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Deceptive Cadence
2:30 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

Does This Guy Matter? Conductor Leonard Bernstein during rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1977.
James Garrett New York Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:12 am

Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?

They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?

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U.S.
6:17 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Will Florida Pythons Slither To Rest Of The U.S.?

A Burmese python coils around the arm of a hunter during a news conference in 2010 in the Florida Everglades. New research suggests that the pythons won't spread through the American Southeast, as previously believed.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:42 pm

There are several exotic snake species that have become a problem in the Everglades. But for wildlife managers, the biggest headache is the Burmese python.

Earlier this year, researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey captured the largest Burmese python yet in Everglades National Park. Three USGS staffers had to wrestle the snake out of a plastic crate to measure it. The snake was a 17-foot-7-inch female carrying 87 eggs.

Wildlife managers are working to get a handle on the problem of exotic snakes in South Florida; but the snakes have already made a big impact.

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Africa
6:16 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Egyptian Judges Prepare For A Strike

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 8:21 pm

After a series of controversial decrees by Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi, the country's judges are conflicted over what to do.

The president and Egypt's highest judicial authority met Monday to try to resolve the crisis, but the decrees, which essentially nullify judicial oversight, remained in place. And the judges are going ahead with plans for a strike.

Yussef Auf has been a judge for 10 years and says he has never witnessed such an affront to his profession.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:44 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Post-Sandy Aid Inaccessible For Some Immigrants

Rosa Maria Ramirez lost most of her belongings in the storm and is moving out of her damaged house on Staten Island. Because she's undocumented, she doesn't qualify for federal financial disaster assistance.
Reema Khrais NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:41 pm

The living room was muddy and foul when 16-year-old Prisma revisited her family's apartment days after Superstorm Sandy washed through it last month. The furniture was tarnished, and most of the family's belongings were scattered and in ruins. The home was uninhabitable.

"Everything was completely in a different place," Prisma says. "It was really nasty."

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Law
5:04 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Manning Plea Offer Another Odd Piece Of An Odd Case

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after a pretrial hearing in June. Manning is charged with aiding the enemy by giving hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables and war logs to the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:18 pm

The young Army private accused of passing diplomatic cables and war reports to the website WikiLeaks has made an unusual offer: Bradley Manning says he'll plead guilty to minor charges in the case. But he rejects the idea that he ever acted as a spy or helped America's enemies.

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Law
5:00 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Who's A Supervisor When It Comes To Harassment?

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 8:31 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case that asks the justices to define who is a "supervisor" when the issue is harassment in the workplace. The definition is important because employers are automatically liable for damages in most cases in which a supervisor harasses a subordinate.

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All Tech Considered
4:51 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Spain Expands Renewables With Wave-Powered Electricity Plant

Residents of Mutriku, a fishing village on Spain's northern coast, lounge at their local beach, protected from fierce Atlantic waves by a cement breakwater that also houses Europe's first wave energy plant.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 6:18 pm

Waves constantly thrash the fishing village of Mutriku on Spain's northern coast. Records from the 13th century describe the dangerous surf and shipwrecks here. Until recently, water occasionally hurled debris through windows of homes, before the local government built a cement breakwater to shelter the harbor.

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Around the Nation
5:00 pm
Sun November 25, 2012

Disaster Donations Surge, But What About Tomorrow?

A member of the Red Cross distributes food to residents of Coney Island affected by Superstorm Sandy in the Brooklyn, N.Y., on Nov. 9.
John Minchillo AP

More than $174 million in donations has been raised for those affected in New York and New Jersey by Superstorm Sandy, which devastated parts of the Atlantic coast in late October.

"The more affluent and well-insured people will figure a way to recover their lives, but there are a lot of people in New York who really won't have that capacity and can't speak out for themselves," says Stacy Palmer, the editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

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Religion
4:15 pm
Sun November 25, 2012

Gay Wedding Was A Trial For The Reformed Church

Norman Kansfield and his wife, Mary, at their home in eastern Pennsylvania. Kansfield was put on trial by the Reformed Church after performing his daughter's same-sex marriage.
Lily Percy NPR

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 5:18 pm

After Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, Norman Kansfield's daughter asked him to perform her wedding ceremony.

Kansfield, a respected pastor, scholar and lifelong member of the Reformed Church in America, agreed to marry Ann and her long-time girlfriend. He informed the New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Jersey, where he served as president, of his plans.

"I had thought that there would be a request for my resignation," Kansfield says. "Nobody did that."

It was a June wedding.

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Iraq
4:13 pm
Sun November 25, 2012

Brotherly Bonds Withstand Tragedy Of War

Col. Eric Schwartz (left), Dr. Najeeb Hanoudi (center) and Maj. Ron Cooper outside Hanoudi's home in Southfield, Mich.
Emily Fox

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 10:25 pm

War always leaves death, destruction and sorrow in its wake, and the Iraq War piled all of it on Dr. Najeeb Hanoudi. Yet his bond with the Americans he aided remains unbroken.

NPR's Jacki Lyden has followed the story of the Oxford-trained Christian ophthalmologist for years.

It begins in 2003, when Hanoudi first met a band of American soldiers patrolling Mansour, his upscale Baghdad neighborhood.

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