All Things Considered from NPR

Mon-Fri 4PM – 6:30PM
  • Hosted by Robert Siegel, Audie Cornish, Melissa Block

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.

Betty Wright: Soul Singer, Legacy Protector

Nov 13, 2011

"I don't feel like I need to tell any lies," Betty Wright says. "You get to an age where you get tired of hiding behind whatever people think is correct. You just say what you have to say, and if they don't like it, it's OK."

Wright found fame in the 1970s as the voice behind the R&B hits "Clean Up Woman" and "Dance With Me." Today, Wright is much in demand as a vocalist, coach, writer, arranger and producer. Her first album out in 10 years is out this week; it's called Betty Wright: The Movie.

Three-Minute Fiction: The Round 7 Winner Is ...

Nov 12, 2011

Round 7 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest attracted more than 3,000 story submissions. Tasked with writing an original short story that can be read in about three minutes, contestants had to include one character arriving to town and one character leaving town.

The judge for this round, writer Danielle Evans, has picked her favorite.

This week D.C. Court of Appeals agreed with the White House that the health care law does not violate the Constitution. The court's senior judge, a respected conservative voice, wrote the majority opinion. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about this story and others from the past week.

My Brightest Diamond: Home Is Where The Art Is

Nov 12, 2011

There's no mistaking the protagonist of "Be Brave," a song from the new My Brightest Diamond album, All Things Will Unwind. Shara Worden, the group's classically trained singer, songwriter, and main creative force, makes it clear in the refrain: "Shara, now get to work/Shara, this is going to hurt."

Hugh Jackman has had one of the most bifurcated showbiz careers imaginable. He leapt to superstardom as the mutton-chopped mutant Wolverine in the X-Men movies and won a Tony Award as the gay Australian entertainer Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz. These days, he's starring in the robot-boxing film Real Steel and appearing on Broadway in a one-man show.

A pharmaceutical company executive will lead an investigative committee that's looking at the child sexual abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University. This new committee will be made up of students, faculty and board members. This committee's investigation is separate from the criminal investigation already underway.

The art of the piano is a study in evolution — of both an instrument and of human talent. Among us there have been a rare few whose gifts included the physical dexterity, the innate musicality and the creativity to make the instrument sound brilliant.

Veterans Day is the day when Americans remember and thank members of the armed forces who fought in foreign wars. Nearly 1.4 million men and women have left the service since serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. A group of musicians in San Marcos, Texas, just down the highway from Austin, has started a songwriting workshop especially for returning veterans, believing that composing music can help a person heal from the wounds of war.

Coming Home To Less Than A Hero's Welcome

Nov 11, 2011

Karl Marlantes is the author of What It Is Like To Go To War.

I returned to America in October of 1969 after 13 months as a Marine in Vietnam. While I was there, I would comfort myself by imagining all the girls I ever knew hugging me in a huge warm group embrace. Somehow, I thought something similar would be waiting for me when I came home.

A steady drip of revelations in the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal has called into question James Murdoch's testimony before a parliamentary committee in July. Murdoch has been asked back to clarify the discrepancies.

Feds Delay Decision On Pipeline Project

Nov 10, 2011

The State Department is delaying a decision for at least a year on whether to approve the Keystone pipeline. The $7 billion pipeline would carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, through the U.S. to Gulf of Mexico refineries. Nebraska's state government and environmental groups have put intense pressure on the State Department and White House to reject the pipeline's proposed route. NPR's Richard Harris talks with Robert Siegel about the project.

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was abducted outside his home in Venezuela on Wednesday. Robert Siegel speaks with NPR's Juan Forero about the kidnapping.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry drew a blank at last night's GOP presidential debate, forgetting one of three federal agencies he would eliminate if he becomes president.

Guy Raz speaks with Portland, Ore., Mayor Sam Adams who today ordered the Occupy protesters in his city out of their encampments by 12:01 a.m. Sunday. The move comes after he wrote an open letter to the protesters, saying their living conditions were unsustainable.

Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley held his first press conference Thursday as interim coach of Penn State's football team. Bradley was appointed after the board of trustees abruptly fired coach Joe Paterno on Wednesday night amid a child sex abuse scandal involving one of his former assistant coaches.

Alan Cheuse reviews a new book from Ann Beattie. Mrs. Nixon tells the story of an author as she tackles the challenge of writing a biography of former first lady Pat Nixon. Cheuse teaches writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

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Maybe it's not so bad. That seemed to be the read of investors when they saw today's economic numbers. Better than expected news about unemployment stoked some optimism that the U. S. will avoid a double-dip recession. And stock market recovered a bit from yesterday's drop.

But the news is not as good in Europe, as NPR's Chris Arnold reports

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, host: Fifteen years ago, Congress overwhelmingly approved the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. It said, while each state could decide how to define marriage, the federal government would only recognize the legal union of a man and a woman.

Since then, more than 130,000 same-sex couples have legally married in the U.S. and today, a congressional committee passed the very first measure to repeal DOMA. NPR's David Welna reports.

'Wind Chill' Gets A New Name

Nov 10, 2011

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In Alabama today, the Jefferson County Commission voted to declare bankruptcy. The filing is estimated to be more than $4 billion, and it would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

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Over the last couple of weeks, the Occupy Wall Street movement has run the risk of being eclipsed by its West Coast affiliate, Occupy Oakland. Protestors there briefly shut down Oakland's port last week, and there have also been some ugly downtown battles with police.

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Now, to national political correspondent Don Gonyea and the story of three big Midwestern states: Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. All three elected new Republican governors last year. Don is in Rochester, Michigan, where there's a GOP presidential debate later.

If you've ever tried listening to music on a web site, you've probably had the experience of waiting ... and waiting ... for a song to start. The cloud music service Spotify thinks it's found a way around to get music to your computer faster; employing some of the same technology the music industry has been fighting against for years.

One of the first things you notice about Spotify is how quickly it starts playing the song you want to hear — even if it's not already stored on your computer. There's no wait for buffering or downloading. Spotify feels, in a word, instant.

Ohio Repeals Collective-Bargaining Law

Nov 8, 2011

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GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain gave a press conference to address allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances toward female employees and a woman seeking job advice in the 1990s. Cain emphasized that the accusations were false. NPR's Tamara Keith joins Robert Siegel to explain.

In Clint Eastwood's new film J. Edgar, Leonardo DiCaprio plays J. Edgar Hoover, the controversial longtime FBI director, from youth through old age. And when you play a man for that long, you might expect to sympathize with him somewhat. But DiCaprio tells Guy Raz on today's All Things Considered that he doesn't have sympathy or empathy for Hoover.

On today's All Things Considered, Robert Siegel poses an important question to Bob Costas, one of the authors of a new book about the greatest moments in football: With football so popular and beloved and money-making, why is baseball still considered our national pastime? What does football have to do to get a little love?

"Hey, leave baseball something," Costas says of the special, nostalgic language with which we often speak of it. "In every other measurable way, football has surpassed it."

Paterno Cancels Weekly News Conference

Nov 8, 2011

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Budget cuts are showing up on the streets of another Midwestern city. In Rockford, Illinois, they're turning out the lights. The city is in the middle of removing 2,300 streetlights, all in an effort to save money. That's about 15 percent of all the lights in town.

Why Is Food Stamp Usage Rising So Fast?

Nov 7, 2011

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The number of Americans who use food stamps is now close to 46 million, that's 15 percent of the population. The program is formally known as SNAP these days, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. And the number of people who depend on it to buy groceries has grown substantially, even since the recession was officially declared over, back in June of 2009.

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