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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5:08pm

Thu August 22, 2013
Economy

Unemployment Claims Drop To Pre-Recession Levels

More than 330,000 people filed new claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week. That sounds like a big number — and is a slight increase over the previous week — but it's being taken as some very good news. For a month, now, fewer new people are asking for unemployment insurance than at any time since November, 2007. That's before the Great Recession.

4:41pm

Thu August 22, 2013
The Salt

Reviving An Heirloom Corn That Packs More Flavor And Nutrition

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 8:35 am

The heirloom corn variety has only eight rows of kernels and hence, its name: New England Eight Row Flint.
Courtesy of Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

One day about eight years ago, chef Dan Barber of the famed Blue Hill restaurant at Stone Barns in the Hudson River Valley got a FedEx package from someone he didn't know.

Inside were two ears of corn. And a letter.

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12:11pm

Thu August 22, 2013
Music News

A Unique Digital Music Service, For Locals Only

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 1:30 pm

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios reviews recently donated CDs. Paulios says donations of old music give the library greater freedom to purchase new stuff, as well as license digital versions directly from smaller artists.
Clay Masters

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios pulls out his smartphone, enters his library-card number and begins downloading an album by local metal band Blizzard at Sea.

"So it's extracting now," he says, eyes on the screen. "It's at about 90 percent."

The download takes about five minutes to complete. Paulios says it's a great way to check out local music: You could be waiting for a concert to start, download an album by the band you're about to see and then listen to it on the way home.

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5:59pm

Wed August 21, 2013
The Salt

Inside The Beef Industry's Battle Over Growth-Promotion Drugs

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 4:39 pm

Beef cattle stand in a barn on the Larson Farms feedlot in Maple Park, Ill.
Daniel Acker Landov

When the drug company Merck Animal Health announced plans to suspend sales of its Zilmax feed additive last week, many observers were shocked.

Yet concern about Zilmax and the class of growth-promotion drugs called beta agonists has been building for some time. In an interesting twist, the decisive pressure on Zilmax did not come from animal welfare groups or government regulators: It emerged from within the beef industry itself, and from academic experts who have long worked as consultants to the industry.

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5:50pm

Wed August 21, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Heads Back To School To Talk College Affordability

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 6:51 pm

President Obama steps off his bus, nicknamed "Ground Force One," as he arrives for breakfast at the Ossorio Bakery and Cafe in Cocoa, Fla., during a two-day bus tour last year.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

It's back-to-school season for college students — and President Obama plans to be right there with them.

The president will spend the next two days on a bus tour of New York and Pennsylvania that includes stops at three colleges and a high school. At each stop, he'll be talking about ways to make college more affordable.

The president's big black bus will make its first stop at the University at Buffalo on Thursday — the same day incoming freshmen will be moving in, hauling suitcases and mini-refrigerators.

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5:38pm

Wed August 21, 2013
Around the Nation

VA Still Under Pressure To Reduce Disability Claim Backlog

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

For years, the backlog of disability claims for veterans has been fodder for politicians, pundits and even comedians, like Jon Stewart.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART")

JON STEWART: And paper disability records still undigitized and piled up so high that the floor of one VA field office is going to collapse.

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4:05pm

Wed August 21, 2013
Book Reviews

'Things Falling' Is A Potboiler, But One That's Set To Simmer

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 6:38 pm

Juan Gabriel Vasquez is also the author of The Informers.
Hermance Triay

Colombia. The drug trade. Multiple plane crashes, drive-by shootings, Peace Corps hippies who peddle drugs, and an actual hippo on the loose. Despite all of that, there's actually not much plot to this novel. This is more of a metaphysical detective story where cause and effect can be difficult to pin down — a book where the events that matter most occur inside the characters.

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3:35pm

Wed August 21, 2013
Animals

On A Rocky Maine Island, Puffins Are Making A Tenuous Comeback

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 8:12 pm

A puffin prepares to land with a bill full of fish on Eastern Egg Rock, off the Maine coast in July. Last year young puffins died at an alarming rate from starvation because of a shortage of herring.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Rocky, windswept Eastern Egg Rock, about 6 miles off the coast of Maine, was once a haven for a hugely diverse bird population. But in the 1800s, fishermen decimated the birds' ranks — for food and for feathers.

When ornithologist Stephen Kress first visited 40 years ago, the 7-acre island was nearly barren, with only grass and gulls left. Not a puffin in sight. Not even an old puffin bone.

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2:36pm

Wed August 21, 2013
Parallels

Panning For Gold In South Sudan, A Gram At A Time

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 7:08 pm

South Sudanese pan for gold in Nanakanak, in the eastern part of the impoverished country. Tens of thousands of informal miners are looking for gold, and the government is trying to attract international mining companies to carry out the search on an industrial scale.
Hannah McNeish AFP/Getty Images

Digging a trench under the punishing midday sun, Thomas Lokinga stops only when he needs to wipe the sweat from his face. He is determined to find a nugget of gold amid the hard-baked ground in Nanakanak, in the eastern part of South Sudan, the world's newest nation.

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2:31pm

Wed August 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Journey Of The Ring: Lost In WWII, Now Back With POW's Son

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:11 am

The ring that finally found its way home after nearly 70 years. David Cox, an American pilot, traded it for some food while he was a prisoner of war in Germany.
Courtesy of Norwood McDowell
  • David Cox Jr. talks with NPR's Melissa Block about the journey of his father's ring
  • David Cox Jr. talks with NPR's Melissa Block about how his father would have loved getting his ring back

"I can't touch it or pick it up without thinking about him and I can't pick it up without thinking about this journey of the ring."

That's David C. Cox Jr. of North Carolina talking Wednesday about the rather amazing saga of the ring his father had to trade for food in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II — a ring that has now made it back to the Cox family after seven decades.

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2:23pm

Wed August 21, 2013
Code Switch

Summer Of '63: Old Lessons For A New Movement

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 6:38 pm

Participants in the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride sit on a bus that will travel from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2003.
J. Emilio Flores Getty Images

All this summer, NPR is looking back to civil rights activism of 1963, marking the 50th anniversary of a number of events that changed our society. From the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Mississippi to the March on Washington; NPR is remembering the past and examining how our society has changed.

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5:22pm

Tue August 20, 2013
Shots - Health News

Fla. Balks At Insurance Navigators As Obamacare Deadline Nears

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 10:02 pm

The federal government has awarded about $67 million in grants to groups around the country that will help people shop for health coverage. But Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the guidelines for these so-called navigators are inadequate.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

A key part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect on Oct. 1. That's when Americans shopping for health insurance can begin enrolling in the program.

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5:22pm

Tue August 20, 2013
Around the Nation

Crews Battling Massive Idaho Fire Settle In For A Long Fight

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Fire managers in Idaho say they may be turning the corner on a massive wildfire near the resort towns of Ketchum and Sun Valley. The Beaver Creek fire has caused more than 11-and-a-half million dollars and forced mandatory evacuations of more than 2,000 homes. Sadie Babits of Boise State Public Radio reports.

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5:22pm

Tue August 20, 2013
Education

What's Behind The Turnaround At Miami Public Schools?

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For years, Miami-Dade County Public Schools faced problems common to many urban schools: low attendance, high dropout rates, poor grades. But since 2008, Alberto Carvalho has been in charge of the nation's fourth largest school district, and there've been some noticeable improvements in Miami schools. More students are graduating, fewer are dropping out, test scores are up and the district's budget crisis has faded.

NPR's Claudio Sanchez has this profile of the man some call a miracle worker.

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5:22pm

Tue August 20, 2013
Around the Nation

Calls Continue For San Diego Mayor To Step Down

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

San Diego's embattled mayor Bob Filner has wrapped up a second day of closed-door mediation to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. Meanwhile, the debate continues among the city's voters about what should happen to the mayor. NPR's Nathan Rott reports while many want to see Filner resign, others are pleading for patience.

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