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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1:01pm

Wed December 12, 2012
Business

Chinese Firm Buys Massachusetts Tech Company

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Late today a federal bankruptcy judge gave the nod to a Chinese firm to buy a Massachusetts technology company. A123 Systems makes batteries for electric cars, but some in Congress are fighting to block the deal. Curt Nickisch reports from member station WBUR in Boston.

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9:34pm

Tue December 11, 2012
NPR Story

N. Korea Fires Long-Range Rocket

North Korea appears to have taken a step forward in its long-range missile program. The country has fired a long-range rocket in spite of warnings from the U.S. and the United Nations.

5:44pm

Tue December 11, 2012
It's All Politics

'Paris Hilton Tax' Vs. 'Death Tax': A Lesser-Known Fiscal Debate

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Ben Franklin famously observed that nothing is certain but death and taxes.

So far, Congress hasn't repealed the former, but the future of estate taxes — a largely overlooked piece of the "fiscal cliff" — remains uncertain as this year draws to a close.

Until now, most of the year-end tax debate has focused on the income tax, but another battle could be brewing over estate taxes.

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5:20pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Middle East

U.S. Doctors Provide Supplies, Training To Syrians

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Dr. Mazen Kewara, an American vascular surgeon, trains Syrian doctors during a workshop in Antakya,Turkey.
Deborah Amos NPR

Syria's health care system is collapsing after 21 months of revolt. According to a new report by the World Health Organization, half of the country's public hospitals have been destroyed in the fighting.

Pharmacies are running out of medicine for even the most basic care. In rebel-controlled areas, field clinics and hospitals are overwhelmed. A group of Syrian-American doctors has stepped in to help, bringing in crucial supplies and providing training.

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4:20pm

Tue December 11, 2012
World

Spain's Civil Servants Draw Grumbles, And Envy

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:54 pm

People queue up at a government job center in Madrid this month. The unemployment rate in Spain now tops 25 percent, but many government workers still enjoy job security and higher wages than their private sector counterparts.
Daniel Ochoa De Olza AP

Antonio, Domingo and Pepe are old friends in their late 40s and 50s. All unemployed, they meet most mornings for coffee and cigarettes in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square and rant about the government.

The nation's civil service is a particularly attractive target. The men grumble about what they imagine is the life of a government worker — long coffee breaks, siestas and lots of paid time off.

"They earn much more than they're worth," Antonio says. "That's something that's got to change. They earn a lot, and they hardly do anything."

Jobs For Life

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3:24pm

Tue December 11, 2012
U.S.

In Freedom, Ex-Felon Becomes Probation Counselor

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Clark Porter was 17 when he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for robbing a downtown post office at gunpoint. He spent 15 years in prison and today helps some of the toughest ex-offenders turn their lives around.
Courtesy of Washington Universtiy in St. Louis

Every weekday, Clark Porter, a tall man with a sturdy build, walks into the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis to work with tough ex-offenders. On the outside, he wears a suit and tie. But on the inside, he has more in common with the former felons than most.

Back in 1986, a skinny 17-year-old Porter went on trial there as an adult for robbing a post office at gunpoint. His sentence: 35 years.

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3:13pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Music Reviews

Bruno Mars Goes Anyplace And Everyplace On 'Jukebox'

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Bruno Mars draws inspiration from across the pop landscape on his second album, Unorthodox Jukebox.
Courtesy of the artist

8:44pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Business

HSBC Reaches $1.9B Deal Over Money Laundering

HSBC bank has reached a record $1.9 billion settlement with federal and state authorities over money laundering. All Things Considered host Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Jim Zarroli.

5:55pm

Mon December 10, 2012
It's All Politics

DeMint And Heritage: Playing Off Each Other's Strengths

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:44 pm

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., talks on the phone in his Capitol Hill office on Dec. 6, the day he announced he will resign from the Senate and lead the Heritage Foundation.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., shocked Washington last week when he announced that he will quit the Senate to become president of a think tank. But as the barriers crumble between policy research and partisan advocacy, the building blocks are there for DeMint and the conservative Heritage Foundation to build a powerful operation with political clout.

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5:26pm

Mon December 10, 2012
The Record

Remembering Banda Diva Jenni Rivera

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:44 pm

Jenni Rivera performs at the Lilith Fair in 2010 in San Diego.
David Bergman Getty Images

To listen to Mandalit del Barco's appreciation of Jenni Rivera's life and career, as heard on All Things Considered, click the audio link.

Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera died Sunday in an airplane that crashed in the early hours of the morning in Toluca, west of Mexico's capital. The legendary musician, household name and feminist presence in the Latin music scene was 43.

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5:24pm

Mon December 10, 2012
National Security

The World In 2030: Asia Rises, The West Declines

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:44 pm

The National Intelligence Council's Global Trends 2030 report predicts that by the year 2030, a majority of the world's population will be out of poverty.
iStockphoto

By the year 2030, for the first time in history, a majority of the world's population will be out of poverty. Middle classes will be the most important social and economic sector. Asia will enjoy the global power status it last had in the Middle Ages, while the 350-year rise of the West will be largely reversed. Global leadership may be shared, and the world is likely to be democratizing.

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4:25pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Politics

Raising Taxes A Key Sticking Point In Fiscal Cliff Talks

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And if past negotiations are any indication, that silence could mean the talks are going well. We're joined now by NPR's congressional reporter Tamara Keith, who has been following developments on the Hill and beyond. And as Ari just said, neither side is talking about the details, but Tamara, what are they saying?

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4:23pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Digital Life

Social Media Advice: Sending Holiday Cards

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, from eShopping to eCards. That's this week's topic for our social media experts Baratunde Thurston, former digital director at The Onion and author of the book "How to Be Black," and Deanna Zandt. She's the author of "Share This: How You Will Change the World with Social Networking." When it comes to sending a holiday card, snail mail or email?

BARATUNDE THURSTON: So I actually prefer eCards.

DEANNA ZANDT: Really?

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3:42pm

Mon December 10, 2012
The Two-Way

The Feds Can Tell Ernest Hemingway's Cats What To Do; Here's Why

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 11:06 am

Cats were everywhere. Fifty or so of them. In the house. On the lawn. Sunning themselves on the wall surrounding the property.

Most were six-toed — making them polydactyls. That's different. The cats you usually see have five toes on each paw in the front. Four on each in the back.

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2:52pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Asia

Hunger Still Haunts North Korea, Citizens Say

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:44 pm

The U.N. says food supplies in North Korea have increased, but citizens who spoke to NPR say many people are going hungry. In this photo from Aug. 13, workers stand next to a field that was damaged by flooding in Songchon County, North Korea.
David Guttenfelder AP

While North Korea has long struggled with dire food shortages, the United Nations now assesses its food situation as being the best in many years. But NPR has had unusual access to five North Koreans in China, who paint a dramatically different, and alarming, picture.

Even as North Korea mourned its leader Kim Jong Il last December, one surprising thing was on people's minds: fish. State-run television showed people lining up in shops; the dear leader's last wish, apparently, was to provide fish to his people.

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