All Things Considered for Sunday, December 15, 2013

How Nelson Mandela Inspired South Africa's Music

Arun Rath speaks with pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim about the passing of Nelson Mandela and his influence on the South African music scene.

Firing Of Presidential Cabinet Members A Rarity

This past week, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, testified once more before Congress about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Because of the rocky rollout of that law, some in Congress and in the media have said Sebelius should lose her job. Sebelius is not the first member of President Obama's cabinet member to hear that demand In fact, several members of the cabinet have heard calls for their resignation. But according to presidential historian Michael Beschloss, presidents very rarely go so far as to fire a cabinet member. Host Arun Rath speaks with with Beschloss about this historical precedent.

FDA Fighting The Antibiotic Backlash In U.S. Meat

This week, the Food and Drug Administration proposed a voluntary program to help reduce the use of antibiotics in animals raised for their meat. As the use of these drugs has increased, so has the incidence of drug-resistant bacteria. So the FDA is concerned about the public health impact of the use of these antibiotics. Arun Rath speaks with Maryn McKenna about the plan, and how it might work. McKenna writes for Wired Magazine and is the author of Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA.
The Justice Department is trying to compel New York Times journalist James Risen to testify in the case of a former CIA official who may or may not have leaked classified information to him. The case calls into question the limits of the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press.
On wooden skis, the Tuvan people of Central Asia have been traversing the snow for at least 4,000 years. Travel writer Mark Jenkins went to the region for National Geographic, where he joined a group of lasso-wielding men on skis tracking elk.

Peter O'Toole, A Life Even Larger Than 'Lawrence'

Peter O'Toole, the Hollywood legend who was made famous in his title role in Lawrence of Arabia, died on Saturday in a London hospital. The 81-year old Irishman was nominated for eight Oscars in his distinguished career, and was known as a bit of a hellraiser.
Writer Paul Auster explores his own intellectual and moral maturation in his new book Report from the Interior. It's his fifth book about his own life, but Auster says it's not himself he's interested in.
Nigerian funk musician William Onyeabor has been a mystery for years. Since recording in the 1970s and '80s, he has completely dropped off the music map. When Luaka Bop Records wanted to assemble some of his work, the road to securing a signed contract took on its own twists.
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