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
4:29 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Basketball Roundup: Lakers Low Point And LeBron's Short Sleeves

The Los Angles Lakers have won 16 NBA championships, but this season they probably won’t even make the playoffs. Last night they hit a real low point, losing to their neighborhood rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, 142 to 94.

The 48-point loss was the worst in Lakers history. The Lakers weren’t the only ones who had a bad night. LeBron James of the Miami Heat made only six shots in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, just a few days after he had poured in 61 points.

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NPR Story
4:29 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

New Rules Press Colleges To Improve Sexual Assault Procedures

President Teresa A. Sullivan addresses attendees of the national conference on student sexual misconduct, Feb. 10, 2013. (Dan Addison/UVA)

The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act takes effect today. It holds institutions of higher education responsible for the prevention of sexual violence, not just responding to it after assaults occur.

It also establishes standard procedures for disciplining those found guilty, and requires greater transparency on sexual violence policy and procedures, not just about rape but also domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

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NPR Story
4:58 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Historian: Pay More Attention To The Midwest

Shoulder-high stalks are seen in a corn field July 5, 2006 in Prairie View, Illinois. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

I’m happy to live in Boston and have been for the last 16 years. But I must admit I miss the Midwest. I came here from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, which is also where Here & Now co-host Jeremy Hobson grew up. In fact I worked with Jeremy’s high school class on a documentary when I was at the public radio station there, WILL.

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NPR Story
4:58 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

BatKid's Oscars Appearance Canceled

We all remember the story of 5-year-old Miles Scott, who is in remission from leukemia. Back in November, Here & Now spoke to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in San Francisco, which organized the entire city to help grant Miles’ wish to be BatKid for a day.

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NPR Story
4:58 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Soda Can Solar Furnace Helps Cut Heating Bills

Metro State University students designed an inexpensive solar furnace to help heat homes in Denver's low-income Westwood neighborhood. (Jessica Taves/Metro State University)

When residents of Westwood, a low-income neighborhood in Denver, were asked what would help them the most, the answer was simple: Help us lower our utility bills.

Engineering students at Metro State University took up that challenge. They designed a furnace that uses recycled materials, is solar powered and costs less than $50 to build — and pennies a day to run.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Jenny Brundin of Colorado Public Radio found out how the design is working.

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NPR Story
3:56 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Bitcoin Bank Flexcoin Collapses After Hack Attack

On Tuesday, the bitcoin bank Flexcoin was forced to shut down after hackers stole approximately $600,000 worth of bitcoins.

The bank announced it lost all 896 units of the digital currency stored online, and will not be able to come back from the loss.

The theft comes in the wake of the closure of Mt. Gox, another bitcoin exchange, which filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo last week after losing 750,000 bitcoins in a hack attack.

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NPR Story
3:56 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Girl Who Inspired 'The Fault In Our Stars' And A Network Of Friends

Esther Earl was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 12, and died in 2010 shortly after her 16th birthday.

But in that short time, she developed a network of friends through social media, blogging and YouTube videos. She was a devoted fan of the Harry Potter books and was an active member of the Harry Potter Alliance.

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NPR Story
3:56 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Good And Bad Of Terrible Traffic

Across the country, traffic is getting worse. That’s a good thing — at least in terms of economic indicators. More people on the roads means more people are headed to jobs and the economy is bouncing back.

One of the cities that has a major problem with traffic is Austin, Texas. Approximately 70 new cars hit the streets daily in Austin, making it one of the top five most congested cities in America, according to a new traffic scorecard by INRIX, a traffic research firm.

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NPR Story
4:49 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Song Of The Week: Phantogram's 'Fall in Love'

Phantogram is an electronic rock duo from New York state. (phantogrammusic.virb.com)

NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson joins us each week to introduce us to a new song. This week it’s “Fall in Love” by New York electronic rock duo Phantogram. Thompson says Phantogram’s sound is catchy but a little bit challenging.

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NPR Story
4:49 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Catching Up With Dave Barry

An 11-year-old Jeremy Hobson (left) is pictured with Dave Barry and Chris Jeckel in 1993 at Willard Airport in Savoy, Ill. (WILL)

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson first spoke to humorist Dave Barry back in 1993. At that time, Hobson was an 11-year-old interviewer for “Treehouse Radio” for radio station WILL in Urbana, Illinois.

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NPR Story
4:49 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

IBM Slashes Jobs

IBM was once one of the country’s largest employers. Considered a major innovator in the high tech world, IBM was also a place where workers could count on having a job throughout their entire career.

But IBM is now going through a major restructuring after sustaining years of losses. These changes could result in some 13,000 layoffs, both in the U.S. and abroad. Some of these layoffs have already started, but the company will not confirm any numbers.

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NPR Story
4:46 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Red Carpet Hits And Misses

Lupita Nyong'o attends the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Now that we know who walked away with the Oscars, it’s time to discuss who rocked the red carpet. Vogue contributing editor Andre Leon Talley joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti and Jeremy Hobson to look at some of the fashion highlights of the evening.

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NPR Story
4:46 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

How To Pay For The Nation's Crumbling Infrastructure

A cyclist rides beneath the Brooklyn Bridge during the evening commute August 25, 2009 in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

President Obama will reveal his budget proposal to Congress tomorrow. He recently proposed a $302 billion dollar transportation bill to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

The funds would help replenish the nation’s Highway Trust Fund, which is expected to run out before the end of the year.

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NPR Story
4:46 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Uncertainty In Ukraine Is Sending Markets Downward

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of March 3, 2014 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down amidst turmoil between Russia and Ukraine. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Global markets have been dropping today as the situation heats up in the Ukraine. The Russian ruble has also been plummeting and Russia’s central bank reacted by raising its interest rates.

Cardiff Garcia of the Financial Times joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

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NPR Story
4:46 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Obama Says Russia Violating International Law

President Barack Obama says Russia is “on the wrong side of history” in Ukraine and its actions violate international law.

Obama told reporters in the Oval Office on Monday that the United States is considering economic and diplomatic options that will isolate Russia. The president called on Congress to work on an aid package to Ukraine and make it the “first order of business.”

Obama said continued military actions in Ukraine “will be a costly proposition for Russia.”

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NPR Story
4:30 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Stay-At-Home Mom's 'DrainWig' Invention Included In Oscar Swag Bag

Jennifer Briggs' invention, the DrainWig, which catches hair lost in the shower and prevents drain clogs, will be in the Oscar swag bags for all the nominees at this Sunday's Academy Awards. (DrainWig)

The Academy Award ceremony is Hollywood’s biggest celebration of movie stars. There is some stiff competition in many of the categories this year, and not everyone will leave with a gold statuette — but they will all get a DrainWig.

DrainWig is a daisy-shaped drain ornament attached to a stainless steel chain with rubber whiskers meant to be inserted into a shower drain to prevent hair clogs. It’s one of the many products featured in this year’s Oscar nominee gift bag, which has been valued at $80,000.

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NPR Story
4:30 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Key West Thief Inspires Crime Writers

An image capture from security footage of the Key West Graveyard Thief. (John Martini)

Key West, Florida, has a history of comically inept thieves and robbers. But a recent crime spree by a stealthy burglar has residents there on high alert.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Mark Hedden of WLRN talked with people who make good money sitting alone in rooms thinking about the kind of characters who commit crimes.

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NPR Story
4:30 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Building A Smaller, Better Army

Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, salute during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner, Feb. 27, 2014 in Fort Knox, Kentucky. (Luke Sharrett/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined his plan for a downsized military. The plan will shrink the Army to its smallest size since the eve of World War II. At that time, there were around 270,000 active duty soldiers, a number that surged to nearly 1.5 million during the fighting in Europe and the Pacific.

Under Hagel’s’ recommendations, this new Army would be reduced from today’s 522,000 soldiers to between 440,000 and 450,000.

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NPR Story
4:13 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Delta To Reward Dollars Over Miles In Frequent Flier Program

In the early ’80s, major airlines introduced frequent flier mile programs that closely resembled one another. Over time, airlines have rolled out new incentives, tiers and rules.

Delta has announced that it will be changing its frequent flier mile program in 2015 to focus less on miles flown and more on dollars spent. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to detail the plans of Delta’s new program.

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NPR Story
4:13 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

New Mexico Town Worries Over Hot Springs

Downtown Truth or Consequences is dotted with locally owned hotels that feature in-house bathhouses for hot mineral water soaks. (Mónica Ortiz Uribe)

The New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences not only has a funny name, but a funky history.

It was called Hot Springs, named for the ancient mineral water that bubbles beneath its downtown. Early settlers braved Apache raids to soak in these so-called healing waters.

Today the town’s economy is built around those springs, and there are concerns about how much of that precious natural resource is left.

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NPR Story
4:13 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Hong Kong Journalist Recovering After Brutal Attack

Protesters hold candles during a demonstration in support of the former editor of the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao, Kevin Lau, who was stabbed in Hong Kong on February 27. Lau is currently in stable condition. (Phillipe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

The former editor of a Hong Kong newspaper who was brutally attacked yesterday is now in stable condition.

Police are investigating the stabbing of Kevin Lau Chun-to and have recovered a stolen motorcycle they suspect was used by one of the attackers. The newspaper Ming Pao, where Lau worked, has offered a $128,000 reward for information leading to the attack.

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NPR Story
4:37 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Average Age Of Farmers Keeps Climbing

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture takes a head count of who is farming the land. The latest census is out and it shows that there’s been a slight uptick in the number of young people getting into farming, but not enough to stop the average age of American farmers from climbing.

That has observers of rural America worrying. Without new blood, the existence of many small communities is at risk. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Grant Gerlock of Harvest Public Media has our story.

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NPR Story
4:37 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Renowned Flamenco Guitarist Paco de Lucia Dies At Age 66

Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucía is pictured in 2007. (Cornel Putan Alin/Wikimedia Commons)

Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia died suddenly of a heart attack today in Cancun, Mexico, while on the beach with his children.

The 66-year-old guitarist vastly expanded the international audience for flamenco music and helped to legitimize flamenco in Spain itself, during a time when the music was largely being ignored by mainstream popularity.

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NPR Story
4:37 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

After Stabbing, Fears Grow About Hong Kong Media Freedom

Pro-democracy activists hold a sign with an image of former chief editor of the Ming Pao daily Kevin Lau Chun-to as they attend a candlelight vigil at a hospital, to urge the police to solve the stabbing incident involving Lau, on February 26, 2014 in Hong Kong. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

The former editor of the Hong Kong daily newspaper Ming Pao is fighting for his life after being stabbed in Hong Kong this morning by an assailant on a motocycle.

Kevin Lau Chun-to was editor of the newspaper when it took part in an investigation published last month that exposed offshore tax havens that have helped the relatives of Chinese leaders hide wealth.

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NPR Story
4:41 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Citrus Recipes To Brighten Up A Winter Menu

Kathy's "Meyer Lemon Tart." (Kathy Gunst/Here & Now)

Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst has been thinking citrus: blood oranges, cara cara oranges, grapefruits and Meyer lemons.

“Citrus is kind of this perfect food,” she tells host Jeremy Hobson. “It’s low in calories, high in potassium, tons of vitamin C.”

Citrus can be used in salads, to enhance meat or fish, in desserts and even drinks. Gunst brings in a variety of fruit to taste, as well as a Meyer lemon tart and a blood orange soda. She also shares four recipes:

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NPR Story
4:41 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Researchers Look For Clues To Polio-Like Illness In California Children

Jessica Tomei holds her 4-year-old daughter, Sofia Jarvis, during a news conference at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, in Palo Alto, Calif. Sofia is one of a handful of California children who has been diagnosed with a rare polio-like syndrome that has left her arm paralyzed. (Martha Mendoza/AP)

Since late 2012, between 20 and 25 children in California have developed sudden, permanent paralysis that looks similar to polio. Doctors and public health officials are looking for causes and similarities in the cases.

Dr. Keith Van Haren, a pediatric neurologist at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, looked closely at five cases. Two of the samples tested positive for enterovirus 68, a rare virus which is from the same family as the polio virus.

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NPR Story
4:41 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Home Prices See Biggest Annual Gain Since 2005

Home prices last year posted the largest annual gain since 2005. According to S&P/Case-Shiller price index numbers released today, U.S. home prices increased 11.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to the previous year.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Bellini joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the new data.

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NPR Story
12:45 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Harold Ramis Has Died At 69

Harold Ramis is pictured in September 2005. (Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Actor, director and writer Harold Ramis, who’s known for writing and directing “Caddyshack” and “Groundhog Day,” and co-writing and co-starring in “Ghostbusters,” has died at age 69.

[Youtube]

Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.

Transcript

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NPR Story
12:45 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

'theSkimm' Founders Try To Change How Millennials Read The News

Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg are the co-founders of theSkimm. (theSkimm)

Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin were working for NBC News when they decided they wanted to create their own news source — one more in tune with the lifestyles of millennials.

They quit their jobs and launched “theSkimm,” a daily email newsletter that arrives early in the morning and gives subscribers a few major news stories covering a range of topics.

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NPR Story
12:45 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Song Of The Week: 'Kong' By The Notwist

The Notwist are a German indie rock band. (Facebook)

As he does each week, NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson joins Here & Now with a new song. This week, he introduces us to The Notwist’s new track “Kong” from their new album “Close To The Glass.”

Thompson says listening to the German indie rock band, which has been around for 25 years, is like visiting old friends.

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