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

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Book Reviews
4:05 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Lush, Urgent Poems On Protest And Pumpkins Set Language 'On Fire'

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

I admit it — I have a tendency to feel jaded. So if someone were to tell me that Brenda Hillman spent the last 17 years writing four books of poetry, one for each of the elements — land, air, water, and fire — I might brush the work aside. I might think that the project sounded cheesy, cliché, not for me. But I would be wrong, because the lush, sidelong, textured poems in Hillman's stunning new book Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire refuse simplicity. This book — the final exploration of the fourth element, fire — dances and leaps.

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Middle East
4:05 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Poverty Toppled Two Egyptian Governments And Still Persists

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's been nearly three years since Egyptians rose up against autocratic rule and one fact of life there hasn't changed. Most Egyptians are poor and they're getting poorer. Economic social justice was a big demand of protesters in 2011 and then again this summer. That's when massive crowds took to the streets leading to the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. And economists say if Egypt's new leaders don't do something to address the country's poverty problem, they'll face similar unrest.

NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo.

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Parallels
3:09 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Little 'Libraires' That Could: French Law Would Keep Amazon At Bay

France's government has taken legal steps to protect the country's independent booksellers from behemoths like Amazon. It already prohibits discounts of more than 5 percent on books. Now it's considering a law that would not allow online retailers like Amazon to offer both a 5 percent discount and free shipping.
Christine Zenino Flickr

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Last year, the U.S. government took Apple to court, charging that the company illegally drove up the price of e-books. This summer, Apple lost the case.

In France, just the opposite is happening. The French government has accused Amazon of trying to push the price of physical books too low.

Limiting discounts on books is one of the ways that France is trying to ensure the survival of its independent booksellers.

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Fine Art
1:54 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Forget The Lottery; You Have Better Odds Of Winning This Picasso

Pablo Picasso drew L'Homme au Gibus, or Man With Opera Hat, in 1914.
(c) Succession Picasso 2013

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Imagine buying a genuine Pablo Picasso painting valued at $1 million — and paying only $135.

That's the prize if you win the "1 Picasso for 100 Euros" raffle Sotheby's is currently putting on. It's the first time a Picasso has been offered as a raffle prize, and while 100 euros (about $135) isn't cheap for a raffle ticket, at one in about 50,000, your chances of winning are a lot better than the megalotteries a lot of people enter.

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U.S.
5:03 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Feds Recast Child Prostitutes As Victims, Not Criminals

The FBI and Department of Justice are working to encourage local law enforcement agencies to view child prostitutes as potential human trafficking victims rather than criminals.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 12:48 pm

Across the country, newly formed task forces made up of local, state and federal law enforcement officers are starting to view what was once seen as run-of-the-mill prostitution as possible instances of sex trafficking.

With support and funding from the FBI and the Justice Department, agencies are starting to work together to identify and rescue sex trafficking victims and arrest their pimps.

The new approach is being hailed by victims of trafficking and their advocates as a much-needed paradigm shift — and, the FBI says, is reaping results.

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The Salt
5:03 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Almonds For Skinny Snackers? Yes, They Help Curb Your Appetite

The protein, unsaturated fat composition and fiber in almonds all very likely play a role in helping to curb appetites.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 1:54 pm

Americans seem to have a love affair with snacking.

As a society, we eat twice as many snacks as we did a generation ago. Women, on average, nosh on upwards of 400 snack calories per day, according to federal survey data. And men consume almost 600 calories a day in between meals.

So, if nibbling is our new pastime, researchers have a suggestion for one satiating snack that seems to help control our appetites: almonds.

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Music Interviews
5:03 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

The Life Of Doc Pomus, Songwriter To The Stars

Doc Pomus, pictured here in the 1980s, was an obscure, yet prolific songwriter who died in 1991. A.K.A. Doc Pomus is a documentary about his life.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 6:40 pm

His name would spin around and around on the vinyl, the writer of a thousand songs: Doc Pomus. As the man behind smash records including Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas," Ray Charles' "Lonely Avenue" and The Drifters' "This Magic Moment," he shaped the early sound of rock 'n' roll.

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U.S.
4:10 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Abuse Allegations Leave Twin Cities Archdiocese In Turmoil

Jennifer Haselberger, former top canon lawyer for the archdiocese, found stored files detailing how some priests had histories of sexual abuse. She resigned in April.
Jennifer Simonson Minnesota Public Radio

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:25 pm

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been rocked in recent weeks by revelations from a top-level whistle-blower. The former official says church leaders covered up numerous cases of sexual misconduct by priests and even made special payments to pedophiles.

The scandal is notable not only because of the abuse but also because it happened in an archdiocese that claimed to be a national leader in dealing with the issue.

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Sports
4:10 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Reversed Call Gives Sox Opening To Win World Series Game One

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The St. Louis Cardinals hope to come back against the Boston Red Sox in game two of the World Series tonight. In game one, well, just about nothing went right with the Cardinals. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us. He's covering these games from Boston. Hey there, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hi.

CORNISH: So, in the first inning, there was this big mistaken call by the umpire at second base and then a reversal of that call. What happened?

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Politics
4:10 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Outside Political Money Floods Virginia Races

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Virginia holds elections next month for state offices, including governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. But what was historically a pretty sedate affair is, this year, drawing millions of dollars from all over the country.

NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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