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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6:30pm

Wed June 12, 2013
All Tech Considered

Net Giants Try To Quell Users' Jitters About Their Data

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 7:00 pm

Google, like Facebook, Microsoft and other Internet companies, is concerned that data requests from U.S. surveillance agencies could ultimately damage its reputation in the U.S. and overseas.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Companies like Google and Facebook are very much caught in the middle of the current debate about national security and privacy. Press reports have said the companies are required to turn over huge amounts of customer data to government agencies like the National Security Agency, but the companies are often barred from saying anything publicly about the requests they receive.

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5:57pm

Wed June 12, 2013
The Salt

As Drought Turns To Flood, Farmers Get 'Weather Whiplash'

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:20 pm

A central Illinois farmer plants corn seed into the evening in Farmingdale, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

As Chris Webber checked the 40 acres of muddy field he wanted to plant on a recent morning, he worried about getting more rain, even as he worried about the lack of it.

"The drought is over at the moment," he says. "But in Missouri, we tend to say that in 10 days or two weeks, we can be in a drought again. That's how fast it can get back to dry."

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5:10pm

Wed June 12, 2013
The Summer of '63

Bob Dylan's Tribute To Medgar Evers Took On The Big Picture

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:20 pm

Bob Dylan performs at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. His set included "Only a Pawn in Their Game," which he would also play at the 1963 March on Washington.
Eyeneer

On this day 50 years ago — June 12, 1963 — Bob Dylan's career was just taking off when he heard the news that civil rights activist Medgar Evers had been assassinated. Dylan responded with a song that he eventually performed at the March on Washington and the Newport Folk Festival.

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5:08pm

Wed June 12, 2013
Sports

Hockey's Hottest Teams Hit The Ice In Stanley Cup Finals

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 7:03 pm

An oversized Chicago Blackhawks hockey helmet sits on one of the lion sculptures outside the entrance to the Art Institute of Chicago in celebration of the team's upcoming appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in Chicago. The Blackhawks host the Boston Bruins in Game 1 on Wednesday.
Scott Eisen AP

The National Hockey League's Stanley Cup championship gets underway in Chicago Wednesday night, with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins facing off in the first game of the best-of-seven series. It's a classic matchup between two of the NHL's original six teams.

Both teams are recent champs, which is helping passionate hockey fans and players put the bitter labor dispute that almost iced the season behind them.

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5:08pm

Wed June 12, 2013
Shots - Health News

In Arizona, An Unlikely Ally For Medicaid Expansion

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:20 pm

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, points during an intense conversation with President Obama after he arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Ariz. She has since made light of the incident in trying to rally support for a Medicaid expansion in the state.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

The Arizona Legislature is debating whether to extend Medicaid to about 300,000 people in the state. The expansion is a requirement to get federal funding under the Affordable Care Act.

The big surprise is who has been leading the charge: Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. She's one of President Obama's staunchest critics and has confounded conservatives in her own party by supporting the expansion.

Google the words "Brewer" and "Obama." You'll get a now-famous image of Brewer wagging her finger at the president on the tarmac last year when she met him in Phoenix.

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4:21pm

Wed June 12, 2013
Deceptive Cadence

A Loaded Bible Story, Tweaked For The Opera Stage

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:20 pm

Nathan Gunn and Sasha Cooke star in the new opera The Gospel of Mary Magdalene as Yeshua (the Hebrew name of Jesus) and the title character.
San Francisco Opera

Composer Mark Adamo has made beautiful music out of classic books. His Little Women is among the most produced American operas today. He also wrote the words and music for his operatic adaptation of Aristophanes' Greek drama Lysistrata.

His latest work, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, has proved more controversial. The opera, which premieres June 19 at the San Francisco Opera, tells the story of Mary, Jesus and his disciples.

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4:21pm

Wed June 12, 2013
Music Interviews

The National: 'We've Earned Our Stripes'

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 4:16 pm

The National's new album is titled Trouble Will Find Me.
Deirdre O'Callaghan Courtesy of the artist

When a band called The National made its debut more than a decade ago, it was considered an underdog in a busy independent music scene. The lead singer's melancholy baritone and the lush instrumentation didn't always fit the irony-laden swagger of the aughts. The National has endured, and these days it has a hard-won following. It headlines big concert halls and late-night talk shows.

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4:20pm

Wed June 12, 2013
Research News

AAA Study Finds Hands-Free Tech Dangerously Distracting

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:20 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The connected car promises voice-activated systems that let drivers dictate emails and texts, make a dinner reservation or update their Facebook page, all while behind the wheel. Some cars already have these options. Many more are on the way. Carmakers say it's safer than fiddling around with a smartphone.

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10:31am

Wed June 12, 2013
Parallels

Tallinn: The Former Soviet City That Gave Birth To Skype

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:20 pm

Residents of the Estonian capital of Tallinn can use public transportation for free after purchasing a special card for 2 euros.
Raigo Pajula AFP/Getty Images

The Baltic city of Tallinn hardly looks modern with its blend of medieval towers and Soviet-era architecture. Smoke-spewing buses and noisy streetcars look as if they have been plucked from the past.

Even so, the Estonian capital is one of the world's most technologically advanced cities. The birthplace of Skype has repeatedly been cited for its digital accomplishments. Last week, Tallinn once again made the short list of the world's most intelligent cities as selected by the Intelligent Community Forum.

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5:58pm

Tue June 11, 2013
It's All Politics

What Did Congress Really Know About NSA Tracking?

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:20 pm

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is among the lawmakers who say they were never briefed about the government's surveillance programs.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

If you're a member of Congress and you didn't know about the National Security Agency's phone records program before it was disclosed last week, President Obama has this to say to you: Where have you been?

"When it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program," Obama said to reporters last Friday.

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5:16pm

Tue June 11, 2013
Around the Nation

Massive Bat Cave Stirs Texas-Size Debate Over Development

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:28 pm

Millions of bats live in Bracken Cave, in a rural area near San Antonio. Conservationists are worried that plans for a multithousand-unit housing development will disrupt the bat colony.
Eric Gay AP

The Bracken Bat Cave, just north of San Antonio, is as rural as it gets. You have to drive down a long, 2-mile rocky road to reach it. There's nothing nearby — no lights, no running water. The only thing you hear are the katydids.

The cave houses a massive bat colony, as it has for an estimated 10,000 years. Bat Conservation International, the group that oversees the Bracken Cave Reserve, wants it to stay secluded, but the area's rural nature could change if a local developer's plan moves forward.

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5:08pm

Tue June 11, 2013
Shots - Health News

Administration's Plan For Morning-After Pill Pleases No One

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:20 pm

Plan B One-Step might be the only emergency contraceptive available to all ages without a prescription.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Reaction was swift to the Obama administration's announcement Monday night that it was dropping a long-running legal battle to keep age restrictions on one type of the morning-after birth control pill.

But like just about everything else in this decade-long controversy, the latest decision has pleased just about no one.

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5:07pm

Tue June 11, 2013
Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems

Can Federal Funds Help Social Service Groups Work Smarter?

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:20 pm

Jasmine Chestnut at her internship at the Center for American Progress in Washington. An at-risk student, Chestnut had almost given up on college when a nonprofit network supported by the government's Social Innovation Fund helped her get back on track.
Gabriella Demczuk NPR

When President Obama first took office in 2009, he had an idea called the Social Innovation Fund.

"We're going to use this fund to find the most promising nonprofits in America," he said when announcing the plan. "We'll examine their data and rigorously evaluate their outcomes. We'll invest in those with the best results that are the most likely to provide a good return on our taxpayer dollars."

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5:02pm

Tue June 11, 2013
U.S.

Border Drones Fly Into Fight Over Immigration

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:21 pm

A Predator drone operated by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine taxis for a flight over southern Arizona near the Mexican border on March 7 from Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Ariz.
John Moore Getty Images

The runways at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., are busy. This is where the Army tests its military drones, where it trains its drone pilots, and where four Customs and Border Protection drones take off and land.

From here, the CBP drones survey the Arizona-Mexico border — mainly looking for immigrants and drug smugglers.

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4:51pm

Tue June 11, 2013
Monkey See

What Kids Are Reading, In School And Out

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:11 pm

iStockphoto.com

Walk into any bookstore or library, and you'll find shelves and shelves of hugely popular novels and book series for kids. But research shows that as young readers get older, they are not moving to more complex books. High-schoolers are reading books written for younger kids, and teachers aren't assigning difficult classics as much as they once did.

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