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All Things Considered

Weekdays, 3pm - 5:30pm
  • Hosted by Robert Siegel, Audie Cornish, Ari Shapiro and Kelly McEvers

NPR's All Things Considered paints the bigger picture with reports on the day's news, analysis of world events, and thoughtful commentary.

Extreme Weather Rips Through The South

Jan 23, 2012

Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: The South is cleaning up from yet another round of devastating tornadoes. The storms started first in Arkansas, then brought baseball-sized hail, heavy wind and lightning to parts of Tennessee and Mississippi. But it was Alabama that saw the worst of it. At least two people died with 100 more injured. As NPR's Russell Lewis reports, the overnight storms hit communities still struggling to recover from a series of devastating tornadoes last year. RUSSELL LEWIS,...

A Ball for Daisy is a story of loss — a little dog loses her favorite red ball to a much larger dog — but now it's also a story about winning: On Monday, Chris Raschka's book won the American Library Association's Randolph Caldecott Medal for best illustrated story. It's not Raschka's first Caldecott honor; he won in 2006 for The Hello, Goodbye Window and was a Caldecott honoree in 1994 for Yo! Yes? A Ball for Daisy is Raschka's first wordless picture book, and it was "certainly a challenge,"...

Putting On Heirs: 3 Rich And Snooty Reads

Jan 23, 2012

Surely I am not the only one who has harbored secret dreams of being an heiress — not the nouveau riche kind with a reality television crew trailing behind me, but the sort with a full staff, gobs of silver and afternoons spent on the hunt. Though I've come around to my untitled American life, I still adore reading books about drafty old houses and the privileged people who inhabit them. If the success of the PBS series Downton Abbey is any indication, I'm not alone. The satisfying truth is...

Humans are complicated genetic jigsaw puzzles. Hundreds of genes are involved in determining something as basic as height. But man's best friend is a different story. New research shows that almost every physical trait in dogs — from a dachshund's stumpy legs to a shar-pei's wrinkles — is controlled by just a few genes. Writer Evan Ratliff has been looking into dog genetics for National Geographic Magazine . He tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that that quirk makes it...

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'The Bark Side' Tells Of Super Bowl Ads To Come

Jan 22, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ntDYjS0Y3w http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0 Say you're the ad agency behind last year's most memorable Super Bowl commercial — a spot for Volkswagen where a little boy, dressed as Darth Vader, starts his Dad's new Passat with the Force. The ad was a huge success. The little boy became an overnight star, the ad won several awards, and today it's been viewed online almost 50 million times. The ad achieved all that success because the agency behind it,...

For his directorial debut, actor Ralph Fiennes brings William Shakespeare's work to the big screen with a modern adaptation of Coriolanus . Fiennes also stars as the eponymous Roman general, a role he played on the stage 11 years ago. The original play, Fiennes tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, is complex. "I had this feeling that if you were to clear away a lot of the denser passages, and shorten it and edit it, you are left actually with a very visceral, sinewy political...

Week In News: The Salvo Against SOPA

Jan 21, 2012

Transcript GUY RAZ, HOST: It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. JAY CARNEY: We need to do something about online piracy by foreign websites. UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Stop SOPA. Pass on PIPA. REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: It's pretty clear to many of us that there's a lack of consensus at this point. RAZ: That's House leader John Boehner and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on two bills to curb online piracy. Under enormous pressure, Congress abandoned those bills...

Super Bowl XLVI: Who Will It Be?

Jan 21, 2012

Transcript GUY RAZ, HOST: The NFL is on the cusp of determining who will be playing in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Tomorrow on the West Coast, the San Francisco 49ers face the New York Giants, and on the East Coast, the New England Patriots host the Baltimore Ravens. NPR's Mike Pesca is here to preview the matchups. Mike, hello. MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello. RAZ: Let's talk about the Giants. I'm supposed to be neutral here, Mike, but they're going into this game with a nine and seven record...

Transcript GUY RAZ, HOST: It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. (SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE HOUSE I LIVE IN") NANNY JENNER: Drugs is a monster. The killing, the stealing, those people being destroyed, it's devastating. RAZ: Since 1970, the war on drugs has cost over two and a half trillion dollars and resulted in more than 44 million arrests. During that time, sales of illegal drugs have grown steadily. That statistic hangs on the screen like a warning sign in a new...

When the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI shut down the web site Megaupload yesterday, there were many responses, from outrage to confusion to applause, and nearly as many questions. One that stood out was simple: If Megaupload provides a service that can be used for legal pursuits, are they legally responsible for the users who use it to illegally share copyrighted material? Maybe unsurprisingly, there are at least a few different answers to that question. From the perspective of the...

The album Little Spark evokes a sound you might have heard 40 years ago, piercing through the static of your AM radio. The big string sections and angelic choruses are all there, echoing the hallmarks of classic orchestral pop. But Little Spark is the work of a modern singer-songwriter named Jessie Baylin . "I wanted a bigger, more epic soundscape — and, at the same time, I wanted the lyric to feel really intimate," Baylin says. "I drew a lot of inspiration from Burt Bacharach and Dusty...

If you're seriously into reading, chances are, if you're not a nerd, then you've at least got some nerdy DNA somewhere in your intellectual genome. I know I do. But as a reader I sometimes feel like I'm being asked to identify with a hero who isn't nearly geeky enough — a hero with uncorrected vision and excellent orthodontics and really good hair. Sure, he's nice, but I doubt I would have wanted to sit at his table in the cafeteria in high school. Aren't nerds sexy enough to be heroes? They...

In a presidential election that most expect will be all about the economy, South Carolina is a state where economic issues are front and center. The state's unemployment rate is 9.9 percent, well above the national rate. But even that number is deceptive. There are pockets around the state where the conditions are much more severe. In Lancaster County, for example, the rate is above 12 percent. When Springs Industries packed up and left Lancaster County, it took thousands of textile jobs with...

France is suspending training operations in Afghanistan and threatening to withdraw its entire force from the country early after an Afghan soldier killed four French troops Friday. The French foreign minister described the attack as an "assassination."

Audie Cornish speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks, of the New York Times.

In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China's economy in ways that are still reverberating today. The contract was so risky — and such a big deal — because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village's collective farm; there was no personal property. "Back then, even one straw belonged to the group," says...

Whenever the late New York Times caricaturist Al Hirschfeld sketched Carol Channing — whether picturing her as an indomitable Dolly Levi, swathed in feathers and sequins, or as carbon-crazed Lorelei Lee, eyes sparkling like the diamonds that were that splendid creature's best friends — he always made her appear a creature composed entirely of lipstick, mascara and hairspray. It says something about both his artistry and hers that Channing has generally come across that way in real life as...

For Two City Slickers, Survival Of The Savviest

Jan 19, 2012

Rhoda Janzen is the author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress . Recently my friend Peggy and I decided to make a jaunt from my house in Southwestern Michigan, across the state to Detroit. We took her car. At day's end we pulled into my remote driveway on Lake Allegan. It was then I realized that didn't have my keys. They were in fact, hanging in the little key box in my laundry room. Oh no. I had no way of getting into my home. Ah, how dependent we are on modern conveniences for survival....

Remember that movie Sarah's Key ? Did you miss it? It was last year's highest grossing foreign-language film, but it made less than eight million dollars. The fact is that selling foreign language films to U.S. audiences is a notorious challenge. Nevertheless, Fox, one of the world's most powerful media conglomerates, is beefing up its investment in foreign films. How does Rupert Murdoch expect to make money that way, given the tiny audiences for foreign movies? Well, it turns out Fox is...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOrQTh_Cq7U Johnny Otis was many things over his career, including a bandleader, producer, radio and TV host and composer. Additionally, Otis launched the careers of many of R&B's finest singers. Otis died on Tuesday at his home near Los Angeles. He was 90 years old. Otis could write hits, and sing them as well. He had several, including "Willie And The Hand Jive" in 1958. But Otis spent as much or more time developing the talents of others. He once said he...

A big day in presidential politics: Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the race. Certified results from the Iowa caucuses show former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum finished ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, but party officials are calling it a tie. And Newt Gingrich's second wife sat down with ABC News for an interview about their marriage and messy divorce. All this comes on the same day the four remaining candidates gather in Charleston for a debate. Robert Siegel...

Kathleen Edwards is a singer-songwriter from Canada who just released her fourth album, Voyageur . There's a lot of heartache and self-doubt on the record, and that makes sense — much of it was written around the time of Edwards' divorce from her husband and musical collaborator. The song "Pink Champagne" would seem to be a case in point: It takes place at a wedding where a young bride is second-guessing her decision. But Edwards says the message of that song isn't quite so literal. ...

Rep. Dennis Kucinich is most in his element when he's fighting against social injustice. Wherever he sees an outrage against the little guy, you'll find the Ohio Democrat railing against it — like at a recent public meeting about a new trash-to-energy facility Cleveland wants to install in a west side neighborhood. "This is about our community, where we live," the former Cleveland mayor told the gathering. "And we're not going to live in a place where there's a garbage incinerator that's...

Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish read letters from listeners.

Keystone Proposal Rejected On Technicality

Jan 18, 2012

Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: And I'm Robert Siegel. The Obama administration announced today that it is rejecting a permit for a controversial pipeline to carry Canadian oil to the Gulf of Mexico. Just before Christmas, Congress set a tight deadline for the White House to make its decision. NPR correspondent Elizabeth Shogren joins us to explain why this won't be the last that we hear of the Keystone XL...

There are a lot of photo apps out there for the iPhone. With most of them, you take a picture, put a filter on it and maybe add some lens blur. But many of them don't have a built-in way for you to share the photo. "When we combined those two key ingredients, we came up with something that became Instagram ," says Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, who is also one if its founders. Systrom won't even call Instagram a "photo app," in the conventional sense, and that's because the camera is only half...

I found The Twin , by Gerbrand Bakker, sitting on a coffee table at a writers' colony in 2009. It carried praise from J.M. Coetzee for its "restrained tenderness and laconic humor," which seemed ample justification for using it to avoid my own writing. I finished it, weeping, a day later, and have been puzzling over its powerful hold on me ever since. I've recommended it again and again, and while I can't say it's entirely undiscovered — it won the 2010 IMPAC Dublin Award — no one I know ever...

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