All Things Considered

Weekdays starting at 4pm
Melissa Block, Michele Norris, 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.   Includes Stardate at 5:32pm

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3:37pm

Wed May 1, 2013
It's All Politics

The Federal Deficit Is Actually Shrinking

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 12:33 pm

The Treasury Department announced this week it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

During the housing bust, taxpayers were forced to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But thanks to the real estate recovery, Fannie Mae could end up paying tens of billions of dollars back to the Treasury this summer.

That's just one of the factors behind a better bottom line for the federal government. This week, the Treasury Department announced it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.

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3:32pm

Wed May 1, 2013
World

Why Chemical Weapons Have Been A Red Line Since World War I

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:48 pm

Soldiers with the British Machine Gun Corps wear gas masks in 1916 during World War I's first Battle of the Somme.
General Photographic Agency/Getty Images

President Obama has said that the use of chemical weapons could change the U.S. response to the Syrian civil war. But why this focus on chemical weapons when conventional weapons have killed tens of thousands in Syria?

The answer can be traced back to the early uses of poison gas nearly a century ago.

In World War I, trench warfare led to stalemates — and to new weapons meant to break through the lines.

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2:16pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Afghanistan

Secret Cash To Afghan Leader: Corruption Or Just Foreign Aid?

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:48 pm

Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged a report this week that the CIA has regularly been sending him money. Afghans seem to have mixed feelings. The president is shown here speaking at an event in Kabul on March 10.
S. SABAWOON EPA/Landov

After a report in The New York Times this week, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has acknowledged that the CIA has been secretly delivering bags of money to his office since the beginning of the war more than a decade ago.

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7:04pm

Tue April 30, 2013
Shots - Health News

FDA OKs Prescription-Free Plan B Pill For Women 15 And Up

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 7:10 pm

The Plan B One-Step morning-after pill will now be available to women as young as 15 without a prescription.
AP

In an effort to find a compromise for a politically fraught issue, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a proposal to make the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B more available to some younger teens without a prescription and to older women by moving the medication out from behind the pharmacy counter.

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5:13pm

Tue April 30, 2013
Reporter's Notebook

New York: A Concrete Jungle And 'City Of Trees,' Too

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 7:26 pm

Tulip
Courtesy of Benjamin Swett

You expect to find great trees in city parks and botanical gardens. But you might not expect to find ancient or unusual trees in the inner city or smack dab in the middle of a highway.

Benjamin Swett has a love of trees so deep that he's written pamphlets about them, created photo exhibits and now has a new book, New York City of Trees. His book has pictures and stories of some 60 trees in the city.

I took a walk with him to some of the great trees, often in unexpected places.

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