All Things Considered

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Award-winning news magazine from NPR.

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Monkey See
2:46 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

DVD Picks: 'Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection'

Universal Studios

Time for our home video feature, where NPR movie critic Bob Mondello suggests something for those who like to pop their own popcorn and pop in a video. For this Halloween week, Bob suggests sending a shiver up your spine with some classics from: Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection.

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Latin America
2:27 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Drug Violence Swamps A Once Peaceful Mexican City

"Los Mata Zetas," or the "Zeta Killers," described themselves in a recent video as a paramilitary group that will go after members of the Zeta drug cartel. The Mexican government, however, has described it as a rival drug cartel that is just seeking to eliminate competition from the Zetas.

AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 2:34 pm

In the latest twist to Mexico's drug wars, a new group has vowed to launch a paramilitary offensive against a leading drug cartel in Veracruz, a city that has become a flash point in the violence.

Over the past month, more than 100 bodies have been strewn around the city, which is one of Mexico's largest and oldest ports. The violence prompted Mexican President Felipe Calderon to declare that Veracruz has been "left in the hands of the Zetas," one of the most brutal criminal organizations in the country.

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Science
2:27 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Used Lab Equipment Finds A Second Home Overseas

Amanda Nottke, who earned her Ph.D. from Harvard, sorts through used micropipettes that will be shipped to overseas science labs.

Ari Daniel Shapiro for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 3:35 pm

Science is an expensive endeavor. Labs in the U.S. can easily spend millions of dollars each year on equipment, chemicals and supplies alone. But for scientists in the developing world, these costs are often prohibitive. That's where a clever idea has made all the difference.

In a Harvard Medical School corridor on a rainy Saturday afternoon, a handful of graduate students are emptying boxes of scientific equipment into the hallway to take inventory: microcentrifuge tubes, radiation counters, micropipetters, Erlenmeyer flasks.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

At Public Meeting, Supercommittee Shows Little Progress

The deficit-cutting Supercommittee met Wednesday morning in its first public meeting in more than a month. The group is charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budget reductions by Nov. 23. If it fails, automatic, across-the-board cuts follow — a consequence that no one in the Capitol wants.

Music
12:15 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Tom Waits: A Desperate Voice For Desperate Times

Tom Waits has just released his latest album, Bad As Me.

Jesse Dylan

Tom Waits generally sings like a psychotic carnival barker or a drunken lounge crooner. And I really mean that as a compliment.

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NPR News Investigations
10:32 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Tribes Question Foster Group's Power And Influence

Children at the Black Hills campus of the Children's Home Society head into the main building for lunch. The home caters to children with special needs, many of whom are Native American.

Laura Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 12:46 pm

Part two of a three-part investigation

On a small crest deep in South Dakota's Black Hills, a dozen children jumped on sleds and floated across the snow. They are wards of the state, and this is their home: the western campus of the Children's Home Society.

There are rolling hills, a babbling brook — even a new school.

Children's Home Director Bill Colson says it's a place to help children who can't make it in regular foster homes.

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Fronteras
9:31 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Feds Knew of Earlier Gun Smuggling Program in Mexico

Photo via U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Operation Fast and Furious was not the first gun-walking program taken up by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms in Arizona.

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Fronteras
9:23 am
Wed October 26, 2011

President Promotes Mortgage Program in Las Vegas, NV

Creative Commons via neontommy.com

President Obama kicked off his western tour on Monday with a stop in Las Vegas to talk about housing.

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Fronteras
9:19 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Navajo Tribe Split on Grand Canyon Flight Noise

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons by Brian Snelson

Four months after the official public comment period ended, Grand Canyon officials are still waiting for the Navajo Nation to comment about flight noise.

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Fronteras
9:16 am
Wed October 26, 2011

CEO of Arizona Solar Firm Steps Down

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License

The country’s largest solar power company announced its CEO is stepping down.

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Opinion
4:00 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Autumn Raspberries: Worth The Tantalizing Wait

When it comes to fine-tasting fruit, the art of patience can't be underestimated.

istockphoto.com

In a hurry-up world, the garden keeps its own time. Old-fashioned plants like raspberries, asparagus and rhubarb ask us to slow down and wait for the sweet reward they offer. Commentator Julie Zickefoose revels in the waiting.

I have a friend who lives up in the mountains of North Carolina who loves to give me wonderful plants. Usually Connie gives me native prairie plants, and I plop them in the meadow, and it's no big deal. But this year she gave me raspberries. Not just any raspberries. Golden raspberries.

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Law
1:00 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Police Arrested On Gun-Smuggling Charges

Five officers in the New York Police Department have been arrested on charges of smuggling guns, cigarettes and slot machines they thought were stolen. Three retired NYPD officers and a New Jersey corrections officer are also charged.

National Security
1:00 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Cold War Bomb To Be Dismantled

The last B53 bomb is supposed to be dismantled Tuesday. Michele Norris speaks with Hans Kristensen from the Federation of American Scientists about the historical climate surrounding the B53 bomb.

Science
1:00 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Northern Lights Glow In Southern States

Melissa Block talks to Robert Moore of the University of West Georgia's physics department about a surprising display of the northern lights Monday night that went as far south as Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia itself.

Election 2012
1:00 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Huntsman Shows Off Mandarin Skills

Throughout the presidential campaign, we'll bring you moments from the candidates. Monday night, Jon Huntsman showed off his often mentioned, but seldom demonstrated, knowledge of the Mandarin language on the Colbert Report.

Education
1:00 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

ETS Says SAT Cheating Attempts Not Uncommon

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 4:06 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

MICHELE NORRIS, HOST:

And I'm Michele Norris. The company that administers the SAT says it catches hundreds of people a year trying to impersonate test-takers. Officials from the Educational Testing Service spoke at a New York state Senate hearing today, where lawmakers are investigating an alleged SAT cheating ring.

Charles Lane, of member station WSHU, reports.

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National Security
1:00 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Congress Recognizes First Black Marines

Nearly 70 years ago, the Marines became the last branch of the American military to accept blacks into their ranks. The first to serve at the segregated Marine base at Montford Point in North Carolina are relatively little known, compared to their fellow trail blazers in the Army's Buffalo Soldiers and the Air Force's Tuskegee Airmen — until now. Congress voted Tuesday to recognize the Montford Point Marines with the Congressional Gold Medal. Historian Melton McLaurin joins Michele Norris to discuss the black servicemen of the Montford Point Marines.

The Record
11:00 am
Tue October 25, 2011

Rocksmith: Guitar Hero Gets Real(er)

Paul Cross, creative director of Rocksmith, plays the game at a demonstration event in San Francisco, Calif.

Kimihiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Music-based games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, which let you play along to popular songs with fake instruments, once ruled the video game industry. They raked in billions of dollars in sales in 2008, when their popularity was at its peak. But such games have since lost their luster, and sales for both have plummeted. Now the French video game publisher and development company Ubisoft is hoping to revive interest in the video game genre by adding a new twist — the ability to use a real guitar.

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Opinion
5:18 am
Tue October 25, 2011

Occupy Wall Street's Most Unlikely Ally: The Pope

Pope Benedict XVI rides in his popemobile through Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, last month. The Vatican has released a document on world economics, condemning "idolatry of the market."

Thomas Niedermueller Getty Images

Thomas J. Reese is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, and a former editor of America, the national Catholic weekly magazine.

The Vatican released a document on the world economy on Monday that will cause heartburn in the Tea Party, but will be cheered by the folks occupying Wall Street.

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Opinion
5:00 am
Tue October 25, 2011

My Accidental Masterpiece: The Phantom Tollbooth

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 5:32 pm

Norton Juster is the author of The Phantom Tollbooth.

"There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself — not just sometimes but always. When he was in school he longed to be out, and when he was out he longed to be in ... Nothing really interested him — least of all the things that should have."

It was, of course, the doldrums — his own special version of them.

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Around the Nation
1:51 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Families Broken Up As Immigrants Flee Alabama

Migrant worker advocate Lourdes Villanueva shows off the most popular playhouse at the Redlands Christian Migrant Association preschool in Mulberry, Fla. Despite the early arrival of kids from Alabama, the school can't open yet because it doesn't have enough money.

Scott Finn for NPR

Some immigrant families say Alabama's tough new immigration law is forcing them to split up, at least temporarily.

Every fall, migrant workers follow the tomato harvest south from Alabama to the Redlands Christian Migrant Association campus in Mulberry, Fla. It's an oasis of shady oak trees amid acres and acres of tomato fields.

But this year, women and children are showing up several weeks ahead of their husbands, who have stayed behind in Alabama to finish the tomato harvest. Other families who aren't migrant workers are showing up for the first time.

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Music Interviews
1:47 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Joe Henry's Raw, Raucous 'Reverie'

Joe Henry's new album, Reverie, was self-produced and recorded in his basement studio.

Lauren Dukoff

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 4:31 pm

When Joe Henry sets out to produce an album — and he's produced dozens, from the great soul singers Solomon Burke and Bettye LaVette to the actor and blues singer Hugh Laurie — he says he's looking for a point of view.

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Pop
1:21 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Coldplay's 'Mylo Xyloto' Has Mass Appeal

Coldplay's new album, Mylo Xyloto, is out this week.

Sarah Lee

In a music world commercially dominated by pop singers, rappers and country artists, Coldplay is one of the rare modern superstar acts that actually is a rock band. But for a group as patently inoffensive as Coldplay, it's earned an impressive number of "haters." Many rock fans dismiss its music as milquetoast, and even The New York Times once called Coldplay "the most insufferable band of the decade." Me?

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You Must Read This
5:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Bound Together: Breaking Those Toxic Family Ties

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 4:21 pm

I found The Twin, by Gerbrand Bakker, sitting on a coffee table at a writers' colony in 2009. It carried praise from J.M. Coetzee for its "restrained tenderness and laconic humor," which seemed ample justification for using it to avoid my own writing.

I finished it, weeping, a day later, and have been puzzling over its powerful hold on me ever since. I've recommended it again and again, and while I can't say it's entirely undiscovered — it won the 2010 IMPAC Dublin Award — no one I know ever seems to have heard of it.

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Author Interviews
1:30 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Products R Us: Are We 'Brandwashed'?

In an article for Fast Company magazine, Martin Lindstrom writes that Whole Foods places flowers by the store's entrance "to 'prime' us to think of freshness the moment we enter the store."

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Martin Lindstrom got into the advertising business early on.

"I started up my own ad agency when I was 12 years old," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekend on All Things Considered. "I was a huge fan of Lego, so I built up my own Legoland in the backyard of my mom and dad's garden."

No one showed up on the first day, but Lindstrom persuaded a local ad agency to sponsor him. On the third day, he had 131 visitors.

The only problem? "Visitor number 130 and visitor 131 were the lawyers from Lego suing me."

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World
1:00 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Tunisians Vote In Free Elections

Tunisians voted Sunday in their country's first free elections — the culmination of a popular uprising that ousted President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and touched off the wave of Arab Spring uprisings. Washington Post reporter Leila Fadel offers her insight from the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

Strange News
12:56 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Was It A Cat I Saw? (Nope: It Was A Palindrome)

Barry Duncan constructs a palindrome in a scene from Michael Rossi's documentary The Master Palindromist. "I happen to believe that I can change the world with reversibility," Duncan says.

Michael Rossi

Originally published on Sun October 23, 2011 5:19 pm

Barry Duncan has an obsession that follows him everywhere he goes. "I see street signs, restaurant menus, objects while I'm walking along, and I'm just reversing them all the time," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

Duncan is a master palindromist. He creates phrases, sentences, even passages that read the same forward and backward. He's been at it since 1981, when he was working at a bookstore in Philadelphia and stumbled onto a book of wordplay.

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Music Interviews
12:03 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Jane's Addiction: Breaking With A Turbulent Past

Perry Farrell performs with Jane's Addiction. The reunited band's new album is called The Great Escape Artist.

Kyle Dean Reinford Courtesy of the artist

Jane's Addiction defined the Los Angeles rock scene of the late 1980s, and by the beginning of the next decade, the band had become famous worldwide. But almost as soon as they'd gained the world's attention, Jane's Addiction split up.

Modest reunions have taken place since then. This month, three of the four original members are back with a new album, The Great Escape Artist. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, who grew up listening to Jane's Addiction, spoke to the group's leader, Perry Farrell.

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From Our Listeners
1:00 pm
Sat October 22, 2011

Three-Minute Fiction: Closing In On A Winner

Transcript

GUY RAZ, host: It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

RAZ: All right. We're getting closer to finding the winning story in round seven of Three-Minute Fiction. That's our writing contest where we ask you to create an original short story that can be read in about three minutes.

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Music News
12:38 pm
Sat October 22, 2011

How Franz Liszt Became The World's First Rock Star

Illustration of Franz Liszt. The Hungarian composer and pianist revolutionized the art of performance.

Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

When you think of rock n' roll, Franz Liszt might not be the first name that comes to mind. But the classical pianist, born 200 years ago today, was in many was the first rock star of all time.

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