All Things Considered

Every weekday, NPR's All Things Considered hosts Robert Siegel, Melissa Block, and Audie Cornish present the program's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features. Alongside national programming, WDIY presents Lehigh Valley news, traffic updates, weather forecasts, and special features.

How Reliable Are Surveys?

Jun 3, 2012

The mother's milk of many political campaigns is the survey — a snapshot of how likely voters feel about particular subjects. But a recent study suggests that only 9 percent of people asked to take part in surveys actually do, calling into question any survey's findings. Slate reporter Will Oremus offers his insight.

Assad Denies Role in Houla Massacre

Jun 3, 2012

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

In two days, voters in Wisconsin will decide whether or not to recall their governor, Republican Scott Walker. It's been one of the most expensive statewide races in American history. And the stakes in that election could have national implications for unions, for deficit hawks, for businesses, even for President Obama's re-election. We'll tell you why in a moment in our cover story today, but first to some news out of Syria.

Change has been the story of the season for the Miami Marlins, formerly the Florida Marlins. With a new coach, a new name, new team colors and a new stadium the baseball team set a franchise record for winning games in May.

But one tradition isn't changing anytime soon: beer. Ordering a beer at a baseball game is as American as apple pie. So is forking over a small fortune for that beer.

According to an analysis by TheStreet.com, the most expensive beer of any baseball stadium is sold at the new Marlins Park, where baseball fans pay $8 for a Bud Light draft.

From the day a grand jury indicted former Sen. John Edwards on six felony charges nearly one year ago, the case drew jeers from election lawyers and government watchdogs.

"It was an incredibly aggressive prosecution because it was based on a novel theory of the law," says Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "There was literally no precedent. No case had ever been like this."

In 2003, in a song called "Earthbound," singer Rodney Crowell name-checked a writer he admires a lot: Mary Karr, who has written searing memoirs, including the best-seller The Liars' Club, as well as several books of poetry.

An Egyptian court plans to announce the verdict Saturday in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak, and regardless of which way the decision goes, it could prompt a public outpouring of emotion at a sensitive moment for the country.

Mubarak is charged with corruption and complicity in the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the revolution last year that ousted him.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty. But some are predicting he'll be acquitted, and that could set off another round of protests and possibly violence.

In Texas recently there was a grand opening for what is now the largest refinery in the U.S. Shell and Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco, have more than doubled the capacity of their Port Arthur refinery.

The refinery business has been going through a tough period in recent years. Americans are buying less gasoline and other petroleum products — about 10 percent less than in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

President Obama's re-election campaign is training some of its heaviest guns on a new target — the four years that GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney served as governor of Massachusetts.

In Boston Thursday, David Axelrod, a top Obama campaign adviser, joined Democratic state legislators and mayors on the steps of the State House to lampoon Romney's record there as governor between 2003 and 2007.

Ethics Group Head On Edwards Verdict

May 31, 2012

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And for more reaction to the Edwards verdict, we turn now to Melanie Sloan. She's a former federal prosecutor, and now executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW. Melanie Sloan, welcome to the program.

The Obama administration says that Syrian President Bashar Assad has forfeited his right to lead Syria, and grisly murders in the town of Houla over the weekend reinforce that argument.

But despite mounting pressure, Assad isn't budging. The U.S is now trying to enlist Russia to use its influence with the Syrian leader to follow the so-called Yemen model and move out of the way.

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