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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The Primary Season, A Cappella

Jan 11, 2012

The next 40-some weeks or so are going to be a screaming tower of political babble, a cacophony of accusing and boasting, pandering and slandering. I watch the news these days with the mute button permanently depressed, lest I fall into a permanent depression myself. There's only so much contention and vitriol a sensitive soul can bear.

Hostess Brands — maker of Ho Hos and, of course, the Twinkie — is filing for bankruptcy. The Texas-based company owes millions to its suppliers and labor unions. It is the second time Hostess has sought protection from its creditors in eight years.

Melissa Block talks about the New Hampshire primary to NPR's Mara Liasson. She also talks to our political commentators E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and Matthew Continetti, opinion editor of The Weekly Standard, about the results of the New Hampshire primary.

Doug Wead Discusses Ron Paul

Jan 10, 2012



We're going next, though to Doug Wead, who is a campaign advisor to Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Doug Wead, welcome to the program.

DOUG WEAD: Hey, thank you very much.

BLOCK: And so far, looking like your candidate has come in a strong second in New Hampshire. Your take on tonight's results?



And I'm joined now by former Senator Bob Smith, former New Hampshire senator, who is a supporter of Newt Gingrich. Welcome, Senator Smith.

BOB SMITH: Thank you. I'm glad to be with you.

BLOCK: And let me ask you. It looks like your candidate, Newt Gingrich, is coming in at this point, anyway, based on early returns, fourth in New Hampshire. A disappointing finish?

SMITH: I didn't hear you and I didn't hear the result. Could you repeat that again?

Dionne, Continetti Discuss N.H. Primary

Jan 10, 2012

Melissa Block speaks with Andy Kohut of the Pew Research Center and our political commentators E.J. Dionne, of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and Matthew Continetti, opinion editor of The Weekly Standard, about the results of the New Hampshire primary.

Pew's Kohut Discusses Exit Polling

Jan 10, 2012

Melissa Block talks with Andy Kohut of the Pew Research Center about New Hampshire primary exit polling.

Walk into a typical Walgreens, and see cosmetics, greeting cards, and candy and snack aisles. Not so at a new, huge version of the drugstore in the heart of Chicago's Loop.

At a new downtown Walgreens, customers can get a fruit smoothie while they wait for their prescription — or even a manicure. Walgreens opened the new upscale version of its drugstore Tuesday on State Street to try to distinguish itself from the competition.

What To Expect From The N.H. Primary

Jan 10, 2012

After months of campaigning and millions of dollars in TV ads, the first presidential primary is Tuesday in New Hampshire. Audie Cornish talks with NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson about what to expect when the results roll in.

How Important Is N.H. To Romney's Campaign?

Jan 10, 2012



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.




More than half of states had forced sterilization programs at one time, but few were as aggressive as North Carolina's. Some 7,600 men, women and children were sterilized by that state's eugenics board up to the mid 1970s. Sterilization was seen as a way to control welfare costs and improve the caliber of the population. Well, today, a task force in North Carolina took a step toward becoming the only state to offer compensation to eugenics victims.

From member station WFAE, Julie Rose has the story.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday testing the constitutionality of a Bush-era regulation that allows the Federal Communications Commission to punish broadcasters with stiff fines for the fleeting use of vulgar language or nude images. The FCC's rule applies only to radio and over-the-air TV networks — like Fox, ABC, NBC and PBS — but not to cable TV.

Army Scraps Most Of The JTRS Program

Jan 10, 2012



It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.


And I'm Melissa Block.

Now a story about the challenges of military communication on the battlefield.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Roger, stand by. I believe (unintelligible) trying to push traffic for you.

BLOCK: This is radio traffic from an Army convoy in eastern Afghanistan that's having trouble communicating.


The children of the Republican presidential candidates have been almost as present on the campaign trail as the candidates themselves. Sometimes they just serve as a backdrop on TV, other times as valuable surrogates.

When the current president of South Korea Lee Myung-bak took office four years ago, he turned a cold shoulder to engagement with North Korea. The conservative wing in South Korea opposed improving relations with Pyongyang. But that has proven to be an unpopular policy, and now Lee finds himself in the difficult position of appealing for closer ties in this unpredictable transition period in North Korea. Lee goes to Beijing Monday to seek Chinese backing for this policy shift.

A Unique Expression Of Love For Math

Jan 10, 2012



Last week in Boston, 7,000 mathematicians, math teachers and math enthusiasts from all over the world converged for something called the Joint Mathematics Meeting. Naturally, there was a lot of this...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: C plus S minus two.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Well, S is A plus B and C is two.


BLOCK: But reporter Ari Daniel Shapiro also found a lot that he wasn't expecting.

NPR Correspondents Discuss N.H. Primary

Jan 10, 2012

Audie Cornish and Melissa Block talk to NPR correspondents covering the New Hampshire primary. NPR's Don Gonyea is covering the campaign of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. NPR's Robert Smith is covering the campaign of Texas Rep. Ron Paul. NPR's Tovia Smith is covering the campaign of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. And NPR's Andrea Seabrook is covering the campaign of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.



A federal appeals court has struck down Oklahoma's ban on Sharia law. The ruling said the state amendment, which was passed in 2010, discriminated against Muslims.

NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports.

Elving Discusses N.H. Primary

Jan 10, 2012

Melissa Block talks with NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving about Tuesday's first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary.

On a day where Newt Gingrich picked up the endorsement of former "first dude" Todd Palin of Alaska, there are plenty of other celebrity endorsements to go around.

All the instability in the global economy this year has been good for the United States Mint. People in search of a safe place to put their money have been buying gold and silver coins in record numbers.

"Precious metal coins were up $800 million dollars last year and that's approximately thirty some percent," says Richard Peterson, deputy director of the Mint.

According the the Mint's annual report, they sold 45.2 million ounces of gold and silver coins in 2011.

The city plans to revitalize its once-glitzy downtown shopping district. New Jersey News Service reporter Nancy Solomon tours Broad Street with Newark's head of economic development, and reports on plans to lure back high-end shoppers.

The six remaining Republican presidential candidates held two debates over the past 24 hours — one Saturday night, another Sunday morning. Guy Raz talks to NPR National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson about what transpired in those debate.




Just a few hours ago, bells rang across Tucson in remembrance of the first anniversary of the shootings there, which left six people dead and wounded 13 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. That day, a gunman fired more than 30 shots at a constituent event hosted by Giffords outside a Safeway supermarket. NPR's Ted Robbins joins me now from in front of that Safeway. Ted, it's hard to believe it's already been a year.

Preview Of BCS Bowl Game

Jan 8, 2012



So tomorrow night for the first time in the history of the Bowl Championship Series, two teams from the same conference, the Southeastern Conference, the two best teams in college football, Louisiana State University and the University of Alabama, will face off in the BCS National Championship in New Orleans. Who's going to win? Well, to help us answer that question, Mike Pesca joins me now.

Best-selling e-author Amanda Hocking grew up in the small town of Austin, Minn., which, she says, is known for Spam. Spam as in the food, not the e-mail spam.

"We invented Spam," the 27-year-old novelist tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

Hocking's dad was a truck driver. Her mom was a waitress. Even as a very young child, she had always been a kind of natural storyteller — especially when it came to fantasy stories. Stories about dragons, unicorns, pirates and more.

When it comes to last words, there's a kind of poetry in even the oddest ones. Oscar Wilde hated the wallpaper in the room where he died: "One of us has to go," he muttered. Salvador Dali: "Where is my clock?" Steve Jobs: "Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow," according to his sister, who was in the room.

Tim Goeglein worked in the George W. Bush White House for eight years, and it was in the Oval Office that the president forgave him.

While working as an aide to Bush, Goeglein repeatedly plagiarized columns he sent to his hometown newspaper under his byline. When his actions were discovered, he went to Bush to apologize, fully expecting to be fired.

"Before I could get barely a few words out," he says, "he looked at me, and he said, 'Tim, grace and mercy are real. I have known grace and mercy in my life, and I'm extending it to you. You're forgiven.' "

Kelly Clarkson: A Pop Star Survives

Jan 7, 2012

Kelly Clarkson burst onto the pop scene in 2002 when she became the first winner of American Idol. She went on to win Grammys, break records on the charts and earn the affection of critics — one dubbed her "the best voice in the history of pop music."

Peter Frampton sold millions of records with the help of a customized Gibson guitar. Three decades ago, that guitar was destroyed in a plane crash ... or so he thought.