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Every weekday afternoon, the hosts of NPR's All Things Considered help you make sense of a major news story and what it means for you in 15 minutes. In participating regions, you'll also hear from local journalists about what's happening in your community.

Every weekday afternoon, the hosts of NPR's All Things Considered help you make sense of a major news story and what it means for you in 15 minutes. In participating regions, you'll also hear from local journalists about what's happening in your community.


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Every weekday afternoon, the hosts of NPR's All Things Considered help you make sense of a major news story and what it means for you in 15 minutes. In participating regions, you'll also hear from local journalists about what's happening in your community.




The Unproven Lab Leak Theory Puts Pressure On China — But It May Backfire

From the beginning of the pandemic, the debate about the origins of the coronavirus was immediately politicized by former President Donald Trump. But now international efforts to investigate and find answers have stalled. NPR's Will Stone explains why. Despite a new focus on the lab leak theory, many scientists still believe the virus emerged naturally, reports NPR's Geoff Brumfiel. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik has also reported on the media's coverage of the lab leak...


50 Years Later, Is America's War On Drugs At A Turning Point?

In June 1971, then-President Richard Nixon said the U.S. had a new public enemy number one: addiction. It was the beginning of America's long war on drugs. Fifty years later, during months of interviews, NPR found a growing consensus across the political spectrum — including among some in law enforcement — that the drug war simply didn't work. The stories in this episode are from NPR's Brian Mann and Eric Westervelt as part of a special series: The War On Drugs: 50 Years Later. In...


BONUS: Tom Hanks, Fox News, And A Debate About Whiteness In Hollywood

This all started with a guest essay by Tom Hanks for The New York Times called "You Should Learn the Truth About the Tulsa Race Massacre," in which Hanks made the case for a more widespread teaching of American history involving Black Americans, especially of events like the Tulsa Race Massacre. He wrote: "History was mostly written by white people about white people like me, while the history of Black people — including the horrors of Tulsa — was too often left out. Until relatively...


Reparation Discussions Are Gaining Traction But Not Widespread Support

Juneteenth, the celebration to commemorate the end of chattel slavery in the United States, is the newest federal holiday after President Biden signed it into law on Thursday. It's another example of how the racial reckoning following the murder of George Floyd has been reshaping the way Americans think and talk about race. That shift is also evident in reparation programs for Black descendants of slaves that are being enacted by groups around the country. The Virginia Theological Seminary,...


Will The U.S. Meet Its July 4 Vaccination Goal? Your State May Already Have

Last month, President Biden laid out an ambitious goal: to get 70% of adults in the U.S. at least one vaccine dose by July 4. With less than three weeks to go, that goal may too ambitious, Harvard epidemiologist Bill Hanage tells NPR, and some states may see localized outbreaks this year. Still — nearly two dozen states have already exceeded the 70% threshold. Many are clustered in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, while states with the lowest rates are largely in the South and Southwest. But...


Parents Want Schools To Make Up The Special Education Their Kids Lost In The Pandemic

Remote learning simply didn't work for many children with disabilities. Without the usual access to educators, therapists and in-person aides, the families of these children, and many like them, say they watched their children slide backward, losing academic, social and physical skills. Now they're demanding help, arguing to judges, state departments of education and even to the U.S. Department of Education that schools are legally required to do better by their students with...


What's At Stake As President Biden Enters Negotiations With Vladimir Putin

Wednesday will be President Biden's first meeting with one of America's greatest adversaries. Drawing a contrast with his predecessor is the least of what the commander-in-chief hopes to accomplish when he sits down with Russian President Vladimir Putin. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly is covering the summit in Geneva, where she spoke to former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul about what the U.S. could expect to gain from negotiations. For more coverage of the negotiations, follow Mary...


Why Everything Is More Expensive Right Now

From computer chips to rental cars to chicken breasts, a complex global supply chain is straining under pent-up post-vaccine demand. NPR's Scott Horsley explains what's going on — and why Biden administration officials think price hikes will eventually level out. Additional reporting this episode from NPR's Camila Domonoske — who reported on computer chips in car manufacturing — and NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, which reported on slowdowns in food processing and manufacturing. In...


BONUS: A World Where The NRA Is Soft On Guns

About two months after the coronavirus began spreading in the United States, groups of Americans began to protest the quarantine lockdown measures in their states. At some of these anti-lockdown rallies reporters Lisa Hagen of WABE and Chris Haxel of KCUR discovered they weren't the spontaneous grassroots uprisings they purported to be. Rather, they were being organized by a group of three brothers: Aaron, Ben and Chris Dorr.


ProPublica's 'Secret IRS Files' Unveil How Richest Americans Avoid Income Tax

The story made waves in Washington, D.C., this week: The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax. ProPublica obtained private tax data from America's 25 wealthiest individuals, which revealed exactly how those people manage, through legal means, to pay far less income tax than most Americans — and sometimes, none at all. ProPublica senior editor and reporter Jesse Eisinger explains how it works to NPR's Rachel Martin. After the...


Back To The Office: Not Everyone Is Welcoming The Return

For Americans who were able to work from home at the start of the pandemic, what felt like an extended snow day at first has now turned into 15 months and counting of Zoom calls and logging onto work in sweatpants. But now that about half of Americans are fully vaccinated, some are trickling back into the office. We asked you to tell us how your work has been for the last year and how you feel about returning to the office. The responses were mixed. Susan Lund, a partner at McKinsey &...


Listener Q&A: Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy On Variants, Boosters And Vax Mandates

More than half of U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated, and case rates are at their lowest point since the pandemic began. But there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the future of the pandemic. Questions about variants, vaccine booster shots and the idea of vaccine mandates in schools or publicly-funded universities. We had a chance to put some of the questions — including ones from you — to the nation's top doctor, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, in an interview...


Democrats' Path To Big Legislation Runs Through West Virginia. Is It A Dead End?

Democratic proposals for immigration reform, gun control, infrastructure and voting rights are stalled in Congress. Standing in between Democrats and much of their progressive wish list is one of their own, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who has signaled his opposition to eliminating the filibuster or passing an infrastructure plan without Republican support. He's not the only West Virginian with an outsized influence in Washington right now. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is representing...


How The Biden Administration Is Confronting A Surge In Cyberattacks

Cyberattackers have recently targeted a crucial fuel pipeline, a global meat distributor and a water treatment plant. The Biden administration likens the surge in cyberattacks to terrorism — and says they plan to treat it like a national security threat. NPR National Security Correspondent Greg Myre details the administration's plans. When businesses are targeted by ransomware, someone like Bill Siegel steps in to help companies figure out if they have any options but to pay up. Siegel runs...


BONUS: A Looping Revolt

Stockton, Calif., may represent the future of American news. The city's longtime newspaper, The Record, has lost reporters, subscribers and, therefore, power. Meanwhile a non-traditional news source, a controversial online outlet called 209 Times, has quickly become one of the most popular sources of news in town. It proudly doesn't follow most journalistic norms and brags about tanking the previous mayor's campaign. Critics say the 209 Times is filling Stockton with misinformation. Yowei...


The U.S. Can't Agree On The Truth. Is It The Media's Job To Fix That?

Freedom of the press is enshrined in the Constitution as crucial to a functioning democracy. But what role does the press serve when it feels like the country can't agree on basic facts? NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with a handful of journalists to hear how they're navigating this divide. This episode feature's CBS's Leslie Stahl, CNN's Jake Tapper, NPR's Ayesha Rascoe, Dawn Rhodes of Block Club Chicago and Sherry Liang of the University of Georgia's Red & Black newspaper. In...


Companies Made Racial Justice Promises Last Summer. Did They Keep Them?

Corporations had a lot to say about racial justice last summer. They made statements. They donated millions to civil rights organizations. They promised to address their own problems with diversity and representation. A year later, NPR's David Gura reports on Wall Street's mixed progress. Kim Tran tells NPR's Sam Sanders that the diversity, equity and inclusion industry has lost its way. And DEI consultant Lily Zheng talks about their front row seat to corporations varied efforts to...


Pressure On The World's Biggest Polluters Is Increasing. But Can It Force Change?

The Atlantic hurricane season began Tuesday and another "above average" number of storms is expected. And it's not just hurricanes — overall, scientists are predicting more extreme weather events amplified by climate change this summer. While there's little to do in the short term to change this trajectory, recent actions by a Dutch court, the Biden administration and an activist hedge fund all suggest new pressure on large oil and gas companies could help in the long term. Pressure from...


Americans Are Feeling Optimistic And Uncertain As Second Pandemic Summer Begins

From dating apps, to airline travel, to in-person high school classes, the U.S. is seeing evidence of a return to close-to-normal life. KUOW's Clare McGrane reports on how that transition has been especially complicated for a choir in Washington state. Members were at the center of one of the earliest super-spreader events in the U.S. last year. Saskia Popescu, infectious disease expert and assistant professor at George Mason University, says for as much progress as the U.S. has made...


Does America Have Its Own 'Civil Religion?'

Much is said about how divided the U.S. is these days. But perhaps there is still something that unites Americans. Longtime NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten reports on what he calls the country's "civil religion" — a collection of beliefs, based on freedom, that should apply to every American equally. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community. Email us at