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.

As part of our continuing coverage of the opioid crisis, Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Dr. Howard Fields, who has spent much of his career working with chronic pain patients. He believes many chronic pain patients are actually undertreated for legitimate, life-altering pain, and that their experiences are being left out of the current conversation about opioids.

Despite their political and ideological differences, the late Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg were lifelong friends who shared a love of opera.

That relationship inspired composer Derrick Wang to write the one-act opera, “Scalia/Ginsburg,” using court opinions as source material.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Derrick Wang about his work.

Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar announced a plan today to freeze oil output in an effort to stop the dramatic slide in oil prices. It is welcome news for many OPEC countries struggling from low prices, but it is not a production cut as some had hoped, and it comes with some caveats. Jason Bellini of the Wall Street Journal talks with Here & Now‘s Lisa Mullins to explain the details.

The red carpet will be rolled out tonight for the 58th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. While all eyes will be on artists like Taylor Swift and The Weeknd – both nominated for “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year” – a group of Grammy nominees and previous winners want you to be thinking about something else: fair compensation for artists.

More than 11 million people watched Saturday’s contentious debate on CBS between the six Republican presidential candidates, matching the viewership for last week’s GOP debate on ABC. Donald Trump and Jeb Bush sparred over whether George W. Bush kept the country safe after the 9/11 attacks, and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio went mano a mano on immigration and who could speak Spanish better. Here & Now‘s Robin Young and Lisa Mullens sat down with Rick Klein of ABC News to discuss the debate.

Today, the 140th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show kicks off in New York City. Here & Now revisits host Robin Young’s conversation last year with the 2015 judge for Best in Show at Westminster, David Merriam.

A far-right group that calls itself the Soldiers of Odin is patrolling the streets of Finland dressed in leather jackets, saying people need protection from the influx of migrants.

But not all Finns feel the same. Clowns calling themselves the Loldiers of Odin (think LOL – laugh out loud – plus soldiers) is responding.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Helsinki-based reporter Ilpo Salonen about the colorful activists.

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Remembering Ballet Great Violette Verdy

Feb 12, 2016

French ballerina Violette Verdy died on Monday at the age of 82. She was an acclaimed star of the New York City Ballet, dancing more than 140 ballets with the company during the 1960s and 1970s.

Verdy originated roles in works by legendary choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. After she retired, she went into teaching and eventually became a professor at Indiana University Bloomington.

Earlier this month, a Saudi court overturned the death sentence of a Palestinian poet named Ashraf Fayadh. Fayadh was accused of renouncing his Muslim faith through his poetry.

After international outrage broke out over his sentencing, the Saudi government modified his punishment to eight years in prison and 800 lashes. He will also have to publicly renounce his poetry on Saudi state media.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Mona Kareem, a poet and friend of Ashraf Fayadh who is translating his controversial book of poetry.

A majority of Americans think that editing a baby’s genes before birth should be illegal, according to a new poll from STAT and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The poll finds that 65 percent of people think that altering an unborn baby’s genes for the sake of preventing a serious genetic disease should be illegal. And 83 percent believe that genetic editing for the sake of improving IQ or looks should be illegal.

For this week’s edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions, host Jeremy Hobson talks with Rhonda LeValdo, host of Native Spirit at KKFI community radio in Kansas City, Missouri. She plays music from Native American artists, ranging from traditional music to rock and rap.

Texas State Representative Lyle Larson says the last time his state mattered in a presidential primary was in 1976, between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

Larson proposes a rotating schedule during the primary election process to highlight more populous states, and those with more diverse communities. He talks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about his proposal and the likelihood of it succeeding.

The Justice Department says it is considering taking legal actions against the city of Ferguson, Missouri, after Ferguson city councilors unanimously voted last night to amend and potentially gut a negotiated agreement to reform the city’s police department and municipal court.

The agreement came after the 2014 killing of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer.

Killings Of Muslim Students Spark Awakening

Feb 10, 2016

It’s been a year since the murder of three Muslim-American students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Since then, their families have been working to reshape the narrative around Muslims in America. Jorge Valencia from the Here & Now contributor network WUNC reports.

Next up: Nevada. Democrats hold their caucuses – the first in the West – on Saturday Feb. 20. Republicans will vote in a caucus of their own Feb. 23, a few days after South Carolina.

Nevada is a large state with a diverse population, which will present new challenges to candidates in both parties. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Joe Schoenmann from KNPR about the new challenges facing the candidates.

One of Denver’s oldest movie rental stores is now one of the city’s last. Video One has survived the rise and fall of mega chains like Blockbuster and it’s still here during the age of online streaming. But as arts reporter Corey Jones of Here & Now contributor Colorado Public Radio explains, Video One may need to close its doors.

Carole Soule and her husband Bruce Dawson run Miles Smith Farm in Loudon, New Hampshire. They produce meat, and have Scottish Highlander cattle, pigs, rabbits, a couple horses, chickens and geese.

Soule says farming is important in New Hampshire and she is taking advantage of primary season to give the farming community more attention. She has attended several candidate events, and even brought her animals along to some of them.

She spoke with Here & Now‘s Robin Young at her farm.

During her election road trip covering the New Hampshire primary, Here & Now‘s Robin Young stopped by Toni Halla‘s general store in Canterbury, N.H. Halla runs the Canterbury Country Store with her husband, Joe. Many residents were at the store as well, and they were eager to talk politics.

Last night Beyoncé performed during the Super Bowl 50 halftime show. It seemed to be business as usual: leotard, hair blowing thanks to a wind machine and a squad of dancers backing her up. But was it business as usual?

The lyrics to her new song “Formation,” which was released on Saturday are more racially driven than anything she has ever sung before.

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10 Things To Know About New Hampshire

Feb 8, 2016

Every four years, national presidential candidates descend upon the Granite State, with the national media in tow. While much of the focus is on the primary race tomorrow, we decided to do a little digging about what sets this state apart from the other 49.

Here are the 10 things you should know about New Hampshire:

Chipotle locations across the country are closed Monday for a few hours, for a company-wide food safety meeting.

The chain has been struggling since October with a string of E. coli outbreaks and norovirus incidents that have sent its sales and stock plummeting. Though there have been no new reports of illnesses since early December, and the CDC last week declared that Chipotle’s E. coli outbreak appears to be over, the company is still working to regain customer confidence.

After decades crafting funk, soul and disco hits with the seminal R&B band Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White died in his sleep on Thursday, according to his brother. He was 74.

White revealed he’d been living with Parkinson’s disease in 2000, the same year Earth, Wind & Fire joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ten years later, White was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, along with several of his bandmates.

Earth, Wind & Fire Songs In This Segment

“That’s the Way of the World”

More than four months after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced a 10-point plan to remedy the drinking water crisis in Flint, the source of the problem remains present. Like many older cities, Flint is full of lead pipes.

As lead poisoning captures the attention of presidential candidates, Gerald Markowitz reminds Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd that the problem is anything but new.

Despite regulatory efforts that span decades, lead persists in paint, pipes and many other places.

World leaders pledged a total of $10 billion Thursday to help millions of victims of Syria’s civil war – even as diplomatic efforts to end the conflict stuttered and stalled.

Leaders attending an international donors’ conference in London committed almost $6 billion in aid for 2016, with the rest to be handed over by 2020, British Prime Minister David Cameron said. But the funding commitments came as military bombardments in Syria intensified and tentative peace talks in Geneva were on hold.

Here is a look at what some countries have pledged for 2016 and beyond:

Comedian Bob Elliott died on Tuesday at the age of 92. For more than 40 years, he and the late Ray Goulding were “Bob and Ray,” delighting radio and television audiences with their deadpan comedy.

Bob Elliot also fathered a comedic dynasty. His son Chris Elliott and Chris’s daughter Abby Elliot have both been cast members of “Saturday Night Live.”

How Much Does Your Personal Trainer Make?

Feb 4, 2016

Regular gym goers know January is the worst. It's the time when all those people who usually don't show up crowd into classes and hog the equipment in an effort to meet those New Years resolutions.

Whether you're a gym rat or an occasional exerciser, you probably don't realize that though that personal trainer or group class leader has abs you'd pay big money for, they usually don't have an enviable salary. Laura Rice from Here & Now contributor Texas Standard takes a look at the economics.

No games will be played, but tomorrow is still a big day for college football. As per National Signing Day tradition, the best 17 and 18-year-old high school players from around the country are set to officially announce which college they will play for.

Increasingly, the day, and the hype around it, have provided fodder to the critics who say college football is anything but amateur. To discuss the big day, college football analyst John Bacon joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young.

Remembering President Garfield

Feb 2, 2016

As the Republicans move toward their convention in Cleveland this summer, it’s still anyone’s guess who the nominee will be. Things were even less clear over a century ago, when James A. Garfield emerged as the surprise choice at a brokered convention, back in 1880. Garfield won the White House, but his term was cut short by an assassin’s bullet.

Should Quarterly Earnings Reports Matter?

Feb 2, 2016

A flurry of quarterly earnings reports came in today, including those of Exxon, where profits fell more than 58 percent in the fourth quarter, and BP, where profits went down 91 percent in the same period.

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