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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Around the Nation
4:51 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Lady Houdini's Escape Act Breaks Through Not Just Handcuffs

Rochelle Fowler watches with tears on her face as Lady Houdini works to break free. Harry Houdini made the water torture cell famous more than 100 years ago.
Sadie Babits Boise State Public Radio

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 6:23 pm

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U.S.
4:51 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Treasury, IRS Debut New Tax Rules For Same-Sex Couples

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 6:01 pm

Officials of the Treasury Department and the IRS announced new rules allowing same sex couples who marry in states with gay marriage to file jointly if they move to other states.

Shots - Health News
4:24 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

A Single Protein May Help Explain Memory Loss In Old Age

The underlying biology of age-related memory glitches — in old mice and old people — is different from what happens with Alzheimer's, recent research suggests.
Anthony Bradshaw iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 3:26 pm

If you're finding it harder to remember where you put the car keys, the culprit could be a brain protein with a name that's easy to forget: RbAp48.

A shortage of this protein appears to impair our ability to remember things as we age, researchers report in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine. And boosting levels of RbAP48 in aging brains can reverse memory loss, at least in mice, they say.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
3:57 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Lost And Found: 5 Forgotten Classics Worth Revisiting

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:25 pm

I don't remember when I first realized that books could go away, that they could — and did — pass into obscurity or out of print. Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal, All About H. Hatterr by G.V. Desani, Speedboat by Renata Adler, the sublime An Armful of Warm Girl by W.M. Spackman. Each of them, snuffed out. It seemed a scandal. But I vividly recall becoming aware that particular books were prone. To take chances with language or form was to court extinction.

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Parallels
1:57 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Too Weird To Be True? In China, You Never Can Tell

A zoo in central China's Henan province swapped a dog — a Tibetan mastiff like the one shown here — for a lion, in another story that recently swept Chinese cyberspace.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:47 pm

Here are some of the recent news stories that went viral in China that you may have missed:

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Parallels
12:02 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

In Egypt's Political Turmoil, Middle Ground Is The Loneliest

The protesters who opposed Hosni Mubarak two years ago, like these demonstrators in Cario's Tahrir Square on Feb. 8, 2011, have been pushed to the sidelines in the current confrontation.
Emilio Morenatti AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 7:01 pm

Egypt is quieter these days. Protests against the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi have subsided for now. And the military-appointed interim government is firmly in charge.

Yet, Egypt remains deeply polarized. And the middle is a lonely place to be.

Some of the young revolutionaries who led the 2011 uprising against the regime of Hosni Mubarak feel they are back to square one, battling authoritarian forces on both sides.

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The NPR 100
6:20 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

The Inspiring Force Of 'We Shall Overcome'

American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger (left) adopted and helped popularize "We Shall Overcome" by teaching the song at rallies and protests. Here he sings with activists in Greenwood, Miss., in 1963.
Adger Cowans Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 9:26 pm

As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, All Things Considered concludes its series about the moments that defined the historic summer of 1963. Back in 1999, Noah Adams explored the history and legacy of the song "We Shall Overcome" for the NPR 100. The audio link contains a condensed version of that piece.

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Shots - Health News
5:13 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

In South Africa, A Clinic Focuses On Prostitutes To Fight HIV

A prostitute in Johannesburg waits for a client on a street corner. An estimated two-thirds of sex workers in South Africa are HIV positive.
Yoav Lemmer AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 9:25 pm

South Africa has come a long way in dealing with AIDS. The country has been successful in getting drug treatment to millions of people infected with HIV.

But the country still has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world — and the virus continues to spread. Nearly 400,000 South Africans are infected with HIV each year.

One health clinic in the heart of Johannesburg is attempting to break the HIV cycle by focusing on people at extremely high risk for infection — prostitutes.

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NPR Story
4:52 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Teen Victoria Duval Pulls Off Major Upset At U.S. Open

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:39 pm

American teenager Victoria Duval pulled off a first round upset at the U.S. Open last night when she beat the 2011 tennis champ Samantha Stosur.

Media
4:52 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Kelly McEvers Reflects On Middle East Reporting As She Leaves Region

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:39 pm

Melissa Block has an exit interview with Kelly McEvers, who's ending a grueling years-long assignment in the Middle East that included coverage of Iraq, Syria and beyond. McEvers and her NPR colleague Deborah Amos, won four major awards in 2012 for coverage of the Syrian conflict.

Middle East
4:52 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Rep. Mike Rogers: Evidence Against Assad Is Convincing

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:39 pm

Robert Siegel talks with Republican Representative Mike J. Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, about his briefing on evidence regarding the chemical attack in Syria, and whether he still has questions about whether the Syrian government is responsible or not.

Shots - Health News
1:12 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together

The tale of the tape may be told, in part, by the microbes inside you.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:39 pm

Scientists have discovered new clues about how microbes in our digestive systems may affect health.

European researchers found that the less diverse those microbes are, the more likely people are to gain weight, become obese and develop risk factors for serious health problems.

Evidence has been mounting in recent years that bacteria and other organisms in our bodies do a lot more than just help us digest food.

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Science
5:29 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Sophisticated Prosthetics Help Liberate Disabled Adventurers

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

A story now about technology and the creative ways it's being used to help people with disabilities enjoy the great outdoors - skiing, biking, even whitewater rafting, as Colorado Public Radio's Eric Whitney reports.

ERIC WHITNEY, BYLINE: In the equipment room at Telluride Adaptive Sports in Colorado, it's all about what works.

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Energy
5:29 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Vt. Nuclear Plant Shutdown A Sign Of Changing Energy Market

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

After years of litigation and political jousting, Vermont is set to close its only nuclear power plant by the end of next year. As John Dillon of Vermont Public Radio reports, the plant's closure is a sign of how much the country's energy market is changing.

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World
5:29 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

U.N. Security Council Not Expected To Approve Syria Strike

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:31 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A strike against Syria will almost certainly fail to win the support of the U.N. Security Council. That is because of Russian opposition, and the Chinese also oppose it. Why are the Russians so determined in their support of the Syrian regime despite Western claims that Bashar al-Assad's army has committed an atrocious war crime?

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Music Reviews
4:53 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Sam Baker's 'Say Grace' Is At Once Beautiful And Broken

Sam Baker's Say Grace is his fourth album since he started making them in 2004, at age 50.
Chrislyn Lawrence Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:31 pm

Sam Baker has a backstory that must be told. In 1986, at age 31, he was traveling by train in Peru when a bomb from the terrorist group Shining Path exploded right next to him. The little girl he'd been talking to was killed along with half a dozen others, and his own injuries required 18 operations. His mangled left hand was rebuilt; work on his ears left him with a loud ringing that never stops, though Baker says he's made his peace with it.

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Around the Nation
4:45 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Elite Native American Firefighters Join Crews At Yosemite

Flames burn near the Tuolumne Family Camp near Groveland, Calif., on Sunday.
Noah Berger EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 8:57 pm

One of the firefighting teams trying to contain the Rim Fire in and around Yosemite National Park is the Geronimo Hotshots team from San Carlos, Ariz., one of seven elite Native American firefighting crews in the U.S.

On the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, firefighting jobs are one of only a few ways for many young men to earn a living. For team member Jose Alvarez Santi Jr., 25, the work is rewarding — but being away from home fighting fires can be tough.

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Shots - Health News
3:55 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

After Missteps In HIV Care, South Africa Finds Its Way

A nurse takes a blood sample from Nkosi Minenhle, 15, in a mobile clinic set up to test students for HIV at Madwaleni High School in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Stephane de Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 4:39 pm

South Africa has more people with HIV than any other country in the world.

Roughly 5.5 million of its 53 million citizens are infected with the virus. In some of the hardest hit parts of the country, one-third of women of childbearing age are HIV positive.

Now, after years of delay and mistakes, South Africa is transforming how it approaches the disease.

The South African government is simplifying AIDS care, cutting treatment costs and providing antiviral drugs to almost 2 million people every day.

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U.S.
12:17 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

For Kids With Special Needs, More Places To Play

Brooklyn Fisher rolls down the ramp on the playground named for her in Pocatello, Idaho. The playground was built using accessible features so children of all abilities could play alongside each other.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:31 pm

Remember running around the playground when you were a kid? Maybe hanging from the monkey bars or seeing who could swing the highest?

It wasn't just a mindless energy burn. Many have called play the work of childhood. Play teaches children how to make friends, make rules and navigate relationships.

But for kids whose disabilities keep them from using playgrounds, those opportunities can be lost.

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The March On Washington At 50
5:48 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Sleepy, Southern And Segregated: What D.C. Was Like In '63

Charter bus passengers look for their transportation home after the March on Washington of Aug. 28, 1963.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:30 pm

Fifty years ago this week, when hundreds of thousands of demonstrators came from across the country to take part in the 1963 March on Washington, the city was not yet the cosmopolitan capital that it arguably is today.

But it was a mecca for African-Americans, says historian Marya McQuirter.

"Washington was definitely a different city 50 years ago," she says, "for a number of reasons. By 1957, it had become the largest majority black city in the country."

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The Salt
5:48 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

'Braai Day' Aims To Bring S. Africans Together Over Barbecue

Jan Scannell, former accountant, has taken on a new identity as "Jan Braai," a South African TV show host and media personality promoting the idea of National Braai (barbecuing) Day, celebrated each year on Sept. 24.
Courtesy of Stephanus Rabie

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:30 pm

Nelson Mandela is officially "improving," though still in critical condition at a South African hospital. His long battle with a lung infection has South Africans anxiously contemplating their "post-Mandela" future in a still racially divided country. In a unique strategy, one man is hoping to help heal those divisions with a pair of barbecue tongs.

Jan Scannell is a 32-year-old former accountant with a dream: To establish a national holiday in South Africa like July 4 called Braai Day.

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Law
5:48 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Embattled LA Sheriff Still Plans To Give Fifth Term A Shot

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca at the Men's Central Jail in downtown LA in 2012. Baca, who has been under fire for jailhouse abuses, is facing calls to step down and not seek a fifth term.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:30 pm

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca — who oversees the largest municipal jail system in the country — is facing growing pressure to bow out of the race for what could be his fifth term.

There's a lot that's been piling up against Sheriff Baca lately. At the top of the list is an FBI probe into what's been described as a systemic pattern of unnecessary force against inmates in county jails.

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Sports
4:46 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Was 1973 'Battle Of The Sexes' Tennis Match Thrown?

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:30 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Strange News
4:46 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Finns Dominate Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:30 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And we wrap up this week's All Tech Considered with a story out of Finland.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This past weekend, 80 people from six countries competed in the annual Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships. The Finns shut out the competition, winning first, second and third place overall.

SIEGEL: The top tosser threw his handheld device an impressive 320 feet. The top woman on the field was a 31-year-old Swede - Asa Lundgren. Her distance: 132 feet. She's a newcomer to the sport but threw javelin in her youth.

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Law
4:46 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Liens By 'Sovereign Citizens' A Headache For State Officials

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:30 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The New York Times reported last week on the practice of placing bogus liens against the property of government officials. It's a tactic of self-styled sovereign citizens, people who deny the legitimacy of the federal government. They take advantage of laws, both real estate laws and also the Uniform Commercial Code, that make it easy to file liens even if they're phony. Why do they do it? Well, because a lien can ruin your credit rating, and removing one, even a phony lien, can take countless hours in court and cost thousands of dollars.

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