All Things Considered Sunday

Sunday, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

All Things Considered is a NPR radio newsmagazine that delivers in-depth reporting and transforms the way listeners understand current events and view the world. The program presents breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features. Guy Raz hosts All Things Considered Sunday.

Jar Jar Binks is one of the most reviled Star Wars characters. But in the hands of Ian Doescher, author of William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace: Star Wars Part the First, Jar Jar Binks is a savvy political operative who only plays the fool. His goal is to establish peace between his people, the Gungans and humans.

The arrest of South Carolina police Officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Walter Scott in North Charleston this week, came shortly after the release of a cellphone video recorded by an eyewitness.

The filming of police by civilians has also sparked controversy, and it often causes confusion about what is legal.

Something rare is happening in the world of ballet: At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., two African-American dancers will be the leads in The Washington Ballet's production of Swan Lake. Misty Copeland, soloist with American Ballet Theatre, will dance the dual role of Odette and Odile, while Brooklyn Mack of The Washington Ballet will dance Prince Siegfried.

Welfare recipients in Kansas may soon be barred from spending their benefits on activities like going to the movies or swimming, or from withdrawing more than $25 per day from bank machines.

If Gov. Sam Brownback signs the bill, it will become one of the strictest welfare laws in the country. It's one of a number of such measures popping up in states that say they're trying to reduce fraud and get people off the welfare rolls. But opponents say the laws are mean-spirited and hurt the poor.

Quick — name one awkward thing you could talk about with a 12-year-old girl. How about menstruation?

NPR's Melissa Block interviews Simon Henderson with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy about the wider impact of the conflict in Yemen. Saudi Arabia, along with support from several nations including the United States, has been conducting airstrikes in Yemen targeting Houthi rebels.

The cover of Kent Russell's new book is a full-length photo of the 29-year-old author. He's wearing a gray T-shirt, rumpled black jeans. He's looking sideways, with a hangdog look on his face.

And around his neck is a sandwich board that reads, "I am sorry to think I have raised a timid son."

That's the title of Russell's book — it's a collection of essays exploring the fringes of masculinity, as well as his own relationship with his father. Russell tells NPR's Melissa Block that the title comes from something Daniel Boone is said to have told his own son.

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Britain's longest ruling monarch, Queen Victoria, will soon have her name on a children's book - not as a character, but as the author and illustrator. The title, "The Adventures Of Alice Laselles, By Alexandrina Victoria, Aged 10 and 3/4."

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Researchers have discovered the exact structure of the receptor that makes our sensory nerves tingle when we eat sushi garnished with wasabi. And because the "wasabi receptor" is also involved in pain perception, knowing its shape should help pharmaceutical companies develop new drugs to fight pain.

Huge ice chunks stacked some 8 feet deep on Lake Superior have left 18 freighters stuck. The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards have gotten involved, sending Canadian icebreakers and American vessels to help the ships break free from Whitefish Bay.

Shorter people are more likely than taller folks to have clogged heart arteries, and a new study says part of the reason lies in the genes.

Doctors have known since the 1950s about the link between short stature and coronary artery disease, "but the reason behind this really hasn't been completely clear," says Nilesh Samani, a cardiologist at the University of Leicester in the U.K.

If you have an emergency, you dial 911. If you find yourself in need of emergency food or shelter, you can dial 211 — but help might not come very soon.

On a busy morning at Seattle's Crisis Clinic, specially trained operators such as Alex Williams, handle a flood of 211 calls.

"We do try to stress that, unfortunately, because the need is so great, it isn't likely to be immediate, and it could be months, even, before they are placed in a shelter," Williams says. "It can be frustrating and difficult to deliver that message."

With his head of silver hair and stylish black blazer, Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli looks younger than his 77 years. He's been called the father of modern Iranian sculpture, but he hasn't had a major museum show in the U.S. in almost four decades. Now, Wellesley College's Davis Museum is giving viewers a chance to see 175 of Tanavoli's sculptures and drawings.

While leading a tour of the Massachusetts school's gallery, Tanavoli stops in front of his curvaceous sculptures known as "Heeches."

Colorado wildlife officials believe someone released four or five pet goldfish into Teller Lake #5 a few years ago. Now, the fish number in the thousands and threaten the lake's ecosystem. Aquatic biologist Ben Swigle explains how they're trying to rid the lake of the invasive species.

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The Risky Boom In Carefree Social Payment Apps

Apr 7, 2015

The other morning, I asked my friend Amanda Mae Meyncke, a writer here in Los Angeles, to explain an app to me.

I used my debit card to pay for our order of coffee and toast, and then got her to pay me back with this app she uses, Venmo.

It's what's known as a peer-to-peer finance app, which is Silicon Valley's way of saying that it lets people pay each other without handling cash or swiping cards. People like to use it to split bills.

To get started, she opened up the app.

The old saying goes, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." But the Affordable Care Act has added a new wrinkle.

For many policyholders, the ACA has introduced a good deal of uncertainty about their tax bills. That has led to surprise refunds for some and higher-than-expected tax payments for others.

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For more on Rand Paul's candidacy, joining us now is NPR political editor Domenico Montanaro. Welcome to the studio.

DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: Thank you very much for having me.

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Ted Henken, professor of Latin American studies at Baruch College, CUNY, about Airbnb's entry into Cuba. Henken sees it as a brilliant move by the company, one that benefits both the U.S. and Cuba.

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State officials released the details of New Jersey's proposed $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil on Monday, giving us a closer look at one of the largest environmental settlements in the state's history.

Environmentalists complain the company is getting off easy after polluting wetlands for many decades. The settlement focuses on two of Exxon's former refineries, Bayonne and Linden, in northern New Jersey.

A report released Sunday about a Rolling Stone magazine story detailing an alleged rape at the University of Virginia is one more chapter in a long, troubling story for the campus.

Sea level rise is beginning to affect the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A protective dune not too far from the launchpads has collapsed and waves have washed over railroad tracks built in the 1960s. Now NASA is taking steps to protect its launch infrastructure.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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