All Things Considered

Weekdays, 3pm - 5:30pm
Michele Norris, Robert Siegel and Melissa Block

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

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Opinion
4:46 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Cabaret Wanes As The Oak Room Is Felled

American comedy duo Jerry Lewis (left) and Dean Martin (right) with the English playwright and actor Noel Coward at an unknown location in 1953. Lewis and Martin were famous for their cabaret acts in the 1940s and 1950s.
R. Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:13 pm

One of New York City's most famous cabaret clubs, the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, is closing. At least one person will feel the loss — Murray Horwitz, the author of two Broadway musicals and numerous cabaret acts.

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Music Interviews
3:40 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Search For A Singer To Hit 'Low E' Spans Globe

Welsh composer Paul Mealor, who scored the music for Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding, has a new composition in the works. For it, he's seeking a rich and low singing voice — one capable of reaching the "low E" note. And as he's learning, reaching the low E is no easy feat. To find a singer up to the task, Mealor has had to embark on an international search. Robert Siegel catches up with Mealor to hear how his search is going.

Health
2:00 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Exec At Embattled Breast Cancer Charity Resigns

A top official at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation — which pushed for the defunding of Planned Parenthood — has resigned. Anti-abortion groups are also keeping up the drumbeat to take away Planned Parenthood's federal funding despite the charity's turnabout on supporting the group.

The Two-Way
5:44 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Remembering Roger Boisjoly: He Tried To Stop Shuttle Challenger Launch

Engineer Roger Boisjoly examines a model of the O-Rings, used to bring the Space Shuttle into orbit, at a meeting of senior executives and academic representatives in Rye, New York in Sept. 1991.
AP

Roger Boisjoly was a booster rocket engineer at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol in Utah in January, 1986, when he and four colleagues became embroiled in the fatal decision to launch the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Boisjoly was also one of two confidential sources quoted by NPR three weeks later in the first detailed report about the Challenger launch decision, and the stiff resistance by Boisjoly and other Thiokol engineers.

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Author Interviews
3:33 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Is White, Working Class America 'Coming Apart'?

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 6:33 pm

According to the libertarian social scientist Charles Murray, America is "coming apart at the seams." Class strain has cleaved society into two groups, he argues in his new book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010: an upper class, defined by educational attainment, and a new lower class, characterized by the lack of it. Murray also posits that the new "lower class" is less industrious, less likely to marry and raise children in a two-parent household, and more politically and socially disengaged

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Deceptive Cadence
2:34 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers: From Playing In Knee Socks To Owning Two Strads

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers.
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco courtesy of the artist

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Music
4:00 pm
Sun February 5, 2012

New Staging Of 'Yentl' Tells A Transgender Girl's Story

Actress Hillary Clemens portrays Yentl/Anshel in the new staging of Isaac Bashevis Singer's play at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Fla.
Daniel Perales Studio

Singer-songwriter Jill Sobule is probably best known for her 1995 hit single, "I Kissed a Girl." These days, she's taking on a new musical project: the gender-bending play by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Yentl.

Barbra Streisand turned Singer's play into her 1984 hit movie musical of the same name. Although Sobule's version features music, it's a little more Singer and a little less Streisand.

"She changed the ending and made it kind of Funny Girl coming to America. ... We keep to the word," Sobule tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

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Author Interviews
2:10 pm
Sun February 5, 2012

How Whitey Bulger Corrupted The Justice System

These 1984 file photos originally released by the FBI show New England organized crime figure James "Whitey" Bulger.
Federal Bureau of Investigation, File AP

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 12:32 pm

When Whitey Bulger was captured last year, he'd spent close to 20 years on the run — and on the FBI's Most Wanted list.

Bulger was the head of an Irish gang terrorizing the streets of South Boston. The Massachusetts State Police wanted him gone, but curiously couldn't touch him.

Why? Bulger was a confidential FBI informant, and the bureau shielded him for years.

Robert Fitzpatrick, the author of Betrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down, says Bulger was widely known to be an unsavory character.

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Around the Nation
4:17 pm
Sat February 4, 2012

Lost Malcolm X Speech Heard Again 50 Years Later

Richard Holbrooke and Katharine Pierce as students in 1961 at Brown University.
Katharine Pierce

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 4:57 pm

Last semester, Brown senior Malcolm Burnley took a narrative writing course. One of the assignments was to write a fictional story based on something true — and that true event had to be found inside the university archives.

"So I went to the archives and started flipping through dusty compilations of student newspapers, and there was this old black-and-white photo of when Malcolm X came to speak," Burnley says. "There was one short article that corresponded to it, and very little else."

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Middle East
2:00 pm
Sat February 4, 2012

More Than 250 Killed In Syrian Violence In Homs

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

NPR's Kelly McEvers has been following events in Syria from neighboring Lebanon, and she joins me now from Beirut. Kelly, as we just heard, the UN Security Council has failed to agree on a resolution condemning Bashar Assad. Any reaction from Syria?

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