April 13, 1998

All Things Considered
(entire program)
Requires the RealAudio Player

An index of the day's stories:

Northern Ireland Deal -- All Things Considered host Linda Wertheimer talks with David Trimble and Mitchell McLaughlin about what work needs to be done to rally support for the peace accord. Trimble is the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, and McLaughlin is the National Party Chair of Sinn Fein. (7:30)

Northern Ireland Deal Maker -- Linda talks with former Senator George Mitchell, chair of the Northern Ireland peace talks, about his briefing with President Clinton on the peace accord agreed upon Friday. (4:30)

Tobacco Documents -- Elizabeth Stawicki of Minnesota Public Radio reports a warehouse containing 26 million pages of internal tobacco industry documents opened today in Minneapolis. The papers were gathered as part of the state's and Blue Cross/Blue Shield's lawsuit against the cigarette companies. (2:00)

Tobacco Lobbying -- When the "big five" tobacco companies pulled out of the national tobacco settlement last week, they promised to bring their case directly to the American people. They've already begun, using newspapers ads, television talk shows, and grass roots lobbying groups. Their message is: this is not a health issue, it's a question of fighting tax increases and big government. NPR's Peter Overby reports. (5:30)

Therapy for Autism -- NPR's Larry Abramson reports that a popular but controversial therapy for autistic children is causing parents to press school systems to adopt it. The treatment is expensive and difficult to administer and educators are balking. But parents say it offers the only hope they have. (10:30)

'Bless Your Heart' -- By adding the phrase, "well, bless your heart," to any comment, the Southerner can turn an insult into a neutral phrase. Commentator Scott Brunner tells us how to use the technique. (2:00)

French Musical Malaise -- Sarah Chayes reports from Paris that a malaise is gripping the French musical establishment. It seems France is not producing enough world-class classical musicians who can compete with artists from Eastern Europe and Asia. This item is unavailable due to copyright issues.

Jingle Singer Obituary -- Robert talks to Maria Cisyk about her sister Kvita Cisyk who died March 29. Maria's sister was known as "Casey" Cisyk and her voice is familiar to millions. She sang jingles for Burger King, McDonald's, and American and Delta Airlines. She died of breast cancer at age 44. This item is unavailable due to copyright issues.

Merger Mania -- NPR's Jim Zarolli reports on two major mergers being announced today in the financial community. NationsBank Corp. and BankAmerica Corp are joining forces to form the nation's largest bank with assets of 570 billion dollars and a coast to coast banking empire operating in 22 states with 4,800 branches. Also today, Banc One Corp is merging with First Chicago NBD Corp to create the biggest bank in the midwest. (4:00)

What's It Mean for Consumers? -- All Things Considered host Robert Siegel talks with Stephen Brobeck, legislative director of the Consumer Federation of America, about the impact of bank mergers on consumers. (4:30)

Botha and the Truth Commission -- Linda talks to NPR's Charlayne Hunter-Gault about former South African president P.W. Botha, who has agreed to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission is looking into apartheid-era crimes. Botha is expected to appear before the TRC on Wednesday. (3:45)

Connecting Rural Areas to the 'Net -- NPR's Mark Roberts reports on an experiment to introduce wireless modems that link schools and museums to the Internet without using costly phone lines. Wireless technology uses the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, long a favorite of the military but limited for civilian use until recently. It's proving especially useful in rural areas where phone lines and satellite telecommunications are expensive.

'Workfare' Rules -- New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is implementing one of the toughest welfare-to-work policies in the country. The city's new, strict welfare rules will require that everyone on public assistance must either find a paying job or work for their benefits by working for the city, doing office or maintenance work. Beth Fertig of member station WNYC reports.

'Sunlight' and Welfare Reform -- Senior news analyst Daniel Schorr says welfare has been neglected because of a booming economy and the federal budget surplus. He says eighteen months since welfare reform was enacted, it is not certain that former welfare recipients, who are now denied benefits, are moving into jobs. (2:45)

IMF and the Asia Outlook -- NPR's John Ydstie reports that the International Monetary Fund, at it's annual spring meeting, says that the financial crisis in Asia has abated and its effects on the U.S. economy will be modest. (3:00)

'Flutie' -- Reviewer Alan Cheuse examines a new novel by Diane Glancy called Flutie. It's a coming-of-age story set in the modern-day, focusing on a 13-year-old girl in Oklahoma. Flutie by Diane Glancy is published by Moyer Bell. (2:00)

The Return of Freddie the Pig -- Linda talks to Peter Mayer of Overlook Press about the re-release of the Freddy the Pig books for children. Walter Brooks wrote this classic series, and Overlook is releasing facsimiles of the original publications, including illustrations. (6:00)

Some stories do not link to audio files because of Internet rights issues.