All Things Considered

Weekdays 4-7pm and Weekends 5-6PM
Robert Siegel, Michele Norris, Melissa Block
Jonese Franklin

Since its debut in 1971, All Things Considered has delivered in-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features. Guy Raz hosts a one-hour edition of the program on Saturday and Sunday.

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2:43pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Politics

Being 'Better Off' May Not Be Enough To Win Colo.

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:11 pm

President Obama speaks during a campaign event at University of Colorado Boulder Sept. 2. He and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will have their first debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.

The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.

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7:05pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Presidential Race

Ohio County A Historic Predictor Of State's Vote

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 8:35 pm

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney both campaigned in the battleground state of Ohio this week.
AP

President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney both barnstormed Ohio this week, holding rallies just miles apart in the state's northwest. Obama's event was smack in the middle of Wood County, with Romney's just north.

The county may have a population of only 125,000, but it has an outsized importance in presidential elections.

"Since 1960, [Wood County] has predicted every election except for one," says Wood County GOP Chairman Matt Reger. "I think that it is a microcosm of Ohio, which in some parts is a microcosm of the United States."

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5:37pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Arts & Life

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Stories: 'Butterflies'

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 7:05 pm

Nemanja Zivancevic iStockphoto.com

Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction has closed and the judging process is now under way. Susan Stamberg reads an excerpt from one standout story, Butterflies, written by Jennifer Dupree. You can read the full story below along with other stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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5:31pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Technology

QR Codes For Headstones Keep Dearly Departed Close

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:02 am

Lorie Miller holds the brass QR code for her grandmother's gravestone. Smartphone users who scan it will be directed to an online tribute.
Emma Lee Newsworks

Lorie Miller bends over her grandparents' grave in north Philadelphia. She holds a two-inch brass square she's going to attach next to the headstone's names and dates.

Printed onto that square is a QR code — that square digital bar code you can scan with a smartphone. Miller peels off the back of her square to expose the adhesive and pushes it into place. The headstone, which otherwise looks the same as many others around it, has just jumped into the modern age.

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5:17pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Remembrances

Publisher Who Transformed The 'New York Times' Dies

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 2:52 pm

Former New York Times president and publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, center, died on Saturday. He was 86.
Marty Lederhandler AP

The quiet man who modernized The New York Times over more than three decades and stubbornly defended the press against government interference died early Saturday at his home in Long Island.

Former publisher and Times Company chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger Sr. had suffered from Parkinson's disease. He was 86.

Sulzberger's family had owned the Times since 1896, and he was named publisher when his brother-in-law, Orvil Dryfoos, died unexpectedly in 1963.

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5:02pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Politics

What Winning The 'Catholic Vote' Means Today

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 7:05 pm

Archbishop John J. Myers stands outside Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. The archbishop has urged followers to assess the presidential candidates for their views on abortion and gay marriage.
Mel Evans AP

Since 1972, every single presidential candidate who has won the popular vote has also won the Catholic vote. But with Catholics making up one in every four voters, pinning down what exactly the Catholic vote is becomes tricky.

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4:28pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Author Interviews

Actor Robby Benson Is 'Not Dead ... Yet!'

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 11:34 am

Robby Benson began his career at the age of 12, on the Broadway stage, and became a teen heartthrob in the '70s, starring in films such as Ode To Billy Joe, Ice Castles and One on One, which he co-wrote. He was also the voice behind the Beast in the 1991 Disney film, Beauty and the Beast.

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12:03pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Music Interviews

After A Dozen-Year Disappearance, Ben Folds Five Is Back

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 7:05 pm

Ben Folds Five (from left): Robert Sledge, Darren Jessee and Ben Folds.
Autumn de Wilde Courtesy of the artist

In the early '90s, Ben Folds Five achieved underground success by playing the college circuit, selling out small clubs all across the country.

That all changed with the success of its 1997 album Whatever and Ever Amen. Its hit single "Brick" went to No. 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks list, only the second single in the band's history to chart.

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6:31pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Afghanistan

Can't Change Your Money In Iran? Try Afghanistan

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

A money-changer in the Afghan city of Herat counts a stack of Iranian bills. More and more Iranian currency is being brought in by smugglers to exchange for dollars, which then go back to Iran.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

The western Afghan city of Herat has become a thriving hub for the money exchange business, a consequence of geography and politics. Money-changers throng the currency market carrying thick stacks of Iranian currency, much of it brought in by the hundreds of thousands of Afghan workers who earn their living in Iran.

While the stacks of crisp 100,000 rial notes that money-changers bring to the market might look like a small fortune, the 10 million rials in each of these stacks is worth less than $400, because the Iranian currency recently lost more than half of its value.

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6:16pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Presidential Race

In Ohio, China's A Top Campaigning Point

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

According to Bloomberg, President Obama and Mitt Romney have aired nearly 30,000 TV spots addressing the issue of trade with China, and that's just in the past month. Many of those ads aired in Ohio where both candidates are spending a lot of time. NPR's Sonari Glinton explains the Ohio-China nexus.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: If there's a boogeyman in the Ohio presidential sweepstakes, it's China.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

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6:05pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Politics

In Presidential Ads, A Shared Strategy For Connection

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 6:29 pm

President Obama and Mitt Romney campaign in August: Obama in Leesburg, Va.; Romney in Waukesha, Wis.
AP

6:03pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Afghanistan

Iran Turns To Afghanistan When Laundering Money

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 6:15 pm

There may be international sanctions against Iran, but not in Afghanistan's border provinces with the Islamic Republic where trade and money-laundering are thriving. Every day, millions in Iranian currency are brought in by taxis ferrying passengers. The Iranian money is exchanged for dollars, which are then shipped back to Iran. American officials recently ordered the Afghan banks to crack down on this phenomenon and it appears to be having some effect.

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5:26pm

Fri September 28, 2012
World

The Tricky Business Of Reintegrating The Taliban

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 5:59 pm

Former Taliban fighters display their weapons as they join Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province on Sept. 18.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

In an attempt to put down the insurgency in Afghanistan, the international community has spent millions to try to reintegrate former Taliban fighters and other militants back into society.

So how well has it worked?

Critics like Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network say many militants use these programs to gain access to arms and money, without necessarily changing their ways.

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4:50pm

Fri September 28, 2012
NewsPoet: Writing The Day In Verse

NewsPoet: Philip Schultz Writes The Day In Verse

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Philip Schultz visits NPR headquarters in Washington on Monday.
Ryan Smith NPR

Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.

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4:31pm

Fri September 28, 2012
NPR Story

Disgraced Chinese Leader Ousted from Party

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDRED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Today, China announced that a prominent politician will be expelled from the Communist Party. Bo Xilai will also face wide-ranging criminal charges. NPR's Louisa Lim has this story from Beijing, on the latest developments in China's most sensational political scandal in decades.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Foreign language spoken)

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4:31pm

Fri September 28, 2012
NPR Story

New Obama, Romney Ads Share '47 Percent' Theme

In new ads from President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, the candidates talk directly into the camera. Mr. Obama is also putting out longer TV spots. So why the change of style?

4:24pm

Fri September 28, 2012
It's All Politics

In Blue-Leaning Connecticut, Tight Senate Race Has Democrat On Offense

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Linda McMahon (center) visits a senior center in Naugatuck, Conn., this month.
Jessica Hill AP

It might seem counterintuitive, but the man running against Republican Linda McMahon in her second attempt at becoming Connecticut's first female senator wants this race to be all about women.

Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy released an ad this week, hammering McMahon's stance on women's health and reminding voters of McMahon's former role as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.

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4:08pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Gustavo Dudamel On The Magic Of Stravinsky's 'Crazy Music'

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:46 pm

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic

This Sunday, a landmark composition of the 20th century will be webcast by NPR, and led by the quintessential 21st century conductor: 31-year-old Gustavo Dudamel, who will conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring). Dudamel spoke about his experience of this earthshaking piece with All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.

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4:02pm

Fri September 28, 2012
World

Pakistani Minister Stands By Bounty For Filmmaker

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Pakistan's railways minister, has offered $100,000 for the death of a filmmaker who produced an anti-Islam movie. He says it's the "only way" to stop insults to the Prophet Muhammad.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Despite international condemnation, Pakistan's railways minister says he isn't backing down from his $100,000 bounty offer to anyone who kills the maker of the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims.

Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, the slight, silver-haired minister, says he was angry when he saw the video and that he's a man of great faith, passionately devoted to the Prophet Muhammad.

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3:02pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Planet Money

The Weird Story Of Why Helium Prices Are Going Through The Roof

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 9:51 am

A man selling helium balloons at a local festival on Feb. 19, in Athens, Greece.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

For More: Pork, Helium, Maple Syrup: Our Favorite Strategic Reserves

Back in the 1920s, the U.S. government thought blimps might be the next big thing in warfare. So the government started producing helium. And they created the Federal Helium Reserve, a vast store of helium that sits underground in the Texas panhandle.

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1:50pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Law

'Innocence Of Muslims' Filmmaker Arrested

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Federal authorities in Southern California have arrested the man who produced the now infamous anti-Islam video, the one that recently sparked unrest in many Muslim countries. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was arrested for violating his probation from a previous bank fraud conviction. The judge at his hearing this afternoon denied Mr. Nakoula bail, calling him a flight risk, that's according to news agency reports. We now go to NPR West, and we're joined by NPR's Carrie Kahn, who has the latest on Nakoula's arrest.

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5:50pm

Thu September 27, 2012
Sports

'One Last Strike' The Tale Of A Storied Baseball Career

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:13 pm

La Russa managed the St. Louis Cardinals from 1996 to 2011. He won the World Series titles with them in 2006 and 2011.
YES Network Courtesy of William Morrow

One Last Strike is Tony La Russa's memoir of the 2011 major league baseball season and, in passing, a memoir of his very successful career as a big league manager. Last season, La Russa led the St. Louis Cardinals out of nowhere to win the National League wildcard slot, and then, improbably, advanced to the League Championship Series and the World Series. The Cards won the title in what was one of the great World Series of all time.

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5:29pm

Thu September 27, 2012
Around the Nation

Despite Record Drought, Farmers Expect Banner Year

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:39 pm

With far less than half of their normal corn yield, the Ulrich brothers are relying in part on government-subsidized crop insurance to keep their farm afloat.
Frank Morris KCUR

After one of the driest summers on record, recent rains have helped in some parts of the country. But overall, the drought has still intensified. The latest tracking classifies more than a fifth of the contiguous United States in "extreme or exceptional" drought, the worst ratings.

In some parts of the Lower Midwest, water-starved crops have collapsed, but the farmers have not. Farmers across the country are surviving, and many are even thriving. This year, despite the dismal season, farmers stand to make exceptionally good money, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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5:29pm

Thu September 27, 2012
NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century

Aurora, Colo., Tries To Capitalize On Its Ethnic Riches

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 1:00 pm

Families in a predominantly Latino youth soccer league gather for matches in Aurora. Hispanics make up nearly a third of the city's population, according to the 2010 Census.
Megan Verlee for NPR

Aurora, Colo., became a familiar name this summer, in the wake of a mass shooting at a local movie theater.

But there's much more to this Denver suburb than the recent tragedy. Just ask Ethiopian immigrant Fekade Balcha. Balcha's apartment, on Aurora's north side, sits in a dense neighborhood of squat brick apartment buildings and tiny homes.

"You see, in our apartment, there are Russians, Mexicans, Africans," Balcha says. "From Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, and something like that."

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4:26pm

Thu September 27, 2012
The Salt

Health Benefits Of Tea: Milking It Or Not

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 5:50 pm

The Emperor's Himalayan lavender tea is popular at Washington, D.C.'s Park Hyatt Tea Room, but please don't put milk in it.
Courtesy of Park Hyatt

The idea that milk may diminish the potential heart-health benefits of tea has been a topic of some debate. Lots of us can't imagine black tea without a little dairy to cut the bitterness. But, according to this research going back to 2007, we might want to at least consider trying, say, a nice cup of green tea sans sugar or cream.

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4:24pm

Thu September 27, 2012
Business

American Airlines Fliers Fed Up As Labor Clash Rages

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:37 pm

American Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at Miami International Airport this month. Reports indicate that American Airlines has canceled somewhere between 2 and 5 percent of flights in recent days, reportedly blaming a surge in pilot sick days and maintenance write-ups by pilots.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Pat Henneberry is an airline's dream customer. She flies all week, every week, and buying an $800 ticket so that she can have full flexibility is standard operating procedure. She's an American Airlines platinum customer. But she is fed up with the endless delays and cancellations.

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3:31pm

Thu September 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Streams Of Water Once Flowed On Mars; NASA Says Photos Prove It

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:20 pm

NASA says it has found proof that water shaped the rocks on the left, in a photograph taken by the Mars rover Curiosity (left). For comparison, the agency released an image of rocks from the Earth (right).
NASA

NASA's Curiosity rover has found definitive proof that water once ran across the surface of Mars, the agency announced today. NASA scientists say new photos from the rover show rocks that were smoothed and rounded by water. The rocks are in a large canyon and nearby channels that were cut by flowing water, making up an alluvial fan.

"You had water transporting these gravels to the downslope of the fan," NASA researchers say. The gravel then formed into a conglomerate rock, which was in turn likely covered before being exposed again.

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11:55am

Thu September 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Is This An Early 'Mona Lisa?'

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:41 pm

A closeup from the portrait that a Swiss foundation says is an early "Mona Lisa" by Leonard Da Vinci.
Denis Balibouse Landov
  • Listen to Elizabeth Blair's report

The Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation said today that it has evidence that a painting that first came to light in the late 1800s is an early "Mona Lisa" also done by Leonard Da Vinci.

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5:54pm

Wed September 26, 2012
It's All Politics

Another Iowa Judge Faces Ballot Box Battle Due To Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 6:27 pm

Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, right, faces a retention vote Nov. 6.
Charlie Neibergall AP

A battle is under way in Iowa over whether a state Supreme Court justice can keep his job.

Critics have launched an all-out campaign to throw him off the bench because of his ruling three years ago clearing the way for same-sex marriage. The judge's supporters are fighting back, but they may need to get over their reluctance to mix politics and the judiciary.

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5:54pm

Wed September 26, 2012
Around the Nation

'Wanna Go To The Dance?' Is SO Passe. Try YouTube

Andrew Forsyth, a high school junior, devised an elaborate scheme to ask his girlfriend, Maddy Powell, to their high school's homecoming dance.
Gigi Douban for NPR

She doesn't know what's about to happen, but this is a moment high school junior Maddy Powell has been waiting for.

She's sitting in her Advanced Placement biology class, and her boyfriend, Andrew Forsyth, is finally going to pop the question.

Don't worry — he's not asking for Maddy's hand in marriage. But what Andrew has planned is perhaps as elaborate as a marriage proposal.

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