All Things Considered

Weekdays, 4:00PM-7:00PM

WEMU's All Things Considered local host is Bob Eccles who anchors all local news segments during the program.

NPR's All Things Considered paints the bigger picture with reports on the day's news, analysis of world events, and thoughtful commentary.

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Afghanistan
3:27 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

U.S. Wages Sisyphean War Against Afghan Corruption

U.S. investigators allege that Afghan Gen. Ahmad Zia Yaftali stole tens of millions of dollars' worth of medicine from the Mohammad Daud Khan military hospital in Kabul. He has been removed from that post, but has not been prosecuted. He's shown here at the hospital on Dec. 18, 2010.
Altaf Qadri AP

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 6:35 pm

U.S. officials consider widespread corruption one of the main barriers to a stable Afghanistan. They say it undermines support for the government and helps fuel the Taliban insurgency.

The U.S. has trained Afghan investigators and assisted in high-level corruption probes, yet the U.S. has little to show for its efforts.

The U.S. has created several task forces, including a one that's currently being set up: the Illicit Activities Initiative for Afghanistan, based in Washington.

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It's All Politics
6:03 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Texas GOP Senate Runoff Gives Tea Party An Opportunity To Flex Its Muscles

Ted Cruz, left, and David Dewhurst shake hands before their Republican Senate debate in Dallas on June 22.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 9:45 am

The Republican race to succeed retiring Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison wasn't supposed to be tough. But it's become one of the hardest-fought and most expensive intraparty races in the country.

Early this year, the race was expected to be a coronation for Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, 66.

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The Torch
5:46 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Studying Oscar Pistorius: Does The 'Blade Runner' Have An Advantage? [Video]

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa runs in the men's 200-meter event at the Paralympic World Cup in May. Some observers have suggested Pistorius receives an unfair advantage from his carbon-fiber "blade" legs.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 9:04 pm

The technology that makes walking possible for amputees is also making running possible at the Olympics. On Saturday in London, South African Oscar Pistorius will run on artificial limbs in the 400-meter sprint. Pistorius is a double amputee who runs world-class times on his carbon-fiber legs.

At last month's Prefontaine Track and Field Classic in Eugene, Ore., Pistorius ran in the inside lane of the 400-meter race. He leaned forward on his knees and fingers, and slipped his feet into the starting blocks — well, they're not actually feet.

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World
5:46 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

In Israel, Rabbis Rank Among The Rich And Famous

Forbes in Israel, he is worth about $23 million, which makes him the country's sixth-richest rabbi." href="/post/israel-rabbis-rank-among-rich-and-famous" class="noexit lightbox">
Rabbi Yaacov Israel Ifargan is known as the 'X-ray' rabbi for what his followers say is his ability to "see right through" a person. According to Forbes in Israel, he is worth about $23 million, which makes him the country's sixth-richest rabbi.
Tsafrir Abayov AP

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 2:01 pm

Over the past year, Israelis have taken to the streets to protest the country's high cost of living. They've also directed their anger at a small group of business moguls who have used their close ties to government officials to gain control of large chunks of the Israeli economy.

Now, the Israeli edition of Forbes magazine has shed light on a surprising category of Israelis who have quietly also climbed to the top rung of society: multimillionaire rabbis.

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Music Interviews
5:08 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Bibi Tanga: 'This Is A Band That Wants To Die'

Bibi Tanga (center) has embarked on a tour of the US with his band, The Selenites. Their new album 40 Degrees of Sunshine came out July 10.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:42 pm

Bibi Tanga is a true musical globe-trotter. Born in the Central African Republic to a family of diplomats, he spent most of his life following his father around the world. But Tanga says his journey has helped him to incorporate diverse genres into funky, multilingual songs that tackle themes well-hidden behind groovy hooks. Together with his band the Selenites, he is now touring the U.S. in support of his new album 40 Degrees of Sunshine.

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The Record
4:47 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Feminist Punk Band, Imprisoned For Five Months, Gets Next Gig: Russian Courtroom

Members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, Nadezha Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center) and Maria Alyokhina, at a hearing in Moscow court on Monday.
Andrey Smirnov Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:46 pm

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Middle East
4:32 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Is Assad Carving Out A Haven For Syria's Alawites?

A Syrian man holds a national flag bearing pictures of President Bashar Assad during a pro-regime protest to condemn a deadly attack in the central Midan district of Damascus on April 27.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 9:04 pm

As fighting between the Syrian military and rebel fighters rages, concerns are growing about how the regime of President Bashar Assad might react if it becomes convinced it's about to lose power.

One theory involves the establishment of a breakaway region dominated by Syria's Alawite minority — which includes the Assad family — in the northwestern coastal mountains. Analysts say this would be a disaster both for Assad and the region, but it can't be completely ruled out.

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NPR Story
4:14 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

India's Huge Blackout Leaves Millions Without Power

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:46 pm

A massive power cut in India left more than 300 million people — about a quarter of the population — without electricity on Monday. The cause of the collapse of the northern Indian power grid is still being investigated, but resulted in blackouts across at least eight Indian states. With no lights or hot water at home, millions of Indians then had to face a long struggle to get to work because trains were stopped and roads were jammed by lack of power for stop lights.

NPR Story
4:14 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Senate Report: For-Profit Colleges Exploit Students

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:46 pm

A report released Monday by Senate Democrats says for-profit colleges exploit students with aggressive recruiting tactics, high tuition and low graduation rates. The report says some schools set tuition based on the level of government grants or raised the price for some courses if the school was not making enough profit on them. The report is the culmination of a two-year investigation.

Shots - Health Blog
4:02 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Legal Battle Erupts Over Whose Plastic Consumers Should Trust

CamelBak-brand water bottles on display at an outdoor supply store in Arcadia, Calif., in 2008. The company removed BPA from the plastic in its bottles.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:46 pm

In 2007, Eastman Chemical began marketing a tough new BPA-free plastic called Tritan. Business was good, says Lucian Boldea, a vice president at Eastman.

"We were able to make the statement that our product is not made with BPA and would release data to consumers to support that fact," he says.

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Politics
7:36 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Eye On The Jewish Vote, Romney Commits To Israel

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney places a prayer note as he visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Sunday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 1:58 pm

Speaking from Israel on Sunday, presumptive GOP nominee for president Mitt Romney said that he would respect the nation's "right to defend itself" against Iran. He said the United States also has "a solemn duty and a moral imperative" to prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons.

Romney's trip and his speech are typical of presidential candidates, who every four years work to outdo one another when it comes to credentials on Israel and U.S. relations with the Jewish state.

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Movie Interviews
6:12 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Matthew McConaughey's Year Of Acting Dangerously

Killer Joe (2012) is the latest film from William Friedkin, the director of The French Connection and The Exorcist. The movie, which stars Matthew McConaughey, earned an NC-17 rating for its violent content.
LD Entertainment

This may be the year of actor Matthew McConaughey.

At the very least, fans will remember 2012 as the year that McConaughey revolutionized his career. He's starred in five different independent films, taking on smaller, character-actor parts in place of his usual roles as the sly-grinning heartthrob in romantic comedies.

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Music
3:42 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Olympic Mashups Make The Mood In London

Spectators at the 2012 Olympic Games in London are likely to hear one of DJ Earworm's pop pairings that span genres and generations.
Carl De Souza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 6:12 pm

You might not be able to hear it on television, but in the Olympic stadiums and arenas of London over the next weeks, games-watchers will be treated to some exclusive new tracks from world-renown mashup artist Jordan Roseman, better known as DJ Earworm.

"Out of the blue, there was an email," Roseman tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "They wanted these mixes."

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Religion
4:53 pm
Sat July 28, 2012

U.S. Still Religious, But Trust In Institutions Wanes

The cross on the steeple of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Henryville, Ind. A recent Gallup poll says only 44 percent of Americans have "great confidence" in organized religion.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 7:05 pm

Something is happening when it comes to religion in America.

Though more Americans go to church or believe in God than their counterparts in virtually every other Western country, fewer Americans now trust religious institutions. A recent Gallup poll showed that just 44 percent of Americans have a great deal of confidence in "the church or organized religion."

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Music
4:12 pm
Sat July 28, 2012

Across Latin America, Making Cumbia Modern

Uruguayan musician and producer Juan Campodónico records as Campo.
Matilde Campodónico Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:21 am

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The Torch
3:13 pm
Sat July 28, 2012

Making The Olympics Sound Right, From A 'Swoosh' To A 'Splash'

Inspired by the movie Robin Hood, Olympic sound man Dennis Baxter places microphones along the path to the target to capture the sound of arrows in flight.
Paul Gilham Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 7:05 pm

The Olympic Games are officially under way, and we're watching sports many of us glimpse only every four years: gymnastics; track; judo. But we're willing to bet that the sports' sounds are just as memorable: the clanking of foils, the tick-tock of table tennis, the robotic "Take your mark!" before swimmers launch.

Those unique sounds are part of the Olympic experience. And it's one man's job to make sure we hear them clearly: Dennis Baxter, the official sound engineer for the Olympics. He's been at it since 1996.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:12 pm
Sat July 28, 2012

The Movie Kasi Lemmons Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in Once.
Fox Searchlight AP

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 7:05 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For writer-director Kasi Lemmons, whose credits include Eve's Bayou, The Caveman's Valentine and Talk to Me, the movie she could watch a million times is John Carney's musical Once. "I was so taken by the filmmaking," Lemmons says.

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U.S.
5:26 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Chick-Fil-A Gay Flap A 'Wakeup Call' For Companies

Protesters from the Human Rights Campaign chant against Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's anti-gay marriage stance in front of a Chick-fil-A food truck in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:07 pm

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has long stood by its Bible-based roots, keeping stores closed on Sundays and donating millions to Christian causes. But when its president, Dan Cathy, went public to defend his company's stance against gay marriage, he set off a considerable controversy that has everyone from politicians to puppets weighing in.

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Election 2012
5:26 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Eyeing Jewish Vote In U.S., Romney Goes To Israel

Mitt Romney meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Jan. 13, 2011.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:20 am

Mitt Romney flies to Israel this weekend on the second leg of his overseas tour. He'll meet with top Israeli officials as well as the Palestinian prime minister.

Romney's supporters in Israel say the Republican presidential candidate is using the trip to court the Jewish vote, which went overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in 2008.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:08 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Cost Of Treatment Still A Challenge For HIV Patients In U.S.

Ruben Bermudez stands in front of a sign that says in Spanish, "To love yourself is to protect yourself." He has struggled to remain eligible for AIDS drug assistance programs since he went on treatment four years ago.
Jessica Camille Aguirre NPR

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 11:08 am

When Ruben Bermudez, 31, found out that he had HIV more than a decade ago, he didn't want to take his medicine. He went on treatment for a few weeks, but said the intensive pill regimen made him feel dizzy.

He stopped treatment and tried to ignore the diagnosis, moving to Florida from Washington in pursuit of sunshine. In 2008, he learned that one of his best friends died of a brain tumor that couldn't be treated because his immune system has been debilitated by AIDS. Bermudez realized that his only chance at a relatively healthy life would depend on taking pills daily.

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From Our Listeners
4:32 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Week In Politics: Mitt Romney In Europe

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:02 pm

Audie Cornish speaks with regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss Mitt Romney's trip to Europe.

Planet Money
4:24 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Losing With LIBOR: One Trader's Story

London-based Barclays Bank agreed to pay a $453 million fine over charges it manipulated the London Interbank Offered Rate — LIBOR — a key global interest rate.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:02 pm

We've been talking a lot lately about what's been dubbed the "LIBOR rate fixing scandal," where some of the biggest banks in the world have been accused of manipulating a key global interest rate.

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The Record
4:24 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

The Race To Create A Music Superlabel Still Faces Hurdles

Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Lucian Grainge (left) and Roger Faxon, the CEO of EMI Group, testify during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Universal's proposed merger with EMI.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:26 pm

It's been a tough decade for the music industry. Revenues have tumbled — from more than $14 billion in 1999 down to $7 billion last year. EMI, one of the big four record labels, was taken over by venture capitalists and then taken over again, after they defaulted, by Citigroup. Now, Universal Music Group wants to buy the recorded music division of EMI for $1.9 billion. But critics say if the two companies merge it will create a superlabel that will dominate the music industry.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

One White Buffalo To Get Sacred Name; Death Of Another Still Stirs Anger

The little guy in Connecticut. Saturday, he gets his sacred naming ceremony.
Courtesy of Peter Fay

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:02 pm

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Stories Of The Colorado Victims: Young Artist Was 'Ball Of Joy'

Alexander "AJ" Boik in an undated photo provided by his family.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 6:02 pm

As they're told, we're pointing to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded when a gunman opened fire on July 20 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Click here to see more. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

-- "AJ" Boik, Wanted Everyone To Be Happy:

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