All Things Considered

Weekdays 5:00pm - 7:00pm, Weekends 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Award-winning news magazine from NPR.

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Radio Diaries
11:44 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Teenage Diaries Revisited: Living Life Under The Radar

Juan
Radio Diaries (left), David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:19 am

Name: Juan (NPR is not revealing his full name, because he is living in the country illegally.)

Hometown: Loreto, Zacatecas, Mexico

Current city: Denver

Occupation: Plumber

His first radio diary:

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Business
4:02 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Some Net Retailers Aren't Buying Online Sales Tax Proposal

The Senate on Monday approved a bill to allow states to collect sales taxes from online retailers. Proponents say sellers will get help navigating tax collection, but many retailers says complying will be burdensome and opens the door for unforeseen problems.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

Congress is considering a bill that would allow states to collect sales taxes from online retailers. Proponents say a law is necessary to level the playing field with brick-and-mortar stores and to raise revenue for states.

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It's All Politics
2:29 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Some Democrats Back Same-Sex Amendment To Immigration Bill

Some Democrats want to amend the immigration bill before the Senate to allow foreign-born same-sex spouses of Americans to qualify for green cards.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

The immigration overhaul bill before the Senate would provide, among other things, more visas for migrant farm workers and high-tech workers, and a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

One thing it would not provide is help for same-sex couples in which one partner is an American and one foreign-born. For heterosexual couples, a foreign-born spouse automatically qualifies for a green card and many of the benefits of citizenship. Not so with gay and lesbian couples.

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Book Reviews
2:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Safety Is Relative: A Moving Account Of Life In Chechnya

Russian troops patrol Minutka square in the Chechen capital on Monday, Feb. 28, 2000.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

How do you write an absorbing novel about unspeakable things? It's always a tricky business, and an editor I know once described the dilemma this way: "A reader needs to want to go there." What "there" means is the self-contained world of the book. And what would make a reader want to go deeply into a world of hopelessness and seemingly perpetual war, a world of torture and intimidation and exploding land mines? There are many answers. One of the most obvious, of course, is the language.

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The Picture Show
1:54 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

A Picture Postcard From Wild Wrangel Island

Musk oxen, more akin to goats and sheep than to oxen, were introduced to Wrangel Island in 1975 and now number about 800. In September, with mating season underway, bulls engage in frequent head-butting confrontations to establish dominance.
Sergey Gorshkov National Geographic

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:19 pm

If something seems impossibly remote, you call it Siberia. And if Siberians want to make the analogy, they could call it Wrangel Island. About 90 miles off the coast of northeastern Siberia, the 91-mile-long island has been inhabited by some humans over the years — but has been home to a superabundance of wildlife such as polar bears, Pacific walruses and musk oxen.

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It's All Politics
1:37 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Is Jeff Flake The Most Unpopular Senator In The Country?

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., shown on Capitol Hill on April 23, voted against a bill expanding background checks on gun sales, which has upset some of his constituents.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

Congress is coming back to Washington after a weeklong recess, and for Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, the return may come as a relief.

Some of his constituents in Arizona are still livid over his recent vote against expanded background checks for gun sales. They say the freshman senator is ignoring their calls for a public meeting.

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Radio Diaries
11:08 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Teenage Diaries Revisited: A Gay Teen's Family, 'Evolved'

Amanda as a teenager (left). She now lives in Manhattan and works as a massage therapist.
Radio Diaries (left), David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:19 am

Name: Amanda Brand

Hometown: Queens, N.Y.

Current city: New York, N.Y.

Occupation: Massage therapist

Then:

"My mother's always yelling at me, 'How are you supposed to find a man?'... I tell her, I'm like, 'I'm not interested in men.' "

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National Security
3:44 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

The Hidden Cost Of The Drone Program

A model of a drone is hoisted in the air at a protest of the U.S. military's use of drones during a demonstration on April 3 in New York.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:02 pm

A faint light has begun to shine in recent weeks on the secretive U.S. program of drone strikes and targeted killings.

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Religion
2:08 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

A Search For Faith In 'Godless' Washington

The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C, is one of the world's largest cathedrals, and the seat of the Episcopal Church.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:03 pm

War has brought the act of faith to the forefront for those who occupy the White House. President Lincoln famously issued a call to prayer during the Civil war. Franklin Roosevelt announced D-Day to the nation with a prayer.

Today, President Obama receives a daily spiritual meditation. The man who sends those messages is a Pentecostal minister named Joshua DuBois.

When he first moved to Washington, D.C., DuBois says he had already formed an impression about the spiritual life of the town.

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Music Interviews
1:49 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

A Funky-Fresh Sound From Somalia, With A Political History

The cover image of Dur-Dur band's Volume 5.
Album cover

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 5:20 pm

Imagine the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, in the 1980s. You can't, right? Neither can most music critics. That's why the recent re-release of a record by a popular '80s-era Mogadishu dance band has caught the attention of critics lately.

The founders of Dur-Dur Band now live in Columbus, Ohio. Weekends on All Things Considered asked members Abdinur Daljir and Sahra Dawo to go to a studio there — accompanied by an interpreter — to talk about the newly reissued record and the story that precedes it.

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Author Interviews
1:43 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

A Tale From The Delta, Born Of The Blues

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 5:20 pm

Bill Cheng's new novel, Southern Cross the Dog, is deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta. It follows the story of one boy after he survives the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and spends the next few decades as a refugee, an abandoned orphan and then an itinerant laborer.

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Middle East
3:18 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Syrian Rebel Leader: We Won't Share U.S. Arms With Extremists

Free Syrian Army fighters sit behind an anti-aircraft weapon in Aleppo, Syria, in February. The rebels say U.S.-provided weapons would help in their fight against Bashar Assad's regime.
Abdullah al-Yassin AP

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 9:01 am

The Obama administration says it's considering providing arms to rebels fighting to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad if the U.S. can confirm his forces did in fact use the debilitating nerve gas sarin in recent attacks. Coupled with news that Israel reportedly launched an airstrike at a target in Syria to prevent a shipment of missiles from reaching Hezbollah, these events could represent a game changer in the conflict-ravaged nation.

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The Record
3:17 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Big Songs, Big Hype (Oh Yeah, They're Women)

Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches performs at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, in March.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:19 am

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Around the Nation
2:52 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Schools On Military Bases Also Fall Victim To Sequester Cuts

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 3:28 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's been two months since the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration officially went into effect. The decision on that was made here in Washington, but the effects are being felt all over the country. Take, for example, a chunk of money called impact aid.

JACK BOOGAARD: There's three different kids that can receive this type of money called impact aid.

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Sports
10:07 am
Sat May 4, 2013

A 'Decadent And Depraved' Derby With Hunter S. Thompson

When illustrator Ralph Steadman accepted an assignment with writer Hunter S. Thompson at the Kentucky Derby, he never imagined the weekend that would ensue. Here, Steadman depicts the race's winner, a colt named Dust Commander.
Ralph Steadman

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 4:27 pm

In the spring of 1970, a British illustrator named Ralph Steadman had just moved to America, hoping to find some work. His first call came from a small literary journal called Scanlan's. It was looking for a cartoonist to send to the Kentucky Derby. Steadman had heard of neither the race nor the writer he was to accompany, a fellow named Hunter S. Thompson.

Steadman hadn't read any of Thompson's work, and he certainly didn't know that the writer had a bit of a drinking tendency, but he agreed to go.

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Three-Minute Fiction
10:13 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Round 11: Finders Keepers

Karen Russell's debut novel, Swamplandia! was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012. Her most recent work is a collection of short stories, Vampires in the Lemon Grove.
Michael Lionstar

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 4:30 am

Round 11 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest begins now!

Here's how it works: We ask you to write an original short story that can be read in about three minutes, so no more than 600 words. Each round, we invite an author to throw out a challenge and help us judge the contest.

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Shots - Health News
3:12 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

From Battlefield To Boston: Marine Comforts Bombing Survivors

Marine Sgt. Maj. Damion Jacobs (left) and Marine Capt. Cam West visit with Boston emergency workers who responded to the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
Oren Dorell for USA Today

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 11:17 am

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Author Interviews
3:07 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Advice For New Dads From A Veteran Father Of Four

Little, Brown & Company

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:28 pm

Clyde Edgerton is the author of 10 novels, but his latest book is nonfiction — a guide for dads. Papadaddy's Book for New Fathers: Advice to Dads of All Ages opens with a summary of Edgerton's own family situation:

I have a daughter, Catherine, aged 30. I have a 9-year-old son, Nathaniel, a 7-year-old son, Ridley, and a 6-year-old daughter, Truma. I'm 68. The age gap between the younger kids and me is not something I think about much, because I feel physically about like I did when I was 40 — or at least, I think I do. I think I ...

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Movie Interviews
2:49 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Riz Ahmed: Shifting Across Identities And Roles

In the new film The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the Pakistani-British actor Riz Ahmed plays Changez, a self-described "lover of America" who moves back to Pakistan to educate activists.
IFC Films

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 1:32 pm

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is the story of one man's struggle with identity and loyalty after 9/11.

The film's title character, Changez, is an ambitious twenty-something who seems to have it all: A Princeton degree, a Wall Street career and a beautiful girlfriend (played by Kate Hudson). But after 9/11, Changez becomes conflicted about where he belongs.

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It's All Politics
12:36 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Democrats Have High Hopes Of Defeating Sanford In S.C.

Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch looks over at former Republican Gov. Mark Sanford during a debate Monday in Charleston, S.C., in the 1st Congressional District race.
Randall Hill Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 6:28 pm

Democrats have their best chance in more than three decades to win a South Carolina congressional seat in a special election Tuesday.

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Arts & Life
10:21 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Hey Teenagers! We Want To Hear Your Stories

Are you the next Radio Diaries teen diarist?
M Mujdat Uzel iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 6:49 pm

Are you a teenager with a story to tell? NPR and Radio Diaries want to hear it. Write it down, photograph it (and record it if you want) and then submit it to the storytelling site Cowbird.

Beginning in 1996, Radio Diaries gave tape recorders to five teenagers to create audio diaries about their lives. Starting on May 6, All Things Considered will revisit these original diarists, now in their 30s, to document their lives for NPR listeners.

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Economy
3:27 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Housing Recovery Lifts Other Sectors, Too

Chevy trucks line the lot of a dealer in Murrysville, Pa. Sales were up by double digits at Chrysler, General Motors and Ford last month.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:00 pm

The government's employment report for April comes out Friday. It's an important measure of the economy's health and the advance signals have been mixed. One report this week showed layoffs falling to a five-year low, but another suggests disappointing jobs creation.

At least one sector is providing some positive news for the job market: housing.

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Shots - Health News
3:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Women's Health Groups Angered By Morning-After Pill Moves

Soon after President Obama spoke at Planned Parenthood's national conference in Washington, D.C., last Friday, the administration alienated some women's health groups.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

The administration's actions this week on emergency contraception have left many women's health groups sputtering with anger.

But what really has some of the President Obama's usual allies irritated is the fact that the moves are in direct contrast to speeches he made in just the past week.

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Movies
3:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

In 'Iron Man 3,' A Metalhead Gets The Blues

Window Dressing: Tony Stark's ongoing Iron Man research involves more than one suit of self-assembling armor.
Marvel

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:07 pm

Y'know, I think this bummed-out superhero thing is catching. Depressed Bat-guy, brooding Spider-dude, even the Man of Steel seems existentially troubled in previews of his most recent incarnation.

And smart-alecky Iron Man? He'd appeared inoculated by Tony Stark's reflexive snark from succumbing to a similar ailment — but even he's having anxiety attacks these days. Ever since that Avengers dust-up with those unpleasant aliens last summer, he's evidently been having trouble sleeping.

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Music Interviews
2:46 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Natalie Maines On Motherhood, Eddie Vedder And Leaving Country Music

Mother is the solo debut of Natalie Maines, former Dixie Chicks frontwoman.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:22 pm

Natalie Maines is a small woman with a really big voice. Flanked by Emily Robison on banjo and Martie McGuire on fiddle, Maines powered the Dixie Chicks to some 30 million records sold. And then came the collapse — after what the band calls "the incident."

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Research News
2:37 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Of Flybots And Bug Eyes: Insects Inspire Inventors

These robotic flies, which were built in a Harvard lab, can flap their wings independently of each other and fly around while tethered to a power and control wire.
Kevin Ma, Pakpong Chirarattananon AAAS/Science

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:49 pm

A smartphone can tell you where to get a cup of coffee, but it can't go get the coffee for you. Engineers would like to build little machines that can do stuff. They would be useful for a lot more than coffee, if we could figure out how to make them work.

But the rules of mechanics change at small scales. Friction becomes dominant; turbulence can upend a small airplane.

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U.S.
2:35 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Bill Would Put Immigration Verification System To The Test

Employers using the E-Verify program are required to post an E-Verify Participation Poster, shown here in a handout photo. A Senate bill would make participation in the system, used to check employees' immigration status, mandatory for all employers.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

Some employers around the nation have been using E-Verify to check the immigration status of employees for years. Operated by the Department of Homeland Security, the online system is designed to make it harder to hire unauthorized workers — and harder for those workers to find jobs.

While participation in the program has been voluntary since 1996, the immigration bill now in the Senate would make E-Verify mandatory.

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Found Recipes
1:32 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

This Little Piggy Cookie Is A Sweet Mexican Find

A few years ago, Pati Jinich had never heard of Piggy Cookies. But after numerous recipe requests and a chance encounter with the treats in her home country, they've become a family favorite.
Courtesy of Penny De Los Santos

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:22 pm

Mexican Piggy Cookies are known by many names — cerditos, cochinitos, marranitos or puerquitos. Sweetened with unprocessed cane sugar and honey, and spiced with cinnamon, the cutout cookies puff when you bake them.

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Africa
12:35 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

With Robocalls, Eritrean Exiles Organize Passive Resistance

Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki, shown on a visit to Libya in 2010, has been widely criticized by human rights groups. Eritrean exiles have organized passive protests, calling on people to stay home Friday.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

Tucked in the northeast corner of Africa, Eritrea is one of the most closed societies in the world, so much so that it's sometimes dubbed the "North Korea of Africa."

President Isaias Afwerki does not tolerate any independent media. The Internet is restricted. Reporters without Borders recently named it 179th out of 179 countries for freedom of expression.

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The Salt
4:40 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Bones Tell Tale Of Desperation Among The Starving At Jamestown

The four cuts at the top of this skull "are clear chops to the forehead," says Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley. Based on forensic evidence, researchers think the blows were made after the person died.
Donald E. Hurlbert Smithsonian

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 5:48 pm

"First they ate their horses, and then fed upon their dogs and cats, as well as rats, mice and snakes."

So says James Horn of the historical group Colonial Williamsburg, paraphrasing an account by colony leader George Percy of what conditions were like for the hundreds of men and women stranded in Jamestown, Va., with little food in the dead of winter in 1609.

They even ate their shoes. And, apparently, at least one person.

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