All Things Considered

Weekdays at 4pm
Robert Siegel, Michele Norris, and Melissa Block

This program presents a trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features. It rings with the disparate voices of its commentators, from veteran analyst Daniel Schorr and storyteller Kevin Kling to poet Andrei Codrescu. It hums with the distinctive music that threads between reports -- music collected in the online program All Songs Considered. And by the time All Things Considered marked its 30th anniversary on the air, the program had earned many of journalism's highest honors, including the Peabody, DuPont and Overseas Press Club awards.

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5:12pm

Thu October 10, 2013
Around the Nation

Furloughed FDA Worker Hits The Streets To Drum Up Extra Cash

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

Furloughed FDA worker Jonathan Derr drums outside a Washington, D.C., Metro station to earn cash during the government shutdown
Karen Zamora/NPR

Ten days into the partial government shutdown, the estimated 800,000 furloughed federal workers have got to be feeling a bit stir crazy.

Congress has agreed to pay back the furloughed workers for the time they are shut out of the office, so for some it's like an unexpected, but paid, vacation of indeterminate length. But the more than a week of shutdown definitely means going without that cash in the short term. And for some of those workers with less of a financial cushion, that means getting creative.

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3:55pm

Thu October 10, 2013
NPR's Backseat Book Club

After Getting 'Plunked' On The Head, A Little Leaguer Makes A Comeback

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

In the 12 years that Michael Northrop spent working at Sports Illustrated Kids, he met excellent athletes who had a lot more going on in their lives than just sports.

"They were young athletes, but they were also kids, so I didn't want to forget about that," he tells NPR's Michele Norris.

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2:03pm

Thu October 10, 2013
Music News

A Young Torchbearer Lights The Way For New Orleans Music Students

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

Trombone Shorty, aka Troy Andrews, has started a foundation dedicated to music education in New Orleans.
Jonathan Mannion Courtesy of the artist

In New Orleans, it's cool to be in the high school band β€” especially when Trombone Shorty shows up in the band room.

The brass player and bandleader recently paid a visit to New Orleans' Warren Easton High School to work with band members. It's part of his work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation, a music education initiative.

"[Trombone Shorty] is, without a doubt, the role model for the next generation right now," says Bill Taylor, the foundation's executive director.

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6:51pm

Wed October 9, 2013
It's All Politics

GOP Shutdown Strategy Gives House A Twilight Zone Feel

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., holds a news conference Oct. 3 with the GOP Doctors Caucus β€” members of the House who are medical professionals by training β€” to talk about how the government shutdown is affecting medical research.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

With little progress being made to resolve the government shutdown, House Republicans have decided on a piecemeal strategy.

They have been voting to reopen small pieces of the government β€” for example, on Wednesday, they approved bills paying for the Federal Aviation Administration and for death benefits to the families of service members.

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5:37pm

Wed October 9, 2013
Youth Radio

High Schools Struggle To Tackle Safety On The Football Field

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:41 pm

Football practice at Castro Valley High School in California. Proper hitting technique requires players to keep their heads up to prevent neck injuries and concussions.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

The NFL adopted a new rule this season that makes it illegal for players to hit with the crown of their helmet. In other words, ramming your head into someone.

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5:37pm

Wed October 9, 2013
Book Reviews

A Coming Of Age Story For The (Ice) Ages

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. A new novel explores life on Earth tens of thousands of years ago. It's called "Shaman" by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, says it's worthy of a spot on the bookshelf between "The Inheritors" and "The Clan Of The Cave Bear."

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4:22pm

Wed October 9, 2013
It's All Politics

Could A Democrat Become Governor In Texas?

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:44 pm

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democratic candidate for governor, speaks at a rally in Haltom City on Oct. 3.
LM Otero AP

In 2014, Texas voters might just see something they haven't experienced in two decades β€” a competitive race for governor.

Current Republican Gov. Rick Perry isn't running for re-election, so it's an open race, with new faces and new optimism for Texas Democrats.

Earlier this year, the Democrats were once again facing the prospect of scrambling to find someone to run as their candidate. Then, on June 25, state Sen. Wendy Davis came to the Capitol in Austin wearing running shoes and ready to block a restrictive abortion bill.

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7:24pm

Tue October 8, 2013
NPR Story

White House: Obama To Tap Janet Yellen For Fed Chair

The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama will nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve Wednesday. She would replace Ben Bernanke, who's stepping down from the post. Yellen has been the presumptive nominee for weeks, after Lawrence Summers announced his intention to remove himself from the running in September. She'd be the first woman to head the Fed.

6:43pm

Tue October 8, 2013
Religion

Imam: 'We Can't Imagine' The Beauty Of Paradise After Death

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:26 am

A St. Louis-area imam spoke with NPR about what Muslims believe about life after death.
iStockphoto.com

This week, All Things Considered is talking with leaders from different faiths about their perspectives on the afterlife. NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Mufti Asif Umar, a Muslim scholar and imam of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, about what Muslims believe and about his own beliefs.

Umar, the 29-year-old son of Indian immigrants, said Muslims believe that when a person dies, two angels appear and ask that person three questions about his or her faith. Those questions, Umar says, have correct answers.

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4:40pm

Tue October 8, 2013
Parallels

Asian Allies' Anxieties Rise Amid Washington Paralysis

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

President Obama listens as Chinese President Xi Jinping answers a question after a bilateral meeting in California on June 7.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has all sorts of costs β€” not only in the United States, but also overseas. President Obama had to cancel a trip this week to visit four nations in Asia so he could stay in Washington to deal with the political crisis. That has disappointed β€” even worried β€” some of America's friends in the region, who are counting on the United States to stand up to an increasingly assertive China.

The disappointment over the president's no-show in Asia was palpable.

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4:36pm

Tue October 8, 2013
Environment

Flood Forensics: Why Colorado's Floods Were So Destructive

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:25 am

Flooding brought down a house in Jamestown, Colo., on Sept. 18.
Matthew Staver Landov

Parts of Colorado are still drying out after floods hit the state last month. Eight people died, and damage from the worst flooding in decades is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Scientists are now venturing into the hardest-hit areas to do a sort of "flood forensics" to understand why the floods were so bad.

Geologist Jonathan Godt takes Peak Highway in northern Colorado up into the Rockies. The road there winds past ravines and streams where water is still rushing.

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4:36pm

Tue October 8, 2013
Deceptive Cadence

Verdi's Gift: Wringing Catchy Music From Touchy Subjects

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

In his operas, Giuseppe Verdi had a knack for empowering marginalized people β€” like the title character of Aida, who is an enslaved Ethiopian princess (played in this 2011 French production by American soprano Indra Thomas).
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Two hundred years ago this week, Giuseppe Verdi was born in an Italian town midway between Bologna and Milan. On the occasion of his bicentennial, All Things Considered wanted to know what makes the great opera composer so enduring β€” why his work is still so frequently discussed and performed these two centuries later. The answer, says conductor and arranger John Mauceri, is that Verdi had a knack for making thorny topics accessible.

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5:51pm

Mon October 7, 2013
Religion

To Pastor, Afterlife Is Where We 'Learn To Live Together'

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:39 pm

Detail of the central compartment of The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, completed in 1432 by Jan van Eyck, where pilgrims gather to pay homage to the lamb of God. Many art historians interpret the painting's fountain as a symbol of eternal life.
DEA Picture Library De Agostini/Getty Images

A majority of Americans from all walks of life believe in life after death. Yet conversations about the afterlife β€” from what it might look and feel like to who else one may find there β€” often remain highly personal ones, shared with family members, clergy or others who share one's faith.

To better understand how many Americans conceive of the afterlife, All Things Considered has spoken with leaders from different faith traditions on their views on life after death.

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5:51pm

Mon October 7, 2013
The Government Shutdown

Even Antarctica Feels Effects Of The Government Shutdown

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:50 pm

A helicopter is unloaded from an LC-130 in Antarctica last December. Researchers on this mission were studying the Pine Island Glacier, one of the fastest-receding glaciers on the continent.
August Allen National Science Foundation

It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.

That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.

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5:51pm

Mon October 7, 2013
Politics

Raids Project Presidential Power Amid Shutdown's Gridlock

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:50 pm

President Obama arrives to speak about the government shutdown at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Response Coordination Center on Monday.
Shawn Thew-Pool Getty Images

The American system of government was built on gridlock. Yet even by that standard, this past week has demonstrated new levels of immobility.

So the special forces operations carried out in Libya and Somalia over the weekend were a bracing change. President Obama decided to do something β€” and it happened.

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