All Things Considered on AM 870 NewsTalk

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On May 3, 1971, at 5 p.m., All Things Considered debuted on 90 public radio stations.

In the 40 years since, almost everything about the program has changed, from the hosts, producers, editors and reporters to the length of the program, the equipment used and even the audience.

However there is one thing that remains the same: each show consists of the biggest stories of the day, thoughtful commentaries, insightful features on the quirky and the mainstream in arts and life, music and entertainment, all brought alive through sound.

All Things Considered is the most listened-to, afternoon drive-time, news radio program in the country. Every weekday the two-hour show is hosted by Robert SiegelMichele Norris and Melissa Block. In 1977, ATC expanded to seven days a week with a one-hour show on Saturdays and Sundays, currently hosted by Guy Raz.

During each broadcast, stories and reports come to listeners from NPR reporters and correspondents based throughout the United States and the world. The hosts interview newsmakers and contribute their own reporting. Rounding out the mix are the disparate voices of a variety of commentators, including Sports Commentator Stefen Fastis, Poet Andrei Codrescu and Political Columnists David Brooks and E.J. Dionne,

All Things Considered has earned many of journalism's highest honors, including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and the Overseas Press Club Award.

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Money & Politics
6:02 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Why Political Ads In 2012 May All Look Alike

Screen grabs of four separate ads from four different political groups critical of President Obama's handling of Solyndra, the failed solar-panel maker. Clockwise from top left, the ads are from: Americans for Prosperity, MittRomney.com, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 6:48 pm

Among the biggest advertisers in the presidential campaign is a group that says it doesn't do political advertising: Crossroads GPS.

Crossroads GPS — which stands for Grassroots Policy Strategies — was co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove. It and others like it enable wealthy donors to finance attack ads while avoiding the public identification they would face if they gave to more overtly political committees.

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Business
5:03 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

No Beer Goggles For Baseball Stadium Brew Prices

A fan of the St. Louis Cardinals buys a beer from a vendor prior to Game 3 of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers at Busch Stadium in 2006. At 56 cents an ounce, St. Louis is second only to Boston for the priciest ballpark brew in the country.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 6:13 pm

Change has been the story of the season for the Miami Marlins, formerly the Florida Marlins. With a new coach, a new name, new team colors and a new stadium the baseball team set a franchise record for winning games in May.

But one tradition isn't changing anytime soon: beer. Ordering a beer at a baseball game is as American as apple pie. So is forking over a small fortune for that beer.

According to an analysis by TheStreet.com, the most expensive beer of any baseball stadium is sold at the new Marlins Park, where baseball fans pay $8 for a Bud Light draft.

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Law
4:29 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Edwards Verdict: A Case Of Campaign Law Confusion

Former Sen. John Edwards leaves federal court in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday after jurors acquitted him of one felony count and a judge declared a mistrial on five other charges.
Sara D. Davis Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 10:29 pm

From the day a grand jury indicted former Sen. John Edwards on six felony charges nearly one year ago, the case drew jeers from election lawyers and government watchdogs.

"It was an incredibly aggressive prosecution because it was based on a novel theory of the law," says Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "There was literally no precedent. No case had ever been like this."

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Music Interviews
3:57 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

How An Author And A Singer Became Musical 'Kin'

The new album Kin is a collaboration between author Mary Karr and singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell.
Deborah Feingold Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 6:13 pm

In 2003, in a song called "Earthbound," singer Rodney Crowell name-checked a writer he admires a lot: Mary Karr, who has written searing memoirs, including the best-seller The Liars' Club, as well as several books of poetry.

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Middle East
3:35 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Egypt Braces For Verdict In Hosni Mubarak Trial

Supporters of Mubarak in Cairo chant slogans and carry his portrait as they demonstrate in February during his trial, outside the police academy.
Carsten Koall Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 6:13 pm

An Egyptian court plans to announce the verdict Saturday in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak, and regardless of which way the decision goes, it could prompt a public outpouring of emotion at a sensitive moment for the country.

Mubarak is charged with corruption and complicity in the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the revolution last year that ousted him.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty. But some are predicting he'll be acquitted, and that could set off another round of protests and possibly violence.

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Europe
3:00 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

As Greeks Withdraw Cash, Banks Grow Vulnerable

Many Greeks fear that the value of their savings will drop sharply if the country leaves the eurozone and returns to the drachma. This has led many Greeks to withdraw their money from banks.
John Kolesidis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 6:13 pm

Since the Greek debt crisis began nearly three years ago, more than $90 billion has left the country.

At first, it was just big business and the wealthiest Greeks moving money abroad in case Greece dropped the euro and reverted to its previous currency, the drachma.

Now people with smaller portfolios are also withdrawing money, and that's left the country's fragile banks on edge.

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NPR Story
10:57 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Ethics Group Head On Edwards Verdict

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

A jury found former Democratic Sen. John Edwards not guilty on one count of campaign finance fraud and was deadlocked on five other counts. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, D.C., filed an amicus brief in the Edwards corruption case, asking that it be thrown out. Melanie Sloan, executive director of the group, offers her insight.

Election 2012
7:09 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Boston Takes Center Stage In Fight For White House

Mitt Romney shakes hands as he walks into the House Chambers during inaugural ceremonies at the State House in Boston in 2003. the Obama campaign sought to focus attention on Romney's tenure as Massachusetts governor.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

President Obama's re-election campaign is training some of its heaviest guns on a new target — the four years that GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney served as governor of Massachusetts.

In Boston Thursday, David Axelrod, a top Obama campaign adviser, joined Democratic state legislators and mayors on the steps of the State House to lampoon Romney's record there as governor between 2003 and 2007.

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Law
6:48 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Mistrial Declared In John Edwards Corruption Case

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Energy
5:51 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Gulf Refinery Expansion May Not Cut Gas Prices

Expanding the refinery at Port Arthur, Texas, took five years and $10 billion. The facility can now process 600,000 barrels a day.
Motiva Enterprises

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 7:44 pm

In Texas recently there was a grand opening for what is now the largest refinery in the U.S. Shell and Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco, have more than doubled the capacity of their Port Arthur refinery.

The refinery business has been going through a tough period in recent years. Americans are buying less gasoline and other petroleum products — about 10 percent less than in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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The Salt
5:48 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Antibiotic-Free Meat Business Is Booming, Thanks To Chipotle

The antibiotic-free pigs roam freely on Niman Ranch in Iowa.
Sarah Willis courtesy Niman Ranch

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 7:12 pm

It's no longer just foodies at farm markets or Whole Foods buying antibiotic-free, pasture-raised meats.

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Mitt Romney
4:52 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Romney's Foreign Policy Views Comfort, Unsettle GOP

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked up two big endorsements this week from GOP foreign policy luminaries: former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.

At this point in the presidential race, endorsements are pretty routine. But these particular endorsements are important, since Romney has encountered some skepticism from foreign policy experts in his party.

Some Republicans expected the long, bloody wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to alter their party's traditional interventionist view. Those Republicans are disappointed in Romney.

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Music Interviews
4:23 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Brandi Carlile: Bending Notes Until They Break

Brandi Carlile performs live in NPR's Studio 4A.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 10:17 am

What is it about Brandi Carlile's voice that gets right inside you? The power? Her range? It may be the way she can crack open a note, as she does in her best-known song, "The Story," which was prominently featured on Grey's Anatomy.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
4:23 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Meet Manjiro, Japan's Unlikely Teen Ambassador

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:50 am

This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club hits the high seas for an adventurous novel called Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. The book begins in 1841, and is based on the sprawling true-life tale of Manjiro, whose destiny was almost determined before birth as a son in a long line of fishermen. But a storm blew his life on a new course, and he became one of the first Japanese to set foot in America.

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Law
4:13 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

When The Jury Becomes The Story

Former Sen. John Edwards leaves the federal courthouse in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday.
Chuck Liddy MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm

They were called the "giggle gang" — four alternate jurors in the John Edwards trial who wore the same-colored shirt to court on several days.

During nine days of deliberations, much attention was given to the merry band of alternates in the high-profile campaign finance case.

On Thursday, attention swung back to the jury itself, which found Edwards not guilty on one count. The judge declared a mistrial on the other five charges.

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Middle East
5:47 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Weighing The 'Yemen Option' For Syria

In this photo from 2009, Syrian President Bashar Assad (left) stands with then-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh during a welcoming ceremony for Saleh at the presidential palace in Damascus. As the violence continues in Syria, the U.S. and other countries are hoping to convince Assad to step down from power, as Saleh did.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 6:56 pm

The Obama administration says that Syrian President Bashar Assad has forfeited his right to lead Syria, and grisly murders in the town of Houla over the weekend reinforce that argument.

But despite mounting pressure, Assad isn't budging. The U.S is now trying to enlist Russia to use its influence with the Syrian leader to follow the so-called Yemen model and move out of the way.

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It's All Politics
5:17 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

CEO In Chief? A Business Background Is Rare For Presidents

Mitt Romney addresses the Latino Coalition's 2012 Small Business Summit in Washington earlier this month.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:17 pm

Republican Mitt Romney is running on the strength of his business background. He says he knows how to fix the economy, in part because of his success at Bain Capital. But history is not necessarily on Romney's side. Very few businesspeople have made it to the White House.

The transition from business to politics isn't necessarily an easy one.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
4:52 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Obama's Own Story Defines His American Dream

President Obama greets diners at Reid's House Restaurant in Reidsville, N.C., last fall. While there, he talked to a college student about the importance of education — one of the ideas Obama comes back to often.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:19 pm

NPR is examining what the American dream means to our culture, our economy and our politics. On Morning Edition, we'll explore what Republicans think of the American dream. In this installment, the view from President Obama.

The American dream — the idea that in this country anyone can rise from humble beginnings and succeed — is deeply woven into our national psyche. It's a promise that draws immigrants to our shores. And it's a staple on the campaign trail.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:46 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Oregon's Medicaid Experiment Represents A 'Defining Moment'

Roel Smart iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:47 pm

The things that Amy Vance does for James Prasad are pretty simple: She calls doctors with him, organizes his meds, and helps him keep tabs on his blood pressure, blood sugar and weight.

These simple things — and the relationship between a health coach like Vance and a chronically ill Medicaid patient like Prasad — are a big part of a $2 billion health care experiment in Oregon.

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Election 2012
4:41 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

In N.J., Democratic Frenemies Wage Final Battle

Reps. Steve Rothman (left) and Bill Pascrell went head-to-head at a debate Monday in Montclair, N.J.
S.P. Sullivan NJ.com

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:47 pm

There was a time when U.S. House colleagues Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, Democrats from neighboring congressional districts in northern New Jersey, called themselves friends.

But congressional redistricting means Pascrell and Rothman will face off in the state's Democratic primary on Tuesday for one congressional seat. And despite their long friendship, the race has been anything but collegial.

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The Record
4:03 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

A New Hip-Hop Recipe With A Familiar Sound

Black Hippy are (from left) Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul.
Courtesy of Top Dawg Entertainment

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 2:22 pm

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Banned In Idaho, 'Five Wives' Vodka Says It Meant No Offense

Bottles of Ogden's Own Distillery Five Wives Vodka at a state liquor store in Salt Lake City.
Brian Skoloff AP

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:47 pm

They're "five wives who just like to get together and have a cocktail."

They're not meant to be a direct reference to polygamy and those kittens they're holding in their laps are ... just part of a photograph that's reflective of the 1890s to early 1900s.

For all anyone knows, they might be lesbians.

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History
3:46 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Kafka's Final Absurdist Tale Plays Out In Tel Aviv

Franz Kafka (shown here circa 1905) is considered one of the 20th century's most influential writers. Before his death in 1924, he had published only short stories and a single novella, The Metamorphosis.
Imagno Getty Image

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 8:31 am

Franz Kafka published just a few short stories and a novella during his lifetime, yet he was considered one of the 20th century's most influential writers.

The rest of his work was largely kept secret, and literary scholars have long wondered what gems they might find among Kafka's papers.

The answer may ultimately lie on Tel Aviv's Spinoza Street, inside a small, squat apartment building covered with dirty, pinkish stucco that looks like it's seen better days.

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Planet Money
3:22 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

What Air Traffic Can Teach Us About Kidney Transplants

Waiting their turn.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:11 pm

This is the second of two stories we're doing this week on organ transplants. See the first story, Who Decides Whether This 26-Year-Old Woman Gets A Lung Transplant?

Nikolaos Trichakis is a Harvard Business School professor who studies air traffic. He was watching the news one night when a segment came on about the waiting list for kidney transplants.

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The Record
8:30 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Doc Watson, Folk Music Icon, Dies At 89

Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson in the 1960s.
John Cohen Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:45 pm

A mountain-born treasure of American folk music, Doc Watson, died Tuesday in North Carolina at age 89.

His manager said in a statement that Watson died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, after abdominal surgery last week.

Watson was born in Deep Gap, N.C., in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in a three-room house he shared with eight brothers and sisters. He revolutionized not just how people play guitar but the way people around the world think about mountain music.

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National Security
4:33 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Watching Big Brother: Privacy Board Delayed

Homeland Security analysts watch for threats to U.S. technological infrastructure at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm

Congress is considering legislation allowing the government to search through Internet traffic for early warnings of cyberattacks. The bills are controversial — worries about government surveillance have led to protests online.

The government does have a tool that could calm fears about this kind of legislation — it just doesn't use it.

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It's All Politics
4:26 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Fueled By Outside Money, Ad Blitz Hasn't Stopped For Weary Iowans

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm

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American Dreams: Then And Now
4:22 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

On The Economic Ladder, Rungs Move Further Apart

Kevin Hill, a San Diego landscape designer, was doing well financially before the downturn. Now, he says he feels "lost."
John Ydstie NPR

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm

America is the land of opportunity — that's the bedrock of the American dream. Many expect each generation to do better than the last.

That dream of economic mobility is alive and well for Pam Krank and her husband, Brian McGee. The two are proud owners of The Credit Department Inc., a successful business in the Minneapolis suburb of Mendota Heights.

"Mostly manufacturing companies around the world will hire us to study their customers and tell them how much ... unsecured credit they should grant to each customer," Krank explains.

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Asia
3:37 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

China, Philippines Face Off Over Remote Islands

For the past two months, the Philippines and China have been locked in a standoff over territory in the South China Sea that both countries claim.The Philippine navy accused Chinese boats of fishing illegally in the area. Protesters in the Philippines are shown here marching in Manila earlier this month.
Pat Roque AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm

Back in early April, a Philippine navy frigate tried to arrest Chinese fishermen accused of poaching sharks and giant clams.

But more is at stake than a boatload of seafood.

Neighboring countries say confrontations like this are growing as China asserts claims to territory well beyond its coastline. And analysts think China is testing America's resolve in the region.

Philippine officials say China still has more than 30 boats in the contested area, which is widely known as Scarborough Shoal, though the Chinese call it Huangyan Island.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

A 'Macabre' Process: Nominating Terrorists To Nation's 'Kill List'

President Obama and John Brennan, his top counterterrorism adviser, in the Oval Office on Jan. 4, 2010. Brennan is a key voice about who gets put on the "kill list."
Pete Souza White House

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm

One of the day's most-discussed stories has to be The New York Times' report headlined "Secret 'Kill List' Proves A Test Of Obama's Principles And Will."

It's a long, detailed look at how the president has "placed himself at the helm of a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical."

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