All Things Considered

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Planet Money
4:17 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

The National Debt: What The Left And Right Agree On

Supercommittee members, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 28, 2011 11:15 am

The congressional supercommittee announced Monday that it failed to come to an agreement on reducing the deficit. After three months of negotiating, the Democrats and Republicans just couldn't agree on how much spending to cut or how high to raise taxes.

But this is not a story about how the left and right disagree with each other. In fact, they actually largely agree.

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Economy
6:20 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Obama Blames Republicans For Debt Panel's Failure

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 9:27 pm

President Obama Monday put the blame for the supercommittee's failure squarely on congressional Republicans — and their unwillingness to consider higher taxes on the wealthy. Obama also threatened to veto any effort to escape from the automatic spending cuts agreed to in August without a balanced plan to reduce the deficit. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Scott Horsley for more.

Politics
6:17 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Supercommittee Fails To Reach Debt Deal

The bipartisan supercommittee says it failed to reach a deficit-reduction deal. NPR's Tamara Keith speaks to Robert Siegel with the latest from Capitol Hill.

Three Books...
4:08 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Presidents And Pilgrims: 3 Boundary Pushing Books

Donna Neary flickr.com

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 9:27 pm

With Thanksgiving hard upon us, now is a good time to think about our past. History writers can tell the best stories from centuries of human achievement and folly, yet too often they produce recitations of one damned thing after another. A few, though, combine a respect for accuracy with a deep understanding of the longings, fears and triumphs of the people of our past. Such books make magic.

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Music Interviews
3:21 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Yo-Yo Ma's Bluegrass-Inspired 'Goat Rodeo'

Yo-Yo Ma's latest Americana exploration features his work with mandolinist Chris Thile, bassist Edgar Meyer and fiddler Stuart Duncan.
Jeremy Cowart

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 1:27 pm

A sense of humor comes through The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the latest Americana exploration for the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

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Africa
3:00 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

After Gadhafi, Libyans Try To Reclaim Their History

For decades, Moammar Gadhafi repressed and distorted Libyan history, attempting to subsume centuries of civilization under his cult of personality. For Gadhafi, Libyan history began and ended with the Bedouins and the fight against Italian colonization. Now Libyans are emerging from the revolution with a nascent desire to know who they really are.

Television
5:48 pm
Sun November 20, 2011

How One Man Played 'Moneyball' With 'Jeopardy!'

Roger Craig poses with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek after winning $250,000 in last week's Tournament of Champions.
Carol Kaelson Sony Pictures

Originally published on Sun November 20, 2011 6:32 pm

One night last September, Roger Craig, a computer scientist from Newark, Del., was about to make history.

In his second appearance on Jeopardy!, he'd given one of the most dominant performances ever seen on the show.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Sun November 20, 2011

Egyptian Security Cracks Down In Tahrir Square

A second uprising seems to be developing in Cairo. Protesters in Tahrir Square, angry with the military-led transitional government, increased in number recently as police clashes with them have become more violent. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with reporter Merrit Kennedy about the situation in Egypt.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Sun November 20, 2011

Libya Weighs Life After Gadhafi

It's been one month since Moammar Gadhafi's death. Libyans were celebrating within hours of his killing. A month later, the jubilance has waned and the violence continues. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with New York Times correspondent Clifford Krauss from Tripoli.

Author Interviews
2:15 pm
Sun November 20, 2011

Bill Maher Lays Down The (Mostly Silly) Law

Comedian Bill Maher is the host of the HBO political commentary show, Real Time With Bill Maher.
Janet Van Ham AP

Originally published on Sun November 20, 2011 6:32 pm

Comedian Bill Maher wraps up every installment of his TV show, Real Time, with a segment called "New Rules." That's where he takes potshots at whatever's bothering him — from wrappers on ice cream cones, to red light cameras, to more serious subjects like war and economic ruin.

His new book, The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass, sports a title we can't say on the radio and a mix of rules both lighthearted and serious, some of which never appeared on television.

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Music Interviews
1:58 am
Sun November 20, 2011

The Man Behind The Music Of 'Entourage' Sets The Tone

Scott Vener is the music supervisor for How to Make It in America. The finale of the second season airs Sunday night on HBO.
Jeff Forney HBO

Scott Vener is the music supervisor for How to Make It in America, which air its season finale Sunday night on HBO.

"I would say primarily a lot of the music I'm finding is sort of like what is bubbling on the Internet," Vener says.

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Analysis
3:00 pm
Sat November 19, 2011

Week In News: Obama Wraps Up Asia Tour

Originally published on Sat November 19, 2011 6:37 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

It's Weekends on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.

MAHMOUD SHAMMAM: What we can confirm now that Saif al-Gadhafi has been arrested and he should be tried in front of the Libyan court, by Libyan people and by Libyan justice.

SULLIVAN: That's Mahmoud Shammam, Libya's National Transitional Council's information minister, announcing that Moammar Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam had been captured. The U.S. State Department hasn't confirmed it yet.

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Science
1:57 pm
Sat November 19, 2011

Perhaps Scientists Like Lab Mice TOO Much

The lab mouse is the most ubiquitous animal in biomedical research, but that doesn't mean it's always the best subject for researching disease.

In a series of articles for Slate magazine, Daniel Engber looked into why the mouse is such a mainstay of science — and whether that's a good thing.

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Music Interviews
1:19 pm
Sat November 19, 2011

We Are Augustines: Old Wounds Inspire Recovery Songs

We Are Augustines' debut album is Rise Ye Sunken Ships. Left to right: Eric Sanderson, Rob Allen, Billy McCarthy.
Arwen Hunt Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 4:32 pm

Billy McCarthy lost his mother to suicide when he was a teenager. He cared for his schizophrenic brother as best he could after that, but his brother landed in solitary confinement in prison, where he eventually took his own life, too. Somehow, McCarthy found a way to rise above his anguish — as a songwriter. He began playing music while living in foster care in California.

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Author Interviews
1:01 pm
Sat November 19, 2011

Kurt Vonnegut Was Not A Happy Man. 'So It Goes.'

Author Kurt Vonnegut, shown in 1979 in New York City, died in 2007 at age 84.
Marty Reichenthal AP

Kurt Vonnegut was a counterculture hero, an American Mark Twain, an avuncular, jocular friend to the youth — until you got to know him.

"Kurt was actually rather flinty, rather irascible. He had something of a temper," author Charles Shields tells weekends on All Things Considered host Laura Sullivan. Shields is the author of a new biography of Vonnegut, called And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life.

"But as I also point out in the book," Shields adds, "he was a damaged person."

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Music Interviews
5:41 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

A.A. Bondy: Making His Own World

A.A. Bondy performs at The Waiting Room in Omaha, Neb. He says it took him eight days to write his new album, Believers.
Hilary Stohs-Krause

One Friday night at The Waiting Room in Omaha, Neb., more than 150 people are milling around waiting for A.A. Bondy to take the stage. His new album, Believers, came out two months ago and caught fans like Andre Steinbergs by surprise.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Army Successfully Tests Hypersonic Missile

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 8:02 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Imagine flying from L.A. to New York in about 30 minutes. That's roughly eight times the speed of sound. And yesterday, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command managed to launch a missile that flew at that speed. The test missile was sent from Hawaii to hit a site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific about 2,400 miles away, and within a half hour, the missile struck its target. And the military is hoping to speed it up even more.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Week In Politics: Gingrich, Debt Panel

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.

Europe
3:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

New Leader To Lay Out Plans For Italy's Ailing Economy

Italy's new prime minister, Mario Monti, said Friday that he'll meet with other European leaders next week to lay out his plans for reforming Italy's economy. Investors have been growing more concerned about Italy's ability to pay off its debts — and that's driven the cost of borrowing higher. But Italy's problems won't be easy to fix. The country has seen its growth rate slow to a crawl in recent decades, and unemployment — especially among the young — has risen. Jim Zarroli

Sports
3:00 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

NBA In Turmoil As MLB Takes Care Of Business

While the professional basketball season is on the verge of collapse, Major League Baseball and its players wrapped up a new contract. Guy Raz talks with sportswriter Stefan Fatsis about what's next in the NBA negotiations and what's new for baseball with this agreement.

NPR Story
5:49 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Obama Turns Focus On Pacific Allies

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 5:59 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama arrived in Indonesia today, the latest stop in a 10 day trip across the Pacific. He's used the trip to send a message that the U.S. is shifting its attention to the Asia Pacific region, both for economic and security reasons. That includes the announcement yesterday that the U.S. will deploy 2,500 Marines to Australia.

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Author Interviews
4:49 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

U.S. Behind The Curve In Drunk Driving, Author Finds

A new book called One for the Road explores the history of drunk driving and attitudes around it.
iStockphoto.com

When Barron Lerner was writing his book on the history of drunk driving in America — and efforts to control it — he carried out an experiment at home that involved a bottle of vodka, a shot glass and a Breathalyzer. He was the guinea pig.

"I was trying to figure out just how drunk you had to be in order to not drive safely," says Lerner, a professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University, who wrote One for the Road. He decided to drink and test his levels — but he didn't actually get into a car.

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The Record
4:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

A Televised Singing Competition With A Mission

Pia Maria Holmgren (Sámi in Sweden) performs at last year's Liet International minority song contest.
Sandro Weltin/Council of Europe

Auditions are now underway for next May's Eurovision Song Contest — that often-ridiculed television spectacle that has drawn millions of viewers around the world every year since 1956. In 2012 the host country will be Azerbaijan, since that country fielded last year's winner.

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History
3:06 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Dead Sea Scrolls On Display In Times Square

The ancient texts can be seen up close — right in the middle of New York City. There are some theatrics, but NPR's Margot Adler reports that the exhibit is happily understated.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Van Hollen: Deficit Panel Members Acting In Good Faith

A special deficit-reduction supercommittee has less than a week to go before a deadline to vote on a plan cutting the nation's deficits. Melissa Block talks to one of the members of the bipartisan panel, Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Hundreds Participate In 'Occupy' March Through L.A.

Occupy Wall Street protesters march in Los Angeles to mark the movement's second month. Carrie Kahn

Opinion
12:15 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

National Book Award Winner Tells Tale Of Katrina

istockphoto.com

Jesmyn Ward's novel, Salvage the Bones, won this year's National Book Award in fiction.

When you live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, stories of hurricanes are passed down through generations. For my parents the storm was called Camille, and on Aug. 17, 1969, it made landfall.

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Music Interviews
4:39 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

R.E.M., R.I.P.

R.E.M. in the early days. Left to right: Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, Bill Berry, Peter Buck.
Laura Levine

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 6:02 pm

They were four guys out of Athens, Ga., with a three-letter name — and one hell of an impact on rock. R.E.M. was Michael Stipe singing lead, Mike Mills on bass and harmonies, Peter Buck on guitar and Bill Berry on drums, until Berry left the band in 1997.

"We never expected the thing to last any longer than a couple of years to begin with," Stipe says. "And then when it did, and we were making records and people were interested in it, the band started getting bigger and bigger and bigger."

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Monkey See
4:35 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

DVD Picks: 'West Side Story'

'Tonight' Music: Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood played Tony and Maria in the 1961 film of West Side Story.
Fox Home Entertainment

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 6:02 pm

Time now for a home video recommendation from movie critic Bob Mondello. This week he's looking back a half-century, to a ground-breaking musical that won ten Oscars, West Side Story.

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Books News & Features
3:51 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Ann Patchett Opens Parnassus Books In Nashville

The world of independent bookstores has a new member: Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn., opened its doors on Wednesday. The store has a marquee name behind it — best-selling novelist Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder, is the co-owner.

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