All Things Considered for Thursday, October 24, 2013

U.S. Spying Takes Center Stage At EU Summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is furious about the U.S. eavesdropping on her calls. She is the latest to protest loudly to the U.S. as the EU gathers for a regular summit. The meeting should have focused on immigration and the economy, but will be sidetracked by the continued NSA spying anger.
In light of new NSA spying revelations — this time, on European leaders — Audie Cornish talks to Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, about why allies spy on each other.
The nuts are calorie dense and rich in fat, but munching on them seems to help curb appetites, fresh research shows. Why? The protein, unsaturated fat composition and fiber in almonds all very likely play a role.
For years, many police departments have dealt with child prostitutes by putting them in juvenile detention centers. But federal agencies say that minors are often sex trafficking victims in need of help — and who can, in turn, help put their pimps in jail.

Jury Finds Bank Of America Liable For Mortgages Fraud

A jury has found Bank of America liable for fraud for shoddy mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit. The rare win by the government in a jury trial against a financial institution could open the door to more lawsuits against banks.
In Detroit, a trial continues to determine whether the cash-strapped city is eligible for the largest Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in U.S. history. But hundreds of creditors Detroit owes money to argue the city did not explore all the options if had to avoid bankruptcy and simply focused on Chapter 9 as its only salvation.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that effectively bars women from driving. Women are making a renewed challenge to the ban by getting behind the wheel and posting videos in advance of a national drive-in set for Saturday.

For 'Blue,' The Palme d'Or Was Only The Beginning

Blue Is the Warmest Color won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Now the French drama is arriving in U.S. theaters amid controversy over its explicit sex scenes — and public difficulties between the director and his stars.
Talking smack is practically a right of passage for baseball fans. As the St. Louis Cardinals face off against the Boston Red Sox in the World Series this week, members of the two cities' symphonies — the brass sections, to be exact — took their rivalry to YouTube with a video smackdown.
House lawmakers got their first chance to grill government contractors Thursday about the botched rollout of the health insurance website under the Affordable Care Act. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle wanted to know what went wrong and why. For the most part, the contractors pointed fingers back at the federal government.
The Affordable Care Act escaped unscathed from the budget crisis that shutdown the government two weeks ago, but with that crisis behind us, the president's signature accomplishment is back in the cross hairs. The massive computer failures that are making it difficult for people to buy health insurance on the government website create a very big political target.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis had claimed to be a national leader in handling clergy sex abuse cases. But after a whistle-blower revealed evidence of a cover-up, alleged victims are preparing lawsuits, and some parishioners are calling for the archbishop to resign.

Are Afghanistan's Schools Doing As Well As Touted?

Under the Taliban, 1 million Afghan boys and very few girls went to school. Now, 10 million students are enrolled, 40 percent of them female. But on any given day, a much smaller number actually shows up for class. What's more, there are shortages of classrooms, books and qualified teachers.

The Life Of Doc Pomus, Songwriter To The Stars

NPR's Melissa Block speaks with director Peter Miller about his recent documentary, A.K.A. Doc Pomus, about the obscure songwriter behind Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas," The Drifters' "This Magic Moment" and many more pop hits.

Outside Political Money Floods Virginia Races

Tens of millions of dollars are pouring into Virginia in hopes of swaying the governor's election there. If Democrat Terry McAuliffe wins, it could be a strong indicator that the once red, now purple state is shifting into the blue column.
Melissa Block speaks with Dr. Jennifer G. Illuzzi, assistant professor of history at Providence College in Rhode Island, about the history of discrimination of the Romani population in Europe following two cases of children who were taken from Roma families into police custody this week in Ireland and Greece.
In last night's game one of the World Series, umpires changed an out call at second base. Instead of a possible inning-ending double play, the Boston Red Sox went on to score three runs and eventually beat the St. Louis Cardinals.
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