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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12:48pm

Tue July 17, 2012
NPR News Investigations

Calculating The Value Of Human Tissue Donation

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 9:11 pm

Chris Truitt holds a photo of his daughter, Alyssa, who died when she was 2, at his home in De Forest Wis. After donating her organs and tissues, he decided on a career change that made him rethink tissue donation.
Narayan Mahon for NPR

Part 1 of a four-part series

The story of how Chris Truitt went from being a tissue industry insider to an industry skeptic starts with a family tragedy.

In 1999, his 2-year-old daughter, Alyssa, died of a sudden health complication. Truitt and his wife, Holly, donated their daughter's organs and tissue, which saved the life of another young girl, Kaylin Arrowood.

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12:22pm

Tue July 17, 2012
Afghanistan

Old Mines Bring New Casualties In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:01 pm

An Afghan man rests after walking on his new artificial leg at the International Committee for the Red Cross Ortho Center in the eastern city of Jalalabad, last month. Many Afghans continue to be injured by mines.
Rahmat Gul AP

Windblown villages of mud houses surround the huge Bagram Airfield north of Kabul. These poor villagers make a living in ways that can also kill them: They graze their animals or forage for scrap metal — often on a NATO firing range.

The East River Range dates to the 1980s, when the Soviet army occupied Afghanistan. It's full of mines, grenades and other ordnance that should have detonated during training exercises over the years. It sprawls along a mountainside and grazing areas. It's poorly marked, and only small sections are clearly identified by signs and concrete barriers.

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6:10pm

Mon July 16, 2012
The Record

Kitty Wells, Pioneering Country Singer, Dies

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:29 pm

A studio portrait of Kitty Wells in the mid-'70s.
Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images

Kitty Wells revolutionized country music by becoming its first big female solo star. Wells died today at home in Nashville, Tenn., of complications from a stroke. She was 92 years old.

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5:31pm

Mon July 16, 2012
Money & Politics

New Romney Fund Highlights Fundraising Muscle

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 3:30 pm

Mitt Romney arrives at the Utah Olympic Park for a private dinner during a donor's conference in Park City, Utah, on June 22.
Charles Dharapak AP

Republican Mitt Romney's presidential campaign says a recently formed arm of the organization collected more than $10 million a week during a three-month period this spring. And most of the money care from high-end donors.

Romney Victory Inc., got its first four contributions on April 6 — three donations of $50,000 each and one check for $350. Since early April, it's pulled in $140 million.

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5:04pm

Mon July 16, 2012
Science

Can Science Plant Brain Seeds That Make You Vote?

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:03 pm

Adam Cole NPR

In 2008, just a few days before the Democratic presidential primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, a large group of Pennsylvania voters got a very unusual phone call.

It was one of those get-out-the-vote reminder calls that people get every election cycle, but in addition to the bland exhortations about the importance of the election, potential voters were asked a series of carefully constructed questions:

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4:39pm

Mon July 16, 2012
Middle East

A Syrian Defector Confronts A Sectarian Divide

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 8:16 pm

Syria's ongoing fighting is increasingly a sectarian conflict with the majority Sunni Muslims facing off against the Alawites who make up most of the country's ruling elite. Here, government opponents rally in the northern town of Mareh on June 29.
Vedat Xhymshit AFP/Getty Images

The violence in Syria is increasingly being called a civil war, and it can also be called a sectarian war, because much of the fighting pits the majority Sunni Muslims against the minority Alawites who make up much of the country's leadership.

Yet not everyone fits neatly into a category. There are some Alawites who have joined the uprising.

One 30-year-old Alawite man, who doesn't want his name revealed, is nervous as he lights another cigarette and tells the story of how he came to side with the opposition and turned his back on the Alawite rulers.

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4:25pm

Mon July 16, 2012
Economy

Call Me Maybe When Your School Loan Is Paid In Full

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:12 pm

Some young adults say their student loan debt affects their dating and marriage potential. A few have had partners break up with them over debt, while other couples forge ahead, but keep finances separate and avoid legal marriage.
iStockphoto.com

The increasing debt load of college graduates has affected young people's lives in untold ways, from career choices to living arrangements. Now add another impact on a key part of young adult life: dating and marriage.

Rachel Bingham, an art teacher in Portland, Maine, learned this a few years back, when a guy broke it off after four months of a budding relationship. Among other reasons, he cited her $80,000 in student loan debt.

"He said it scared him," she recalls, "that it really made him anxious. And he just did not want to take on my responsibility."

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4:06pm

Mon July 16, 2012
Law

Even Scalia's Dissenting Opinions Get Major Scrutiny

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 10:01 pm

Justice Antonin Scalia testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 5, 2011.
Alex Wong Getty Images

As legal observers have sifted through the ashes and the tea leaves of the recent Supreme Court term, one justice has stood out for his dissents.

Justice Antonin Scalia was the first name on the joint dissent filed by four justices in the health care case. But it was Scalia's dissent in the Arizona immigration case, written for himself alone, that drew particular attention, and especially harsh criticism.

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2:27pm

Mon July 16, 2012
Africa

Kenya's Free Schools Bring A Torrent Of Students

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:22 pm

Kenya's attempt at universal education faces multiple challenges. In many rural areas, families want their kids to work during the day. At this school in central Kenya, Samburu kids who herd the family livestock are now taking classes in the evening.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Parents of U.S. students often complain about things like too many standardized tests or unhealthful school lunches. Kenya wishes it had such problems.

Kenya dropped or greatly reduced fees at public schools nearly a decade ago in an effort to make education available to all children. On one level, it's been a success — school attendance has soared. Yet this has also exacerbated chronic problems that include shortages of qualified teachers, books, desks and just about every other basic need.

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5:44pm

Sun July 15, 2012
Movie Interviews

'Dark Knight Rises,' But Saga Ends For Director Nolan

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 8:05 pm

Christopher Nolan on the set of The Dark Knight Rises, drawing some Batman graffiti.
Ron Phillips Warner Bros. Pictures

The new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, is perhaps the most anticipated movie of the summer. It's the last film in the Batman trilogy that writer-director Christopher Nolan has crafted over the past 7 years.

Nolan wanted The Dark Knight Rises, which will be released in theaters July 20, to feel like a historical epic. As he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, he looked to films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis, David Lean's Dr. Zhivago, and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

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5:37pm

Sun July 15, 2012
Environment

From Coal To Gas: The Potential Risks And Rewards

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 8:58 am

Oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to coax out oil and gas has led to a natural gas boom, but some remain concerned of the potential environmental impact.
Orlin Wagner AP

This past week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report linking climate change to some of the extreme weather events of 2011, like the devastating drought in Texas and record high temperatures in Britain.

None of this bodes well for the future, but there is a glimmer of hope. It turns out that U.S. carbon emissions are down nearly 8 percent since 2006.

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5:35pm

Sun July 15, 2012
News

Who Killed Jean McConville? A Battle For IRA Secrets

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 11:15 pm

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, right, carries the coffin of senior IRA commander Brendan Hughes, in West Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Peter Morrison AP

A legal showdown is evolving. It affects an American university, the British government, a brutal Irish paramilitary organization and the murdered mother of 10 children.

Journalist Ed Moloney is fighting to keep secret interviews with former paramilitary members of the Irish Republican Army out of the British government's hands. Those interviews are kept under lock and key at Boston College as part of an oral history project that Moloney started in 2001.

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5:03pm

Sun July 15, 2012
NPR Story

Conflicting Tales In Latest Syrian Violence

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 6:10 pm

Although videos posted by Syrian activists show dozens of people buried in a mass grave in the village of Tremseh, Syria has rejected claims made by the United Nations that it used heavy weapons in the attack alleged to have taken place on Thursday. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with NPR's Deborah Amos who is watching the story from Turkey.

4:07pm

Sun July 15, 2012
The Record

Def Leppard's Joe Elliott On Covering Def Leppard

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:30 pm

Joe Elliott fronting Def Leppard in London last year.
Jo Hale Getty Images

4:04pm

Sun July 15, 2012
Author Interviews

Chewing Chia Packs A Superfood Punch

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 6:10 pm

The chia plant is "a petite nutrient-packed powerhouse" writes Wayne Coates. There is evidence that the Aztecs used the seeds as early as 3,500 B.C.
iStockphoto.com

When you hear the word chia, you probably think of chia pets. Maybe you even mutter that catchy slogan: "ch-ch-ch-chia."

Or maybe not, but lately, chia seed has been getting buzz beyond those terra cotta figurines. It's becoming a popular health food. Rich in fiber, protein and the highest plant source of Omega 3s, the little seeds pack a major nutritional punch.

Wayne Coates grows and sells chia seeds and has a book called Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood.

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