All Things Considered

Weekdays 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by Melissa Block, Michele Norris, Robert Siegel, Audie Cornish
  • Local Host Matthew Jensen

Since its debut in 1971, this afternoon radio newsmagazine has delivered in-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Heard by more than 11 million people on over 600 radio stations each week, All Things Considered is one of the most popular programs in America. Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special - sometimes quirky - features. Andrea Seabrook hosts a one-hour edition of the program on Saturday and Sunday.

More information at All Things Considered.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melisa Block.

The case is submitted. With those words from the chief justice, the three-day marathon at the Supreme Court ended. Today, the justices heard two sets of arguments over the federal health care law. There were sessions in the morning and afternoon with two separate questions to consider.

NPR's Ari Shapiro is with me in the studio to describe what happened. And, Ari, let's start with the morning arguments, a key question there hinging on yesterday's arguments.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Medicaid Expansion Hangs On Justices' Scale

Mar 28, 2012

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now to another provision in the health care law that's being challenged: the Medicaid expansion. Those arguments took place this afternoon. And NPR's Julie Rovner is here in the studio to talk about them. Julie, the key question before the court was whether the law goes too far. It requires states to expand their Medicaid programs. So why don't we back up and start with the basics, how Medicaid works and how the law changes that?

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

The swift downfall of ambitious Chinese politician Bo Xilai exposed a bitter power struggle in the highest echelons of government. Now his victims are telling their stories, exposing a darker side to Bo's signature clampdown on organized crime.

Charismatic and outspoken, Bo seemed headed for the country's top leadership body, the Politburo Standing Committee, before he was removed abruptly from his post — as party secretary of the major southern city of Chongqing — earlier this month.

Baloji: Finding A Home In His Music

Mar 27, 2012

Rapper Baloji was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but raised in Belgium. He's built a reputation for incorporating Congolese music into his mix, though he mostly raps in French, his deep voice full of cocky brashness. You can catch his vibe without translation, but it's worth reading the liner notes to get his messages, as well. Baloji raps with brazen ease about the indignities of life as an African in Belgium, but also the tragic, bloody history of his homeland on his second album, Kinshasa Succursale.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The United Nations special envoy for Syria says that country has agreed to a six-point peace plan. Envoy Kofi Annan called it a positive step toward ending the violence that. The U.N. now estimates that the conflict has cost more than 9,000 lives. But still, the violence continued and it has spilled over into northern Lebanon, according to witnesses.

Supreme Court justices debated whether it's constitutional for the government to require nearly everyone to have health insurance. President Obama's signature accomplishment could live or die based on the outcome.

Total Recall: Memory Champ On Triumph

Mar 27, 2012

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

On Saturday in New York City, Nelson Dellis was trying to defend his title as 2011 Winner of the USA Memory Championship. In the last event, he and two other finalists had been given five minutes to memorize two shuffled decks of playing cards. That is, to remember the random sequence of 104 cards, as the moderator revealed them to the audience in the order they had just memorized.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Five of Diamonds.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Queen of Clubs.

Dry The River: Songs Of Cardiac Anatomy

Mar 27, 2012

A new study finds that people who eat chocolate several times a week are actually leaner than people who don't eat chocolate regularly.

Really, we asked? Last time we checked chocolate was loaded with fat and sugar. But this new research, along with some prior studies, suggests chocolate may favorably influence metabolism.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Today marks one month since Trayvon Martin, an African-America teenager was killed in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was a neighborhood watch volunteer. People in Sanford and in cities across the country are taking part in rallies today, calling on authorities to arrest the shooter.

NPR's Greg Allen reports that while emotions run high, the facts of Martin's death remain murky.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

If you were expecting three days of Supreme Court arguments over the health care law to kick off with a bang, think again. Today's arguments began like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The Anti-Injunction Act imposes a pay-first-litigate-later rule that is central to federal tax assessment and collection.

The U.S. Supreme Court signaled Monday that it likely will resolve the constitutional challenge to the Obama health care overhaul, sidestepping the procedural issues that could derail the case until 2015.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

As Mike Shuster said a moment ago, the main subject of the summit in South Korea is the problem of potentially insecure nuclear materials around the world. For short, loose nukes. In April 2009, President Obama called for a global effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world in four years.

Stella And Stanley Shouting Contest

Mar 26, 2012

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A shout out now for the winner of this year's annual Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest.

NICOLE MARTIN: Stanley.

SIEGEL: That is Nicole Martin, who won first place with that vigorous shout to an actor on a New Orleans balcony portraying Stanley Kowalski, the character from "A Street Car Named Desire." Bryan Buckles won second place.

BRYAN BUCKLES: Stella.

Spring is here — the season of flowers and birds, with love and marriage in the very air we breathe. People pair up, brimming with optimism, and vowing to be fair and generous mates.

But when couples stay together over time — throughout all of the seasons — we're reminded that real life is messy and complicated. Even the best relationships will get stuck in anger and distance. In short, couples need all the help they can get. To this end, I recommend the following three books.

Tomorrow morning the Supreme Court begins a three-may marathon of oral arguments challenging President Obama's landmark health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan previews the arguments with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. She also speaks to Mark Gross, owner of a professional line standing service, who is poised to have a lucrative week, and Jeff Rother of the National Coalition on Health Care walks us back through health reform's tempestuous path to the Supreme Court.

Three-Minute Fiction: Round 8 Deadline

Mar 25, 2012

Author Luis Alberto Urrea reminds listeners that the deadline for Round 8 of Three-Minute Fiction is tonight, Sunday, March 25, at 11:59 p.m. ET. All submissions must be received by then to be considered a valid entry in the contest. The story must begin with the sentence: "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door". As always, the story must be 600 words or less. To submit a story, go to npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

An update now on a story we first told you about last spring. Bart Centre of New Hampshire claimed he was running a pet rescue business for animals in case they were left behind by owners during the rapture, or the end of times, as some Christians believe.

Teddy Roosevelt's 'Doomed' War On New York Vice

Mar 25, 2012

New York in the gilded age was a city of epic contrasts. Top-hatted swells in glossy carriages promenaded uptown, while just a few blocks south, poverty, crime and overcrowding were the order of the day.

And vice, let's not forget vice. New York was what was called a "wide-open" town, with gambling, prostitution and liquor available on almost every corner. The cops and the Democratic machine politicians of Tammany Hall mostly looked the other way — when they weren't actively involved.

The newest album from the folk outfit Lost in the Trees is a very personal one. Ari Picker, the creative force behind the band, began writing the songs for A Church That Fits Our Needs after the death of his mother, Karen Shelton. She was an artist herself, one who struggled with mental illness throughout her life. In 2008, she killed herself.

Former VP Cheney Undergoes Heart Transplant

Mar 24, 2012

Dick Cheney, 71, was in a Virginia hospital following a heart transplant Saturday. Host Laura Sullivan talks with NPR's Rob Stein about the former vice president's health.

In Round 8 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest, listeners were given this challenge: Begin a story with this sentence: "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door." And, as always, the story must be 600 words or less. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday.

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LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

A new online ad from Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum sketches out a dire threat.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Imagine a small American town two years from now if Obama is re-elected. The wait to see a doctor is ever increasing. Gas prices through the roof, and the freedom of religion under attack.

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