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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Presidential Race
5:03 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

The Possible Future Of Health Care, Given VP Pick

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 9:30 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

So what makes Paul Ryan such a bold pick and potentially such a risky one is the detailed budget plan he has now twice passed through the GOP-controlled House. That plan has not passed the Senate, and President Obama says if it reached his desk, he'd veto it. The heart of Ryan's plan calls for dramatic changes to the nation's largest government health programs, Medicare and Medicaid.

With us now to discuss what those changes could mean for the campaign and the country should Romney and Ryan win the race is NPR's Julie Rovner. Julie, hello.

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Presidential Race
5:03 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

What An Ayn Rand View Could Do To Romney's Campaign

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 9:31 pm

Mitt Romney's newly announced running mate, Paul Ryan, has long subscribed to the objectivist philosophies of novelist Ayn Rand. Host Guy Raz speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about how that approach to public policy will play with voters.

Politics
5:03 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

What's In A Keynote? Making A Splash At Conventions

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 9:30 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

So now that we know who Mitt Romney's running mate is, what about the keynote speaker at the Republican Convention later this month? No word yet. Democrats have announced that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will get that coveted spot that has, in the past, served as a platform for bigger things.

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Presidential Race
5:03 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

Ryan, With 'Alternative Agenda,' Had Quick GOP Rise

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 9:30 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

MITT ROMNEY: It's an honor to announce my running mate and the next vice president of the United States, Paul Ryan.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Presidential Race
5:03 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan's Agenda: Now Romney's?

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 9:30 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Let's go now to Vin Weber, former Minnesota congressman and a senior adviser to Mitt Romney. Vin Weber, thanks for joining us.

VIN WEBER: Great to be with you today.

RAZ: You have known Paul Ryan for a long time, since before he was a member of Congress. How did you know him?

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Books
2:36 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

Batman's Biggest Secret (No, It's Not Bruce Wayne)

Bill Finger (left) helped create the Batman we know today, including his iconic costume, his tragic backstory, and many of his adversaries.
Ty Templeton

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 4:41 pm

Batman has many secrets — the best-known one, of course, being his millionaire alter ego, Bruce Wayne. But that may not be the Dark Knight's biggest secret.

Since the 1930s, only one man has been given credit for creating the caped crusader and his home city of Gotham. Bob Kane's name appears in the credits of all the movies, the campy TV show and the associated merchandise, from video games and action figures to sheets and underwear.

But what if Bob Kane didn't do it all by himself?

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A Blog Supreme
12:44 pm
Sat August 11, 2012

Branford Marsalis On Sensitive Musicians And The First Family Of Jazz

Branford Marsalis spoke with NPR about modern jazz, his family, and his new album, Four MFs Playin' Tunes.
Courtesy of Marsalis Music.

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:13 pm

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, oldest son of New Orleans pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, released an album with his quartet this week. He spoke to weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz about the failings of modern jazz, his hopes for the next generation and leaving New York City to move back to the South.

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The Salt
8:58 am
Sat August 11, 2012

Summer Lobster Surplus Leads To Cross-Border Price War Between Trappers

Blockades set up by lobster trappers in Canada have disrupted Maine's lobster business.
Robert F Bukaty AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:38 am

You might imagine a war between lobster trappers to be something like this battle of the lobsters. OK, not really. Still, the price war heating up between the fishing folk in Maine and Canada this summer is bringing everybody down.

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The Torch
5:47 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Gaming The Games: The Rules That Got Bent In London

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa celebrates his gold medal in the men's 100m breaststroke. He later admitted that he took extra dolphin kicks during his swim, a violation of the rules.
Adam Pretty Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 8:06 pm

The London Summer Olympics are winding down, and by most accounts, the games have been a success. There were plenty of "thrill of victory, agony of defeat" moments; big, enthusiastic crowds — although there were too many blocks of empty seats; and for those who like a helping of scandal served up at their Olympics, there was that, too.

It wasn't the usual scourge of doping. Instead, the London Olympics had incidents of bending the rules and ethics of sport.

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Remembrances
4:56 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

David Rakoff Saw The World In All Its Dark Beauty

David Rakoff, the author of Half Empty, Don't Get Too Comfortable and Fraud, was a frequent contributor to This American Life. He died Thursday at the age of 47.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 7:04 pm

When writer David Rakoff died Thursday at the age 47, he was barely the age he said he was always "meant" to be. In his 2010 memoir, Half Empty, he wrote, "Everyone has an internal age, a time in life when one is, if not one's best, then at very least one's most authentic self. I always felt that my internal clock was calibrated somewhere between 47 and 53 years old."

Rakoff died in New York City after a long struggle with cancer — an ordeal that he wrote about with sobering honesty and biting wit.

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Middle East
4:40 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Sunni Cleric Rises To Challenge Hezbollah In Lebanon

Sheik Ahmad Assir speaks to supporters at a tent encampment set up in protest against Hezbollah in Sidon, Lebanon. He accuses the Islamist militant group of using resistance against Israel as a smokescreen for another aim: advancing Iranian regional hegemony.
Mohamad al-Baba NPR

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 9:45 am

On a recent day, baffled motorists honked their horns and veered around the blocked entrance to a major street in Sidon. Now Lebanon's third-largest city, Sidon was once a flourishing Phoenician city-state on the Mediterranean.

The street was closed off by Sunni cleric Sheik Ahmad Assir, who erected a small tent encampment in protest against the country's most powerful military and political force, the militant Islamist group Hezbollah.

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U.S.
4:38 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Puedes Believe It? Spanglish Gets In El Dictionary

Spanglish, a mixture of English and Spanish, has been spoken for more than a century. A sign in Spanglish advertises a yard sale in Los Angeles in 2009.
Aurelio Jose Barrera Landov

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:47 pm

The Royal Spanish Academy — the official arbiter of the Spanish language — recently announced that it will add the word "Espanglish" to the 2014 edition of its dictionary. This is a big deal for the traditionally conservative academy, and it's a big deal for supporters who feel that mix of Spanish and English has officially been ignored for more than a century.

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Books News & Features
4:11 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

'Age Of Desire': How Wharton Lost Her 'Innocence'

Edith Wharton moved to Paris in the early 1900s. Not long after, in 1913, after her affair with Morton Fullerton had ended, she divorced her husband of more than 20 years.
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:47 pm

Jennie Fields was well into her new novel about Edith Wharton — and her love affair with a young journalist — when she heard that a new cache of Wharton letters had been discovered. They were written to Anna Bahlmann, who was first Wharton's governess and later her literary secretary. Bahlmann had never been considered a major influence on Wharton, but Fields had decided to make her a central character in her book, The Age of Desire, even before she heard about the letters.

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Planet Money
2:05 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

How A Pasta Factory Got People To Show Up For Work

Robert Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:06 am

Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This story is about the unofficial border within one country — the border that divides northern and southern Italy. This is the fourth story in a four-part series.

A decade ago, the Barilla pasta factory in Foggia, Italy, had a big problem with people skipping work. The absentee rate was around 10 percent.

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It's All Politics
5:29 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

On The Trail, Even Republicans Spin Clinton Years Into Gold

What a difference 14 years makes. Here, Bill Clinton departs the White House on July 31, 1998, after telling reporters he wouldn't take questions about the Monica Lewinsky investigation.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

This week, the presidential campaign has been dominated by debate over the welfare law from the 1990s. It's just the latest example of how both sides are trying to use the Clinton years to their advantage — portraying them as a halcyon golden age.

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Wish You Were Here: My Favorite Destination
5:17 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Wish You Were Here: Listening To Loons In Maine

Hearing the call of the loons is like "a blessing."
Flickr

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

Writer Roxana Robinson's most recent novel, Cost, is set in Maine.

Mount Desert Island, off the coast of northern Maine, is known for dramatic scenery. Most of the island is Acadia National Park: steep forests, plunging down to a cobalt sea. Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak, is the first place where light touches the American continent, each morning at dawn. Trails follow the windswept ridges; they wind along the smooth pink granite bluffs, rising from the deep, icy water, along the wild swirl of the great tides.

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Tiny Island Nation Finds Olympic Pride In Weightlifter

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Olympics are winding down, and for some nations, they're already over. Among them, the small Pacific island nation of Nauru. With roughly 9,300 people, it is the least populous country competing in these games. NPR's Mike Pesca says for the Nauruvians that's a point of pride.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Nauru is small. How small? Remember this song?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SMALL TOWN")

JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP: (Singing) But I've seen it all in a small town. Had myself a ball in a small town.

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The Torch
4:22 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Usain Bolt Cements His Place In History, Winning 200 Meter Gold

Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the finish line ahead of Yohan Blake of Jamaica to win gold during the Men's 200m Final.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

Usain Bolt cemented his place as one of the greatest sprinters in history, when he won the 200 meter final today.

Bolt was challenged by his Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake, who closed in with less than 100 meters to go. Bolt kicked on his burners and ended up taking back the lead and beating Blake 19.32 to 19.44 seconds.

The big deal here is that this makes Bolt the first Olympian to win both the 100 meter and 200 meter races two Olympics in a row.

Warren Weir, another Jamaican, took third.

The AP adds:

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Shots - Health Blog
3:32 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Gonorrhea Evades Antibiotics, Leaving Only One Drug To Treat Disease

Health officials say they're worried that one day there will be no more antibiotics left to treat gonorrhea.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

There's some disturbing news out today about a disease we don't hear about much these days: gonorrhea. Federal health officials announced that the sexually transmitted infection is getting dangerously close to being untreatable.

Read more
The Torch
2:54 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Women's Olympic Soccer Final: U.S. Beats Japan 2-1, To Win Gold

American Carli Lloyd heads in a goal in the first half to put the U.S. up 1-0 against Japan in the Olympic gold medal match.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:08 am

In Olympic women's soccer, the U.S. team has beaten Japan, 2-1, in the gold medal match at London's Wembley Stadium, a game that set a new attendance record with more than 80,000 spectators. Carli Lloyd scored both of the American goals, while U.S. stars Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach weren't able to finish their chances. But they were very active, and both players kept the Japanese defenders occupied around the goal.

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Planet Money
12:45 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

The Marijuana Trade In The Euro's Birthplace

Marijuana in Maastricht
Ermindo Armino AP

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:26 am

Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This is the second story in a four-part series.

Maastricht, a town in the Netherlands, is known largely for two things.

  1. The treaty that created the euro was signed there.
  2. Marijuana is legal there, and it's sold at "coffee shops" around town.

This is the story of the troubled relationship between those two claims to fame.

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It's All Politics
6:15 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

In Brawl Over Romney's Tax Returns, Harry Reid Gets Marquee Billing

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. speaks to the media at the Capitol in March.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 6:57 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's decision not to release more of his past tax returns has fueled countless attacks and counterattacks.

The former Massachusetts governor has released his 2010 tax return and promises that his 2011 return is forthcoming. He says that's enough.

But that's not enough for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The result is an increasingly ugly fight.

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Business
6:15 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Tax Evaders Beware! Money's Getting Harder To Hide

The U.S. government has been working for years to crack down on Americans dodging taxes overseas. In 2009, under intense pressure, the Swiss bank UBS released the names of its American customers.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 3:51 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has acknowledged that he had money in a Swiss bank account until 2010. Romney says he wasn't trying to hide the money, since he reported the account to the government.

Even so, he closed the account at a time when the federal government was in the middle of a major crackdown on offshore tax havens — a crackdown that has made it harder for Americans to hide their money overseas.

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Asia
5:42 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Murder Trial Of Chinese Politician's Wife Set To Start

Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, will stand trial on charges related to the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. Here, the couple is shown in 2007 attending Bo's father's funeral.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 7:35 pm

One of China's biggest criminal trials opens Thursday, and its lurid details make for a sort-of Communist Party film noir. The wife of an ambitious Chinese politician is accused of murdering a British businessman. Her powerful husband allegedly blocks the police investigation, and the police chief, fearing for his life, takes refuge in a U.S. consulate and implicates the wife in the killing.

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Religion
5:06 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

The Most Influential Evangelist You've Never Heard Of

Republican activist David Barton speaks before testifying before the Texas State Board of Education in 2009.
Harry Cabluck AP

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 8:14 pm

David Barton says Americans have been misled about their history. And he aims to change that.

"It's what I would call historical reclamation," Barton explains, in his soft but rapid-fire voice. "We're just trying to get history back to where it's accurate. If you're going to use history, get it right."

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The Record
4:52 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Laughing To Keep From Crying: A Comic Novel About Copyright Law

Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:21 pm

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

In Interviews With Researcher, Temple Gunman Said Military Drove Him To Hate

Wade Michael Page, in a photo released by police.
Oak Creek Police

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 6:15 pm

Pete Simi says that when he heard it was Wade Michael Page who police said killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Sunday, he felt "sick to my stomach."

Simi, a professor of criminology at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and co-author of American Swastika, realized that he had talked to Page at length during his research on the white power movement in the United States.

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Music Reviews
4:27 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Lianne La Havas: A Cool Antidote For Late Summer's Heat

Lianne La Havas' debut album is titled Is Your Love Big Enough?
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 9:24 am

It's gotten to that point in the dog days of August where the air is stale and nothing seems to be moving. But sometimes all it takes to snap me out of a late-summer heat coma is the sound of a new and electrifying voice — like that of Lianne La Havas.

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News
4:16 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

To Prevent A Tragedy, How Much Can A School Do?

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 6:15 pm

A Colorado judge on Thursday will consider whether to lift the gag order in the case of James Holmes, 24, who's accused of killing 12 and wounding dozens more at a movie theater last month.

NPR and other news organizations want access to case files, including a notebook that Holmes reportedly sent to a university psychiatrist before withdrawing from the school that may have described an attack.

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It's All Politics
6:00 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

On The Trail, A Campaign's Style Can Reveal A Lot About Substance

President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event on July 5 in Parma, Ohio.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

While President Obama and Mitt Romney offer competing visions every day on the campaign trail, there's also a more superficial aspect to their campaigns.

And on the surface, Obama and Romney events feel completely different.

Take a recent summer night in Leesburg, Va. Dorothy Fontaine had been standing outside of a local high school since the sun was high in the sky.

When asked why she would spend that much time waiting, Fontaine replied: "It's the president of the United States! I mean, isn't it cool to go see the president of the United States?"

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