All Things Considered on WLRN

Melissa Block and Robert Siegel

In-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Every weekday, hear two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special - sometimes quirky - features.

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Author Interviews
4:08 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

Traveling The World Brings Andrew McCarthy Home

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 5:02 pm

He's an 80s teen heartthrob who turned to travel writing — and now soul searching. A few years ago, Andrew McCarthy decided to confront the fears that had followed him his whole life. As he prepared to marry the women he loved, he headed out around the world to find the part inside of himself that just kept saying "no" to everything good in his life.

McCarthy spoke with weekends on All Things Considered guest host Celeste Headlee about his new memoir, The Longest Way Home.

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Movies
3:36 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

'Smashed': A Love Story Minus The Alcohol

Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) in Smashed.
Oana Marian Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 5:02 pm

What happens to a young marriage when the one thing that once brought two people together suddenly vanishes? In Smashed, the answer isn't pretty. But neither is the alternative, because in Smashed, the thing that brings the couple together is alcohol.

The couple is played by Aaron Paul of the series Breaking Bad, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The film also stars Nick Offerman of the TV show Parks and Recreation, Megan Mullally, best known from the TV show Will and Grace, and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer.

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Remembrances
1:48 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

Arlen Specter, Senator Who Gave No Quarter, Dies

Specter campaigns with President George W. Bush in 2004 at the Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania. Specter spent most of his political career as a moderate Republican. He supported Bush, but later criticized the then-president's warrantless wiretapping program, saying it overstepped civil liberties.
Luke Frazza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:16 am

Former Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the most influential senators of the last half-century, died Sunday from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 82.

The five-term senator, a moderate Republican-turned-Democrat, was a key member of the Judiciary Committee and a major player in the confirmation proceedings of 14 Supreme Court nominees. But he was consistently a thorn for leaders of both political parties and their presidents.

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Around the Nation
5:40 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

Detroit Snob? Of Course I Am.

Some Detroiters think their city has gotten a bad rap.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 3:22 pm

In the past few years, the news from Detroit has been fairly bleak so it's no surprise comedians like Stephen Colbert have taken shots at the downtrodden city.

"Maybe someone could attempt the unthinkable: walk through downtown Detroit."

But many positive changes are taking place. Desiree Cooper, who started a company called Detroit Snob, says residents have a lot to be snobby about.

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Sports
5:40 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

A Shifting Playing Field: Coming Out As A Gay Athlete

Boxer Orlando Cruz hits a speed bag at a public gym in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 4. He said publicly that he is gay earlier this month.
Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo AP

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 11:07 am

These days, we're more likely to see professional athletes on products than protest lines. But it wasn't always this way. In the 1960s, sports stars were often as famous for what they believed as for their home runs.

Back then, many athletes spoke out about civil rights. Muhammad Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title and threatened with imprisonment for refusing to fight in Vietnam, on the grounds of racial discrimination.

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From Our Listeners
4:58 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: 'A Day In The Sun'

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 11:07 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, in for Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

HEADLEE: You know what that means. It's time for Three-Minute Fiction, our contest where listeners come up with original stories in under 600 words. The challenge this round was to write a story that revolves around a U.S. president - fictional or real. Our judge, the writer Brad Meltzer, will be deciding the winner in just a few weeks. Until then, here's an excerpt from one standout story.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:23 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

The Movie Callie Khouri Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Andy Griffith playing guitar as Patricia Neal watches in a scene from the Elia Kazan's A Face In The Crowd.
Warner Brothers Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 11:07 am

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Author Interviews
3:17 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

How Lincoln's Fiercest Rival Became His Close Ally

President Lincoln appointed William Henry Seward secretary of state in 1861. He served until 1869.
Henry Guttmann Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 11:07 am

The race for the Republican nomination of 1860 was one of the great political contests of American history. It was Abraham Lincoln versus Salmon Chase, versus William Seward.

Author Walter Stahr spoke with Weekends All Things Considered host Guy Raz about his new biography, Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man. He describes how a man who was Lincoln's fiercest and most critical opponent eventually became his most loyal and trusted adviser.


Interview Highlights

On Seward losing the election

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It's All Politics
6:32 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Bachmann Faces Competitive Re-Election Bid In Minnesota

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks during the Family Research Council Action Values Voter Summit last month in Washington.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 6:41 pm

More than a year after winning Iowa's Straw Poll for the GOP presidential nomination, and more than nine months after dropping out of that race, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is back on the campaign trail.

This time she's after a fourth term representing Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, and Bachmann's campaign is running into stiff competition.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:23 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Vice Presidential Candidates Spar Over Medicare

Vice President Biden (left) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan during Thursday's debate.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 6:57 pm

It's hardly surprising that Thursday night's vice presidential debate in Danville, Ky., would feature a spirited debate about Medicare. GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is the author of a controversial Medicare proposal that Democrats have been campaigning against for more than a year now.

But fact checkers have raised some flags about some of the claims the candidates made.

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World
5:31 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Do Chinese Tech Firms Pose U.S. Security Threat?

Staff and visitors walk past the lobby at the Huawei office in Wuhan, China. Beijing has urged Washington to "set aside prejudices" after a draft congressional report said Chinese telecom firms Huawei and ZTE were security threats that should be banned from business in the U.S.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:59 pm

Over the past decade, Chinese companies have become major players in the global telecommunications market. This week the House Intelligence Committee issued a report that could interrupt that growth. The committee warned American companies not to do business with two of China's main telecom manufacturers, saying they posed a security threat.

Huawei Technologies is the miracle story of the Chinese high-tech industry, says telecommunications consultant Roger Entner.

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Pop Culture
5:31 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Vice Presidential Debate Mirrors 'American Idol'

Vice President Biden and Republican Paul Ryan at Thursday night's debate.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 8:14 pm

The first two debates of the 2012 election cycle have had stratospheric viewership on TV. Critic Bob Mondello isn't surprised. He argues we've spent the last decade training the public to watch contests on television and then vote — think American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.

During the debates, networks all but beg us to kibitz in social media, which makes instant judgment universal. We're encouraged to watch for the purpose of reacting.

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Movie Interviews
5:31 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Publicist-Turned-Filmmaker Part Of A New Wave

Participant Media

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 6:39 pm

Nine years ago in Los Angeles, a young movie publicist stood on a film set and had a revelation.

"There was something chemical that happened to me on that set," Ava DuVernay tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "Something all came together for me then, and I thought maybe there could be a place for my story in this as well. And maybe I can get it done."

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Space
5:01 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour Rolls To Its Resting Place

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. They're calling it Mission 26. After 25 trips in orbit, Space Shuttle Endeavour is making its final journey, this one through the streets of Los Angeles. For the next two days, the shuttle will be towed from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center in downtown L.A. where it will become a museum piece. NPR's Carrie Kahn caught up with Endeavour along its route today.

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Middle East
5:00 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Cemetery For Hezbollah Martyrs Continues To Grow

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 8:29 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. In a cemetery in Beirut, Lebanon, new graves are appearing more frequently than usual. This isn't just any cemetery. It's where the martyrs of Hezbollah are buried. The Shiite militant group is backed by the governments of Iran and Syria. While it's not clear where these latest martyrs were killed, members of Syria's opposition accuse the group of sending fighters into their country to help its embattled government.

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