Here and Now

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson

Here & Now offers a distinctive mix of hard news and rich conversation featuring interesting players from across the spectrum of arts and culture, business, technology, science and politics.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Modern-Day Dust Bowl Isn't Easy, But It Beats The 1930s

Farmer John Schweiser, 80, has had to take shelter from recent dust storms. He also lived through the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

The historic drought that continues to hammer the West shows no signs off abating. Most of California remains in severe drought conditions, with its groundwater aquifers in danger of being depleted. Officials in Los Angeles have beefed up their use of “water cops” to make sure people aren’t wasting water.

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NPR Story
3:07 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Bumper U.S. Corn Yield Could Top Records

Early rains, cooler temperatures and hardier seeds have led to projections of a record harvest of corn this year. Most of that corn is used for livestock feed and ethanol.

Because of the predicted glut, corn prices have dropped by 13 percent this year.

Bryce Knorr of Farm Futures magazine tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that consumers can expect to see prices drop at the gas pump, but not at the grocery store.

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NPR Story
3:07 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

In Liberia, Ebola Quarantine Sparks Riots

Members of Liberia's Ebola Task Force enforce a quarantine on the West Point slum on August 20, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. (John Moore/Getty Images)

In Liberia this morning, security forces attempted to quarantine the West Point neighborhood in the capital Monrovia, but residents broke out in a riot.

The Ebola holding center in West Point has been keeping residents on edge. On Saturday, an angry mob attacked the center, chasing and carrying out patients.

NPR photographer David Gilkey talks to Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabari about what he saw this morning as the riots began.

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NPR Story
3:53 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Man Dead After Officer-Involved Shooting In St. Louis

Authorities in St. Louis say a man has been shot dead by police after brandishing a knife at officers. The shooting took place in the north St. Louis area, a few miles from the suburb of Ferguson, where there have been protests for more than a week following the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer.

The Wall Street Journal’s Ben Kesling tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that it’s not clear if the shooting today has any connection to the protests in Ferguson.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

How Flight Changed The World - And What Might Be Next

First flight of the Wright Flyer I, December 17, 1903, Orville piloting, Wilbur running at wingtip. (John T. Daniels/Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 3:53 pm

Today is National Aviation Day, the date chosen in part because it’s the birthday of Orville Wright, who flew the very first airplane in 1903, with his brother Wilbur Wright.

Astronaut Neil Armstrong carried at piece of wood and some fabric from the Wright brothers’ 1903 flyer to the moon, connecting the first airplane flight to space exploration.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

California Tries To Lure Film Industry Back Home

California has watched its dominance over the film and TV industry wane as other states, and even other countries, offer producers lucrative tax incentives. This has cost the state thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in lost economic output.

Now California is fighting back. A bill is moving through the state legislature that would quadruple the amount of tax incentives available to TV and movie makers each year.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Home Construction Jumps, Even As Housing Market Cools

New data from the Commerce Department on home construction shows new construction climbed more than 15 percent in July from the previous month, and applications for building permits jumped 8 percent.

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NPR Story
2:45 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Revisiting Tom Hardy's Solo Performance In 'Locke'

“Locke,” a film about a construction manager whose life unravels as he drives from Birmingham to London, was one of the top DVD rentals of the weekend, according to Redbox.

The film’s star, Tom Hardy, is the sole actor to appear onscreen. Through the course of the film, his character makes phone calls revealing how his trip has managed to put both his job and his marriage in jeopardy.

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NPR Story
2:45 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

One Key To Getting A Green Card: Luck

An example of the "Green Card" issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service is seen in an undated handout photo. (Khue Bui/AP)

Last year, while the president and Congress were arguing over the future of comprehensive immigration reform, nearly a million people got a green card — permission to live legally and permanently — in the United States.

A green card is the ultimate prize for would-be immigrants across the globe, but getting one is very difficult. In some cases, it’s a matter of sheer luck.

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NPR Story
2:45 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Dollar General Makes $9.7 Billion Bid For Family Dollar

A Family Dollar store is seen on July 28, 2014, in Hallandale, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Today, Dollar General said it wants to buy Family Dollar in an all-cash deal worth $9.7 billion. That proposal tops an earlier bid from another dollar store, Dollar Tree, for the same company last month.

NPR’s Marilyn Geewax talks to Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about what the deal means in the larger context of the American economy, and why there’s so much competition for the dollar store.

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NPR Story
7:14 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Panama Canal Turns 100

Tourists take pictures of Pedro Miguel Locks during a boat trip through the Panama Canal, on August 12. August 15 marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal, considered to be one of the 20th century's marvels of engineering and through which goes five percent of the maritime world trade.(Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images)

The Panama Canal opened 100 years ago today. As it celebrates its centennial, the canal is also undergoing an expansion. And it faces potential competition from a planned expansion of the Suez Canal in Egypt, and plans to construct a canal in Nicaragua.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Bill Faries of Bloomberg News about the work being done on the canal and what we can expect from all this construction.

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NPR Story
7:14 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Phoenix Public Schools Compete For Students

Public schools like South Mountain in Phoenix, Ariz. are trying all kinds of ways to market themselves, from old-school fliers to radio and TV spots. (Stina Sieg/KJZZ)

It’s still August, but school has already started up in some parts of the country. And even though classes may be underway, the effort to get more students enrolled continues at full speed.

It’s not only private schools that are marketing themselves to prospective students and their parents. Public schools are also fighting for their attention.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, KJZZ’s Stina Sieg reports from Phoenix.

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Here and Now
3:03 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Malls On The Decline Find New Ways To Stay Relevant

In addition to traditional shopping mall attractions like shops, restaurants, and movie theaters, the largest U.S. mall -- the Mall of America -- also includes an amusement park, an aquarium, and several museum exhibit spaces. (Jeremy Noble/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 7:14 pm

Shopping malls are a part of American culture — people go to malls to socialize, eat and, of course, buy. But as purchases are increasingly just a click away online, malls have been losing money.

NPR’s Sonari Glinton has been reporting a series on shopping malls across America, and he joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss why some malls are doing better than others, and the creative new ideas that some malls are adopting to attract customers.

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NPR Story
2:36 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Self Portraits, Nashville Style

Bryce McCloud (right) and his assistant Elizabeth Williams, who run a mobile self-portrait project called Our Town in Nashville, TN, pose with their own portraits. (Nina Cardona/WPLN)

Most people aren't in the habit of making self portraits, especially not with rubber stamps and an ink pad. But that's exactly the challenge a year-long, roaming art project called “Our Town” is posing to citizens of Nashville, Tenn.

From the Here and Now Contributors Network, Nina Cardona WPLN has the story.

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NPR Story
2:36 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Eventful Summer For Women In Male Sports

WNBA star Becky Hammon takes questions from the media at the San Antonio Spurs practice facility after being introduced as an assistant coach with the team on Tuesday, Aug. 5 in San Antonio. Hammon became the first woman to be a full-time, paid assistant on an NBA staff. (Bahram Mark Sobhani/AP)

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 2:25 pm

It’s been an eventful summer so far for women in male sports.

The San Antonio Spurs just hired Becky Hammon as a full-time assistant coach. She’s the first woman to hold that job in the NBA.

She was hired just a few weeks after the Clippers made a historic hire of their own, naming Natalie Nakase as the first woman assistant coach in the NBA’s Summer League.

Here & Now sports analyst Mike Pesca, joins host Jeremy Hobson to discuss whether these changes indicate a shift in the league.

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NPR Story
2:36 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Virginia Sen. Kaine On The U.S. Intervention In Iraq

Displaced Iraqi Yazidis, who fled a jihadist onslaught on Mt. Sinjar, gather to collect bottles of water at the Bajid Kandala camp in Kurdistan's western Dohuk province, on August 13. Scores of young men and children held a protest demanding more aid at the Bajid Kandala camp that is hosting thousands of desperate Iraqi Yazidis. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 3:47 pm

The Pentagon now says a large-scale refugee operation to save people stranded on Mt. Sinjar in northern Iraq probably won’t be needed. That’s because a U.S. team on the ground there found fewer refugees than first thought, and said that thousands of Yazidis, a religious minority, had already fled.

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NPR Story
3:36 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

DJ Sessions: Country's Vast Age Range

Emi Sunshine, pictured here at age 9, recorded her first two albums by the time she was 7 years old. (Emi Sunshine/Facebook)

Marcia Campbell of “The WSM All Nighter” show on 650 AM WSM in Nashville joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson for the latest installment of DJ Sessions.

She tells us about a number of young up-and-coming artists, including Emi Sunshine, who is just 10 years old. We also hear songs from Brendan MacFarlane, the late Jack Clement and Willie Nelson, who has a new album out.

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NPR Story
3:36 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Red Tide Approaches Florida

A red tide off the coast of La Jolla San Diego, California. (Mortadelo2005/Wikimedia Commons)

A massive algae bloom known as red tide is encroaching on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Researchers say it’s killing thousands of fish and other sea animals.

The algae are a natural part of life in the gulf — the blood-red blooms have been showing up in the water around Florida for centuries. This newest tide is the largest the state has seen in nearly 10 years. It’s 80 miles long and 50 miles wide.

Alina Corcoran, a researcher with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,

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NPR Story
3:36 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Gaza Protests In Germany Stir Debate Over Anti-Semitism

Pro-Israel protesters yell at demonstrators celebrating Al-Quds Day, an event intended to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, on July 25, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched through Berlin, closely watched by police for any expressions of anti-Semitism and separated from smaller pro-Israel rallies. (Adam Berry/AFP/Getty Images)

Across Europe, the conflict between Israel and Gaza has sparked large protests, including in Germany, home to around four million Muslims, or 5 percent of the population. Dozens of demonstrations against Israel’s policy in Gaza have been held across the country over the last few weeks.

But because Nazi Germany engineered the Holocaust, many Germans today feel uncomfortable criticizing Israel.

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NPR Story
3:28 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

30 Rockefeller Plaza To Get A Facelift

The GE sign atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza on May 24, 2006. (dmamundsen/Flickr)

One of the most recognizable buildings in New York City is getting a makeover.

The art deco building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (“30 Rock”) — the headquarters of NBC — will be getting new LED-lit signs on three of its facades bearing the name of Comcast, NBC’s latest corporate owner.

This will replace the neon G.E. logo that had been at the top of the building since the late 1980s. For the first time, the iconic NBC peacock will also be placed high in white lights on the building’s exterior.

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NPR Story
3:28 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Waiters Not The Only Ones Paid Below Minimum Wage

Many wheelchair attendants at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport make less than minimum wage. (Wilson Sayre/WLRN)

Not every worker makes minimum wage. Waiters, for instance, rely on tips to round out much of their pay.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Wilson Sayre of WLRN brings us a story about another type of worker that relies on tips: airport wheelchair pushers, who also make less than minimum wage. But it’s not so obvious that you’re supposed to tip them.

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NPR Story
3:28 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

FBI To Investigate Fatal Shooting Of Teen In St. Louis Suburb

Protestors confront police during an impromptu rally, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 to protest the shooting of Michael Brown, 18, by police in Ferguson, Mo. Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. Brown died following a confrontation with police, according to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, who spoke at a news conference Sunday. (Sid Hastings/AP)

The FBI has said it will investigate the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an African American 18-year-old. Authorities say a police officer shot the unarmed Brown after the teen allegedly attacked him.

The incident sparked protests, violence and looting. Today, more than 100 protesters gathered outside the Ferguson, Mo. police station in suburban St. Louis to demand answers.

Teachers called Brown a “gentle giant” who was to begin college in a few days. Brown’s mother condemned the lootings and the family called for peace and justice.

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NPR Story
2:55 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

On Stage: Christian Rap At Rap Fest

Rap Fest is a Christian rap outreach festival in the Bronx. This is its 21st year. (Steven Sanchez)

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 3:53 pm

“On Stage” is our weekly look at what’s happening on the boards across the country, from comedy shows to poetry slams to music festivals.

Today, we turn now to Rap Fest, a Christian rap outreach festival tomorrow in the Bronx in Vidalia Park. This is its 21st year.

Co-founder Bert Bocachica joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to talk about the festival.

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NPR Story
2:55 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Will Marijuana Follow In The Steps Of Big Tobacco?

The New York Times this week carried its first-ever full-page ad for a marijuana company. It’s a Seattle-based firm called Leafly, which is like “Yelp” for pot, giving reviews of different strains of cannabis and places where you can buy it.

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Severe Weather
2:55 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Tropical Storm Iselle Makes Landfall On Hawaii

Anne Kllingshirn, of Kailua, Hawaii walks with her daughter Emma, 1, as storm clouds float overhead during the sunrise hours on Kailua Beach, in Kailua, Hawaii, Thursday morning Aug. 7, 2014. (Luci Pemoni/AP)

The National Weather Service says the eye of Tropical Storm Iselle has made landfall on Hawaii’s Big Island.

It is the first hurricane or tropical storm to hit the state in 22 years, and another hurricane is following in its path. Hurricane Julio, a Category 3 storm, is about 1,000 miles behind in the Pacific.

Iselle’s eye swept onto shore about 5 miles east of Pahala with winds at 60 mph at 2:30 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time.

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NPR Story
2:37 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Company Seeks Approval For Experimental Ebola Drug

In this handout from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a Ebola virus virion is seen. (Center for Disease Control via Getty Images)

There is no known cure for the Ebola virus, but a number of labs have been working on one. The two American relief workers recently flown back from Liberia have been receiving an experimental treatment produced by a company in San Diego.

Another company, Cambridge, Mass.-based Sarepta Therapeutics, also has an experimental drug. The company’s CEO, Chris Garabedian, tells Here & Now’s Robin Young how this treatment would work, and what it takes to get the drug to patients.

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NPR Story
2:37 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

U.S. Weighs Humanitarian Aid To Help Trapped Iraqis

The Obama administration is weighing an urgent response to help trapped religious minorities in Iraq, with one option being delivery of humanitarian aid.

That’s according to two people familiar with administration discussions. Top administration officials are meeting about the options at the White House Thursday.

The urgency comes as Sunni extremists have made major gains in Iraq’s north. The extremists took over the Kurdish town of Sinjar, forcing its population of Yazidi minorities to flee with little food or water.

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NPR Story
2:37 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

'Brokeback Mountain' Composer Releases New Album, 'Camino'

Soundtrack composer Gustavo Santaolalla performs onstage during The Last of Us: One Night Live reading and performance at The Broad Stage on July 28 in Santa Monica, California. (Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Sony Computer Entertainment America)

The haunting theme music from the 2005 film “Brokeback Mountain” earned musician Gustavo Santaolalla the first of his two Oscars. He got a second the following year for his work on “Babel.” The Argentine composer, who moved to the U.S. in the 1970s, has also won 16 Grammy awards.

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NPR Story
3:38 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Music From The Show

Ratatat, “Falcon Jab”

Aesop Rock, “Forest Crunk”

Ben Jordan, “Leaving Earth”

Bear In Heaven, “Autumn”

Aesop Rock, “Cycles To GeHenna”

The Album Leaf, “Thule”

Konk, “Baby Dee”

The American Dollar, “Time”

LCD Soundsystem, “Dance Yrslf Clean”

Debruit, “Nigeria What?”

Lifeformed, “Cider Time”

Faraquet, “Conceptual Separation Of Self”

Nah Dran, “Couch”

Fugazi, “Target”

Bo Diddley, “Bo’s Guitar”

Tame Impala, “Enders Toi”

The Evens, “Shelter Two”

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NPR Story
2:35 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Mo Rocca's Cooking Show Features Recipes From Grandparents

Mo Rocca's show ""My Grandmother's Ravioli" kicks off its third season tonight. (Cooking Channel)

Comedian Mo Rocca loved his grandmother’s cooking, but never learned to cook.

In the third season of his Cooking Channel show, “My Grandmother’s Ravioli,” he visits grandmothers and grandfathers, and learns about some of their favorite recipes, as well as stories from their pasts.

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