All Things Considered

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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.

The southern African nation of Botswana is grappling with a relatively new problem in the evolving AIDS pandemic: It now has a large group of HIV-positive adolescents.

The teenagers were infected at birth before Botswana managed to almost wipe out mother-to-child transmission of the virus. These children have survived because of a public health system that provides nearly universal access to powerful anti-AIDS drugs.

Part one of a two-part series.

It wasn't supposed to happen to coal miners in Mark McCowan's generation. It wasn't supposed to strike so early and so hard. At age 47 and just seven years after his first diagnosis, McCowan shouldn't have a chest X-ray that looks this bad.

"I'm seeing more definition in the mass," McCowan says, pausing for deep breaths as he holds the X-ray film up to the light of his living room window in Pounding Mill, Va.

Liberia Launches Military Campaign To Route Rebels

Jul 8, 2012

Liberia is launching its first large-scale military operation since the end of its brutal civil war. Liberia's army, which has been trained by the U.S. military over the last six years, is going after mercenaries and rebels who are using thick forest as cover from which to launch ambushes in neighboring Ivory Coast.

Raising Minimum Wage: A Help Or Harm?

Jul 8, 2012

Back in 1912, Massachusetts became the first place in America to introduce a minimum wage, but it would take another quarter century before a national minimum wage was set.

President Franklin Roosevelt made it law in 1938, that any hourly worker had to be paid at least 25 cents an hour. It was revolutionary, and very few countries had anything like it.

Drones Suspected In Yemen Fighting

Jul 8, 2012

Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with NPR's Kelly McEvers about her reporting trip to towns in southern Yemen, which recently came under fire from what are believed to be unmanned drones.

Hacking Drones And The Dangers It Presents

Jul 8, 2012

A professor at The University of Texas has figured out how to intercept drones while in flight. Todd Humphreys and his team taps into the GPS coordinates of a civilian drone and can alter the flight path, even land it. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with Humphreys about how he did it and the dangers that hacking can present.

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 actor Gabriel Macht, whose credits include The Good Shepherd, The Spirit, Love and Other Drugs and the USA TV show, "Suits," the movie he could watch a million times is the rock musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. "Tim Curry is just amazing," Macht says.

What Does London's LIBOR Mean To The U.S.?

Jul 7, 2012

Many of us were introduced to the term LIBOR for the first time this week, when it was revealed that some banks might have been manipulating the dull but vital interest rates to gain an edge in the market.

Juan Pujol Garcia lived a lie that helped win World War II. He was a double agent for the British, performing so well that they nicknamed him for the enigmatic actress Greta Garbo.

Author Stephan Talty tells the story of this unlikely hero in a new book called Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day.

Pro-Obama SuperPACs Losing The Money Race

Jul 7, 2012

"I will be outspent." This simple phrase headed an email President Obama recently sent to supporters.

"We can be outspent and still win," the message read. "But we can't be outspent 10 to 1 and still win." Obama asked for donations of as little as $3 to compete against the deep pockets of Republican challenger Mitt Romney and the super political action committees that back him.

Sarah Polley started acting when she was 4, in her native Canada. She earned critical acclaim for her performance as a teenage girl injured in a school bus crash in Atom Egoyan's film The Sweet Hereafter.

Polley made her debut as a director with the subtle and devastating film Away from Her — a portrait of a marriage later in life, as the wife (Julie Christie) is pulled away by Alzheimer's disease.

Supporters call it "conversion therapy." Critics call it "praying away the gay." Whatever name you use, it's creating a ruckus in Christian circles about whether a person can change his or her sexual orientation. And now the largest "ex-gay ministry" is rejecting the approach.

As a judge in Argentina read out the 50-year prison term handed down to former dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, a courtroom packed with the families of the victims celebrated, feeling that justice had at last been delivered.

And no one watching Thursday's historic sentencing in Buenos Aires had worked so hard for justice as the tenacious members of one of the world's most renowned human rights groups, the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo.

Now that the Supreme Court has upheld almost all of the Affordable Care Act, many Americans are scrambling to remember — or learn for the first time – what's in the law and how it works.

We asked for questions from our audiences online and on air. Here's are some, edited for clarity and length, and the answers:

Q: Will the penalty for not having health insurance affect people at all income levels, or will low-income people be spared?

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The big news from Washington today may not sound like big new. The unemployment rate remains stuck at 8.2 percent in June. Hiring was virtually flat compared to the prior months, with a meager 80,000 jobs added to the payrolls. But these days, the weak economy is increasingly a political story as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Time now for our weekly look at politics with columnists David Brooks of the New York Times and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Good to see you both.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to see you.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.

SIEGEL: Those anemic job growth figures came out. As we heard, President Obama is campaigning in Ohio and Pennsylvania, paying special attention, I should add, to auto plants. E.J. first, how does President Obama campaign effectively on a recovery that is sputtering this way?

Letters: Andy Griffith

Jul 6, 2012

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's time now for your letters. Earlier this week, we remembered Andy Griffith. He died Tuesday at the age of 86. Griffith starred in five different TV series, made more than 30 movies and even won a Grammy for his gospel album. But his most defining role was that of a sheriff in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina.

ANDY GRIFFITH: We never talked about it, but the backbone of the show and the thrust of the show was love, the deep regard that these people had for one another.

Novelist Jess Walter's most recent novel is Beautiful Ruins.

At dawn, the sun curls across the lake's placid surface like a twist of lemon on a gin martini. Easing into my kayak on this glacier-cut, 12,000-year-old lake, I feel as I always do on its water: alone in the world.

There's been lots of talk about how the Supreme Court's landmark decision to uphold the health care law could affect the federal Medicaid program and President Obama's political standing. But days after the historic ruling, lawyers say they're still teasing out the consequences for other key areas of the law — including civil rights.

At first blush, it might seem odd that a case about the Affordable Care Act would send civil rights experts scrambling back to their law books.

The destruction is total. In Jaar, a town in southern Yemen, an entire block has been reduced to rubble by what residents say was a powerful airstrike on May 15.

For the first time in more than a year, the sites of the escalating U.S. air war in southern Yemen are becoming accessible, as militants linked to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula have withdrawn from the area. This retreat follows the sustained American air campaign and an offensive by the Yemeni government forces on the ground.

Obama Touts Auto Industry On Bus Tour

Jul 5, 2012

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Demand is up in the car industry. That's great news for U.S. automakers. They're on track to have their best year since 2008 and it's a success that President Obama is seizing on as he campaigns across northern Ohio today. The president began a two-day bus tour that will also take him into western Pennsylvania.

There's a stretch of beach in the small Jamaican fishing village of Treasure Beach where booths sell poetry books right alongside jerk chicken, and local villagers mix with international literati. On a weekend in late May, some 2,000 people sit entranced as author and poet Fred D'Aguiar reads them his work from a bamboo lectern.

Near the back of the North YMCA in Columbus, Ohio, several men and women line up on a row of beat-up platforms. They take turns practicing the two lifts that make up Olympic weightlifting; the "Snatch," and the "Clean and Jerk."

The goal? To hoist large amounts of weight from the floor into an overhead position.

Among the lifters here is 5-foot-8 inch, 350-pound Holley Mangold. She is the epitome of power, in appearance, attitude and athletic ability.

States are banding together to try to combat prescription drug abuse. Doctors in many states check a database before prescribing medication. But there's no way for doctors who live on the border to check neighboring states. Now there's a move to change that.

The military says it's dangerous to depend exclusively on fossil fuels, and has launched a program to develop alternative fuels for use by military vehicles. Energy consumption is a big expense for the Pentagon. But some members of Congress don't think the military should be a laboratory for finding energy alternatives, and say the military should not be spending money on this kind of research at a time when defense dollars are shrinking.

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