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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Law
4:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Attorneys Assigned To Fort Hood Shooter Want To Back Out

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:48 pm

There was an unexpected hold-up on day two of the court martial of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of gunning down fellow soldiers at Fort Hood. His "standby" attorneys have told the judge that don't believe it's ethical for them to keep assisting a man who they believe is trying to get the death penalty.

The Salt
2:52 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

After Immigration Bust, Herb Grower Tries A New Path

Ted Andrews, CEO of HerbCo International, says the H-2A agricultural guest worker program needs improvements.
Liz Jones for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 10:58 pm

The ongoing immigration debate in Congress often spotlights the job market for people living in the U.S. illegally. Not long ago, that market included one of the country's top organic herb farms — until an immigration bust forced the business, based in Washington state, to clean up its payroll.

Ted Andrews, owner of HerbCo International, says he's learned some tough lessons during the transition to a legal workforce. Lesson No. 1: "There are events that can destroy a business in the snap of a finger," he says. "This was one of them."

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Why Were The Baboons So Sad? Many Theories, No Answers

The Emmen Zoo's baboons last week, when they were looking so sad.
Courtesy of the Emmen Zoo

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 6:06 am

  • Wijbren Landman, biologist and press officer at the Emmen Zoo, on why baboons sometimes act so sad.

When the keepers at the Netherlands' Emmen Zoo opened the night enclosure for 112 baboons on July 29, they expected the animals would be, as usual, eager to get inside.

After all, the baboons knew there was food for them in there.

Instead, biologist and zoo press officer Wijbren Landman tells All Things Considered the baboons didn't want to budge. "It took us about an hour to get them inside," he says. That night, the baboons didn't eat.

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Parallels
1:59 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

'It's Too Hot': Shanghai Wilts In Record-Setting Heat Wave

People cool off Wednesday in a pool in Shanghai, where temperatures reached an all-time record: 105.4 degrees.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 6:41 pm

Temperatures Wednesday in Shanghai hit an all-time high: 105.4 degrees, according to officials here. It was the hottest day in 140 years, since the government began keeping records.

The Chinese megacity is in the midst of its hottest summer ever.

Usually bustling streets are near empty at noon and thousands have gone to hospitals for relief. To get a feel for how people are handling the heat wave, I waded into a public pool in the city's Hankou district. By early afternoon, the temperature was 98 degrees in the shade, according to the thermometer I brought along.

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Parallels
1:51 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Migrants Flock To Russia, But Receive A Cool Welcome

Migrant workers follow a police officer during a raid by Russian immigration authorities at a construction site in Moscow, in 2012.
Karpov Sergei ITAR-Tass/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 1:26 am

Russia's immigration issues would be familiar to Americans: Millions of impoverished migrants have come and found low-wage jobs. Some are in Russia illegally and are exploited by their employers. And a growing number of Russians fear this influx of migrants, many of whom are Muslim, is changing the face of the country.

At 3:30 on a recent morning, the train from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, pulls into Moscow after a four-day journey. The passengers hauling their bags out onto the damp, ill-lit platform are mostly men. Russian police eye the new arrivals with suspicion.

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Law
7:22 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

DOJ Sues Bank Of America Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Justice Department is bringing civil charges against one of the nation's largest banks. The government alleges Bank of America made false statements about the quality of $850 million worth of home loans. Those loans were then sold to investors. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

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Business
6:15 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

With An Industry In Turmoil, Why Buy A Newspaper Company?

The Washington Post is now in its seventh straight year of declining revenues, says the paper's chairman, Donald Graham. Rather than continue to watch the paper struggle, Graham and Publisher Katharine Weymouth decided to look for a buyer.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:20 pm

Donald Graham, chairman of The Washington Post Co., is the son and grandson of its leaders for the past 80 years. And along with his niece, publisher Katharine Weymouth, Graham admitted in a video on The Post's website that the family simply didn't have the answers to questions about the paper's future.

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U.S.
5:58 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Border Drug Busts Putting Strain On Texas County's Budget

Trains that once deposited travelers for shopping and dining in dusty Sierra Blanca, Texas, no longer stop here. Interstates further eroded the local economy as more people chose to live and shop in El Paso, 85 miles away.
G.W. Schulz The Center for Investigative Reporting

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:25 pm

As they walk through the front door, visitors to the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office in Sierra Blanca, Texas, get punched by the overpowering odor of marijuana.

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Environment
5:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Wells Are Running Dry In Parts Of Kansas

Nate Pike fears that wells, like this one that supplies his ranch with water, will dry up completely after years of water pumping and irrigation in Kansas.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:27 pm

Imagine enough water to fill a couple of Great Lakes, but spread under some of the driest parts of eight Western states. That was the High Plains Aquifer 60 years ago.

But now, Nate Pike, whose been riding the dry rolling ranch lands south of Dodge City, Kan., for most of his 80 years, can't even go fishing at his favorite spring called St. Jacob's Well.

"And that thing had a lot of water in it. It never went down, never changed," he says. "But as you can see now, I can't believe I can't see the water from up here."

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Environment
5:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Earth Scientists Pin Climate Change Squarely On 'Humanity'

Pedersen Glacier, 1917
Louis H. Pedersen climate.gov/National Snow and Ice Data Center

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:12 pm

The weather is one of those topics that is fairly easy for people to agree on. Climate, however, is something else.

Most of the scientists who study the Earth say our climate is changing and humans are part of what's making that happen. But to a lot of nonscientists it's still murky. This week, two of the nation's most venerable scientific institutions tried to explain it better.

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Pop Culture
5:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Fear Of Clowns: Yes, It's Real

Tim Curry as Pennywise in a 1990 TV adaptation of Stephen King's It. Come on, tell us you aren't just a little creeped out.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 12:53 am

Warning: The following story may be upsetting to some people.

That's because it's about clowns.

Yes, clowns. Painted white faces, red lips, receding hairlines with tufts of wild hair, and — of course — the red foam nose. Fun for all ages, yet plenty of people are downright scared of them. There's even a word for it: coulrophobia, though that's not an official diagnosis.

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It's All Politics
4:33 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Cory Booker: Supermayor Or Self-Promoter?

Newark Mayor Cory Booker speaks about his Senate campaign, outside the Grove Path Station in Jersey City, N.J., last month.
Ashlee Espinal The Jersey Journal/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:25 pm

In one week, voters in New Jersey go to the polls in a special primary election for a U.S. Senate seat.

No one on the ballot has more name recognition than Cory Booker, the 44-year-old mayor of Newark, who is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. But Booker's critics say he's been more focused on his own ambitions than on governing New Jersey's largest city.

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NPR Story
4:08 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Vacation Horror Stories: Train Troubles In Budapest

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

It's time now for another one of our cautionary listener travelogues, also known by the catchier title...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Vacation...

(SOUNDBITE OF A SCREAM)

SIEGEL: ...Horror Stories.

DORIE PICKLE: My name is Dorie Pickle. I live in Austin, Texas. If my parents are listening, I urge you to turn off the radio. I believe I've never told you this story.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Music Reviews
4:08 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Buddy Guy: 'Rhythm And Blues' Titan Channels Guitar Wisdom

Buddy Guy's new two-disc set is titled Rhythm & Blues.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:25 pm

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NPR Story
4:08 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

'Washington Post' May Find Conflicts In Amazon Coverage

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 7:25 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The sale of The Washington Post to Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos could bring up conflict between the owner's interests and the paper's editorial independence. I talked about some of those issues with longtime media executive and consultant Merrill Brown. Among his jobs, he was a reporter and then corporate executive for The Washington Post. Later, he was founding editor-in-chief of msnbc.com. I asked Brown what he sees as potential conflicts of interest with Bezos at the helm of The Post.

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Health News
12:43 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Falling Obesity Rates Among Preschoolers Mark Healthful Trend

This map from the CDC shows decreases (light blue) and increases (gray) in obesity prevalence among low-income, preschool-aged children from 2008-2011.
CDC

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 7:47 am

A fresh analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the tide may be turning on the childhood obesity front.

After decades of steady increases, 19 states and U.S. territories saw small decreases in their rates of obesity among low-income preschoolers. And another 20 states held steady at current rates.

A CDC map shows several Southern states — including Florida, Georgia and Mississippi — that are part of the downward trend.

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Health News
6:24 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Harsh In Hard Times? A Gene May Influence Mom's Behavior

A gene known as DRD2 affects the brain's dopamine system and is known to be associated with aggressive behavior.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 7:51 am

A gene that affects the brain's dopamine system appears to have influenced mothers' behavior during a recent economic downturn, researchers say.

At the beginning of the recession that began in 2007, mothers with the "sensitive" version of a gene called DRD2 became more likely to strike or scream at their children, the researchers say. Mothers with the other "insensitive" version of the gene didn't change their behavior.

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All Tech Considered
6:24 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Trade Case Puts Apple In Washington's Sights

The U.S. Trade Representative has overturned a ban on the import of the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 7:08 pm

Apple has been notoriously disinterested in Washington politics. But two decisions coming from the Obama administration in the past few days indicate that Washington is increasingly interested in Apple.

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All Tech Considered
6:24 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Special Ops Envisions 'Iron Man'-Like Suit To Protect Troops

Concept art of the suit the Special Operations Command is trying to build.
Raytheon via YouTube

In the Iron Man movie series, Robert Downey Jr. plays a billionaire working with his trusty robot to build a protective suit that will help him battle evil.

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NPR Story
5:11 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Amazon CEO To Buy 'Washington Post' And Sister Papers

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The man who pushed the book publishing industry into the digital age is now buying one of the country's most storied newspaper companies. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, is acquiring The Washington Post and its small sister papers. The news broke after the markets closed today. NPR's David Folkenflik covers the newspaper industry, and he joins me now. And, David, this was, I think, the best-kept secret in Washington. Tell us some details of this transaction and how it came about.

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Around the Nation
5:00 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

From Cops To Lawyers, Indian Country Copes With High Crime

Tuba City, Ariz., corrections supervisor Robbin Preston in front of the new jail on the Navajo Nation. The recidivism rate was so high, Preston couldn't keep track of it.
Laurel Morales KJZZ

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:24 pm

Arizona's Monument Valley is known for its red sandstone buttes and spires, but now it's notorious for something else: crime. The Navajo Nation is one of the most violent reservations in the country. According to FBI reports, over the past five years, more rapes were reported on the Navajo Nation than in San Diego, Detroit or Denver, among other cities.

The U.S. attorney's office tries to take on the most violent crimes, but it often lacks enough evidence to prosecute. And because of antiquated tribal codes, Navajo courts can only order someone to serve one year in jail.

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Around the Nation
4:55 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Running Program Uses Goal-Setting To Help Homeless

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:24 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Cities usually have an array of services to combat homelessness. These include shelters, soup kitchens, job assistance programs. But there's a new trend in helping the homeless: running.

Greg Collard of member station WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina, reports on how running has changed the lives for some of the city's homeless people.

GREG COLLARD, BYLINE: You might wonder, how do you get the homeless interested in running? Well, here's a big enticement: free shoes. That grabbed the attention of Matthew Hoffman.

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Games & Humor
4:55 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Zombie Video Game Draws Inspiration From Real Fungus

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:59 pm

The Last of Us is a new survival horror video game. It follows a character named Joel as he fights off hostile humans and zombie-like creatures. The game was inspired by a BBC show on the scary effects of a fungus. (This piece initially aired July 9, 2013, on Morning Edition).

Space
3:28 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

No Tax Dollars Went To Make This Space Viking Photo

The Vikings Have Landed: Photographer Ved Chirayath staged this photograph in Palo Alto Foothills Park in California last December.
Courtesy of Ved Chirayath

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:02 pm

Scrutinizing the books of government agencies can turn up lavish parties or illicit trips at the taxpayers' expense. But not every investigation turns out that way. And when they don't, the hunt for waste can appear to be a waste itself.

Such appears to be the case with a recent inquiry involving NASA and Viking re-enactors. This whole saga began with an idea from Ved Chirayath, an aeronautics graduate student at Stanford University who loves photography. He was talking over what to shoot one day with a colleague, and thought of Vikings.

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Parallels
12:49 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

World War II Researchers Say 'Italian Schindler' Was A Myth

The Risiera di San Sabba in Trieste was used during World War II as the only death camp on Italian soil. In the building's courtyard, the outline on the brick wall is where the crematorium was located.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:24 pm

A group of Italian researchers who have studied troves of World War II documents have found no evidence that Giovanni Palatucci, a police official long credited as the "Italian Schindler," saved the lives of 5,000 Jews.

The findings are demolishing the Italian national icon and angering supporters of the man who has been honored at Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and who has been put on the track to sainthood.

'Unfounded' Claims Of Heroism?

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