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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3:58pm

Thu June 30, 2011
Planet Money

How Much Does It Cost To Make A Hit Song?

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 10:57 am

Courtesy Universal

Getting a song on the pop charts takes big money.

Def Jam started paying for Rihanna's recent single, "Man Down," more than a year ago. In March of 2010, the label held a writing camp in L.A. to create the songs for Rihanna's album, Loud.

At a writing camp, a record label hires the best music writers in the country and drops them into the nicest recording studios in town for about two weeks. It's a temporary version of the old music-industry hit factories, where writers and producers cranked out pop songs.

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3:00pm

Thu June 30, 2011
The Record

The New Wave Of Cartoon Bands

Anime character Hatsune Miku stars in a new series of Toyota Corolla ads aimed at the Asian-American market.
Toyota USA, Inc.

Hatsune Miku is an anime girl with kiddie-pool sized eyes and flowing teal pigtails. She stars in a new Toyota Corolla commercial aimed at the Asian-American market.

Miku is huge back home in Japan. Originally invented to sell synthesized voice software, the character's featured in a video game, she's released hit pop songs and she sells out live concerts. (If "live" is the right word.)

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8:54am

Thu June 30, 2011
Critics' Lists: Summer 2011

Hooray For YA: Teen Novels For Readers Of All Ages

Chris Silas Neal

A good novel doesn't just transcend the boundaries of its target market — it knows nothing about target markets. Young readers have always reached above their reading level to get to meatier stories, and lately we've seen adult readers reaching into the world of teen fiction in search of the same thing — no-holds-barred storytelling. But the attraction isn't just related to the fact that young adult novels tend to have faster-paced narratives.

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4:00pm

Wed June 29, 2011
The Record

EMI Publishing Dumps ASCAP

Courtesy of EMI Publishing

The music business has undergone drastic changes during the Internet era, but until recently, one thing that hadn't changed was the role of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, known to the industry as ASCAP. This performance rights organization has helped songwriters and music publishers get paid when their songs are played in radio broadcasts, on elevators and in clubs for nearly 100 years. But as broadcasting moves online, ASCAP's future may be uncertain.

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3:21pm

Wed June 29, 2011
Books

At 75, 'Gone With The Wind' Marks Yet 'Another Day'

Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind marks its 75th anniversary on Thursday. A 1936 promotional poster for the book shows heroine Scarlett O'Hara running through the streets as Atlanta burns.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

As a child growing up just south of Atlanta, Margaret Mitchell used to sit on the front porch, listening to adults tell stories about the Civil War as they passed still summer nights in Clayton County. Those stories went on to help inspire one of the most famous novels of all time — Gone with the Wind, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

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3:00pm

Wed June 29, 2011
Environment

White House, Automakers Discuss Fuel Efficiency Standards

The Obama administration and auto industry executives are starting talks over new fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, which are to be announced in September. Sources say the administration is pushing for the average fuel economy for each carmaker's fleet to rise to 56 mpg by 2025. The companies want something closer to 47 mpg. The heavyweight in these negotiations could turn out to be California, which plans to set its own standard if the federal government doesn't go high enough.

3:00pm

Wed June 29, 2011
Environment

Marijuana Plants Discovered At National Park

In the green idyll of Wallowa-Whitman National Park in Oregon, more than 90,000 marijuana plants were discovered earlier this month. Park officials now have to cope with the cleanup of the site — and the toxicity caused by an extensive camp of pot farmers and the fertilizers they used. Melissa Block speaks with park ranger Ken Gebhardt about the job ahead.

3:00pm

Wed June 29, 2011
Sports

How Rare Is A Sports Franchise Bankruptcy?

Robert Siegel talks with bankruptcy lawyer Charles Tatelbaum, a partner at Hinshaw and Culbertson and former vice president of research at the American Bankruptcy Institute. They discuss the Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy filing and what is at stake for a franchise that files for Chapter 11 during the season.

3:00pm

Wed June 29, 2011
From Our Listeners

Letters: Butter Sculptor; Child Abuse Investigation

Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read emails from listeners.

3:00pm

Wed June 29, 2011
Europe

Member Of Greece's Parliament Discusses Austerity Vote

Greece's Parliament approved tough austerity measures Wednesday, prompting more protests and clashes in the streets. For some members of Parliament, the move is politically risky. Robert Siegel speaks with Spyros Kouvelis, a member of Greece's Parliament who voted "yes" to the austerity measures, about the decision — and what it means to those Parliament members whose "yes" vote may have put their political careers on the line.

3:00pm

Wed June 29, 2011
Politics

Congress Reacts To Obama's Presser

President Obama tells Congress to get cracking on the deficit reduction talks — and maybe not take so many vacations. After all, Mister Obama said, his kids do their homework ahead of time, so why can't Congress?

3:00pm

Wed June 29, 2011
Politics

Obama Challenges GOP Lawmakers In Budget Debate

President Obama took questions from reporters Wednesday at his first news conference since March. He called out congressional Republicans for their refusal to consider any revenue increases as part of a budget deal. Mister Obama also took questions regarding his views on same-sex marriage.

10:15pm

Tue June 28, 2011
NPR Story

Militants Strike Iconic Kabul Hotel

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

And I'm Melissa Block.

In Afghanistan's capital Kabul tonight, a group of suicide bombers armed with heavy weapons attacked the Inter-Continental Hotel which is popular with foreigners and Afghan VIPs. Loud explosions and gunfire could be heard across the city as the battle raged for hours.

(Soundbite of gunfire)

NATO helicopters were called in to respond to the siege.

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5:14pm

Tue June 28, 2011
Around the Nation

Flooding Won't Overcome Nuclear Plants, Officials Say

Two nuclear power plants in Nebraska, 100 miles apart, are completely surrounded by water. The head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission visited each Monday for a firsthand inspection. While officials at both plants assure area residents they are safe, critics point to a history of problems and wonder if the facilities are prepared for Missouri floodwaters that have not yet peaked.

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4:08pm

Tue June 28, 2011
Economy

Americans Remain Unsure Of Economy's Future

Although the recession ended two years ago, Americans are still feeling the effects. Consumers are continuing to rely on thrifty measures to push their money further.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Nearly two years after the official end of the recession, Americans still remain unconvinced.

Consumer confidence has hit an eight-month low, according to a Conference Board report released Tuesday. The group studies how Americans feel about business conditions and the job market.

It turns out consumers aren't feeling so hot about the prospects for the future, which economists say could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This can be seen in any parking lot of a big-box store.

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11:12pm

Mon June 27, 2011
Music

The Songs That Make You Proud Of Your Country

Bruce Springsteen, the NPR audience favorite, plays in front of the flag, circa 1984.
SGranitz WireImage

Click the audio link above to hear Frannie Kelley talk to All Things Considered's Michele Norris about your picks for songs that make you feel proud to be from wherever you're from. Though Bruce Springsteen was the clear winner, you also wrote in for Filipino band Up Dharma Down, The Tragically Hip (Canada), Los Tigres del Norte and Marvin Gaye's 1983 performance of "The Star Spangled Banner."

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4:25pm

Mon June 27, 2011
Beginnings: Pregnancy, Childbirth and Beyond

In Mozambique, Grim Prospects For Mother And Child

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Many of the women in the community called "The 25th of June" began childbearing as teenagers in Mozambique. They all say that soon after their first periods, they took part in an initiation ritual called okanone that taught them about sex.
Andrea Hsu NPR

As part of "Beginnings," a summer-long series on All Things Considered, Melissa Block traveled to Mozambique to explore maternal health. This is the first of three reports.

In Mozambique in southeastern Africa, the rates of maternal and infant mortality are among the highest in the world.

In her lifetime, a Mozambican woman has a 1 in 37 chance of dying during pregnancy or within a short time after a pregnancy has ended. One in 10 children won't live past their first year. One in 7 die before they reach the age of 5.

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3:52pm

Mon June 27, 2011
Monkey See

'That's Racist!' How A Serious Accusation Became A Commonplace Quip

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Sort your laundry into whites and darks? "That's racist," quips one character on Parks and Recreation.
iStockphoto.com

My editor proposed this story about "that's racist" after hearing her young son's friends using it as a joke. Just the night before, it had been a punchline on one of my favorite sitcoms, Parks And Recreation. (Someone calls sorting laundry into whites and darks racist.)

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3:00pm

Mon June 27, 2011
Law

Supreme Court Overturns Calif. Video Game Ban

The Supreme Court has struck down a California law that bans the sale and rental of violent video games to children. In a 7-2 vote, the justices ruled that the law was unconstitutional and that it violated the free speech rights of children.

3:00pm

Mon June 27, 2011
Politics

Bachman Makes It Official

Rep. Michele Bachmann was in Waterloo, Iowa, Monday, where she kicked off her campaign for president.

3:00pm

Mon June 27, 2011
Around the Nation

Blagojevich Convicted On Nearly All Charges

Federal jurors in the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have reached a verdict: They convicted him on nearly all charges.

4:36pm

Sun June 26, 2011
Pop Culture

What Story Would You Tell On Jeopardy?

Host Alex Trebek greets celebrity contestants on the set of Jeopardy! For non-celebrity contestants, fame means a 30-second personal anecdote after the first commercial break.
Amanda Edwards Getty Images

Maggie Speak and Robert James are a Jeopardy contestant's best friends: They're the show's main contestant coordinators.

Jeopardy is pretty vigilant about keeping contestants separate from production staff — there's no mingling with host Alex Trebek in the green room. So, the contestant coordinators are really your only friends.

"On the tape day, my biggest responsibility is getting them ready for their stories," James says.

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4:35pm

Sun June 26, 2011
Europe

Tipping Point For The European Union?

iStockphoto.com

When European Union leaders met in Brussels last week, they faced some difficult decisions. For the past year, the EU has continually bailed out its debt-ridden member countries to keep the bloc and its currency afloat. Despite this assistance, Greece may yet default on its obligations, plunging Europe and much of the world into another financial crisis.

This is just the latest challenge for the euro zone, the group of 17 countries that banded their financial destinies together since 1999.

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3:01am

Sun June 26, 2011
Author Interviews

Remembering A 'Babe' Sports Fans Shouldn't Forget

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:43 am

Golf, track, basketball ... Babe Didrikson Zaharias could do it all.
Hulton Archive/Getty

In 2000, Sports Illustrated named its 100 top athletes of the 20th century. There are names you no doubt are familiar with — Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, and of course Michael Jordan. But there's also a name that might slip by: Babe Didrikson. She is the only woman in the top 10.

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6:51pm

Sat June 25, 2011
Music Interviews

Ida Maria: Seeing Red

Ida Maria's new album is called Katla.
Courtesy of the artist

Norwegian singer Ida Maria has a voice that demands attention. It's powerful and commanding, and harkens back to a time when Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde and even Courtney Love ruled the hearts and minds of teenage girls.

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3:00pm

Sat June 25, 2011
Analysis

Week In News: Gay Marriage, Debt Debate

James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic, talks about the week's news: New York becomes the sixth state to legalize gay marriage; House Majority Leader Eric Cantor walks out of debt ceiling negotiations; and Congress votes on Libya.

3:00pm

Sat June 25, 2011
Politics

Who Really Wants To Be President?

It's been called the worst job in the country. And once you get it, unpopularity is practically certain. But it seems there's never a shortage of presidential candidates. Presidential historian Alvin Felzenberg talks about what it takes to make it into that small group.

3:00pm

Sat June 25, 2011
Science

Our Sewers, Ourselves: What Waste Water Can Tell Us

Archeologists say our garbage provides a glimpse into our actions and values. Now, some scientists say our sewer systems do also. It only takes a teaspoon of waste water to reveal an entire city's eating or drinking habits. Environmental scientist Kevin Thomas talks about what the method can tell us.

3:00pm

Sat June 25, 2011
Environment

Anticipating Climate Catastrophe, But With Optimism

Author Paul Gilding has served as head of Greenpeace International, led two companies, and advised both Fortune 500 corporations and community-based NGOs.
Bloomsbury Press

Civilization is on a collision course. That's the message Paul Gilding, the former head of Greenpeace International, is sounding in his new book, The Great Disruption.

The facts, as Gilding spells them out, are frightening. The United Nations predicts the world's population will reach 9.3 billion by 2050 and humans are already using 140 percent of the Earth's resources.

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3:00pm

Sat June 25, 2011
Around the Nation

N.Y. Lawmakers Explain Votes On Gay Marriage

State lawmakers made New York the sixth and largest state to legalize gay marriage on Friday night. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with two Republican state senators: Jim Alesi, who voted for the measure, and Dean Skelos, who voted against it.

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