All Things Considered

Weekdays from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

In-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Every weekday, hear two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special - sometimes quirky - features.

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Middle East
2:32 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

As Fighting Rages, A Prisoner Swap In Syria

The daily fighting in Syria included this gun battle Wednesday involving rebels in the northern city of Aleppo. Still, the rival sides recently worked out a prisoner swap in which two women were freed from state custody, while the rebels released seven pro-government fighters.
James Lawler Duggan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:59 pm

The bitter fighting in Syria seems to grow worse by the day, yet the rebels and the government do occasionally manage to work out something that requires each side to trust the other: prisoner swaps.

In one recent exchange, two women held by the government were freed in exchange for seven men who were fighting on behalf President Bashar Assad's regime.

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It's All Politics
2:17 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Despite Fact Checks, Romney Escalates Welfare Work Requirement Charge

President Clinton signs the welfare reform law on Aug. 22, 1996.
Stephen Jaffe Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:59 pm

Wednesday marks the 16th anniversary of President Clinton's welfare overhaul. That law has become a major issue in this year's presidential campaign.

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Summer Nights: Funtown
1:59 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Festive Nanjing Road Recaptures Shanghai's Heyday

The "Loving Happiness Band," supported, in part, by the Communist Party, plays for a crowd on Nanjing Road.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 5:34 pm

In the 1920s and 1930s, Shanghai was one of the world's most exciting — and notorious — cities. But all that came to an end in the middle of the last century, when the Communists took charge.

Over the past decade or so, though, a vibrant Shanghai has re-emerged. Today, it's a dynamic city of 23 million, with a skyline that dwarfs Manhattan's.

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Religion
1:34 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Some Israeli Parents Rethink Ritual Circumcision

Family members and friends gather around 8-day-old Israeli baby Oz Naftaly Cohen after his traditional Jewish circumcision ceremony in 2005.
Ariel Schalit AP

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 5:41 am

The question of whether to circumcise a newborn son is no question at all for most observant Jews. In Europe, the practice has come under fire. This summer, a German regional court ruled that circumcision is physical abuse, and a Swiss hospital temporarily banned the procedure. The debate has infuriated Jewish community leaders there.

In Israel, even the most secular Jews overwhelmingly have their sons circumcised. But the debate in Europe has drawn attention to a still small but growing number of Israeli Jews who are forgoing the procedure.

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Environment
1:34 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Humans' Role In Antarctic Ice Melt Is Unclear

The Larsen B ice shelf, a large floating ice mass on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, shattered and separated from the continent 10 years ago. A NASA satellite captured the event in this image from Feb. 23, 2002. The 650 foot-thick, 1,250-square-mile ice shelf had existed since the last ice age.
AP

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:59 pm

Ten years ago, a piece of ice the size of Rhode Island disintegrated and melted in the waters off Antarctica. Two other massive ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula had suffered similar fates a few years before. The events became poster children for the effects of global warming. But a new study finds that the story isn't quite so simple.

There's no question that unusually warm air triggered the final demise of these huge chunks of ice. But a lingering question is whether these events can be attributed to human-induced global warming.

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The Salt
1:28 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

The Spice Man Cometh To Cuba, A Hot Land Of Bland Food

Cuba has tight advertising restrictions, so Cedric Fernando uses his British-made 1955 MG convertible to spread the word about his Indian restaurant, Bollywood, in Havana.
Nick Miroff NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:57 am

Cuba has hot weather, hot music, hot politics and hot Cubans. So why is the food so bland?

Tourists who have visited the island, particularly Cuba's state-run restaurants, know that Cuban chefs are deeply fond of frying their ingredients, but the range of seasonings tends to span from salt to garlic, with not much else in between.

Enter the Spice Man. He is Cedric Fernando, co-proprietor of the first and only Indian restaurant in Cuba, called Bollywood. And he's definitely turning up the heat in the kitchen.

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Obama Defends Government As A National Caretaker

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

At his White House briefing this week, President Obama himself took issue with Mitt Romney's welfare claim.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You can't just make stuff up. That's one thing you learn as president of the United States. You get called into account. And I feel very comfortable with the fact that when you look at the campaign we're running, we are focused on the issues and the differences that matter to working families all across America.

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

PBS Remixes Bob Ross, Julia Child and Mister Rogers

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

You're probably familiar with these voices.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HAPPY LITTLE CLOUDS")

BOB ROSS: Hello, I'm Bob Ross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KEEP ON COOKING")

JULIA CHILD: What makes a great chef?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GARDEN OF YOUR MIND")

FRED ROGERS: Hey, neighbor, welcome again to this neighborhood.

BLOCK: The voices of the late Fred Rogers, Julia Child and Bob Ross. But have you ever heard them like this?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HAPPY LITTLE CLOUDS")

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Education
12:51 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Head Start To Absentee Dads: Please Come Back

Rickie Knox (left) meets with Keith Young at New Haven's Head Start center. Knox comes here almost every day to be with his two grandchildren.
Sam Sanders NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 5:01 pm

It's a typical day at a Head Start center near downtown New Haven, Conn., and restless 3- and 4-year-olds squirm and bounce on a colorful shaggy rug vying for their teacher's attention. Down the hallway several women make their way to a parenting class, stopping to marvel at a 4-month-old baby.

What you don't see, says the center's Keith Young, is men, fathers.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Check It Out, Yo: 'Hot Cheetohs & Takis,' This Summer's 'Truly Great Jam'

It's a summer hit.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 7:14 am

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Around the Nation
3:02 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Where Cyclists Once Rode, Ghost Bikes Stand Vigil

Ryan Nuckle helped found New York City's Ghost Bike Project in 2005, after three cyclists were killed in a single month.
Nellie Large for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 5:06 am

On a muggy summer afternoon in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a dozen people are hard at work on the patio behind a local church. They're stripping old bicycles of their brakes, cables and chains, and sanding and spray-painting them white.

But behind the lighthearted chatter, there's a more somber purpose to this gathering: They're building "ghost bikes."

Painted all white and adorned with colorful notes and flowers, ghost bikes are the cycling community's equivalent of roadside shrines dotting the highway; they mark the spot where a rider was killed in traffic.

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All Tech Considered
3:02 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Study To Test 'Talking' Cars That Would Warn Drivers Of Unseen Dangers

Connected car technology could warn drivers when vehicles ahead of them suddenly brake.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 6:55 pm

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
2:13 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Boston Plans For 'Near-Term Risk' Of Rising Tides

Some scientists predict that by 2050, climate change and an accompanying rise in sea level will lead to frequent flooding in Boston.
jeffgun Flickr

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 3:13 pm

While many cities around the country grapple with drought and excessive heat this year, city planners in Boston have something else on their minds: the prospect of rising water.

In this coastal metropolis, scientists and computer models predict that climate change could eventually lead to dramatic increases in sea level around the city. Coupled with a storm surge at high tide, parts of the city could easily end up under water.

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The Salt
1:44 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Kenya's Answer To Barbecue Is Part Celebration, Part Test Of Manhood

Kenyan cook Mwangi grills up nyama choma, which usually involves nearly all the parts of a goat, at the popular Sagret Hotel in Nairobi.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:59 am

In Nairobi, Kenya, when friends want to celebrate a birthday, the end of bachelorhood or a graduation, they often go out for goat. This communal and culinary tradition in Kenya is called nyama choma — literally, roasted meat. While it's usually goat, some places offer beef, chicken and lamb. If you know where to look, you can even get illegal zebra and and wildebeest meat.

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Election 2012
1:42 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Biden And Ryan Share Faith, But Not Worldview

This composite image shows Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (left) and Vice President Biden. Both men are Catholic, but their worldviews are strikingly different.
Jose Luis Magana/Thanassis Stavrakis AP

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:36 pm

When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate, Catholics passed a milestone. For the first time in history, both vice presidential candidates, Ryan and Vice President Biden, are Catholic.

But if Biden and Ryan share the same faith, they couldn't be further apart in their cultural and political worldviews. On issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, taxes and Medicaid, they are miles apart.

How can that be?

Reflecting 'The Old And The New'

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NPR Story
1:06 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

50 Years Later, New Dog Replaces A Long-Lost Friend

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:36 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We end the hour with commentator Andrei Codrescu and this dispatch from Arkansas and the dog days of summer.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Jet Lagged: NASA Engineer And His Family Are Living On Mars Time

David Oh, wife Bryn and his children Braden, 13, Ashlyn, 10, and Devyn, 8, picnic in Santa Monica beach at about 1 a.m.
David Oh

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:36 pm

Even the tiniest change — from daylight saving time to standard time — can throw your body off.

Imagine jumping into the time zone of an entirely different planet. That's what the family of David Oh, a NASA engineer, has been doing for weeks.

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Music Reviews
12:44 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Janka Nabay: The King Of Bubu Music

Forced into exile from Sierra Leone, Janka Nabay (left of center) now makes his mysterious, mesmerizing music in Brooklyn.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:36 pm

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Asia
10:58 am
Tue August 21, 2012

China's Increased Investment Upsets Some Pakistanis

China is planning to increase investments in Pakistan, and some Pakistanis feel China is trying to become a new colonial power. Amid these tensions, a bomb went off near the Chinese Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, on July 23. The blast injured two people.
Rizwan Tabassum AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:08 pm

With all its current troubles, Pakistan has not been attracting much foreign investment recently. In fact, China seems to be the only country that's prepared to pour money into Pakistan in a big way.

But a boost in Chinese investment has sparked resentment in southern Pakistan, where activists accuse China of trying to be a new colonial power. A bomb blast recently hit near the Chinese Consulate in Karachi — an ominous sign of the rising tensions.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:05 am
Tue August 21, 2012

The City As Engine: Energy, Entropy And The Triumph Of Disorder

Adam Frank stands atop of the Wilder Building in Rochester, N.Y.
Carlet Cleare WXXI

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:36 pm

Cities may be the defining element of human civilization.

The path from hunter-gatherers in the Paleolithic era 25,000 years ago to the high-tech, high-wonder jumble we inhabit today runs straight through cities. In traveling that path, our construction of cities has always been a dance with physics. In some cases, that physics was explicitly understood; in others, its manifestation was only recognized in hindsight.

As our cities have become more complex the physics embodying their behavior and organization has also become more nuanced, subtle and profound.

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