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.

Coldplay's 'Mylo Xyloto' Has Mass Appeal

Oct 24, 2011

In a music world commercially dominated by pop singers, rappers and country artists, Coldplay is one of the rare modern superstar acts that actually is a rock band. But for a group as patently inoffensive as Coldplay, it's earned an impressive number of "haters." Many rock fans dismiss its music as milquetoast, and even The New York Times once called Coldplay "the most insufferable band of the decade." Me?

Products R Us: Are We 'Brandwashed'?

Oct 23, 2011

Martin Lindstrom got into the advertising business early on.

"I started up my own ad agency when I was 12 years old," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekend on All Things Considered. "I was a huge fan of Lego, so I built up my own Legoland in the backyard of my mom and dad's garden."

No one showed up on the first day, but Lindstrom persuaded a local ad agency to sponsor him. On the third day, he had 131 visitors.

The only problem? "Visitor number 130 and visitor 131 were the lawyers from Lego suing me."

Tunisians Vote In Free Elections

Oct 23, 2011

Tunisians voted Sunday in their country's first free elections — the culmination of a popular uprising that ousted President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and touched off the wave of Arab Spring uprisings. Washington Post reporter Leila Fadel offers her insight from the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

Barry Duncan has an obsession that follows him everywhere he goes. "I see street signs, restaurant menus, objects while I'm walking along, and I'm just reversing them all the time," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

Duncan is a master palindromist. He creates phrases, sentences, even passages that read the same forward and backward. He's been at it since 1981, when he was working at a bookstore in Philadelphia and stumbled onto a book of wordplay.

Jane's Addiction: Breaking With A Turbulent Past

Oct 23, 2011

Jane's Addiction defined the Los Angeles rock scene of the late 1980s, and by the beginning of the next decade, the band had become famous worldwide. But almost as soon as they'd gained the world's attention, Jane's Addiction split up.

Modest reunions have taken place since then. This month, three of the four original members are back with a new album, The Great Escape Artist. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, who grew up listening to Jane's Addiction, spoke to the group's leader, Perry Farrell.




RAZ: All right. We're getting closer to finding the winning story in round seven of Three-Minute Fiction. That's our writing contest where we ask you to create an original short story that can be read in about three minutes.

How Franz Liszt Became The World's First Rock Star

Oct 22, 2011

When you think of rock n' roll, Franz Liszt might not be the first name that comes to mind. But the classical pianist, born 200 years ago today, was in many was the first rock star of all time.

On Friday, News Corp. held its first shareholder meeting since a phone-hacking scandal in the U.K. led the company to close a major tabloid. Outside the meeting at Fox Studios in Los Angeles, about 100 demonstrators assembled to condemn the Murdochs and News Corp.'s leadership.

But the complaints that followed inside were far more specific. There was a vote to approve the board of directors, but it was largely a formality because the Murdoch family and its allies control so many voting shares.

Rupert Murdoch wasted little time in reminding investors of his track record.

The French never let a crisis spoil a weekend — as you can tell. As the working week draws to a close in a cafe off the Champs-Elysee in Paris, there's a mood of keen anticipation. The wine's flowing with extra velocity. The French are preparing for two days of sports, food and family fun. They seem unperturbed by, or perhaps unaware of, the fact that their fate depends on what happens this weekend and the days that follow. If things go wrong, life won't be much fun any more.

Why Has Gadhafi's Burial Been Delayed?

Oct 21, 2011

Libyan leaders debate what to do with the body of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi — amid calls from a U.N. commission for an investigation into the circumstances of his death Thursday. Melissa Block talks to NPR's Grant Clark for more.

How do Iraqis feel about the U.S. decision to withdraw all its remaining troops by the end of this year? The issue of a residual American force to train the Iraqi military was hotly debated in Baghdad.

New Camera Focuses Shot After It's Taken

Oct 21, 2011

Autofocus cameras hit the stores back in the 1970s, making it dramatically simpler for the average consumer to get a good shot. Later the digital camera made it possible for just about anyone to process their own pictures at home on a computer. Now comes a camera that could represent another kind of photography revolution: the light field camera. Take the picture, but focus it afterwards. Robert Siegel speaks with Lytro founder Ren Ng about the new light field camera that his company is producing.

In the space of a few weeks, Hollywood will give us four serious dramas about mentally unstable characters. It's a minitrend at best, and most likely coincidental. But it got me thinking about how filmmakers use narrative form to shake up audiences and put them in the same frame of mind as the characters they're watching.

Goodbye, Gadhafi: A Dream Made Into Reality

Oct 20, 2011

Sarah Burshan is a student at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Thursday, Oct. 20 is a day I will never forget.

My brother woke me up at 5 a.m. He kept repeating, "They got him, they caught Gadhafi!" I was so dazed, I didn't believe it. A world without Moammar Gadhafi? It seemed too good to be true.

Gadhafi ruled Libya for more than four decades with an iron fist. Gadhafi was a complex, often brutal leader with a grand vision of himself — one he displayed up until the final moments of his leadership.

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.