All Things Considered on KTXI

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.
 

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It's All Politics
1:03 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

When Lobbyists Literally Write The Bill

Lobbyists for Citigroup, one of the country's largest banks, offered lawmakers draft language for a bill that was obtained by New York Times and Mother Jones reporters. And 70 of the 85 lines in the final House bill reflected Citigroup's recommendations.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 4:52 pm

It's taken for granted that lobbyists influence legislation. But perhaps less obvious is that they often write the actual bills — even word for word.

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All Tech Considered
12:57 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

A Few Places Where Government Tech Procurement Works

Kansas City is one of the cities making technology a bigger priority in its procurement processes.
Brent Flanders Flickr

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 4:52 pm

The botched start of HealthCare.gov is just the latest big federal tech system to fail at launch, but information technology research group Standish found that during the last decade, 94 percent of the large-scale federal IT projects have been similarly unsuccessful.

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World
5:11 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

Lighting Up The Investigative Path With Polonium-210

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat boards a helicopter in Ramallah, the West Bank, for the start of his journey to a hospital in France on Oct. 29, 2004. He died 2 weeks later.
Scott Nelson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 5:58 pm

With a Swiss forensics investigation pointing to polonium-210 as a possible cause of Yasser Arafat's death, the radioactive element is back in the news.

Confirming whether the Palestinian leader died from an assassination attempt will be difficult, given polonium's short half-life and the fact that Arafat has been dead nine years, science writer Deborah Blum says.

Whatever happened to Arafat, polonium does have a deadly history.

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Around the Nation
5:11 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

Merchant Marines See New Obstacles In Food Aid Proposal

The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest port in North American, and it's where many merchant mariners bid for jobs. But a proposed change to the U.S. food aid program could mean shipping out less food to developing countries, and fewer jobs.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 8:54 am

When it comes to shipping in the United States, there's a bit of a paradox. Even as U.S. exports have grown, the U.S. share of shipping has declined dramatically.

The traffic in and out of U.S. ports increases every year, but most of those ships fly foreign flags. In fact, the number of U.S. flagged ships is barely one quarter of what it was in the 1950s. That means fewer and fewer jobs for the men and women who work on those ships: the United States Merchant Marine.

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Music Interviews
3:53 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

In Lucius, Two Singers Find An Arresting Harmony

Lucius' new album, Wildewoman, is out now.
Peter Larson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 5:58 pm

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Author Interviews
3:53 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

How Cynthia Rylant Discovered The Poetry Of Storytelling

Courtesy of Beach Lane Books

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 5:58 pm

Cynthia Rylant is a renowned author who has written for all age groups and been honored with both Caldecott and Newbery prizes for her work.

Her latest book, God Got a Dog, is a collection of poems that only took her one day to write.

"One poem ... just came out of the blue, and I sat down and I wrote it. And then after I finished writing it, I got an idea for another God poem, and so I wrote that one. And so it started in the morning and then by the end of the day, I was finished writing the book," she tells All Things Considered host Arun Rath.

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Author Interviews
3:53 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

A Panorama Of Devastation: Drawing Of WWI Battle Spans 24 Feet

Detail from Plate 11 of Joe Sacco's The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. On July 1st, at precisely 7:30 a.m., the attack commences.
Joe Sacco Courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 5:58 pm

Joe Sacco is a cartoonist, graphic novelist and journalist; he's best-known for his dispatches from today's regions of conflict, like the Middle East and Bosnia, in cartoon form. But for his latest book, The Great War, Sacco turns his eye on history. He's recreated of one of the worst battles of World War I, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, from its hopeful beginning to its brutal end.

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Around the Nation
4:00 pm
Sat November 9, 2013

In The Heat Of The Foundry, Steinway Piano 'Hearts' Are Made

Sparks fly as Dan Hensley pours liquid iron (at 2575 degrees Farenheit) into the mold for a piano plate destined for Steinway pianos, at O.S. Kelly foundry in Springfield, Ohio.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 1:10 pm

The Steinway piano company has a new owner. This fall, the investment firm Paulson & Co. — led by billionaire John Paulson — spent about $500 million and bought all of Steinway & Sons, the venerated piano maker.

The deal includes a foundry in Springfield, Ohio, where the Steinway pianos are born in fire.

The O.S. Kelly Foundry has been making Steinway's plates since 1938. The plate is the cast-iron heart of a piano: It holds the steel wire strings with 40,000 pounds of tension, the company says. It allows vibrations to arise in a concert hall as music.

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U.S.
4:00 pm
Sat November 9, 2013

Ruling On NYC Disaster Plans For Disabled May Have Far Reach

A wheelchair is among debris from Superstorm Sandy in the Queens borough of New York on Nov. 13, 2012. A judge ruled Thursday that the city does not have adequate plans for evacuating people with disabilities.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters/Landov

A year after Superstorm Sandy stranded many New Yorkers without power for days, a federal judge has ruled that New York City's emergency plans violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those shortcomings, the judge found, leave almost 900,000 residents in danger, and many say the ruling could have implications for local governments across the country.

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Author Interviews
4:00 pm
Sat November 9, 2013

'Days Of Fire': The Evolution Of The Bush-Cheney White House

Charles Dharapak AP

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney left office on Jan. 20, 2009, ending a consequential — and controversial — administration. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina were just some of the major events that challenged the administration.

Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times, covered those events in real time. But he's now taken a second look at the administration and the relationship at its heart.

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