All Things Considered

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Award-winning news magazine from NPR.

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World
2:57 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Obama Defends U.N. Envoy Amid Republican Attack

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is considered a leading candidate to become the next secretary of state. Leading Senate Republicans say they would seek to block her if she's nominated.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:16 pm

President Obama sounds like he's in for a fight over the woman who could be the next secretary of state. Republicans have been blasting U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for the way she characterized the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11.

But the president came to her defense in his news conference Wednesday afternoon.

"When they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me," he told reporters.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
2:35 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Foreclosed Homeowners Getting Back In The Market

Millions of U.S. families have a recent foreclosure on their record. Typically, that means waiting at least seven years before securing another home loan. But some families say they are having luck buying again β€” sometimes in as few as three years.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 4:15 pm

Buyers are coming back into the housing market after losing their homes during the financial crisis β€” returning to homeownership more quickly than lenders have typically allowed.

With millions of families with recent foreclosures on their records, some report that they are having luck buying a house β€” in some cases within three years.

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Planet Money
1:33 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Sandy's Shadow, In Three Small Businesses

Howard Beach, Queens. October 30, 2012.
Pam Andrade Flickr

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 4:59 pm

Retail sales fell in October, for the first time in several months. Analysts largely blamed the hurricane. If they're right, sales will bounce back this month and the economic recovery will continue (slowly, slowly).

That's the big picture. To get a sense of the small picture β€” messier, more ambiguous β€” I visited three small businesses on Cross Bay Boulevard, in Howard Beach, Queens. The storm swept in here and flooded the neighborhood.

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World
12:46 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

U.S. Rethinks Security As Mideast Oil Imports Drop

A U.S. Marine patrol walks across the charred oil landscape near a burning well near Kuwait City in March 1991. Concerns about oil supply were at play when the U.S. and its allies intervened during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. But American policy is changing now that Mideast oil imports to the U.S. are declining.
John Gaps III AP

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 5:00 pm

Within the next two decades, the United States may barely need any oil from the Persian Gulf, due in large part to increased domestic production. That dramatic shift could shake the foundation of U.S. interests in the Middle East.

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Europe
7:55 am
Wed November 14, 2012

In Berlin, A Boar Of A Story

Some 3,000 wild boars are estimated to roam Germany's capital. This 2008 picture provided by the Berlin Forestry Commission shows a sow and her offspring that decided to make their home outside an apartment building. Recently, a wild boar attacked and injured four people in a Berlin neighborhood.
Thorsten Wiehle Berlin Forestry Commission

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 8:29 am

"PIGS" are a hot topic in Germany's capital.

Attend any press briefing about how German Chancellor Angela Merkel is going to solve the European debt crisis, and you're likely to hear that acronym, which stands for "Portugal, Ireland (or Italy), Greece and Spain."

But recently, pigs of an altogether different variety made headlines in Berlin.

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It's All Politics
3:32 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Petraeus Scandal Raises Concerns About Email Privacy

David Petraeus, then-CIA director, testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in January. Petraeus resigned Friday after acknowledging an extramarital affair.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 8:44 am

The FBI review of sensitive email messages between former CIA Director David Petraeus and his biographer-mistress Paula Broadwell has been raising big questions about Big Brother.

One of them: When can federal law enforcement review a person's private communications?

To Julian Sanchez, a research fellow at the Cato Institute, the real scandal over the Petraeus affair is not the extramarital sex, but the invasion of privacy.

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Author Interviews
3:00 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

'Antidote' Prescribes A 'Negative Path To Happiness'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 3:20 pm

We're heading toward that time of year when self-help industry publishers rub their hands together in anticipation. The holiday season and the inevitable New Year's resolutions that follow tend to turn our minds toward happiness β€” getting it, keeping it and maintaining it. But journalist Oliver Burkeman says whatever your plan, you are most likely doing it wrong.

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Food
3:00 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Turkey Tips From Alton Brown: Don't Baste Or Stuff

A cooked turkey.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 12:02 pm

It's Thanksgiving planning time and Alton Brown, host of Food Network's Next Iron Chef, wants to prevent you from making a dry, forgettable turkey.

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The Salt
2:11 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Storm-Battered Food Banks Struggle To Help The Hungry

After Superstorm Sandy, the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Neptune, N.J., is filled with water bottles, canned food and other goods. But these supplies are going out almost as fast as they come in.
Amy Walters NPR

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 3:20 pm

Food banks in New York and New Jersey were already hard-pressed to meet the demands of families struggling with a bad economy. Add to that a natural disaster and the upcoming holidays, and they're looking at a whole new set of challenges.

Preparation did help some organizations. Five days before Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore, the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties got its new generator up and running. Thank goodness for that, says Executive Director Carlos Rodriguez.

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Music Interviews
1:51 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Keith Richards: 'These Riffs Were Built To Last A Lifetime'

Guitarist and songwriter Keith Richards calls "Street Fighting Man" one of his favorite Rolling Stones songs.
MJ Kim Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 3:20 pm

Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood are celebrating 50 years of The Rolling Stones this year. The band released a compilation today titled GRRR!, which spans five decades of work, plus two new songs.

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Around the Nation
1:49 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

At Life's End, A Final Home On The (Shooting) Range

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 3:20 pm

Many people keep cremated remains in an urn on the mantle or scatter their loved one's ashes over a sacred place.

Now, a company has pioneered a new twist: putting cremated remains into ammunition.

For $850, Holy Smoke will take cremated remains and put them into various types of shotgun shells and bullets for rifle and pistol shooters. The Stockton, Ala., company was started a year ago by two state game wardens.

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World
12:44 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Pakistan Fears Afghan Spillover Of Chaos, Refugees

An Afghan refugee girl walks back to her home in a slum on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, in August. She is one of an estimated 1.7 million mostly Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 6:21 pm

Burhan Khan can't remember exactly when he fled from Afghanistan to Pakistan. He thinks it was about 30 years ago.

"Because there was war. There was killing, there was murdering, there was firing, and they wanted to kill me, and they wanted to kill my children, so I had to come here," he says.

It was the final phase of the Cold War, and CIA-armed Afghan guerrillas were fighting to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan.

Khan and his family wound up where they are today, in a mud hovel on a patch of wasteland outside Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

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Europe
11:30 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Spaniards Take To Streets To Block Home Evictions

Olga Veloso protests banking giant Bankia last month in Madrid. Veloso and her neighbors have twice blocked bailiffs from evicting her from her apartment after she lost her job and stopped paying the mortgage.
Juan Medina Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 3:20 pm

For months, demonstrations have been popping up on otherwise quiet residential streets across Spain. The protesters form human chains, forcibly blocking bailiffs from evicting residents who've fallen behind on their mortgages. Sometimes the protests turn violent.

The demonstrations are another sign of just how pinched people are feeling as Spain's economic crisis continues to roil. With Spanish unemployment above 25 percent, hundreds of people have been losing their homes each day.

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Europe
3:30 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

A German City With Debt Problems Of Its Own

The main street in Oberhausen β€” Germany's most indebted city β€” is dotted with vacancies. Despite its economic woes, Oberhausen, like other western German cities, must make "reunification" payments to the former communist East. The payments help explain German voters' reluctance to bail out Greece and other eurozone countries.
Patrik Stollarz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 6:31 pm

Germany, the economic engine of Europe, has been a key player in bailing out the Continent's most troubled economies.

Yet there are places in the former West Germany β€” like Oberhausen β€” that are struggling with their own debt problems, even as they pay hefty sums to revitalize former East German cities with transfers known as "Solidarity Pact" payments.

Borrowing To Stay Afloat β€” And Pay Out

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Economy
2:28 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Opportunities Emerge For Vets In Tough Job Market

Last year, Congress passed legislation that β€” among other things β€” gave employers tax credits for hiring vets.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:28 pm

Many veterans aren't just looking for a job; they're looking for a career, a calling and, of course, financial stability. Those recently separated from the military have to confront what is still a fairly weak civilian job market.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
2:28 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Post-Sandy, Residents Gut Hard-Hit Rockaway

Volunteers help to clean up in the heavily damaged Rockaway neighborhood where a large section of the iconic boardwalk was washed away.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:36 pm

Ferry service into Manhattan started Monday for the Rockaway section of Queens, one of the hardest-hit New York City neighborhoods after Superstorm Sandy. Many residents are still feeling cut off, struggling without power or adequate public transportation options. And now worries about mold are creeping in.

But the new ferries were a small consolation for the trickle of commuters who trudged onto Manhattan soil for the first time in two weeks. Some of them, like Sheila Curran, were grinning all the way down the plank.

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The Salt
2:28 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Kind of Like 'eFarmony': Matching Farmers With Urban Landowners For Fun And Profit

Chris Costa and one of her chickens on her farm in Downingtown, Pa. Costa and her partner, T.J., found the land for this farm through a sustainable agriculture program.
Emma Lee WHYY

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:15 pm

Many farmers want their farms to be located close to a city - especially organic farmers who'd like to sell their produce at big urban farmers markets. But the price of land within range of a big city is sky high and only getting higher.

Most small farmers buy their land, but some are now looking to lease in suburban or exurban areas. And to do that, they're using something straight out of Fiddler On The Roof: A matchmaker.

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Opinion
2:00 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

On Veterans Day, Stories Of Service

Mie Ahmt istockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 7:18 am

This Veterans Day, All Things Considered asks two veterans and writers to tell a story about their experiences in the military.

Benjamin Busch reflects on his grandfather's service during World War II, and David Abrams tells the story of a terrifying flight to Iraq.





Benjamin Busch

Benjamin Busch is the author of Dust to Dust.

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Afghanistan
1:29 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Afghans Brace For U.S. Departure In 2014

Afghan villagers look at a translator as U.S. soldiers tend to an injured local Afghan man, who was shot for being suspected of planting a roadside bomb in Genrandai village at Panjwai district, Kandahar, on Sept. 24.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 3:47 pm

Uncertainty is gripping Afghanistan as the clock ticks toward the withdrawal of NATO combat troops by the end of 2014.

People and money are leaving the country. Housing prices are falling. Construction is slowing down. Many Afghans are trying to be hopeful, but even the most optimistic admit that a number of troubling variables could determine what post-2014 Afghanistan looks like.

The Panjshir Valley, some 60 miles north of Kabul, is one of the most scenic places in Afghanistan. The Panjshir River winds its way through barren mountains.

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Shots - Health News
1:22 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Georgia Immigration Law Trips Up Doctors And Nurses

Workers in the Georgia secretary of state's office have fallen behind on licensing applications for nurses.
Jim Burress WABE

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 5:39 am

Hundreds of health care workers in Georgia are losing their licenses to practice because of a problem created by a new immigration law in the state.

The law requires everyone β€” no matter where they were born β€” to prove their citizenship or legal residency to renew their professional licenses.

With too few state workers to process the extra paperwork, licenses for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals are expiring.

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Education
1:05 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Firestorm Erupts Over Virginia's Education Goals

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 3:47 pm

As part of Virginia's waiver to opt out of mandates set out in the No Child Left Behind law, the state has created a controversial new set of education goals that are higher for white and Asian kids than for blacks, Latinos and students with disabilities.

Virginia Democratic state Sen. Donald McEachin first read about the state's new performance goals for schoolchildren in a newspaper editorial.

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The Record
12:58 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Iran To Israel And Back To Iran: Rita's Music Goes Home

Rita reimagined classic Persian songs for her latest album, My Joys.
Courtesy of Fistuk Artists

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:12 am

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Sun November 11, 2012

Odds In Favor Of A New Supreme Court Justice In Obama's Second Term

Four of the current U.S. Supreme Court justices are over the age of 70, and many expect at least one appointment during Obama's second term.
United States Supreme Court

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:27 am

There has been vigorous public debate this election cycle about the Supreme Court; from the Citizens United case to the Affordable Care Act.

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Author Interviews
2:47 pm
Sun November 11, 2012

The Adventures Of An Investigative Satirist

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 3:39 pm

Daily Show host Jon Stewart recently called writer Jon Ronson an investigative satirist. As Ronson himself puts it: "I go off and I have unfolding adventures with people in shadowy places. I guess I tell funny stories about serious things."

Ronson has collected many of these stories in his new book, Lost at Sea. He talks to Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about the characters and places he has encountered along the way.

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All Tech Considered
2:29 pm
Sun November 11, 2012

Left Homeless, Storm Victims Turn To Internet To Find Shelter

A damaged home rests on one side along the beach in the Belle Harbor section of Queens, N.Y., on Nov. 5 in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 8:29 am

Housing is always in short supply in New York City, and Superstorm Sandy just made things much worse. The government is paying hotel costs for many of those displaced, while others are staying with friends and family.

That still leaves many people still looking for a spare bedroom, and some are now turning to the social networking website Airbnb – a site that matches people seeking vacation rentals β€” to find a place to stay.

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Europe
1:08 pm
Sun November 11, 2012

To Scrape By, The Poor In Spain Go Dumpster Diving

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 4:24 pm

One scene has become increasingly common amid Spain's economic crisis: Thousands of people, many of them immigrants, are searching trash dumpsters by night. Some scour the garbage for food, but many others are involved in a black-market trade for recycled materials.

The scavengers have slowly become a sad fixture in many barrios across Spain, like the well-dressed, middle-aged man on a Barcelona street corner on a recent night. He averts his eyes from onlookers as he reaches his arm down deep into a dumpster.

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Music
11:08 am
Sun November 11, 2012

A Latin Grammy Preview From 'Global Village'

Mexican singer-songwriter Carla Morrison is up for Album of the Year at next week's Latin Grammy Awards.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 7:19 am

Each year around this time, weekends on All Things Considered welcomes world music DJ Betto Arcos onto the show to share some of his favorite nominees from this Latin Grammys, the 2012 installment of which is coming up next week. Arcos hosts the program Global Village on KPFK in Los Angeles; his picks include singer-songwriters from Mexico and Brazil, a Chilean rapper and a Puerto Rican-American jazz saxophonist.

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Music News
3:32 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Verdi's 'La Forza,' Born Under A Bad Sign

Soprano Maria Slatinaru and bass Paul Plishka perform in a 1986 production of Verdi's La Forza del Destino at the San Francisco Opera.
Ron Scherl Redferns

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 8:59 am

One hundred fifty years ago today, Giuseppe Verdi first mounted his opera La Forza del Destino ("The Force of Destiny") on a stage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Today, La Forza is considered one of Verdi's masterpieces, but it wasn't always that way. The story of Don Alvaro, whose love for the aristocratic Leonora incurs the wrath of her family, is violent and chaotic, and it flopped on its first run.

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Music News
3:09 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Love To Hate Nickelback? Joke's On You

Nickelback's Chad Kroeger performs during halftime of a Canadian football game in Vancouver. On the band's own tours, expensive pyrotechnics are more rare.
Jeff Vinnick Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Nickelback. The name itself is musical shorthand for everything music aficionados love to hate about modern rock.

But with more than 50 million record sales worldwide and a lead singer who earns $10 million a year, the band is laughing all the way to the bank β€” as reporter Ben Paynter describes in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine.

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

In Tied Race, Candidate's Wife Didn't Vote

A tied city council race in Kentucky could be decided by a coin flip β€” after one candidate's wife didn't vote on Election Day.
istockphoto

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Here's a lighter story to round-out this election week.

On Tuesday, 27-year-old Bobby McDonald ran for one of six city council seats in the town of Walton, Ky., population 3,724.

"The night of Election Day, I was watching the results come in," he told NPR's Guy Raz. "And I ended up in a tie with the other candidate."

McDonald was tied 669-669 with his opponent, Olivia Ballou.

"There're many ways you can tie," McDonald said. "But in my situation, I let my wife sleep in and not go vote that day. And she's mad at me cause I did not wake her up."

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