with newly appointed director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray.

Gingrich Takes On Romney In N.H.

Jan 5, 2012

Newt Gingrich may have placed fourth in Iowa, but he has come out swinging in New Hampshire. Thursday, he took on Mitt Romney, had even harsher words for President Obama — and toned it down a bit on Rick Santorum.

Melissa Block interviews Reem Asaad, a Saudi writer and women's rights advocate, who launched a campaign in 2008 to boycott lingerie shops that only employ men. A new royal decree in Saudi Arabia now bans men from selling lingerie.

Will Charlie Rose Rise And Shine For CBS?

Jan 4, 2012

Andrew Wallenstein is an editor at Variety.

Charlie Rose may very well be the best interviewer on the planet. If there's something important in the news, chances are he has left his mark on the story — from the events unfolding in North Korea to the modern relevance of Shakespeare.

Kohut, Continetti Discuss Iowa Caucuses

Jan 3, 2012

Robert Siegel talks about the Iowa caucuses with Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center; and Matt Continetti, a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard.



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


And I'm Robert Siegel.

The Iowa caucuses are under way. Republican voters are making their choices in the nation's first presidential contest of 2012. And according to early entrance poll results, it appears two of the candidates are running strong - Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.



Now, to the Democrats, who were also caucusing tonight in Iowa. There, of course, is no drama in those caucuses. President Obama is unopposed. But the president did address Democratic caucus-goers a few minutes ago. And Iowa Public Radio's Sarah McCammon is at a Democratic caucus in Des Moines. Sarah, what was the president's message tonight?

A Look At The Van Meter, Iowa, Caucus Site

Jan 3, 2012

Robert Siegel talks with NPR's Sonari Glinton, who reports from a Republican caucus site in Van Meter, Iowa.

A Look At The Ankeny, Iowa, Caucus Site

Jan 3, 2012



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


And I'm Robert Siegel.

In about an hour, Iowans will begin caucusing in the nation's first presidential contest of 2012. Republicans are gathering at sites representing more than 1,700 precincts. While voters can write in any name they like, six candidates leave the field. The top vote-getters will head into next week's New Hampshire primary with fresh momentum and while those at the bottom could find their campaigns on life support.

The third stage in Egypt's parliamentary elections got underway Tuesday. In upper Egypt, tensions between Muslims and Christians have intensified in the aftermath of the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. Qena is a stronghold of the ultra-conservative Salafi movement, and its members have clashed repeatedly with local Coptic Christians over the past year.

American Idol, The Sing-Off, The Voice — there's no shortage of over-the-top, glitzy, ratings-driven music competitions on TV. And now Aretha Franklin is getting in on the singing contest circuit, but she's turning her searchlight on the world of classical music. That's right — the Queen of Soul is searching for the next great opera singer.

Robert Siegel talks with Sidney Milkis, author of Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Transformation of American Democracy, about the U.S. presidential election of 1912 — when there was a viable third party on the ballot: the Bull Moose Party.



South Korea's president delivered this message yesterday to North Korea: It will respond strongly to any provocations under North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un. However, in a televised speech, Lee Myung-bak also promised that North-South relations could improve if Pyongyang halts its nuclear weapons program.

Reporter Doualy Xaykaothao recently hit the streets of Seoul, to find out what South Koreans think of the power shift in the north. And for many the answer is simple: They don't care.




There's a lot of debate these days about the cost of medical care and the risks. Is a drug for breast cancer patients worth the $100,000 price tag if it only adds a few months to a woman's life? Or should men routinely get blood tests for prostate cancer when the exam could cause more suffering than it prevents?

Well, today, a major medical group issued new ethical guidelines on whether doctors should consider cost when deciding how to treat patients. As NPR's Rob Stein reports, the group takes a provocative position.

Alan Cheuse has this review of KBL, John Weisman's novelization of the operation that led to Osama bin Laden's death.

The tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar has deep pockets and a big microphone in the form of its news network, Al Jazeera. In recent months, those assets have been used to propel the Arab Spring forward. Qatar has supported rebel movements in Libya and Syria, and is promoting a "Marshall Fund" for Oman, Morocco and Jordan. The country's emir has close, personal relationships with the emerging Islamist leaders from Casablanca to Cairo — and meanwhile provides a home to the largest U.S. military base outside the United States.

Iowa, Candidates Gear Up For Caucuses

Jan 2, 2012

NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson joins All Things Considered host Melissa Block to talk about Tuesday's Iowa caucuses.

Remembering Designer Eva Zeisel

Jan 2, 2012

All Things Considered host Melissa Block remembers Eva Zeisel, one of the premier ceramic designers of the last century. She died last week at her New City, N.Y., home at the age of 105.

Imprisoned In A Mysterious Mistaken Identity

Jan 2, 2012

Alex Gilvarry is the author of From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant.

I was a college student in New York City when security checks became the norm. Being half-Filipino with a Scottish last name, I wasn't easy to profile. And since I was always carrying a big backpack of textbooks in and out of the subways on my way to class, I came to expect that I would be stopped once or twice each week.

There's a handful of people — roughly 10 percent of the global population — that has something in common.

Many mysteries and misconceptions surround this group. Its members have been called artistically gifted and self-reliant, but also untrustworthy and insincere. Most recently, several of them have been called the president of the United States.

The new Broadway production of the musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever has been billed as a "reincarnation" rather than a revival. The premise is the same as before: A psychiatrist, Mark Bruckner, falls in love with the "past life" of one of his hypnotized patients. But this version replaces Daisy, the charming young patient first played in the 1960s by Barbara Harris, with Davey — a gay man harboring a female alter ego deep in his subconscious.

2011: A Big Year For Space Exploration

Dec 31, 2011

Some might be inclined to think 2011 was a pretty bad year for space, what with the U.S. space program shutting down. While the Atlantis marked the last mission in NASA's decades-long space shuttle program, the agency still managed to have other significant launches this year. Crafts visited Mercury, a massive asteroid known as Vesta, and the moon. Another left for Jupiter, and the Voyager 1 spacecraft sailed out of our solar system. Guest host Rebecca Sheir talks to Neil deGrasse Tyson, head of the Hayden Planetarium, about whether all that made 2011 a good year for space exploration.

When scientists want to test new therapies for cancer or heart disease, they frequently turn to mice for help. For most mice, this isn't the best thing that could happen to them. Being a research subject has definite disadvantages, at least for mice.

But most people prefer a new therapy be tested in a rodent rather than making a human patient the guinea pig — if you'll forgive the twisted metaphor.

Robert Siegel speaks with Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico. He tells Robert why he decided to end his GOP presidential bid and instead seek the Libertarian nomination for president.

What's That Sound? The Rhythm That Ruled 2011

Dec 30, 2011

Wizards, transformers and vampires did their best, but they couldn't transform 2011 into a magical year for Hollywood: Despite all the 3-D and IMAX screenings and the premium prices that come with them, industry box office sagged by half a billion dollars compared with last year. But quality? That's another story.