All Things Considered on WLRN

  • Hosted by 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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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If the reviews are so mixed, why do people continue to seek work at Amazon? Justin Fox is a business columnist for Bloomberg View, and he's written about Amazon on and off for 20 years. Welcome to the program.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Environmental Protection Agency was investigating an old mine near Silverton, Colo., earlier this month, when it accidentally released 3 million gallons of toxic waste water into the Animas River.

Initially the agency downplayed the incident and provided little information. So Navajo President Russell Begaye traveled to the source of the toxic spill and posted a video of it on Facebook.

In the video, he stands in front of the still-leaking mine.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to space, and we'll take the elevator. The U.S. Patent Office has granted a patent for a freestanding space elevator tower. The idea of a space elevator has long captured the imaginations of writers, from Arthur C. Clarke to Roald Dahl.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Lenny Robinson wasn't really Batman, but he was real enough to the scores of sick children he visited in the hospital dressed as the Caped Crusader over the years. Washington Post reporter Michael Rosenwald was friends with Robinson.

Just a couple of blocks off the 210 Freeway in San Bernardino, Calif., about an hour east of LA, rest a whole row of cheap, rundown motels. Some people stay for a night or two, others just by the hour.

But some rooms house families with kids — and these families aren't just stopping in.

This is home for them, at least for now. They've run out of other options for a roof over their heads.

Hurricane Katrina sent a 30-foot wall of water crashing into coastal Mississippi, and the small town of Waveland, Miss., near the Louisiana border, was one of the hardest-hit places. For 10 years now, its residents have struggled to rebuild in the face of multiple obstacles.

Standing on the second-floor balcony of Waveland City Hall, Mayor Mike Smith points out what used to be on Coleman Avenue, the main downtown thoroughfare: "There was a building right here on the corner, and then there was a drugstore and some shops on the right-hand side. ..."

It all starts with a strange letter left for a Beijing cabdriver, tucked away in the sun visor of his taxi. In the months just before the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wang Jun is living with his wife and daughter — but the message, and those that follow, quickly tangle that quiet life in complications.

High-profile, officer-involved fatalities across the country have put police departments everywhere under more scrutiny than ever.

For a lesson in how to move forward, they could look at the history of the Los Angeles police.

In the '80s and '90s, Los Angeles was trapped in a cycle of crime, crack and gang warfare. Investigative journalist Joe Domanick says back then, the Los Angeles police just made things worse with its crime-fighting strategy — which involved using military-style tactics to subdue and arrest suspects, who were mostly from minority neighborhoods.

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