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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4:05pm

Sun July 1, 2012
Business

An Abbey's Run-In With Law On Who Can Sell Caskets

Originally published on Sun July 1, 2012 4:53 pm

Deacon Mark Coudrain, bottom left, Rev. Charles Benoit, top left, Abbot Justin Brown, top right, and attorney Evans Schmidt carry a casket built by Benedictine monks down the steps of the U.S. federal district courthouse on Aug. 12, 2010.
Patrick Semansky AP

Monks set up St. Joseph Abbey in Louisiana more than 100 years ago. They've been there so long, they have 1,100 acres and their own town, St. Benedict.

For all those years, when one of the brothers died, the monks would painstakingly craft a flawless pine casket in their woodwork shop.

Over the years, many clergy members and high-ranking church officials would request the the beautiful caskets. Soon, members of the public wanted see if they might be able to buy one.

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4:05pm

Sun July 1, 2012
Why Music Matters

Breaking Records To A Velvet Underground Beat

Christian Niccum and Dan Joye at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, Canada.
Shaun Botterill Getty Images

Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with Olympic luger Christian Niccum. Niccum says music was the key to one of his first accomplishments in the sport.

"I was 15 years old, in Berchtesgaden in Germany," he says. "It's the oldest artificial luge track in the world, and it's also the most difficult."

Daunted by the course's many sharp turns, Niccum turned to something borrowed for inspiration.

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3:22pm

Sun July 1, 2012
Music Interviews

Bobby Womack: 'God Must Still Have A Purpose For Me'

Originally published on Sun July 1, 2012 4:05 pm

Bobby Womack's latest album, The Bravest Man in the Universe, came out June 12.
Jamie-James Medina Courtesy of the artist

"We had two shows that night," says Bobby Womack, recounting a recent concert in Houston. "It was a small theater, about 5- or 6,000 people. The second show, I was just out of it; they had to take me to the hospital."

It was a serious scare for the 68-year-old singer-songwriter — who has also lived through drug addiction and the deaths of two sons — and it didn't end that night.

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3:03pm

Sun July 1, 2012
Author Interviews

The Complex 'Tapestry' of Michelle Obama's Ancestry

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 9:17 am

Fraser and Marian Shields Robinson raised their children, Craig and Michelle, in Chicago, but their family's ancestry can be traced back to pre-abolition Georgia.
Barack Obama Campaign

When Michelle Obama's great-great-great grandmother was 8 years old, her life underwent a dramatic change.

Melvinia Shields was a slave who grew up at a South Carolina estate with a relatively large community of slaves she knew well. But then she was moved to a small farm in northern Georgia where she was one of only three slaves; most white people in the area didn't own any.

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1:08pm

Sun July 1, 2012
Pop Culture

Fans Restore Luke Skywalker's Boyhood Home

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 10:28 am

Construction Begins at the Lars Homestead
Mark Dermul

Mark Dermul is a serious Star Wars fan. He was just 7 years old in 1977 when the original movie hit the theaters. As soon as the huge Star Destroyer flew across the opening scene, he was hooked.

"It hasn't left me," he says. At 42, Dermul now guides tours throughout North Africa, visiting sites that were featured in the blockbuster films.

On one 2010 trip back to planet Tatooine — OK, Tunisia — he and his tour group noticed that Luke Skywalker's boyhood home was decaying. They jumped into hyperspace — OK, the Internet — to save it.

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11:47am

Sun July 1, 2012
Movies I've Seen A Million Times

The Movie Elizabeth Banks Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Originally published on Sun July 1, 2012 4:05 pm

John Travolta and Samuel Jackson in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction [THE KOBAL COLLECTION/MIRAMAX/BUENA VISTA].
The Kobal Collection

4:56pm

Sat June 30, 2012
Environment

The Trickiness Of Tracking Severe Weather

Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with Heidi Cullen, chief climatologist at Climate Central, a non-profit science journalism organization in Princeton, New Jersey. They discuss wildfires and extreme heat in the Midwest this week and how these climate conditions are tracked by Earth-observing satellites.

4:39pm

Sat June 30, 2012
Around the Nation

Synthetic 'Bath Salts' An Evolving Problem For DEA

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 6:22 am

Use of synthetic "bath salts," compounds sold legally but used as a controlled substance, has been on the rise since 2010.
Brian Peterson Minneapolis Star Tribune

One night a little more than two years ago, a 24-year-old man was rushed into the emergency room at Tulane University Medical Center in Louisiana. He was extremely agitated and hallucinating.

Dr. Corey Hebert figured the man was on drugs, probably PCP or a stimulant. But a few minutes later, the man became paranoid.

"He started doing some self-mutilating actions [and] was pulling out his eyebrows and eyelashes," Hebert tells weekends on All Things Considered host Laura Sullivan.

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4:16pm

Sat June 30, 2012
Author Interviews

'Billy Lynn' A Full-Bore Tale Of Wartime Iraq

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 9:19 am

Ben Fountain sets his new novel in Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys from 1971 to 2008.
Al Messerschmidt Getty Images

Billy Lynn is a 19-year-old college dropout living in the small Texas town where he grew up. After he's arrested for trashing the car of his sister's ex, he's given two choices: face jail time or enlist in the Army.

He chooses the Army. And Iraq.

Author Ben Fountain's debut novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, is the story of what happens to Lynn after he joins Bravo Company in the early years of the Iraq war.

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4:13pm

Sat June 30, 2012
Sports

For Italy's Balotelli, Racism On And Off The Field

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 4:56 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

This past week, a star was born.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Oh, Balotelli. Mario's moment to shine.

SULLIVAN: That was the call on ESPN of the heroics of 21-year-old Mario Balotelli. He scored both of Italy's goals in their win over Germany in the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. The Italians now advance to the final tomorrow.

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4:10pm

Sat June 30, 2012
NPR Story

Week In News: Rounding Up The Health Care Ruling

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 4:56 pm

Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly. They discuss the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Health Care act, Chief Justice John Roberts' role on the court and what the decision means in this election year.

4:10pm

Sat June 30, 2012
NPR Story

Watergate: All The President's Men, But Women Too

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 4:56 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

A story now about women overlooked by history. This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, dramatized in the 1976 movie "All the President's Men."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as Character) Woodward.

ROBERT REDFORD: (as Bob Woodward) Yeah?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as Character) There's been a break-in at the Democratic headquarters. There's been an arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (as Character) Local Democratic headquarters, yeah.

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11:03am

Sat June 30, 2012
Music Interviews

Metric: A Rock Band Declares Independence

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 4:56 pm

Metric's new album, its second on the band's own label, is titled Synthetica. Left to right: Joshua Winstead, Emily Haines, James Shaw, Joules Scott-Key.
Brantley Gutierrez

Metric has long been identified as an indie-rock band, but it recently embraced the "indie" part of that descriptor in a big way.

For their last album together, the band's members formed their own company — Metric Music International — to distribute the record, organize a tour and handle promotion without a label's support. The result was the biggest album of Metric's career: Fantasies sold half a million copies worldwide.

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5:45pm

Fri June 29, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

The Day After A Health Care Crescendo, Each Side Plays A Familiar Refrain

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 9:26 pm

Joy Reynolds of San Diego, Calif., looks over Friday's front pages on display at the Newseum in Washington, the day after the Supreme Court ruling on President Barack Obama's health care law.
David Goldman AP

On the day after the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law, Washington returned to business as usual.

In other words, supporters of the law were busy praising its virtues, and opponents calling for its demise.

Over at Georgetown University Law Center, several health law experts got together to dissect the court's ruling and what it might mean down the line.

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4:53pm

Fri June 29, 2012
Judging The Health Care Law

Court's Recent Rulings Shake Up Partisan Narrative

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 9:26 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court justices — (first row, from left) Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (back row) Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan — pose at the Supreme Court in 2010.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

It's a bit less likely now than a week ago that you'll hear people accuse the Supreme Court of being politicized.

That's because this week, the court ended its session with two controversial decisions — neither one of which was decided on the usual and predictable split between the five justices appointed by Republican presidents and the four appointed by Democrats.

But that doesn't make the court any less of a political animal.

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