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: 53 min 31 sec ago

Obama's NSA Reforms Leave Some Tech Companies Wanting More

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 4:00pm

On Friday, President Obama announced changes to the way the National Security Agency conducts surveillance. Host Arun Rath speaks with NPR's Steve Henn about how the speech was received by the tech companies whose businesses are built on Internet and phone use.

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Report: Former Pope Benedict Defrocked Hundreds Of Abusive Priests

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 4:00pm

According to an Associated Press report, Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests in 2011 and 2012, because of child molestation charges against the priests. Host Arun Rath speaks with AP Vatican City reporter Nicole Winfield, who broke the story.

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The NFL: Big Business With Big Tax Breaks

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 4:00pm

The administrative branch of the National Football League is tax-exempt, and many wealthy team owners can get generous subsidies from local governments for stadiums. Critics argue the public money could be better spent elsewhere. But can you put a price on the love of the game?

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A Film Producer On The Rise, Hollywood Gets Biblical

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 4:00pm

Ozy.com co-founder Carlos Watson talks about a rising film producer getting his big break this year, and the swath of films on the horizon dealing with biblical or Greco-Roman times.

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'I'll Take You There': The Staple Singers' Rise From Church To Fame

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 4:00pm

The group's sound broke down musical walls and inspired civil rights leaders. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with biographer Greg Kot about his new book, I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March Up Freedom's Highway.

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5 Takeaways From The President's NSA Speech

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 4:34pm

The president's speech Friday offered a revealing look into the nation's phone data collection program and the direction of the surveillance policy debate. But some of biggest controversies have been put off or pushed to Congress.

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A Strange Composition: Classical Music Meets Bioterror In 'Orfeo'

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:25pm

Richard Powers' new novel tells the story of an avant-garde classical composer who finds himself dabbling in DNA. He "gets obsessed with finding music inside of living things," Powers explains, and, as a fugitive, ends up leading officials on a low-speed chase.

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A Newsprint Shortage Hobbles Venezuelan Media

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

Venezuela is running out of newsprint and newspapers are shutting down. Media outlets say that it's another form of harassment by a government that often doesn't like what independent media reports.

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In The Long Wait For Aid From Washington, Job Hunters Despair

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

After failing to agree upon an extension for federal jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed, Congress is vowing to keep trying. The help can't come soon enough for many of the 1.4 million unemployed who saw their checks suddenly cut off last month.

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Ruling May Mean Bankruptcy For New Orleans School System

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

An appeals court ruled against the New Orleans public school system this week — a decision that could bankrupt the Orleans Parish public schools. The five-judge panel ruled that the school board wrongly terminated some 7,000 teachers and other school employees after Hurricane Katrina. For more information, Melissa Block speaks with education reporter Sarah Carr, who has written a book on the changes to the New Orleans school system after Katrina.

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Jerry Brown Declares A Drought Emergency In California

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency on Friday, amid growing concerns about future water supplies for residents and for farmers. Brown called for a 20 percent voluntary reduction in water use and eased water transfer rights between farmers. However, mandatory measures will still be left to local communities to impose, for now.

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Sen. Blumenthal On NSA Proposals: 'Going In Right Direction'

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut shares his reaction to President Obama's proposed reforms of the National Security Agency. Blumenthal has pushed for reforms of the courts established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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Trust Exercises: Obama's Surveillance Reforms Toe A Fine Line

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

In a major speech on Friday, President Obama laid out reforms to U.S. intelligence gathering procedures. NPR Washington correspondent Scott Horsley reports on the balance that the president is attempting to strike between national security needs and privacy concerns.

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No Baseball On The Playing Field — But Plenty In The News

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

We may be deep in the doldrums of January, still months from the start of the regular season, but we still have baseball on our mind. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis stops by to discuss the latest news out of the MLB, including the massive new contract for the Dodgers' ace pitcher and the unfolding saga of Alex Rodriguez.

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Christie Flies To Florida, Followed By Questions

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will visit Florida this weekend to raise money for Gov. Rick Scott, his first major fundraising trip as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. The trip may answer some questions about how the scandal over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge will affect his path to the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

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In Egypt, 'Yes' Votes Spell Easier Path For Military Rule

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

Although official results have not yet been finalized, it is clear that Egyptians voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new constitution in this week's referendum. Preliminary figures show that slightly more voters cast their ballot than in last year's referendum. According to many analysts, the results of the vote make it easier for military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare himself a candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

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Foreign Fighters Flood Both Sides In Syrian War

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

When peace talks open in Switzerland, one common concern between the West and Syria is expected to be the threat of Islamist extremists and the rise of al-Qaida-linked militias. Thousands of Sunni militants from around the world have joined the rebel groups in Syria, but there are other groups of militant foreign fighters who support the Syrian regime. Iraqi Shiites are being recruited in the thousands to bolster Syria's armed forces. Recruiting billboards and social media help portray the fight as an existential battle between Sunnis and Muslims.

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Week In Politics: West Virginia Chemical Spill And The NSA

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss President Obama's speech on NSA surveillance and the chemical spill in West Virginia

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President Obama Proposes Reforms To NSA Surveillance

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

After months of debate about the National Security Agency, President Obama delivered statements on Friday about how the agency collects intelligence. He declared that advances in technology had made it harder "to both defend our nation and uphold our civil liberties." He also announced changes to surveillance policies.

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No 'Cohabitation' For Alabama State's First Female President

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 3:00pm

Gwendolyn Boyd, who will lead the historically black university, is single — and a clause in her contract forbids her to share a house with a romantic partner.

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