All Things Considered on NPR News

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NPR's afternoon radio newsmagazine brings you breaking news and compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special - sometimes quirky - features. Thom Kokenge also updates you on regional news, and weather forecasts on your drive home.

Below, you will find articles, transcripts, and clips of many of the stories heard on All Things Considered.

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To prepare for his appearances on weekends on All Things Considered, DJ Betto Arcos travels the world looking for new music to bring back to our studios. This time, he shares several songs from his recent trip to Cuba.

Here's an update on a story that NPR started following almost two years ago in Izmir, Turkey, a city on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. That's where NPR's Ari Shapiro first met a teacher from Syria — a father in his early 30s named Monzer al-Omar.

Omar had been in Izmir for a week, waiting for a phone call from a human smuggler who would put him onto a crowded raft heading for Greece. Once the call came, Omar said, he would have just five minutes to gather his belongings, run to the beach, get on a raft and go.

Former national security adviser Mike Flynn has said he'd testify to congressional committees investigating Russian election meddling in exchange for immunity from prosecution. President Trump encouraged him to try to make such a deal to protect himself from what Trump called a "witch hunt."

George DeTitta, a retired biomedical researcher, is no fan of President Trump's.

"Well, the day he got inaugurated, I put on my Facebook page, 'Not my president,' " the 69-year-old Democrat says, sitting at a table near the window at a restaurant in downtown Buffalo.

DeTitta says he took the post down the next day, but he's been watching the Trump White House with alarm ever since. Even something Democrats felt relief about — the failure of the president and fractured House Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act — wasn't reason for DeTitta to celebrate.

Venezuela's Supreme Court seized power from the opposition-led legislature on Thursday. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Amherst professor Javier Corrales, whose research focuses on Latin American democracy and politics about the state of Venezuela's democracy.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The Flute Enjoys Its Hip-Hop Moment

Mar 31, 2017

The flute is featured in some of the biggest songs on the charts, from Future's song "Mask Off" to Drake's song "Portland." Brendan Frederick, director of content for the music site Genius, tells us about the history of that sound in hip-hop music.

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MASK OFF")

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Here in Washington this week, President Trump signed an order to start undoing some key climate change regulations. The president says they're hurting business.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

It's the oldest and most basic form of transportation — walking — and more people are doing more of it to get fit or stay healthy. But there's new evidence today that even walking across the street is getting more dangerous.

Every recent president has promised to innovate the way government works, and this week, the Trump administration announced its plan to do the same.

The initiative is called the White House Office of American Innovation. Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, will lead a team that includes business executives with little or no government experience. The Trump team says its agenda includes "modernizing government services" and "creating transformational infrastructure projects."

As California water officials confirmed Thursday that the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada remains well above average, pressure was mounting on the state to lift emergency water restrictions that have been in place for two years.

The snowpack across the mountains is now 164 percent of average, a closely watched marker in the nation's most populous state — and biggest economy — where one-third of all the drinking water comes from snow-fed reservoirs.

Jerry Miller spent more than 25 years behind bars for kidnapping, rape and robbery — crimes he didn't commit.

Miller was released from prison in 2006. In 2007, after decades of insisting he was innocent, Miller was finally vindicated: He became the 200th American to be cleared by DNA evidence of a wrongful conviction. Today, that number is closer to 350.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The astronomer Carl Sagan said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Last week, a physician made the extraordinary claim that he had an effective treatment for sepsis, sometimes known as blood poisoning.

Sepsis is a bodywide inflammation, usually triggered by infection, and the leading cause of death in hospitals, taking 300,000 lives a year. So, even a 15 percent improvement in survival would save 40,000 lives — the number of Americans who die on the highway each year, or from breast cancer.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now we turn to Ames Simmons. He's director of transgender policy at Equality North Carolina and joins us from Durham. Hi there.

AMES SIMMONS: Thank you for having me, Ari.

It has been more than eight decades since the last known Tasmanian tiger died. In that time, the marsupial has become the stuff of textbook sketches and yellowing photographs, little more than a memory aging into oblivion.

But Thylacinus cynocephalus may still be out there.

Recent "plausible sightings" have challenged the accepted wisdom that the animal has gone extinct — and have inspired researchers at Australia's James Cook University to commence a quest to find it themselves.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now a story about relations between the United States and Russia. This is a very old story. It's not about election hacking or Crimea. We're talking about a deal struck 150 years ago today when Russia agreed to sell Alaska to the United States for $7.2 million.

La Vida Boheme plays upbeat music on somber themes. The Venezuelan rockers' last album, Será, came as student protests were erupting in their home town of Caracas. The band's booking agent was murdered; their tour manager was kidnapped. The four members of the group locked themselves inside their apartments. They would later describe the record, which won a Latin Grammy, as "the soundtrack to an apocalypse."

Two separate high-profile incidents broadcast this week highlighted the criticism black women regularly face in the workplace and spurred many to share their own experiences on social media.

When President Trump signed an order to roll back climate policies, he promised more jobs for coal miners.

"My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. Gonna have clean coal, really clean coal," Trump said in making the announcement at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters Tuesday.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

After millions of dollars of flood damage and mass evacuations this year, California is grappling with how to update its aging flood infrastructure. Some say a natural approach might be part of the answer.

All the water that poured down spillways at the Oroville Dam in northern California did a lot of damage to the area — and for miles down the river.

"It looks like a bomb's gone off," says John Carlon of River Partners, a nonprofit that does river restoration. "That's what it looks like."

A new Missouri law cuts off a line of funding to all organizations that provide abortions in the state, including hospitals.

For years, Missouri has helped low-income women pay for family planning under a Medicaid program called Extended Women's Health Services, which is funded by both the state and the federal governments.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

If you're looking for work, you might start with one of those websites that posts jobs. But if you're an older adult looking for work, you might have found yourself excluded from some of the features on those sites.

Michelle Taylor is 26 years old and keenly interested in the past.

The research associate at Virginia Commonwealth University is taking part in a program to reconstruct the grounds of Montpelier, the former estate of President James Madison, in Virginia. Taylor also has a personal connection to one of the slaves Madison owned, which makes her work rebuilding slave cabins especially meaningful to her.

Of all the men who have been U.S. president, just one is buried on the grounds of a state capitol. But that might be about to change.

Lawmakers in Tennessee have taken the first step to exhume the body of James K. Polk, who for a century has rested in a small, white, chest-high tomb with his wife, Sarah.

Teresa Elam remembers picnicking here with her grandfather, just downhill from the Tennessee Capitol.

"And so I did that with my children, and now we're doing it with our grandchildren," she says.

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