Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

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Health

‘They Immediately See Gangs’: From El Salvador To Boston, Helping Young People Shake Stigma And Feel Safe

Volunteers for Glasswing International lead members of the Glee club in a dance routine at a school in Las Palmas, San Salvador, El Salvador. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

President Trump has referred to members of the MS-13 gang as “animals.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the gang is infiltrating the U.S., calling unaccompanied minors from Central America “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” There’s been a strong focus by the administration on legal crack downs but less talk of how to prevent young people from joining gangs in the first place. For two organizations working thousands of miles apart, that is their shared goal: to show young people a vision of their futures beyond the gangs.

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In Punta Santiago, It’s A Microcosm Of A Battered Puerto Rico

Angelina Arroyo sprays her driveway down during a hot afternoon in Punta Santiago. Her husband had a heart attack shortly after the hurricane last year and passed away soon after. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

A middle-aged woman sat over a pail of water, a blue umbrella shielding her from the scorching sun. Surrounded by a wreckage of branches and twisted metal sheets, Angelina Arroyo Rivera salvaged what remained of her belongings — some silverware and some plastic containers, a blue tarp, a red purse, a white blouse.

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A Year Later, Puerto Ricans Face Death In The Wake Of Maria

A house in Guaynabo, which was completely leveled by Hurricane Maria, still sits in ruin one year after the storm. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR

Candido Reyes and Luz María Muñiz found love late in life — she in her 50s, he in his 60s — but at least they had found what some people never find. He told her he loved her more than God, and he believed it to the point that he apologized for it in his prayers.

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New Haven City Officials Call For State Help In Overdose Crisis

Emergency personnel respond to the overdose crisis on New Haven Green. Photo by Diane Orson for Connecticut Public Radio

Over 100 people are now known have overdosed on the New Haven Green since Tuesday night, apparently as a result of using part of a bad batch of the synthetic cannabinoid K2. Officials say that the man-made drug and this particular batch was designed to have a more potent effect on the people who took it—so they could become addicted.

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At Coakley Landfill Site, Government Assurances Meet Public Fear

A sign next to this section of Berry's Brook, at the edge of the Coakley Landfill Superfund site, warns the water is contaminated with high levels of PFAS. Photo by Annie Ropeik for NHPR

The Coakley Landfill on New Hampshire’s Seacoast is back in the headlines, more than 30 years after it became a Superfund site. Neighbors are again worried the site could be poisoning their drinking water, after a rash of childhood cancer cases nearby and the discovery of dangerously high levels of PFAS chemicals at the landfill.

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