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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Afghanistan
1:55 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Service Members Observe Memorial Day Through Sweat And Tears

U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Johnson trains at Bagram Air Field for the Memorial Day Murphy, a CrossFit workout honoring a Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan in 2005.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 4:57 pm

At Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Michael Johnson exercises under a long, steel framework set on a wooden platform. It looks like a giant jungle gym. Above his head are pull-up bars and rings. A climbing rope is off to one side.

It's here where he and dozens of other soldiers and sailors will remember the fallen, just after sunrise, on Memorial Day. They'll all take part in a grueling exercise regimen, part of CrossFit, the popular high-intensity workout program.

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Around the Nation
5:25 pm
Sun May 26, 2013

America's Vets: Returning Home To A Broken System

A wheelchair sits outside the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Atlanta. The latest figures show there are about 900,000 claims for benefits pending at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
David Goldman AP

The Department of Veterans Affairs is being criticized for the shortfall in care for almost a million veterans who can't get timely compensation and have been waiting hundreds of days for help, often to no avail.

Frustration with the agency came to a head last Thursday when VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was called before a closed-door meeting of the House Appropriations Committee.

"We are aggressively executing a plan that we have put together to fix this decades-old problem and eliminate the backlog, as we have indicated, in 2015," Shinseki said after the meeting.

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Code Switch
4:08 pm
Sun May 26, 2013

'Part Of The Community': Latinos Rebuild After Okla. Tornado

Mynor Sanchez, a resident of Moore, Okla., lives a few blocks away and three houses down from major destruction. He is volunteering Friday in the neighborhood with his church, Templo El Alabanza, trying to do any tasks with which residents need help.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 8:29 pm

Pastor Chano Najera calls out T-shirt sizes in Spanglish to volunteers waiting for their uniforms.

It's easy to spot Najera in this crowd — just look for the cowboy hat. He preaches in Spanish at Templo De Alabanza in Oklahoma City. On this morning, though, he's wrangling a group of young Latino volunteers as they wheel cases of water bottles onto trucks headed for Moore, Okla., where an EF-5 tornado ripped through neighborhoods last week, but spared Najera's home.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
4:07 pm
Sun May 26, 2013

The Movie Gillian Anderson Has 'Seen A Million Times'

A scene from the animated film Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
Dreamworks AP

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 5:25 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Author Interviews
3:57 pm
Sun May 26, 2013

From A 'Death' To A Crisis, Tracing China's Bo Xilai Scandal

Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai attends the opening ceremony of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at the Great Hall of the People on March 3, 2012, in Beijing, China.
Feng Li Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 5:25 pm

On Feb. 7, 2012, Wang Lijun, a former Chinese police chief, showed up at the American Consulate in Chengdu, China. He said his life was in danger, asked for asylum and said he had information implicating Bo Xilai, an important member of the Chinese political elite, in the murder of a British citizen.

The incident set off an international media deluge, and the ensuing scandal sent ripples throughout the ruling Communist Party that are still being felt.

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Music Interviews
1:40 pm
Sun May 26, 2013

Dirty Beaches: A Nomad Musician Starts Over (And Over, And Over)

Dirty Beaches is the performing title of the Taiwanese-Canadian musician Alex Zhang Hungtai. His new double album is called Drifters / Love Is the Devil
Daniel Boud Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 3:09 pm

Alex Zhang Hungtai is a musician who has spent his life drifting from home to home. His parents were children of communist China, and since setting out, he's lived in places as far-flung as Honolulu, Montreal and most recently, Berlin.

Under the name Dirty Beaches, Hungtai makes washy, dreamy rock music that often feels nostalgic. Hungtai's whole last album was dedicated to his father; he was inspired after finding out his dad had been in a doo wop cover band during his youth in China.

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From Our Listeners
7:00 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Readings: 'Compromise' And 'The F'

iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 5:25 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read The Art of Compromise by Lindsey Appleford of Boerne, Texas, and Claudia Who Found the F by Sean Enfield of Denton, Texas. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

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Code Switch
6:04 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Job Searching While Black: What's Behind The Unemployment Gap?

A man interviews for a job in Detroit. The unemployment rate for black Americans in Michigan was 18.7 percent in 2012, more that twice the rate for whites in the state.
Paul Sancya AP

In the classic American story, opportunity is always in front of you. You finish school, find a job, buy a home and start a family; it's a rosy dreamscape.

But that world is one-dimensional. Income inequality is just about as American as baseball and apple pie. And though the economy has improved in the past few years, the unemployment rate for black Americans, now 13.2 percent, is about double that for white Americans.

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Books News & Features
5:39 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

A Lost And Found 'Wonder': Pearl S. Buck's Final Novel

Pearl Buck was born in West Virginia but spent much of her childhood in China, where her parents worked as missionaries.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:15 pm

Pearl S. Buck emerged into literary stardom in 1931 when she published a book called The Good Earth. That story of family life in a Chinese village won the novelist international acclaim, the Pulitzer and, eventually, a Nobel Prize. Her upbringing in China as the American daughter of missionaries served as inspiration for that novel and many others; by her death in 1973, Buck had written more than 100 books, including 43 novels.

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Author Interviews
5:39 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

A Literary Tale of Chechnya, The Horror and Whimsy

Russian soldiers take their position near the village of Shatoy, Chechnya.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 12:05 pm

In his debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra transports readers to Chechnya, a war-torn Russian republic that has long sought independence.

The lyrical and heart-breaking novel begins in 2004 when a doctor watches as Russian soldiers abduct his neighbor, who has been accused of aiding Chechen rebels. He later rescues the neighbor's 8-year-old daughter, then colludes with another doctor to form an unlikely family amid the daily violence.

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Theater
5:25 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Two Songs That Led Keith Carradine From Screen To Broadway

Keith Carradine (right) performs with the cast of Hands on a Hardbody during its spring 2013 run in New York.
Chad Batka

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:22 pm

The Broadway musical Hands on a Hardbody wasn't your typical Broadway musical; it was about a group of Texans trying to win a new truck at a local dealership.

Actor Keith Carradine played JD Drew, one of the contestants. Though the show closed in April after just 56 performances, Carradine received rave reviews and a Tony nomination for best actor.

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NPR Story
4:47 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Week In News: Obama's Foreign Policy Pitch

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Coming up, a novel of village life amid the daily violence of war-torn Chechnya. But first, President Obama sets a new course in the war on terror.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end.

LYDEN: James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us, as he does most Saturdays. Hi there, Jim.

JAMES FALLOWS: Hello, Jacki.

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NPR Story
4:47 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Is the Espionage Act Outdated?

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

Weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden speaks with Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution about the Espionage Act. This Word War I-era legislation has been used more frequently in recent times to prosecute government employees who leak information to the press, but the limits set by the act are poorly defined for our modern age.

From Our Listeners
7:08 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Readings: 'Geometry' And 'Snowflake'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Snowflake by Winona Wendth of Lancaster, Mass., and Geometry by Eugenie Montague of Los Angeles. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

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The Deadly Tornado In Moore, Okla.
6:03 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Tornado Safe Rooms In Schools A Popular, But Costly Idea

Many school safe rooms, like this one inside Jeffries Elementary in Springfield, Mo., also serve as gymnasiums. Constructed with a $1.6 million grant from FEMA, which covered 75 percent of the cost, the shelter can hold more than 500 people — enough to accommodate all the school's students and employees.
Scott Harvey KSMU

In the days since a tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., talk of constructing safe rooms in public schools has become commonplace.

In southwest Missouri, officials have built a few of them already, and they are seeking funding to build more.

'A Sense Of Peace'

Karina O'Connell is preparing dinner tonight under the pavilion at Phelps Grove Park in Springfield, Mo., where she's eating with her 9-year-old twin sons, Samuel and John Patrick.

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Code Switch
6:03 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

History Makes Hiring Household Help A Complex Choice

Actress Marla Gibbs (as maid Florence Johnston) and actor Sherman Hemsley (as her boss, George Jefferson), appear in an episode of The Jeffersons.
CBS/Landov

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 6:39 pm

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World
6:03 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Toronto Mayor Dodges Accusations Of Crack Cocaine Use

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 6:28 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This remarkable statement today from the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford.

(SOUNDBITE OF PREPARED STATEMENT)

MAYOR ROB FORD: I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.

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Sports
4:53 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

German Soccer Teams Face Off For League Championship

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 6:03 pm

Robert Siegel speaks with sportswriter Stefan Fatsis about soccer news and Saturday's unlikely Champions League final between two German teams — Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium in London.

Movie Reviews
4:49 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

More Time Together, Though 'Midnight' Looms

Still Talking: After 18 years, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) apparently have plenty left to hash out.
Despina Spyrou Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

Celine and Jesse are sporting a few physical wrinkles — and working through some unsettling relational ones — in Before Midnight, but that just makes this third installment of their once-dewy romance gratifyingly dissonant.

It's been 18 years since they talked through the night that first time, Julie Delpy's Celine enchanting and occasionally prickly, Ethan Hawke's Jesse determined to charm; their chatter then, as now, scripted but loose enough to feel improvised as captured in long, long takes by Richard Linklater's cameras.

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Author Interviews
4:41 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

A Race Against Time To Find WWI's Last 'Doughboys'

Arthur Fiala, shown here in 1918 and 2005, was a private in the 26th Company of the 20th Engineers Regiment during World War I.
Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:27 am

Ten years ago, writer Richard Rubin set out to talk to every living American veteran of World War I he could find. It wasn't easy, but he tracked down dozens of centenarian vets, ages 101 to 113, collected their stories and put them in a new book called The Last of the Doughboys. He tells NPR's Melissa Block about the veterans he talked to, and the stories they shared.

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Around the Nation
4:02 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Battered Jersey Shore Pins Recovery Hopes On Summer Season

Construction workers work to rebuild the boardwalk in Seaside Heights in anticipation of Memorial Day weekend.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:37 pm

Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer travel season, and it's particularly important for the resort communities along the Jersey Shore still suffering the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

In the popular tourist spot Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., it has taken seven months and more than $1 million to make repairs along Jenkinson's Boardwalk.

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Music Reviews
11:44 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Kobo Town: A Haunted 'Jukebox' Filled With Caribbean Sounds

The Toronto band Kobo Town plays a mix of old-school calypso, ska and West Indian styles.
Paul Wright Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 6:03 pm

Throughout Kobo Town's new album Jumbie in the Jukebox, frontman Drew Gonsalves declares his love for the past even as his feet are firmly planted in the present. The music of the Toronto band can drift between classic Caribbean pop styles and even verge on hip-hop, but the singer's perspective remains sharply focused, wry and witty. The song "Postcard Poverty," for example, ribs tourists for whom tropical slums become an exotic backdrop to fun-in-the-sun adventures.

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Around the Nation
7:23 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Boy Scouts Vote To Allow Gay Members, But Not Leaders

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 6:01 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Boy Scouts ban on openly gay scouts is coming to an end. That's the result of a vote held today by the leadership of the Boys Scouts of America.

WAYNE PERRY: Our vision is to serve every kid. We want every kid to have a place where they belong, to learn and grow and feel protected.

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Science
6:05 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

'Extremely Active' Atlantic Hurricane Season Predicted

Hurricane Sandy churns off the Atlantic coast on Oct. 29. NOAA officials are forecasting seven to 11 hurricanes, compared with about six in a typical season.
NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Unusually warm ocean temperatures and favorable wind patterns mean the Atlantic is likely to see "an active or extremely active" hurricane season this year, say officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The agency expects between seven and 11 hurricanes and as many as 20 named storms during the 2013 season, which runs from June 1 through November.

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The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

After The Storm: Students Gather For One More School Day

Students and teachers from Eastlake Elementary and Plaza Towers Elementary schools gathered Thursday to say goodbye for the summer. This was a chance to reconnect after the devastating tornado brought an abrupt end to the school year at Plaza Towers in Moore, Okla.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 6:08 am

Under cloudy skies and through intermittent showers, 4-year-old Kamrin Ramirez holds in her little hands two cards, one addressed to Ms. Patterson, the other for Ms. Johnson, her two preschool teachers at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.

"I write thank you so much," she says.

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Shots - Health News
6:05 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Abortion Opponents Try to Spin Murder Case Into Legislation

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., has introduced a federal bill to ban most abortions after 20 weeks' gestation — six weeks into the second trimester. This is the second straight Congress he's done so, but this time he's broadened his bill to encompass all 50 states, not just D.C.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:23 pm

As predicted, abortion opponents on Capitol Hill are wasting no time in their efforts to turn publicity over the recent murder conviction of abortion provider Kermit Gosnell to their legislative advantage.

Their latest goal: a federal ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

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It's All Politics
6:40 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Fears Of Killing Immigration Bill Doomed Same-Sex Amendment

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. (center), listens to testimony during a hearing on the immigration bill on April 22.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times/Landov

After five marathon sessions debating 150 proposed amendments, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a landmark rewriting of the nation's immigration laws this week — and the bill emerged largely intact.

Three Republicans voted with the panel's 10 Democrats on Tuesday night to forward the bill to the full Senate. That strong showing followed a wrenching choice for Democrats on the committee: whether to risk shattering support for the bill by amending it to recognize equal rights for same-sex couples.

How It Played Out

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Movie Interviews
6:40 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Documentary Shows George Plimpton's Best Story Was His Own

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

George Plimpton boxed with Archie Moore, played quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and played percussion for the New York Philharmonic. He did these jobs, and many others, as an amateur. Plimpton was a professional writer. A new documentary about his life makes the case that Plimpton's best story was his own story, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: When you listen to George Plimpton's voice, it's like hearing echoes of a New York that no longer exists.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Parallels
6:40 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

A Decade In The Making, West Bank Barrier Is Nearly Complete

Ibrahim Shomali, a Palestinian priest, offers Communion under the olive trees of the Cremisan Valley in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This is part of a regular protest against Israeli plans to build a section of its West Bank barrier here, which would separate Palestinians from their agricultural lands.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 8:27 am

Israeli army Capt. Barak Raz climbs a metal staircase to the top of a high concrete wall that is part of Israel's West Bank barrier. From his perch, he overlooks both the Palestinian village of Bil'in and Modin Illit, the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, with some 50,000 residents.

The barrier here used to be a fence. After many confrontations with Israeli soldiers, Palestinian villagers won a court case, and the fence was moved off some of their land. But since the barrier was moved closer to an Israeli settlement, it was rebuilt as a wall.

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Law
6:40 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

FBI Shoots And Kills Man Tied To Boston Bombing Suspect

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There has been an unexpected turn in the Boston Marathon bombing case. A man who was thought to have ties with one of the bombing suspects was shot dead early this morning by authorities in Florida. He allegedly tried to attack an FBI agent who was interviewing him. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston has been following the story and is here with the latest. Hi, Dina.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: Hi there.

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