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.

For this week’s DJ Session we sit down with KCRW‘s Mario Cotto, who shares a number of picks that sound very spacey, including a song by DJ Daniele Baldelli, who is known for his contributions to the “Afro Cosmic” music genre.

Building on a model from a U.K. organization, a group of people in San Diego has come together to help each other build a more conservation-minded, sustainable lifestyle.

It’s a response to the drought, of course, but Transition Streets San Diego is also focused on energy, transportation, food and waste.

In the midst of California’s historic drought, the San Diego Library opened an exhibit that reminds us of the measures communities used to take to get the rain they needed.

In late 1915, San Diego hired a “moisture accelerator” named Charles Hatfield during a drought. He was said to have delivered on his promise to deliver enough rain to fill the empty reservoirs, but there was too much rain, causing a deadly flood.

The Challenges Of Unincorporated Cities

Jun 2, 2015

Both St. Louis and Baltimore are independent cities – they’re not incorporated into counties like most cities are. Those cities have struggled with some major problems in the past year.

Joseph Heathcott, professor of urban studies at The New School in New York City, joined Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to look at whether the fact that they’re independent cities is related to the problems.

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued new guidelines for businesses, saying transgender employees should have access to the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity, which may be different from their gender by birth.

San Diego Water Cops On Patrol

Jun 1, 2015

Amid the drought in California, public workers are being pressed into service to enforce water restrictions.

San Diego is urging residents to water their lawns and gardens no more than two days a week, for five minutes per watering station on a weekly schedule organized by home address.

The new state mandate aims to cut 25 percent overall, but every community is setting its own levels, and some have already implemented cuts.

In San Diego, the goal is a 16 percent reduction and the city has inspectors out on the streets to check violations.

Intel has agreed to buy Altera for $16.7 billion in cash. Intel is a powerhouse maker of processor chips, and is expected to use Altera, which makes programmable chips, to give it more strength in making chips for server systems.

The Altera chip technology has been increasingly popular as a way for companies to increase the speed of their servers, and by buying Altera, Intel will have more control of this market. The bid comes amid consolidation in the semiconductor industry.

The Supreme Court this morning ruled in favor of a young Muslim woman after Abercrombie & Fitch refused to hire her for wearing a head scarf. The court also threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man, Anthony Elonis, who was prosecuted for making threats on Facebook.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Emily Bazelon, staff writer at New York Times Magazine and Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School, about the impact of these decisions.

Cigar smoking aficionados from around the world will descend on Copenhagen this weekend, for the next round of the Cigar Smoking World Championship.

Last year’s winner, Darren Cioffi, became the first American to win the world championship, and he also owns the Nashville cigar maker Principal Cigars. He talked about cigars and competitive smoking with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

What A Nuclear Arms Deal Will Mean For Iran

May 29, 2015

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says he thinks a nuclear deal can be reached with the U.S. and other world powers by the June 30 deadline. This deal would freeze Iran’s nuclear program for a decade, and the sanctions against Iran would end.

But many are skeptical that this deal will actually work. Eliot Cohen, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, discusses the deal with Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins.

The U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter of this year, according to new numbers from the Commerce Department, which reported that the U.S. GDP shrank at a 0.7 percent seasonally-adjusted annual rate in the first quarter.

Bad weather and a strong dollar that hurt U.S. exports are thought to be contributing factors. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Mike Regan of Bloomberg News about the report, and also about the latest on negotiations over Greece’s debt.

Summer TV Preview From NPR's Eric Deggans

May 28, 2015

It used to be that summer was a time for reruns on television, but networks are now taking summer television seriously, premiering new shows and limited series.

NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans joins Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins with recommendations on what to watch in the summer months.

A 'DREAMer' Goes To College

May 28, 2015

It’s graduation time around the country, and many high school seniors are making plans to head off to college at the end of the summer.

Barbara Olachea, a recent graduate of Alhambra High School in Phoenix and the daughter of Mexican immigrants, tells us in her own words about how growing up in two cultures helped her prepare for the big move. Her story comes to us from Here & Now contributor KJZZ’s Spot 127 Youth Media Center in Phoenix.

There are only a few weeks left for the U.S. Supreme Court to announce its decisions in some pretty hefty cases they heard this term. Same-sex marriage, healthcare reform and the death penalty are just a few of the issues the justices will weigh in on.

NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg talks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about impending Supreme Court decisions.

A heat wave in India has left over 1,100 people dead over the past month. In the capital New Delhi, 113 degree Fahrenheit temperatures have melted roadway crosswalks.

The sweltering heat will continue for at least another week when the annual monsoon rains begin. The BBC’s Delhi correspondent Zubair Ahmad joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

Torrential rains this week in Texas have helped ease the drought in that state, but in California there is no relief in sight. Ranchers in San Luis Obispo County have sold off 75 percent of their cattle in the past four years. There’s not enough water or food to sustain them. And as Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd reports, in the wild, other animals important to the state’s economy and ecosystem are dying off.

Texas Lake Slowly Recovers From Drought

May 27, 2015

It continues to rain today in South Central Texas, which was hit hard by devastating flooding this week. The heavy rains have brought an end to the extreme drought there, which began in 2010.

In September 2013, John Williams, who owns Thunderbird Lodge and Resort on Lake Buchanan in Central Texas, spoke with Here & Now. The lake had shrunk to about one-third capacity.

The Department of Justice is announcing a settlement to reform the Cleveland police department’s policing tactics, months after a scathing DOJ report found unnecessary and excessive use of force by patrol officers.

The settlement is expected just days after the acquittal of a white Cleveland police officer accused of manslaughter in the deaths of two unarmed black suspects in 2012.

Bounce Houses: The Dangers Lurking Within

May 26, 2015

If you thought bouncy houses were completely safe, think again. Here & Now has reported on the children’s play houses taking flight before, and on Monday three children in Florida were injured when a waterspout came ashore and lifted the inflatable house they were in.

Simon Rich's 'Spoiled Brats'

May 26, 2015

If you’re looking for light fun read for an upcoming vacation, Simon Rich‘s collection of short stories “Spoiled Brats” is out in paperback today.

Rich is a former writer for Saturday Night Live, and he’s also the creator of the FXX series “Man Seeking Woman,” which has been renewed for a second season. Though he’s had a lot of success in television, he still enjoys writing short stories.

The Inuit people of Greenland are trying to get a ban on the sale of seal products overturned.

The European Union imposed that ban five years ago, and the Inuit say it has destroyed their livelihoods because it has wiped out the export of seal fur.

The BBC’s Malcolm Brabant reports.

Not Your Mother's Pot Brownie

May 25, 2015

Twenty-three states now allow marijuana for medical use and several others are considering doing the same. Two states including Colorado now allow recreational use of the drug as well.

For people who are sick and use pot to relieve symptoms related to pain, seizures or depression, smoking is often not an option.

The so-called edible market is becoming big business in Colorado, where patients can buy cannabis-infused brownies, truffles and ice cream at their neighborhood dispensary.

Amazon is no longer routing its European sales through the low-tax country of Luxembourg, in an effort to cut costs. Instead the American company will pay taxes in individual European countries.

The move comes amid numerous EU investigations into how companies, including Amazon, pay their taxes on the continent.

As Al Jazeera’s Ali Velshi tells Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins, it could significantly increase Amazon’s tax bill.

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, which for many people marks the first real beach weekend of the year. Just in time, a new list of the top 10 public beaches in the U.S. is out, ranked by a man who goes by the name “Dr. Beach.” Taking this year’s top honor: Waimanalo Beach in Oahu, Hawaii.

As the national debate on whether to raise the minimum wage continues, some adults in Oregon with developmental disabilities are still paid as little as 25 cents an hour.

Now, a group of Oregon lawmakers is trying to change that. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Chris Lehman reports.

ISIS Gains Ground In Iraq And Syria

May 25, 2015

ISIS is expanding its control of territory in Iraq and Syria. The militants have now seized the last Syrian-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq.

There are also reports that ISIS has overrun another town in Iraq’s western Anbar province, less than a week after taking control of Ramadi, the provincial capital.

Concerns are mounting about the famous archaeological site at Palmyra in Syria, which ISIS seized a couple of days ago.

For nearly a year, The Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian has been held in custody. He goes on trial next week, and the trial may not be open to the public or his family.

Rezaian’s lawyer says Iran accuses him of spying, but his editor at The Washington Post defends Rezaian and says he was merely doing his job as a journalist.

Douglas Jehl, foreign editor of The Washington Post, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

Kwangsook Kim was always interested in food and cooking, first in her native South Korea, then later in Canada and the United States.

In 2007, her son suggested she take up a new hobby: posting videos on YouTube of her making Korean dishes. She did, adopting the name “Maangchi” that she used in her other hobby, online gaming.

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has eliminated the parallel parking requirement on its driving test. A spokesman says it’s about redundancy. The test still requires a “reverse two-point turnabout.”

But driving instructors in Maryland say that too many people were failing the test, and the right of passage in driving is still an important skill to learn. Georgena Ewing, owner of Perry Hall Driving School in Nottingham, MD., shares her view with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

What motivates someone to become a police officer these days? And what is it like to be a recruit as images of police protests dominate the news? Amy Radil of Here & Now contributor station KUOW met some of Washington state’s newest recruits.

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