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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Television
5:05 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

'Stand Up Planet' Follows Jokes To Serious Global Issues

As part of the documentary Stand Up Planet, South African comedian Mpho Popps (left) and Indian comedian Aditi Mittal (right) came to Los Angeles to perform with Hasan Minhaj at the Laugh Factory.
Courtesy of StandUpPlanet.org

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 9:45 am

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Sports
6:40 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Athletes Chased By Technology In The Sport Of Anti-Doping

Lance Armstrong (left) and Tyler Hamilton compete in the 90th Tour de France in 2003. Hamilton later testified in the doping case brought against Armstrong and the U.S. Postal cycling team.
Franck Fife AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 7:59 pm

As the Giro d'Italia bicycle race sets off in Ireland this weekend, the shadow of doping will not be far behind. In a competition to beat the cheaters, scientists are constantly trying to improve drug testing.

While it can be hard for regulators to keep up with new habits, when an athlete is finally caught doping, the result can be revolutionary.

Performance-enhancing drugs have plagued the sport of cycling for years, with Lance Armstrong at the center of the scandal. But he was not alone.

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Music Interviews
5:23 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Atmosphere's Seventh Album: Representing 'Southsiders'

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 9:03 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

When the hip-hop dual Atmosphere got their start back in the mid-'90s, mainstream rap was dominated by a harder, aggressive sound, think Dr. Dre or Notorious B-I-G. By contrast, with their spare production and tight, introspective lyrics, Atmosphere was something different.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Asia
5:23 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Conflicts Over Resources With China's Neighbors Have Deeper Motives

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 6:33 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Middle East
5:23 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

The View From Homs: Watching The Withdrawal Of Syria's Rebels

On Friday, the Syrian government evacuated the last of the rebel fighters from Homs, following a cease-fire agreement. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Nabih Bulos, a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

History
5:23 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Descendants Of Chinese Laborers Reclaim Railroad's History

A group of Asian-Americans, including descendants of Chinese railroad workers, recreated an iconic photo on the 145th anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad's completion at Promontory Summit, Utah.
Courtesy of Corky Lee

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 9:55 pm

East finally met West 145 years ago on America's first transcontinental railroad.

The symbolic hammering of a golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah, completed the connection between the country's two coasts and shortened a cross-country trip of more than six months down to a week.

Much of the building was done by thousands of laborers brought in from China, but their faces were left out of photographs taken on that momentous day.

Over the years, one photograph in particular from May 10, 1869, has taken root in U.S. history.

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My Big Break
5:23 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Dolphins, Pirates And David Hasselhoff: Breaking Into TV At Sea

While translating for Japanese tourists on a boat in Hawaii, Leah Warshawski learned about the ocean, knowledge she later used in film production.
Courtesy of Leah Warshawski

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Director and producer Leah Warshawski's big break happened on the water.

It started when she was in college studying Japanese in Hawaii. Her dormmate worked on a boat and asked if Warshawksi wanted a job translating for Japanese tourists.

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Education
6:08 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Under Restructured Rules, Kansas Teachers Lose Tenure

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:45 pm

Kansas lawmakers have passed a bill to make it easier to fire teachers. The legislation will take away some of the employment protections offered to teachers. Supporters say school administrators need the flexibility to remove teachers who aren't performing, but as Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda reports, teachers argue this will allow them to be fired for unfair reasons.

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Books
6:08 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

In A Changing Climate, Science Fiction Starts To Feel Real

cover detail
Courtesy Night Shade Books

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 4:17 pm

The White House released a report this week on the impacts of global warming. Many places are already feeling the effects. There's drought in the Southwest, rising sea levels in Miami, and now even fictional worlds are feeling the burn.

There have been novels about climate change since the 1960's, but to me the definitive example is a book that's not well known outside the field of science fiction: The Windup Girl, by the American novelist Paolo Bacigalupi, which won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards in 2010.

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Movie Interviews
5:47 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

In 'God's Pocket,' There's A Mad Man Behind The Camera

John Slattery (left) reprises his role as Roger Sterling in the seventh and final season of Mad Men.
Frank Ockenfels Courtesy of AMC

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:45 pm

The 1980s novel God's Pocket, by Pete Dexter, is a story of hapless drunks, construction workers and one washed-up newspaper columnist. The book takes its name from a fictional blue-collar neighborhood in Philadelphia.

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Shots - Health News
4:51 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Keep Or Kill Last Lab Stocks Of Smallpox? Time To Decide, Says WHO

U.S. Marine Sgt. Robert Scoggin gets a vaccination against smallpox in 2003 at Camp Pendleton in California — one of the final steps before deployment overseas.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:45 pm

The World Health Organization is revisiting a question that's been the subject of intense debate for decades: whether to destroy the only known samples of the smallpox virus.

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Africa
4:39 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Nigerian Kidnapping Highlights Scale Of Child Trafficking In Africa

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:45 pm

Nearly 300 schoolgirls remain missing in Nigeria. For more information on the pervasiveness of child slavery in Africa, Robert Siegel speaks with Benjamin Lawrance, the Barber B. Conable Jr. Endowed Chair in International Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

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Politics
4:31 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Faced With Pentagon Budget Cuts, Congress Finesses The Numbers

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:45 pm

The Pentagon's congressionally-imposed budget cuts ran into a powerful opponent this week: Congress itself. The House Armed Services Committee rejected $5 billion worth of proposed cuts in order to preserve items cherished by individual lawmakers.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Health
4:19 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

To End Addiction Epidemic, States Focus On Stopping Doctor Shoppers

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:45 pm

Nearly every state has a prescription drug monitoring program that's meant to end abuse of opioids and other powerful pain medicines. But critics say most of these programs have a big loophole: they're voluntary, and many doctors don't use them. States that have made participation in PDMPs mandatory say they've started to cut down on practices that allow pain meds to be diverted into the black market. But those states are the exception.

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Around the Nation
4:11 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Federal Goverment Jeopardizes Navajo Family's Ties To Its Home

Navajo elder Stella Peshlakai Smith, 89, stands at a traditional dwelling on her homestead at Wupatki National Monument in 2014. The National Park Service says her children cannot stay when she dies.
Felicia Fonseca AP

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 10:46 am

At 89 years old, Stella Peshlakai Smith shuffles around her Arizona yard in white tennis shoes and a long traditional Navajo skirt. She points to her ceremonial home, called a hogan. "My father made this one [almost 100 years ago]," Smith says. Her modern house sits next door.

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