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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NPR Story
5:17 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

All Aboard To Work D.C.'s New, Old-Fashioned Streetcars

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 6:45 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Cities across the country have been returning to the classic streetcar. Some think it's a great way to move people cheaply. This spring, though, they'll be back in Washington, D.C., bringing with them the promise of new jobs. Hundreds of people in D.C. queued up for a chance at any one of those jobs this past week. But as NPR's Leah Binkovitz reports, with only 34 jobs available, many will be disappointed.

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Sports
5:17 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Battles And Bashes: What's News In Sports

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 6:45 pm

From the NFL's ban on head-to-head hits, the change in the playoff structure and predictions for the Super Bowl, A. Martinez from member station KPCC joins NPR's Arun Rath to discuss the latest in sports news.

U.S.
5:17 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Air Force Proficiency Cheating: More Than Punishment Needed?

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 6:45 pm

This past week, the U.S. Air Force announced that a cheating scandal among nuclear launch officers had grown. Now, the military says, more than 90 missile launch officers have been involved with cheating on monthly proficiency exams. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with former Air Force officer Brian Weeden, who thinks the missileer culture needs to change.

Economy
5:44 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

After Overcoming Early Obstacles, Yellen Assumes Fed's Top Job

Janet Yellen smiles as President Obama announces her nomination for Federal Reserve chairwoman on Oct. 9.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:51 pm

Ben Bernanke hands over the reins at the Federal Reserve to Janet Yellen on Friday. The Fed's vice chairwoman will be the first female ever to lead the nation's central bank. It's a position many view as the second most powerful in the country.

The world of central banking is largely a man's world. But Yellen has been undeterred by such barriers since she was in high school in Brooklyn. Charlie Saydah, a former classmate, says she was probably the smartest kid in the class. Yellen was "clearly smart, and she was smart among a lot of smart kids," he says.

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Shots - Health News
5:44 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

More Republicans Push For Fixing, Not Repealing, Obamacare

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:51 pm

A rift is growing between Tea Party activists and other Republicans over health care.

Some influential conservatives are now saying the Affordable Care Act is too entrenched to repeal.

Take the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an influential business lobbying group. When the ACA passed in 2010, the chamber got behind the lawsuit to fight it at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Health
5:39 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Sidelined By Brain Injury, Ex-NFL Player Copes With 'Desperation'

Sean Morey, then with the Arizona Cardinals, celebrates after blocking a punt against the Seattle Seahawks in 2007. Morey, who suffers from post-concussion syndrome, retired from the NFL in 2010 on the advice of doctors.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:51 pm

The home of Sean Morey bears the impressive signposts of his 10-year career in the NFL: a Vince Lombardi trophy for his Super Bowl championship with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. A hefty Super Bowl ring. A framed photograph showing Morey in midair, launching himself like a missile to block a punt. With that play in 2008, his Arizona Cardinals became the only team in NFL history to win a game in overtime with a blocked punt.

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Code Switch
7:10 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Honoring A Japanese-American Who Fought Against Internment Camps

A portrait of Fred Korematsu presented at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 9:39 am

Thursdaymarks Illinois' first celebration of Fred Korematsu Day, making Illinois the fourth state to honor the Japanese-American civil rights activist.

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The Salt
7:10 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Small Cuts To Food Stamps Add Up To Big Pains For Many Recipients

The farm bill proposes a $1 billion cut to food stamps, which would affect nearly 850,000 struggling families who already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif.
Antonio Mena Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:00 pm

In a rare display of bipartisanship, the House of Representatives Wednesday approved a massive five-year farm bill that costs nearly half a trillion dollars.

The bill includes some reductions to food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, to the tune of nearly $1 billion a year. It's far less than what many Republicans had wanted. But the cuts are large enough to worry some Democrats and many food stamp recipients.

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All Tech Considered
5:21 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Small Cinemas Struggle As Film Fades Out Of The Picture

The Roxie Theater in San Francisco still has two 35 millimeter projectors, but the switch to digital is inevitable.
Laura Sydell NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:00 pm

Cinema owners who don't have a digital projector in their movie house can't show Paramount Pictures' latest release: The Wolf of Wall Street. This year Paramount became the first big studio to distribute a major release in the U.S. entirely in a digital format, and other studios are likely to follow.

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Parallels
5:21 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Scarlett Johansson's Middle East Flap ... Over Soda

Scarlett Johansson recently became SodaStream's spokeswoman and appeared at an event at the Gramercy Park Hotel on Jan. 10 in New York City. The actress soon found herself engulfed in controversy because of her affiliation with a company that has a factory in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Mike Coppola Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 9:55 am

When celebrities get drawn into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, wittingly or not, controversy is sure to follow.

American actress Scarlett Johansson is the latest to discover this ironclad law of Middle East politics. And the issue is soda.

Johansson has for the past eight years been the celebrity representative for Oxfam International, the global aid organization.

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Media
5:21 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

The Surprising After Effects Of A Notorious 'Wardrobe Malfunction'

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Well, here's a halftime show we'll never forget.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The NFL with AOL proudly presents the AOL TopSpeed Super Bowl 38 Halftime Show starring Janet Jackson.

CORNISH: Ten years ago, the Super Bowl halftime show featured 12 minutes of early-aughts pop, high-energy choreography and pyrotechnics. But what do we remember? Two words: Wardrobe malfunction.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROCK YOUR BODY")

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Your Money
5:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Meet The myRA — Obama's New Retirement Plan

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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National Security
4:29 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Medal Of Valor, 30 Years In Coming

In 1984, an American Army unit engaged in this firefight as it shielded a Soviet defector who made a break across the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. Thirty years after the battle, American soldier Mark Deville has finally received a Silver Star for bravery.
Courtesy of Mark Deville

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 6:26 pm

The year is 1984: A Soviet defector dashes across the Korean border — chased by North Korean troops. American troops shield him and open fire on the North Koreans. There are dead and wounded on both sides.

Now, 30 years later, one of those Americans is finally receiving his medal for bravery.

Mark Deville was just 19 on that November day in 1984, part of an American Army unit patrolling the tense border between North and South Korea.

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Parallels
4:26 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Palestinian Explains Why He Worked As An Israeli Informant

Abdel Hamid el-Rajoub, a Palestinian, became an informant for Israel while serving time in an Israeli prison. Palestinian informants play a key role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though both sides can be reluctant to speak about it. Rajoub, who now lives in Israel, says he is no longer an informant.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:00 am

It took four years in a prison cell for Palestinian Abdel Hamid el-Rajoub to decide to work as an Israeli informant. Not that he ever planned it that way. Rajoub is in his 60s now. He grew up in a Palestinian village near Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. He says he was 19, an emotional young man, when he got involved in fighting Israel.

"It was my right," he says, "to fight Israel and the occupation."

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Shots - Health News
5:08 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

In Vermont, A Network Of Help For Opiate-Addicted Mothers

As Vermont expands addiction treatment services, it is also coming to grips with one of the most difficult and emotional aspects of the problem: pregnant women addicted to opiates.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:44 am

It came as a surprise to many people when Vermont's governor recently devoted his entire 2014 State of the State address to what he called a "full-blown heroin crisis."

While it may not fit Vermont's bucolic image, the state's addiction problem has long been acknowledged. And as the state has expanded treatment, it's also been coming to grips with one of the most difficult and emotional aspects of the issue: addicted mothers.

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