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.

Official Website: http://www.npr.org/programs/all-things-considered/

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So what if the bank paid you to take out a loan? That's what's happening in some European countries, where interest rates have gone negative amid efforts by central bankers to boost economic activity.

NPR's Audie Cornish spoke with NPR's John Ydstie about this unusual turn of financial events.

Audie Cornish: What's going on?

Beautifully made fantastic tales such as Steven Millhauser writes don't begin from nothing. As in the tradition of Nikolai Gogol, Italo Calvino and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (to name a few revered creators of fiction that carries us beyond the normal), most of them grow out of everyday incidents and lead us right up to the line between the ordinary and the magical. And sometimes they help us to cross over.

NPR's Robert Siegel interviews University of Virginia historian Barbara Perry about the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Andrew Johnson presidency. Perry explains how he was chosen as vice president, and how he suddenly became president after President Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

Soul singer Percy Sledge epitomized Southern soul in ballads like "When A Man Loves A Woman," which became a massive international hit when it came out in 1966. Sledge died Tuesday morning of natural causes in East Baton Rouge, La. He was 74.

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The day after Japan surrendered in 1945, and World War II ended, singer Bing Crosby appeared on the radio program Command Performance. "Well it looks like this is it," he said. "What can you say at a time like this? You can't throw your skimmer in the air — that's for a run-of-the-mill holiday. I guess all anybody can do is thank God it's over."

New York Times columnist David Brooks cites this and other aspects of that 70-year-old radio program as evidence that America once marked triumph without boasting.

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NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Guillermo Grenier, a sociology professor at Florida International University, about the likelihood that Cuban Americans will support a Republican candidate with a hard line towards softening U.S. relations with Cuba. He is leading a multi-year survey tracking the political attitudes of Cuban Americans.

Laina Morris is the real person behind the Internet meme known as the "Overly Attached Girlfriend." She has deftly exploited her Internet fame, turning a spoof entry to a Justin Bieber contest into a full-time career of putting comic videos on YouTube.

Tina Packer has spent a lifetime researching Shakespeare and his plays, both as an actress and as a director. And as she focused on the role that women play in his works, she noticed a progression.

Consider Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, one of his earliest plays, which centers on a man breaking a defiant woman's spirit. Strong-willed Kate is a harridan; her compliant sister, meanwhile, says things like, "Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe."

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF ORIGINAL THX SOUND LOGO)

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Presidents Obama and Raul Castro of Cuba shook hands last night before opening ceremonies of the Summit of the Americas in Panama. But the informal meeting between the two men today was the most anticipated moment of the conference.

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NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Seth Stoughton, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law, about his view that there needs to be a paradigm shift in policing away from the "warrior mindset" to a "guardian" role.

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Not every clam is, as the expression goes, happy as a clam. Even shellfish, it turns out, can get cancer. And it just might be that this cancer is spread from clam to clam by rogue cells bobbing through the ocean, scientists reported Thursday in the journal Cell.

Spring: the time of year many people find themselves twirling in front of mirrors, trying on prom dresses, tuxedos or wedding gowns. Wouldn't it be nice to know how an outfit really looks from the back, instead of craning your neck, hoping to see what others see?

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