All Things Considered on NPR News

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NPR's afternoon radio newsmagazine brings you breaking news and compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special - sometimes quirky - features. Thom Kokenge also updates you on regional news, and weather forecasts on your drive home.

Below, you will find articles, transcripts, and clips of many of the stories heard on All Things Considered.

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A single tornado can cause a lot of damage. But even worse are tornado outbreaks. Just this week, a cluster of at least 18 tornadoes struck the Southeast over two days . Scientists are seeing bigger clusters in recent years, and they're struggling to figure out what's happening. When weather conditions are just right — lots of rising heat and moisture, and vertical wind shear — sometimes you get more than just a tornado. Mathematician Michael Tippett at Columbia University, who tracks these...

President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in one of the many routine, get-acquainted chats he'll have before entering the White House. These talks rarely if ever make news, but Wednesday's conversation raised eyebrows because Trump lavished praise on Sharif and Pakistan despite years of tension between the two countries. Here's part of the read-out of their conversation, as released by Pakistan's Press Information Department: "President Trump said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ed9iKMtwP0 You can hear Harold Lopez-Nussa's training when he plays. The 33-year-old pianist is reluctant to admit the classical influence on his jazz playing, but he's quick to acknowledge that he, like many other great Cuban pianists, was classically trained. "This is the school that we have to learn music in Cuba; it's classical," he says. "I did all my stuff there from 8 years old to 25." Ned Sublette, author of the book Cuba and Its Music, From the First...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: There's still no official word on the cause of Monday's plane crash in Colombia that killed nearly all the members of a beloved Brazilian soccer team. But audio released by Colombian media indicates the plane was initially denied permission to land even as it was running out of gas. Reporter John Otis has more. JOHN OTIS, BYLINE: The audio is between the pilot of the doomed plane, Miguel Quiroga, and the control...

A new report from the National Academy of Sciences says it's hard to know how many people in the U.S. actually have food allergies or whether they're on the rise. Part of the challenge is this: Food allergies are often self-diagnosed and symptoms can be misinterpreted. Sometimes people can't distinguish a food allergy from other conditions such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, which don't fit the medical definition of an allergy. "There are a lot of misconceptions about what a...

So here's a riddle: What college doesn't have a campus, or professors, or students or even a football team? Give up? The Electoral College! OK, that was a little juvenile (if you really want to bring back your childhood, here's a video explaining the Electoral College by Schoolhouse Rock.) But there are a lot of misconceptions about the Electoral College, according to Oliver Potts, director of the Office of the Federal Register. The college, he said, is not a place or entity or organization, ...

Remember a couple of years ago, when it seemed like we were all one big happy family, Americans of every age and political stripe, joined in common pursuit? Millions of us spent that summer pouring buckets of ice water on our heads, to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Philanthropy has always played a big role in the United States, helping to shape who we are, what we do and how. Now it's the subject of a new exhibit called "Giving in...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Brazil is in mourning after the crash of a charter plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team. The team was headed to the biggest game in its history when the plane crashed in the Colombian Andes. More than 70 people were killed. Six survived. The crash brought to a violent end the Cinderella story of a team that rose from relative obscurity to qualify for one of the region's most prestigious tournaments. Catherine...

After campaigning with lots of populist and anti-Wall Street rhetoric, Donald Trump is seriously considering a veteran Wall Street financier, Steve Mnuchin, to be his Treasury secretary. Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, ultimately as a partner at the investment bank. More recently, he's headed a privately owned hedge fund, Dune Capital Management. Last April he became Trump's chief fundraiser, and he's now a member of the president-elect's transition team. But Mnuchin's resume also...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: If you're looking for a way to stay young, you might want to try living out the rest of your life in the dark, frigid waters of the Arctic. You will also need to become a Greenland shark. Scientists have discovered this species can live for about 400 years and maybe even longer, as we hear in this encore report from NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce. NELL GREENFIELDBOYCE, BYLINE: The first time Julius Nielsen ever saw...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: People in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq have lived under ISIS for two years. Now they are living under assault from troops that are trying to free the city from ISIS control. The assault on the city started more than a month ago and civilians are caught in the crossfire. As winter approaches, things are getting worse. Alex Milutinovic is the International Rescue Committee's Iraq country director. He joins us...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: In Cuba today, thousands of people lined up to pay their respects to the late Fidel Castro whose body was cremated over the weekend. NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro filed this report from a packed Plaza of the Revolution in the heart of Havana. LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: In life, Fidel towered over his people, and so he did in death. His memorial has been erected, perched on a hill at the massive stone obelisk...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: There's been a rash of small earthquakes in Oklahoma and Texas in recent years. Scientists say many of these earthquakes are caused by oil and gas operators pumping their wastewater underground. In Texas, a new oil discovery could mean even more drilling wastewater to dispose of. The two states have very different views on how to deal with the quake problem. We're going to hear from two reporters now, one in each...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Four years ago, the Senate Intelligence Committee produced a massive report on how the CIA detained and interrogated suspected terrorists. But that torture report, as it's come to be known, remains classified. Only a censored summary of its findings has come out. NPR's David Welna reports that with the arrival of the Trump administration, that full report may never be made public. DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Weighing in...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y_TyjMMbpc American composer Pauline Oliveros died on Thursday at the age of 84. She was an accordionist, a teacher and a performer, as well as an early pioneer of electronic music. She dedicated her life to experimenting with sounds and changing the way that people listened to music. Oliveros' commitment to the inclusion of female composers in the musical canon would also become a part of her legacy. In a 1970 New York Times op-ed, composer Pauline Oliveros...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST: Tattoos have long ceased to be the mark of a rebel. Nearly half of all millennials have a tattoo, according to a 2016 Harris poll. And even though tattoos have become more common, many with darker skin struggle to find tattoo artists who know how to work on their skin types. As NPR's Parth Shah reports, different skin tones call for a different tattooing technique. PARTH SHAH, BYLINE: Getting a tattoo can be...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST: The so-called alt-right is associated with a white nationalist movement, and it has received a lot of attention since the presidential election. Adrian Florido of NPR's Code Switch team reports on the debate emerging about whether alt-right is even the best term. ADRIAN FLORIDO, BYLINE: I met two of the alt-right's intellectual leaders at a meeting and press conference they held in Washington, D.C., last weekend....

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST: When NPR last visited with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, she was fresh off a starring role as Belle, the title character the movie is named for. She played Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy captain and an African slave entrusted to a powerful English lord. Gugu Mbatha-Raw has since played roles in some seven films at the box office and in an episode of the acclaimed TV series "Black Mirror." We...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST: The news of Fidel Castro's death sparked crowds and spontaneous celebrations in Miami early this morning that continued throughout the day. Even though Fidel Castro's passing may have little immediate effect in terms of returning rights and freedom to Cubans on the island, Cuban-Americans in Miami say they're hopeful. NPR's Greg Allen reports. GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Outside La Carreta restaurant in Miami's...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST: Now that the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers are nearly done and the Black Friday crowds are subsiding - or sort of, there's one thing left to do this holiday weekend. It is time to head out and catch a flick. To get the latest on what movies to watch this weekend, we spoke with Washington Post Express arts and culture columnist Kristen Page-Kirby. We talked to head of the holiday starting with a film that's highly...

Some congressional Republicans won their districts this year by distancing themselves from Donald Trump. So when the new Congress convenes in January, they'll have to figure out how to work with a president they didn't support. Miami Rep. Carlos Curbelo is in that group. He's a Republican who won big in a district that also went for Hillary Clinton. Now he faces some challenges in balancing the interests of his constituents while working with a Trump administration. Curbelo was elected to...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: For college football fans, there is an order to Thanksgiving weekend. Family on Thursday, leftovers Friday, game day Saturday. Tomorrow is the biggest day for college football rivalries. For super fans who live overseas it can be a little more complicated to bring your blood up to a full boil for game day. We've called up a couple of rivals who have never met, both of them ex-pats struggling with this challenge. In...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Poland has recently gone through a battle over abortion rights. The country's right-wing government tried to pass laws for a near-total ban on abortions. The effort ran into heavy opposition and failed. NPR's Joanna Kakissis went to Warsaw to look at how people in this conservative society pushed back this fall. JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: This fall, a group called Stop Abortion testified before the Polish parliament....

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Among the many things to be thankful for today, let's include Hollywood, which has been working hard to distract us from real life. Movies featuring superheroes and animated animals set box office records in 2016. And still to come to a theater near you - haunted real estate, droids and lightsabers and dad jokes. NPR's movie critic Bob Mondello has our holiday preview. BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Someone say droids and...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Let's say you're at a party or walking down the street and suddenly out of a sea of passing faces one of them lights up. Someone is looking right at you, waving, saying hello, they're happy to see you and you have no idea who this person is. Some of us are really good at recognizing faces. Others of us are not. To explain why, here's our social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam from NPR's Hidden Brain podcast....

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: We could give you some tips on how to properly cook your Thanksgiving meal, but frankly, it may be too late for that at this point in the day. So we're going to talk about the science behind cooking those traditional dishes with our friend Alton Brown. Welcome to the program. ALTON BROWN: Thank you, Ari, for having me. Nice to talk to you again. SHAPIRO: So you are currently on tour with a show called "Eat Your...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: You probably already know some of the big Thanksgiving safety tips - defrost your bird in the fridge, not on the counter. No frozen turkeys in the deep fryer. Don't bring up politics around uncle Mike. Well, here's one more way a lot of people hurt themselves on Thanksgiving - playing football. Ben Casselman learned that lesson the hard way. A few years ago, he was home for the holiday with his family and they...

On a night that the national election results had her discouraged, Seattle resident Anne Johnson had at least one ballot measure to celebrate: ST3, which will raise the local sales tax in the Seattle-Tacoma area to help pump $54 billion into expanding the region's rail and bus systems. It passed by a wide margin. "That is awesome, and we've put a lot of work into that, and I'm excited for the direction that that will take Seattle," says Johnson, who adds that the transit improvements will...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Lots of high schools let students develop specialties in foreign languages, the sciences or the arts. A high school in Phoenix lets students focus on a more unusual subject - policing. From member station KJZZ, Naomi Gingold reports. UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Good morning, Franklin. UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: Good morning, sir. NAOMI GINGOLD, BYLINE: This is morning assembly at Franklin Police and Fire High School....

As families gather for home-cooked food this Thanksgiving, there's one acclaimed Los Angeles chef who expresses her gratitude for local flavors by getting out in nature. On a recent day, we find chef Niki Nakayama and her wife, Carole Iida-Nakayama, in the mountains of the Angeles National Forest. They trudge through the dry vegetation with master forager Pascal Baudar , gathering unexpected ingredients to use at their restaurant, N/Naka . At one point, they come across a black mustard plant,...

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