All Things Considered

Weekdays from 4pm to 6:30pm
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.

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Animals
5:53 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Birds Of A Feather Spy Together

AFP/ Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 6:12 pm

The scene: Two men in a chilly Soviet apartment converse in whispers, careful to protect their plans from enemy ears. Little do they know, the benign-looking raven outside their window is not merely a city scavenger hunting for food, but a spy for the U.S. government.

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Music Interviews
5:25 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

A Comedy Woodstock, Courtesy Of Tenacious D

Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D mug as 1960s hippies in a promo clip for Festival Supreme, a Los Angeles-based alternative comedy festival of their own creation.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 10:08 am

Woodstock didn't just bring together some of the most important musical acts of the late 1960s: It showed that a music festival could be a truly historic event.

These days, leave any pasture open long enough and someone will start setting up amps and concession stands. The outdoor music festival is ubiquitous in 2013. But so far, there has been no Woodstock for comedy.

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Around the Nation
5:19 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Not In My Backyard: Hollywood Sign's Neighbors Fed Up With Tourists

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 6:12 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

If you've ever been to Los Angeles, no doubt you've sent a selfie with a Hollywood sign in the background. If that is you, you're not alone. The iconic sign is one of the city's biggest tourist attractions. Over the last few years, social media and GPS have only multiplied the number of visitors. Now, homeowners in the area say that's wreaking havoc in their neighborhood. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

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Europe
5:19 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Russia Sees Staggering Income Inequality

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 6:12 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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

The Occupy Wall Street movement called attention to the huge gap between the rich and poor in America. But when it comes to wealth inequality, the U.S. has nothing on Russia where 35 percent of the entire country's wealth is owned by just 110 people. How on earth did a country go from communism to oligarchy so fast?

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Music Interviews
5:15 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

The Minds Behind 'Einstein On The Beach' Talk Shop

A scene from the revival of Einstein on the Beach.
Los Angeles Opera

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 1:15 pm

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Pop Culture
5:07 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

The New And The Next: Six-Second Comedy And A Spin On News

Courtesy of Elise Andrew

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:27 pm

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Movie Interviews
4:29 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

'God Loves Uganda': How Religion Fueled An Anti-Gay Movement

Christopher Senyonjo says he was excommunicated from the Anglican church in the early 2000s, but continues his ministry and activism.
Crispin Buxton

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:40 pm

Four years ago, a bill was introduced in Uganda's parliament that would criminalize same-sex relations. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill has not yet become law, but it has drawn international attention to the animosity against gays in the African nation.

In the documentary God Loves Uganda, director Roger Ross Williams traces the bill's origins to the American evangelical missions in Uganda.

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Author Interviews
3:34 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

The Surprising Story Of 'Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an'

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 2:53 pm

Thomas Jefferson had a vast personal library reflecting his enormous curiosity about the world. Among his volumes: a Quran purchased in 1765 that informed his ideas about plurality and religious freedom in the founding of America.

In her book Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders, author Denise Spellberg draws parallels between the beliefs of the founding father and religious tolerance in the United States today.

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The Salt
6:38 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Some Seniors Worried About Their Next Meal

Seniors around the country depend on weekly deliveries of nutritionally balanced food from the USDA's supplemental nutrition program.
tmarvin iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 7:27 pm

You've no doubt heard of Senior Meals on Wheels preparing hot meals delivered to the elderly. But there's a different meal program that's been put on hold because of the partial government shutdown. It's the USDA's Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

In Michigan's western Kent County alone, more than 1,300 low-income seniors depend on the program. For them, it's a nutrition lifeline: They can't just go to a food pantry for similar assistance.

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It's All Politics
5:56 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Takes A Toll On GOP In Virginia Governor's Race

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 6:38 pm

With the government shutdown now in its 11th day, polls show that voters think Republicans bear the biggest share of the blame.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Virginia — a state that's home to some 172,000 federal civilian workers and where federal spending is a big part of the economy. In the race to be Virginia's next governor, GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli is falling in the polls.

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Code Switch
5:56 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

'Fetch Clay, Make Man': Ali, Fetchit And The 'Anchor Punch'

In 1965, Muhammad Ali and Lincoln Perry (Stepin Fetchit) teamed up in pursuit of a legendary boxing technique: the anchor punch.
Courtesy of New York Theatre Workshop

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 6:38 pm

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Muhammad Ali's first title defense, a first-round TKO of Sonny Liston in 1965, propelled Ali to the status of icon. In Ali's training camp before the fight was an icon from an earlier era: Lincoln Perry. He was the first African-American movie star, who went by the stage name Stepin Fetchi. The relationship between the two men is the subject of an off-Broadway play called Fetch Clay, Make Man.

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Movie Interviews
5:56 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

'The Square' Tightens Lens On Egypt's Revolution

Ahmed Hassan is the leader of the group of young Egyptian revolutionaries at the center of The Square.
Noujaim Films

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 10:56 pm

The new documentary The Square — set in Cairo's Tahrir Square — is a gripping, visceral portrait of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and its tumultuous aftermath.

The film puts the audience directly in the middle of the protests, and follows the lives of several young revolutionaries over the two and half years since. It charts their journey from the early euphoria of victory to the depths of despair as those victories unravel amid violent clashes and profound political confrontations among the secular revolutionaries, the Muslim Brotherhood and the military.

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What Comes Next? Conversations On The Afterlife
4:26 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Heaven Is Waiting; Hell Is A Different Question, Nun Says

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 6:38 pm

Perhaps it's no surprise that Mary Catherine Hilkert, a Catholic theologian, a professor at Notre Dame and a Dominican Sister of Peace, believes that people can find love, mercy and union with God after death. In her eyes, however, the concept of hell is far less definitive.

As part of All Things Considered's series on the concept of life after death, Hilkert spoke with host Robert Siegel about her perspectives on heaven and hell, why she thinks of banquets when she imagines the afterlife and why people hold such strong beliefs about what happens when life ends.

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NPR Story
8:33 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

What's Behind The Partisan Thaw In Washington?

On Thursday, President Obama met with Senate Democrats. Then he met with House Republicans. And White House staff members continued talks with their counterparts from the House GOP leadership. All that talking just a day after there was radio silence between the two parties. One strong possibility for the change in attitudes is a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that shows that the majority of Americans blame Republicans for the ongoing government shutdown and just 20 percent of people approve of the Republican party.

Shots - Health News
6:14 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Shutdown Imperils Costly Lab Mice, Years Of Research

Bob Adams is a lab animal veterinarian at Johns Hopkins University.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

The government shutdown is likely to mean an early death for thousands of mice used in research on diseases such as diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's.

Federal research centers including the National Institutes of Health will have to kill some mice to avoid overcrowding, researchers say. Others will die because it is impossible to maintain certain lines of genetically altered mice without constant monitoring by scientists. And most federal scientists have been banned from their own labs since Oct. 1.

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Remembrances
5:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Scott Carpenter, Second US Astronaut To Orbit Earth, Dies

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

One of America's first astronauts has died. Scott Carpenter was part of the original Project Mercury team and he was the second American to orbit the Earth. Carpenter died this morning in Denver after complications from a stroke. He was 88 years old. As NPR's Russell Lewis reports, Scott Carpenter made it into space just that one time back in 1962, but he continued his pioneering ways.

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What Comes Next? Conversations On The Afterlife
5:12 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

For Rabbi, A Just God Without An Afterlife Is 'Inconceivable'

Stones placed on a Jewish grave to show respect for the deceased. Orthodox Rabbi Joseph Telushkin says Jewish tradition holds that there is an afterlife but doesn't encourage speculation on what it might be like.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

Millions of Americans believe in the afterlife, and author and scholar Joseph Telushkin is no exception. The Orthodox rabbi has written extensively about Judaism and says that the concept of God is incompatible with the idea that life ends at death.

He holds that conviction so strongly, he tells NPR's Robert Siegel, because he believes that God is just — and he has to assume that a just God would provide some reward to a person who has lived his or her life well, while imposing a different fate upon those who do evil.

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Around the Nation
5:12 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Furloughed FDA Worker Hits The Streets To Drum Up Extra Cash

Furloughed FDA worker Jonathan Derr drums outside a Washington, D.C., Metro station to earn cash during the government shutdown
Karen Zamora/NPR

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

Ten days into the partial government shutdown, the estimated 800,000 furloughed federal workers have got to be feeling a bit stir crazy.

Congress has agreed to pay back the furloughed workers for the time they are shut out of the office, so for some it's like an unexpected, but paid, vacation of indeterminate length. But the more than a week of shutdown definitely means going without that cash in the short term. And for some of those workers with less of a financial cushion, that means getting creative.

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Music News
2:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

A Young Torchbearer Lights The Way For New Orleans Music Students

Trombone Shorty, aka Troy Andrews, has started a foundation dedicated to music education in New Orleans.
Jonathan Mannion Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

In New Orleans, it's cool to be in the high school band — especially when Trombone Shorty shows up in the band room.

The brass player and bandleader recently paid a visit to New Orleans' Warren Easton High School to work with band members. It's part of his work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation, a music education initiative.

"[Trombone Shorty] is, without a doubt, the role model for the next generation right now," says Bill Taylor, the foundation's executive director.

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It's All Politics
6:05 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

GOP Shutdown Strategy Gives House A Twilight Zone Feel

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., holds a news conference Oct. 3 with the GOP Doctors Caucus — members of the House who are medical professionals by training — to talk about how the government shutdown is affecting medical research.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 6:51 pm

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Youth Radio
5:37 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

High Schools Struggle To Tackle Safety On The Football Field

Football practice at Castro Valley High School in California. Proper hitting technique requires players to keep their heads up to prevent neck injuries and concussions.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:41 pm

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Book Reviews
5:37 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

A Coming Of Age Story For The (Ice) Ages

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. A new novel explores life on Earth tens of thousands of years ago. It's called "Shaman" by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, says it's worthy of a spot on the bookshelf between "The Inheritors" and "The Clan Of The Cave Bear."

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NPR Story
7:24 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

White House: Obama To Tap Janet Yellen For Fed Chair

The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama will nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve Wednesday. She would replace Ben Bernanke, who's stepping down from the post. Yellen has been the presumptive nominee for weeks, after Lawrence Summers announced his intention to remove himself from the running in September. She'd be the first woman to head the Fed.

Environment
6:22 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Flood Forensics: Why Colorado's Floods Were So Destructive

Flooding brought down a house in Jamestown, Colo., on Sept. 18.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:25 am

Parts of Colorado are still drying out after floods hit the state last month. Eight people died, and damage from the worst flooding in decades is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Scientists are now venturing into the hardest-hit areas to do a sort of "flood forensics" to understand why the floods were so bad.

Geologist Jonathan Godt takes Peak Highway in northern Colorado up into the Rockies. The road there winds past ravines and streams where water is still rushing.

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Parallels
6:21 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Asian Allies' Anxieties Rise Amid Washington Paralysis

President Obama listens as Chinese President Xi Jinping answers a question after a bilateral meeting in California on June 7.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has all sorts of costs — not only in the United States, but also overseas. President Obama had to cancel a trip this week to visit four nations in Asia so he could stay in Washington to deal with the political crisis. That has disappointed — even worried — some of America's friends in the region, who are counting on the United States to stand up to an increasingly assertive China.

The disappointment over the president's no-show in Asia was palpable.

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