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.

A small group of U.S.-trained Syrian fighters entered northern Syria late last month and waited for their mission. They were on a base, with American supplies that included heavy machine guns, communications technology and laser pointers for directing airstrikes.

These fighters are, in effect, the elite members of a much bigger rebel group called Division 30. Their mission is to fight the self-declared Islamic State, though there are multiple factions involved in the Syrian civil war.

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By now, you may have heard about the new Broadway musical Hamilton. When it opened off-Broadway in February, it earned almost unanimous raves and awards for blending history and hip-hop. Its sold-out run had A-list celebrities and politicians clamoring for tickets. Thursday night, the story of Alexander Hamilton, and the Founding Fathers and Mothers, opened on Broadway.

The first weekend of August saw the coronation of a new King of Hip-Hop. Like all transitions of power, it had been years in the making and orchestrated by powers both seen and unseen.

Think about Milwaukee, and two things probably come to mind: cheese and beer. And with good reason. The city is built on a foundation of breweries. Among those, the most famous today is Miller — but that's not how it always was.

Established in 1844, Pabst Blue Ribbon was the first of the great Milwaukee brewers and the first beer company to produce 1 million barrels a year. But in 1996, Wisconsin's long-brewing pillar packed up and shipped out of Milwaukee, contracting out the production of its beer to other brewers like Miller.

From the outside, the AeroFarms headquarters looks like any other rundown building in downtown Newark, N.J. It used to be a store, and more recently a nightclub. Now it's a test farm.

"My favorite is the mustard green that's called a Ruby Streak, which is this leaf right here," says AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg, sampling some of the company's greens. "And my second favorite is cress, watercress, which is this guy right here."

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Summer camp typically brings to mind s'mores, campfires and the beach, but for some kids in Southern California, it's all about marine mammals. Day camp at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach teaches children to care for sick and stranded baby sea lions and elephant seals. (Check out the center's live poolside webcam.)

"It's sad that they have to come in, but it's good that they're coming in to get rehabilitated," says camper Jameson Ibe, 11.

Idaho's so-called "ag-gag" law, which outlawed undercover investigations of farming operations, is no more. A judge in the federal District Court for Idaho decided Monday that it was unconstitutional, citing First Amendment protections for free speech.

But what about the handful of other states with similar laws on the books?

It's earnings season on Wall Street, and investors are again looking to quarterly reports to gauge the health of companies. Some environmentalists are looking to so-called "sustainability reports" — how companies are improving their ecological footprints. But not all environmentalists are putting so much stock in these reports.

Andrew Hoffman, at the University of Michigan, breaks environmentalists into two colors, or rather shades of a color. First, the perspective of the "dark greens":

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Predictions of a catastrophic wildfire season are turning out to be right. There are nearly two-dozen large fires burning in California fed by shrubs and trees that are bone-dry from years of drought.

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And we turn now to Mark Ghilarducci. He's director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, and he joins us from the State Emergency Operations Center just outside Sacramento.

Welcome to the program.

Almost as soon as President Obama's new plan to limit carbon emissions was unveiled, opponents were lining up to oppose it. The new rules would require states to lower their carbon emissions by nearly a third over the next decade and a half.

The rules will deal a big blow to some energy sectors — especially coal. But there are also industries that will benefit from the plan.

One of the frequent trials of parenthood is dealing with a picky eater. About 20 percent of children ages 2 to 6 have such a narrow idea of what they want to eat that it can make mealtime a battleground.

A study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows that, in extreme cases, picky eating can be associated with deeper trouble, such as depression or social anxiety.

When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast 10 years ago, the eye of the storm made landfall near a tiny speck of a town at the mouth of the Pearl River on the Louisiana border with Mississippi.

To say Katrina — one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in U.S. history — nearly wiped Pearlington, Miss., off the map isn't entirely true. The fact is, Pearlington was so small that it wasn't even on many maps.

Kim Pil-Gi left his construction job in Seoul, South Korea, three months ago. Now he happily spends his days handling grubs: squirming, writhing, beetle larvae, each one about as thick as a grown man's thumb. He sits at a tray, sorting them by size.

"At the construction company a lot of the time I'd wake up at 6 in the morning and work all night through to the next day," he says. "That was really hard for me."

Louis Sachar knows a few things about writing for kids. His first book, Sideways Stories From Wayside School, came out in 1978 — and the wacky collection is still in print.

His 1999 Newbery Medal winner, Holes, centers on a boy wrongly confined to a juvenile detention facility. It's mysterious and creepy, and it's still flying off the shelves.

So if he says kids will love a scary eco-bioterror-mystery-thriller-comedy, you just might trust him.

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Now let's take moment to remember one of the icons of pro wrestling.

(SOUNDBITE OF WRESTLING MATCH ANNOUNCEMENT)

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Eggs are becoming more expensive and scarce recently because so many chickens have died from avian flu. So bakers, in particular, are looking for cheaper ingredients that can work just as well. (This story previously aired on All Things Considered on July 22, 2015.)

Beryl Markham was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from East to West. The British-born Kenyan woman was also a racehorse trainer, a writer and a fearless adventurer.

Once famous as an aviation pioneer, she's largely dropped out of the public consciousness. But novelist Paula McLain has put her back in the spotlight — as the protagonist of her new novel, Circling the Sun.

It's been nearly a year since a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American 18-year-old, in Ferguson, Mo. Since then, more deadly police encounters across the country have prompted anger, activism and reform.

Many of those incidents began with traffic stops — routine events that quickly turned deadly. And attorney Eric Broyles says that the risks for citizens are not distributed evenly.

As part of a series called My Big Break, All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

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Andrew Gulli has an unusual passion: finding unpublished short stories by famous American authors. He searches through libraries and archives, finds works, researches to confirm they've never been published — then publishes them in the literary magazine he edits, The Strand.

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State courts are twice as likely to incarcerate Native teens for minor crimes such as truancy and alcohol use than any other racial and ethnic group, according to the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. And juvenile detention facilities around the country have a disproportionately high number of Native American youth, according to an Indian Law and Order Commission report.

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