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.

Airbnb, which allows users to rent out their own homes online, is in the middle of a political fight in San Francisco, the same city in which the company is headquartered.

As home prices have skyrocketed there in the last few years, many in part blame those short-term rentals, and a ballot initiative set for next week seeks to limit them to 75 days a year. It would also require hosts to file quarterly reports with the city.

Tonight, the NBA opens its 2015-2016 season with Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls hosting LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tomorrow, small forward Caron Butler will begin his 14th season in the league, as the Sacramento Kings take on the Los Angeles Clippers.

REI To Close Stores On Black Friday

Oct 27, 2015

Outdoor gear and sporting goods retailer REI has decided to close its 143 retail stores on Black Friday.

While other retailers are taking a stand by closing on Thanksgiving Day, REI is taking it a step further by also closing on the day after Thanksgiving, one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

All REI employees will be getting a paid day off, including online staff and those at the distributing warehouses. The company is encouraging people to spend time outside instead.

San Franciscans go to the polls next week. There are five candidates running to unseat incumbent Mayor Ed Lee. But the most contested issues on the ballot have to do with housing – or the lack of it – in the city.

It’s an issue of importance to the tens of thousands of young tech workers who have flooded San Francisco in recent years looking for affordable places to live. Are the new arrivals to the city likely to affect the outcome of the results?

Why There Are Still So Few Women In Science

Oct 26, 2015

Here’s a question for every woman who’s ever loved science but didn’t pursue it as a career: Why? Eileen Pollack has wrestled with that question for most of her life, and she tried to find the answer in her new book, “The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys’ Club.” Pollack spoke with Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti, originally on Radio Boston.

UAW And GM Reach Agreement, Avoiding Strike

Oct 26, 2015

United Auto Workers members will vote Wednesday on a tentative deal the union reached with General Motors late yesterday. The deal includes “significant gains and job security protections,” according to a union statement, though not many details were released.

The deal comes after GM last week posted a record $3.1 billion in adjusted operating profits for July-September of this year, beating analysts’ expectations. Here & Now‘s Robin Young discusses this with CBS business analyst Jill Schlesinger.

President Obama’s climate change regulations, which call for cutting carbon emissions from power plants in order to slow climate change, were officially published today, and 24 states responded by filing legal actions challenging them.

These states say that the Clean Power Plan rules go beyond the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority and are an illegal interpretation of the 1970 Clean Air Act.

Big Game Hunters Still Making Headlines

Oct 23, 2015

This summer we learned of the death of Cecil the lion in the name of trophy hunting. What seemed unimaginable to so many is actually a fairly common practice.

In the wake of Cecil’s death, many airlines have banned the transport of game trophies, including Delta airlines, which is being sued by a hunter.

The recent killing of a massive bull elephant in Zimbabwe and the poisoning of other elephants have also sparked outrage.

Along with Swedish healthcare firm Sobi and the World Federation of Hemophilia, the Boston-based biotech company Biogen has pledged to donate up to a billion doses of hemophilia therapy for people living in developing countries in Africa and around the world.

The treatment for hemophilia can be incredibly costly – it can run upwards of $100,000 annually for people in the U.S. For those with hemophilia in Africa, treatment can be hard to come by and even the diagnosis of the disorder doesn’t always happen.

A popular sports radio show in Kentucky is becoming a must stop for political candidates – even some of the presidential contenders. Ashley Lopez from Here & Now contributor WFPL in Louisville explains how Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones turned a show about basketball into a place where sports fans can hear from people seeking elected office.

Mushroom Recipes For Fall

Oct 22, 2015

It’s fall, and mushrooms are sprouting up in many wooded areas around the country. Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst warns: don’t go foraging without an expert! But do look for them at your local farmer’s market or supermarket.

The Science Of Mindfulness And Meditation

Oct 22, 2015

Here & Now spoke yesterday with Andy Puddicombe, the one-time Buddhist monk turned entrepreneur whose Headspace meditation app has been downloaded millions of times around the world. Yes, there is an app for that, and it’s good for people with any level of meditating experience. The app includes meditations for when you’re cooking, running, or even having a melt-down. It’s huge in Silicon Valley.

World leaders and World War II historians are criticizing remarks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made earlier this week, that it was a Palestinian religious leader who gave Adolf Hitler the idea to exterminate the Jews during World War II.

Speaking before the Zionist Congress Tuesday night, Netanyahu said, “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time; he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ he asked. He said, ‘Burn them.’ ”

The United States and Cuba are teaming up to safeguard marine life in protected areas in the Florida Straits and the Gulf of Mexico. The two governments – and scientists from each country – will share resources and best management practices to help protect habitats and fish populations.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary will establish a sister sanctuary relationship with Cuba’s Guanahacabibes National Park, and the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Texas will be paired with Banco de San Antonio, off the western tip of Cuba.

The predicted El Niño that would bring heavy rainfall to California won’t bring an end to the drought there, so the state is looking for better ways to conserve and manage water. Los Angeles and other cities across the country are looking at ways to capture rainwater to add it to the water supply.

Vice President Joe Biden says he won’t run for president in 2016.

His decision finalizes the Democratic Party’s field of White House candidates and sets Biden on a glide path toward the end of his decades-long political career.

Biden spent months deliberating with his family and political advisers about a potential late entry to the Democratic primary.

But he also said he might not be emotionally ready to run after his 46-year-old son Beau died of brain cancer in May.

New Guidelines Released For Mammograms

Oct 20, 2015

The American Cancer Society released new guidelines for mammograms today that strongly recommend women start having annual mammograms at age 45, then transition to mammograms every other year starting at age 55, continuing for as long as they are healthy and have at least a 10-year life expectancy.

It’s mating season for tarantulas in the southwestern United States. That means male tarantulas are on the move, hoping to find a female to pair up with.

Dr. Sandy Brantley of the Museum of Southwestern Biology in New Mexico tells Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson about the strange behaviors of the hairy spiders.

And, by the way, if you’re arachnophobic, have no fear. Tarantulas aren’t very interested in humans.

Last year, a 19-year-old from Indiana, Zach Anderson, had sex with a 14-year-old girl from Michigan. She told him she was 17, and the age of consent in Michigan is 16.

Anderson served 75 days in jail after pleading guilty to fourth-degree sexual contact, and he was ordered to register as a sex offender, which restricted him from talking with anyone under the age 17, except for immediate family, and barred him from using a smartphone or the Internet.

Is There A Chill For Tech Startup IPOs?

Oct 20, 2015

This year, only 14 percent of initial public offerings (IPOs) in the U.S. were done by tech companies. That’s the smallest percentage since at least the mid-1990s, according to Dealogic.

The valuation of the document-sharing company Dropbox Inc. ballooned to $10 billion early last year, but now, investment bankers caution that the company most likely won’t be able to go public at that amount.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal about what the journal is calling a “chill” for tech IPOs.

Donald Trump continues to place some blame on former president George W. Bush for failing to prevent the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. He says his tough immigration policy proposals could have prevented 9/11. In response, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush continues to defend his brother’s decisions before and after the event.

The issue is now consuming the Republican presidential primary debate. But the underlying questions remain: How much did the U.S. know before the 9/11 attacks occurred and could the attacks have been prevented under a different administration?

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush last week unveiled his health care plan, and in it he ridicules research funded by the National Institutes of Health – specifically, smartphone games intended to teach healthy eating habits.

Listening In On Insect Communication

Oct 19, 2015

On a warm autumn night, it can sound like there are insects all over the place, calling out from every front lawn, bush and tree branch. But most of what insects are saying to one another, we can't hear.

With the help of evolutionary ecologist Kasey Fowler-Finn, St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra listened in on the hidden world of insect communication and one bug's unusual love songs. Fowler-Finn says the treehoppers’ sounds resemble little whale calls.

What does #BlackLivesMatter have to do with Syrian refugee camps? Usually nothing, except this week, viewers of the Showtime series “Homeland” saw the phrase on the walls of a camp in Arabic graffiti.

The show hired real graffiti artists to vandalize the scene, but the artists decided to express their disapproval for the show with phrases like, “Homeland is racist,” “There is no Homeland” and “This show does not represent the views of the artists.”

The movie “Truth” comes out today. It stars Robert Redford as longtime CBS News anchor Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett as his veteran producer Mary Mapes.

When the film opens, they’re in the midst of an intense controversy over their 60 Minutes II report that President George W. Bush received preferential treatment from the Texas Air National Guard.

Almost as soon as the piece aired, the documents and interviews they had used were called into question, and both of their careers at CBS were suddenly in jeopardy.

By day, mild-mannered Jack Lepiarz is a news anchor for WBUR in Boston, and the voice of Here & Now‘s headline news.

But like Clark Kent, Jack has a secret alter ego. On weekends, he takes up a whip, paints on a mustache and appears at Renaissance fairs around the country as “Jacques Ze Whipper.”

This month, skygazers will have the chance to see something called “earthshine” on the moon, as well as Jupiter, Mars, Venus and a rare sighting of the elusive Mercury. Here & Now hosts Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young speak with Kelly Beatty, senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine about where in the sky to look and when.

The ancient art of navigating by the stars is making a comeback at the U.S. Naval Academy. The academy did away with teaching classes on celestial navigation in 1998 and replaced it with GPS and satellite technology.

The decision to bring back celestial navigation comes after the escalation of hacking threats. Frank Reed is an expert in celestial navigation. He tells Here & Now’s Robin Young about the Navy’s decision and the pros and cons of modern and ancient navigation techniques.

After 1,657 days, adventurer Sarah Outen is back in England. She’s the British woman who undertook a round-the-globe odyssey, all powered by her own energy. Here & Now spoke with her in April when she was in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, preparing the final leg of the journey – a row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Around the world, many major cities trying to improve public transit have adopted city rail lines that use open gangways.

Instead of multiple cars strung together, an open gangway is one long car, allowing passengers to walk the full length of the train without getting out. The design is believed to increase rider capacity of trains and even make late-night riding safer.