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.

Composer ID: 
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NPR Story
6:04 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Read 'Matilda' With NPR's Backseat Book Club

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 2:59 pm

The hardest part about choosing a Roald Dahl book for NPR's Backseat Book Club is deciding which one to read! His imagination was so free-ranging — from a magical chocolate factory to a giant peach to quick witted fox — he gave us a lot to choose from.

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Shots - Health News
6:00 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Notices Canceling Health Insurance Leave Many On Edge

One person who got a letter canceling his health insurance was Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. He holds up the letter during a congressional hearing Wednesday on insurance problems. He says his family chose to buy private insurance rather than use the congressional plan.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

President Obama repeated this line or a variation of it many times during the campaign to pass his landmark health care bill: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period."

But while that might be true for people who get health insurance through their employer, it's not true for many people who buy their policies in the individual market — about 5 percent of the nation's policyholders.

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Television
5:22 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Medicinal Laughs: Could 'Daily Show' Sour Millennials On ACA?

Jon Stewart, shown here interviewing President Obama on The Daily Show in October 2012, has been lampooning the problems with the Affordable Care Act website in recent episodes.
Brad Barket PictureGroup

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 6:00 pm

Problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act have been all over the news — and the not-quite news. Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has been one news-ish outlet that hasn't been too kind in its coverage.

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans spoke with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish about why negative coverage on The Daily Show might be worse for the Obama administration than negative coverage on the nightly news.

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U.S.
5:12 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Police, Community Relations Strained After Teen's Death

Hundreds of protesters march toward the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office in response to the death of Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa.
Noah Berger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 9:43 am

Sonoma County, Calif., is probably best known for its good wine, green sensibilities and otherwise healthy and peaceful living. But that peace was shattered last week when a county sheriff's deputy shot and killed a young teenager carrying a toy gun.

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Around the Nation
5:12 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

On Capitol Hill, A Statue And A Rock God Bring Politicians Together

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 6:00 pm

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, an unlikely scene unfolded as a bust of Winston Churchill was unveiled in Statuary Hall Wednesday. The entertainment: Roger Daltrey. Who? Yes, Roger Daltrey of the 1960s rock band The Who.

Parallels
4:14 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Ottoman Dream Come True: Train Links East And West In Istanbul

A Marmaray Project train awaits its inauguration ceremony in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Ozan Kose AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:04 pm

The Marmaray Project, Turkey's new underwater rail link between the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, is open for business. It's the first of its kind, a modern feat of engineering that realizes the 150-year-old dream of an Ottoman sultan.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
4:08 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

In Sandy's Wake, Flood Zones And Insurance Rates Re-Examined

An emergency responder helps evacuate two people with a boat after their neighborhood in Little Ferry, N.J., was flooded.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 6:00 pm

When Sandy blew into East Coast communities a year ago, it was flooding that did the most damage.

That's in part because the average sea level has risen over the past century — about a foot along the mid-Atlantic coast. That made it easier for the storm to push the ocean onto the land.

And scientists say there will be many more Sandy-style storms — that is, torrential rain and wind that create heavy coastal flooding — and they'll be more frequent than in the past. But preparing people for that means changing the way they live, and that's proving politically difficult.

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Shots - Health News
5:31 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Insurance Cancellations Elbow Out Website Woes At Health Hearing

Marilyn Tavenner was the first Obama administration official to testify before Congress about the troubled launch of HealthCare.gov.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 7:57 pm

When the head of the agency responsible for the troubled Healthcare.gov went before Congress for the first time since its foibles became apparent Oct. 1, she probably didn't expect that many questions would be on something else altogether.

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Law
5:30 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Illinois Files Suit Against Online Adoption Agency

A Web-based adoption can hold great appeal for all sides.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 7:57 pm

The Adoption Network Law Center is based in California, but when someone in Illinois searches "adoption" on the Web, up it pops, right near the top.

"They're very specific in directing their advertising and marketing to people in Illinois," says Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, even though they're not licensed in the state. Illinois prohibits for-profit adoption agencies.

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Sports
5:01 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

NBA Preview: On Valuable Knees And Building Legacies

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 7:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The NBA begins a new regular season today with three games. Among the match-ups, the two-time defending champion Miami Heat play the Chicago Bulls. That game features the regular season return of Bulls' all-star point guard Derrick Rose. He hurt his knee badly a year and a half ago. As NPR's Tom Goldman reports, knee injuries are just one of the storylines of the new season.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Chicago's preseason began 24 days ago with a game in Indianapolis, and with Bulls fans holding their collective breath.

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Around the Nation
5:01 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Maine Town To Vote On Key Tar Sands Ordinance

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 7:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Environmentalists are doing everything they can to prevent the transport of heavy crude known as tar sands oil through the U.S. The debate has become the focus of protests, television ads and lobbying efforts nationwide, and Maine is no exception. Maine Public Radio's Susan Sharon reports on a small but significant battle against a proposal to transport tar sands oil from Canada to a port on the coast of Maine.

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From Our Listeners
5:01 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Letters: Nancy Pelosi And The Affordable Care Act

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Time now for your letters and a clarification. Yesterday, Robert, you spoke with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi about the roll out of the federal health care law.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I always enjoy talking with Representative Pelosi.

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Planet Money
11:53 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Top Reviewers On Amazon Get Tons Of Free Stuff

What's this?
Amazon

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:41 pm

You're on Amazon.com. You're buying, say, a toaster, and you're checking out the customer reviews. You assume the people writing these reviews are people like you — people who wanted a toaster, went online and bought one. As it turns out, a lot of reviews on Amazon are written by people who are nothing like you. They're written by elite reviewers who are sent free merchandise to review products. In other words, it's possible that the guy reviewing that toaster you're looking at wasn't in the market for a toaster to begin with and didn't pay a cent for it.

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Science
6:11 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Science On Shaky Ground As Automatic Budget Cutbacks Drag On

Budget cutbacks threaten a planned upgrade of the massive Titan supercomputer, seen here, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Charles Brooks Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:15 pm

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scientists use a powerful computer known as Titan to simulate everything from the inner workings of a nuclear reactor to the complicated effects of climate change on human populations — on a global scale. Until recently, Titan was the most powerful supercomputer on the planet, but now there's a new No. 1.

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Shots - Health News
5:21 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

More Technical Issues For Obamacare, But Good News For Medicare

Gone is the smiling young woman who used to grace HealthCare.gov. Now it's time to get down to work.
www.HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 5:02 pm

Monday was yet another troubled day for the Affordable Care Act.

Sunday night, the outside vendor that operates two key parts of the website that lets people browse and sign up for health insurance experienced a failure.

The failure took place at a vendor called Verizon Terremark and presumably affected other clients as well as HealthCare.gov, the federal website that people use to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

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U.S.
5:21 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Taking Stock Of What Was Lost And Found Post-Sandy

A house damaged by Superstorm Sandy, in Tuckerton, N.J.
Tracey Samuelson WHYY

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:15 pm

After Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast, people returned to waterlogged homes and began to assess the damage. They created lost-and-found lists on the walls of town halls or Facebook pages to try to recover some of what the storm had swept away.

Lost: Two cedar Adirondack chairs, a necklace passed down through generations. Found: a floating dock, a high school diploma.

Now, one year after the storm, residents on the Jersey shore are still reflecting on what they lost during the storm — and what they might have gained.

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NPR Story
5:21 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

How To See Forever On Your Dirty Car

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:15 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When you're in love with science, ordinary everyday stuff can suddenly seem extraordinary. At least that's how NPR blogger and astrophysicist Adam Frank sees it, even down to the dust on his car.

ADAM FRANK, BYLINE: Carl Sagan, an astronomer with the soul of a poet, liked to remind us that we are all star stuff. It was without a doubt one of his most beautiful images. But what really was Carl Sagan talking about? Well, there are two answers to this question.

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Parallels
3:50 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Brazil's Restrictions On Abortion May Get More Restrictive

Demonstrators who are critical of the Catholic Church and favor abortion rights take part in a protest in Rio de Janeiro during Pope Francis' visit to Brazil on July 27. Abortion is illegal in Brazil with rare exceptions. Some lawmakers are attempting to make it even more restrictive.
Tasso Marcelo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:15 pm

The doctor's office is clean and white and comfortingly bland in an upscale neighborhood of Sao Paulo. We were given the address by a health professional who told us one of the doctors here gives safe abortions in a country where they are illegal.

The doctor agrees to speak on condition of anonymity after we prove we are not there to entrap him. He does not admit on tape that he terminates unwanted pregnancies. But he says openly he favors legalizing abortions.

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Shots - Health News
3:48 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Eeek, Snake! Your Brain Has A Special Corner Just For Them

Illustration by Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:17 pm

Anthropologist Lynne Isbell was running through a glade in central Kenya in 1992 when something suddenly caused her to freeze in her tracks. "I stopped just in front of a cobra," she says. "It was raised with its hood spread out."

Isbell, who is at the University of California, Davis, says she has spent the past couple of decades trying to understand how she could have reacted before her conscious brain even had a chance to think — cobra!

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All Tech Considered
12:47 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

What You Need To Know About Babies, Toddlers And Screen Time

Eva Hu-Stiles virtually interacts with her grandmother. iPad assist by Elise Hu-Stiles.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:15 pm

This week, we're exploring the tech frontier through the eyes of our children. So we're starting with the littlest ones — babies. Can certain kinds of screen time help babies learn?

To find some answers, I employed the help of my 1-year-old daughter, Eva. She's still a wobbly walker and the sum total of her speaking skills sound like gibberish. But she has no problem activating Siri, the virtual assistant on my iPhone. Her 16-month-old friend, Lily, is even savvier with the gadgets.

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Environment
5:59 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Predicting Quakes Still Shaky, But Being Prepared Is Crucial

Cars lie smashed by the collapsed Interstate 5 connector a few hours after the Northridge earthquake on Jan. 17, 1994, in California.
AFP/Getty Images

Morning recess at St. Augustine Catholic School in Culver City, Calif., is like recess in many other schools. Children run and play in the afternoon sun. But nearby, away from the basketball hoops and the games of tag, the staff is preparing.

Next to the playground sits a cargo container full of supplies: water, duct tape, an axe, a shovel and a generator along with gasoline. All of these supplies are here just in case the freeways are cut off or the power goes out — in case there is a major, destructive earthquake.

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Author Interviews
5:36 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

'We Walk In Circles,' Pursuing Dreams And Finding Creativity

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 5:59 pm

At Night We Walk in Circles is set in an unnamed, war-scarred Latin American country. The book follows young actor and aspiring playwright Nelson as he traverses his nation, performing in a provocative play called The Idiot President.

It's Daniel Alarcon's second novel — his first was Lost City Radio, published in 2007. The Peruvian author says there are some parallels between him and his protagonist, dreaming of a life as an artist.

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Movie Interviews
5:36 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Word On The Street Is Oscars 'Whisper Campaigns' Have Begun

Tom Hanks stars in Captain Phillips, a film that's recently been subject to a "whisper campaign" of pre-Oscars criticism.
Hopper Stone Hopper Stone, SMPSP

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 5:59 pm

The Academy Awards are still months away, but some Hollywood insiders are already on the attack.

Studios have huge publicity machines that lobby for their movies to win, but there's also a shadowy strategy that's not as visible as the advertising blitz. It's good old-fashioned trash-talking: So-called "whisper campaigns" are a sneaky way to lobby against the competition.

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Arts & Life
5:36 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

One Way For An Indie Bookstore To Last? Put Women 'First'

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 5:59 pm

As recently as 25 years ago, there were more than 100 self-described feminist bookstores in the U.S. — stores focusing on books written by and for women. Like most independent bookstores, though, their numbers have dropped dramatically over the years.

Chicago's Women and Children First is among the few feminist stores still standing, and one of the largest. The store opened 34 years ago in 1979. Now, after a long, successful run, the store's owners say they're ready to retire — and they're looking for a buyer to continue the store's mission.

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Ecstatic Voices
12:13 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Accordions, Beer And God: Zydeco In Gran Texas

After years of attending church dances, Step Rideau says he was moved to connect with his heritage on a deeper level.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 5:07 pm

The modest, cream-colored '50s-era chapel that's home to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Houston looks like many other places of worship you might find in urban America. The first clue to a unique tradition here pulls up Sunday afternoon.

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