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.

Visit All Things Considered on NPR.org

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Today, new evidence that the pace of job growth is picking up. The government's employment report for December showed 200,000 jobs added to payrolls. The unemployment rate continued its downward trend falling to 8.5 percent.

And while that may be welcome news, as NPR's John Ydstie explains, the December report could be overstating job growth.

This is the season of the presidential superPACs: They flooded Iowa with attack ads, and now they are looking ahead to primaries in South Carolina and Florida.

SuperPACs (political action committees) can solicit big, corporate contributions — something candidates can't do. And, according to the law, superPACs are barred from coordinating their ads with the candidates they support. But it's not nearly that simple.

A SuperPAC Attacks

Hairy-chested yeti crabs, seven-armed sea stars, white octopuses — all these creatures were seen for the first time by researchers in the Antarctic. Robert Siegel talks to biologist Alex Rodgers of the University of Oxford, who led the expedition.

Navajo Code Talker Keith Little Dies

Jan 6, 2012

One of the last remaining Navajo Code Talkers from World War II has died. Keith Little, who transmitted codes in important Pacific battles such as Iwo Jima and Saipan, died Tuesday at 87. He led the Navajo Code Talkers Association in recent years and fought to get recognition for the Code Talkers, who were ordered to keep their contribution to the war effort secret for decades after the war ended.

The end could soon be near for Kodak, and the iconic film manufacturer may have itself to blame.

Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., could be headed into bankruptcy over the next few weeks. The company has seen its profits plunge in recent years, largely because of the popularity of digital cameras.

Kodak is trying to move into new product lines like inkjet printers, but in the meantime it's attempting to raise cash by selling off some of the patents it's developed over the years.

It's like a bad joke. Why did the Greek government borrow so much money?

Because it couldn't get its own citizens to pay taxes.

The Greek government estimates that one third of taxes owed never get paid. And apparently it was far easier to borrow money even at outrageous rates than to make Greeks pay what they owe.

So in 2009, the Greek finance ministry called in an unlikely hero: A methodical, computer science professor at Athens University, Diomidis Spinellis.

Rick Santorum has been upsetting elections from the beginning.

He was only 32 years old when he toppled a seven-term incumbent in a majority Democratic district in western Pennsylvania.

Just four years later, Santorum rode the Republican wave of 1994 into the Senate representing Pennsylvania. And from the beginning, Santorum has stood for unwavering social conservatism, especially on the issue of abortion.

"Give the baby a chance to live," said Santorum while delivering a speech on the Senate floor in 1997.

Eve Arnold, Photojournalist, Dies At 99

Jan 5, 2012

Photographer Eve Arnold died Wednesday, just a few months shy of her 100th birthday. Arnold is best known for her intimate portraits of both the rich and famous — including Marilyn Monroe, Malcolm X and Joan Crawford — and of the down and out.

As Robert Capa, one of the founders of the agency Magnum Photos, once put it: Arnold's work "falls metaphorically between Marlene Dietrich's legs and the bitter lives of migratory potato pickers."

Photographer Eve Arnold Dies At 99

Jan 5, 2012

Robert Siegel talks to Brigitte Lardinois, associate director photography at the University of the Arts in London, about the late photographer Eve Arnold whose work captured the lives of the rich and famous — and the down and out. Arnold died Wednesday at 99.

L.A. Woman Files Suit Against Honda

Jan 5, 2012

When Heather Peters of Los Angeles bought a 2006 Civic Hybrid, she was told the car would get 50 miles per gallon. But, the car never got more than 42 miles per gallon on its best day, she says — and only 30 miles per gallon after a system upgrade. She declined an offer to join a class-action suit brought by similarly frustrated Civic Hybrid owners, and she is now suing the automaker Honda in a California small claims court — asking for $10,000. Melissa Block speaks with Andrea Chang of the Los Angeles Times, who's been covering the story.

Will Charlie Rose Rise And Shine For CBS?

Jan 4, 2012

Andrew Wallenstein is an editor at Variety.

Charlie Rose may very well be the best interviewer on the planet. If there's something important in the news, chances are he has left his mark on the story — from the events unfolding in North Korea to the modern relevance of Shakespeare.

Kohut, Continetti Discuss Iowa Caucuses

Jan 3, 2012

Robert Siegel talks about the Iowa caucuses with Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center; and Matt Continetti, a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The Iowa caucuses are under way. Republican voters are making their choices in the nation's first presidential contest of 2012. And according to early entrance poll results, it appears two of the candidates are running strong - Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, to the Democrats, who were also caucusing tonight in Iowa. There, of course, is no drama in those caucuses. President Obama is unopposed. But the president did address Democratic caucus-goers a few minutes ago. And Iowa Public Radio's Sarah McCammon is at a Democratic caucus in Des Moines. Sarah, what was the president's message tonight?

A Look At The Ankeny, Iowa, Caucus Site

Jan 3, 2012

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In about an hour, Iowans will begin caucusing in the nation's first presidential contest of 2012. Republicans are gathering at sites representing more than 1,700 precincts. While voters can write in any name they like, six candidates leave the field. The top vote-getters will head into next week's New Hampshire primary with fresh momentum and while those at the bottom could find their campaigns on life support.

A Look At The Van Meter, Iowa, Caucus Site

Jan 3, 2012

Robert Siegel talks with NPR's Sonari Glinton, who reports from a Republican caucus site in Van Meter, Iowa.

The third stage in Egypt's parliamentary elections got underway Tuesday. In upper Egypt, tensions between Muslims and Christians have intensified in the aftermath of the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. Qena is a stronghold of the ultra-conservative Salafi movement, and its members have clashed repeatedly with local Coptic Christians over the past year.

American Idol, The Sing-Off, The Voice — there's no shortage of over-the-top, glitzy, ratings-driven music competitions on TV. And now Aretha Franklin is getting in on the singing contest circuit, but she's turning her searchlight on the world of classical music. That's right — the Queen of Soul is searching for the next great opera singer.

Melissa Block interviews John Armbruster, a seismologist with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, part of Columbia University, about why he believes the waste from fracking in Ohio has led to the earthquakes there. He says the injection of waste water from the fracking process created pressure on nearby faults, and he expects the quakes to continue — even after the process is stopped.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

South Korea's president delivered this message yesterday to North Korea: It will respond strongly to any provocations under North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un. However, in a televised speech, Lee Myung-bak also promised that North-South relations could improve if Pyongyang halts its nuclear weapons program.

Reporter Doualy Xaykaothao recently hit the streets of Seoul, to find out what South Koreans think of the power shift in the north. And for many the answer is simple: They don't care.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Robert Siegel talks with Sidney Milkis, author of Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Transformation of American Democracy, about the U.S. presidential election of 1912 — when there was a viable third party on the ballot: the Bull Moose Party.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There's a lot of debate these days about the cost of medical care and the risks. Is a drug for breast cancer patients worth the $100,000 price tag if it only adds a few months to a woman's life? Or should men routinely get blood tests for prostate cancer when the exam could cause more suffering than it prevents?

Well, today, a major medical group issued new ethical guidelines on whether doctors should consider cost when deciding how to treat patients. As NPR's Rob Stein reports, the group takes a provocative position.

All Things Considered host Melissa Block talks with musician Robert Earl Keen for our series Winter Songs, about "Snowin' on Raton," a Townes Van Zandt tune that reminds Keen of a time when things went spectacularly wrong, before going spectacularly right.

NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson joins All Things Considered host Melissa Block to talk about Tuesday's Iowa caucuses.

Police Make Arrest In Suspected Car Arsons

Jan 2, 2012

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Today, police in Los Angeles arrested a man in connection with a string of more than 50 arson fires that have left that city on edge. Most of the fires were set in parked cars, and some spread to carports, garages and apartments. Sam Quinones is following the story for the Los Angeles Times and Sam, what else can you tell us about the man who's under arrest?

Imprisoned In A Mysterious Mistaken Identity

Jan 2, 2012

Alex Gilvarry is the author of From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant.

I was a college student in New York City when security checks became the norm. Being half-Filipino with a Scottish last name, I wasn't easy to profile. And since I was always carrying a big backpack of textbooks in and out of the subways on my way to class, I came to expect that I would be stopped once or twice each week.

There's a handful of people — roughly 10 percent of the global population — that has something in common.

Many mysteries and misconceptions surround this group. Its members have been called artistically gifted and self-reliant, but also untrustworthy and insincere. Most recently, several of them have been called the president of the United States.

The new Broadway production of the musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever has been billed as a "reincarnation" rather than a revival. The premise is the same as before: A psychiatrist, Mark Bruckner, falls in love with the "past life" of one of his hypnotized patients. But this version replaces Daisy, the charming young patient first played in the 1960s by Barbara Harris, with Davey — a gay man harboring a female alter ego deep in his subconscious.

2011: A Big Year For Space Exploration

Dec 31, 2011

Some might be inclined to think 2011 was a pretty bad year for space, what with the U.S. space program shutting down. While the Atlantis marked the last mission in NASA's decades-long space shuttle program, the agency still managed to have other significant launches this year. Crafts visited Mercury, a massive asteroid known as Vesta, and the moon. Another left for Jupiter, and the Voyager 1 spacecraft sailed out of our solar system. Guest host Rebecca Sheir talks to Neil deGrasse Tyson, head of the Hayden Planetarium, about whether all that made 2011 a good year for space exploration.

When scientists want to test new therapies for cancer or heart disease, they frequently turn to mice for help. For most mice, this isn't the best thing that could happen to them. Being a research subject has definite disadvantages, at least for mice.

But most people prefer a new therapy be tested in a rodent rather than making a human patient the guinea pig — if you'll forgive the twisted metaphor.

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