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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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

As HealthCare.Gov's Deadline Approaches, What Will Be Ready?

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 6:49 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Ari Shapiro. Tomorrow is judgment day for healthcare.gov. The Obama administration has repeatedly said that by November 30, the troubled website will be up and running for the vast majority of users, and officials say they're on track to reach that goal.

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Music Interviews
4:35 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

'It's Hard To Stay Patient': A Conversation With John Mayer

John Mayer in Studio 1 at NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters.
Amy Ta NPR

John Mayer has a lot to be thankful for this year, including his return to the stage. A Grammy winner and a multi-platinum seller, Mayer is one of the most successful musicians of the past decade-plus — but a few events in his life have left him uncharacteristically quiet of late. He took a break from press after a pair of controversial interviews in 2010; not long after, he underwent surgery for damage to his vocal cords and had to stop speaking and singing publicly for more than a year.

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Asia
4:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

China's Latest Territorial Moves Renew Fears In Philippines

U.S. and Philippine navy personnel patrol the seas off a naval base west of Manila in June as part of joint exercises.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 9:24 pm

China is flexing its muscles these days. Over the weekend, it declared a sprawling air defense identification zone that covers disputed islands controlled by Japan. And it has sent its lone aircraft carrier for first-time trials in the South China Sea, where Beijing has territorial feuds with other neighbors, including Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.

None of this was making China any friends in Manila, where the Chinese government is particularly unpopular these days.

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Shots - Health News
4:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Breaking Up With HealthCare.gov Is Hard To Do

Lara Imler has tried to cancel her enrollment on HealthCare.gov, but to no avail.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Radio Network

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 4:43 pm

Enrolling in HealthCare.gov is not easy, and it's been particularly difficult in Alaska. Just 53 people enrolled in the first month.

Anchorage hair stylist Lara Imler is one of the few who got through, as we previously reported. But Imler discovered problems with her application, and now she wants to cancel her enrollment.

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Afghanistan
4:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

When Most U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Contractors May Stay

A helicopter from the American security contractor DynCorp provides air support as members of an Afghan eradication force plow opium poppies on April 3, 2006, in the Helmand province, Afghanistan.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 4:35 pm

Should the Afghan government sign a security agreement, the U.S. plans to keep between 6,000 and 9,000 American troops in Afghanistan even after the U.S. and NATO's combat mission officially ends late in 2014.

Beginning in 2015, the remaining troops would train Afghan soldiers and mount operations against any remnants of al-Qaida.

But they wouldn't be the only ones who stay behind: U.S. troops would almost certainly be outnumbered by civilian contractors.

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Music
4:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

The Electric Bassist With An In-House Composer

Steve Swallow switched from acoustic bass to bass guitar in 1970, and hasn't looked back.
Klaus Muempfer Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 3:15 pm

Steve Swallow started playing jazz as a teenager. While a student at Yale University, he played mostly in with Dixieland bands. And then the 20-year-old bassist got a gig with the avant-garde-leaning pianist Paul Bley at a nearby college, went home, went to bed — and dropped out.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Brain Cells 'Geotag' Memories To Cache What Happened — And Where

Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 6:13 am

Think back to an important event in your life: a graduation, a birth, a special Thanksgiving dinner. Chances are you're remembering not only what happened, but also where it happened. And now scientists think they know why.

As we form so-called episodic memories, the brain appears to be using special cells in the hippocampus to "geotag" each event, researchers report in Science. The process is similar to what some digital cameras do when they tag each picture with information about where the image was taken.

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Parallels
4:40 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Born In The U.S., But Struggling To Acclimate In Mexico

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:04 am

The Francisco Villa Public School is a big, cement block of a fortress in an eastern Tijuana neighborhood just south of the Mexico-U.S. border.

Many of the nearby houses are patched together out of discarded materials, like old garage doors. The roads are unpaved and deeply rutted.

The school bell pierces the dusty air as girls in pink jumpers and boys in navy sweaters stream out of class. For 45 middle school students here who were born in the United States, the sound of the bell is one of the few things that are familiar.

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Arts & Life
4:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Dear Amy: How Do I Deal With My Family For The Holidays?

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Let's face it, while Thanksgiving get-togethers can be joyful, they can also be stressful. And if you're gearing up for a family gathering right now, you're likely awaiting the arrival of a few loved ones who may be a little hard to love sometimes.

Knowing that, we've called on Amy Dickinson, who writes the syndicated column "Ask Amy," for some advice on how to get through the holiday. Hey there, Amy.

AMY DICKINSON: Hi, Audie.

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Middle East
4:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Egyptians Hit Streets, Defying Protest Ban

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A new political storm is brewing in Egypt. It's over a law that bans unauthorized protest. Egyptian officials are taking to the airwaves to defend the law, in the face of fierce opposition from secular political activists. NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo.

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Shots - Health News
3:42 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

In Rural Iowa, Distance Makes Health Care Sign-Ups A Challenge

Insurance help isn't easy to find in many Iowa counties.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:05 am

Broadlawns Medical Center has been serving low-income residents of Des Moines, Iowa, and the surrounding countryside for decades. Now there's a twist in Broadlawns' mission as a public hospital: helping people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

On a recent Saturday morning, Jerrine Sanford traveled half an hour from the small town of Runnells to get her insurance questions answered at a hospital-run event.

Sanford, 47, is out of work because of a back injury. She's worried about the law's requirement that everyone have health insurance or pay a penalty.

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It's All Politics
3:20 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Bad To Worse: Iran Deal Strains Obama-Netanyahu Relationship

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have had a rocky relationship.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:04 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the most prominent critics of the U.S. deal with Iran. While President Obama calls the agreement a breakthrough, Netanyahu calls it a "historic mistake." It's far from the first time the Israeli and American leaders have clashed.

Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu took charge of their countries within a few months of each other. They were hardly a matched pair.

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Parallels
10:40 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Swarming Thieves Wreak Havoc On Famed Rio Beaches

Municipal guards with batons chase a mob of thieves that snatched bags and wallets from beachgoers on Arpoador beach, adjacent to Ipanema, in Rio de Janeiro on Nov. 20.
Marcelo Carnaval AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:04 am

Amanda Maia was visiting Rio de Janeiro for the weekend earlier this month with her mother. It was a sunny day and so they went to Ipanema beach to catch some rays. She says she noticed a few groups of kids.

"There were lots of gangs, about 10, 15 children each; they were about 10 or 12 years old," Maia recalls.

At first, she says, they were just roaming the streets, checking people out. The ones she saw were smoking marijuana, too.

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Business
6:32 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

The Stock Market Loves The Fed For Now, But Can It Last?

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 16,000 for the first time last week.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Major stock indexes have shot to record highs in the U.S. this year, gaining more than 20 percent, and yet economic growth remains at disappointing levels. A lot of analysts believe the stimulus efforts by the Federal Reserve are behind the stock boom and a possible bubble.

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A Blog Supreme
5:29 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Drummer Chico Hamilton, West Coast Jazz Pioneer, Dies

Chico Hamilton.
Todd Boebel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 7:17 pm

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Energy
4:43 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Colo. Fracking Votes Put Pressure On Energy Companies

A vote to ban fracking in Broomfield, a suburb of Denver, headed to a recount this month after the measure failed by just 13 votes. Broomfield was one of four Front Range towns considering limits or bans on the drilling procedure some fear may not be safe.
Kristen Wyatt AP

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 8:45 pm

The 2013 election marked a victory for foes of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Colorado. Voters in three Front Range communities decided to put limits on the practice.

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Typhoon Haiyan Devastates The Philippines
4:43 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Susan Stamberg's Other Favorite Holiday Cranberry Dish

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 5:56 pm

NPR's Susan Stamberg has a booming laugh, a probing mind, and, of course, a cranberry relish recipe that's infamous in public radio land. But there's another dish that has graced her holiday table through the years — a dish that's been overshadowed by her mother-in-law's cranberry relish. It's Madhur Jaffrey's cranberry chutney.

Jaffrey is an actress who has become perhaps the world's best-known authority on Indian cooking, authoring more than 15 cookbooks.

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Middle East
4:43 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Meet The 'Arabs Got Talent' Star Who Doesn't Speak Arabic

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 5:56 pm

A Massachusetts woman is getting a lot of attention in the Arab world where she's advanced to the final of Arabs Got Talent. Jennifer Grout can't speak Arabic, but she sings flawlessly in Arabic.

Code Switch
3:19 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Trove Of Artifacts Trumpets African-American Triumphs

Hence We Come, by Norman Lewis
Courtesy of The Kinsey Collection

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 6:44 pm

Seventeen-year-old Tonisha Owens stared wide-eyed at the faded script on an 1854 letter. It was once carried by another 17-year-old — a slave named Frances. The letter was written by a plantation owner's wife to a slave dealer, saying that she needed to sell her chambermaid to pay for horses. But Frances didn't know how to read or write, and didn't know what she carried.

"She does not know she is to be sold. I couldn't tell her," the letter reads. "I own all her family and the leave taking would be so distressing that I could not."

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Parallels
12:17 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Filipino Priest Suffers With His Flock Amid Typhoon's Ruins

A makeshift headstone in the mass grave outside of San Joaquin Parish in the province of Leyte, Philippines. The Catholic parish has lost almost two-thirds of its congregation after Typhoon Haiyan swept through the area.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:58 am

Three young men dig a grave in a churchyard in San Joaquin Parish, a collection of about a dozen barrios outside Tacloban, the Philippine provincial capital ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan two weeks ago.

They roll an unidentified body wrapped only in blue plastic sheeting up to the grave on a squeaky trolley.

They drag the body into the pit, which is too small for it. The soft, sandy soil falls from their shovels, and in a minute, the crumpled blue figure disappears under the earth.

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Planet Money
12:07 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

3 Ways Obamacare Is Changing How A Hospital Cares For Patients

John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:04 am

The Affordable Care Act is transforming more than health insurance. In hospitals around the country, the legislation could transform the way doctors and nurses actually care for patients.

Part of the law is designed to rein in the nation's exploding health care costs by creating hundreds of little experiments that test new ways for hospitals to save money.

One example: At Summa Akron City Hospital in Akron, Ohio, doctors are preparing for a new way of doing business.

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Environment
6:09 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

U.S. May Be Producing 50 Percent More Methane Than EPA Thinks

The EPA tries to keep track of all sorts of methane producers — including herds of methane-belching cattle.
Emmett Tullos Flickr

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 7:59 pm

Methane is the source of the gas we burn in stoves. You can also use it to make plastics, antifreeze or fertilizer. It comes out of underground deposits, but it also seeps up from swamps, landfills, even the stomachs of cows.

And while methane is valuable, a lot of it gets up into the atmosphere, where it becomes a very damaging greenhouse gas.

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Music Interviews
4:32 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

'Divided & United': Songs Of The Civil War Re-Imagined

An unidentified Union soldier holds a banjo.
Library of Congress via Flickr

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 6:59 pm

Divided & United is the name of a new, two-disc collection of songs from the Civil War. The selections tell tales of fear, loneliness, exhaustion and triumph. All recordings featured on the album, which was produced by Randall Poster, are new takes on old songs; historian Sean Wilentz wrote the liner notes for the record.

The collection features lesser-known songs of the Civil War, some by a songwriter named Henry Clay Work. According to Wilentz, Work was a key member of a group of composers that wrote the history of the era through song.

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Latin America
4:32 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Whoever Honduras Elects President Faces Tough Road, Broke Country

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 6:05 pm

Hondurans went to the polls this Sunday to elect a new president. The Central American country has a whole host of problems to deal with, including the highest levels of violence in the world and increased drug cartel activity. Most pressing, though, the new leader will inherit a failing economy. Honduras is broke. It just borrowed, for the first time, $500 million on the international bond market, but that wasn't even enough to bail the country out of its devastating financial troubles.

Technology
4:32 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Why Are Seniors The Fastest-Growing Demographic On Social Media?

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 6:05 pm

Seniors aged 65 and over represent one of the fastest growing age groups to use social media. But what drives them to do so, and what kinds of technology can help their experience? Audie Cornish speaks with Dr. Laura Carstensen, who heads the Stanford Center on Longevity, for more on the culture of seniors and technology.

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