All Things Considered

Weekdays from 4pm to 6:30pm
  • Hosted by Robert Siegel, Melissa Block and Audie Cornish

NPR's afternoon news magazine, featuring a mix of interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features from around the world, and in and around Pittsburgh, hosted locally by Larkin Page Jacobs.

Bostonians marked the second anniversary of the marathon bombing Wednesday, all while awaiting the sentencing phase of convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to begin. The jury must decide on death or life in prison — a fact that hung over the day's events.

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Pet owners in the Chicago area are hearing messages like this when they check in with their veterinarians.

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So what if the bank paid you to take out a loan? That's what's happening in some European countries, where interest rates have gone negative amid efforts by central bankers to boost economic activity.

NPR's Audie Cornish spoke with NPR's John Ydstie about this unusual turn of financial events.

Audie Cornish: What's going on?

NPR's Robert Siegel interviews University of Virginia historian Barbara Perry about the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Andrew Johnson presidency. Perry explains how he was chosen as vice president, and how he suddenly became president after President Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

Beautifully made fantastic tales such as Steven Millhauser writes don't begin from nothing. As in the tradition of Nikolai Gogol, Italo Calvino and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (to name a few revered creators of fiction that carries us beyond the normal), most of them grow out of everyday incidents and lead us right up to the line between the ordinary and the magical. And sometimes they help us to cross over.

Lina describes herself as strong and independent. Born in Yemen and brought to the U.S. as a toddler, the 22-year-old now works retail at a mall to pay her way through college.

"I was raised very, very Americanized. I did sports, I did community service, I worked," Lina says. (NPR is not using her full name because she fears retribution from her family.)

When people hear her story, she says they tell her, "I never thought that this would ever happen to you."

Soul singer Percy Sledge epitomized Southern soul in ballads like "When A Man Loves A Woman," which became a massive international hit when it came out in 1966. Sledge died Tuesday morning of natural causes in East Baton Rouge, La. He was 74.

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The day after Japan surrendered in 1945, and World War II ended, singer Bing Crosby appeared on the radio program Command Performance. "Well it looks like this is it," he said. "What can you say at a time like this? You can't throw your skimmer in the air — that's for a run-of-the-mill holiday. I guess all anybody can do is thank God it's over."

New York Times columnist David Brooks cites this and other aspects of that 70-year-old radio program as evidence that America once marked triumph without boasting.

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Guillermo Grenier, a sociology professor at Florida International University, about the likelihood that Cuban Americans will support a Republican candidate with a hard line towards softening U.S. relations with Cuba. He is leading a multi-year survey tracking the political attitudes of Cuban Americans.

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Laina Morris is the real person behind the Internet meme known as the "Overly Attached Girlfriend." She has deftly exploited her Internet fame, turning a spoof entry to a Justin Bieber contest into a full-time career of putting comic videos on YouTube.

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HBO's hit series, "Game Of Thrones," returned yesterday for a fifth season. As fans of the fantasy series know, the last four seasons had a lot of this.

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Tina Packer has spent a lifetime researching Shakespeare and his plays, both as an actress and as a director. And as she focused on the role that women play in his works, she noticed a progression.

Consider Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, one of his earliest plays, which centers on a man breaking a defiant woman's spirit. Strong-willed Kate is a harridan; her compliant sister, meanwhile, says things like, "Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe."

Sixty years ago in San Francisco, Allen Ginsberg penned a poem that opened with the now-famous lines:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix ...

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"Yep. Nope. Very definitely."

Kathryn Schulz, a writer for The New Yorker, heard that seemingly-contradictory response to a question recently. And once she started listening for it, she heard it everywhere: people agreeing by saying "No, totally," or "No, definitely," or "No, for sure."

In a recent article, Schulz digs into what's behind this linguistic quirk. She found out that the English language used to have more options than just "yes" and "no."

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It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

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Presidents Obama and Raul Castro of Cuba shook hands last night before opening ceremonies of the Summit of the Americas in Panama. But the informal meeting between the two men today was the most anticipated moment of the conference.

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NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Seth Stoughton, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law, about his view that there needs to be a paradigm shift in policing away from the "warrior mindset" to a "guardian" role.

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Not every clam is, as the expression goes, happy as a clam. Even shellfish, it turns out, can get cancer. And it just might be that this cancer is spread from clam to clam by rogue cells bobbing through the ocean, scientists reported Thursday in the journal Cell.

Spring: the time of year many people find themselves twirling in front of mirrors, trying on prom dresses, tuxedos or wedding gowns. Wouldn't it be nice to know how an outfit really looks from the back, instead of craning your neck, hoping to see what others see?

NPR's Audie Cornish talks about the history of how Cuba ended up on the state-sponsored terrorism list with William LeoGrande, professor of government at American University and co-author of the book Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana.

The arrest of South Carolina police Officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Walter Scott in North Charleston this week, came shortly after the release of a cellphone video recorded by an eyewitness.

The filming of police by civilians has also sparked controversy, and it often causes confusion about what is legal.

Something rare is happening in the world of ballet: At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., two African-American dancers will be the leads in The Washington Ballet's production of Swan Lake. Misty Copeland, soloist with American Ballet Theatre, will dance the dual role of Odette and Odile, while Brooklyn Mack of The Washington Ballet will dance Prince Siegfried.

Welfare recipients in Kansas may soon be barred from spending their benefits on activities like going to the movies or swimming, or from withdrawing more than $25 per day from bank machines.

If Gov. Sam Brownback signs the bill, it will become one of the strictest welfare laws in the country. It's one of a number of such measures popping up in states that say they're trying to reduce fraud and get people off the welfare rolls. But opponents say the laws are mean-spirited and hurt the poor.

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