All Things Considered

Weekday Evenings 2-3, 3:30 - 5:30, & 6-7
Robert Siegel, Melissa Block, Audie Cornish
Jackie Fortier

Breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features.




Wed October 22, 2014

High In The Andes, Bolivia's Gondolas In The Sky Ease Congestion

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:28 pm

Passengers ride a cable car that links downtown La Paz with El Alto, Bolivia, in September. The trip costs about 40 cents and takes 10 minutes — compared with 35 cents and a half-hour by minibus.
Juan Karita AP

La Paz is a tough city for mass transit. It was built by Spanish conquistadors, who laid out narrow, winding streets, and sits in a bowl-like depression with neighborhoods rising up the craggy slopes of the Andes Mountains.

The landscape is too steep for a subway. So the Bolivian capital relies on 40,000 minibuses. These can handle the hills, but there aren't enough of them. What's more, the minibuses have made the city's traffic jams even worse.

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Wed October 22, 2014

Coping In A Drier World: California's Drought Survival Strategy

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:44 pm

The San Luis Reservoir in central California is the largest "off-channel" reservoir in the U.S. It is currently at less than 30 percent of its normal capacity.
Kirk Siegler NPR

The past few years have been California's driest on record. Forecasters predict that punishing droughts like the current one could become the new norm.

The state uses water rationing and a 90-year-old water distribution system to cope until the rains come. The system is a huge network of dams, canals and pipes that move water from the places it rains and snows to places it typically doesn't, like farms and cities.

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Wed October 22, 2014

Want Your Absentee Vote To Count? Don't Make These Mistakes

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:54 pm

Ballots from June 2014 marked "too late" in Sacramento County, Calif.
Kim Alexander Courtesy California Voter Foundation

Millions of voters — about 1 in 5 — are expected to vote absentee, or by mail, in November's midterm elections. For many voters, it's more convenient than going to the polls.

But tens of thousands of these mail-in ballots are likely to be rejected — and the voter might never know, or know why.

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission found that in 2012 more than a quarter of a million absentee ballots were rejected.

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Wed October 22, 2014
Goats and Soda

3-Year-Old Ebola Survivor Proposes To Nurse

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:28 pm

After beating Ebola, young Ibrahim celebrated by proposing to his nurse.
Anders Kelto NPR

Isata Kallon, a nurse at Kenema Hospital in eastern Sierra Leone, remembers the day 3-year-old Ibrahim showed up at the Ebola treatment center. He was with his mother and two older brothers, ages 5 and 8. They all had Ebola. Ibrahim was especially sick, vomiting constantly.

"The chance of survival was very low for him," says Kallon, who's in her 30s. She sits at a picnic table outside the Ebola ward, her hair pulled back with a hairband and her blue nursing scrubs tinged with sweat around the neck.

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Wed October 22, 2014
Goats and Soda

Surrogacy Storm In Thailand: A Rejected Baby, A Busy Babymaker

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:28 pm

Thai surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua with her baby Gammy, who was born with Down Syndrome. An Australian couple who'd arranged for Pattaramon to serve as their surrogate rejected the child.
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

Baby Gammy might mean the end of Thailand's lucrative surrogacy business.

He's the child who was carried by a surrogate mom in Thailand-- and rejected by the Australian couple who had agreed to pay the mother $12,000. The reason: Prenatal testing showed that the baby, a twin, had Down syndrome.

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