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Every weekday afternoon, the hosts of NPR's All Things Considered help you make sense of a major news story and what it means for you in 15 minutes. In participating regions, you'll also hear from local journalists about what's happening in your community.
502 Episodes
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It was only a matter of time before cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant started popping up in the U.S., and now, it's here. Although it's too early to tell how this virus strain will spread, the threat it poses has already lit a fire under public health messaging. President Biden announced a new strategy to avoid a winter surge of cases that involves free at-home testing, a vaccine booster messaging campaign and heightened international travel safeguards. Meanwhile, the race is on to detect how omicron is already spreading in this country. NPR reporter Will Stone gives us a look into what's happening in labs right now across the country. And Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, discusses what we know about how effective travel bans are scenarios like this. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
Buying stuff is a part of this country's DNA. It's a tradition that really took off near the end of World War II, when the American economy was thriving and the market exploded with products Americans didn't even know they wanted. And even in an economy rocked by a pandemic, buying is on track to exceed 2020 levels this holiday season.The result of all that spending means consumption drives 70% of our country's GDP, but it's also the leading driver of nearly every environmental issue our planet faces. Journalist J.B. MacKinnon, who also wrote "The Day the World Stops Shopping, How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves," discusses how curbing consumption could positively affect a warming planet.In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
Getting an abortion in Mississippi has never been easy, but it hasn't been impossible. Now, a case before the Supreme Court that centers on a clinic in Mississippi could upend abortion rights for pregnant people across the country. Today, the conservative-leaning court heard arguments in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. The clinic, which is the only abortion provider remaining in Mississippi, is challenging a 2018 state law that bans termination after 15 weeks of pregnancy. If the court upholds the law, it would reverse its own precedent by allowing states to interfere with the right to abortion at that stage of pregnancy. NPR Chief Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg, SCOTUS Blog's Tom Goldstein, and Florida State University Law Professor Mary Ziegler parse the arguments and weigh in on the possibilities on how the justices could rule.In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
After years of jokes about unsuccessful Infrastructure Weeks, months of deliberation, and bouts of gridlock on the political left, a $1.2 trillion package made its way through Congress at long last. The president signed it into law earlier this month. Now, the challenge of actually getting the money where it needs to be remains.NPR's White House Correspondent Franco Ordonez followed President Biden around the country earlier this month to report on the changes to come, now that the bill is law.And NPR's National Desk Correspondent Nathan Rott reports on the portions of the infrastructure package that address resilience and protecting communities historically hit hardest by climate change. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community. Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
The World Health Organization is warning that the omicron variant of the coronavirus, which was first detected in South Africa, has a "very high" global risk because of the possibility that it spreads more easily and might resist vaccines and immunity in people who were infected with previous strains. On Monday, President Joe Biden said this this variant is a "cause for concern, not a cause for panic." He urged Americans to get fully vaccinated and get a booster dose if they qualify. WHO spokesperson Dr. Margaret Harris explains what more there is to learn about the severity and transmission of this new variant. And Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) discusses why vaccine hesitation on a global scale could make this next phase of the pandemic more dangerous. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
This Thanksgiving week, we're sharing a segment from our special series Play It Forward, in which artists tell us about their own music and the musicians who inspire them. This episode, opera singer and funk keyboardist Constance Hauman speaks to Ari Shapiro about her new album, Tropical Thunderstorm, her experiences as a multi-genre musician and an artist she's grateful for: Daf player Asal Malekzadeh. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
For Thanksgiving Day, we're sharing a segment from our special series Play It Forward, in which artists tell us about their own music and the musicians who inspire them. In this episode, funk legend George Clinton speaks to Ari Shapiro about the longevity and enduring influence of his band, Parliament-Funkadelic, being a hype man for other musicians, and an artist he's grateful for: opera singer and funk keyboardist Constance Hauman. On tomorrow's episode: Constance Hauman plays it forward.In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
The commonly-told version of the first Thanksgiving story leaves out a lot: The indigenous Wampanoag people who lived in a complex society long before the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Rock; Squanto escaping bondage in Spain before becoming an emissary to the Pilgrims; and the long legacy of violent displacement that followed.Paula Peters, a writer and a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, still lives near where the Pilgrims made landfall on her ancestral homeland. She talks about how the 1621 feast fits into history.In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy — is a degenerative brain disease found in many former professional football and hockey players, for whom blows to the head have long been part of the job. But those injuries also occur outside the world of pro sports. And as awareness of CTE has grown, so has a thriving market of dubious remedies marketed to everyday people who believe they are suffering from CTE — a disease that can't even be diagnosed until after death, through an autopsy of the brain. In the second of two episodes, Sacha Pfeiffer of NPR's Investigative Team reports on some of those desperate patients and their hope for a cure. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy — is a degenerative brain disease found in many former professional football and hockey players, for whom blows to the head have long been part of the job. But those injuries also occur outside the world of pro sports. And as awareness of CTE has grown, so has a thriving market of dubious remedies marketed to everyday people who believe they are suffering from CTE — a disease that can't even be diagnosed until after death, through an autopsy of the brain. In the first of two episodes, Sacha Pfeiffer of NPR's Investigative Team reports on some of those desperate patients and their hope for a cure. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
Living with Long COVID

Living with Long COVID

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For those living with long COVID, daily activities like going for a walk, washing the dishes, or being on a Zoom call can be incredibly draining. These long-term effects of a COVID infection - called post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2, PASC, or more simply long COVID - have been a reality for many patients since the start of the pandemic. While it is not known exactly how common long COVID is, it isn't rare. One study found that some 30% of participants across multiple age ranges reported persistent symptoms. For some, symptoms fade after a few months, while for others, long COVID feels like their new reality. NPR's Mallory Yu has been reporting on long COVID and gathered the stories of patients who are desperate for answers. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
Migrants from faraway countries are stuck in Belarus, just across its border with Poland. They've traveled there to seek asylum in the EU. But Poland has refused to accept them. How did they get there? They were invited — and in some cases, their travel facilitated — by the regime of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko. EU leaders say Lukashenko and his backers in Russia are 'weaponizing' migration in retaliation for sanctions placed on Belarus last year. Those sanctions came after the EU accused Lukashenko of rigging his most recent election. Now, many hundreds of migrants are stuck on the Belarus side of the border. There have been at least nine recorded deaths, but observers think there have been many more. Migrants were reportedly moved from makeshift camps outdoors to a government-run shelter on Thursday, though it's unclear what Belarus plans to do with them next. NPR international correspondent Rob Schmitz has seen the crisis up close. This episode is a collection of his reporting. Find more of it here, and see photos from the border on NPR's Picture Show. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
Afghanistan is facing its worst drought in decades, but that's not the only reason it is on the verge of a hunger crisis. After the Taliban took over, much of the country's international development aid was suspended, and the United States froze $9.5 billion in Afghan government assets. The economy has plummeted.Richard Trenchard, country director for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Afghanistan, explains what he's heard from farmers and herders.PBS NewsHour special correspondent Jane Ferguson recently returned from a reporting trip in the country, where she saw hospital wards filling up with malnourished babies and toddlers. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
This week's virtual summit between President Joe Biden and China's President Xi Jinping may have restored a tone of respect between the world's two largest powers, but U.S. intelligence is telling a different story. NPR's Greg Myre reports on a national security conference held in Georgia last month where former and current U.S. intelligence officers were surprisingly candid about what they see as the biggest growing threat: China. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
The holiday shopping season is basically here. But a lot of things that Americans want to buy are not. Now the race is on to get goods off ships and into stores and warehouses — before it's too late. NPRs Scott Horsley reports some retailers are already feeling the pinch from less inventory and higher shipping costs. Even if goods do make it into the U.S., many are sitting in warehouses, which are bursting at the seams. NPR's Alina Selyukh explains why.In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
Thousands of youth activists from all over the world gathered in Scotland this week for the COP26 UN climate summit. They say climate change is already transforming their countries — and that their generation has the most to lose if greater action isn't taken. This episode contains reporting from Ari Shapiro in Glasgow, with production and editing by Mia Venkat, Noah Caldwell, and Ashley Brown. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
Who is to blame for the deaths of nine people at the Astroworld Festival last Friday? Houston police have opened a criminal investigation and concertgoers have already filed more than 20 lawsuits against the event organizers and rapper Travis Scott, who continued to perform for more than half an hour after officials declared a mass casualty event. Crowd safety expert Keith Still explains the science behind how a concert crowd can transform into an uncontrollable mass that threatens human life. Houston Chronicle music critic Joey Guerra, who attended the festival, grapples with how music fans are processing the tragedy. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
Following the Columbine shooting in April of 1999, top leaders of the National Rifle Association huddled in private to discuss their public response to the tragedy. Secret tapes of those deliberations were obtained by NPR investigative correspondent Tim Mak. He explains what's revealed in the tapes: that the group considered a much different stance than the one it ultimately took — a stance that would help set the stage for decades of debate about gun violence in America. Tim Mak is also author of the book Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA.In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
Mark Zuckerberg says the metaverse is not just the next chapter of his company: it's the next chapter of the internet. There are a lot of questions about what role Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, should play in building that future.Meta's Vice President of metaverse, Vishal Shah, argues that the company has learned from its struggle to moderate content on Facebook, and will build safety and privacy into the metaverse.Jason Moore — Assistant Professor at Brooklyn College teaching television and virtual reality — explains how he uses the metaverse today.And Benedict Evans, an independent technology analyst, argues that the metaverse may never emerge as one cohesive movement. Read his essay about Facebook's rebrand: Metabrand. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
Now that the hot takes have cooled after Virginia's gubernatorial election, NPR correspondents Anya Kamenetz and Tamara Keith dissect the role of education in the race — and why it was about way more than critical race theory. Read more from Anya here. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
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Comments (134)

alli lent

one step towards Gilead.. also stop calling yourself "Pro Life" if you're also anti vax, pro gun, pro death penalty, and anti anything that could help these unwilling mothers after the baby is born. you are not pro life, you are pro fetus.

Dec 2nd
Reply

alli lent

seems like this Travis Scott guy is pretty popular.. never heard of him before this whole thing..

Nov 12th
Reply (1)

James Pruitt

answer: No.

Nov 10th
Reply

squogg

Yes Audie! Thank you for pushing back and asking tough questions to Vishal.

Nov 10th
Reply

alli lent

how the hell did the supreme court determine that gerrymandering is legal? it's the most undemocratic thing that could possibly exist.

Oct 1st
Reply

alli lent

unvaccinated people with no outstanding circumstances should be last on the priority list when it comes to getting beds. this was so preventable. they swear up and down it only affects themselves so let's not let it affect others.

Sep 3rd
Reply (1)

PlusCH3

At the end of today's episode of @UpFirst the local news story never actually played...just the preview for it, followed by the usual ad, then the same preview again...Everyone else had that happen, right? #NPR

Aug 27th
Reply

alli lent

why are we waiting until the transmission is high to put on masks? we know the numbers lag by 2 weeks.. so by the time we know there's high transmission, it's already too late

Aug 3rd
Reply

mari arana

That it takes them so long to tell them what happened and that that's protocol is absolute bullshit.

Aug 2nd
Reply

mari arana

This episode made me so angry.

Jul 26th
Reply

it

dá-lhe Amarante no consider this! vale até linkar com o #RoughTranslation

Jul 24th
Reply

alli lent

anyone who thinks this small amount of money will make people not work seriously has no concept of money. at all.

Jul 21st
Reply

alli lent

drive-ins still exist...............

Jun 28th
Reply

it

I seem to identify an either or mentality here, trying to arbiter on which is best. REALLY???? is seems so obvious to me that it's a matter of circumstances and there's no one size fits all!?!

Jun 11th
Reply

alli lent

I miss working from home

Jun 11th
Reply

alli lent

the other Joe clearly missed the last 4 years

Jun 8th
Reply

it

civil religion. freedom of religion, religion of freedom...

May 31st
Reply

it

art of poder, Han? Yet another npr podcast for my long list of want to listen... AND about gender stereotypes nothing the less! thanks!

May 30th
Reply (4)

John

Russia and China won unfortunately. They are so effective at sowing disinformation and the American public is so easily swayed by their own personal biases and selective media sources.

May 29th
Reply

Shannon Compton

The problem I have here is that there are always threats to democracy but especially when the people writing books about the threat to democracy see one side of the political spectrum as the "threat" and the other side as the "answer." Until we look for the corruption on all sides of the story, all of this talk remains fluff pieces and capitalism.

May 29th
Reply
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