All Things Considered

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Catch up on events of the day with this drive-time mix of news, reviews, and offbeat features.

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National Security
6:30 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

U.S. Reveals Failed Special Forces Mission To Rescue Hostages

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 7:59 pm

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The Salt
3:49 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

No. 1 Most Expensive Coffee Comes From Elephant's No. 2

Elephants, unlike humans or civets, are herbivores. The fermentation happening in their gut as they break down cellulose helps remove the bitterness in the coffee beans.
Michael Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:30 pm

I s#&% you not: The world's most expensive coffee is now being produced in Thailand's Golden Triangle, a region better known for another high-priced, if illegal, export: opium.

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Men In America
3:45 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

From A Father And Son, What It Means To Be A Military Man

Mark Pierce enlisted in the military in 1970, served in Vietnam and retired in 2010. Years later, his two sons also joined the armed forces.
Courtesy of Mark Pierce

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:35 pm

Military service once defined the lives of many men in the United States, particularly before the end of the draft in 1973. But today, many younger adults have no direct family ties to the military at all.

For the men in Mark and Jeremy Pierce's family, however, military service is a tradition dating back to the Civil War.

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Book Reviews
3:31 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

'F' Is For Fraudster In A Family Novel For Our Modern Times

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:30 pm

A father takes his three sons to a hypnotist's show. Called onto the stage, the father's cool self-possession and confidence seem to prevail, and he walks away, claiming no effect. They leave the show, he drops his sons off and drives away. We learn later that he has taken his passport and emptied the family bank account. The boys will not see him again until they are adults.

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Parallels
3:11 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

In Syria, The U.S. Weighs A Range Of Unpalatable Options

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad walk along a street in Mleiha, near the Damascus airport, during a tour organized by the Syrian government on Aug. 15.
Omar Sanadiki Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:35 pm

President Obama said Wednesday that the Islamic State is a cancer that threatens all governments in the Middle East. But that raises the question of what the U.S. could or should do.

Two former U.S. ambassadors to Syria, Robert Ford and Ryan Crocker, have advocated different approaches to a conflict where there are many different options. But none is appealing and there's no guarantee, or even a likelihood that U.S. action would ultimately determine the outcome.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Many Seek Justice In Ferguson, Mo., But Will Have To Wait Awhile

A memorial sits at the site of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Mo. Any investigation into his shooting by a police officer is likely to take months.
Larry W. Smith EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:30 pm

Both the county case and the federal investigation into the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown are expected to take time, as are basic answers about the circumstances that led to the black teenager's death Aug. 9.

About two dozen people showed up Wednesday in front of the St. Louis County Courthouse to demonstrate against County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, who is preparing to present evidence in the case to a grand jury.

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Around the Nation
2:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

EPA Wades Into Water Fight With Farmers

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:30 pm

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Middle East
2:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Militants Behead American Journalist, Leveling New Threats At U.S.

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:30 pm

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Today, American foreign policy intersected with personal tragedy. The parents of James Foley spoke about their son. He's the American journalist killed by the extremist group known as the Islamic State.

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Remembrances
2:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Yogi Iyengar, Who Helped Bring Yoga To The West, Dies At 95

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:30 pm

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News
3:29 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Amid The Chaos In Ferguson, Another Police Shooting

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:38 pm

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Middle East
3:29 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Blocked At The Border, Gaza Man's Hopes Of Escape Fade

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:38 pm

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Goats and Soda
3:28 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Doctors Without Borders: What We Need To Contain Ebola

Dr. Joanne Liu (left), international president of Doctors Without Borders poses with a member of the MSF medical team at the organization's Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone.
P.K. Lee Courtesy of Doctors Without Border

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:51 pm

With the continuous uptick in the number of cases and deaths in the current Ebola outbreak, the few agencies that are on ground are stretched thin.

That includes Doctors Without Borders, also known as MSF. It's one of the main health care providers in West Africa, where there are more than 2,000 cases of Ebola and 1,200 deaths. Even with roughly 1,000 volunteers spread among the three Ebola-stricken countries, the agency says that still isn't enough.

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Goats and Soda
3:14 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Ebola In The Skies? How The Virus Made It To West Africa

Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:37 pm

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the most explosive in history. One reason the virus spread so fast is that West Africa was blindsided. Ebola had never erupted in people anywhere close to West Africa before.

The type of Ebola causing the outbreak — called Zaire — is the deadliest strain. Until this year, it had been seen only in Central Africa, about 2,500 miles away. That's about the distance between Boston and San Francisco.

So how did it spread across this giant swath of land without anybody noticing?

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This Week's Must Read
3:01 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

'This Fight Begins In The Heart': Reading James Baldwin As Ferguson Seethes

Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:38 pm

It is early August. A black man is shot by a white policeman. And the effect on the community is of "a lit match in a tin of gasoline."

No, this is not Ferguson, Mo. This was Harlem in August 1943, a period that James Baldwin writes about in the essay that gives its title to his seminal collection, Notes of a Native Son.

The story begins with the death of Baldwin's father, a proud, severe preacher who viewed all white people with suspicion, even the kindly schoolteacher who encouraged his son's writings.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Ferguson Teachers Use Day Off As Opportunity For A Civics Lesson

Teachers with the Jennings School District pick up trash Tuesday on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., the scene of nightly police clashes. Jennings and the neighboring Ferguson school district have canceled class due to ongoing unrest.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:30 pm

Chaos and unrest overnight have kept the National Guard in the suburban town of Ferguson, Mo., for a second day, and the local school district has canceled classes for the week. After two nights of violent clashes this week, neighboring Jennings School District is out of class, too.

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Latin America
2:05 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Once An Object Of Reverence, Brazilian Soccer's A Punchline

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:38 pm

It's been over a month since the World Cup ended in Brazil, but the shame of the country's blowout loss remains. Once, Brazilians were welcomed in other countries with talk of Brazil's soccer dominance; now, everyone merely speaks of their historic defeat against Germany.

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Digital Life
2:05 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

We Are What We Google: How Search Terms Reflect Our Wealth

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:38 pm

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Race
2:05 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Study Shows Sharp Racial Divide In Reaction To Ferguson

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:06 pm

A recent study by the Pew Research Center finds that there are stark racial divisions in reactions to the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Audie Cornish talks to Carroll Doherty, director of political research at Pew, for more.

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

All Tech Considered
3:56 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

How Long Do CDs Last? It Depends, But Definitely Not Forever

Many institutions have their archives stored on CDs — but the discs aren't as stable as once thought. There is no average life span for a CD, says preservationist Michele Youket, "because there is no average disc."
Sarah Tilotta NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:27 am

Back in the 1990s, historical societies, museums and symphonies across the country began transferring all kinds of information onto what was thought to be a very durable medium: the compact disc.

Now, preservationists are worried that a lot of key information stored on CDs — from sound recordings to public records — is going to disappear. Some of those little silver discs are degrading, and researchers at the Library of Congress are trying to figure out why.

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Environment
3:15 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

One Year After Calif. Rim Fire, Debate Simmers Over Forest Recovery

Maria Benech of the U.S. Forest Service surveys a severely burned patch of forest. Almost 40 percent of the burned area looks similar.
Lauren Sommer KQED

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 5:40 pm

Eric Knapp breaks apart a burned pine cone, looking for seeds — in his line of work this is considered a clue.

"Going into an area after a fire, you almost feel like CSI, you know, sleuthing," Knapp says.

He is standing in a part of the Stanislaus National Forest that was severely burned by the Rim Fire. Knapp, an ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service, is studying how forests recover.

"It's completely dead," he says. "These trees won't be coming back to life."

A lot of the forest was charred like this.

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