Here and Now

  • Hosted by 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.

Here & Now co-host Robin Young is saying farewell for several weeks. She’s getting knee surgery with Dr. Dennis Burke (whom she encourages you to Google). Wednesday, Nov. 11 is her last day on the show before surgery.

Just after midnight this morning, the city of Montreal began dumping raw, untreated sewage into its main waterway, the St. Lawrence River. Over the next six days, the city will dump around 2.1 billion gallons of untreated sewage into the river, which runs from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, along part of the U.S.-Canada border.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with Tracey Lindeman of the CBC in Montreal, about why the city is dumping so much sewage into the river, and what the environmental implications could be.

Food nerds everywhere love Kenji Lopez-Alt. Though he graduated from MIT with a degree in architecture, he discovered his true life calling when he went to work in a restaurant kitchen.

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Taking Support For Veterans To New Heights

Nov 10, 2015

Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Jimmy Petrolia will try to set two world records for a wingsuit jump when he leaps from a plane on Veterans Day. He’ll be flying at around 30,000 feet when he jumps. The two world records he’s trying to break are time spent in the air and distance traveled.

British Prime Minister Pushes EU Reform

Nov 10, 2015

With a referendum expected in 2017, Prime Minister David Cameron says his country faces a “huge decision” on its European Union membership. Today he outlined a reform plan he hopes will make that membership more appealing to the U.K.

Among the reforms Cameron wants is one allowing Britain to restrict benefits for migrants from other member states. BBC political correspondent Rob Watson speaks with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson about the reforms and what these could mean for Britain and the EU.

Later this month Congress is expected to give final passage to a six-year, $325 billion transportation bill that will be the first major piece of legislation out of the House of Representatives since Paul Ryan became speaker of the House.

It replaces a series of stopgap funding measures just in time to keep the Highway Trust Fund in the black, but many transportation experts say the federal government continues to under-fund public transit, as well as long-term infrastructure projects.

Thousands of women in the military report being sexually assaulted each year. In fact, the number is rising.

When those women return to civilian life, they might seek counseling at a local Veterans Affairs clinic. In Nashville, there’s now a kind of supplemental therapy that’s distinctly Music City. It’s a program that pairs survivors of sexual assault with songwriters, who help put their stories to music.

Emily Siner of Here & Now contributor WPLN in Nashville explains more about what goes on inside this particular Veterans Affairs center.

In the current era of data analytics, companies are tracking people’s footsteps, diet, budget and browsing history. Now, some companies are starting to measure the proficiency of their workers.

Humanyze, a Boston-based company, builds devices to analyze things like how an employee talks, with whom they’re talking, body movement and location. Its goal is to give employers data that can improve the efficiency of a company.

Goldman Sachs Ends BRIC Investment Fund

Nov 9, 2015

Goldman Sachs recently shut down its BRIC investment fund, and it’s being called the end of an era. The investment banking firm explained the decision, saying in an SEC filing that it “does not expect the [fund] to experience significant asset growth in the foreseeable future.”

A historic election is set to take place this weekend in one of the world’s most closed countries. Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been under military rule for more than half a century. But on Sunday, it will hold its first contested national election in 25 years.

Myanmar has been slowly moving towards this moment since 2010, when the longtime military dictatorship began loosening its control over the country.

Spanish-born Salvador Salort-Pons, 45, has moved from curator to new director at the Detroit Institute of Arts, an institution that helped Detroit emerge from bankruptcy and is now looking to grow its operating endowment by $400 million.

Comedian and actress Margaret Cho this week took to social media to talk about a difficult experience from when she was younger. She says that she was raped by an acquaintance and raped and sexually abused by a family member over a period of time.

She started the hashtag #12DaysofRage and is also coming out with a song and video called “I Want to Kill My Rapist.”

Experience what it’s like to live on the Navajo Nation, even if you’re not a native. That’s what one Navajo entrepreneur is advertising. She offers a bed and breakfast, Navajo style. It’s peaceful and rustic. And it’s missing some creature comforts that many would expect from a typical B&B. But as Laurel Morales reports for Fronteras Desk, at Here & Now contributor station KJZZ, it’s booked solid for months.

Donald Trump has blurred the line between entertainment and politics for much of this year’s presidential primary season. He holds up his TV ratings the same way he touts his Republican poll standings, which are either first or second nationally, depending on the poll.

NBC is using Trump’s magnetic draw to its advantage on Saturday; giving him hosting reigns for Saturday Night Live. No other serious contender in a primary has ever hosted before, so this raises ethical questions.

New details on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal are emerging as the Obama administration released a full draft of the agreement Thursday.

Vietnam will extend labor concessions to its workers as part of the deal. The plan would give laborers in the communist country the ability to strike and unionize.

The U.S. Congress now has a window to review the pact. NPR’s Marilyn Geewax discusses the details of the deal with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

The Lake County Sheriff’s office says Fox Lake police lieutenant Charles Gliniewicz staged his own death.

Investigators looking into Gliniewicz’s death say he had embezzled thousand of dollars over seven years from the Fox Lake Police Explorers club, using the money on mortgage payments, travel and adult websites.

Gliniewicz’s death on Sept. 1, drew national attention, after it was believed he was shot in the line of duty. It prompted a manhunt for suspects.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.


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The restaurant chain Chipotle has closed 43 restaurants in the Pacific Northwest after health officials say 37 people were sickened with E. coli bacteria that’s been traced to Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon.

Officials think the bacteria was probably in the fresh produce the restaurant uses.

It’s being called “the world’s most expensive gas station.” In a new report, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction is asking U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter why nearly $43 million was spent to construct a compressed natural gas filling station in Afghanistan.

The report found the project should have cost no more than $500,000. The Department of Defense has said they have no explanation for the enormous costs.

A Think Tank Analyst Wants To Fight Putin

Nov 3, 2015

We are used to seeing Russian President Vladimir Putin shirtless on horseback, toting a rifle, easily taking down martial arts opponents. Well, a think tank analyst says Putin’s carefully crafted image is phony and affects how the rest of the world responds to his actions.

After some murmurs that the online retail giant would do so, Amazon opens its first brick and mortar store, a bookstore, Tuesday in Seattle’s University Village. Barnes & Noble closed its store in this area in 2011, facing pressure from online retailers just like Amazon.

Jason Bellini of the Wall Street Journal speaks with Here & Now‘s Robin Young about why the online giant is opening a physical store.

Chicken has become more widely consumed than beef in the United States. That’s no surprise to Here & Now Resident Chef Kathy Gunst.

As she tells Jeremy Hobson, chicken adapts to many flavors and to “whatever cuisine you love: there’s French coq au vin, there’s Italian chicken marsala, there’s chicken piccata, there’s chicken curries, chicken pad thai, we could go on and on.”

Gunst shares her recipes for chicken piccata, three-cup chicken, and roast chicken with lemon and roasted garlic-herb butter.

Thousands of refugees are flooding across borders in southeastern Europe by foot, bus and train, nearly all of them trying to make their way to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and other northern European countries.

Despite the impending winter, the number of people making the journey does not appear to be slowing down.

Gaping Gash Opens Up In Wyoming Mountains

Nov 2, 2015

Wyoming, home to Yellowstone National Park, is known for spectacular geological phenomena.

Recently, a huge fissure in the Earth –about 750 yards long and 50 yards wide — was discovered in the Bighorn Mountains in north-central Wyoming. It’s being called “The Crack” or “The Gash.”

Television audiences love quiz shows, and networks are still in search for a modern quiz show that can match the popularity of the classics like Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy!

NBC is taking another stab at the market with the upcoming show "QuizUp America," which is based off the popular app QuizUp. The network's previous attempt at a quiz show, "Million Second Quiz," was also an app-television hybrid.

NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans joins Here & Now's Robin Young to talk about this latest venture into the quiz show market.

Tours of supposedly haunted places are a booming business. In the South, these tours often take visitors to homes where slaves died at the hands of their masters or cemeteries where slaves are supposedly buried.

As a new book points out, the tales that are told on these tours often have no relation to fact and exploit the very real suffering that took place in the Antebellum South.

During the Republican debate on Wednesday, when Ben Carson was asked about his involvement with the medical supplement company Mannatech. Carson said there was no involvement.

Mannatech has been under scrutiny from federal and state officials for making false claims about its products, including that they could treat and cure Down syndrome and cancer. The Wall Street Journal reports:

At least seven people died and more than 30 others are missing off the coast of Lesbos, Greece, after the boat they were in capsized in stormy weather. The Greek coast guard and local fishermen were able to rescue more than 240 other people who were also on that boat, refugees and migrants trying to make their way across the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece.

In just the last two days, nearly 1,000 people have been rescued along that route; more than 1,000 others have been rescued in the Mediterranean, trying to make their way by sea from Libya to Italy.

Today, almost one-third of the thousands of farmworkers who pick California’s fruits and vegetables speak an indigenous Mexican language like Triqui or Mixteco, and barely understand Spanish.

When emergencies happen and fieldworkers need medical care, they often can’t communicate with their doctors. So, an increasingly important job in rural California is medical interpreting.

Jeremy Raff from Here & Now contributor KQED in Northern California reports.

NPR’s senior business editor Marilyn Geewax joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss some of the economic terms that came up in last night’s GOP debate, from Ted Cruz’s flat tax plan and push for the gold standard, to Carly Fiorina’s claim that 92 percent of jobs lost during the recession belonged to women.