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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Business
6:12 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

The IRS Can't Take Your Questions. It Will Take Your Return

IRS offices around the country, like this one in Brooklyn, N.Y., have been closed since the partial government shutdown began two weeks ago. While the agency continues to cash checks from payees, refunds, audits and most other operations are suspended.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:21 pm

Tuesday, Oct. 15,is the filing deadline for the roughly 12 million Americans who received an extension on their 2012 taxes. And having 90 percent of its staff furloughed in the partial government shutdown doesn't mean the IRS doesn't want your money.

"The IRS is shut down, but the tax law is never shut down," says Joshua Blank, professor of tax practice and faculty director of New York University Law School's Graduate Tax Program.

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The Government Shutdown
6:12 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Why A Medical Device Tax Became Part Of The Fiscal Fight

Among the bargaining chips in the budget crisis on Capitol Hill, there's the small but persistent issue of taxing medical device manufacturers.

The 2.3 percent sales tax covers everything from MRI machines to replacement hips and maybe even surgical gloves. The tax was imposed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. It didn't attract much attention at first — at least, not outside the world of medical device manufacturers.

But they have waged a persistent campaign to undo the tax, and right now is the closest they have come to succeeding.

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Europe
5:02 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Moscow Suburb Riot Shows Russia's Tense Ties With Migrants

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:12 pm

Authorities in Moscow have rounded up more than 1,600 migrant workers after an ethnic riot took place over the weekend. Russian nationalists and soccer hooligans attacked a market area in a gritty industrial suburb of Moscow that's home to many migrant workers from the North Caucasus. The riot broke out after police announced that they were searching for a North Caucasian man suspected in the stabbing death of a young, ethnic Slav man. The situation highlights Russia's immigration problem — the country needs migrant labor, but fears what it perceives as foreign influence.

Books News & Features
5:02 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

'Quiet Dell' Revives A Depression-Era Murder Story

Crowds gather on Aug. 30, 1931, at the site of the Quiet Dell murders. Evidence of the killings was found in and around murderer Harry Powers' garage (center).
AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:12 pm

The Quiet Dell murders were among the first big, sensational crime stories of the Depression: A serial killer corresponded with vulnerable widows he met through lonely hearts clubs, then lured them to their deaths.

As a child, writer Jayne Anne Phillips learned about the murders from her mother, who was a child in 1931, when the murders took place. Phillips says she didn't talk a lot about the tragedy, but whenever they drove close to where the crime occurred — near Clarksburg, W.Va. — her mother would say, "There's the road to Quiet Dell."

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Code Switch
3:57 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Remembering The Woman Who Gave Motown Its Charm

Powell mentored Motown artists like Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and the Supremes. "Ladies dance with their feet, not their buttocks," she'd tell the girl groups.
Tony Ding AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 6:12 pm

In 2007, decades after Maxine Powell had retired from training a generation of black artists at Motown, a reporter from a Cleveland television station asked her whether anyone had been particularly difficult to work with.

Powell cut her off before she finished. "I don't have that," she said. "No one is difficult. Each person is a beautiful, unique human being. So if you have a problem and you're acting negative, you have been conditioned."

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Middle East
5:02 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Can Iran, The West Overcome Distrust To Make A Nuclear Deal?

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 6:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tomorrow, nuclear negotiators for Iran and six world powers will meet in Geneva. It's a chance to see whether positive signals from Iran's new president can be translated into real progress at the table. Iran wants punitive sanctions lifted, but it's insisting on its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports that with hardliners waiting in the wings, momentum toward an agreement needs to be generated quickly.

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Economy
5:02 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Three Americans Win Nobel Economics Prize

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 6:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics went to three American professors today. In announcing the honor, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the men all contribute to our understanding of how markets price things like stocks and homes. But as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports, that doesn't mean the three economists always agree.

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Science
5:02 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Why Is Cheating In Science Research On The Rise?

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 6:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Cheating in science is not new, but the way it happens and the way it's detected are changing. There's a lot at stake in science research, everything from public health to valuable federal dollars.

And as Gigi Douban reports from Birmingham, Alabama, there are more people watching to keep researchers honest.

GIGI DOUBAN, BYLINE: About 60 science graduate students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are working in small groups on a quiz.

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All Tech Considered
2:46 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Hey, Why Did You Floor It? Tracking Junior Behind The Wheel

Alyson Illich used technologies that tracked her son Colter's location while he was driving. "I think it made him more thoughtful," she said.
Family photo

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 6:19 pm

Nowhere is the temptation to use technology to monitor a child greater than when that child is learning to drive.

Auto accidents are still the leading cause of death among teens in the U.S. And while fatalities are dropping, giving a teen the keys to a car is still one of the most terrifying things most parents ever do.

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Science
2:41 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Are Iran's Centrifuges Just Few Turns From A Nuclear Bomb?

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inspects the Natanz nuclear plant in central Iran on March 8, 2007. The tall cylinders are centrifuges for enriching uranium.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 6:19 pm

Tuesday in Geneva, negotiators from six nations will sit down to talks with Iran over that country's nuclear program. At the heart of the negotiations are Iran's centrifuges: machines that can be used to enrich uranium for use in nuclear power plants, or for use in a bomb. This double role of centrifuges has negotiators in a bind.

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Arts & Life
2:29 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Bob Mondello Remembers Columbus Day 1963, And A Visit To Camelot

President John F. Kennedy enjoys a moment of levity at this Rose Garden ceremony marking Columbus Day, 1963.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 9:24 am

Fifty years ago, President Kennedy hosted a Columbus Day ceremony in the Rose Garden, and I was there. Fourteen-year-old me, with my family. This was a fluke. The President had cracked a politically uncool Mafia joke a few days before. Not wanting to offend Italian-American voters, the White House quickly mounted a charm offensive — inviting government workers like my dad, with Italian surnames like Mondello, to celebrate a great Italian explorer, with the president himself.

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Business
6:12 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

15 Years Later, Where Did All The Cigarette Money Go?

So far, the tobacco industry has paid more than $100 billion to state governments as part of a settlement. While smoking is down among young people and even adults in some areas, it's still unclear where much of that money has gone.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 12:12 pm

Fifteen years after tobacco companies agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines in what is still the largest civil litigation settlement in U.S. history, it's unclear how state governments are using much of that money.

So far tobacco companies have paid more than $100 billion to state governments as part of the 25-year, $246 billion settlement.

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Movie Interviews
6:12 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Alan Rickman On 'CBGB' And The Importance Of Listening

Alan Rickman tells NPR's Arun Rath he wasn't familiar with CBGB or the punk scene until he began working on the film.
Beau Giann XLrator Media

After several failed musical ventures and two bankruptcies, New Yorker Hilly Kristal decided to try something new. In 1973, he opened a bar in Lower Manhattan intended to showcase sounds not so indigenous to the urban landscape: country, bluegrass and blues. And so came the name for the dive bar CBGB.

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Animals
6:12 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Birds Of A Feather Spy Together

AFP/ Getty Images

The scene: Two men in a chilly Soviet apartment converse in whispers, careful to protect their plans from enemy ears. Little do they know, the benign-looking raven outside their window is not merely a city scavenger hunting for food, but a spy for the U.S. government.

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Music Interviews
5:25 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

A Comedy Woodstock, Courtesy Of Tenacious D

Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D mug as 1960s hippies in a promo clip for Festival Supreme, a Los Angeles-based alternative comedy festival of their own creation.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 10:08 am

Woodstock didn't just bring together some of the most important musical acts of the late 1960s: It showed that a music festival could be a truly historic event.

These days, leave any pasture open long enough and someone will start setting up amps and concession stands. The outdoor music festival is ubiquitous in 2013. But so far, there has been no Woodstock for comedy.

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