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All Things Considered

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NPR's flagship evening newsmagazine delivers in-depth reporting and transforms the way listeners understand current events and view the world.

Every weekday, hosts Amy Kiley,Robert Siegel, Audie Cornish, Ari Shapiro and Kelly McEvers present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special – sometimes quirky – features.

Bilingualism A Political Liability?

Jan 29, 2012

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And sticking with presidential politics for a moment, speaking a second language has recently become something of a liability for those aspiring to live in the White House. It turns out very few American presidents have had a strong command of a second language, most of them in the early days of the Republic, and that language, it was French.

John McWhorter wrote about this recently in The New Republic, and he's with me now. John, bonjour.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

JOHN MCWHORTER: Bonjour, Guy. How are you doing?

French Town Says Non To "Mademoiselle"

Jan 29, 2012

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And speaking of French, a small French revolution is underway in the town of Cesson - sorry. How do you say it?

LAUREN: Cesson-Sevigne.

RAZ: Thankfully, our intern Lauren Benichou is French. Anyway, as I was saying, in that town, the mayor, Michel Bihan, has banned the use of the word mademoiselle.

MAYOR MICHEL BIHAN: (Through translator) In France, mademoiselle is a condescending term. We believe that it's more natural and fair to call women madame.

Today marks the start of an exciting project at All Things Considered called NewsPoet. Each month we'll be bringing in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's news.

The first poet to participate is Tracy K. Smith. She has received degrees in English and creative writing from Harvard College, Columbia University, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Her latest book of poems is titled Life on Mars.

Everyone knows what an Oreo cookie is supposed to be like. It's round, black and white, and intensely sweet. Has been for 100 years. But sometimes, in order to succeed in the world, even the most iconic product has to adapt.

In China, that meant totally reconsidering what gives an Oreo its Oreoness.

At first, though, Kraft Foods thought that the Chinese would love the Oreo. Who doesn't? They launched the product there in 1996 as a clone of the American version.

Shrek, Hitch, Gattaca: What's in a name? Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet — but for Hollywood the question is more like, "Would that rose, by any other name, sell as many tickets?"

Shredding To Metallica, Dancing To 'Jump'

Jan 27, 2012

Welcome to the fourth installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club, where we select a book for young readers — and invite them to read along with us and share their thoughts and questions with the author.

Our selection for January — The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis — describes the civil rights era from the perspective of a young (and extremely mischievous) boy and his family.

This election cycle, one factor stands above all others in driving the dynamics of the race for the Republican presidential nomination: televised debates.

There are not many things that Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney agree on, but when it comes to job training there is common ground.

"It is time to turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system that puts people to work," President Obama said during his State of the Union address Tuesday.

Earlier in the week, Newt Gingrich offered a similar solution for helping those facing long-term unemployment.

In Broadway's 'Wit,' A Documentary Of Our Demise

Jan 26, 2012

In her dressing room at the Friedman Theatre, Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon has a nightly ritual: She rubs Nivea cream all over her scalp to soothe the razor burns.

Being completely bald is just one of the many demands of the character she plays in Wit -- a brilliant college professor named Vivian Bearing, who's battling ovarian cancer.

Letters: In-Sourcing; John Hawkes

Jan 26, 2012

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Time now for some of your responses to our program.

And first, my interview yesterday with the CEO of Keen. The company is based in Portland, Oregon. It makes shoes. And we talked with CEO James Curleigh because Keen illustrates something President Obama advocated in his State of the Union Address. It recently opened a factory in the U.S. instead of China. President Obama called it insourcing.

Curleigh told us it not only makes financial sense, it's good marketing.

A day after delivering his State of the Union address to Congress, President Obama took his message on the road. Obama hoped that stops at manufacturing sites in Iowa and Arizona would drive home his point that the government should do more to encourage factory jobs.

The three-day trip also includes stops in Colorado, Nevada and Michigan. Those are all states likely to be important in the November election.

Obama kicked off his road trip at Conveyor Engineering and Manufacturing, a factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords took to the House floor Wednesday one last time to say good-bye, for now, to her colleagues. It was an emotional scene as she handed in her resignation, a little more than a year after being gravely injured in an assassination attempt.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Cairo's Tahrir Square overflowed with Egyptians today. Traffic was snarled for miles as people jammed bridges and streets. The crowd marked the first anniversary of the popular uprising that drove Hosni Mubarak from power.

And as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo, many people did not come to celebrate.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign celebrated his win in the South Carolina Republican primary with a so-called money bomb, a fundraising push to raise as much as possible.

It was a success. But its importance also shows the precarious financial state of Gingrich's campaign.

Spokesman R.C. Hammond says the campaign first set a target of $1 million, then doubled it and met it, all within 48 hours.

Robert Siegel talks with Sherif Mansour about the events that have unfolded in the year since the Egyptian revolution began. Mansour is an Egyptian democracy activist, who is also a senior program officer for Freedom House's Middle East and North Africa programs.

Romney Releases His Tax Returns

Jan 24, 2012

Mitt Romney released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011, after earlier suggesting he would wait until after winning the GOP nomination. While Romney's total tax bill was in the millions, his tax rate was actually lower than that of many middle-class Americans.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of professional sports' most storied franchises. But they're up for auction because much-maligned and outgoing owner Frank McCourt was forced to put the team under bankruptcy protection last summer.

Now, preliminary bids for the Dodgers are due on Monday. The team lost its luster during McCourt's ownership, but estimates for the winning bid range from $1.2 to $2 billion, dwarfing the record $845 million paid for the Chicago Cubs a couple of years ago.

John Hawkes' conversation with Melissa Block on today's All Things Considered begins as many of his conversations might: with her noting that when she told people she was coming to talk to him and rattled off his credits, she got a response that he undoubtedly gets a lot: "Ohhh, he's that guy."

GOP Candidates Prepare To Debate In Fla.

Jan 23, 2012

NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson joins Melissa Block from Florida to discuss Monday night's Republican presidential debate.

A former CIA officer was charged on Monday with leaking secrets to reporters — and then lying about it.

The Justice Department has accused John Kiriakou of violating the Espionage Act by outing his colleagues and passing sensitive details about counterterrorism operations to reporters for The New York Times and other media outlets.

Kiriakou, 47, of Arlington, Va., appeared in federal court in Virginia on Monday, where he was released after posting a $250,000 bond.

The Reluctant Spy

Robert Siegel talks to David Johnson, former executive director of Florida's Republican Party, about the state's political landscape — and what that means for the GOP presidential candidates.

A plea deal has been reached in the court martial case of Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich. He was the last person facing charges in the killings of 24 Iraqis at the village of Haditha in 2005. Monday, he admitted to one charge of dereliction of duty. The case became a touchstone for criticism of the Iraq war. Originally, several Marines were charged with murder in the case. But the Marines who killed the Iraqi civilians that day claimed that their actions were tragic — but legal under the official rules of engagement in a complex war fought in and among the people.

Extreme Weather Rips Through The South

Jan 23, 2012

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The South is cleaning up from yet another round of devastating tornadoes. The storms started first in Arkansas, then brought baseball-sized hail, heavy wind and lightning to parts of Tennessee and Mississippi. But it was Alabama that saw the worst of it. At least two people died with 100 more injured.

As NPR's Russell Lewis reports, the overnight storms hit communities still struggling to recover from a series of devastating tornadoes last year.

The Supreme Court rules that police can't put a GPS tracking device on a vehicle without a warrant.

For the past few months, All Things Considered has asked for your memories of music that reminds you of winter.

For listener Veronica Horton of Vermillion, S.D., "Tennessee" Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons" reminds her of dancing in the back of a barn in Minnesota.

Putting On Heirs: 3 Rich And Snooty Reads

Jan 23, 2012

Surely I am not the only one who has harbored secret dreams of being an heiress — not the nouveau riche kind with a reality television crew trailing behind me, but the sort with a full staff, gobs of silver and afternoons spent on the hunt. Though I've come around to my untitled American life, I still adore reading books about drafty old houses and the privileged people who inhabit them.

Humans are complicated genetic jigsaw puzzles. Hundreds of genes are involved in determining something as basic as height.

But man's best friend is a different story. New research shows that almost every physical trait in dogs — from a dachshund's stumpy legs to a shar-pei's wrinkles — is controlled by just a few genes.

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