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.

A wildfire sweeping through Glacier National Park in Montana is prompting more evacuations. Officials are clearing the small community of St. Mary, at the park’s eastern entrance. The fire has burned through more than six square miles.

Another wildfire has charred six square miles in Northern California, prompting evacuations about 30 miles north of Napa. And about a thousand firefighters are continuing to battle a blaze 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington. It’s only about 5 percent contained.

Aurora Shooting Trial Enters Penalty Phase

Jul 22, 2015

The trial of James Holmes, found guilty of the movie theater shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado, that killed 12 people and injured 70 others, enters the penalty phase today.

Jurors will hear testimony before deciding whether Holmes will be sentenced to death or life in prison. Megan Verlee of Colorado Public Radio joins Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti with the latest.

This weekend’s Newport Folk Festival marks the 50th anniversary of what many believe is a defining moment for American music: when Bob Dylan put down his acoustic guitar and plugged in an electric one.

The moment has been written and talked about extensively, and people are still arguing today about whether it permanently changed the definition of American folk music.

Volcker Bank Rule Takes Effect

Jul 22, 2015

Starting today, Wall Street banks have to comply with the Volcker Rule, considered one of the biggest new restriction they’ve faced in decades.

The rule bans taxpayer-insured banks from making bets on their own money, and banks fought it for years. But many have since fallen in line.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson takes a look at what the move will mean with Maggie Lake of CNN.


Last week, a drone delivered 24 packages of medicine and supplies to a health fair in rural Virginia. The delivery marks the first FAA-approved delivery by drone and more are in the planning stages.

This is sure to interest a Silicon Valley startup, which has teamed up with the Swiss Post and Swiss WorldCargo. Matternet and the Swiss companies are joining in testing the commercial use of logistics drones.

Old Photo Stirs Memories Of Bygone Vermont

Jul 21, 2015

Sometimes the memory of a person resurfaces in an unusual way. Earlier this year, Here & Now contributor Vermont Public Radio aired an interview with the National Geographic photographer Nathan Benn, whose photographs of Vermont in the 1970s were on display at a local exhibit.

Jet logo via Facebook

The new online shopping service launches today, and the company is trying to take on the likes of Amazon and Walmart.

Snapshots Make Way To Fine Art Museum

Jul 20, 2015

Some of us have dusty boxes filled with fading family snap shots. Sift through and there’s a chance you’ll find pictures of strangers. Mystery photos can be amusing and perplexing.

Collector Peter Cohen has rescued 50,000 “found” vintage photographs, and now about 300 are on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Andrea Shea of Here & Now contributor WBUR reports on Cohen’s quest to secure the snapshot’s place in history.

A new poll from the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision has some bad news for Republicans. Democrats once again hold a big lead among Latino voters going into the next presidential campaign.

But there are a few bright spots for Republicans. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has made big strides in closing the gap in a hypothetical matchup against Hillary Clinton, and both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have Latino parents.

Greek bank branches reopened today after being closed for three weeks in an effort to prevent a collapse of its banking system. But there are still many banking restrictions in place.

Meanwhile, some of the austerity measures enacted as a condition for a new bailout are taking effect this week. For instance, today Greeks are being hit by increases in the value-added tax on goods and services.

A Redhead Roundtable

Jul 17, 2015

Yesterday, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson spoke with Jacky Colliss Harvey about her new book “Red: A History of the Redhead.” In it, she charts the genetic, historical and cultural journey of redheads across the globe – the good and, yes, the bad.

There is now a video of the arrest of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old black woman who was found dead in her jail cell in Waller County, Texas, on Monday. She was initially pulled over last Friday for not using her signal when she changed lanes, and arrested for “assault on a public servant.”

In the video of her arrest, recorded by a bystander, you can see police on top of Bland. She is down on the ground, and she can be heard asking officers why they are being so rough with her.

D’Army Bailey, a civil rights activist, author and judge will be buried tomorrow in Memphis. He died Sunday at age 73.

Bailey is probably best remembered as the founder of the National Civil Rights Museum at the site of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where Dr. Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated in 1968.

A gunman unleashed a barrage of gunfire at two military facilities Thursday in Tennessee, killing at least four Marines, officials said. The suspect also was killed.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, told The Associated Press the death toll included the four U.S. Marines and the sole gunman believed responsible. Two others, a soldier and a police officer, were wounded, the official said.

As vinyl pressing plants around the world shut down in the heyday of CDs, one historic vinyl factory remained operating in the same facility where it pressed The Beatles’ first American single in 1963.

United Record Pressing has presses from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s – machines the company bought after other vinyl facilities closed shop.

Steve Haruch from Here & Now contributor Nashville Public Radio pays a visit to the United Record Pressing, a working museum of vinyl history.

China’s neighbors were alarmed to see it build five islands in the South China Sea earlier this year. They were equipped airstrips, ports and military supplies, and were a clear indication of China’s military ambitions in the disputed region.

Twenty-three year old Alexander Ciccolo, the son of a Boston police officer, is being held without bail in Springfield, Massachusetts, on charges that he was plotting a terrorist attack on college campuses. At a court hearing, the government played a video of Ciccolo talking to an FBI agent after his arrest. He embraced ISIS in the interview and said “Allah is the most high.”

Obama Now Pitches Iran Deal At Home

Jul 15, 2015

After striking a historic deal with Iran and five other nations, President Obama now turns to his American audience. At a press conference today, the president lobbied for support for the bill. He’s trying to persuade critical Republicans as well as skeptical members of his own party.

Ailsa Chang, congressional correspondent for NPR, joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson.

President Obama held a press conference at the White House Wednesday to sell the American public and a skeptical Congress on a landmark nuclear deal with Iran.

Critics are saying the administration gave up too much to its longtime adversary in the Middle East. But Nicholas Burns, one the negotiators that put the original sanctions on Iran, says the deal is sensible. He joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson.

The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has until tomorrow to convince the Greek parliament to accept the country’s latest bailout package from Europe. That deal, worked out in Brussels early yesterday, requires the very austerity measures that Greek voters rejected in a referendum just more than a week ago.

Here & Now listeners may have noticed: host Jeremy Hobson is a big fan of spicy food. Resident chef Kathy Gunst brought in a couple of dishes for Jeremy to try: her take on sesame noodles and a grilled eggplant with harissa and yogurt sauce. She also shared some tips and facts on chile peppers.

And The Winner Of Our Photo Contest Is...

Jul 14, 2015

At the end of a story about the photography and the future of film yesterday, Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson asked listeners to tag hereandnowradio on Instagram to show us the best photo they’v

A Snapshot Look At Changes In Photography

Jul 13, 2015

Digital technology has changed the way we live today, and perhaps one of the greatest examples is photography. InfoTrends predicts that consumers will take about one trillion photos in 2015.

The use of cellphones to take photos has not only changed how and when we take photos but how we share them, as well. What does this mean for the basic nature of photography?

On Saturday the moment that tennis fans had been talking about for weeks finally came, a “Serena Slam” – four consecutive major titles. This is the 33-year-old American tennis player’s second Serena Slam.

Next month, Serena is positioned to make history if she wins the U.S. Open. It would be the first time a woman has completed a Grand Slam – winning all four majors in a calendar year – since Steffi Graf did that in 1988.

Several of the nation’s largest companies, including Starbucks, CVS and Walmart, have signed on to a pledge to hire 100,000 16 to 24-year-olds who are out of school and out of work.

It’s called the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, and it’s designed to target “disconnected youth.” Roben Farzad, the host of Full Disclosure on NPR One, discusses this with Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti.

Baby Rhino Rescued In Northeast India

Jul 10, 2015

An baby rhino has been rescued Kaziranga National Park in northeast India. It is monsoon season in the park right now and not uncommon for young rhinos to get separated from their parents on the trek to higher land.

Now that the small rhino, just a few weeks old, is safe in the care of the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Wildlife Trust of India, what happens next?

Here & Now concludes a series of conversations about Iraq and ISIS with someone who served in the Iraq War.

Retired Marine Matt Victoriano, who served as a scout and sniper team leader from 2000 to 2004, participated in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and returned to conduct combat operations in Al Anbar and Babylon provinces.

Cameras orbiting the earth are becoming less expensive and therefore more widespread. And as Bloomberg News reports, the images collected are providing a lot of economic information, to everyone from investors to aid organizations.

Jeff Kearns writes in Bloomberg:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is signaling diplomats won’t conclude an Iran nuclear agreement by early Friday morning, complicating American efforts to quickly implement any deal.

Under U.S. law, the seven nations negotiating in Vienna have to complete the accord before the end of Thursday in Washington to avoid invoking a 60-day congressional review period during which the Obama administration cannot waive sanctions on Iran.

If they meet the target, the review would only be 30 days.

DJ Session: Gospel Sunday

Jul 9, 2015

We turn to the music of the church pews for this week’s edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions. Our guide to gospel is Cecilia Webb, host of “Train to Glory” Sunday mornings on KUNM in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Webb says the music that began during American slavery is evolving, with some artists bringing in sounds of hip hop, rhythm and blues, and rock.