KASU

Arun Rath

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Carfentanil is an opiate 10,000 times more powerful than morphine. And since last summer, it's been killing addicts and confounding first responders across the country.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Defense announced it had transferred 10 more Guantanamo detainees, this time to Oman. Now, 45 remain at the facility, leaving challenges on what to do with the prisoners for President-elect Donald Trump.

When Harry Selker was working as a cardiologist in the 1970s, clot-busting drugs were showing great promise against heart attacks. But their life-saving properties were very time sensitive. "If you give it within the first hour it has a 47 percent reduction of mortality; if you wait another hour, it has a 28 percent reduction; another hour, 23 percent. And people were taking about 90 minutes to make that decision," he recalls. "So they were losing the opportunity to save patients' lives."

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On the drive to Fairview Cemetery in the Boston neighborhood of Hyde Park, six seniors from Roxbury Latin boys' school sit in silent reflection. Mike Pojman, the school's assistant headmaster and senior adviser, says the trip is a massive contrast to the rest of their school day, and to their lives as a whole right now.

Today the teens have volunteered to be pallbearers for a man who died alone in September, and for whom no next of kin was found. He's being buried in a grave with no tombstone, in a city cemetery.

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This new year offers a new chance for many states to head off drug addiction. Americans are dying from overdoses of prescription opioids and heroin at levels never seen before. NPR's Arun Rath reports on what many states are trying now.

Urban foraging might call to mind images of hipsters picking food out of the trash.

But one group in Massachusetts eats only the finest, freshest produce. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees in Cambridge and Somerville and turns it into jam.

Sam Christy, a local high school teacher, started the league four years ago.

Sunday is my last broadcast as host of Weekend All Things Considered at NPR West. I'm moving back to Boston, and with packing well underway, after the broadcast I'll be sleeping between piles of hastily labeled boxes.

Weirdly, a couple of weeks ago I experienced a nightmare version of this very scene, when I attended a show called The Object Lesson at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, Calif.

"This is not respectable theater. I don't even know if it is theater," jokes Geoff Sobelle, the creator and star of the show.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

Now let's take moment to remember one of the icons of pro wrestling.

(SOUNDBITE OF WRESTLING MATCH ANNOUNCEMENT)

The Syrian refugee crisis is getting worse by the day.

Not only are more refugees fleeing into Lebanon, but aid to those who have already arrived is being cut dramatically.

The United Nations World Food Program earlier this month slashed the monthly food subsidy for Syrian refugees in Lebanon to just $13.50 per person. Less than a year ago the figure was $30 per person per month. The reason for the decision was reportedly a budget shortfall.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

Our own producer, Rebecca Hersher, is just back from a six-week reporting trip where she was embedded with the Afghan army. Now she's back with me in the studio. Hi Becky, good...

REBECCA HERSHER, BYLINE: Hi.

RATH: ...To have you back.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF ORIGINAL THX SOUND LOGO)

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Once again, you're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

In Los Angeles, more than a thousand people sleep on the street in cardboard boxes and tents — just a mile away from City Hall.

This is Skid Row, and compared to the affluent downtown areas that practically surround it, the area is like a different planet. Fifty blocks of sidewalk are jammed with people who live on the street, with all of their worldly possessions crammed into shopping carts and crates.

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Now to Venezuela where violent clashes continue between antigovernment protesters and national guard security forces who are using water cannons and tear gas to break up demonstrations. On Friday, dozens of people, including journalists, were arrested. And on Saturday, more protests erupted around the city. So far, 18 people have died.

Joining us now in Caracas is reporter Girish Gupta who has been covering the unrest. Girish, tell us what things are like there today.

The Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki turned 80 on Saturday. You may think you've never heard Penderecki's music, but I'm guessing you have — because I'm guessing you've seen The Shining.

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