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.

Georgia Teen Honors Negro League Players

Mar 22, 2016

In Macon, Georgia, a teen is honoring players from the Negro League, which operated primarily from the 1920s through the 1950s. Leah Fleming from Here & Now contributor Georgia Public Broadcasting has the story of Gordon Smith, a 15-year-old Eagle Scout and JV baseball player who discovered Negro League players from his hometown and secured their place in history.

President Barack Obama leaves Cuba and flies to Argentina today. The trip has been billed as an opportunity to expand economic and political relations between the two countries, but it also coincides with the 40th anniversary of the military coup that set off what’s known as Argentina’s Dirty War.

Obama’s schedule in Buenos Aires includes a visit to the memorial for victims of the Dirty War. He is also set to announce the declassification of documents that will shed light on the United States’ role during that period.

The attack this morning at Brussels’ Maelbeek subway station was the deadliest of the three blasts that hit the city today. More than 20 people were killed and over 100 injured.

Evan Lamos works for near the European Union headquarters. He was on the subway behind the one that was attacked, and was evacuated through a smoky tunnel.

The discussion about child migrants from Central America usually focuses on the poverty and gang violence they’re escaping back in their homelands, as well as the horrors they confront on their journey to the U.S.

But what happens once they arrive in places like South Florida and are reunited with family? Often the hardest part is building new lives with parents they don’t know. Tim Padgett from Here & Now contributor WLRN in Miami reports.

Donald Trump’s victories in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina put him over the halfway mark in the delegate count he needs to win the Republican nomination. But John Kasich’s big win in Ohio keeps open the possibility of a contested convention.

Here & Now’s Robin Young talks with NPR’s Ron Elving about the nuts and bolts of what could happen on the Republican side, and whether Bernie Sanders still has a chance on the Democratic side.

Hundreds of thousands of commuters in the Washington D.C. area had to rely on alternative transportation today after the closure of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

WMATA officials decided to close the system for the day to conduct an emergency inspection of electrical cables, following recent fires.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Martin Di Caro, transportation reporter for Here & Now contributor station WAMU, about the closure of Metro.

Dealing With Unwanted Opioids

Mar 15, 2016

Take a look inside your cupboard or medicine cabinet and you’re likely to find pills from prior visits to the doctor. Some of those could be opioid painkillers, which can be dangerous if used improperly.

As overdose deaths rise across the country, people are taking a second look at how doctors prescribe opioids and how much thought is given to the pills that are leftover once patients no longer need them. Patrick Skahill from Here & Now contributor WNPR in Hartford reports.

As Florida’s primary votes are cast Tuesday, home state Senator Marco Rubio is still lagging behind Donald Trump in the latest polls. Among Rubio’s supporters is U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a fellow Florida Republican representing the state’s 26th congressional district.

Curbelo tells Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson that he cannot support the leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump, even if he gets the nomination. He says he remains hopeful that the nomination will go to Rubio, even if that means a brokered convention.

Tennis star Rafael Nadal says he’s going to sue the former French minister of health and sport, Roselyne Bachelot, who suggested he missed matches in 2012 because he failed a drug test. The comments follow the admission by another tennis star, Maria Sharapova, last week that she had indeed tested positive for a banned substance.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is meeting this week to discuss what do do about drug use by athletes. Here & Now‘s Robin Young checks in with BBC Sport correspondent Alex Capstick to gauge the breadth of the problem.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to begin withdrawing from Syria tomorrow. The Russians have been conducting airstrikes in Syria since late last year, it said to help Syrian President Bashar Assad fight ISIS. But critics say Russia has really been targeting the rebel forces opposed to Assad. Here & Now’s Robin Young gets the latest from NPR’s diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen.

Why Waffle House Has Its Own Record Label

Mar 14, 2016

For more than 60 years, Waffle House has been working to serve up diner fare around the clock at more than 1,800 restaurants in 25 states. But for the last 30 years or so, they’ve also been working on a more unusual project: producing songs. Sam Whitehead from Here & Now contributor Georgia Public Broadcasting brings us this listen.

After Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump postponed a Chicago rally on Friday, supporters and protesters clashed. Now, candidates including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio are raising questions about the situation. Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with NPR’s Domenico Montanaro.

A spelling mistake during an online bank heist last month helped put a stop to the theft, according to bank officials. The hackers broke into the website for Bangladesh’s central bank, and stole codes that allowed them to request financial transfers from the Bangladesh bank account at the Federal Reserve of New York.

When the Replacements got together for a long-wished-for reunion in 2013, I wrote: “The Replacements are the band that saved my life. Their songs were messy and sentimental and they came around when I was scuffling along in my life in the ’80s. As I listen to them decades later, I still feel like Paul Westerberg is wearing my heart on his flannel sleeve.”

How should cities remember the notorious figures of their past? Philadelphia is now struggling with that question as city officials figure out whether the home of a one-time mob boss should become a city landmark. Bobby Allyn of Here & Now Contributor WHYY reports.

For the first time in nearly two decades, a Canadian prime minister is in Washington for an official visit. Newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was welcomed by President Obama, who will host a state dinner tonight. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with the CBC’s David Common about the significance of the visit by Canada’s new prime minister.

Kate Hamer’s acclaimed debut novel “The Girl in the Red Coat” tells the story of the abduction of a little girl from the points of view of daughter and distraught mother. Hamer talks to Here & Now’s Robin Young about tackling a subject that’s every parent’s nightmare.

Book Excerpt: ‘The Girl In The Red Coat’

By Kate Hamer

A hearing begins today that looks at whether McDonald’s is responsible when operators of its franchise stores are accused of labor violations, like firing workers who participated in strikes calling for a $15 per hour minimum wage. Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Al Jazeera America’s Ali Velshi about why the case is being closely watched.

The Cleveland Clinic announced this afternoon that the first woman to receive a uterus transplant in the U.S. had to have it removed, due to sudden complications.

Doctors at the clinic are still planning nine more uterus transplants, as part of a clinical trial, with the ultimate goal being to allow a woman born without a uterus to get pregnant and carry her own baby.

A Google computer program called AlphaGo has beaten a world champion of the Chinese board game “Go.” Lee Se-dol was defeated today in Seoul. The ancient Chinese game has been considered very difficult for a computer to master, because of the nearly endless possible board configurations.


Albinism, a rare genetic disorder characterized by a lack of pigment in hair, skin and eyes affects fewer than one in 200,000 Americans. But in Tanzania, where the incidence is the highest in the world, one in about 1,400 people are affected.

Despite the prevalence there, however, Tanzanians suffering from albinism are faced with discrimination and are often the targets of brutal crimes including murder and dismemberment. This is because witch doctors there have promoted the belief that their body parts and organs contain magical properties that can bring luck and health.

Test tracks have always been places where car companies found out how fast a car could go or how well it took a curve. But now, there’s a test track for the cars of the future.

Here & Now’s Micki Maynard visits Mcity, which looks like a movie set but is actually where self-driving cars learn to behave on American roads.

The Netflix series “House of Cards” unveiled its fourth season on Friday. The show focuses on the machinations of South Carolina congressman-turned-president Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey. Here and Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Michael Kelly, who plays Doug Stamper, Underwood’s chief of staff, about the show and its cultural impact.

Interview Highlights: Michael Kelly

On the cultural impact of ‘House of Cards’

A Chinese official estimates the country’s growth will be between 6.5 and 7 percent this year. The estimate came from Premier Li Keqiang at the annual National People’s Congress meeting in China over the weekend, and it is a faster pace of growth than many Western economists and the IMF believe possible for China, as the country struggles with an economic slowdown.

The “Choose Your Own Adventure” books have sold over 260 million copies since they first came out in the 1980s. In the books, readers shape the direction that the story takes by choosing one of several options, and turning to the particular page for that decision.

If you’ve seen the White House video of the 106-year-old dancing with President Obama and the First Lady, then you already know Virginia McLaurin.

Born in 1909 to a sharecropping family, she was married at the age of 14 and widowed with two children at 17. She’s lived through the Great Depression, segregation and the civil rights movement.

Bud Collins, famous for his love and deep knowledge of tennis, and infamous perhaps for his sartorial sense, died today at the age of 86. He was a longtime columnist for The Boston Globe, and worked as an analyst for CBS and NBC. As ESPN said today, he wrote his way into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Bill Littlefield, host of Only A Game, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to remember Bud Collins.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case that will put the legality of abortion back in the spotlight. The case challenges a Texas law that requires doctors performing the procedure to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers.

Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders in the polls in the Democratic race in Tennessee.

She made an effort to seal the deal with a rally in Nashville on Sunday. Sanders hasn’t been here but he does have offices in Tennessee and he also has many loyal supporters.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Tennessee Democrats in a state that learns Republican in presidential races, but which has pockets of Democratic support.

Oil prices have been rebounding this week from historic lows – but those lows have had a big impact on oil supplies in the U.S. There is such a glut of crude oil in the U.S. right now, that traders are running out of storage options, and they’re turning to empty railcars. Here & Now’s Robin Young talks with Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal about the implications.