All Things Considered

Weekdays 3:00pm-6:00pm, Weekend at 4pm
  • Hosted by Melissa Block, Michele Norris, Audie Cornish
  • Local Host Kyle Felling

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 almost 13 million* people on nearly 700 radio stations each week, All Things Considered is one of the most popular programs in America. Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block Robert Siegel, and Audie Cornish present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features. 

A one-hour edition of the program runs on Saturday and Sunday.

The posts below are some of the highlights from All Things ConsideredVisit the program page on NPR to see a full list of stories.

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Today, details of the Obama administration's plan known as the Postsecondary Institutional Ratings System, or PIRS, finally saw the light of day. The idea, in this incarnation, was just under three years old.

The president announced its conception during his State of the Union address in 2012.

Among the changes to U.S. restrictions on Cuba President Obama announced Wednesday was a relaxation of the rules barring U.S. banks from doing business there.

Americans traveling in Cuba will now be able to use their credit cards and ATM cards, but many U.S. banks see the new rules as something of a legal minefield.

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Last month's cyberattack on Sony pictures is now a national security matter. U.S. intelligence officials believe North Korea is behind the incident and today the White House said it's taking hacking attacks seriously.

Pennsylvania's fracking boom has led to record-breaking natural gas production, but its neighbor, New York, announced Wednesday it was banning the practice. Industry and environmental groups say New York's decision could be good for Pennsylvania.

New York's ban comes six years after the state placed a temporary moratorium on fracking to study the gas drilling technique. Now, officials question fracking's economic benefits and cite environmental risks.

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And that changing relationship is something that Frank Calzon is questioning.

FRANK CALZON: The president has given Cuba - most of the Cuban government - most of what they want.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're going to get reaction from Havana now, from Steve Wicary. He's a Canadian journalist who's been based in Havana for the last two- and-a-half years.

Welcome to the program.

STEVE WICARY: Hey, thanks very much.

We are well into the Christmas season, and if you live in Japan, that means sponge cake.

The traditional Japanese Christmas dish is served with strawberries and cream, and it is rich, thanks to lots and lots of butter. But the Japanese have been using even more butter for their Christmas cakes this year, exacerbating what was already a national butter shortage.

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Hollywood likes to roll out their big family movies around the holidays. This season the lineup includes "Big Hero 6," "Annie," "Penguins Of Madagascar," and the offbeat fairy tale musical, "Into The Woods."

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Drive down gravel Road 22 in Nebraska's York County, past weathered farmhouses and corn cut to stubble in rich, black loam soil, and you'll find a small barn by the side of the road.

Built of native ponderosa pine, the barn is topped with solar panels. A windmill spins furiously out front.

Known as the Energy Barn, it's a symbol of renewable energy, standing smack on the proposed route of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline — a project of the energy giant TransCanada.

An hour east of Sacramento, Calif., trucks carrying burned timber from the Eldorado National Forest roar down the canyon as chain saws buzz in the distance.

But U.S. Forest Service ecologist Becky Estes says besides humans, not much else in this forest seems alive.

"We're standing in an area that ... is going to be probably 100 percent mortality of the trees," Estes says.

Many of us are making lots of trips to the mall right now, but what if you could only go shopping for just a few hours once a month? That's what life is like for container ship crews who bring the vast majority of consumer goods from Chinese factories to stores in the U.S.

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We begin this hour with today's shocking terrorist attack in Pakistan. Gunmen entered a military-run school in Peshawar and began executing children. The military says 132 students and nine staff members were killed.

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The popular ride-hailing service Uber is valued at a staggering $40 billion — even though it's besieged by lawsuits, bad PR and outright bans in some cities.

Dr. Kent Brantly considers himself a lucky man.

He was diagnosed with Ebola five months ago while working with Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse at a hospital in Liberia's capital, Monrovia. He became so sick that he thought he was going to "quit" breathing.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Race is at the forefront of the current debate over the police use of deadly force. But one shooting in Wisconsin highlights another factor at play when police shoot civilians — the lack of outside investigation. And the decade-old death has led to real reform in the state.

Today, like every Sunday in the fall, millions of Americans are tuning in to watch some of the country's most popular sport: football.

And for several million of them, your regular ol' football game isn't fast-paced enough: They're tuning in to NFL RedZone.

NFL RedZone is the frenetic channel run by the NFL Network that, for seven hours straight, switches between football games in an endeavor to show every single score of as many as 12 simultaneous games.

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