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
5:00 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Fracking Pioneer Helped Boost U.S. Energy Independence

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 5:42 pm

George Mitchell, the "father of hydraulic fracturing," passed away earlier this year. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Russell Gold about Mitchell's invention and his somewhat progressive environmental views.

Remembrances
5:00 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Bum Phillips: Famous Football Name, Underappreciated Figure

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 5:42 pm

Former NFL coach Bum Phillips died in October. With his unmistakable cowboy hat and colorful wit, he led the Houston Oilers to two conference championship games, missing the Super Bowl only due to the dominance of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the time. We here from longtime Houston sports writer John McClain.

Energy
5:00 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

The U.S. Energy Boom: Highlights Of The Year And What's Ahead

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 5:42 pm

The big energy story of 2013 was a boom in domestic oil production, especially in North Dakota. NPR's Arun Rath talks with national correspondent Jeff Brady, who saw the boom firsthand during a recent reporting trip to the state.

Arts & Life
5:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

The Trouble With Assessing 'Black Films'

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 6:54 pm

This year was lauded by many news outlets as an incredible year for black films. CNN heralded "Hollywood's African-American Renaissance;" The New York Times called 2013 a "a breakout year for black films." Shani Hilton, deputy editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, talks to NPR's Arun Rath about why she think those assertions are overstated.

Around the Nation
5:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Property Battle Leaves LA Homeless Vets With Few Options

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 6:54 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

From NPR West, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.

This year saw a major development in a story that NPR has been following since 2011. That's when a group of homeless disabled veterans filed a lawsuit seeking housing on a sprawling campus of the VA health care facility in West Los Angeles. The VA had taken no action on plans for housing homeless vets there. But NPR's Ina Jaffe found the department had made tens of millions of dollars renting out parts of the property to enterprises that had nothing to do with veterans. Hi, Ina.

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Around the Nation
5:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Still In Recovery, Okla. Builds Defenses Against Future Storms

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 6:54 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

We're going to check in now with the city of Moore, Oklahoma. Back in May, it was devastated by a mile-wide F5 tornado with winds in excess of 200 miles per hour. The day after the storm, Mayor Glenn Lewis told MORNING EDITION that rescue crews were still searching for survivors.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

MAYOR GLENN LEWIS: We're still looking for, you know, hopefully that one extra person that we missed that we're going to find. We're very optimistic about that. We did have quite a bit of loss of life.

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Parallels
7:15 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

U.N. Refuge Prepares For Possible Attack In South Sudan

South Sudanese seek refuge at the United Nations compound in the capital, Juba, on Sunday. Though Juba is mostly peaceful now, growing numbers are seeking shelter at the compound in fear the ethnic killings will resume.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

The president of South Sudan spent Friday in a peace summit with regional heads of state, discussing the crisis that erupted last weekend after an alleged coup attempt. At the same time, the government warned of a shadowy rebel army, covered with white ash, marching through the jungle to re-attack the northern city of Bor.

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Around the Nation
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Oil Company Looks To Great Lakes As Shipping Demand Booms

A company proposes shipping crude oil by barge across Lake Superior to keep up with the booming supply from North Dakota and Canada.
Jack Rendulich AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

North Dakota and western Canada are producing crude oil faster than it can be shipped to refineries.

Rail car manufacturers can't make new tank cars fast enough, and new pipeline proposals face long delays over environmental concerns. So energy companies are looking for new ways to get the heavy crude to market.

One proposed solution is to ship the oil by barge over the Great Lakes — but it's a controversial one.

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Business
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands

Energy companies are adding workers, but fatal accidents are on the rise, too.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Blue-collar workers, hit hard by automation and factory offshoring, have been struggling to find high-paying jobs.

One industry does offer opportunity: As baby boomers retire and drilling increases, oil and gas companies are hiring. They added 23 percent more workers between 2009 and 2012.

But the hiring spree has come with a terrible price: Last year, 138 workers were killed on the job — an increase of more than 100 percent since 2009.

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Animals
4:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

After Major Comeback, Is The Gray Wolf Still Endangered?

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The law that protects endangered species turns 40 tomorrow and perhaps the most controversial thing the government has done under the law is to reintroduce the gray wolf. Ranchers and hunters strongly opposed the move and now the federal government wants to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, this time, it is the scientists who are protesting loudly.

ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Ecologist Carlos Carroll is walking through the snow in a wide valley in Northern California.

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Planet Money
5:18 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

The Tragic Number That Got Us All Talking About Our Clothing

A Bangladeshi worker participates in a protest outside a garment factory in Dhaka.
A.M. Ahad AP

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:31 pm

1,134 is the official government death toll of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh. The building, which collapsed in April, was home to five garment factories.

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Shots - Health News
4:36 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Experimental Tool Uses Light To Tweak The Living Brain

A technique called optogenetics is being used in the laboratory to observe and control what brain circuits are doing in real time.
Henning Dalhoff Getty Images/Science Photo Library RM

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 8:09 am

When President Obama announced his BRAIN Initiative in April, he promised to give scientists "the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action."

An early version of one of those tools already exists, scientists say. It's a relatively new set of techniques called optogenetics that allows researchers to control the activity of brain cells using light.

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Law
4:36 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

How 2013 Became The 'Gayest Year Ever'

Utah's surprise decision to legalize same-sex marriage caps a landmark year for gay rights. The last 12 months saw a huge string of victories, from state legislatures, to Congress, to the Supreme Court.

Book Reviews
5:27 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Written In Secret Behind The Iron Curtain, 'Corpse' Is Revived

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 8:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The fiction work of Soviet era writer Zigizmund Krzhizhanovsky never saw the light of day in his own time. He was known mostly as a theater, music and literally critic, but he also wrote fables and fiction for more than 20 years, none of which appeared in print until 1989. Well, a new volume of that work called "Autobiography of a Corpse" has just come out here in the U.S. It's translated from the Russian by Joanne Turnbull, and Alan Cheuse has our review.

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From Our Listeners
4:35 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Letters: Eggnog Recipe Brings Cheers And Jeers

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now a brief nod to nog, eggnog, the holiday drink some people love to hate.

MARIA DEL MAR SACASA: Do you politely refuse and make up a dairy allergy or say you're not drinking? Or are you wondering this woman has completely lost it, and is she trying to poison me?

SIEGEL: That's Maria del Mar Sacasa, author of "Winter Cocktails." Earlier this week, she gave us her eggnog recipe to win over those haters, a freshly mixed pumpkin eggnog.

SACASA: This tastes like melted ice cream. It does; I promise.

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