All Things Considered for Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Job growth slowed in September. The Labor Department's monthly employment report showed employers adding 148,000 jobs to payrolls. That's less than in the summer months and below the average for the year. The unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent.
Audie Cornish talks to Brian Stelter, media reporter for The New York Times, about the success of Netflix and how the video streaming company has turned itself around.
In August, Lynn Ellins, the clerk of Dona Ana County and a long-time supporter of same-sex marriage, decided to "put the ball in play" by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples for the first time in New Mexico history. More than 900 marriage licenses have been issued to gay couples across the state.
The protests that swept through Brazil last summer raised the profile of the Black Bloc — masked anarchists who use violence to get their anti-capitalist message across. The secretive members explain that their tactics are intended to shake up a corrupt and complacent government. But many regular protesters feel that the Black Bloc has hijacked their movement and that they do more harm than good.

'Identical' Stumbles Outside The Courtroom

In Identical, Scott Turow opens a cold case involving a set of twins and a murder long thought solved. Whatever the premise may lead you to believe, though, this novel is neither funny nor especially thrilling. Reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin explains that the book is at its best in the courtroom, but elsewhere, it plods.

China Fights Choking Smog With New Regulations

China's central and local governments are releasing a slew of new regulations aimed at cutting severe air pollution and mitigating its deadly effect on citizens. The seriousness of the problem is obvious in China's northeast, where smog in one city this week cut visibility down to a few yards, and particulate matter soared to 60 times the level deemed safe by the World Health Organization.

In Russia's Vast Far East, Timber Thieves Thrive

The demand for Russia's high-value timber is fueling organized crime, government corruption and illegal logging. The hardwood often ends up as flooring and furniture in the United States, Europe, Japan and China.

NGOs Call US Drone Program Illegal In Damning Reports

Two reports out today criticize the U.S. counterterrorism drone program and claim that the attacks kill many more civilians than the U.S. has acknowledged. The group Human Rights Watch studied six cases in Yemen. Amnesty International examined drone strikes in Pakistan during the past year and a half. Both groups accuse the U.S. of violating international law and call on the U.S. to make the secret drone program more transparent to the public.

Lucy Wainwright Roche: In The Family Business

But on her new album, There's a Last Time for Everything, Roche doesn't feature any of her famous family of musicians. She tells NPR's Melissa Block it was "great to do it in a little bubble away from the family." The album includes an unlikely cover — the Robyn anthem "Call Your Girlfriend."
Many independent health insurance brokers were supposed to be able to sell subsidized health care plans starting Oct. 1. But complications with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act have derailed the plan, and the federal government hasn't said when the problems will be fixed.

Despite Glitches, Could've Been Worse

Melissa Block talks with Rusty Foster, a writer and computer programmer, about problems with the online roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. Foster wrote about the site's issues for The New Yorker.
In a daring move, the mayor of Paris recently shut off a major vehicle thoroughfare through the city, the highway along the Seine River. The effort is part of his plan to reduce city traffic. The move delighted Parisians and tourists this summer, but many wonder if it'll be such a hot idea during the cold winter months.
The federal government finally has a plan for winters at Yellowstone National Park that both fans and foes of snowmobiles say they can live with. Within two years, only the cleanest and quietest of the vehicles will be allowed inside the park.

The 1975, Influenced By The '80s

The pop-rock group debuted at No. 1 in the U.K. this year with its self-titled debut record. Lead singer Matthew Healy describes how films from the 1980s inspired the band's songs of teenage love and lust.
Many people don't take their doctor's advice to see a psychotherapist, even when they really need to. So Oregon is experimenting with placing clinical psychologists in medical practices. The goal is to improve patient care and save money. But it means that doctors and therapists will have to change how they work.
Melissa Block talks with Christine Pepper, CEO of the National Funeral Directors Association and judge for the Design for Death contest, about the competition and the winning entries.

Despite Efforts, The Rio Grande Is One Dirty Border

Since Mexico and the United States signed the North American Free Trade Agreement 20 years ago, the two countries have worked to clean up the waterway. The river makes up a large chunk of the border, but despite progress, massive amounts of raw sewage still enter the water each day.

For John Kander, A New 'Landing' At A Familiar Spot

The 86-year-old Broadway titan — who co-wrote such hits as Cabaret and Chicago with the late Fred Ebb — is back with a new show and a new writing partner, 35-year-old Greg Pierce.

The Sounds Of New York City, Circa 1920

A team led by Emily Thompson, a history professor at Princeton, has matched noise complaints from New York City in the Roaring '20s with the actual street sounds of the day.
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