Here & Now

Monday through Friday, Noon - 2 p.m.
Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson

NPR, WBUR, KCUR and public radio stations across the country joined forces to bring listeners news and analysis in midday with Here & Now.

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.

You can read and listen to Here & Now stories below, or on their website.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Medal Of Honor Recipient Reflects On Honor And Loss

Sgt. Ryan Pitts, pictured here at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, will become the ninth living recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery in Afghanistan or Iraq. (U.S. Army)

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 2:02 pm

The Battle of Wanat is one of the bloodiest battles of the war in Afghanistan. Nine American soldiers were killed and more than two dozen were wounded when hundreds of insurgents assaulted the Army outpost they were building in Waygal Valley on July 13, 2008. It was just after 4 o’clock that morning when the American soldiers were blasted with machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and hand grenades.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Citigroup And Justice Department Reportedly Near Deal

In this Jan. 6, 2012 photo, a Citibank customer makes a transaction at an ATM, in New York. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Citigroup and the Justice Department are reportedly closing in on a $7 billion deal that would settle allegations that the bank sold shoddy mortgages in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis.

The deal is expected to be announced in the next week and comes after months of tense negotiations between the bank and government officials — negotiations that became so tense that in June, the Justice Department threatened to sue if the bank did not agree to the government’s proposed penalty.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

YA Novel 'Say What You Will' Draws Inspiration From Teens With Disabilities

Cammie McGovern is author of "Say What You Will." (Ellen Augarten)

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 2:41 pm

When author Cammie McGovern’s oldest son was diagnosed with autism, she looked for an outlet where he could be with other children with similar difficulties. That led her to form the group “Whole Children,” an after-school and weekend program for children with disabilities.

Now, a decade later, those kids spurred her to write the new young adult novel “Say What You Will” (excerpt below).

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NPR Story
3:28 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Selfies Endanger Tour De France Riders

Zoe Doyle poses for a selfie at Tour de France. (@zoedoyle/Twitter)

The world’s most storied bicycle competition, the Tour de France, has been imperiled by spectators trying to take selfies.

Riders have taken to social media with pleas for fans to show restraint, since fans turning their backs on the race to take photos are unaware of where the riders are and how fast they may be going.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Bill Strickland, interim editor of Bicycling magazine about the phenomenon and get his take on this year’s race.

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NPR Story
3:28 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Baseball Fans Lukewarm To Variable Ticket Prices

Kansas City Royals fans are not taking kindly to new pricing measures for games. (Michael Zupon/Flickr)

Baseball fans in many cities, including Kansas City, can no longer count on the price of single game tickets during the season. Teams are using variable ticket pricing and selling tickets according to projected attendance.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Greg Echlin of KCUR reports that teams are looking at factors including the opposing team, day of the week and who’s on the pitching mound.

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NPR Story
3:28 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Time Travel For The Everyday Adventurer

Petra Mayer shares books that will send their readers spiraling through time. (Alan Cleaver/Flickr)

This summer, consider going on a journey of a different kind – a trip through time.

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NPR Story
2:12 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Little Library Causes Big Zoning Controversy

Spencer Collins, 9, with his Little Free Library that a neighbor complained was an eyesore and violated the town's zoning ordinances. (Sarah Collins)

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:02 am

Note: See an update on this story here.

City leaders in Leawood, Kansas tonight will take up 9-year-old Spencer Collins‘ Little Free Library.

The boy had put up a slightly larger than a birdfeeder box containing a free book exchange in his front yard, but a neighbor complained it was an eyesore and “an illegal detached structure” that violated the town’s zoning ordinances.

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NPR Story
2:12 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Ukrainian Parliamentarian: Ukraine 'A Test' For Europe And Russia

Olga Bielkova, a member of Ukraine’s parliament says, “what is happening between us and Russia right now is a threat to the whole of Europe; Russia is just testing grounds for what it could to do other countries.”

Bielkova told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that Ukraine is better prepared to take on pro-Russian separatists, and she thinks that the government will begin winning hearts in Eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian sentiment runs strong.

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NPR Story
2:12 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

GoPro Spawns New Category Of Wearable Cameras

Snowboarder Shaun White is pictured wearing a GoPro camera. (GoPro.com)

GoPro stock options began trading today, less than two weeks after it went public. The company, which makes wearable point-of-view action cameras, has come a long way since it was born 10 years ago. GoPro is now one of the best selling cameras in the world, and it’s spawned a whole new category of cameras.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to Lauren Goode, reporter and review columnist for Re/code, about GoPro’s success, its competitors and the future of wearable cameras.

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NPR Story
2:10 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Ben Franklin's Not-So-Famous Sister

Ben Franklin is arguably the most famous American ever. His youngest sister Jane is mostly lost to history. But a Harvard historian found her in the letters she and her brother exchanged over their long lives.

They were called Benny and Jenny, and Benny wrote more letters to Jenny than he did to anyone else. Most of his survive; many of her’s do not.

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NPR Story
2:10 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

On Stage: Orlando Story Club

At the Orlando Story Club, co-founded by a former Hollywood producer, anyone can share their story in front of an audience and judges (Orlando Story Club/Facebook).

In today’s “On Stage” segment, we look at the art of storytelling, which has taken off in venues across the country.

We go to Orlando, Florida, and the Orlando Story Club. The club was co-founded by South African-born Robin Cowie, who has a background in bringing powerful stories to life as a former Hollywood producer. He helped launch the pseudo-reality horror genre as co-producer of the 1999 film, “The Blair Witch Project.”

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NPR Story
2:10 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Dow Jones Closes At An All-Time High

A screen displays the Dow at 17,041.23 on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the morning of July 3 in New York City. The Dow Jones passed 17,000 for the first time today, as economy continues to recover. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The cherry on top to yesterday’s encouraging jobs report was a record close for the Dow Jones industrial average.

Derek Thompson, senior editor at the Atlantic talks to Here & Now’s Robin Young about what the record means in context, for the economy as a whole, and for the average American

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Remembering Children's Book Author Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers, the award-winning children’s book author and former ambassador for young people’s literature, died this week at the age of 76.

He was a longtime advocate of children’s reading. Earlier this year, he appeared on Here & Now with his son Christopher to discuss the lack of characters of color in children’s literature.

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

'Smart' Homes May Be Vulnerable To Hackers

A LG representative shows a smartphone with Home Chat in front of a LG smart refrigerator during the 2014 International CES, January 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The LG Smart Home system with the Home Chat smart platform allows users to communicate with home appliances via text message. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Our homes are becoming more and more connected. Thermostats, televisions, lights and appliances can all be controlled remotely by our smartphones, tablets and computers, with smart-home software.

But Gunter Ollman, chief technology officer of tech security firm IOActive, tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that technology has not caught up to current security measures, and all this connectivity is leaving us vulnerable to hacking.

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Germany Boosts Its Minimum Wage

German Labour and Social Affairs Minister Andrea Nahles (C) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C, R) cast their ballot during a vote on a bill for a national minimum wage on July 3 in Berlin. (Clemens Bilan/AFP Photo)

The German Parliament voted today to set the country’s first national minimum wage, 8.5 euros, which is $11.60 per hour. The new minimum wage will be phased in starting next year.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government supported the move at the insistence of her government coalition partners, the center-left Social Democrats. The minimum wage passed over arguments that it would hurt Germany’s economy, which is Europe’s largest.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Grill Time: New Twists On July 4th Favorites

Kathy Gunst's grilled vegetables for her "Grilled Corn Relish." See recipe below. (Kathy Gunst/Here & Now)

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 8:44 am

The Fourth of July is almost upon us, and for many people that means two things: fireworks and grilling. Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst may not have pointers on the pyrotechnics, but she sure knows her way around a grill. Kathy’s special ingredient for burgers? Bacon. Lots and lots of bacon. She also shares recipes for a goat cheese crostada, vegetable kebabs, potato salad (with bacon or without) and corn relish:

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Red Spruce Makes A Comeback

Josh Halman surveys red spruce for signs of "winter injury" or dead needles and buds caused by cold temperatures hitting needles weakened by acid rain. (Sam Evans-Brown/NHPR)

There’s a dramatic recovery underway in the forests of New England. Red spruce, a tree that researchers once thought was doomed because of acid rain, is now growing faster than ever.

And it’s not the only tree growing like gangbusters. The story of the red spruce hints that with a changing climate, there will be species that are winners as well as losers.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Sam Evans-Brown of New Hampshire Public Radio reports.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Not Your Father's Hog

Harley Davidson's "Livewire," the company's foray into the electric motorcycle market. (Latoya Dennis)

Harley Davidson is known for the size of its motorcycles and their distinctive growl. But the bike maker may soon be offering a model that’s a lot quieter.

There’s no shifting and no clutch on the LiveWire, and the motorcycle weighs only about 450 pounds, compared to the 700 to 800 pounds for a more typical Harley.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Latoya Dennis of WUWM reports from Milwaukee on the LiveWire, Harley’s possible foray into the electric motorcycle market.

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NPR Story
2:48 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

World Cup: The Loser Goes Home

Today in Brazil, it’s do or die, one and done, all or nothing — and any other sports cliche you can think of to describe the winner-take-all World Cup match between the U.S. and Belgium.

Doug Tribou of NPR’s Only A Game tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that while Belgium is the favorite, the “Red Devils” are pretty banged up and some of their key players may not take to the pitch. Meanwhile, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann says his team will be going on the attack.

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NPR Story
2:48 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Fireworks Business 'Shaken' By Fatal Accident

Brandon Weaver, right, and his fellow crew members pose in the back of a Budget rental truck. They say being back at work is helping them cope with the death of their co-worker. (Northwest News Network)

July 4th is a day to celebrate the birth of a nation with parades, picnics and in many communities, fireworks.

People in the pyrotechnic business say their job is to entertain people. But the splendor and thrill of a magnificent fireworks display can come with a price.

Last month, a longtime seasonal employee of Entertainment Fireworks, Inc., one of the largest fireworks companies in the Northwest, was killed in an on-the-job explosion and fire.

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NPR Story
2:48 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Supreme Court Solidifies Position On Birth Control

The U.S. Supreme Court is shown June 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Today the U.S. Supreme Court left in place lower court rulings in favor of businesses that objected to covering all forms of birth control mandated for coverage in the Affordable Care Act.

It’s a strong indication that the court’s ruling yesterday extending religious rights to “closely held” companies, applies broadly to all forms of birth control covered by the mandate, rather than just the four types objected to by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Archie To Meet Untimely Death

This photo released by Archie Comics shows "Life with Archie." Archie Comics says the famous comic book character will heroically sacrifice himself while saving the life of a friend in a July 2014 installment of "Life with Archie." The comic book series tells the story of grown-up renditions of Archie and his Riverdale pals. (Archie Comics/AP Photo)

Comic fans will have more on their mind this summer than whether the beloved, freckle-faced Archie Andrews should chose between Betty or Veronica.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

New Generation Of TVs Promises More Clarity, Big Price Tag

Attendees walk past the Toshiba Ultra HD 4K TV display at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 8, 2014. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s being billed as a revolution in television — a TV with four times the definition of standard high definition television (HDTV), which is also known as 1080p television (a resolution of 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high).

These new “Ultra HD 4K” TVs have been on sale for about a year, ranging in price from about $1,000 to over $20,000 for the biggest, fanciest models. But is there content available for these new televisions? And can cable companies transmit that much data?

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Why Did France Swing To The Right?

In France, the far right Front National party, under its leader Marine Le Pen, finished on top in the recent European elections. The French prime minister called it a political earthquake, with the ruling Socialist Party pushed into third place. So why did it happen?

The BBC’s Christian Fraser traveled into the French countryside to find out why voters have turned against their main parties.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Tom Perrotta Brings 'The Leftovers' To HBO

The HBO series, "The Leftovers," explores what happens on Earth for those left behind after the Rapture. It is based on Tom Perrotta's novel of the same name. Perrotta was also a producer and writer on the show. (HBO)

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 9:36 am

Think for a second. Say there is a rapture — a Bibilical event in which people around you

disappear.

What would you do? Wouldn’t you wonder a little, “Well, why not me?”

In Tom Perrotta‘s novel “The Leftovers,” there are hellish questions on Earth after millions are whisked off to heaven.

And now, “The Leftovers” is an HBO series. Perrotta isn’t new to having his work adapted to the screen. Previously, Perrotta’s novels “Election” and “Little Children” were adapted into Academy Award nominated films.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

A Retired Satellite Gets Back To Work

This 1976 photo shows the International Sun-Earth Explorer C (ISEE-3, ICE) undergoing testing in the Goddard Space Flight Center's dynamic test chamber. (Wikimedia Commons)

After 31 years in space, ISEE-3 is finally coming home.

The International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 was a humble satellite launched in the late 1970s to monitor solar winds – until Robert Farquhar commandeered and reprogrammed it to help the United States become the first country to encounter a comet.

Now, a team of scientists have come together in an unofficial effort to awaken the sleeping spacecraft and return it to its original spot — and function — by combining old technology with new.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Ukraine Seals Economic Trade Deal With EU

In this handout photo provided by the German Government Press Office (BPA), French President Francois Hollande, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel chat at the EU summit after the signing of the EU's Association Agreement with Ukraine on June 27 in Brussels, Belgium. The landmark agreement will mean that the Ukraine will need to adhere to European values such as democracy and human rights. (Guido Bergmann/Bundesregierung via Getty Images)

Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, has signed a historic trade and economic agreement with the European Union. This comes just seven months after former leader Viktor Yanukovych rejected a trade deal with the EU, sparking protests that toppled his government.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

U.S. Advances In World Cup, Despite Loss To Germany

Germany has beaten the United States at the World Cup, but the U.S. team is still advancing.

Thomas Mueller scored his fourth goal of the tournament to lead Germany to the 1-0 win. Still, the U.S. moves on to the knockout stage despite the loss, as Portugal beat Ghana, 2-1.

Both teams knew before kickoff that a draw would see them through, but neither held back.

NPR’s Russell Lewis watched the game at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, and joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

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NPR Story
1:23 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Summer Seafood Recipes From Chef Kathy Gunst

Kathy Gunst's "Roast Summer Clams with Chorizo, Tomatoes and Basil." See recipe below. (Kathy Gunst/Here & Now)

It’s officially summer. For many people, including Here & Now’s resident chef Kathy Gunst, that means fish. And not just any fish — summer fish, including lobsters, clams and summer flounder.

As she tells host Jeremy Hobson, she’s also always thinking about sustainable fish — “seafood caught or farmed in ways that ensure a supply of seafood long into the future.” (More info on making sustainable seafood choices here.)

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NPR Story
1:23 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

U.S. Advances To World Cup's 2nd Round Despite Loss

Clint Dempsey of the United States acknowledges the fans after being defeated by Germany 1-0 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil group G match between the United States and Germany at Arena Pernambuco on June 26, 2014 in Recife, Brazil. (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 1:22 pm

The United States reached the knockout stage of consecutive World Cups for the first time, just not the way the Americans wanted.

Germany beat the U.S. 1-0 Thursday in soggy Recife on Thomas Mueller’s 55th-minute goal to win Group G, but the Americans held onto second place when Portugal defeated Ghana 2-1 in a game played simultaneously in Brasilia.

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