All Things Considered

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.Melissa Block and Robert Siegel

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Swing-State Billboards Warning Against Voter Fraud Stir Backlash

An anonymous "family foundation" is paying for billboards warning against voter fraud, like this one in a minority neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland. Clear Channel, which owns the space, says the anonymity violates its policies but it will not take the ads down.
Ken Barcus NPR

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 7:00 pm

Dozens of anonymous billboards have popped up in urban areas in the crucial battleground states of Ohio and Wisconsin. The signs note that voter fraud is a felony, punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Civil rights groups and Democrats complain that the billboards are meant to intimidate voters.

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It's All Politics
2:24 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Underdog Democrat Keeping Things Close In Nevada Senate Race

Democatic Rep. Shelley Berkley greets Republican Sen. Dean Heller before the second of their three debates, on Oct. 11 in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 7:00 pm

Early in-person voting in Nevada starts Saturday, and it's not just the presidential contest that's being closely watched in this swing state.

The race for the U.S. Senate is also seen as a tossup, a bit of a surprise for Republicans, who have counted on retaining the GOP-held seat as they try to build a majority.

Republican Sen. Dean Heller — in office for only 18 months — faces seven-term Rep. Shelley Berkley on Nov. 6.

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Around the Nation
1:32 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

No Roof Rookies Here: Cleaning The Superdome

Rene Lopez and Devin Burrell blast dirt off the polyurethane coating the iconic white roof of the Superdome in New Orleans. The job will cost about $130,000 and take roughly a month, partly because the roofers must move slowly. "You have to constantly be aware of where you're at," says project manager Tom Keller. "If something stupid happens, it's not going to end up pretty."
Keith O'Brien for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 1:42 am

Most people have their route to work memorized; they can do it with their eyes closed. Heading into the office is some combination of elevators — stairs if you're more ambitious — and hallways. Easy.

Tom Keller's route is a bit more complicated.

"Step here, and there's a bad railing right here with a step," Keller cautions, threading his way up along a series of dimly lit, narrow catwalks suspended above the football field inside the New Orleans Superdome.

The stadium is home to the New Orleans Saints and will host this year's Super Bowl.

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World
1:29 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Radio Liberty Going Off The Air In Russia

Police officers detain Kirill Filimonov, one of the supporters of Radio Liberty in Moscow during a recent protest. The service will stop AM radio broadcasts and will become an Internet operation. It can also be heard on short wave radio.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 4:42 am

Radio Liberty was founded in the 1950s to broadcast American views into the former Soviet Union when the Cold War was at its peak. Radio Liberty transmitted on short wave, and the Soviet government did all it could to jam the broadcasts.

But after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian President Boris Yeltsin granted the service permission to open a Moscow bureau and broadcast within the country on AM radio.

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Shots - Health News
12:41 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

With An Army Of Vaccinators, India Subdues Polio

An Indian child receives the oral polio vaccine. Twice a year, an army of 2 million volunteers fans out across India to administer the vaccine. India has not reported a single case of polio in more than a year-and-a-half.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 7:31 pm

All this week, we've been examining the world's last remaining pockets of polio, a disease for which there is no cure. India marked a milestone when the World Health Organization struck it from the list of polio-endemic countries in February after no new cases were reported for more than a year. From Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports on how, despite poverty and poor sanitation, the world's second-most populous country is eradicating the disease.

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National Security
6:09 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Man Arrested In Plot To Blow Up NY Federal Reserve

A man has been arrested in an alleged terror plot to blow up the Federal Reserve building in New York City. Federal authorities and the New York Police Department collaborated to foil the plot apparently conceived by a Bangladeshi man, Quazi Mohammd Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis. Nafis is said to have conceived the plot. However, authorities learned of the plot and actually provided what appeared to be the bomb. It was inert and there was no threat to the public.

Shots - Health News
5:31 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Treatment For Alzheimer's Should Start Years Before Disease Sets In

Alexis McKenzie, executive director of the Methodist Home of the District of Columbia Forest Side, an Alzheimer's assisted-living facility, puts her hand on the arm of resident Catherine Peake.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 10:12 am

Treatment for Alzheimer's probably needs to begin years or even decades before symptoms of the disease start to appear, scientists reported at this week's Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans.

"By the time an Alzheimer's patient is diagnosed even with mild or moderate Alzheimer's there is very, very extensive neuron death," said John Morrison of Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. "And the neurons that die are precisely those neurons that allow you to navigate the world and make sense of the world."

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World
4:31 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Israeli Politicians Look To U.S. For Campaign Funds

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly Cabinet meeting at his offices in Jerusalem in October. A new report shows that Netanyahu raised more than 90 percent of his campaign money in the United States.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 10:03 am

It's midday in the cafeteria of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, and legislators and their aides are busy wheeling and dealing over lunch.

Gil Hoffman, political analyst for The Jerusalem Post newspaper, surveys the cafeteria floor with an expert's eye.

"Never a dull moment in election season," he says. "This is where the politicians, when there is something really important to get across to the press, this is where they do it; this is where they meet and make whatever political deals they need to get ahead."

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Shots - Health News
4:24 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

How The Taliban Is Thwarting The War On Polio

Children in a Lahore slum after heavy rains. The slum has a large population of Pashtuns who came from Pakistan's lawless tribal regions; many carry the polio virus with them.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:26 pm

Pakistan is one of the remaining corners of the world where polio still lingers. Last year, the government declared a national emergency, and with the help of international institutions, embarked on an aggressive vaccination campaign.

So far, the results have been promising. The number of new polio cases is about a third of last year's total of 198.

But the new campaign, like previous efforts, hasn't been able to overcome one critical problem: getting into parts of Pakistan's lawless tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan to vaccinate the children there.

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Books
3:29 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Thousands Line Up For Rare Rowling Appearance

J.K. Rowling promotes her new novel, The Casual Vacancy, at Lincoln Center in New York. It was her only U.S. appearance.
Dan Hallman AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 6:09 pm

While much of America was watching the second presidential debate, about 2,000 people — many of them between the ages of 20 and 40 — were doing something very different. They had gotten a rare and prized ticket to the only U.S. appearance by J.K Rowling, as she promotes her new book for adults, The Casual Vacancy.

The crowd was huge but happy — double the number originally planned, forcing the organizers to change venues. Attendees got a ticket to the Lincoln Center event and a copy of the book, which Rowling would later sign.

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