All Things Considered for December 6, 2013
Dec 6, 2013 — Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving, and six others forbid it for new drivers — but that doesn't stop people from doing it. So New York State Police are using unmarked SUVs to try to spot drivers in the act.
Dec 6, 2013 — The U.S. men's soccer team will face a tough road in next year's World Cup. They'll face Ghana, Portugal and Germany in the first round.
Dec 6, 2013 — Mexico's congress is set to pass a controversial plan to open up the country's vast and sluggish oil industry to private investment. The move requires a constitutional amendment since Mexico forbids foreign involvement in the oil industry. Opponents of the plan say the president is selling out the country, but many experts say that without foreign investment, Mexico won't be able to tap all its oil and won't modernize.
Dec 6, 2013 — The auction house Christie's sold a Sunburst Fender Stratocaster guitar Friday for a whopping $965,000. It's the guitar behind what some consider a watershed moment in music history — the moment that Bob Dylan picked up an electric guitar on July 25, 1965 at the Newport Folk Festival.
Dec 6, 2013 — For freelancers and artists living in expensive cities like New York, the home-sharing site Airbnb has become a way to subsidize their rents. It's also often illegal. With the site's users in the crosshairs of New York's attorney general, and questions elsewhere, some now wonder if the good times are going to end.
Dec 6, 2013 — Robert Siegel talks to writer Walter Isaacson about the legacy of Nelson Mandela and what makes a "great man" (with a nod to Thomas Carlyle's "great man theory" of the 19th century). Isaacson has written biographies of other great historical figures, including Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. He says history is made by individuals and Mandela was a person who changed the course of history.
Dec 6, 2013 — The great anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela died late Friday night in Johannesburg. South Africans woke up to the news this morning and crowds gathered outside the former Mandela family home in Soweto township. This is the home where he lived before he was arrested, before he was imprisoned for those long years, before he became an icon. The mood among the hundreds of people outside the house and on the surrounding blocks was anything but somber.
Dec 6, 2013 — College football fans have just one last chance to complain about the Bowl Championship Series after this weekend. Since it was started in 1998, the complicated ranking system has determined which two teams will play for the national championship. The BCS has rankled fans and media alike every single year since then. But the era, if not the angst, is over; the BCS is gone after this season, and will be replaced by a four team playoff. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis is happy to see it go and gives Robert Siegel a primer of which teams are likely in or out of the BCS Championship Game this year.
Dec 6, 2013 — The news of Nelson Mandela's death came as dozens of African leaders gathered in Paris for a two-day summit on building peace and security across the continent. Though Mandela's death overshadowed other issues, it also reinforce participants' determination to make progress.
Dec 6, 2013 — In 2004, All Things Considered aired a documentary called "Mandela: An Audio History" by producers Joe Richman and Sue Johnson of Radio Diaries. It tells the story of the struggle against apartheid through the voices of Mandela and the people who fought with and against him.This selection from that documentary recalls Mandela's treason trial, in which he was convicted and sentenced to serve life in prison on Robben Island.