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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. To hear the most recent broadcast, or search the All Things Considered archives, click here.

Billy McCarthy lost his mother to suicide when he was a teenager. He cared for his schizophrenic brother as best he could after that, but his brother landed in solitary confinement in prison, where he eventually took his own life, too. Somehow, McCarthy found a way to rise above his anguish — as a songwriter. He began playing music while living in foster care in California.

Kurt Vonnegut Was Not A Happy Man. 'So It Goes.'

Nov 19, 2011

Kurt Vonnegut was a counterculture hero, an American Mark Twain, an avuncular, jocular friend to the youth — until you got to know him.

"Kurt was actually rather flinty, rather irascible. He had something of a temper," author Charles Shields tells weekends on All Things Considered host Laura Sullivan. Shields is the author of a new biography of Vonnegut, called And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life.

"But as I also point out in the book," Shields adds, "he was a damaged person."

A.A. Bondy: Making His Own World

Nov 18, 2011

One Friday night at The Waiting Room in Omaha, Neb., more than 150 people are milling around waiting for A.A. Bondy to take the stage. His new album, Believers, came out two months ago and caught fans like Andre Steinbergs by surprise.

'Managed' Apple Creates A Buzz

Nov 18, 2011

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Now, something completely unfair, something sure to make your mouth water. Listen to this description of a rising star in the apple world, an apple called SweeTango.

Army Successfully Tests Hypersonic Missile

Nov 18, 2011

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Week In Politics: Gingrich, Debt Panel

Nov 18, 2011

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And now to our regular Friday political commentators, E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times. Hello, both.

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama arrived in Indonesia today, the latest stop in a 10 day trip across the Pacific. He's used the trip to send a message that the U.S. is shifting its attention to the Asia Pacific region, both for economic and security reasons. That includes the announcement yesterday that the U.S. will deploy 2,500 Marines to Australia.

When Barron Lerner was writing his book on the history of drunk driving in America — and efforts to control it — he carried out an experiment at home that involved a bottle of vodka, a shot glass and a Breathalyzer. He was the guinea pig.

"I was trying to figure out just how drunk you had to be in order to not drive safely," says Lerner, a professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University, who wrote One for the Road. He decided to drink and test his levels — but he didn't actually get into a car.

A Televised Singing Competition With A Mission

Nov 17, 2011

Auditions are now underway for next May's Eurovision Song Contest — that often-ridiculed television spectacle that has drawn millions of viewers around the world every year since 1956. In 2012 the host country will be Azerbaijan, since that country fielded last year's winner.

The ancient texts can be seen up close — right in the middle of New York City. There are some theatrics, but NPR's Margot Adler reports that the exhibit is happily understated.

Obama Learns 'Lazy' Is A Four-Letter Word

Nov 17, 2011

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

President Obama has spoken for hours during his specific tour this week to CEOs, world leaders and military troops. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, one brief remark caught the ear of Republicans and you're likely to hear a lot of it in the months ahead.

Pelosi Makes Joke At Perry's Expense

Nov 17, 2011

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi poked fun at GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry when she responded to his challenge to debate her next Monday. Pelosi said she had three other engagements that day — but forgot the third.

Jesmyn Ward's novel Salvage the Bones won this year's National Book Award in fiction.

When you live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, stories of hurricanes are passed down through generations. For my parents, the storm was called Camille, and on Aug. 17, 1969, it made landfall.

R.E.M., R.I.P.

Nov 16, 2011

They were four guys out of Athens, Ga., with a three-letter name — and one hell of an impact on rock. R.E.M. was Michael Stipe singing lead, Mike Mills on bass and harmonies, Peter Buck on guitar and Bill Berry on drums, until Berry left the band in 1997.

"We never expected the thing to last any longer than a couple of years to begin with," Stipe says. "And then when it did, and we were making records and people were interested in it, the band started getting bigger and bigger and bigger."

When I was a kid, I assumed that in the future things would get better and better until we were all driving flying cars and playing badminton with space aliens on top of 500-story buildings. Frankly, I kind of counted on this happening. But now I don't assume that we'll just keep going up anymore.

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