All Things Considered

Weekdays 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and weekends 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m
Melissa Block, Michele Norris & Robert Siegal

Since its debut in 1971, this afternoon radio newsmagazine has delivered in-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Heard by more than 13 million* people on over 600 radio stations each week, All Things Considered is one of the most popular programs in America. Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features. Guy Raz hosts a one-hour edition of the program on Saturday and Sunday.

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World
2:00 pm
Sat February 4, 2012

Russia, China Veto UN Resolution On Syria

The U.N. Security Council failed again Saturday to take decisive action to stop the escalating violence in Syria as Russia and China vetoed a resolution backing an Arab League plan that calls for President Bashar Assad to step down. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports the veto drew intense criticism from the U.S.

Shots - Health Blog
6:48 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Komen's Race To Reverse Course: Questions And A P.R. Challenge

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 6:58 pm

Just three days after announcing it would no longer fund cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood, the pink-ribboned breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure abruptly reversed course today. But the Komen foundation's actions still leave many questions unanswered — not to mention a public relations challenge.

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Planet Money
4:33 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Who Killed Lard?

Old school.
Steve Snodgrass Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 10:01 am

Ron Silver, the owner of Bubby's restaurant in Brooklyn, recently put a word on his menu you don't often see anymore: lard. The white, creamy, processed fat from a pig. And he didn't use the word just once.

For a one-night-only "Lard Exoneration Dinner", Silver served up lard fried potatoes. And root vegetables, baked in lard. Fried chicken, fried in lard. Roasted fennel glazed with lard sugar and sea salt. Pies, with lard inside and out. All from lard he made himself in the kitchen.

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Author Interviews
2:51 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

'Best Practices': Learning To Live With Asperger's

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 5:54 pm

When he was 30 years old, David Finch's wife, Kristen, sat him down and asked him a series of odd questions:

"Do you notice patterns in things all the time?"

"Do people comment on your unusual mannerisms and habits?

"Do you feel tortured by clothes tags, clothes that are too tight or made in the 'wrong material'?"

"Do you sometimes have an urge to jump over things?"

David's answers to all of these questions — and more than 100 others — was an emphatic yes.

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Movie Interviews
2:02 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Sharon Van Etten: Learning How To Rock

Sharon Van Etten says that when she writes music, "it's to heal."
Dusdin Condren

Originally published on Sun February 5, 2012 3:01 pm

Sharon Van Etten was once an aspiring songwriter in Tennessee, but she had no idea how the music industry worked. So she moved to New York City and took an unpaid internship working for a record label.

"I started doing mail orders and then learned my way around the music blogs," Van Etten says in an interview with Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "I didn't know what a music blog was at the time."

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

In Egypt, Government Blamed For Targeting Soccer Fans

Violent protests continued for a second day in Egypt in response to the deadly riot at a soccer match earlier this week. Many of the protesters claim authorities chose not to stop the soccer riots as retaliation against fan groups — known as Ultras — who had a hand in the country's political uprisings last year. Melissa Block talks with Adel Iskandar, Lecturer in media studies at Georgetown University, about the role of the Ultra football fan clubs in Egypt's politics.

Economy
2:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Jobs Numbers Surprise Economists

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 5:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

January's weather looked like spring in much of the country, and today's monthly employment report suggests it's spring in the job market, too. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the economy added 243,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Nobody expected that job creation in January would be this strong, or that the unemployment rate would fall again to 8.3 percent – nobody including John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.

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Sports
2:00 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

The Physics Of A Football Player's Performance

The New York Giants' Brandon Jacobs is a 6'4", 270 pound running back. And with that kind of size, you think he'd be able to run right through would-be tacklers, especially when he only needs to pick up a few yards. But he often can't — Jacobs's stats are below average in those situations. A couple NFL greats and a physics professor have the answer.

Shots - Health Blog
5:40 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

As Komen Defends Itself, Planned Parenthood Rakes In Substitute Funds

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 2:03 pm

Leaders of the breast-cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure tried in vain Thursday to contain the controversy stemming from its decision to end its grants to Planned Parenthood.

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Fine Art
5:05 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

The Mona Lisa's Twin Painting Discovered

The original Mona Lisa is on permanent display at the the Musee du Louvre in Paris.
Jean-Pierre Muller Getty Images

The Mona Lisa is one of the most enigmatic and iconic pieces of Western art. It has inspired countless copies, but one replica at the Madrid's Museo del Prado is generating its own buzz: conservators say that it was painted at the same time as the original — and possibly by one of the master's pupils, perhaps even a lover.

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U.S.
4:50 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Families Suffer Through Chicago Morgue Backlog

Workers fill a pauper's grave at Homewood Memorial Gardens, south of Chicago, with remains from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, which is now catching up on its backlog of indigent burials.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 6:08 pm

Losing a loved one in any circumstance can be a painful experience, but for some families in Chicago, that pain is being compounded by what's been happening at the Cook County morgue in recent weeks. In the words of one observer, it's "a moral travesty."

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Book Reviews
3:47 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

S'il-Vous-Plait: Raising Your 'Bebe' The French Way

Barnesandnoble.com

When her first child was born, Pamela Druckerman expected to spend the next several years frantically meeting her daughter's demands. In the U.S., after all, mealtimes, living rooms and sleep schedules typically turn to chaos as soon as a baby arrives. That's the reason one friend of mine used to refer to his child as a "destroying angel."

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The Two-Way
6:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Report Prompts Calls To End Freddie Mac's Conflict Of Interest

A sign for Freddie Mac in front of its headquarters in McLean, Va.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Several U.S. lawmakers and prominent economists on Monday said Congress and the White House should end a financial conflict of interest at the taxpayer-owned mortgage company Freddie Mac.

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Economy
4:08 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Mortgage Giant Places Bets Against Homeowners

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Freddie Mac is a gatekeeper in the mortgage market. In many cases, the taxpayer-owned mortgage company controls who qualifies to refinance a mortgage and who doesn't. Well, NPR has learned that Freddie Mac has been making financial wagers, betting against American homeowners being able to refinance. And now some lawmakers want to put a stop to it. NPR's Chris Arnold has been reporting this story in partnership with ProPublica.org. He has this report.

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All Tech Considered
3:47 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

What The FBI Wants In A Social Media Monitoring App

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 11:02 pm

The FBI has raised eyebrows in the tech world with a public document that asks for advice on how to harvest information from social networking sites.

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Presidential Race
3:40 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Why Does Saul Alinsky Inspire Such Passion?

Professional organizer Saul Alinsky in 1966, on Chicago's South Side, where he organized the Woodlawn area to battle slum conditions. Newt Gingrich has referred to Alinsky numerous times in recent speeches.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 10:17 am

At a campaign event in Jacksonville, Fla., Monday morning, Newt Gingrich dropped a name that he has been using a lot lately.

"I believe in the Constitution; I believe in the Federalist Papers. Obama believes in Saul Alinsky and secular European socialist bureaucracy," Gingrich said.

In Saul Alinsky? Who is this Alinsky guy and why does Gingrich seem to mention him every chance he gets?

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From Our Listeners
2:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Letters: Chinese Oreos; News Poet

Chinese Oreos and news poetry get love from our listeners: Melissa Block and Audie Cornish read emails about Friday's program, in which we heard stories about how the Chinese embraced the Oreo cookie — and debuted a new monthly feature, the news poet.

Politics
2:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Bilingualism A Political Liability?

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 8:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And sticking with presidential politics for a moment, speaking a second language has recently become something of a liability for those aspiring to live in the White House. It turns out very few American presidents have had a strong command of a second language, most of them in the early days of the Republic, and that language, it was French.

John McWhorter wrote about this recently in The New Republic, and he's with me now. John, bonjour.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

JOHN MCWHORTER: Bonjour, Guy. How are you doing?

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Politics
2:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Gingrich Attacks Front-Runner Romney

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 8:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Just a little more than a day left before voters in Florida have their say in the GOP primary. The latest polls by the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times show Mitt Romney with an 11-point lead over Newt Gingrich, with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul trailing far behind. Newt Gingrich, who's had trouble getting support from establishment Republicans, picked up a nod from a decidedly non-establishment figure - one of his former rivals, Herman Cain.

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Africa
2:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Attacks By Nigerian Muslim Group Stirs Fear

A radical Islamist group in northern Nigeria has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombing attacks last week that left more than 200 people dead. Boko Haram's campaign of violence has left minority Christians on edge in the city of Kano.

Music Interviews
1:32 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Air: Scoring A Cinematic Marvel, 100 Years Later

Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel pose at a January screening of Le Voyage Dans La Lune at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Gabi Porter Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 10:00 pm

In 1902, director Georges Melies released his magnum opus: Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To the Moon), often considered the first science-fiction movie ever. Even if you've never heard of Melies, you've probably seen the film's most famous shot: a moon with a human face, wincing at the spaceship that has just crashed into its eye.

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Books
3:29 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

'The Snowy Day': Breaking Color Barriers, Quietly

With special permission from The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 9:13 am

One morning many years ago, a little boy in Brooklyn named Peter woke up to an amazing sight: fresh snow.

Peter is the hero of the classic children's book by Ezra Jack Keats, The Snowy Day, which turns 50 this year. Peter has a red snowsuit, a stick just right for knocking snow off of trees, and a snowball in his pocket. And, though this is never mentioned in the text, Peter is African-American.

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Art & Design
12:55 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

At 100, Pollock's Legend Still Splattered On Art World

Influenced by Mexican and Native American art, Pollock popularized action-painting and drip style, as seen in Number 7, 1951.
Pollock-Krasner Foundation, National Gallery of Art/Artists Rights Society

Even a century since his birth, American "splatter artist" Jackson Pollock still provokes heated debate about the very definition of art.

Was a man who placed a canvas on the floor and dripped paint straight from the can actually creating a work of art?

"It's very hard if you try to build the paint up to this extent with this many colors and not achieve mud," says National Gallery of Art curator Harry Cooper.

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Poetry
4:54 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

NewsPoet: Tracy K. Smith Writes The Day In Verse

Tracy K. Smith poses for a portrait outside of NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:40 pm

Today marks the start of an exciting project at All Things Considered called NewsPoet. Each month we'll be bringing in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's news.

The first poet to participate is Tracy K. Smith. She has received degrees in English and creative writing from Harvard College, Columbia University, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Her latest book of poems is titled Life on Mars.

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