All Things Considered on APR

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Asia
3:21 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

China Pledges Reforms To Labor Camps, But Offers Few Details

Ren Jianyu poses for a photograph at a restaurant in Chongqing, China, on Nov. 19, 2012, after being freed from a labor camp. The village official was sentenced to a "re-education through labor" camp after he criticized the government.
STR Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:23 pm

China has indicated that it will stop handing down sentences to its controversial labor camps, which allow detention without trial for up to four years. According to Chinese media, some 160,000 prisoners were held in "re-education centers" at the end of 2008.

Critics of the system greeted the announcement — which was slim on details — with cautious optimism.

Pressure to change the system has been mounting after a number of high-profile cases, including that of Ren Jianyu, who had been a young village official.

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Europe
1:46 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Berlusconi Plots His Comeback: 'You Italians Need Me'

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (left) has returned to Italy's political scene in advance of next month's election. Also in the race is the current Prime Minister Mario Monti (right). They are shown here in November 2011 as Monti took over for Berlusconi.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:19 pm

With elections in Italy just weeks away, polls show leftist parties with a comfortable lead. Yet attention is focused on the battle between the former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and the current prime minister, Mario Monti, an austere technocrat.

Monti's platform calls for continued austerity, budget cutting and labor reforms.

While Berlusconi and Monti are the two big names in next month's race, the expected winner is the leader of the leftist Democratic Party, Pier Luigi Bersani.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Aurora Shooting Suspect Looked Like A Fellow Officer, Police Say

James Holmes faces multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the July 20 theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. Here, he's seen in a photo from the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.
AP

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:19 pm

Moments after a deadly attack that turned an Aurora, Colo., movie theater into a scene of panic and tragedy, the police officer who found suspect James Holmes at first took him for a fellow police officer, due to the body armor Holmes was wearing.

But he noticed that Holmes was "just standing there" and had no sense of urgency — despite the pandemonium at the theater, as people continued to stream out.

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Business
4:55 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

iPads, China: Twin Threats To Wisconsin's Paper Industry

The Nekoosa Paper Mill was established in 1883. Its mill in Nekoosa, Wis., sits on the banks of the Wisconsin River, and is now owned by a Canadian paper company.
Mike De Sisti Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:11 pm

Deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, lumberjacks still cry "timber," just not as often as they once did. Across the state, milling lumber into good paper, the kind called "knowledge" grade for books, has employed thousands for more than a century, and created a distinct culture.

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Politics
3:53 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Could Reviving Earmarks Get Congress Moving Again?

Recent episodes of gridlock in Congress have some arguing for the return of legislative earmarks, which, though often abused for political gain, helped get bills passed.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 8:54 am

"You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" is an old and cherished maxim of our republic. In politics, that's called an earmark, aka pork. One member of Congress gets a road or a monument for his or her state in exchange for a vote on the bill in question.

Congress has lived on this since the era of stovepipe hats. The political vogue lately, however, has been to repudiate those earmarks. But with the recent gridlock in Washington, the feeling is that perhaps some of that grease might help ease things.

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Author Interviews
3:26 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Re-Creating The 'Lost Carving' Of An English Genius

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:06 pm

On one spring day in the early 1970s, writer David Esterly paused to admire a stunning wooden carving inside a London church.

"On the panel behind the altar, I saw these extraordinary cascades of leaves and flowers and fruits, carved to a fineness and fluent realism, which seemed to me breathtaking," Esterly recalled in an interview with Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

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World
3:06 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Australia's Mining Boom Creates Demand For Sex Workers

Supporters of the Scarlet Alliance Australian Sex Workers Association demand better legal protections at a rally outside the New South Wales Parliament in September.
Greg Wood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:07 pm

It's 9 p.m. on a Wednesday, and the night shift has started work at Langtrees, a popular brothel in the Western Australia city of Perth.

Like other women at Langtrees, "Ruby," 25, uses a working name out of concern for her safety. Ruby is from Spain, and tonight she expects to earn at least $1,500.

"I work in many countries — in Europe, in Dubai, I work in Brazil," Ruby says.

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Politics
4:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Obama's On-Again, Off-Again Relationship With Progressives

President Obama pauses as he speaks about the fiscal cliff on Monday. Some progressives say the president was not aggressive enough with Republicans during budget talks and are hoping he is stronger in his second term.
Charles Dharapak AP

When Barack Obama first took office four years ago, many progressives were on cloud nine. Here was a president pledging to tackle some of the issues closest to the progressive base: climate change, gun control and what he called our "broken immigration system."

That was in 2008. Fast forward to now and these are just a few of the unresolved issues leaving progressives unsatisfied.

With Obama's second term around the corner, some progressives are wondering if President Obama will reboot and follow through with his earlier promises.

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Music News
4:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Bikini Kill Rises Again, No Less Relevant

Bikini Kill performs in Washington, D.C., in the 1990s.
Courtesy of Pat Graham

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 3:24 pm

Just over 20 years ago, one of the most influential bands in the riot grrrl movement released its first album. Bikini Kill helped define a movement that grew up as an offshoot of punk in the early 1990s, when many women felt marginalized by society, and in some cases, even by the punk-rock community.

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Analysis
4:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Week In News: The End Of The Fiscal Cliff, Sort Of

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic. The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it.

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The Picture Show
11:48 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Looking For Lost Memories In The Delta

"The Peter's Rock Church in Marianna is no everlasting monument; it has been left to rot, its windows broken, its steeple fallen over. Still, I found it beautiful. Kneeling in the cemetery, listening to the insects hissing, watching as a dog wandered past, I felt history coming at me from all sides."
Eugene Richards National Geographic

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:14 pm

Photographer Eugene Richards had several reasons to visit the Arkansas Delta 40 years after his initial visit.

"I went back, ostensibly, to look at the culture and see if there was anything left of it," he says. Or at least — that was the pitch he gave National Geographic magazine, in hopes that it would send him there, which it did. You can see the story in the magazine's November issue.

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Politics
6:02 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Potential Geithner Departure Could Complicate Debt Ceiling Battle

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama may be going into the next big budget fight without his long-time treasury secretary. Timothy Geithner had been planning to leave before the start of the president's second term, but that would mean he is departing with the debt ceiling still looming and the Treasury scrambling to keep up with the government's bills.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. And, Scott, Secretary Geithner has made no secret of his plans to leave the government, but it sounds like his departure could be complicated.

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On Aging
5:08 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Baby Boomers' Last Wishes: Motorcycle Hearses And Facebook Obits

Lew Bird says that before passing away, his friend requested that his funeral include one last ride on a motorcycle.
Peter Gray for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:02 pm

Old Aristocracy Hill isn't a part of Springfield, Ill., that draws a lot of attention. The quiet neighborhood dates back to before the Civil War, its historic homes now carefully preserved by proud business owners.

But outside a stately funeral home, a large black-and-chrome Harley Davidson motorcycle trike pulls out of the parking lot, towing a matching casket in its glass-sided trailer.

It's not something you would expect to see, but it's exactly what 67-year-old Lew Bird says his friend Dave Rondelli wanted: one last ride.

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Middle East
3:54 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Pakistani Military Hopes Rehab Will Lead Men To Paralympics

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Religion
3:37 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Amid Instability In Egypt, Coptic Christians Flee To U.S.

Egyptian Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas Nativity Liturgy, the start of Christmas, at the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George in Brooklyn last January.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:38 pm

Coptic Christians will celebrate Christmas on Monday, and many will do so outside their native Egypt. Since the revolution there, their future in the country has looked uncertain, and many are resettling in the United States.

Their population in the U.S. may have grown by nearly 30 percent, according to rough estimates. One church that has felt its membership swell with new arrivals from Egypt is in the Queens borough of New York. St. Mary and St. Antonios Coptic Orthodox Church boasts more than 1,000 families, says the Rev. Michael Sorial.

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