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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4:49pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Interviews

The Man Who Jump-Started Presidential Debates

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:11 pm

Vice President Richard Nixon listens as Sen. John F. Kennedy talks during their televised presidential race debate. This photo was made from a television screen in New York, Oct. 21, 1960.
AP

President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are prepping for Wednesday's presidential debate. It's a well-worn tradition now, but it wasn't always that way.

The 1960 Kennedy-Nixon face-off wasn't just the first televised presidential debate, it was also the first presidential debate in more than a century.

Four years earlier, a young German emigre named Fred Kahn, a student at the University of Maryland, wanted to see whether the nominees — Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson — might want to engage with students.

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4:42pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Music

Son Jarocho, The Sound Of Veracruz

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 10:56 pm

Las Cafeteras, from Los Angeles, have made their own version of the classic son jarocho song "La Bamba."
Courtesy of the artist

Betto Arcos is the host of Global Village, a world music show on KPFK in Los Angeles, and a native of Xalapa, capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz. He recently spoke with Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about son jarocho — a style of music played mostly in the south of his home state. He says the music is so vibrant because it comes from the Caribbean side of Mexico and has all the influences of that region: African, indigenous and Spanish.

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3:51pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Author Interviews

From Tea To T-Shirts: The History Of U.S.-China Trade

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:25 pm

You probably don't give much thought to the phrase "Made in China" when you see it written on the bottom of your coffee mug, or on the tag of your T-shirt, but Americans have traded with China for hundreds of years.

In his new book, When America First Met China, Eric Jay Dolin takes us back to the beginning of the long and complicated trade relationship between the two countries.

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2:43pm

Sun September 30, 2012
Politics

Being 'Better Off' May Not Be Enough To Win Colo.

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:11 pm

President Obama speaks during a campaign event at University of Colorado Boulder Sept. 2. He and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will have their first debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.

The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.

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7:05pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Presidential Race

Ohio County A Historic Predictor Of State's Vote

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 8:35 pm

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney both campaigned in the battleground state of Ohio this week.
AP

President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney both barnstormed Ohio this week, holding rallies just miles apart in the state's northwest. Obama's event was smack in the middle of Wood County, with Romney's just north.

The county may have a population of only 125,000, but it has an outsized importance in presidential elections.

"Since 1960, [Wood County] has predicted every election except for one," says Wood County GOP Chairman Matt Reger. "I think that it is a microcosm of Ohio, which in some parts is a microcosm of the United States."

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7:05pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Remembrances

Sulzberger Ushered 'Times' Into New Era

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 2:52 pm

Former New York Times president and publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, center, died on Saturday. He was 86.
Marty Lederhandler AP

The quiet man who modernized The New York Times over more than three decades and stubbornly defended the press against government interference died early Saturday at his home in Long Island.

Former publisher and Times Company chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger Sr. had suffered from Parkinson's disease. He was 86.

Sulzberger's family had owned the Times since 1896, and he was named publisher when his brother-in-law, Orvil Dryfoos, died unexpectedly in 1963.

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5:31pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Technology

QR Codes For Headstones Keep Dearly Departed Close

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:02 am

Lorie Miller holds the brass QR code for her grandmother's gravestone. Smartphone users who scan it will be directed to an online tribute.
Emma Lee Newsworks

Lorie Miller bends over her grandparents' grave in north Philadelphia. She holds a two-inch brass square she's going to attach next to the headstone's names and dates.

Printed onto that square is a QR code — that square digital bar code you can scan with a smartphone. Miller peels off the back of her square to expose the adhesive and pushes it into place. The headstone, which otherwise looks the same as many others around it, has just jumped into the modern age.

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5:02pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Politics

What Winning The 'Catholic Vote' Means Today

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 7:05 pm

Archbishop John J. Myers stands outside Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. The archbishop has urged followers to assess the presidential candidates for their views on abortion and gay marriage.
Mel Evans AP

Since 1972, every single presidential candidate who has won the popular vote has also won the Catholic vote. But with Catholics making up one in every four voters, pinning down what exactly the Catholic vote is becomes tricky.

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4:28pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Author Interviews

Actor Robby Benson Is 'Not Dead ... Yet!'

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 11:34 am

Robby Benson began his career at the age of 12, on the Broadway stage, and became a teen heartthrob in the '70s, starring in films such as Ode To Billy Joe, Ice Castles and One on One, which he co-wrote. He was also the voice behind the Beast in the 1991 Disney film, Beauty and the Beast.

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12:03pm

Sat September 29, 2012
Music Interviews

After A Dozen-Year Disappearance, Ben Folds Five Is Back

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 7:05 pm

Ben Folds Five (from left): Robert Sledge, Darren Jessee and Ben Folds.
Autumn de Wilde Courtesy of the artist

In the early '90s, Ben Folds Five achieved underground success by playing the college circuit, selling out small clubs all across the country.

That all changed with the success of its 1997 album Whatever and Ever Amen. Its hit single "Brick" went to No. 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks list, only the second single in the band's history to chart.

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6:31pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Afghanistan

Can't Change Your Money In Iran? Try Afghanistan

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

A money-changer in the Afghan city of Herat counts a stack of Iranian bills. More and more Iranian currency is being brought in by smugglers to exchange for dollars, which then go back to Iran.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson NPR

The western Afghan city of Herat has become a thriving hub for the money exchange business, a consequence of geography and politics. Money-changers throng the currency market carrying thick stacks of Iranian currency, much of it brought in by the hundreds of thousands of Afghan workers who earn their living in Iran.

While the stacks of crisp 100,000 rial notes that money-changers bring to the market might look like a small fortune, the 10 million rials in each of these stacks is worth less than $400, because the Iranian currency recently lost more than half of its value.

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6:16pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Presidential Race

In Ohio, China's A Top Campaigning Point

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

According to Bloomberg, President Obama and Mitt Romney have aired nearly 30,000 TV spots addressing the issue of trade with China, and that's just in the past month. Many of those ads aired in Ohio where both candidates are spending a lot of time. NPR's Sonari Glinton explains the Ohio-China nexus.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: If there's a boogeyman in the Ohio presidential sweepstakes, it's China.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

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6:15pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Politics

In Presidential Ads, A Shared Strategy For Connection

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 6:29 pm

President Obama and Mitt Romney campaign in August: Obama in Leesburg, Va.; Romney in Waukesha, Wis.
AP

6:15pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Afghanistan

Iran Turns To Afghanistan When Laundering Money

There may be international sanctions against Iran, but not in Afghanistan's border provinces with the Islamic Republic where trade and money-laundering are thriving. Every day, millions in Iranian currency are brought in by taxis ferrying passengers. The Iranian money is exchanged for dollars, which are then shipped back to Iran. American officials recently ordered the Afghan banks to crack down on this phenomenon and it appears to be having some effect.

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5:12pm

Fri September 28, 2012
World

The Tricky Business Of Reintegrating The Taliban

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 5:59 pm

Former Taliban fighters display their weapons as they join Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province on Sept. 18.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

In an attempt to put down the insurgency in Afghanistan, the international community has spent millions to try to reintegrate former Taliban fighters and other militants back into society.

So how well has it worked?

Critics like Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network say many militants use these programs to gain access to arms and money, without necessarily changing their ways.

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