All Things Considered

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Every weekday, All Things Considered hosts Robert Siegel, Melissa Block and Audie Cornish present the program's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features.
Updated: 4 min 5 sec ago

Lobbyists Help Pay The Bill At Republican Lawmakers' Retreat

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:00pm

House Republicans are taking a three-day retreat this week, paid in part by a lobbyist-run institute. Members of the group get access to the lawmakers at the closed-door event on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

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Syrian Opposition Group Treads New Territory In Geneva

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:00pm

The opposition group Syrian National Coalition took considerable heat from inside Syria when it decided to meet with government representatives at the Geneva peace talks. But after several days, coalition members say they're pleased to find their star is rising among Syrians. The talks have also been a kind of trial by fire for the coalition, which says its ability to make its case is improving daily. Syrians also seem fascinated to see government officials caught in face-to-face confrontations with the opposition.

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One Montana Town Finds Itself Buckling Beneath The Oil Boom

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:00pm

Oil development is significantly straining communities across the Great Plains. In small Sidney, Mont., a steady stream of big rigs pounds the streets as a rapidly increasing population stretches the town's sewer system to its limit. As Dan Boyce reports, the mayor says the town has nowhere near enough money to pay for all of its infrastructure needs.

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The U.S. Will Seek The Death Penalty for Boston Bombing Suspect

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:00pm

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

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An Unusual Coalition Helps Mandatory Minimum Bill Clear Senate Committee

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:00pm

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would lower mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses and allow judges to use more discretion when determining sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

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De Blasio Drops Appeal Of 'Stop And Frisk'

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:00pm

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio moved toward fulfilling a major campaign promise on Thursday: he announced the city will settle a long-running lawsuit against the police department's stop-and-frisk policy. A federal judge last year found that the NYPD violated the civil rights of blacks and Latinos with its aggressive tactics. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration appealed the ruling, but de Blasio won a landslide electoral victory in 2013 partly by promising to reform the stop-and-frisk policy. Now, some New Yorkers are worried about a possible rise in crime.

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Is The U.S. Leaving A Leadership Void In The Middle East?

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:00pm

Robert Siegel explores the question with NPR's Michele Kelemen and Deb Amos, of whether the United States is disengaging diplomatically from the Middle East and whether that's creating a power void.

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Changing Climate In Argentina Is Killing Penguin Chicks

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:00pm

The world's largest breeding colony of Magellanic penguins is seeing unprecedented deaths among young birds. A scientist who has spent 30 years studying the penguins says that climate change is to blame — triggering, among other things, more heat waves and wetter storms that kill fledglings.

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SpaceX Could Give Struggling Texas City A Boost

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:00pm

The FAA is poised to decide whether to grant the space company a launch license. If it does, SpaceX could build its first commercial orbital launch facility near the border city of Brownsville. The prospect of living in the world's newest aerospace hub has stirred a buzz among locals.

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Researchers Watch As Our Brains Turn Sounds Into Words

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:00pm

To understand speech, the brain has to quickly recognize the sounds used to form words. Now researchers have discovered a way to watch how the brain does this. They've found that the process of understanding speech involves highly specialized brain cells, which respond specifically to the dozen sounds produced by the human vocal tract.

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A Medal Of Valor, Thirty Years In Coming

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 3:30pm

Three decades after U.S. troops helped protect a Soviet defector during a firefight with North Korean troops, Mark Deville finally received his Silver Star. His comrades were awarded their medals years ago.

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A Palestinian Explains Why He Worked As An Israeli Informant

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 3:27pm

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict includes a shadow war in which Israel turns to Palestinian informants to gather intelligence. Palestinian Abed Hamed el-Rajoub was imprisoned for fighting against Israel, but while in jail, he secretly gathered information from fellow Palestinian prisoners.

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Meet The myRA — Obama's New Retirement Plan

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 3:00pm

On Wednesday, President Obama directed the Treasury Department to create a new retirement plan called "myRA." The decision, a circumvention of Congress, follows through on one of the promises made by the president in his State of the Union. As Yuki Noguchi reports, the success of the plan may depend on its ability to move beyond the limitations of existing retirement plans.

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Welcome To Homs, A Syrian City Under Siege

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 3:00pm

Among the many issues in contention at the Syrian peace talks is the possibility of humanitarian relief for cities and villages under siege. No place is in greater need of assistance than the city of Homs in western Syria. One of the first regions to rise up against President Bashar al-Assad, Homs is now the site of an ongoing humanitarian aid crisis. Approximately two to three thousand people find themselves trapped in a disputed district and in increasingly desperate circumstances.

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Farm Bill Clears House, On Its Way To Senate

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 3:00pm

After two years of fits and starts, a new farm bill appears on the verge of passing Congress. The House passed the 959-page proposal on Wednesday, with the Senate likely to pass it next week. The compromise cuts $8 billion from food stamps over the next decade and replaces farm subsidies with more extensive crop insurance.

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Rand Paul Talks State Of The Union, His State And His Party

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 3:00pm

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky gave one of several GOP responses to the president's State of the Union on Tuesday night. Audie Cornish speaks with Paul about both his response and the state of his party.

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Time To Retire These Imported Words — But How To Replace Them?

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 3:00pm

American Scholar magazine is looking for English versions of foreign words that we resort to using frequently — like mensch and schadenfreude. Robert Siegel talks with Ralph Keyes about the suggestions that readers have contributed.

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Snow In Atlanta Makes For An Impromptu School Sleepover

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 3:00pm

Thousands of students spent the night stranded in Atlanta area high schools as a result of road closures from the Deep South freeze. Audie Cornish speaks with Reed Christian, an English teacher who along with her colleagues looked after more than 250 students through the night.

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Atlanta Officials May Have To Dodge Some Snowballs

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 3:00pm

Snow and ice continue to plague parts of the Deep South, including Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala. As Rose Scott reports from Atlanta, city and state officials were surprised by the strength of the storm, and many people found themselves stuck on interstates highways.

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The Man Who Turned His Back On Two Super Bowl Teams — And Why

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 3:00pm

John Moffitt once played for the Seattle Seahawks, but before this season opened, he was traded to the Denver Broncos. In midseason, as the Broncos were battling their way to the Super Bowl, he quit the team. Moffitt talks about why he walked away and what it's like to watch his two former teams make it to the NFL's biggest game.

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