All Things Considered

Weekdays 4-6pm, Saturdays 4-5pm, Sundays 5-6pm

On May 3, 1971, at 5 p.m., All Things Considered debuted on 90 public radio stations.

In the 40 years since, almost everything about the program has changed, from the hosts, producers, editors and reporters to the length of the program, the equipment used and even the audience.

However there is one thing that remains the same: each show consists of the biggest stories of the day, thoughtful commentaries, insightful features on the quirky and the mainstream in arts and life, music and entertainment, all brought alive through sound.

All Things Considered is the most listened-to, afternoon drive-time, news radio program in the country. Every weekday the two-hour show is hosted by Robert SiegelMichele Norris and Melissa Block. In 1977, ATCexpanded to seven days a week with a one-hour show on Saturdays and Sundays, currently hosted by Guy Raz.

During each broadcast, stories and reports come to listeners from NPR reporters and correspondents based throughout the United States and the world. The hosts interview newsmakers and contribute their own reporting. Rounding out the mix are the disparate voices of a variety of commentators, including Sports Commentator Stefen Fastis, Poet Andrei Codrescu and Political Columnists David Brooks and E.J. Dionne,

All Things Considered has earned many of journalism's highest honors, including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and the Overseas Press Club Award.

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3:10pm

Wed December 5, 2012
Music Interviews

For One Day, NPR Gets A House Band: Los Straitjackets

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 5:00 pm

Los Straitjackets' members rehearse in NPR's Studio 4A.
Christopher Parks NPR

We call them "buttons" and "deadrolls" — and, less cryptically, "breaks" — but most NPR listeners know them as the interstitial music spots that pepper NPR's newsmagazines. They add shading, mood, energy and other nonverbal context to our stories.

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2:31pm

Wed December 5, 2012
The Two-Way

As Two States Legalize Pot, Tommy Chong Isn't Nostalgic About The Old Days

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:11 pm

Tommy Chong.
Jason Merritt Getty Images
  • From 'All Things Considered': Tommy Chong talks with Audie Cornish

With Washington state set to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana just after midnight tonight, and Colorado set to decriminalize pot next month, All Things Considered today turned to "stoner" comic Tommy Chong to get his perspective.

Needless to say, the half Asian half of Cheech and Chong is very happy. He's planning to move to both states, Chong joked.

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7:58am

Wed December 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Egads! Aussie DJ Pretends To Be Queen, Gets Hospital To Talk About Kate

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 5:00 pm

Hullo: The real Queen Elizabeth II, we swear, in 1961.
PA Photos /Landov

Oh dear:

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5:05pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Politics

Social Security's COLA At Stake In 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:34 am

The Republican plan to avert the "fiscal cliff" that the White House rejected Monday includes at least one element that's likely to produce controversy: a proposal that would, among other things, affect the cost of living adjustment for Social Security.

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4:04pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Shots - Health News

The Perilous Politics Of The Health Insurance Tax Break

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:50 pm

MIT health economist Jonathan Gruber, who explained the ins and outs of health overhaul in a comic book, says that excluding the value of health insurance from federal taxes is a terrible idea, at least from an economist's point of view.
Macmillan

There's not much in health care that economists agree on. But one of the few things that bring them together is the idea that excluding the value of health insurance from federal taxes is nuts.

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4:00pm

Tue December 4, 2012
The Two-Way

The First Book Printed In British North America And A Church's Decision To Sell It

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:34 am

Jeff Makholm holds the Bay Psalm Book.
Monica Brady-Myerov WBUR

This past Sunday, the Old South Church in Boston made a decision that cuts to the heart of not only the congregation's history, but to the very beginning of this country's founding.

With an overwhelming 271 to 34 vote, the church decided to give its board the power to sell one copy of the Bay Psalm Book, the first book ever printed in British North America.

Only 11 of the original 1,600 copies of the book printed in Cambridge in 1640 remain. And of those, the church owns two.

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3:44pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Music Reviews

Two Malian Guitar Greats, Gone But Still Wailing

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:50 pm

Malian guitarist Lobi Traore died in 2010, at just 49. His last album is called Bwati Kono.
Courtesy of the artist

Back in 1985, a young Malian named Zani Diabate became one of the first African musicians to release a successful album in Europe. He was soon crowded out by a flood of superstar African singers, but for anyone who experienced Diabate's rocking guitar tone and edgy African phrasing, the sound is unforgettable.

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3:36pm

Tue December 4, 2012
It's All Politics

For Tea Party Activists In Florida, The Health Care Battle Goes On

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:50 pm

President Obama's re-election sent a message to state capitals: The war over the president's health care overhaul is finished.

Even in Florida, where Republican leaders led the legal battle against Obamacare, there's recognition now that the state has to act fast to comply with the new law.

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3:02pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Alisa Weilerstein Plays Elgar: Exploring Music With An Intense Past

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:26 am

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein
Jamie Jung Courtesy of the artist

British composer Edward Elgar wrote his cello concerto in 1919 — soon after the end of World War I — and it's suffused with the dark weight of that war.

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5:08pm

Mon December 3, 2012
All Tech Considered

Which Tablet Is Right For You?

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:50 pm

The new Microsoft Surface tablet on display after a press conference in New York in October. The Microsoft tablet goes up against products from Apple, Amazon and Google.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

The holiday season is upon us. In the tech world, that means it's time to talk gadgets, specifically one of the year's most popular gadgets: the tablet.

For the first time, Apple's iPad has some competition: Google's Nexus, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and the Microsoft Surface.

These tablets represent the marquee efforts of the biggest technology companies. They also represent the four major content universes.

Small Tablets

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5:08pm

Mon December 3, 2012
Around the Nation

New York, Orthodox Jews Clash Over Circumcision

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 7:25 pm

Rabbi A. Romi Cohn, a noted mohel, prepares an infant for circumcision at Congregation Shaare Zion in Brooklyn on Sept. 4. Cohn opposes a New York City rule requiring parental consent for a type of circumcision ritual practiced by some Orthodox Jews.
Michael Nagle for The New York Times Redux

An ancient circumcision ritual is at the center of a present-day legal battle in New York.

The New York City Department of Health wants to require parental consent for a controversial circumcision practice, which it says can spread the herpes virus. But several Jewish organizations are suing to block the new rule, which they say violates their freedom of religion.

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5:08pm

Mon December 3, 2012
World

U.S. Steps Up Aid (But No Arms) To Syrian Exiles

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:12 pm

Rajiv Shah (left), the head of USAID, speaks with children during a visit at the Oncupinar Syrian refugee camp in Turkey, near the Syrian border, on Nov. 27.
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

The Obama administration remains wary about arming Syria's rebels. But when it comes to humanitarian aid, the U.S. contribution, over $250 million, is second only to Turkey.

Then there is non-lethal aid, an additional $50 million for communication equipment and training courses.

If you are surprised by the numbers, so are Syrian activists, who say American support is still almost invisible on the ground. Now, U.S. officials are highlighting the American aid profile.

High-Profile Visit

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4:23pm

Mon December 3, 2012
Africa

Malians In The South Want Islamists Out Of The North

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:08 pm

People originally from northern Mali carry signs that call for military action to retake that part of the country, now under the control of Islamist militants. The rally was held in Mali's capital, Bamako, in October.
Harouna Traore AP

In the southern part of Mali, which includes the capital, Bamako, it's not hard to find people who are angry about the Islamist militants who have taken over the country's north.

But there's little reason to believe the Islamists will be ousted soon. The United Nations Security Council is expected to meet this week to discuss plans for a 3,300-strong regional force to enter Mali. But it is unlikely any sort of military operation will take place in the near future.

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4:19pm

Mon December 3, 2012
Africa

Is Morsi Morphing Into Authoritarian He Opposed?

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:08 pm

Egyptian protesters hold a banner depicting Morsi as a pharaoh, during a rally expressing opposition to Morsi's decrees, in Cairo, on Nov. 23.
Andre Pain EPA/Landov

When Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was elected, some Egyptians jokingly referred to him as the Muslim Brotherhood's "spare tire." He was the backup candidate of the Islamist organization, whose first choice for the presidency was barred from running.

But Morsi has proved much more formidable than many Egyptians believed.

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4:18pm

Mon December 3, 2012
It's All Politics

Closing Tax Loopholes Easier In Theory Than In Political Practice

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:08 pm

As leaders in Washington try to make a deal to avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts slated to go into effect in the new year, one major focus of the negotiations is whether to let taxes go up on the rich.

The Obama administration wants to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for top earners. House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans have countered with a proposal that they say would raise revenue through ending loopholes and deductions in the tax code and would not increase tax rates.

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