All Things Considered

Weekdays at 4 pm
  • Hosted by Peter Biello, Melissa Block, Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish

Every weekday, local host, Peter Biello, and national 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 from NHPR and NPR.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on Monday, a day before Pennsylvania and four other states hold their primary contests.

Romney isn't concerned about the primary, but Pennsylvania will likely be an important swing state in the general election. And Monday also offered a chance to audition a potential running mate: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Israel's highest court has already ruled that the Jewish settler outpost of Ulpana in the West Bank was built on privately owned Palestinian land.

And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government had pledged to meet a May 1 deadline to dismantle the outpost, which has about 30 homes.

But over the weekend, Netanyahu established a special committee to see how permits could be provided to keep the outpost from being torn down.

This has touched off yet another controversy over settlements, one of the most contentious issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

For 50 years, the taco has been a staple of American life. It's in school lunches and Michelin-star restaurants. It even helped launch the food truck craze. So how did the taco come to loom so large in American bellies?

<a href="" target="blank">US Embassy in Tel Aviv</a> via Flickr/CC

In Manchester, the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire is hosting a global forum with George Mitchell. The Maine Democrat and former Senate Majority Leader most recently worked as President Obama’s special envoy for Middle East Peace.

Even if you've never heard the name Bert Weedon before, his death on Friday, at the age of 91, deserves a salute: a chiming, perfectly fingered D major chord salute.



Here's one thing Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio did not address at that meeting today. It's an idea Rubio has floated recently: an alternative to the DREAM Act. That's the measure backed by the White House which would create a path to citizenship for young people brought to the country illegally so long as they go to college or serve in the military. The bill never made it out of Congress. NPR's Tamara Keith explains Rubio's version.




She closed the book, placed it on the table and finally decided to walk through the door. That's the starting sentence for Round 8 of Three-Minute Fiction. That's our contest where we ask you to write an original short story that can be read in about three minutes. Our readers from across the country are combing through all of our 6,000 submissions this round. Let's hear a sample of their favorites so far.




Staying in the middle of the country, you might have heard that America's farmers are getting older. Something else you probably know: women tend to outlive men. So do the math and what do you get? More women in charge of land and some who aren't really sure how to take care of it. So as Iowa Public Radio's Sarah McCammon reports, female conservationists are reaching out to this growing group.

Welfare changes in the 1990s helped slash cash benefit rolls, yet the use of food stamps is soaring today. About 15 percent of Americans use food stamps. The program has become what some call the new welfare.

A big reason why is a deal struck between President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress in 1996. At that time, the number of Americans who received cash payments — what's often thought of as welfare — was at an all-time high.




President Nicolas Sarkozy and socialist rival Francois Hollande were the top vote-getters in the first round of the French presidential election today. They'll head to a runoff on May 6. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley in Paris sent us this report.




On Friday, TV audiences got their first taste of the media frenzy that could come with a televised Trayvon Martin trial when a Florida judge granted bail to George Zimmerman. That decision, whether to televise or not, has yet to be made.

Writer John McWhorter thinks it would be a very good thing. And in the latest issue of The New Republic, he argues that it could become a bookend to another famous and racially charged trial: the O.J. Simpson case.

The Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan had five unplanned shutdowns last year. It's one of the area's biggest employers, and its safety record is one of the worst in the country. Now it's trying to prove to federal regulators that it can meet their standards.

On the shores of Lake Michigan, the Palisades Power Plant is tucked in between tall sand dunes in Covert Township, Mich., at the southern edge of Van Buren State Park.

Akash Kapur is the son of an Indian father and an American mother. In 2003, after working professionally in New York City for more than a decade, he decided to return to India. As he writes in his book, India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India, he arrived in a place he hardly recognized.

An increasing number of restaurants in the U.S. display signature dishes made with Kobe beef. From Kobe steak raviolis to Kobe beef burgers, you name it, Kobe beef seems to be popping up everywhere — except it's not Kobe beef.

Food writer Larry Olmsted of couldn't help but notice the trend and decided to bust everyone's bubble in a three-part expose of the so-called domestic Kobe beef industry.



And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. And we're going to talk about music, movies and culture now, and in particular, about something known as the 40-year rule. Adam Gopnik is with us now from New York. He's written about it for the latest issue of The New Yorker. Hello, Adam.

ADAM GOPNIK: Hey, Guy. How are you?

RAZ: I'm good. Let's explain this with a pop quiz, Adam. You know the answers. so don't give it away because this is for the listeners.

GOPNIK: All right.

Charles Colson, who served time in prison for his role in the Watergate scandal and later became an influential evangelical Christian, has died. Colson went from being one of the nation's most despised men to a hero of conservative Christians.

In his State of the Union address two years ago, President Obama argued there were a few things the U.S. needed to do in order to recover from the economic recession. One of them was to export more of our goods around the world.

"The more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America," Obama said.

That night, the president unveiled a new goal: to double U.S. exports over the next five years. It would be an increase that the president said would "support two million jobs in America."

The world's top-ranked female pole vaulter spends a great deal of time in an airplane hangar outside Rochester, N.Y.

But you won't find Jenn Suhr on an airfield. The 30-year-old is behind the house she shares with her husband and coach, Rick Suhr, in a hangar custom-adapted for training.

And with a silver medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics under her belt, Jenn is hoping to qualify for her second Olympic Games.

Until then, she's working with Rick to jump ever higher.

Oy, the things daters have to worry about these days. Not just how to dress, act and turn "no" into "go," but how not to become a chirp-chirp girl.

The French go to the polls Sunday to choose among 10 candidates for president, and opinion surveys suggest the outcome will be a runoff between the two main figures, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist candidate Francois Hollande.

Courtesy Hood Museum of Art

The newest acquisition at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth is from the unconventional French artist Marcel Duchamp. It’s a Box in a Valise, part of a series of works where Duchamp reproduced past creations in miniature form and packed them into a box as a sort of portable museum.

The latest financial numbers are coming out Friday from the campaigns of President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney — along with the superPACs that love them.

First, the easy numbers: $53 million was raised in March to re-elect Obama and $12.6 million was raised by the Romney campaign to win the Republican primaries.

But those easy numbers don't give a complete picture.

In the early 1990s, The Education of Little Tree became a publishing phenomenon. It told the story of an orphan growing up and learning the wisdom of his Native American ancestors, Cherokee Texan author Forrest Carter's purported autobiography.

In Myanmar, there are signs in the most unlikely places that people are starting to believe recent political reforms are for real, and aren't just a trick.

Take a recent performance of the Moustache Brothers vaudeville troupe in the northern city of Mandalay.

The troupe performs in the family home — it's not allowed to perform in public. Its biting political satire, aimed at the generals and their cronies, has made the troupe a favorite of Western tourists and diplomats.

This week, music is bringing Americans and Russians together in a way that policy discussions never can. And don't call that a cliche in front of the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

If U.S. relations with Russia have hit a sticky patch over Syria and other issues lately, that didn't stop the Chicago Symphony from thrilling a Russian audience this past Wednesday night, just as it did on its last visit — to the then-Soviet Union in 1990.

Tuesday night, Colorado Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a Major League Baseball game at the age of 49. He pitched the Rockies to a win of 5-to-3 over the San Diego Padres. Melissa Block talks to Moyer about the game and his career.

Our story begins last month inside a busy Washington, D.C. subway station plastered with posters of giant dollar bills. One of them says: "Tell Congress to stop wasting time trying to eliminate the dollar bill." Another asks: "Do you heart the dollar?"

Political fights in the nation's capital normally involve billions or even trillions, not single dollars. What's going on here?

Levon Helm, Drummer And Singer In The Band, Dies

Apr 20, 2012

It’s been said that poetry is all that is worth remembering in life. We asked folks to tell us about their memories of how a poem had affected their life. Rodger Martin from Harrisville, New Hampshire remembered hearing a poem that helped him return to civilian life after a tour of duty in Vietnam.

RODGER: The state of the country was in a far different place in 1970.