All Things Considered

Weekdays, 4:00PM-7:00PM

WEMU's All Things Considered local host is Lisa Barry 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.

With NBC's Grimm, the ABC series Once Upon A Time makes two new fairy tale-based shows premiering on network television within a week. That, plus a movie release schedule peppered with fairy tale remakes, raises a question: What's put them in the zeitgeist?

Planet Money has obtained a secret government report outlining what once looked like a potential crisis: The possibility that the U.S. government might pay off its entire debt.

It sounds ridiculous today. But not so long ago, the prospect of a debt-free U.S. was seen as a real possibility with the potential to upset the global financial system.

We recently obtained the report through a Freedom of Information Act Request. You can read the whole thing here. (It's a PDF.)

On the night of Oct. 4, Myron and Arlene Miller were asleep in their home in Mechanicstown, Ohio, when they heard a knock on the door. According to their friend Bob Comer, when Myron came downstairs, he found five men standing on his doorstep.

"They pulled him out in the front yard, and they have scissors and a battery-powered shaver and everything," Comer says. "They're trying to hold him down and cut his beard off and cut his hair off."

Miller yelled at his wife to call 911. Then the men let him go and ran back to the trailer and had the driver take off, Comer says.


MELISSA BLOCK, host: An icon of radio has died. Norman Corwin wrote and directed some of the most renowned dramas from radio's Golden Age. He was 101 years old.

Independent producer Mary Beth Kirchner worked with Corwin for the last 20 years of his life, when he found a new audience on public radio. She has this tribute.

Union workers at Ford have ratified a new contract that does not include wage increases for most workers — but does obligate Ford to create 5,750 new jobs in the U.S.

UAW President Discusses Ford Contract

Oct 19, 2011

Robert Siegel speaks with United Auto Workers president Bob King about the contract ratified by Ford workers Tuesday night — and the future of the auto business in the U.S. King says although he's used to seeing higher margins of support from the rank and file, he's satisfied that 62 percent of the Ford workers who voted approved of the contract.



Peace Activist Spurred Prisoner Swap

Oct 19, 2011


ROBERT SIEGEL, host: The agreement between Israel and Hamas, to exchange over a thousand Palestinian prisoners for the captured soldier Gilad Shalit, was brought about thanks to a couple of intermediaries. The Egyptians were involved, so were the Germans. But the agreement also depended on some back channel communications between Israelis and Palestinians in Hamas.

Middle East correspondent Patrick Martin of the Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail has written about those communications, and he joins us now from Jerusalem. Welcome to the program.

Fact Checking The GOP Debate

Oct 19, 2011


MELISSA BLOCK, host: Now to the last night's Republican presidential debate. Voters might have questions about some of the claims the candidates made, so we've invited Bill Adair back to the program. He's the editor of the nonpartisan fact-checking website, Bill, welcome back.

BILL ADAIR: Thanks for having me.


ROBERT SIEGEL, host: Turkish troops are in what Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is calling hot pursuit. They're chasing Kurdish rebels who ambushed and killed Turkish soldiers earlier today along Turkey's border with Iraq. Turkish and Iraqi media are reporting that these troops have crossed into Iraq to retaliate against the militants.

NPR's Kelly McEvers has the story from Baghdad.


MELISSA BLOCK, host: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host: And I'm Robert Siegel. Hundreds of thousands of Greeks marched in Athens today and there were some clashes between police and protesters wearing masks. It was the first day of a 48 hour general strike and it brought the entire country to a standstill. Protesters objected to yet more austerity measures demanded by Greece's international creditors.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has the story from Athens.


South Carolina is one of several states that passed laws this year requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls. The South Carolina measure still needs approval from the U.S. Justice Department to ensure that it doesn't discriminate against certain voters.

Voting rights advocates say the requirement will be a big burden for some, especially the elderly and the poor, who can have a difficult time getting a photo ID — even in this day and age.

The Bureaucratic Maze

In 1985, my friend Johnny suffered a tragic loss in a crime that went unsolved until this year. While reporters tell us that justice has finally brought closure, the story endures, and it raises an unsettling question: What compels us toward tales about violence, about murder?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that all artful stories humanize us as surely as they humanize their characters. They allow us to transcend crime-scene voyeurism and courtroom media hype, to bear witness to those who survive, after the book is slid back onto the shelf.

A task force is evaluating the risk posed by a sunken oil tanker, the SS Montebello. It went to the bottom after being attacked by a Japanese submarine during World War II. State and federal officials want to know if the ship is still carrying its cargo of oil, and if that oil could escape.

At stake is a coastline known for its stunning scenery and wildlife sanctuaries. The task force was put together a couple of years ago at the urging of state Sen. Sam Blakeslee.

Legendary songwriter Bob Dylan is once again at the center of a controversy about plagiarism, but this time it's not about his words or his music — it's about his painting.

The Asia Series, Dylan's current one-man show at the Gagosian Gallery in New York, was initially billed as the musician's visual response to his travels through Asia. But as it turns out, many of the pictures are direct copies from historical photographs.

Have plans for this Friday? Harold Camping does.

We have a bit of history with Herman Melville's Moby-Dick here at Monkey See. It was the second selection in our I Will If You Will Book Club after Twilight (true story!), and we read the entire thing together in the spring of 2010.

The Kinder Morgan deal will likely make the company the largest natural gas pipeline operator in North America. This comes at a time when more people in the U.S. are becoming reliant on the fuel. For more, Robert Siegel speaks with Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Associates and author of The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World.

Book Review: '1Q84'

Oct 17, 2011



If you loved the novel "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," if you loved following the main character, Lisbeth Salander, on her adventures, then our book reviewer, Alan Cheuse, has good news for you. Lisbeth Salander has a sort of soul sister. She's one of the two central characters in a new novel by a different author. It's by Haruki Murakami, and the book is called "1Q84."

Kinder Morgan Announces Plan To Buy El Paso

Oct 17, 2011

A huge deal in the energy business is just the latest signal that natural gas is a hot commodity. One of the largest natural gas pipeline operators, Kinder Morgan, is buying its rival El Paso for $21 billion.

The union representing the nation's letter carriers has hired a former Obama administration adviser as it faces proposals that could lead to layoffs of thousands of its members. Ron Bloom oversaw the administration's auto industry task force. His hiring by the National Association of Letter Carriers comes as the union is negotiating a new contract with the U.S. Postal Service, which cannot find a way to make delivering mail by hand profitable. It is losing billions of dollars and is considering drastic steps to cut costs.

Obama Commences Bus Tour In N.C., Va.

Oct 17, 2011



President Obama traded Air Force One for a bus today as he set out on a campaign-style trip through North Carolina and Virginia. First stop: Asheville in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It's always nice to get out of Washington...


OBAMA: ...and breathe some of that mountain air.


SIEGEL: The president is officially campaigning for his jobs plan, and he had a message for those in Congress who opposed it.

Three-Minute Fiction

Oct 16, 2011

The winner of round seven of the Three-Minute Fiction contest will be announced in a few weeks. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rebecca Roberts introduces Darius Kroger by William Sirson from Laramie, Wyoming. More stories from the contest can be found at

'The Breakfast Club' Meets Hell In 'Damned'

Oct 16, 2011

Meet Maddy Spencer — or, to be exact, Madison Desert Flower Rosa Parks Coyote Trickster Spencer — a ridiculous name she takes great pains to hide. She's 13, brainy, a little dumpy and very, very dead.

Maddy is the heroine of Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk's new novel, Damned. It's a sort of coming-of-age tale, except that none of the characters can actually age. They're all dead and in Hell.

William Shatner's Own Space Oddity

Oct 16, 2011

He's been a starship captain, a Karamazov brother, a cop, a lawyer and a science-fiction author. Now, William Shatner returns to the recording studio for a new, space-themed spoken-word album, Seeking Major Tom.