Arun Rath

Journalist Arun Rath is the new host of the NPR newsmagazine Weekend All Things Considered.   The Saturday and Sunday edition has moved its broadcast to the west coast. Rath has had a distinguished career in public media as a reporter, producer and editor, most recently as a senior reporter for the PBS series Frontline and The World® on WGBH Boston. He has also worked for several NPR and public radio programs. 

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

Language advisory: Quotes in this story contain potentially offensive language.

Dr. Perry Crouch was 16 years old the day that the violence started in Watts. It was August 1965, when the Los Angeles neighborhood was wracked by six days of turmoil — and Crouch saw firsthand the moment that sparked it.

As he remembers, he stood nearby as another African-American Watts resident, Marquette Frye, was pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer for drunk driving.

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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)

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Most people know Sheila E. as a pop star, from the hit records she made in the 1980s with the telltale influence of Prince. But did you know she made her debut album as a teenager, or that she played percussion on Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough"?

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath. It has been a grim Easter Sunday for relatives of passengers who were on the ferry that capsized off the coast of South Korea on Wednesday. The death toll from that disaster is now over 50, with about 240 people still missing, most of them high school students. Today, divers started retrieving bodies from inside the vessel.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

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.

Julia Ioffe, editor at The New Republic, helps to make sense the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

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.

If you were listening to NPR 10 years ago this week, you might have heard this enthusiastic proclamation: "The wait is finally over for architect Frank Gehry, for the musicians and staff of the LA Philharmonic, and for all of Los Angeles. Tonight, for the first time in public, the orchestra plays its magnificent new instrument: Walt Disney Concert Hall."

Herman Wallace died early Friday in New Orleans, three days after gaining his freedom. Wallace had spent the previous 41 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana.

This past week may have been a rough one for the classical world, but there is something to look forward to.

This coming week, we celebrate the 200th birthday of Giuseppe Verdi, composer of the best opera of all time. (That's right, Wagner fans. Start writing those letters.)

Perhaps you heard last Sunday when NPR mainstay Jacki Lyden passed the baton to our newest host, Arun Rath. Starting tomorrow, he'll be at the helm of All Things Considered every weekend as the show begins broadcasting from its new home at NPR West in Culver City, Calif.