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
1:49 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Netherlands Mourns As Crash Victims' Bodies Arrive

A convoy of funeral hearses carrying coffins containing the remains of victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, drives from the Eindhoven Airbase to Hilversum on July 23, 2014. (Jerry Lampen/AFP/Getty Images)

The Dutch Safety Board says it has taken charge of the investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Eastern Ukraine. The two black boxes from the airliner are reported to have arrived in Britain.

In the Netherlands, it’s a National Day of Mourning. Church bells in towns and villages across the country rang for five minutes today, just before two transport planes arrived at Eindhoven airbase, carrying the first coffins of the crash victims.

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NPR Story
1:49 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Commonwealth Games Begin

An athlete trains at Hampden Park, venue for the track and field athletics ahead of the Commonwealth Games on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Only A Game‘s Doug Tribou is in Scotland for start of the Commonwealth Games, an event that takes place every four years.

About 4,500 athletes from 71 nations and territories will fiercely compete for medals in 17 sports. The competition seeks to unify the Commonwealth countries through sport, and runs through August 3rd.

Tribou joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti with a preview of the games being held in Glasgow.

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NPR Story
1:49 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

New California Football Law Tackles Brain Injuries Head-On

Central Catholic's Reggie Bland (24) in action in a California Interscholastic Federation Division 4 high school football championship game in Carson, Calif., Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 1:30 pm

In a few weeks, high school football players across the country will begin training for the season to come. In California, come January 1st, those practices will be different.

Governor Jerry Brown this week signed a new law that limits full-contact drills for all teams in public and private middle and high schools. The legislation comes amid concerns about concussions and brain injuries in football.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Remains Of Clovis Boy Reburied In Montana

During a special ceremony, scientists and representatives of six tribes reburied a 12,600-year-old Clovis child in a patch of sagebrush on Saturday June, 28, 2014, close to the site where he was accidentally unearthed almost 50 years ago. (Shawn Raecke/Livingston Enterprise)

Earlier this year, Here & Now told the story of the so-called “Clovis boy,” a young boy buried in what is now Montana, more than 12,000 years ago. His remains were discovered there in 1968 and eventually his DNA was analyzed, showing the boy was part of the Clovis culture, which existed in North America about 13,000 years ago.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Hong Kong Debates Independence From China

A child holds up a banner during a pro-democracy rally seeking greater democracy in Hong Kong on July 1, 2014, as frustration grows over the influence of Beijing on the city. (Dale De La Rey/AFP/Getty)

There have been huge protests in the former British colony Hong Kong recently. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets to demand that Beijing honor China’s commitment to Hong Kong’s political and judicial independence.

As the BBC’s Juliana Liu reports, there is deep anxiety in Hong Kong that China has no intention of allowing people on the island to choose their next leader, but there are also protestors on the other side, with leanings more toward China.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Next iPhone To Offer Bigger Screen, But Will It Fit In Your Pocket?

Apple will manufacture iPhones with larger displays for its next model. (Photo Giddy/Flickr)

Apple is placing its bets on iPhones with bigger screens, and a whole lot of them. The company is asking suppliers to make between 70 and 80 million of the new models with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens by December 30, according to the Wall Street Journal. This is larger than the current models with 4-inch displays.

Apple had stuck with its smaller displays even as rival smartphone companies rolled out bigger screens and customers sought larger models. Now, Apple will join their ranks.

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NPR Story
2:23 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Boxing Attracts More Than Would-Be Fighters

Springs Toledo, right, watches boxers at The Ring Boxing Club. (Emiko Tamagawa/Here & Now)

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 3:13 pm

Who boxes nowadays? Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson went to The Ring Boxing Club in Boston and found that fighters ranged in age and were of both genders.

He talks to several boxers as well as Springs Toledo, author of “The Gods of War: Boxing Essays” (excerpt below), about the continuing appeal of the sport.

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NPR Story
2:11 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Chinese Buyers Snap Up Real Estate In The U.S.

A sale pending sign is posted in front of a home for sale on July 17, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 3:13 pm

Foreign buyers have helped boost luxury real estate prices in places such as Manhattan for several years now. But that trend may soon push into non-luxury markets across the United States.

The real estate website Zillow soon plans to publish its for-sale listings in Mandarin. Diane Francis of the National Post joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the recent announcement.

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NPR Story
2:11 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Crash Investigation Expert Weighs In On Flight MH17

Luggage and personal belongings from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 lie in a field on July 20, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

There are still many questions and few answers related to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that crashed Thursday, killing all 298 passengers aboard. The commercial airliner may have been shot down by a missile along the Russian and Ukraine border.

Jim Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the steps that would normally be taken after a plane crash.

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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Company Experiments With 3D-Printed Car

Local Motors engineer James Earl prepares to test drive the company's 3D printed vehicle prototype. (Carrie Jung/KJZZ)

3D printers are capable of producing a variety of consumer products, from children’s toys to prosthetic limbs. Now, a company in the Phoenix area is trying to take the technology to the next level with cars. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Carrie Jung of KJZZ reports.

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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Deborah Harkness Brings Her 'All Souls' Trilogy To A Close

Author Deborah Harkness has just released "The Book of Life," the final book in her bestselling "All Souls" trilogy. (Marion Ettlinger)

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:39 am

In 2011, University of Southern California history professor Deborah Harkness introduced readers to professor and reluctant witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont in “A Discovery of Witches.”

It was the first in what has come to be called her “All Souls Trilogy.”

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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

District Profile: Environmental Issues Come To A Head In Coal Country

In West Virginia's third congressional district, Republican state senator Evan Jenkins, right, will try to unseat Democratic incumbent Nick Rahall. (U.S. House of Representatives / West Virginia Legislature)

As President Obama announces new actions on climate change, a tight congressional race in southern West Virginia coal country is bringing environmental issues to the forefront.

In West Virginia’s third congressional district, Evan Jenkins, a Republican state senator, will try to unseat Democratic incumbent Nick Rahall, who’s been in office since 1977.

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NPR Story
2:03 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

'Rocks Off': The Stones Keep Rolling

The Rolling Stones members Keith Richards (L) and Mick Jagger perform on stage at San Siro Stadium on July 11, 2006 in Milan, Italy. (Getty Images)

Last summer we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones.

Now Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and the rest of the band are rocking in their 51st year. The Stones just put the finishing touches on a European tour and they will play shows in Australia and New Zealand in the fall.

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NPR Story
2:03 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Fighting Between Hamas And Israel Continues

A Palestinian man inspects his destroyed house following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on July 15, 2014. Israel carried out at least four air strikes against Gaza today, resuming raids after a truce that failed to get off the ground. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

Hope for a ceasefire in the Middle East ended today as Israel resumed airstrikes in Gaza. Palestinian officials say more than 190 people have been killed by Israeli airstrikes so far. At least four Israelis have been seriously injured since the violence flared.

The ceasefire had been brokered by Egypt. The Israeli attacks resumed after Hamas militants continued to fire rockets into Israel.

From Gaza City, the BBC’s Rushdi Abualouf gives Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti a view from the ground.

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NPR Story
2:03 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Tobacco Merger: Reynolds American To Buy Lorillard

Cigarette brands manufactured by Reynolds Amercian are displayed at a tobacco shop on July 11, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The tobacco giant Reynolds American agreed today to buy its rival, Lorillard, bringing together two of the country’s biggest tobacco producers at a weakening time for the industry.

The deal, worth an estimated $27.4 billion, is expected to reshape the tobacco industry amid a longtime decline in smoking among Americans due to smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma.

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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

DJ Sessions: Golden Summer Oldies

DJ Mike Haile shares his favorite summer songs in this DJ session. Above, an image from Blue Stingrays' "Surf-N-Burn." (Mutant Surfing/Flickr)

Today we’re listening to summer oldies with DJ Mike Haile, more commonly known by his DJ moniker “Mike in the Morning,” at WHMS in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson used to listen to him when he was growing up in the area.

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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Nobel Prize-Winning Author Nadine Gordimer Dies

South African novelist Nadine Gordimer is pictured during a literature festival in Rome on May 29, 2006. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 3:08 pm

Nadine Gordimer, a South African author who won the Nobel Prize for novels that explored the cost of racial conflict in apartheid-era South Africa, has died at the age of 90. The African National Congress declares they have lost an “unmatched literary giant.”

Gordimer wrote in startling detail about the poverty and institutionalized racism that blacks faced under the apartheid system. But it wasn’t politics that moved her to write. Rather, Gordimer once noted that it was learning to write that sent her “falling, falling through the surface of the South African way of life.”

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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

FCC Approves Plan To Increase Wi-Fi Access

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 2:58 pm

The Federal Communications Commission has approved a plan to spend $2 billion to increase wireless service in schools and libraries across the country.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said at a hearing last week that because of the plan, “ten million kids will be connected next year who otherwise wouldn’t.”

Not all find the plan beneficial. There is controversy from some Republicans who oppose the plan, saying that this will lead to an increase in phone bills for some Americans.

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NPR Story
3:24 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Thoughts On Neighbors In Summertime

What Hurley's neighbors see (Sam Hurley/NHPR).

When the weather is warm and the days long, we often get a chance to see and talk to our neighbors more often than we do when winter’s cold keeps people indoors.

Of the range of people you can know in the world, the neighbor occupies a curious spot.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Sean Hurley of New Hampshire Public Radio has these thoughts on what he’s learned about the people who live near him.

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NPR Story
3:24 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

GMO Bananas Must Pass Their First Test

Ugandan researcher Stephen Buah and Professor James Dale hold bananas bred to be rich in vitamin A at Queensland University of Technology (Erika Fish/Courtesy of Queensland University of Technology)

Volunteers in Iowa are getting a great deal — $900 for eating a banana. It’s part of a human feeding experiment to test genetically-engineered bananas.

Researchers hope that blood drawn from the volunteers will show higher levels of vitamin A, so the bananas can head to Uganda, where bananas are a staple and vitamin A deficiency is widespread.

NPR’s Dan Charles joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to talk about the experiment, and what this may mean for fortified produce.

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NPR Story
3:24 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

On Stage: The Colorado Black Arts Festival

Fresh Oil From Heaven performs at the 2013 Colorado Black Arts Festival, which was founded 28 years ago. (CBAF/Facebook)

“On Stage” is our look at what’s happening on the boards across the country, from comedy shows to celebrations of slices of American life.

Today, we turn to the Colorado Black Arts Festival, kicking off in Denver today. The festival features three full stages with jazz, blues, reggae and gospel music, as well as traditional African drumming and dance.

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NPR Story
6:53 am
Fri July 11, 2014

As Quadruple Amputee Awaits Arm Transplant, Identical Twin Waits As Well

Will Lautzenheiser and his identical twin Tom are pictured at Will's home in Brookline, Mass. on July 3, 2014. (Samantha Fields/Here & Now)

Will Lautzenheiser, a former teacher at Boston University, had just started teaching film at Montana State University three years ago when he lost all four limbs to a group A streptococcal infection.

It was shattering for Will, but also for his identical twin Tom Lautzenheiser. Now, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has given the OK to a rare, still experimental double arm transplant for Will.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

What LeBron James' Upcoming Decision Says About NBA Economics

LeBron James of the Miami Heat reacts on the bench against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

LeBron James, considered by many to be the best player in basketball right now, is deciding where he’ll play next year, after his contract with the Miami Heat comes to an end.

Derek Thompson joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to talk about the economics of the NBA, including player contract negotiations.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Oil Train Workers Raise Questions About Safety

BNSF Railway, the second largest freight network in the U.S., is at the center of the boom in crude by rail. The railroad touts its commitment to safety. Current and former workers question the safety culture on the ground. (Michael Werner)

Crude oil shipments by rail increased by more than 80 percent, nationally, last year. Most of it is coming from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. That crude is more flammable than other types of oil, and has been shown to catch fire and explode when trains derail.

More than 15 trains of Bakken oil move through some parts of the Northwest each week, en route to refineries and terminals in Washington and Oregon.

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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 Medal of Honor for bravery in Afghanistan or Iraq. (U.S. Army)

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:24 am

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)

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:42 pm

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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