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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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The Salt
3:28 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

The Spice Man Cometh To Cuba, A Hot Land Of Bland Food

Cuba has tight advertising restrictions, so Cedric Fernando uses his British-made 1955 MG convertible to spread the word about his Indian restaurant, Bollywood, in Havana.
Nick Miroff NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:57 am

Cuba has hot weather, hot music, hot politics and hot Cubans. So why is the food so bland?

Tourists who have visited the island, particularly Cuba's state-run restaurants, know that Cuban chefs are deeply fond of frying their ingredients, but the range of seasonings tends to span from salt to garlic, with not much else in between.

Enter the Spice Man. He is Cedric Fernando, co-proprietor of the first and only Indian restaurant in Cuba, called Bollywood. And he's definitely turning up the heat in the kitchen.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

'Bird Talk' Magazine Folds Its Wings After 30 Years

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 6:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Bird owners are clucking with alarm now that Bird Talk magazine has folded its wings. The September issue will be its last in print. For 30 years, the magazine has published everything from glossy cover photos of feathered pets to avian health tips to a story about a bird-mitzvah, once held for an African gray parrot.

But, like so many print publications, Bird Talk struggled to make money and so it is no more.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Vulnerable Senate Seats In The Spotlight As Fall Nears

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 6:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

While the political furor over Congressman Todd Akin has shifted fortunes for Republicans in Missouri, what does it mean for the future balance of the U.S. Senate? Republicans need a net gain of at least four seats to control the Senate, and the focus on making that happen falls on a handful of very tight Senate races in other parts of the country.

Jennifer Duffy is senior editor at the Cook Political Report, and she joins us to check in with the state of the Senate races. Welcome, Jennifer.

JENNIFER DUFFY: Thanks, Audie.

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Education
2:51 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Head Start To Absentee Dads: Please Come Back

Rickie Knox (left) meets with Keith Young at New Haven's Head Start center. Knox comes here almost every day to be with his two grandchildren.
Sam Sanders NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:01 pm

It's a typical day at a Head Start center near downtown New Haven, Conn., and restless 3- and 4-year-olds squirm and bounce on a colorful shaggy rug vying for their teacher's attention. Down the hallway several women make their way to a parenting class, stopping to marvel at a 4-month-old baby.

What you don't see, says the center's Keith Young, is men, fathers.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Check It Out, Yo: 'Hot Cheetohs & Takis,' This Summer's 'Truly Great Jam'

It's a summer hit.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 9:14 am

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Around the Nation
5:02 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Where Cyclists Once Rode, Ghost Bikes Stand Vigil

Ryan Nuckle helped found New York City's Ghost Bike Project in 2005, after three cyclists were killed in a single month.
Nellie Large for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:06 am

On a muggy summer afternoon in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a dozen people are hard at work on the patio behind a local church. They're stripping old bicycles of their brakes, cables and chains, and sanding and spray-painting them white.

But behind the lighthearted chatter, there's a more somber purpose to this gathering: They're building "ghost bikes."

Painted all white and adorned with colorful notes and flowers, ghost bikes are the cycling community's equivalent of roadside shrines dotting the highway; they mark the spot where a rider was killed in traffic.

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All Tech Considered
5:02 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Study To Test 'Talking' Cars That Would Warn Drivers Of Unseen Dangers

Connected car technology could warn drivers when vehicles ahead of them suddenly brake.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 8:55 pm

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
4:13 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Boston Plans For 'Near-Term Risk' Of Rising Tides

Some scientists predict that by 2050, climate change and an accompanying rise in sea level will lead to frequent flooding in Boston.
jeffgun Flickr

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 5:13 pm

While many cities around the country grapple with drought and excessive heat this year, city planners in Boston have something else on their minds: the prospect of rising water.

In this coastal metropolis, scientists and computer models predict that climate change could eventually lead to dramatic increases in sea level around the city. Coupled with a storm surge at high tide, parts of the city could easily end up under water.

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The Salt
3:44 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Kenya's Answer To Barbecue Is Part Celebration, Part Test Of Manhood

Kenyan cook Mwangi grills up nyama choma, which usually involves nearly all the parts of a goat, at the popular Sagret Hotel in Nairobi.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:59 am

In Nairobi, Kenya, when friends want to celebrate a birthday, the end of bachelorhood or a graduation, they often go out for goat. This communal and culinary tradition in Kenya is called nyama choma — literally, roasted meat. While it's usually goat, some places offer beef, chicken and lamb. If you know where to look, you can even get illegal zebra and and wildebeest meat.

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Election 2012
3:42 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Biden And Ryan Share Faith, But Not Worldview

This composite image shows Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (left) and Vice President Biden. Both men are Catholic, but their worldviews are strikingly different.
Jose Luis Magana/Thanassis Stavrakis AP

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 6:36 pm

When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate, Catholics passed a milestone. For the first time in history, both vice presidential candidates, Ryan and Vice President Biden, are Catholic.

But if Biden and Ryan share the same faith, they couldn't be further apart in their cultural and political worldviews. On issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, taxes and Medicaid, they are miles apart.

How can that be?

Reflecting 'The Old And The New'

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