All Things Considered

Weekdays 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and weekends 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m
  • Hosted by 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.

In 1985, my friend Johnny suffered a tragic loss in a crime that went unsolved until this year. While reporters tell us that justice has finally brought closure, the story endures, and it raises an unsettling question: What compels us toward tales about violence, about murder?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that all artful stories humanize us as surely as they humanize their characters. They allow us to transcend crime-scene voyeurism and courtroom media hype, to bear witness to those who survive, after the book is slid back onto the shelf.

A task force is evaluating the risk posed by a sunken oil tanker, the SS Montebello. It went to the bottom after being attacked by a Japanese submarine during World War II. State and federal officials want to know if the ship is still carrying its cargo of oil, and if that oil could escape.

At stake is a coastline known for its stunning scenery and wildlife sanctuaries. The task force was put together a couple of years ago at the urging of state Sen. Sam Blakeslee.

Legendary songwriter Bob Dylan is once again at the center of a controversy about plagiarism, but this time it's not about his words or his music — it's about his painting.

The Asia Series, Dylan's current one-man show at the Gagosian Gallery in New York, was initially billed as the musician's visual response to his travels through Asia. But as it turns out, many of the pictures are direct copies from historical photographs.

Israeli Ambassador Discusses Prisoner Swap

Oct 18, 2011

Five years after he was captured by Hamas militants in Gaza in a cross-border raid, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was returned to his home country. Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the U.S., talks with Robert Siegel about the deal that will free more than one thousand Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for Shalit's release Tuesday.

Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read emails from listeners.

Have plans for this Friday? Harold Camping does.

We have a bit of history with Herman Melville's Moby-Dick here at Monkey See. It was the second selection in our I Will If You Will Book Club after Twilight (true story!), and we read the entire thing together in the spring of 2010.

Universities Compete For NYC Grant

Oct 17, 2011


MELISSA BLOCK, host: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host: And I'm Robert Siegel.

Book Review: '1Q84'

Oct 17, 2011



If you loved the novel "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," if you loved following the main character, Lisbeth Salander, on her adventures, then our book reviewer, Alan Cheuse, has good news for you. Lisbeth Salander has a sort of soul sister. She's one of the two central characters in a new novel by a different author. It's by Haruki Murakami, and the book is called "1Q84."

A huge deal in the energy business is just the latest signal that natural gas is a hot commodity. One of the largest natural gas pipeline operators, Kinder Morgan, is buying its rival El Paso for $21 billion.

The Kinder Morgan deal will likely make the company the largest natural gas pipeline operator in North America. This comes at a time when more people in the U.S. are becoming reliant on the fuel. For more, Robert Siegel speaks with Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Associates and author of The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World.

Three-Minute Fiction

Oct 16, 2011

The winner of round seven of the Three-Minute Fiction contest will be announced in a few weeks. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rebecca Roberts introduces Darius Kroger by William Sirson from Laramie, Wyoming. More stories from the contest can be found at

'The Breakfast Club' Meets Hell In 'Damned'

Oct 16, 2011

Meet Maddy Spencer — or, to be exact, Madison Desert Flower Rosa Parks Coyote Trickster Spencer — a ridiculous name she takes great pains to hide. She's 13, brainy, a little dumpy and very, very dead.

Maddy is the heroine of Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk's new novel, Damned. It's a sort of coming-of-age tale, except that none of the characters can actually age. They're all dead and in Hell.

William Shatner's Own Space Oddity

Oct 16, 2011

He's been a starship captain, a Karamazov brother, a cop, a lawyer and a science-fiction author. Now, William Shatner returns to the recording studio for a new, space-themed spoken-word album, Seeking Major Tom.

When the United States took control of the Philippines at the turn of the 19th century, one of the first things the U.S. did was send in American teachers. The goal was to establish a public school system and turn the Philippines into an English-speaking country.

It worked so well that two centuries later, American schools started traveling to the Philippines to recruit teachers to come here.

Three-Minute Fiction: 'Honor' and 'Crane'

Oct 15, 2011



ROBERTS: And the winner is...


ROBERTS: Yeah, just kidding. It's not quite that time yet. We know you want us to pick a winner. You've made that clear on our website and on the Three-Minute Fiction Facebook page. But 3,400 stories were submitted to this round of Three-Minute Fiction, and we won't be rushed. So until we make that final decision, here are a few excerpts to hold you over.


The Jayhawks: Just Like Old Times

Oct 15, 2011

In 1992, the album Hollywood Town Hall launched the career of the Minnesota band The Jayhawks, making it a seminal force in the burgeoning sound known as alt-country. Co-founders Mark Olson and Gary Louris found their harmonies and their songwriting styles fit together like few others, and The Jayhawks toured relentlessly — so much so that it took them three years to follow up that hit album with a new one.

A grand jury has indicted the Roman Catholic bishop of Kansas City for failing to report suspected child sexual abuse. Bishop Robert Finn has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of not reporting to police that a priest had child pornography on his computer.

U.S. Sends Troops To Uganda

Oct 14, 2011

President Obama told Congress he is sending troops to Uganda and neighboring country. The numbers aren't big: About a hundred American military advisers are going. But they have a significant job. They're tasked with helping African troops pursue members of the Lord's Resistance Army. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Michele Kelemen for more.

It's been a big year for Hollywood remakes — more than a dozen, not counting sequels. There were new versions of Conan the Barbarian and Arthur this summer. Fresh incarnations of Footloose and The Thing open today. And soon we'll see Hollywood's take on the Swedish hit The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Cue the standard complaint: Hollywood has run out of ideas.

Hold on, though. Let's think this through.

GOP presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry unveiled his energy policy Friday morning in a speech in West Mifflin, Pa.


ROBERT SIEGEL, host: Next week, Israel and Hamas are expected to swap more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners for one captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. It will likely happen on Egyptian soil. Egypt helped broker the deal and had been working on it for the past couple of years. There were occasional reports of progress that didn't pan out.

So, how was it that success came through the new Egyptian military regime, which replaced Israel's old ally, Hosni Mubarak? And at a time when Israeli-Egyptian relations are worse than they've been in decades.

After a major service outage this week, Research In Motion, or RIM, the company that makes Blackberries, faces major problems. The outage, which left millions of customers all over the world without service for up to three days, comes on the heels of a tablet flop and an embarrassing role in this summer's U.K. riots. Guy Raz talks with Chip Cummins of the Wall Street Journal about the future of the company.

An unsung hero of the computer world has died. Dennis Ritchie created the C language — which is the foundation for most computers, including the iPad and iPhone.

Epstein Leaves Red Sox For Cubs

Oct 13, 2011

Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein is leaving his hometown team to take the reins of the Chicago Cubs. He departs after a disastrous season, but he will be remembered for making history. The youngest ever general manager in major league baseball designed the teams that won two World Series, Boston's first since 1918. Now he'll try to make Wrigley's loveable losers into champions.