All Things Considered

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Could SuperPACS Shift Strategy To Congress?

Sep 16, 2012

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GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Polls can be unstable. Up until the last moment, Jimmy Carter was leading Ronald Reagan in 1980. And in the past two weeks, President Obama has started to pull ahead of Mitt Romney.

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(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Just a reminder now that Round 9 of our Three-Minute Fiction Contest is open. It's where we ask you to write an original short story that can be read in about three minutes, so no more than 600 words. In each round, we have a judge with a new challenge. And this time, it's novelist Brad Meltzer, and he's come up with this.

BRAD MELTZER: Your story must revolve around a U.S. president who can be fictional or real.

Pennsylvania's politically split Supreme Court is considering a challenge to a lower court ruling that upheld the state's polarizing voter identification law.

The law requires a state-issued photo ID card to vote, and supporters say it will help prevent voter fraud. Voting-rights activists have now shifted strategies from attempting to overturn the law, to instead putting up to a million state-issued photo ID cards in the hands of residents.

State officials recently estimated it is possible nearly 200,000 Philadelphia residents alone don't have proper ID.

We've heard much about big money pouring into some of the congressional races around the country, and now some of that money is breathing new life into the campaign of one unlikely candidate.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of books such as Kosher Sex and Kosher Jesus, and the host of Shalom in the Home, a reality show that worked with struggling couples, is running for Congress in New Jersey's 9th District.

Boteach is hoping to unseat Democrat Bill Pascrell in a district that is overwhelmingly Democratic.

In South Korea, K-Pop Gets New King

Sep 15, 2012

For 12 years, Park Jae-Sang — better known to his fans as the rapper PSY — has had a successful career in his native South Korea.

But now, thanks to the viral video for Gangnam Style, his new single, he's on top of the world.

Embracing Diversity In A 'Multi-Faith World'

Sep 15, 2012

Time magazine named author and pastor Brian McLaren one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.

McLaren has written more than 20 books, and he is a principal figure in the Emerging Church, a Christian movement that rejects the organized and institutional church in favor of a more modern, accepting community.

McLaren's new book is called Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World.

Does Middle East Unrest Go Beyond Film?

Sep 15, 2012

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GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Nearly two years ago, mass demonstrations against autocrats in Arab countries captivated the world. The Arab Spring would bring democracy, and in many countries, a form of it has come. So, too, has the freedom of assembly and protests, something previous rulers could quash. No longer, and much of that anger is directed towards the United States. Here's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday.

There's an old shorthand for likeability in politics: "Which candidate would you rather have a beer with?"

Polls show President Obama has been winning that likeability contest. And he's been raising a lot of frosty mugs on the campaign trail, hoping to press his advantage over the teetotaling Mitt Romney.

The strategy could come to a head in the swing state of Colorado.

The White House Friday released a report detailing, in part, what life would look like on the other side of the fiscal cliff, which could occur at the end of the year.

Under orders from Congress, the administration detailed exactly how it would administer painful cuts to both defense and domestic programs that were ordered under last year's budget deal.

Spain is slashing spending to try to avoid a European bailout, and one of the biggest victims of budget cuts has been public education. Schools across Spain reopened this week with bigger classes, fewer teachers and increased fees for things like school lunch and books — placing a heavy burden on many families.

Conchi Redondo blows kisses at her three daughters after dropping them off on the first day of school in Madrid, the Spanish capital. She smiles and waves at the girls, but privately, she's worried.

When the U.S. military handed over the detention center at Bagram Air Field to Afghan authorities this week, it symbolized an American role that is winding down — and the uncomfortable relationship between the two countries.

The prison, where Taliban and terrorism suspects are housed, has been a sore point for Afghans for years.

At the ceremony, an announcer read the names of Bagram prisoners who the Afghans said were wrongly detained and were now being freed.

Haunted Harmonies On The xx's 'Coexist​'

Sep 14, 2012

The focal point of The xx, on its debut as well as its new album Coexist, is the existential romance between the singers, Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft — each of whom sounds adrift in his or her own bubble.

In the new movie Arbitrage, actor Richard Gere plays a Wall Street tycoon who is intent on making money, no matter the fallout. Audie Cornish talks to Gere about the film.

Audie Cornish reads emails from listeners about Minnesota Vikings player Chris Kluwe and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and their outspoken support of same-sex marriage.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

Protests, some deadly, erupted across the Muslim world today as anger spread over an amateur anti-Islam film produced in the U.S. American symbols - including embassies, schools and restaurants - were attacked. In Egypt, protesters took to the streets for the fourth straight day. Egyptian soldiers built a wall to protect the U.S. Embassy, and Islamist President Mohammed Morsi denounced the attacks.

Audie Cornish speaks with Richard Williamson, Mitt Romney's senior foreign policy adviser. They discuss Romney's foreign policy positions, Libya and other news.

The world inside Mark Zandi's computer model feels pretty familiar. It's full of people who are worried about the economy. Their homes are being foreclosed on. They're paying more for gas. Something like 13 million of them can't find jobs.

Here's a new mantra you might consider adding to your list of daily kitchen chants: "It takes patience to perpetuate pickles."

One of the primary issues at the heart of the the Chicago teachers' strike is whether student test scores should be used to evaluate teachers and determine their pay. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing that approach, as are other officials around the nation.

But many teachers insist that it's inherently unfair to grade their teaching based on their students' learning.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

ZZ Top: Taking The Blues Back To The Future

Sep 13, 2012

Over the years, ZZ Top has stayed contemporary: dabbling in new wave, flirting with grunge and techno, making goofy music videos, even using a drum machine. But the band has never strayed too far from its classic amalgam of electric blues, garage rock and greasy grooves. On their new album, La Futura, the members sound like their old selves.

Republican hopes of capturing the Senate in November rest on a handful of tossup races in states like Montana, Missouri and Virginia.

Surprisingly, some analysts also are putting Hawaii in the tossup column.

Hawaii is the bluest of blue states; it hasn't elected a Republican to the Senate since 1970. But with the retirement of 22-year incumbent Daniel Akaka, Republicans believe they have a chance.

And regardless of who wins, the state will have its first female senator come January.

In Hawaii, the language of politics is a little different.

Hundreds packed the Washington National Cathedral today to pay their respects to Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

Perhaps the most amazing tribute came from Eugene Cernan, the man who followed in Armstrong's footsteps and became the last man to walk on the moon during the 1972 Apollo 17 mission.

When crossing from Uganda into Congo at the shabby border town of Bunagana, I encountered a broadly smiling man in a black leather jacket named Hamid Kashaisha.

He asked if I wanted to see the gorillas. I replied that it's guerrillas — with guns, that is — that I wanted to see: the M23 rebels who, for the past two months, had occupied a piece of real estate in eastern Congo larger than Delaware.

That was no deterrence to the pitchman.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

In this hour of the program, we remember Christopher Stevens, the first sitting U.S. ambassador killed in more than 30 years. And we'll explore how the attacks in Libya and Egypt have become fodder for political debate.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The eurozone crisis has weighed heavily on the global economy and it will remain a central foreign-policy challenge for President Obama or Mitt Romney, whichever man wins in November. The Obama administration has repeatedly urged eurozone countries to shift their focus from austerity to growth. This week, we're focusing on foreign policy issues facing the next administration.

And NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has this story on the eurozone.

At the center of the Chicago teachers' strike are Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the head of the teachers' union, Karen Lewis. To learn more about Lewis and the relationship between the teachers' union and the mayor's office, Audie Cornish talks to Joel Hood, education reporter at the Chicago Tribune.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're going to hear more now about the film that was, at least in part, the catalyst for the violence in Libya, as well as protests in Egypt. Some news outlets are saying the filmmaker has gone into hiding.

As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, very few people have actually seen the supposed two-hour movie, if it exists at all.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It didn't take long for the attacks in Benghazi and Cairo to become part of the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney jumped in first. In a statement last night before Ambassador Stevens' death had been announced, Romney accused President Obama of sympathizing with those who waged the assault. The Obama campaign responded, saying it was shocked that Romney would launch a, quote, "political attack" at this moment. And the politics have continued today as NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Every election season Republicans and Democrats tried to rally their base and to go after undecided voters. They're increasingly using the Internet in Get Out The Vote efforts.

NPR correspondent Shankar Vedantam, who reports on social science research, joins me now to talk about how Facebook could become a potent weapon in going after the biggest untapped voting bloc in the nation. Shankar, welcome.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.

BLOCK: Who are these mystery voters, this untapped voting bloc that we mentioned?

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