All Things Considered on The News And Ideas Network

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Hosted By: Melissa Block, Michele Norris, Robert Siegel

For two hours every weekday, All Things Considered hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present this NPR program's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews and offbeat features.

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NPR Story
5:02 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 7:40 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Just two weeks until we announce the winner of Round Nine of our Three-Minute Fiction contest here on WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, that's where we ask you to come up with an original piece of fiction that can be read in about three minutes. In this round, we received nearly 4,000 stories.

Now, graduate students from a dozen schools, including from the University of Houston and Indiana University, have read through all of them. And now, our judge this round, Brad Meltzer, is making his decision.

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Author Interviews
4:27 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

A Reminder To Tolkien Fans Of Their First Love

Associated Press

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 7:40 pm

Seventy-five years ago, J.R.R Tolkien wrote a book for his children called The Hobbit. It isn't just a landmark piece of fantasy literature; it's a movement — a work that's inspired everyone from director Peter Jackson to the band Led Zeppelin to Leonard Nimoy (who recorded his own homage to the book in the late 1960s — "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins").

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Music Interviews
2:48 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

Stephen Hough's 'French Album,' A 'Musical Dessert Trolley'

Stephen Hough's newest release is the French Album.
Sim Canetty-Clarke Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 7:40 pm

As with food, as with fashion, as with film, there does seem to be a distinct French style when it comes to composition. The much-heralded English pianist Stephen Hough has been studying what makes a piece of music uniquely French. It's resulted in his latest collection: the French Album.

With works by Debussy, Faure, Poulenc and a number of lesser-known composers, Hough says he considers this new album "a sort of musical dessert trolley."

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Africa
6:29 am
Sun October 21, 2012

Will The '24-Hour City' Of Cairo Call It A Night?

Nighttime shoppers pause to look at a display at Cairo's Ataba market in May 2011. The government says shops must close earlier in order to save scarce electricity, but many Cairo residents are complaining.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 6:54 pm

When the sun goes down, Cairo bursts to life. Men play backgammon and smoke water pipes. Young fashionistas meet friends for midnight coffees. Families go shopping with small kids in tow.

Life in the Egyptian capital is lived at night. Last year, one study rated Cairo the "most 24-hour city" in the world. New York City trailed far behind at No. 32.

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Technology
5:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

French Tweet Sweep Shows Twitter's Local Struggles

Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 6:35 pm

Friday, Twitter agreed to pull racist tweets after a French organization threatened to sue. The company has resisted efforts to police its content. But hate speech is illegal in many European countries, and anti-hate groups there are grappling with how to deal with the challenge of social media.

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Asia
5:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

China Criticized In U.S. Debates, But Stays Close

With the final presidential debate on Monday tackling foreign policy issues, surely China will be a familiar topic. It seems every four years, the U.S. relationship with China takes a beating during campaign events. Host Guy Raz speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about why candidates attack China yet presidents always balance their rhetoric.

Music Interviews
5:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Ben Gibbard: Living With Ghosts

Ben Gibbard's first album as a solo artist is called Former Lives.
Ryan Russell Courtesy of the artist

Death Cab for Cutie is known for bittersweet love songs, stirring melodies and frontman Ben Gibbard's unmistakable voice, soft and sincere. After 15 years in the band, Gibbard is releasing his first solo album, Former Lives.

"Over the years, I've accrued a number of songs that I've always been very fond of but didn't fit tonally, lyrically, musically in with the palette of songs that were in front of us for a Death Cab for Cutie record," Gibbard tells NPR's Guy Raz.

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From Our Listeners
5:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: Check-In With The Judge

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

RAZ: For the past few weeks, we've been reading close to 4,000 stories about fictional and real presidents - stories that were submitted by you to our writing contest, Three-Minute Fiction, here on WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. That was the challenge by our judge this round, the thriller writer Brad Meltzer. Your story had to revolve around a U.S. president who could be fictional or real.

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It's All Politics
6:12 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Race For Arizona's Open Senate Seat Gets Personal

Democrat Richard Carmona (left) and Republican Rep. Jeff Flake shake hands before Thursday's debate in Chandler, Ariz.
Ross Franklin AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

For the first time in nearly a generation, Arizona voters will elect a new senator. Republican Sen. Jon Kyl is retiring after 18 years. His ideological successor is Republican Rep. Jeff Flake, and a lot of people expected Flake to have an easy time of it.

But recent polls suggest Democrat Richard Carmona — a former surgeon general and a Hispanic — has a shot at winning. The race has become heated, and the airwaves are filled with brutal ads.

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National Security
5:58 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Minnesota Case Re-Opens Wounds Among Somalis

Burhan Hassan of Minnesota was recruited to fight in Somalia for al-Shabab, which the U.S. calls a terrorist group. He was killed there in 2009. This undated file photo released by his family in 2008.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

For nearly three weeks, the benches at the back of a federal courtroom in Minneapolis were filled with local Somalis. The man on trial, Mahamud Said Omar, was accused of conspiring to help a terrorist group recruit some two dozen young Minnesota men to fight a holy war in Somalia.

It took a federal jury just eight hours to convict him of all of the five terrorism charges leveled against him, but the verdict is only the beginning for the Somali community in the Twin Cities.

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Monkey See
5:58 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Home Video Review: Universal's 'Classic Monsters' Collection

1954's Creature from the Black Lagoon is featured in the new release of Universal's classic monster movies.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

Time now for a home viewing recommendation from film critic Bob Mondello. This week, Bob's getting ahead of the Halloween curve, with an 8-disk Classic Monsters collection from Universal Pictures.

The scene you know best is nowhere to be found in the novel Frankenstein. No electrifying the creature with lightning, no ecstatic doctor's cry of "It's alive, it's aliiiiiiive!"

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Europe
5:20 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

With Topless Protests, 'Sextremists' March In Paris

French policemen on Oct. 15 detain topless activists from the group Femen who are protesting the verdict in a gang rape trial. The group was established in Ukraine but is now setting up an office in Paris.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

Sometimes, less is more.

That's certainly the thinking of the Ukrainian feminist movement Femen, best known for its bare-breasted protests in its home country. Now it has brought its self-described "sextremism" to Paris, opening its first international training camp and wasting no time attracting new recruits, causes and attention.

On a recent sunny morning, seven young women stride purposefully toward the stone facade of France's Justice Ministry. Suddenly they throw their coats to the ground. Slogans are painted across their bare bosoms; garlands decorate their hair.

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It's All Politics
4:53 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

White Men, A Key GOP Demographic, Discuss The Romney Appeal

Annual "Biketoberfest" participants ride along Beach Street in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla., in 2010.
Daytona Beach Visitors Bureau

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

For all the attention paid to women in this race, there's another gender gap — with white men.

The Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan campaigned in northeastern Florida on Friday, where thousands of men had descended on Daytona Beach for the annual motorcycle festival Biketoberfest.

A bunch of them were at Willie's Tropical Tattoo smoking cigarettes, drinking beer and listening to music.

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It's All Politics
4:18 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Colorado, A Big Win For Obama In 2008, Now A Harder Sell

Supporters turned out for President Obama's first post-debate rally on Oct.4 in Denver. The president is facing a fierce fight for Colorado after winning it by 9 points four years ago.
RJ Sangosti AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

In Colorado, the presidential race is a statistical dead heat. The state went heavily for candidate Barack Obama in 2008 — but the president is now facing fierce headwinds.

Obama won last time by 9 points, an astounding margin in a state that hadn't gone Democratic since 1992. One Democratic strategist calls 2008 a one-time case of "irrational exuberance," especially among Colorado's large contingent of swing voters.

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Food
4:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Record-Breaking Bratwurst Story Has A Twist

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We'd like to take a moment now to recognize greatness. Earlier this month in a grocery store parking lot in Prescott, Wisconsin, the world's largest bratwurst was cooked.

PATRICK PTACEK: Fifty-two feet and two inches.

(APPLAUSE)

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The brat was grilled in honor of the 100th anniversary of Ptacek's IGA. Patrick Ptacek co-owns the store. He and his family paid for the massive brat and made it in the store.

SIEGEL: Actually, we should say brats. They made two.

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Health
4:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

For Cancer Survivors, Armstrong An Inspiration

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tonight in Austin, Livestrong, the cancer organization founded by Lance Armstrong, is holding its 15th anniversary gala and Armstrong is scheduled to speak at the event. But it's been a bad stretch for the champion cyclist. In the face of a scathing report linking him to doping, he stepped down as chairman of Livestrong and he lost major sponsors, including Nike.

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Law
3:54 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Marriage Law Likely Headed To Supreme Court

A New York case in which a same-sex couple was denied a tax benefit is likely headed to the Supreme Court.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

A federal appeals court ruling on Thursday has catapulted a New York case to the head of the line, as the Supreme Court considers which of many cases it should use to decide whether the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is constitutional.

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Music Reviews
3:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Elina Duni: Love, Lust And Albanian Folk Songs

On Matane Malit, the Elina Duni Quartet lays expansive instrumentation over traditional Albanian folk melodies.
Blerta Kambo Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

The spread of formal jazz education has created a new breed of global musician: one who uses improvisation, and other devices associated with jazz, to transform folk and traditional music. The Albanian singer Elina Duni is part of this rising class. Her latest release, Matane Malit ("Beyond the Mountain"), offers a transfixing balance of old and new.

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Planet Money
12:36 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Watch Our Fake Presidential Candidate's First Real Ad

The fake candidate.
Lam Vo NPR

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

The story so far: A panel of economists from across the political spectrum came up with a presidential platform they could all support. It was a platform that would doom any real candidate. So we created a fake one.

We tested out one of our key ideas — eliminating the mortgage-interest tax deduction — on a focus group. They hated it.

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Around the Nation
5:27 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

To Shrink Rents, S.F. Considers Shrinking Apartments

The development firm Panoramic Interests is building about two dozen "micro-apartments" in San Francisco. The company is poised to offer even smaller units if the city approves a proposed new minimum size of 220 square feet.
Artist's Rendering of Smartspace Unit Courtesy of Panoramic Interests

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 8:32 pm

In many large cities, like Dallas, Phoenix and even parts of Chicago, $800 a month is enough for a clean one-bedroom apartment, decked out with a living room, washer and dryer — and maybe even a pool, in a larger complex.

But if you want to live alone in San Francisco, getting those amenities at that price is practically a pipe dream. With the region's resurgent high-tech industries luring many well-educated, well-paid workers to the Bay Area, the average rent for a studio apartment in the city now runs around $2,000.

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