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.

Big farms are collecting taxpayer dollars that they haven’t necessarily earned, by taking advantage of a loophole in government subsidy rules, according to regulators, members of Congress and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking aim at what is known as the “actively engaged” loophole, which has been gaping for nearly three decades, by changing the qualifications for some subsidy payments.

The Modi government in India is considering a proposal to replace the tiger – the iconic symbol of India since the 1970s – with the lion. Vicki Croke of WBUR’s The Wild Life joins Here & Now hosts Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson with details on the tiny community of wild Asian lions – a remnant of a once much larger population.

The marathon bombing trial is now in the sentencing stage. The 12 jurors will decide whether or not Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will get the death penalty. If the lawyer representing Tsarnaev has her way, the 21-year-old will spend his life in prison and not be put to death.

Navinder Sarao is making an initial court appearance in the U.K., after he was arrested yesterday by British authorities on U.S. charges that he helped cause what’s known as the “flash crash,” when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 1,000 points on May 6, 2010.

CNN’s Maggie Lake joins Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson to take a look at this case, as well as the trial over the 2008 government bailout of American International Group, or AIG. Closing arguments are being delivered today.

The season premier of “Inside Amy Schumer” airs on Comedy Central tonight. The sketch comedy series recently won a Peabody award, and was also just picked up for a fourth season.

The show’s star, comedian Amy Schumer, hosted the MTV Movie Awards on April 12, and will soon be starring in a Judd Apatow film, out this summer.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to NPR TV critic Eric Deggans about the show and its star.

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April 24 marks the 100th anniversary of what most historians refer to as the Armenian Genocide, when 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were killed by the Ottoman government in modern day Turkey. Millions more fled, in a diaspora that spans the globe.

“The only stories I could find were about the genocide. As if 1915 had ended the Armenian story.”

Blue Bell Creameries is voluntarily recalling all of its products after the bacteria listeria was found in two cartons of Blue Bell ice cream in March.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that tests indicate the outbreak started from plants in Texas and Oklahoma.

Five adults have been sickened, and three have died. Officials in Kansas say listeriosis didn’t cause the deaths, but it may have been a contributing factor. Blue Bell distributes ice cream and other frozen desserts to about half of the United States.

The first wave of millions of homeowners who lost their home to foreclosure may soon be on the market to get back into buying real estate.

These so-called “boomerang buyers” are now past the seven-year window they need to begin repairing their credit to qualify to buy a new home.

CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger tells Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins about these boomerang buyers and how they may change the housing market in the next decade.

Patricia McNamara, 75, of Orange County, Calf. started skating in her late 40s, and she’s participated in every one of the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships since the Adult Nationals event started in 1995.

“I feel like the best of myself is really being expressed.”

She says skating helped her recover from breast cancer, and she’s hoping it helps her fully recover from a stroke seven years ago, in which she lost some muscle control on her left side.

Time magazine just released its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. One of the names on the list is China’s premier Xi Jinping.

That comes as no surprise to former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who writes in Time that Xi looks like he’s on track to pass Chairman Mao as China’s most powerful leader.

But what about beyond China? What influence does Xi have on the global stage – especially with the United States?

2015 Boston Marathon Preview

Apr 17, 2015

The 119th Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest, will be run on Monday. The 26.2-mile race starts in rural Hopkinton, Mass., and takes the runners through several other communities before finishing in downtown Boston.

That’s where two bombs exploded during the 2013 race, killing three people and injuring more than 260. The attack sparked increased security for spectators and runners that will remain in place for the second year.

DJ Sessions: Swing And Vintage Jazz

Apr 17, 2015

Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson is broadcasting from Washington, D.C., and sits down with Rob Bamberger, the longtime host of “Hot Jazz Saturday Night” on WAMU in Washington. Bamberger brings us sounds from Jelly Roll Morton to Artie Shaw and His Orchestra.

In November, President Obama announced executive actions that would allow 5 million undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and obtain work permits. Not long after, a Texas judge ordered a freeze on those actions.

Today the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans will be hearing arguments from federal lawyers and 26 states opposing Obama’s order on whether to lift the freeze and allow his policies to move forward, or to leave the immigration policies in limbo.

Oklahoma City Bombing Juror Looks Back

Apr 16, 2015

Just past the two-year anniversary of the bombing of the Boston Marathon, another horrific anniversary approaches. Oklahoma City residents will never forget April 19, 1995, when a bomb blast tore through the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, killing 168 people and injuring several hundred others.

Police tracked down Timothy McVeigh, a 26-year-old Persian Gulf War veteran and right-wing militia sympathizer. He was put on trial and ultimately put to death.

The typical time between pregnancies for American mothers is 2.5 years, according to new research. Doctors say that is a healthy amount of time to wait. But a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that nearly a third of women space their births too close – fewer than 18 months between pregnancies.

The study found that “while there is no consensus on optimal IPI [interpregnancy interval], research has shown that short intervals (less than 18 months) and long intervals (60 months or more) were associated with higher risks of adverse health outcomes.”

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has a new logo that’s causing buzz. British comedian Ricky Gervais set the Internet aflutter by tweeting a photo of hunter Rebecca Francis posing beside a dead giraffe. And Singapore T.V. host Kenneth Kong posted a logic problem on Facebook about finding Cheryl’s birthday, that has gone viral.

In a federal court this week, the British sportswear and equipment supplier Mitre Sports International is claiming HBO defamed the company in a 2008 segment of "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" called "Children of Industry."

The segment portrayed the story of children under the age of 14 hand-sewing Mitre soccer balls for little to no money. Mitre claims that the interviews were edited to be misleading, that parts of the story were fabricated and that the children were coerced to say what they did on camera.

On this day in 1861, a day after Fort Sumter fell, President Lincoln ordered up 75,000 troops. Within days, volunteers swarmed to Washington. It was decided that some would stay in the U.S. Senate chamber, which had only been in use for two years. Upwards of 4,000 troops took up residence, and soon the chamber was described as filthy and “alive with lice.”

The agriculture industry in California accounts for 80 percent of the state’s total water use, so when Governor Jerry Brown’s recent mandatory water restrictions didn’t include farmers, he got a lot of flak.

Bob Bates, the 73-year-old reserve police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who fatally shot a man after police say he confused his gun for his taser, now faces a second-degree manslaughter charge.

Meanwhile, in North Charleston, South Carolina, more video has surfaced showing another violent arrest by officer Michael Slager. Slager is being charged with murder after fatally shooting an unarmed motorist who tried to flee a traffic stop.

Saturday Night Live's Cecily Strong

Apr 14, 2015

Cecily Strong is joining the impressive list of female comedians who are taking their talent beyond the Saturday Night Live stage.

Strong has been asked to host the White House Correspondents Dinner later this month, and she is appearing in her first movie, “The Bronze,” which hits theaters this summer.

Strong is famous on SNL for her recurring character the “girl you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party” on Weekend Update – a sketch she once hosted.

Russia is closing in on a deal that would send Russian missiles to Iran. Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the delivery of S-300 surface-to-air-missiles on Monday. A similar deal fell through back in 2010 under pressure from Western governments.

A study out today finds nearly three-quarters of people who receive public assistance benefits from the government belong to a working family.

The report from University of California, Berkeley, says low-wage jobs have left federal and state governments holding the tab for higher medicaid, food stamp and child subsidy payouts. Researchers say the cost to taxpayers is now $153 billion a year.

R&B and jazz singer Ledisi portrayed gospel legend Mahalia Jackson in the movie “Selma.” In the film, she comforts an anxious Martin Luther King Jr. with an arresting version of “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Ledisi has been out on tour for her new album, “The Intimate Truth,” and speaks with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro made history this weekend when they sat down together in Panama.

The men were attending the Summit of the Americas. It was the first time the United States attended the summit since it began in the 1990s.

Obama stressed the economic benefits that thawed U.S.-Cuban relations would bring to both countries, but the president did not announce that Cuba would be removed from the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism list.

In the show “Sweatshop,” several Norwegian fashion bloggers flew to Cambodia, where they lived and worked in the clothing industry.

The three fashionistas – Frida, Ludwig and Anniken – not only saw, but experienced the hardships of Cambodian clothing workers, including low pay, terrible working conditions and sleeping on a cold, hard floor.

Author Malcolm Gladwell is known for taking an alternate tack to conventional thinking, in books like “The Tipping Point” and “Outliers.”

Street Art Meets Ballet In Miami

Apr 10, 2015

At the Miami City Ballet tonight, the dancers are sharing the stage with a backdrop that includes the face of wrestler Andre the Giant.

That’s what happens when one of the country’s most sought-after choreographers teams up with one the country’s most famous street artists.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Alicia Zuckerman of WLRN reports.

Half of Colorado’s drill rigs have gone idle since the end of October. The decline in the oil economy’s growth here is directly tied to the low price of oil. Economic experts aren’t sure where prices are headed, and that translates into economic uncertainty and layoffs. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Grace Hood of Colorado Public Radio reports.

The photos and stories of California’s historic drought seem cinematic because they are. The 1974 film “Chinatown” involves a fictional Los Angeles mayor making the case for building an aqueduct to bring water from farm areas to Los Angeles, to supply water for people to move to the city.

Kevin Starr, history professor at the University of Southern California, says comparing the present-day drought to the California of “Chinatown” is especially apt.

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