All Things Considered

Weekday Evenings 2-3, 3:30 - 5:30, & 6-7
  • Hosted by Desmond O'Boyle, Audie Cornish, Kelly McEvers, Ari Shapiro, Robert Siegel

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

The National Portrait Gallery unveiled its official portraits of Michelle and Barack Obama nearly two years ago. Since then, the gallery reports that attendance has nearly doubled.

Next summer, the portraits will hit the road to reach an even wider audience.

In Washington, D.C., dozens of people line up behind velvet ropes every day to admire artist Kehinde Wiley's interpretation of the former president. It features Obama sitting at the edge of a wooden chair, surrounded by lush foliage. Pink and white flowers are dispersed across the canvas.

In Hollywood, the bean counters always talk at this time of year about the "Oscar Bounce" — the boost films get at the box office from Academy Award nominations.

The bounce, which can amount to tens of millions of dollars, is much sought-after by film studios, but their calculus may be altered by recent changes in the industry — especially by the advent of streaming services.

Updated Friday, Feb. 7 at 5:00 p.m. ET

One of Mali's most prominent musicians, Ballaké Sissoko, has alleged that the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] destroyed his specially designed instrument during a trip from New York to Paris that began on Monday evening. On Thursday afternoon, the TSA said that its agents did not open the instrument case or create the damage.

"There are so many ways to get this right, they had to look for a way to get this wrong."

That's author L.L. McKinney's response to Barnes & Noble's "Diverse Editions" campaign. McKinney's most recent book, A Dream So Dark, is a sequel to A Blade So Black, a contemporary retelling of Alice in Wonderland with a black female lead.

The world's most remarkable date palm trees might not exist if Sarah Sallon hadn't gotten sick while working as a doctor in India in 1986. Antibiotics didn't help. What cured here, she thinks, were some traditional herbal remedies.

"It was just amazing. It was so incredible," she says. "And then I got very interested. There's nothing like a doctor cured of their problem to get them interested in something."

After almost 10 minutes of standing in line at a coffee shop, Ritchie Torres realized he only had cash in his pocket — a form of payment no longer accepted by this store.

"It was a humiliating experience," he said. "I remember wondering aloud, how could a business refuse to accept cash, which is legal tender?"

Dan Deacon's home studio is kind of a mix between a toy store and a science lab — for musicians. There are shelves of digital audio gadgets, multiple computers and monitors, synthesizers stacked on synthesizers and cables running between them all.

"I like how chaotic it is. I like to think about chaos in the way that a forest is chaotic," he says, describing the peace and uniformity of the trees from afar. But if "you get into it, there's piles of leaves, and you lift up the leaves and there's endless life crawling around in the muck."

Wisteria Island, created by the U.S. Navy nearly a century ago, has been left untouched for decades, except by boaters and campers who make their homes there. It's a valuable piece of real estate that's now at the center of a court battle between a developer and the federal government who both say they own it.

Kirk Douglas, the self-described "ragman's son" who became a global Hollywood superstar in the 1950s and '60s, died on Wednesday. He was 103. Douglas was often cast as a troubled tough guy in films, most famously as a rebellious Roman slave named Spartacus. Off-screen, he was devoted to family and to humanitarian causes.

Public health officials attempting to contain the new coronavirus are trying to figure out how easily it spreads. One key question is whether people who are infected but show no symptoms can infect other people.

"If you have a lot of people who [have mild disease or are] asymptomatic and not seeking medical care for respiratory illness but are still contagious, you're going to have a very difficult time," says Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University.

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