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
2:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

How Do You Get Your Own Wikipedia Page?

Judith Newman really wanted a Wikipedia page. She writes about the ordeal. (Wikipedia)

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:13 am

Correction: We inaccurately reported that Wikipedia is considering paying editors.  Wikipedia is considering what to do about editors who are paid to write wiki pages, but who don’t disclose the payment. For more information, please follow this link. 

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NPR Story
2:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Glacial Debris and Saturated Soil: A Geological Recipe For Mudslides

The following images were taken on March 24 during an aerial survey conducted by the Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Geological Survey, and King County Sheriff's Office. (King County Sheriff's Office - Air Support Unit)

The official death toll from Saturday’s massive landslide near Oso, Wash., now stands at at least 16.

Emergency managers say they have located other bodies under the mud, and will add them to the total only after they’re recovered.

Dozens of people are still listed as missing or unaccounted for.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Tom Banse of the Northwest News Network reports on the ongoing rescue and recovery efforts.

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NPR Story
2:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Rough Ocean Complicates Search Efforts For Missing Plane

The cockpit crew of a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion are seen upon their return to RAAF base Pearce from searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Oceanat in Bullsbrook on March 26, 2014. Planes and ships converged on the southern Indian Ocean on March 26, resuming the hunt for wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 after weather conditions improved. (Jason Reed/AFP/Getty Images)

Malaysia’s defense minister is calling a satellite’s detection of 122 objects floating in the ocean more than a thousand miles southwest of Australia “the most credible lead that we have” in the continuing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

But how will crews go about searching a potential crash site roughly the size of Alaska, where the ocean floor is at least 10,000 feet deep?

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NPR Story
2:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Geological Circumstances Behind Washington Mudslide

As search efforts intensify around the site of Washington state’s devastating mudslide, geologists are looking into causes of the rapid collapse of the 1,500-foot-wide segment of hillside in Snohomish County that suddenly cut away and crushed the homes and roads below.

The chief culprit appears to have been the glacial composition of the hillside, which is made of silt, clay and soil, and very little rock, which tends to be very loose.

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NPR Story
3:44 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Contraceptive Requirement Before Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will hear arguments today if Hobby Lobby and other for profit corporations can refuse to cover contraceptive services in their employee's healthcare for religious reasons. Activists rally outside the Supreme Court March 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

If a company’s owners have a strong religious objection to some kinds of contraception, can they refuse to include coverage for those types of contraception in their employee health insurance plan?

The President’s Affordable Care Act requires that large companies offer comprehensive health insurance to employees, including coverage for contraception. The administration has exempted religious groups from this requirement, but it has said that for-profit companies cannot be granted an exemption on religious grounds.

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NPR Story
3:44 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Surprising Questions On Your Next Job Interview

With the economy on the upswing and the job market getting stronger–why is it taking so much longer these days to get hired? A survey of job seekers from glassdoor.com found that since 2009 the time it takes from application to actually hearing about whether or not you got the job –has more than doubled. It now averages 23 days.

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NPR Story
3:44 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

529 Muslim Brotherhood Members Sentenced To Death

Today, an Egyptian court issued a verdict sentencing 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death. It is the largest mass death penalty verdict issued in the country’s history.

Additionally, 700 more members – including the Brotherhood’s leader – were put on trial for charges that included murder.

NPR’s Cairo correspondent Leila Fadel joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the mass sentencing.

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NPR Story
2:46 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

A Trick For Bending The Laws Of Physics

You see it on T.V. all the time: cops interrogating a suspect in a cramped room while prosecutors watch from the other side of a one-way mirror.

The prosecutors can see in, but the suspects can’t see out.

Those mirrors are specially coated and lighting is used to create the one-way illusion.

Now engineers at the University of Texas in Austin have figured out how to create a one-way illusion with sound.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Matt Largey of KUT in Austin explains.

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NPR Story
2:46 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Houston Ship Channel Expected To Reopen

The Coast Guard could soon reopen the Houston Ship Channel that was the scene of an oil spill over the weekend.

The channel is one of the nation’s busiest seaports. Coast Guard Warrant Officer Kimberly Smith says the goal is to reopen part of it sometime Monday. The closure has forced more than 80 ships to wait to enter or leave the bay.

Smith says officials are still trying to determine how much oil spilled Saturday, when a barge carrying about 900,000 gallons collided with a ship. Authorities initially said as much as a fifth of the barge’s cargo spilled.

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NPR Story
2:46 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Search Effort Continues In Washington Mudslide

A house sits destroyed in the mud on Highway 530 next to mile marker 37 on March 23, 2014 near Arlington, Washington. (Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times via Getty Images)

There are concerns that the number of deaths from a mudslide over the weekend in Washington state will climb far above the eight people who’ve been confirmed dead so far.

A 1-square-mile mudslide on Saturday swept through part of a former fishing village about 55 miles north of Seattle. The list of people who’ve been reported missing or who are unaccounted for contains 108 names — but authorities say that figure will probably decline dramatically.

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NPR Story
1:56 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Kate Burton Finds Success On Both Coasts

Kate Burton in the role of Irina Arkadina in the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull.” (T. Charles Erickson)

Kate Burton has appeared in dozens of T.V. shows in in her decades-long career, but it was “Grey’s Anatomy” that really put her career into overdrive.

As she tells Here & Now’s Sacha Pfeiffer, “It changed my life as an actress.”

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NPR Story
1:56 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Praise For 'Particle Fever'

Full view of the open ATLAS Detector. (particlefever.com)

Director Mark Levinson’s gripping documentary, “Particle Fever,” follows a group of physicists on their colossal endeavor to find a minuscule particle – the Higgs boson.

Often referred to as “the God particle”, the Higgs boson is a subatomic morsel many physicists believe to hold the key to understanding the universe. Essentially, finding it would either confirm or deny everything we know about the cosmos.

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NPR Story
1:56 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Ukrainians Remain Uneasy In Kiev

People pay their respects at a makeshift memorial where a protester was killed during clashes with police near Independence Square The Ukrainian government has promised justice for the fallen, but citizens in Kiev remain uneasy. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

As Russia consolidates its control over Crimea and international sanctions intensify, it is easy to forget the traumatic events that took place in the Ukrainian capital Kiev exactly one month ago.

The new Ukrainian government is promising justice for the murder of at least eighty protesters, killed by gunmen in and around Independence Square. But as the BBC’s Chris Morris reports from Kiev, many people remain wary.

Note: Please subscribe to the Here & Now podcast to hear this BBC report.

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NPR Story
2:50 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Maple Syrup Recipes From Chef Kathy Gunst

Kathy's husband John taps a maple tree. (Kathy Gunst/Here & Now)

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:10 pm

It may be spring today, but in Maine, it’s maple syrup season. Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst’s husband John Rudolph has been tapping their trees and making syrup.

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NPR Story
2:50 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Putin's 'Russkii' Comment Raises Fears Of A New Yugoslavia

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a joint session of Russian parliament on Crimea in the Kremlin in Moscow on March 18. Putin sparked controversy when he used the word "Russkii" to refer to the Russian people, rather than "Rossisskii." (Alexei Nikolsky/Getty Images)

Political scientist Kimberly Marten says Vladimir Putin “may have permanently changed” Russia and its relationship with the outside world by using the word “Russkii” in Parliament this week.

In her post on The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post, Marten says there are two words for “Russian” in the Russian language, “Rossisski,” and “Russkii.”

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NPR Story
2:50 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Obama Orders New Sanctions Against Russia

The U.S. has announced a second round of sanctions in protest of Russia’s takeover of Crimea. President Obama said the new sanctions would hurt the Russian economy.

Meanwhile, the Russian takeover of Crimea is scaring off investors. Companies stocks are suffering, Russia’s richest people are also losing money and smaller businesses are scared about the future.

The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson joins Here & Now’s Sacha Pfeiffer with details.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Korean BBQ Chef Shines Spotlight On Korean Food Culture

Gal bi, prime beef short rib, and Kobe style beef, Ggot sal, with all the side dishes, banchan. (Parks BBQ/Facebook)

Jenee Kim studied food science in South Korea, apprenticed at a friend’s restaurant in Seoul and opened her first restaurant in L.A.’s Koreatown in 2003.

Since then, Park’s BBQ has become one of L.A.’s best Korean restaurants, known for the quality of its meat and for its banchan, or side dishes.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

State Tax Laws 'A Mess' For Same-Sex Couples And Employers

(kenteegardin/Flickr)

Same-sex couples who are married can file jointly for federal taxes, but they face a confusing and complicated set of state tax laws.

Attorney Carol Calhoun has put together a comprehensive summary of how state tax laws work for same-sex married couples.

As Calhoun explained in an email to Here & Now:

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

British Troops Draw Down In Afghanistan

As U.S. troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan, forces from the U.K. are doing the same thing. They have closed or handed over to the Afghans all but two of their bases across Helmand Province. They used to occupy more than 130 bases in that area.

The BBC’s defense correspondent Jonathan Beale reports from Helmand.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

The Bang In The Big Bang

MIT physicist Alan Guth is pictured in the Here & Now studios. (Robin Lubbock/Here & Now)

When a team of astronomers announced yesterday that they had been able to peer back 13.8 billion years to the first few moments of the Big Bang, they were confirming the work of Alan Guth in the 1970s.

The researchers say they say they saw some of what gave the bang to the Big Bang — what made the universe expand as quickly as it did. It’s being called one of the greatest discoveries in science.

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NPR Story
3:01 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Will L.A. Have A Future Like 'Her' Or 'Elysium'?

Matt Damon is pictured in the film "Elysium."

Two recent movies sketch out two very different visions of the future of Los Angeles, the epitome of the sprawling, western city. There’s the L.A. in the Oscar-winning movie “Her.” And then there’s the L.A. in the movie “Elysium.”

Parts of “Her” were filmed in Shanghai; nobody seems to drive and people live and work in high-rise buildings. In “Elysium,” run-down parts of Mexico City stand in for L.A.

Could L.A.’s future look like either one of these movies, if current trends continue?

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NPR Story
3:01 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Why The Search For The Missing Plane Is CNN's Story

A screenshot of CNN's coverage of the missing plane on Mar. 18, 2014. (CNN.com)

CNN’s ratings are through the roof. It’s been criticized for reporting more speculation than other networks, but its wall-to-wall coverage of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 doesn’t seem to be putting off a lot of viewers.

Joe Concha, TV news columnist for Mediaite.com, says this is an example of the cable news approach of today: all-in on one story. He speaks to Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Packing A Vacation Suitcase To Help Those In Need

Students at a school in Llano Grande, Costa Rica, received donated art school supplies from traveler Susan Sachs Lipman, through Pack for a Purpose and La Quinta de Sarapiqui. (packforapurpose.org)

A nonprofit organization called Pack for a Purpose is encouraging international travelers to use some of their luggage space to carry medical and school supplies to their vacation destination.

The organization has teamed up with local lodging, tour agencies and community organizations in countries across the globe to find out what items are needed, from pencils and soccer balls in schools to clothes and toiletries in orphanages.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Earthquake Shakes Los Angeles

Egill Hauksson, a Caltech seismologist, talks about an early morning earthquake during a news conference in Pasadena, Calif, on Monday, March 17, 2014. The pre-dawn quake rolled across the Los Angeles basin on Monday, rattling residents from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach but causing no reported damage. The quake's magnitude was 4.4 and it was centered 15 miles west-northwest of the downtown civic center, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (Nick Ut/AP)

It wasn’t exactly “the big one,” but people in Southern California did get a rude awakening today when a 4.4 magnitude earthquake struck. The quake could be felt from the San Fernando Valley down to Long Beach, but there are no reports of damage or injury.

Here & Nows Jeremy Hobson is reporting from Los Angeles this week and checks in with co-host Robin Young about what the quake felt like. He also shares what he has in store for us tomorrow and Wednesday when he co-hosts the show from NPR West.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Why Flight 370 Pilot Is Wrongly Being Called A 'Fanatic'

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak addresses the media alongside Malaysia's Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein (left) and Director General of Civil Aviation Department, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (right) during a press conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on March 15, 2014. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 8:50 pm

With the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, Slate’s politics and foreign affairs editor William Dobson joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain speculation that the pilot of the missing plane is a “fanatical” supporter of Anwar Ibrahim.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Choral Music Based On Great American Words

Lisa Graham will direct a music program March 15 and 16 featuring Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," narrated by Here & Now's Robin Young. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 2:22 pm

Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” has been performed numerous times since Copland wrote the piece, shortly following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942. Iconic voices including Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and James Earl Jones have read Lincoln’s words to Copland’s music.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Aging Natural Gas Pipes: How Safe Are Our Cities?

A police officer near the scene of a gas leak explosion that caused two buildings to collapse on Park Avenue and 116th street in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan March 12, 2014 in New York City. (Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

Rescue workers with dogs and thermal units are searching the rubble for victims of a the gas explosion earlier this week in Manhattan, as investigators struggle to pinpoint where the leak came from and try to determine whether it was caused by the city’s aging infrastructure. Eight bodies have been pulled from the debris, but rescue workers have, so far, only cleared about half the site.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Obama Proposes Tighter For-Profit College Rules

The Obama administration is announcing new regulations aimed at for-profit and vocational colleges.

The rules will set standards for what colleges must do to prepare students for employment after graduation, tying their success to federal student aid programs.

The proposal would make a program ineligible for federal student aid if its graduates fail to meet a debt-to-earnings metric.

Federal officials say they’re trying to protect students from low-quality programs that burden them with debt. Critics say the rules harm students and single out for-profit colleges.

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NPR Story
3:12 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Pat Metheny Keeps Moving Forward

Guitarist Pat Metheny performs on July 24, 2010 in Nice, France. (Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)

Jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny has won 20 Grammys and released dozens of albums, but he keeps experimenting with his music. In 2010, he toured and recorded an album with “The Orchestrion,” a wall of instruments.

Now, the 59-year-old Kansas City, Mo., native has released “Kin” with his latest band The Unity Group, which incorporates horns and vocals in his music.

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NPR Story
3:12 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

More Deaths In Venezuela As Protests Persist

Demonstrators take part in an anti-government protest in the east of Caracas on March 12, 2014. (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, three people were shot dead in Venezuela during anti-government protests in the central city of Valencia. A month of student-led demonstrations in a number of Venezuelan cities have left at least 25 people dead, according to the government.

Demonstrators say they have taken to the streets to protest shortage of goods, high inflation and the highest homicide rates in the world.

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