All Things Considered

Weekdays, 4-6:30pm and Weekends, 5-6pm

Since its debut in 1971, this afternoon radio newsmagazine has delivered in-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel present breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features. Guy Raz hosts a one-hour edition of the program on Saturday and Sunday.

Pennsylvania's fracking boom has led to record-breaking natural gas production, but its neighbor, New York, announced Wednesday it was banning the practice. Industry and environmental groups say New York's decision could be good for Pennsylvania.

New York's ban comes six years after the state placed a temporary moratorium on fracking to study the gas drilling technique. Now, officials question fracking's economic benefits and cite environmental risks.

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Earlier today, I was interviewing a Nigerian activist, a leader of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign. Oby Ezekwesili and I were talking about the schoolgirls - over 200 - who are still missing from the town of Chibok after being kidnapped in April.

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As 2014 winds down, we're revisiting some of this year's big stories. And we wanted to check in on the aftermath of the chemical spill in West Virginia.

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

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And that changing relationship is something that Frank Calzon is questioning.

FRANK CALZON: The president has given Cuba - most of the Cuban government - most of what they want.

We are well into the Christmas season, and if you live in Japan, that means sponge cake.

The traditional Japanese Christmas dish is served with strawberries and cream, and it is rich, thanks to lots and lots of butter. But the Japanese have been using even more butter for their Christmas cakes this year, exacerbating what was already a national butter shortage.

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Drive down gravel Road 22 in Nebraska's York County, past weathered farmhouses and corn cut to stubble in rich, black loam soil, and you'll find a small barn by the side of the road.

Built of native ponderosa pine, the barn is topped with solar panels. A windmill spins furiously out front.

Known as the Energy Barn, it's a symbol of renewable energy, standing smack on the proposed route of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline — a project of the energy giant TransCanada.

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