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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Code Switch
5:36 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

'Venus And Serena': An Extraordinary Story, Told On Film

Serena (right) and Venus Williams pose with their gold medals during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Stefan Wermuth Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

It's Cinderella plus Jackie Robinson times two. When Venus and Serena Williams burst onto the lily-white world of tennis, they changed the game and made history: They were sisters. From a poor neighborhood. Who brought unprecedented power to the game. And both reached No. 1.

Their journey is the subject of a new documentary called Venus and Serena, showing in select theaters around the country.

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Around the Nation
5:29 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Boston Bombings Prompt Fresh Look At Unsolved Murders

Gerry Leone was the district attorney for Middlesex County in Massachusetts when three people were murdered in a house in the Boston suburb of Waltham. He told reporters that police suspected the assailants and the victims knew each other.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

An unsolved triple murder in the Boston suburbs is getting a closer look in the wake of the marathon bombings. One of the victims may have been a friend of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. That's prompting authorities to revisit the 2011 case.

The murders took place in Waltham, Mass. On Sept. 12, 2011, police responded to a house in the leafy suburb a few miles west of Boston.

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Around the Nation
5:29 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Michigan LGBT Youth Center Does Outreach With A Dance 'Hook'

The Ruth Ellis Center helps about 5,000 young people each year.
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

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Music Interviews
4:22 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Bobby McFerrin: Spirituals As Sung Prayers

Bobby McFerrin's new album is titled Spirityouall.
Carol Friedman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

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Commentary
4:20 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Week In Politics: IRS, Benghazi Emails, AP Phone Logs

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And there is much to discuss with our weekly political commentators, E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and David Brooks of the New York Times. Hey, there guys.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

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U.S.
3:11 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

After Deadly Chemical Plant Disasters, There's Little Action

The PBF Energy refinery in Paulsboro, N.J., uses toxic chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid. Rather than using "inherently safer" design methods, the industry says, other safety measures are taken to prevent accidents like the one in West, Texas.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

You might think that everything would have changed for the chemicals industry on April 16, 1947. That was the day of the Texas City Disaster, the worst industrial accident in U.S. history. A ship loaded with ammonium nitrate — the same chemical that appears to have caused the disaster last month in West, Texas — exploded. The ship sparked a chain reaction of blasts at chemical facilities onshore, creating what a newsreel at the time called "a holocaust that baffles description."

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Biking
12:08 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Pittsburghers Celebrate Bike to Work Day, Kick Off 'Car Free Fridays'

As part of National Bike Month, hundreds of Pittsburghers and cyclists from outlying areas commuted to work on two wheels Friday. It was the fifth year for Bike to Work Day in Pittsburgh.

Last year’s event saw about 550 people participate, numbers for Friday won’t be available until a later date. Russell Duff is from the Baldwin area and was at a relief station on the South Side for this year’s Bike to Work Day.

“I’ve been biking since I was 5-years-old," Duff said. "I’ve done BMX, freestyle, and I just can’t stay off a bike.”

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It's All Politics
6:01 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Some Lawmakers Want Big-Budget Groups Included In IRS Debate

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 7:24 pm

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Health News
5:31 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Why Is Psychiatry's New Manual So Much Like The Old One?

Despite significant advances in neurology and imaging, researchers still don't have simple lab tests for diagnosing patients with mental disorders. Diagnoses are still mostly based on a patient's signs and symptoms.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 12:51 pm

The American Psychiatric Association is about to release an updated version of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The DSM helps mental health professionals decide who has problems such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Psychiatry's new manual, DSM-5, has been nearly 20 years in the making. During that time, scientists have learned a lot about the brain. Yet despite some tweaks to categories such as autism and mood disorders, DSM-5 is remarkably similar to the version issued in 1994.

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Business
4:47 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

A 'Wake-Up Call' To Protect Vulnerable Workers From Abuse

For decades, Hill County Farms, also known as Henry's Turkey Service, housed a group of mentally disabled men in squalor in this former schoolhouse in Atalissa, Iowa. The EEOC won a judgment against the company for exploiting the men.
John Schultz/Quad-City Times ZUMAPRESS.com

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 1:35 pm

Four years ago, 21 men with intellectual disabilities were emancipated from a bright blue, century-old schoolhouse in Atalissa, Iowa. They ranged in age from their 40s to their 60s, and for most of their adult lives they had worked for next to nothing and lived in dangerously unsanitary conditions.

Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission won a massive judgment against the turkey-processing company at which the men worked. The civil suit involved severe physical and emotional abuse of men with intellectual disabilities.

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Music Interviews
4:47 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Daft Punk On 'The Soul That A Musician Can Bring'

In spite of the robotic persona they've cultivated for years, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo elected to make the latest Daft Punk album in a real studio, with real musicians.
David Black Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 12:00 pm

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Parallels
3:39 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

From The Heart Of Egypt's Revolt, The Pulse Of Artistic Life

Egyptian folk singer Dina El Wedidi performs at Qasr El Nil Theater during the Downtown Cairo Arts Festival. Wedidi says efforts to revitalize venues like the Qasr El Nil are important because there aren't enough places for musicians of the post-revolution explosion to perform.
Mostafa Abdel Aty Courtesy of Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:34 pm

Egypt's capital, Cairo, is now synonymous with protests and sometimes violence. Late at night, the once-bustling downtown streets are largely empty these days. People worry about getting mugged or caught up in a mob.

But the recent Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival is an attempt to revitalize the area with music, art and culture in the old and forgotten venues of downtown Cairo, like the Qasr El Nil Theater.

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Biking
3:04 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Construction on Ohio River Bike Trail Set for the Summer

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald (left), McKees Rocks Mayor John Muhr (center) and Bike Pittsburgh's Scott Bricker applaud the completion of the Ohio River Trail plan.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5/WESA

In an ongoing effort to connect multiple bicycle trails and communities with one another, the plan for the Ohio River Trail has been completed.

Community leaders from around Allegheny County gathered at a Rite Aid store in McKees Rocks Thursday to outline the plan.

“This project is going to connect the City of Pittsburgh to McKees Rocks, along Route 51, along the McKees Rocks Bottoms, and finally connecting to the Montour Trail, which now has a spur to the airport,” said Bike Pittsburgh Executive Director Scott Bricker.

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Parallels
12:26 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Women In Combat: Some Lessons From Israel's Military

Soldiers of Israel's 33rd Caracal Battalion take part in a graduation march in the northern part of the southern Israeli Negev desert on March 13. The Caracal was formed in 2004 with the chief purpose of giving women a chance to serve in a true combat role.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 10:39 am

As the U.S. moves to open up combat positions to women, it's catching up with other countries that have been doing it for years.

But the experience in these countries, including Israel, suggests that access to combat jobs doesn't lead directly to equal treatment within the ranks.

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The Two-Way
8:26 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Take Your Seat, The 'No Photography' Sign Is Lit

An American Airlines plane at Miami International Airport in February.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:35 pm

You probably saw this bit of Internet virality earlier this week — showing a woman getting kicked off an American Airlines flight for channeling Whitney Houston.

What caught our attention was the sound of flight attendants repeatedly ordering passengers not to take pictures or (presumably) videos.

Apparently, it's an official rule at American Airlines:

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Music Interviews
5:58 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

A Songwriter And An Army Dad Share One Touching Story

Billboard Country Airplay chart. From left: co-songwriters Jimmy Yeary, Connie Harrington and Jessi Alexander, military father Paul Monti and singer Lee Brice." href="/post/songwriter-and-army-dad-share-one-touching-story" class="noexit lightbox">
On Monday, the team behind Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck" gathered in Nashville to celebrate the song's reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. From left: co-songwriters Jimmy Yeary, Connie Harrington and Jessi Alexander, military father Paul Monti and singer Lee Brice.
John Russell BMI

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 9:26 am

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Politics
5:57 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

White House Addresses Benghazi Emails, IRS Audits

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, BYLINE: And I'm Audie Cornish.

The Obama administration is doing some intensive damage control this evening. Tonight, the president announced that the acting commissioner of the IRS, Steven Miller, is being pushed out over heightened scrutiny given to Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations.

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U.S.
5:44 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

LA Schools Throw Out Suspensions For 'Willful Defiance'

When Garfield High School in Los Angeles stopped suspending students for "willful defiance" several years ago, it saw suspensions drop from more than 600 to just one. Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District board voted to follow suit in all LA schools.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 8:50 pm

School suspensions are a big issue in California. Last year, schools handed out 700,000 of them. But the Los Angeles Unified School District took a step to change that this week when it voted to ban suspension of students deemed "willfully defiant."

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Politics
5:32 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

One Reason To Apply For Tax-Exempt Status: Anonymity

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:07 pm

Revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted some conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny have put a spotlight on a part of the tax code increasingly popular with political groups: section 501(c)(4).

But what's the benefit for organizations to get approved for 501(c)(4) status?

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Planet Money
4:56 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Can Economics Save The African Rhino?

A black dehorned rhinoceros is followed by a calf at the Bona Bona Game Reserve in 2012. South Africa has seen a devastating increase in poaching in recent years as black-market demand for rhino horn has grown.
Stephane de Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 10:52 pm

When Duan Biggs was growing up in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, he used to watch elephants and rhinos walking past his bedroom window. He left home to pursue degrees in biology and economics, and when he returned in 2011 the park looked and sounded "like a pseudo war zone," he says.

"There'd be helicopters flying overhead all the time," he says. "I remember one afternoon coming back to my home from a game drive and the bush was crawling with people with assault rifles, from the army, from the police, and from National Parks. They were looking for poachers."

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All Tech Considered
4:55 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

A New 'Smart Rifle' Decides When To Shoot And Rarely Misses

A TrackingPoint rifle features a high-tech scope that includes a laser rangefinder and a Wi-Fi server.
Courtesy of TrackingPoint

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:14 am

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Middle East
4:55 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Syrian Minister: Removal Of Assad Means Destruction Of Syria

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:39 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 President of the U.N. General Assembly said today that at least 80,000 people have been killed in Syria's two-year civil war, and that most of those casualties were civilians. The assembly also approved a resolution today calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside. But that vote was largely symbolic; the resolution is unenforceable.

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Music Interviews
3:09 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Laura Mvula's Velvet 'Moon' Is A Revelation

Laura Mvula's debut is ambitiously confident, as if she and her band had perfected their sound years ago.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 9:33 am

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The Salt
1:06 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Go Fish (Somewhere Else): Warming Oceans Are Altering Catches

Crew members unload a catch of sockeye salmon at Craig, Alaska, in 2005. Researchers say fish are being found in new areas because of changing ocean temperatures.
Melissa Farlow National Geographic/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:39 pm

Climate change is gradually altering the fish that end up on ice in seafood counters around the world, according to a new study.

"The composition of the [global] fish catch includes more and more fish from the warmer areas, and cold-water fish are getting more rare, because the temperatures are increasing," says Daniel Pauly at the University of British Columbia, a co-author of the study.

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Shots - Health News
12:03 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Scientists Clone Human Embryos To Make Stem Cells

A scientist removes the nucleus from a human egg using a pipette. This is the first step to making personalized embryonic stem cells.
Courtesy of OHSU Photos

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:57 am

Scientists say they have, for the first time, cloned human embryos capable of producing embryonic stem cells.

The accomplishment is a long-sought step toward harnessing the potential power of embryonic stem cells to treat many human diseases. But the work also raises a host of ethical concerns.

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