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It's All Politics
1:08 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Dear Mr. President: Tell Obama Your Priority For His Second Term

via Tumblr

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

In anticipation of Inauguration Day, NPR photographer Becky Lettenberger and producer Justine Kenin visited 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to ask Americans: "What do you want President Obama to remember in his second term?"

This video shows some of the answers we received outside the White House. But that was just the start of a project that we're calling "Dear Mr. President."

Now we want to hear from you.

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Fitness & Nutrition
3:47 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Fitness Boot Camps May Get The Boot In Santa Monica, Calif.

City officials say Palisades Park in Santa Monica, Calif., is being overrun by people participating in fitness training, including boot camps, yoga classes and massage therapy sessions.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 11:10 am

If you haven't been to Palisades Park — the famous oceanfront park in Santa Monica, Calif. — chances are you have seen its swaying palm trees and sweeping ocean vistas in movies and commercials.

Running up the wooden stairs that plunge to the beach is the workout to do in this city where it seems like you have to be fit to fit in. In fact, most early mornings before work hours, this park seems more like an outdoor gym than anything else, with running clubs, weight training and kickboxing classes.

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Shots - Health News
3:47 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Colleges Try To Curtail Flu Risk For Students

Dr. Tom Nary is the director of health services at Boston College.
Tovia Smith/NPR

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:54 pm

As college students return to class from winter break this week, campuses around the nation are bracing for the possibility of a flu outbreak.

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Africa
3:47 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

France To Send More Troops To Mali To Combat Islamist Militants

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 6:22 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The French defense minister says France is preparing for a possible land assault in Mali, so it plans to increase its troop levels to 2,500. Back home in France, authorities are girding for possible terrorist attacks in response to their intervention. Eleanor Beardsley has that story from Paris.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (French spoken)

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It's All Politics
3:05 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Another George Bush Plans To Try His Hand At Politics

George P. Bush speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:54 pm

Another member of the Bush family is throwing his hat into the political ring: George Prescott Bush, 36, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has announced he is running for office in Texas.

The Bush name is still strong in the Lone Star State: George P. has already raised nearly $1.4 million, though he still hasn't said which statewide office he will run for.

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Law
2:45 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Did Prosecutors Go Too Far In Swartz Case?

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:54 pm

Criticism is raining down on prosecutors in Massachusetts after the suicide of computer genius Aaron Swartz, who helped to develop innovations like RSS.

Swartz, 26, had been facing trial on 13 felony charges for allegedly breaking into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology network and accessing millions of documents. Friends and family argue Swartz was the victim of Justice Department overreach. But legal experts say the case is more complicated than that.

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Monkey See
1:03 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Home Video Review: 'Slings And Arrows'

Richard (Mark McKinney) and Sanjay (Colm Feore) get up close and personal in the zany backstage comedy Slings and Arrows.
Ken Woroner Acorn Media

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Time now for a home-viewing recommendation from movie critic Bob Mondello. He recently caught an online episode of the Shakespeare-centric comedy Slings and Arrows and says it reminded him how much he liked the whole series.

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Music Reviews
12:45 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

As Bell Ringers Chime In, A Laptop Musician Branches Out

Pantha du Prince collaborates with the percussion ensemble The Bell Laboratory on Elements of Light.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:54 pm

It's a point of pride for electronic musicians to come up with novel sounds. So I was duly impressed to hear that one of my favorites had made a new record in which his laptop plays second fiddle to an ancient instrument he'd heard ringing out from the city hall in Oslo, Norway.

Hendrik Weber, who records under the name Pantha du Prince, collaborated with the percussion ensemble The Bell Laboratory for his latest album, Elements of Light.

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Around the Nation
3:21 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Homeless Seek Shelter, Crops Suffer Amid Southwest Cold Snap

James Truman inspects a grapefruit tree for frost damage on his 21-acre citrus farm northwest of Phoenix.
Peter O'Dowd KJZZ

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 4:33 pm

Cold has descended on an area of the country that is known for its near-perfect weather this time of year.

For several nights in a row, subfreezing temperatures have sent homeless people in Arizona to warming centers, while farmers in Southern California are preparing for a possible crop freeze.

It's Cold Outside

Toni Eskeli tries to keep warm, wrapped in a scarf and a peacoat near downtown Phoenix. She and her boyfriend huddle around a picnic table, rolling cigarettes, doing what they can to stay warm.

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The Impact of War
3:21 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Military Suicides Hit Record High In 2012

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The war in Afghanistan may be winding down, but the toll on soldiers and Marines back home is not. The military has tallied suicides among active duty troops last year, and the number is at a record level. NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman joins us now. And, Tom, suicides were up again among troops in 2012?

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Health
3:07 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

47 States Report Widespread Influenza Outbreaks

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

The influenza virus is on a lot of minds today. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 47 states are reporting widespread outbreaks. The flu was even mentioned several times during last night's Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills. Here's comedian Amy Poehler joking about one star who stayed home.

AMY POEHLER: Meryl Streep is not here tonight. She has the flu. And I hear she's amazing in it.

(LAUGHTER)

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U.S.
3:05 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Obama Warns Of Dangerous Consequences If Debt Limit Isn't Raised

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

We begin this hour with the end of President Obama's first term. He's got less than a week before next Monday's inauguration. This morning, he capped things off with an hour-long news conference in the White House East Room. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, most of the focus was on a rash of recent financial crises that Washington itself has created.

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The Salt
3:04 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Women With A Berry-Snacking Habit May Have Healthier Hearts

Regular consumption of blueberries, such as these found at Butler's Orchard in Maryland, may prevent heart attacks in middle-aged women.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 8:08 am

When it comes to supernutritious foods, the blueberry has long had a health halo floating over it.

Going back to Colonial times when Native Americans and English settlers ground up blueberries and added them to porridge, in both dried and fresh forms, there have been hints of health-promoting effects.

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National Security
3:45 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

Uncertainty Looms For Pentagon In Obama's Second Term

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 5:25 pm

America's military future is decidedly undecided.

Looming sequestration cuts of massive proportions, coupled with a U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan are adding to the boiling partisanship over nominating Chuck Hegel as defense secretary. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that some of the biggest challenges for the Department of Defense come from inside U.S. borders.

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Books
3:12 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

A 'Beautiful Vision' In Science Forgotten

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 11:48 am

Emily Dickinson's poem that begins with the line "I died for beauty" inspires the title of a new biography of Dorothy Wrinch, the path-breaking mathematician who faced the kind of tumult that scientific inquiry can inspire.

Few people outside the sciences have heard of Wrinch. In 1929, she became the first woman to receive a doctorate of science from Oxford University. But that only begins her largely unknown story.

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NPR Story
3:12 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

A Bookstore Devastated By Sandy Limps Back With Some Help

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Now, to New York. Printed Matter is a bookstore in Manhattan's Chelsea district. But it's not just any bookstore. The nonprofit works with artists to create, publish and sell their work in book form. It also hosts exhibitions and performances. Over the course of nearly four decades, it's become a beloved institution in New York's art community.

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Animals
2:29 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

The Kraken Is Real: Scientist Films First Footage Of A Giant Squid

A giant squid stars in this still image taken from the footage Edie Widder shot. It's the first-ever video of these giant squids, and it'll debut in a Discovery Channel documentary airing in late January.
Edie Widder Discovery Channel

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 5:25 pm

For thousands of years, sailors have told stories of giant squids. In myth and cinema, the kraken was the most terrible of sea monsters. Now, it's been captured — on a soon-to-be-seen video.

Even after decades of searching, giant squids had only been seen in still photographs. Finally, in last July, scientists filmed the first video of a live giant squid swimming some 2,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Edie Widder is the ocean researcher who shot the footage, which is slated to be released in a Discovery Channel documentary later this month.

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Music
10:03 am
Sun January 13, 2013

'Global Village' Presents New Sounds From Spain

Barcelona-born guitarist José Luis Montón draws from classical influences, including Baroque music, in his flamenco compositions.
Dániel Vass Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 8:48 am

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Environment
3:53 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

From Corn Belt To Main Street: The Drought's Far-Reaching Grasp

The sun shines above a farm near White City, Kan., in November.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 5:37 pm

The U.S. had its hottest year on record last year. That heat, combined with the relatively dry winter that came before, has brought a historic drought.

From forest fires and low crop yields, to infrastructure and recreation, the drought has been costly, with early estimates putting the cost at between $50 billion and $80 billion.

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Movie Interviews
3:07 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Ann Dowd's One-Woman Oscar-Nomination Campaign

Ann Dowd plays Sandra, a hard-nosed Midwestern manager of a fast-food franchise in Compliance. The actress spent $13,000 to try to get an Oscar nomination for the role.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 9:01 am

Actress Ann Dowd won huge praise from critics for her role in the indie movie Compliance. But when it came time to start campaigning for nominations ahead of awards season, Magnolia Pictures — the studio that produced the film — told her they didn't have the budget to lobby the Academy for a best supporting actress award for her.

So Dowd did something exceedingly rare in Hollywood: She started her own campaign.

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Analysis
3:07 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Week In News: The Debt Ceiling Whack-A-Mole

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 5:37 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS REPORTS)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The Federal Reserve should knit a trillion dollar platinum coin.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: And the government could use that to pay the debt, avoid default and pre-empt the debt ceiling crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: This is the kind of stuff that happens right before the downgrade. The last days of Rome, this is what happened.

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Remembrances
2:56 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Remembering PFLAG Founder And Mother

Jeanne Manford, gay rights advocate and PFLAG founder.
PFLAG National

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 8:32 pm

President Obama spoke about Jeanne Manford in a speech he gave at the annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in 2009. Her son, Morty, was an important figure in New York City's gay community during the turbulent 1970s.

"Soon after the protests at Stonewall 40 years ago, the phone rang in the home of a soft-spoken elementary school teacher named Jeanne Manford," he said. A police officer told her Morty had been arrested.

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Energy
4:11 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Coal Loses Crown As King Of Power Generation

Georgia Power's coal-fired steam-turbine electric generating Plant Bowen in Euharlee, Ga., seen in 2009. The utility is planning on shuttering 15 coal- and oil-fired generating units at its facilities.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:31 pm

Just a few years ago, Georgia Power generated nearly three-fourths of its electricity with coal. Last year, for the first time, natural gas edged out coal, and just this week the company announced plans to close 10 coal-fired power generators within the next few years.

"We do recognize this is a historic event for our company. We've never announced this many closings at one time," says Mark Williams, a company spokesperson.

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U.S.
3:34 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Cigarette Makers Frustrated As Product Approvals Stall

A clerk prices cigarettes at Discount Smoke Shop in Ballwin, Mo. The Food and Drug Administration, which must approve all new tobacco products or any changes to existing brands, has not cleared any products since assuming that responsibility in 2009.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 5:28 pm

It's been only a few years since Congress granted the federal government the power to approve how tobacco products are made and sold in the U.S.

The Food and Drug Administration's new Center for Tobacco Products, established under a 2009 law that gives the agency jurisdiction over tobacco, must review all new cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, as well as any changes to existing brands.

But the agency has yet to clear any products under the new system, and some cigarette makers are frustrated by the backlog of applications.

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Books
2:54 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

No Going Back: A Hard Look At Bipolar Disorder

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:11 pm

For years, I've taken issue with depictions of mentally ill characters in books and movies. Irrational behavior is easily explained away: They're crazy! No need to elaborate further.

So when I picked up Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, I was apprehensive that the main character, an untreated bipolar Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and child for an international adventure, might be a kooky manic cliche.

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Movie Interviews
2:45 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

In 'Barbara,' A New Look At Life Behind The Wall

Barbara shows a quiet, restrained normalcy in the former East Germany.
Adopt Films

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:21 pm

The historical drama is a staple of the film awards season, and the tortured history of modern Germany — with its echoes of the brutal Third Reich and war — has played a central role in many an award-winning film. But the new film Barbara, which was Germany's official entry to this year's Oscars, is a nuanced portrait of the more recent history of a newly reunited East and West.

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Shots - Health News
2:30 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Businesses Sue Government Over Birth Control Mandate

The Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores has gone to court to block a provision of the administration's health law that requires employers' health plans to pay for contraceptives.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 6:07 pm

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, few would have predicted that one of the most contentious provisions would have to do with contraception.

But today federal officials are grappling with more than 40 lawsuits claiming that the requirement for most health plans to provide contraceptive coverage to women violates their religious freedom.

And religious groups aren't the only ones going to court.

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Shots - Health News
2:19 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Despite Billions In Aid, Many Haitians Still Live In Squalid Camps

Jacqueline Syra has been living in the La Piste camp for three years. She says she has no idea when she will be able to leave.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 7:06 am

Saturday marks the third anniversary of the powerful earthquake that destroyed much of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. The quake killed roughly 200,000 people and left 1.5 million Haitians homeless.

Despite billions of dollars in international aid and pledges to help Haiti rebuild from the disaster, very little new, permanent housing has been built. And about 350,000 Haitians are still living in squalid, makeshift camps — where they face an array of health challenges.

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World
12:46 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Juarez Priest Finds 'Hand Of God In The Midst Of Mayhem'

Father Kevin Mullins' parish, the Comunidad Catolica de Corpus Christi near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is located at the epicenter of the country's drug cartel war. After years of violence, murders are down and the city's shuttered shops and cafes are beginning to reopen.
Christ Chavez For NPR

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:11 pm

Father Kevin Mullins steers his old Chevy pickup up a steep road to a hilltop dominated by a large statue of the virgin. She has a commanding view of this troubled corner of Christendom.

Here, the states of Texas, New Mexico and and Chihuahua, Mexico, intersect amid barren hills freckled with ocotillo plants and greasewood.

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Business
4:26 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

To Catch Worker Misconduct, Companies Hire Corporate Detectives

Companies are turning to corporate monitors to check on employees who may be misbehaving.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:32 pm

As businesses face more complex regulations and heightened scrutiny by prosecutors, companies are turning to investigative firms to help keep watch over their employees.

The idea behind the "corporate monitoring" business is to nip misconduct in the bud before law enforcement catches a whiff of it. These corporate detectives-for-hire are seeing good business these days, and finding new ways to snoop.

We all know our employers have access to tons of data about us. They can see every person we email from our company email account, every phone number we dial from our desk.

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