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

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.

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

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UAW President Discusses Ford Contract

Oct 19, 2011

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Joining us from Detroit is Bob King, who's the president of the United Auto Workers. Welcome to the program and congratulations on the contract being approved.

BOB KING: Thank you very much, Robert.

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Peace Activist Spurred Prisoner Swap

Oct 19, 2011

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Fact Checking The GOP Debate

Oct 19, 2011

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Now to 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 PolitiFact.com. Bill, welcome back.

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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.

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

Oct 17, 2011

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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...

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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

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

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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.

Three-Minute Fiction

Oct 16, 2011

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(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

REBECCA ROBERTS, HOST:

We'll be announcing the winner of round seven of our Three-Minute Fiction contest in just a few weeks. So while we sort through your 3,000-plus entries, here's another favorite.

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