All Things Considered on The News And Ideas Network

Weekdays, 4pm - 7pm; Weekends, 5pm - 6pm
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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George Olsen golsen@publicradioeast.org
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NPR Story
4:56 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Toronto Mayor Says He Doesn't Smoke Crack, But Admits He Has

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 6:19 pm

At a news conference Tuesday, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted he has smoked crack cocaine. Melissa Block talks to Jamie Strashin of the CBC for the latest.

Shots - Health News
3:51 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

In Colorado, A Couple Finds Relief In Obamacare

Lela Petersen, owner of the Anything And Everything store in Flagler, Colo., expects the cost of health insurance for her and her husband to drop by my more than half next year.
Jeff Brady

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:07 pm

There's plenty of criticism of the Affordable Care Act and how it's being implemented.

But let's introduce you to someone who is quite pleased with her Obamacare experience: Lela Petersen of Flagler, Colo. She's a small business owner with a very big health insurance bill.

But thanks to the health law, she expects that bill will be cut by more than half in January.

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Around the Nation
5:46 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

NYC Race Focuses On Income Gap, But How Much Can A Mayor Do?

New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio rides the subway while greeting commuters in New York on Monday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:42 pm

Voters in New York City go to the polls Tuesday to choose their next mayor, and it appears all but certain that they'll elect Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate.

The Democrat has built a wide lead in the polls by distancing himself from the incumbent mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg. In fact, de Blasio has made income inequality the central issue of his campaign, name-checking the Charles Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities dozens of times at debates and stump speeches.

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NPR Story
5:46 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Amid A Rough Patch, Howard University Faces Flagging Morale

Students walk by Founders Library on Howard University campus in Washington, D.C.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 5:12 pm

Howard University, one of the country's most prominent historically black schools, has hit a rough patch in recent months.

The school's Faculty Senate recently voted no confidence in leaders of the school's Board of Trustees. That vote came just weeks after Howard's president announced a surprise early retirement and Moody's Investors Service downgraded the university's credit rating, as my Code Switch teammate Gene Demby has reported.

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It's All Politics
5:13 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Now A Democrat, Ex-Florida Gov. Crist Tries To Get Old Job Back

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announces Monday in St. Petersburg that he will run for governor as a Democrat.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:42 pm

Florida's governor's race just got more interesting. The state's former Republican governor, Charlie Crist, announced in St. Petersburg on Monday that he's entering the race as a Democrat.

Crist is running against Florida's current Republican governor, Rick Scott, a conservative elected with strong Tea Party support.

At a rally to kick off his campaign at a park overlooking Tampa Bay, Crist was unapologetic about his change in parties.

"Yeah, I'm running as a Democrat," he said. "And I am proud to do it."

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Shots - Health News
5:13 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Childhood Maltreatment Can Leave Scars In The Brain

Girls are particularly vulnerable to brain changes caused by stress or trauma, researchers say.
Allen Johnson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 12:21 pm

Maltreatment during childhood can lead to long-term changes in brain circuits that process fear, researchers say. This could help explain why children who suffer abuse are much more likely than others to develop problems like anxiety and depression later on.

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Research News
5:13 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

How'd They Do That? The Story Of A Giant Rock And A Road Of Ice

The Large Stone Carving is the heaviest stone in the Forbidden City in Beijing. It was believed to have weighed more than 300 tons when it was first transported to the site between 1407 and 1420.
DEA/ W. Buss De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:42 pm

Great works of ancient engineering, like the Pyramids or Stonehenge, inspire awe in every beholder. But some onlookers also get inspired to figure out exactly how these structures were made.

Howard Stone, an engineer from Princeton University, had such a moment in Beijing's Forbidden City — a city-within-a-city of palaces and temples built in the 15th and 16th centuries. A carved, 300-ton slab that formed a ramp to one structure particularly caught Stone's eye. "How in the world did it get here?" he wondered.

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The Salt
4:09 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Why Are Pig Farmers Still Using Growth-Promoting Drugs?

In recent years, pork producers have found ways to keep the animals healthy through improved hygiene.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:42 pm

It's one of the most controversial practices in agriculture: feeding small amounts of antibiotics to animals in order to make them grow faster.

But what if the drugs don't even work very well?

There's some good evidence that they don't, at least in pigs. They used to deliver a boost in growth, but that effect has disappeared in recent years or declined greatly.

The reason for this is interesting and even paradoxical.

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Parallels
12:39 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

China Sets Ambitious Agenda In 'Asian Space Race'

Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping aboard the Tiangong-1 space module in June. China is leading what some see as a space race among Asian countries: It has worked on a lunar rover, a space station and an unmanned mission to Mars.
Wang Yongzhuo Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 8:57 pm

India's launch Tuesday of a satellite bound for Mars is the latest milestone in a space race among Asian nations. China, though, is still seen as the leader. A decade ago, China became the third nation to put up a manned spacecraft; it has worked on a lunar rover, a space station as well as its own unmanned mission to Mars.

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Author Interviews
5:34 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

With Fading Memory, Terry Pratchett Revisits 'Carpet People'

Best known for the Discworld fantasy series, Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer's disease in 2007. But that hasn't kept him from continuing to write.
Rob Wilkins Courtesy of Clarion

Sir Terry Pratchett is one of Britain's best-selling authors. His science-fiction series Discworld has sold millions of copies worldwide. Pratchett is incredibly prolific — since his first novel was published in 1971, he has written on average two books every year.

But in 2007, 59-year-old Pratchett announced that he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. As a result, Pratchett can no longer read.

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Around the Nation
5:07 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

Far From Diwali's Lights, The Warm Glow Of Home

Little oil lamps mark Diwali celebrations in Allahabad, India, far away from American homes.
Sanjay Kanojia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 9:42 am

Small flickering oil lamps known as diyas are lighting up Indian homes in South Asian communities around the globe on Sunday as hundreds of millions of people observe Diwali.

Otherwise known as the Festival of Lights, it's a religious celebration of self-awareness and reflection. Diwali is a public holiday in a number of other nations, but it's not nearly so well-known in the U.S., where families must rely on themselves to keep the tradition alive.

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World
5:07 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

As Mirrors Beam Light To Town, Norwegians Share Patch Of Sun

People gather in the central square of Rjukan, Norway, on Wednesday to bask in the sun reflected by mirrors on a nearby mountainside.
NTB Scanpix/Reuters/Landov

The small town of Rjukan has long had to make do without sunlight during the cold Norwegian winters.

But that changed Wednesday, when the town debuted a system of high-tech mirrors to reflect sunlight from neighboring peaks into the valley below.

Rjukan, originally founded 100 years ago as an industrial outpost for the energy company Norsk Hydro, is nestled between several mountains and does not receive direct sunlight from late September to mid-March — nearly six months out of the year.

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Around the Nation
5:07 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

Newark Considers What Life Will Be Like After Cory Booker

Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, formerly mayor of Newark, N.J., arrives in the Old Senate Chamber on Thursday for an oath-of-office ceremony.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 11:22 am

For years, Newark, N.J., had the reputation of being a crime-ridden, low-income city. Former Mayor Cory Booker helped change that perception.

Thursday, the Democrat was sworn in as a U.S. senator, and it's unclear what that means for the city's future.

While Booker brought attention — and funding — to Newark, he couldn't completely tackle the violence that has persisted for years. As mayoral candidates begin making their cases, crime is a common theme.

'Now A City Of Hope'

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NPR Story
5:07 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

How An Aqueduct Turned Los Angeles Into A 'Garden Of Eden'

Los Angeles saw a dramatic boom in growth after the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913. The system delivers water from the Owens River in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to the city.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 12:36 pm

Today the beauty of Los Angeles is dramatically symbolic of the ancient prophecy the desert shall "blossom like a rose."

This blossoming was made possible by the birth of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, opened 100 years ago this month. The opening of the aqueduct might as well have been the birth of the modern West and the image of the city as a Garden of Eden.

The vast quantities of water the aqueduct moved made Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and other cities across the region possible.

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Health
5:49 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

With Rise Of Painkiller Abuse, A Closer Look At Heroin

The amount of prescription painkillers sold to pharmacies, hospitals and doctors' offices quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 11:26 am

Abuse of prescription painkillers is a "growing, deadly epidemic," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Oct. 24, the Food and Drug Administration recommended putting new restrictions on hydrocodone, sold as Vicodin and other brand names.

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Shots - Health News
4:38 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

Adding To Insurance Confusion, Outside Groups Try To Cash In

"Obamacare Enrollment Teams" give presentations on health insurance options and the Affordable Care Act, but are not actually affiliated with the government.
Lynn Hatter WFSU

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 6:51 am

Thirty or so attendees at St. Mary Primitive Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., gathered on a recent evening to hear a presentation by the Obamacare Enrollment Team on their options to get insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

"If anybody is interested in getting enrolled, we can get you enrolled tonight," they were told.

Signs outside the church looked official: A familiar, large "O" with a blue outline, white center and three red stripes.

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Movie Reviews
4:38 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

This 'Time,' Supernatural Love Story Falls Flat

Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) learns from his father (Bill Nighy) that he has the ability to travel back and forth through time, a power Tim uses in his pursuit of love.
Murray Close Universal Pictures

Originally published on Sat November 2, 2013 5:49 pm

There's a phrase in French — "L'esprit de l'escalier," meaning "staircase wit" — for that moment when you've lost an argument and are walking away, and waaay too late, think of the perfect comeback. If you could just rewind your life a few minutes, you'd win the argument.

That's pretty much the setup in the new British comedy About Time.

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Music Lists
4:38 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

Betto Arcos Brings The Heat From Brazil

Among Betto Arcos' new music picks from Brazil is percussionist Wilson Das Neves, who has been an active and integral part of Rio De Janeiro's music scene since he began playing professionally in the 1950s.
Daryan Dornelles Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat November 2, 2013 5:49 pm

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U.S.
6:20 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Pentagon Pushes States On Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

The Pentagon extended military benefits to same-sex spouses this summer, but some states have been resisting. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called that resistance "wrong" on Thursday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:49 pm

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has directed the National Guard Bureau to resolve a dispute that is making it difficult for same-sex couples to receive military benefits.

The Pentagon started to recognize same-sex marriages soon after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act this summer. But some states are resisting.

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All Tech Considered
5:06 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

HealthCare.gov's Rocky First Month Leaves Plenty Of Questions

Suzanne Cloud on the first day the health exchange marketplace opened, Oct 1. Because of problems with the HealthCare.gov website, she's now planning to use a paper application.
Elana Gordon WHYY

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:49 pm

When the federal health exchange marketplace opened Oct. 1, we visited jazz musician Suzanne Cloud in Philadelphia. She tried to start an account early in the morning, but technology thwarted her plans.

She wasn't alone, as it became clear quickly that the unprecedented system for Americans in 36 states to shop and enroll for health insurance was broken in several places. A week into her failed attempts, Cloud stayed positive.

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