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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Education
4:22 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Higher Dropout Age May Not Lead To More Diplomas

President Obama delivers the commencement address for Kalamazoo Central High School's class of 2007 in Kalamazoo, Mich. The state requires students to stay in school until they turn 18.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 5:19 pm

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on every state to require students to stay in school until they graduate or turn 18. "When students don't walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma," he said.

The White House cited studies that showed how raising the compulsory schooling age helps prevent kids from leaving school. And while some of that is true, some of it is also wishful thinking.

For New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education Paul Leather, the president made the right call in his address.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:22 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Romney's Unlikely And Persuasive Defense Of The 'Individual Mandate'

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney offered a spirited defense of the individual mandate during Thursday night's GOP presidential candidate debate in Jacksonville, Fla.
Matt Rourke AP

For a candidate who keeps vowing to repeal the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney sure can make a convincing argument on its behalf.

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Planet Money
3:58 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Rethinking The Oreo For Chinese Consumers

Kraft Foods has reinvented the Oreo for Chinese consumers. It's latest offering in China: straw-shaped wafers with vanilla-flavored cream filling.
Kraft Foods

Everyone knows what an Oreo cookie is supposed to be like. It's round, black and white, and intensely sweet. Has been for 100 years. But sometimes, in order to succeed in the world, even the most iconic product has to adapt.

In China, that meant totally reconsidering what gives an Oreo its Oreoness.

At first, though, Kraft Foods thought that the Chinese would love the Oreo. Who doesn't? They launched the product there in 1996 as a clone of the American version.

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Movies
2:42 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Movie Titles That Might Have Been

'Tonight' Show: Playing an alcoholic, unpopular superhero, Will Smith rouses himself from a park bench pass-out to stare down a curious kid in 2008's Hancock — a movie almost titled Tonight, He Comes.
Relativity Media The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 5:19 pm

Shrek, Hitch, Gattaca: What's in a name? Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet — but for Hollywood the question is more like, "Would that rose, by any other name, sell as many tickets?"

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Winter Songs
2:19 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Shredding To Metallica, Dancing To 'Jump'

Daron Rahlves of the U.S. competes during the Men's Freestyle Ski Cross qualification at Cypress Mountain during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

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Presidential Race
4:08 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Gingrich Fights Against The Lobbyist Label

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks Thursday during a Lakeside Inn Tea Party rally in Mount Dora, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 5:27 pm

In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues to fend off accusations that he should wear the scarlet "L" — for "lobbyist." This week, he released two of his consulting contracts and said they didn't call for any lobbying.

Like many other former lawmakers, Gingrich was advocating for paying clients, while not officially registering as a lobbyist.

The two contracts disclosed this week came from Gingrich's work for Freddie Mac, the mortgage giant. Between 1999 and 2007, Freddie Mac paid his firm $1.6 million.

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Author Interviews
4:04 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

'Birmingham': A Family Tale In The Civil Rights Era

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 12:40 pm

Welcome to the fourth installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club, where we select a book for young readers — and invite them to read along with us and share their thoughts and questions with the author.

Our selection for January — The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis — describes the civil rights era from the perspective of a young (and extremely mischievous) boy and his family.

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Presidential Race
3:44 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Republican Debates Become Must-See TV

This election cycle, one factor stands above all others in driving the dynamics of the race for the Republican presidential nomination: televised debates.

It's All Politics
3:29 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Candidates Campaign On An Economic Silver Bullet: Worker Retraining

President Barack Obama waves after speaking at a UPS facility in Las Vegas on Thursday. Nevada is one stop on the president's latest road trip focusing on the economy.
Julie Jacobson AP

There are not many things that Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney agree on, but when it comes to job training there is common ground.

"It is time to turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system that puts people to work," President Obama said during his State of the Union address Tuesday.

Earlier in the week, Newt Gingrich offered a similar solution for helping those facing long-term unemployment.

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Theater
2:33 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

In Broadway's 'Wit,' A Documentary Of Our Demise

In a revival of Wit on Broadway, Cynthia Nixon plays Vivan Bearing, a brilliant John Donne scholar forced to consider her own mortality when she's diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Manhattan Theatre Club

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 5:35 pm

In her dressing room at the Friedman Theatre, Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon has a nightly ritual: She rubs Nivea cream all over her scalp to soothe the razor burns.

Being completely bald is just one of the many demands of the character she plays in Wit -- a brilliant college professor named Vivian Bearing, who's battling ovarian cancer.

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From Our Listeners
2:00 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Letters: In-Sourcing; John Hawkes

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 5:21 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Time now for some of your responses to our program.

And first, my interview yesterday with the CEO of Keen. The company is based in Portland, Oregon. It makes shoes. And we talked with CEO James Curleigh because Keen illustrates something President Obama advocated in his State of the Union Address. It recently opened a factory in the U.S. instead of China. President Obama called it insourcing.

Curleigh told us it not only makes financial sense, it's good marketing.

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World
2:00 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Darrag Discusses The Future Of Egypt

The year since the Egyptian revolution began has been a good one for the Muslim Brotherhood. The restrictions they once faced in Egyptian political life were lifted with the ouster of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. Amr Darrag, a senior official in Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party — the Muslim Brotherhood party, speaks with Robert Siegel about the past year and what he anticipates in the next one.

It's All Politics
4:04 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Taking His Economic Message On The Road, Obama Touts Factory Jobs In Iowa

President Obama tours Conveyor Engineering and Manufacturing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

A day after delivering his State of the Union address to Congress, President Obama took his message on the road. Obama hoped that stops at manufacturing sites in Iowa and Arizona would drive home his point that the government should do more to encourage factory jobs.

The three-day trip also includes stops in Colorado, Nevada and Michigan. Those are all states likely to be important in the November election.

Obama kicked off his road trip at Conveyor Engineering and Manufacturing, a factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Giffords Makes A Tearful Farewell

Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords took to the House floor Wednesday one last time to say good-bye, for now, to her colleagues. It was an emotional scene as she handed in her resignation, a little more than a year after being gravely injured in an assassination attempt.

NPR Story
2:00 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Egypt Marks Anniversary Of Revolution

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 6:03 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Cairo's Tahrir Square overflowed with Egyptians today. Traffic was snarled for miles as people jammed bridges and streets. The crowd marked the first anniversary of the popular uprising that drove Hosni Mubarak from power.

And as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo, many people did not come to celebrate.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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Movies
2:00 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

What's Hot At The Sundance Film Festival?

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 6:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The economic downturn is providing lots of fodder for filmmakers. That's become abundantly clear at this year's Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Steven Zeitchik covers entertainment for the Los Angeles Times and he joins me from Park City.

And, Stephen, you're seeing this theme both in feature films and documentaries. Why don't we start with the documentaries. What have you seen?

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Remembrances
2:00 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos Dies At 76

Critic David Thomson listed Theo Angelopoulos among a handful of truly great living filmmakers. His movies were epic in length and addressed epic periods in Greek history and mythology. They were among the most visually stunning movies made in the 20th century. He won numerous awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in 1995 for Ulysses' Gaze, which starred Harvey Keitel. Angelopoulos died Tuesday after being struck by a motorcycle. He was 76.

Presidential Race
5:04 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Gingrich Campaign Rides A Financial Roller Coaster

Casino owner Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, at the Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore in June. The Adelsons have donated $5 million each to the pro-Gingrich superPAC Winning Our Future.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 6:43 pm

Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign celebrated his win in the South Carolina Republican primary with a so-called money bomb, a fundraising push to raise as much as possible.

It was a success. But its importance also shows the precarious financial state of Gingrich's campaign.

Spokesman R.C. Hammond says the campaign first set a target of $1 million, then doubled it and met it, all within 48 hours.

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Presidential Race
2:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Gingrich Campaigns In Florida

While Mitt Romney was focused on the president's speech Tuesday, Newt Gingrich was mostly focused on the task at hand: next Tuesday's Republican primary. Addressing a crowd jammed into the booths at St. Petersberg's Tick Tock Restaurant Tuesday morning, the former speaker referred back to Romney's aggressive attacks at Monday night's debate.

Politics
2:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Obama To Outline The Pillars Of A Strong Economy

NPR's Scott Horsley previews Tuesday night's State of the Union Address with Melissa Block. President Obama will outline what he describes as four pillars of a strong economy: manufacturing, energy, worker training, and American values of fairness and responsibility.

Europe
5:22 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

EU Squeezes Iran With New Oil Sanctions

The EU has agreed to an embargo on buying oil from Iran in the latest sanction against that country for its nuclear program. Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, speaks here in Brussels on Monday following a meeting of EU foreign ministers.
Virginia Mayo AP

The battle over Iran's nuclear program escalated Monday as the European Union announced an embargo on importing oil from Iran.

For years, Europe has been reluctant to join the United States in imposing tough sanctions on Iran. The United States years ago stopped buying Iranian oil, while European nations including France, Spain, Italy, and Greece kept up their purchases. European countries right now buy about 600,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran.

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Sports
4:20 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Cash-Strapped L.A. Dodgers Shop For A New Owner

Los Angeles Dodgers players high-five after beating the San Diego Padres 2-0 at Petco Park in San Diego on Sept. 23, 2011.
Denis Poroy Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of professional sports' most storied franchises. But they're up for auction because much-maligned and outgoing owner Frank McCourt was forced to put the team under bankruptcy protection last summer.

Now, preliminary bids for the Dodgers are due on Monday. The team lost its luster during McCourt's ownership, but estimates for the winning bid range from $1.2 to $2 billion, dwarfing the record $845 million paid for the Chicago Cubs a couple of years ago.

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Monkey See
3:00 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

'I'd Rather Be A Mystery': John Hawkes On Keeping His Hat Pulled Down

John Hawkes and Elizabeth Olsen in 2011's Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 5:25 pm

John Hawkes' conversation with Melissa Block on today's All Things Considered begins as many of his conversations might: with her noting that when she told people she was coming to talk to him and rattled off his credits, she got a response that he undoubtedly gets a lot: "Ohhh, he's that guy."

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Presidential Race
2:00 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

GOP Candidates Prepare To Debate In Fla.

NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson joins Melissa Block from Florida to discuss Monday night's Republican presidential debate.

National Security
2:00 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

CIA Officer Charged With Leaking Information

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou leaves federal court in Alexandria, Va., on Monday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 5:35 pm

A former CIA officer was charged on Monday with leaking secrets to reporters — and then lying about it.

The Justice Department has accused John Kiriakou of violating the Espionage Act by outing his colleagues and passing sensitive details about counterterrorism operations to reporters for The New York Times and other media outlets.

Kiriakou, 47, of Arlington, Va., appeared in federal court in Virginia on Monday, where he was released after posting a $250,000 bond.

The Reluctant Spy

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