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
1:29 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Kentucky Derby's Signature Drink Uses Locally Grown Mint

Dohn & Dohn Gardens, a small family farm in Jefferson County, Ky., grows all the mint used in the mint juleps served at the Kentucky Derby. (Alix Mattingly/WFPL News)

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:19 pm

The race isn’t until Saturday, but Kentucky Derby parties get underway today at Churchill Downs, and that means plenty of the event’s signature drink: the mint julep.

More than 120,000 mint juleps will be devoured, requiring lots of water, sugar, 10,000 bottles of bourbon, and 1,000 pounds of mint — all grown on a small family farm in southern Jefferson County.

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NPR Story
1:29 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Burger King's Subservient Chicken Is Back

In 2004, Burger King had a hit with its interactive "Subservient Chicken" ad campaign for the TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich. As the fast food giant introduces its new Chicken Big King Sandwich, it's brought back the famous ad character -- but he's no longer subservient. (Courtesy of YouTube)

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:19 pm

[Youtube]

After a 10-year hiatus, Burger King is bringing its Subservient Chicken ad campaign back.

The fast food chain struck advertisement gold when they introduced the Subservient Chicken character, a man dressed in a chicken costume who was featured in commercials and an interactive website. 

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NPR Story
1:29 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Solving The Mystery Of A Black Activist's Disappearance

Tamara Kamara, Robinson's youngest child, and widow, Cheryl Buswell-Robinson. (Sarah Hulett/Michigan Radio)

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:19 pm

In the spring of 1973, Ray Robinson left his wife and three young children in Bogue Chitto, Alabama to support the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

He never came home.

Now, more than 40 years after his disappearance, his widow and grown daughters, who live in Detroit, are closer to knowing what happened. Newly released FBI documents say Robinson was killed there, and suggest members of the American Indian Movement covered up the crime.

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NPR Story
3:51 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Restarting Life Out From Under Polio's Shadow

Gail Caldwell's new memoir "New Life, No Instructions" tells the story of what it was like to change the preconceptions she'd had about her life and literally learn to walk again.

Polio has been a large part of author Gail Caldwell’s life, ever since she contracted the disease at the age of six months.

Though she was eventually able to walk, she couldn’t jump rope or play basketball. But Caldwell was able to swim, row and establish a distinguished career as a writer.

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NPR Story
3:51 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

U.S. Economic Growth Slows In First Quarter

The Commerce Department reports that GDP growth in this country — that’s the value of all goods and services produced in the economy — slowed to an annual rate of 0.1 percent for the first quarter of this year.

Diane Swonk, chief economist with Mesirow Financial in Chicago, tells Here & Now that the tough winter weather continues to affect the numbers.

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NPR Story
3:51 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Pentagon To Review Army Hair Requirements After Controversy

This image provided by the U.S. Army shows new Army grooming regulations for females. The new regulations on how women may style their hair has drawn criticism from the Congressional Black Caucus and female African American soldiers. (U.S. Army via AP)

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:47 pm

Earlier this month, the Army issued new hair regulations that banned most twists, dreadlocks and large cornrows – styles used predominately by African-American women with natural hairstyles.

Sixteen female members of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote to Secretary Defense Chuck Hagel calling the changes “discriminatory rules targeting soldiers who are women of color.”

Now, in response to that criticism, the military is expected to review those standards. Pentagon spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby says Hagel will make whatever adjustments are appropriate after review.

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NPR Story
3:43 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Sterling Banned For Life By The NBA

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA in response to racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation.

Commissioner Adam Silver said he will try to force the controversial owner to sell his franchise. Sterling has also been fined $2.5 million, and Silver made no effort to hide his outrage over the comments.

He said a league investigation found that the league’s longest-tenured owner was in fact the person on the audiotapes that were released over the weekend.

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NPR Story
3:43 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

NBA Bans Clippers Owner Donald Sterling For Life

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says that after an investigation that verified it was Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments in audio released over the weekend, the NBA will ban him for life.

Silver says the NBA will also fine Sterling $2.5 million — the maximum fine allowed — and pressure Sterling to sell the team.

Doug Tribou of NPR’s Only a Game joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the decision by the NBA.

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NPR Story
3:43 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Craig Ferguson To Leave 'The Late Late Show'

After a ten year stretch with “The Late Late Show”, Craig Ferguson has announced his plans to step down as host. (Sonja Flemming/CBS)

CBS is losing yet another late-night host. After a 10-year stretch with “The Late Late Show,” Craig Ferguson has announced his plans to step down as host.

Ferguson’s announcement comes less than a month after David Letterman broke the news to his studio audience that he would be retiring from the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Johnny Clegg On South Africa, Post-Mandela

Johnny Clegg performs in the Here & Now studios. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 2:49 pm

Johnny Clegg‘s song “Asimbonanga” resurfaced after the death of Nelson Mandela last year, being widely shared online. The song was an anti-apartheid anthem, calling for the release of Mandela when he was jailed. Mandela would later join him on stage for the performance of the song.

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NPR Story
1:47 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Can France Maintain Its Famous Work-Life Balance?

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 3:46 pm

Employees in France are in a league of their own. They work a 35 hours a week. They get six weeks of paid leave, plus generous striking rights.

And in the past few weeks, new rules have been agreed to that allow some employees to literally switch off their email when they leave the office in the evening.

So if you’re in Asia or America and hoping to discuss a business venture with your contact in France after their work day has ended, you’ll just have to call back at a more convenient time. C’est la vie.

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NPR Story
1:47 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Pfizer Bids To Buy AstraZeneca

Financial Times Reporter Cardiff Garcia joins us to talk about the U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s $100 billion offer to buy British-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca.

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NPR Story
2:02 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Ceasefire Ends In Pakistan

In Pakistan, officials say the military has launched a series of air strikes against suspected militants near the Afghan border. They say at least 12 suspected militants have been killed.

It’s the first such operation in two months and yet another sign of just how deep the divisions run in Pakistani society between those who are fighting for a theocracy and those who believe in democracy.

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NPR Story
2:02 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

100 Percent Of California Now In Drought

Source: United States Drought Monitor

This week, the U.S. Drought Monitor declared that 100 percent of California is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought.

Richard Heim, a meteorologist with the National Climatic Data Center, joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss which parts of the state are most affected and what steps are being taken to deal with it.

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NPR Story
2:02 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Is Opera In America In Peril?

In Boston Baroque's semi-staged version of Claudio Monteverdi's "Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria," Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães makes his U.S. debut as Ulisse, and Jennifer Rivera plays his wife, Penelope. (Clive Grainger)

Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 2:09 pm

With the New York City Opera announcing its closing and the San Diego Opera in peril, the state of opera in the United States appears to be tottering.

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NPR Story
1:22 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Discovering Lost Sounds

One sound recorded for the project is that of a fence-making machine. (Torsten Nilsson/Museum of Work)

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 8:10 am

Do you know what a guillotine sounds like? How about a Tiegel semi-automatic stop-cylinder printing press?

These are some of the sounds from past generations that have been lost (sometimes for the better). But the Museum of Work in Norrköping, Sweden, is preserving those sounds.

Here & Now’s Robin Young listens to some of these lost sounds with Torsten Nilsson, curator of the Museum of Work.

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NPR Story
1:22 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Sunday Morning Talk Shows Might Be On The Decline

Critics of Sunday morning political talk shows like "Meet the Press" say they don't pack the same punch they used to, focusing too much on sensationalism rather than hard news. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images for Meet the Press)

The Sunday morning talk shows once played a vital role in American politics. Shows like “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation” and “This Week” used to facilitate opportunities for news-making interviews that would set the national political agenda.

Now fans are criticizing such shows for being too gossipy or hosting the same guests repeatedly, and these once influential programs might be dying out.

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NPR Story
1:22 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

N.H. Hospital Offers Deals On Procedures To Uninsured

Richard Coll saw an advertisement for a flat-rate colonoscopy in his local paper. (Todd Bookman/NHPR)

Transparency and low cost aren’t exactly widespread when it comes to getting healthcare. But Elliot Hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire, is trying to change that.

The hospital is offering “CareBundles,” an all-inclusive fee for procedures like colonoscopies and knee surgery. At this time, only the uninsured can get fixed price procedures. But while the initiative is in its infancy, some big companies are making similar low-cost deals with hospitals in other parts of the country.

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NPR Story
2:37 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

DJ Sessions: From Europe, With Love

Lars Christian Olsen is the front man of Norweigian band Tôg. (Tonje Thilesen)

In this installment of DJ Sessions, KCRW’s Travis Holcombe brings us sounds from Norway and France, including Norwegian DJ and producer Todd Terje, Norwegian rock band Tôg, French singer Katerine and French electro rock band Jamaica.

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NPR Story
1:22 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

May The Best Barista Win

Filling in as a judge, James Tooill critiques barista Michael Butterworth's coffee. (Gabe Bullard/WFPL)

Baristas from around the country will compete in the U.S. Coffee Championships in Seattle this week to see who rises to cream of the crop. Contests include best brewer’s cup and latte art.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Gabe Bullard of WFPL reports that Kentucky — which is better known for its bourbon than for coffee — is sending two baristas who are going for the gold.

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NPR Story
1:22 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

South Korean Ferry Disaster: One Survivor's Story

More than 150 bodies have now been recovered from the wreck of a ferry that sank off the South Korean coast last week. There are nearly 150 people still missing.

BBC correspondent Lucy Williamson went to the holiday island of Jeju to meet a survivor.

Note: Please subscribe to the Here & Now podcast or use the WBUR mobile app to hear this BBC interview.

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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

What Do We Have To Teach Plato?

A marble statue of ancient Greek philosopher Plato stands in front of the Athens Academy, in Athens. (Dimitri Messinis/AP)

In her book “Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away,” philosopher and writer Rebecca Newberger Goldstein imagines Plato on a U.S. book tour, speaking at Google, on a cable TV show and debating child-rearing at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Tension Remain High In Ukraine

In Kiev today, Vice President Joe Biden said Russia must stop talking and start acting to defuse the crisis in Crimea.

The vice president’s visit comes as three men killed in an attack on a pro-Russian camp on Sunday were buried.

The BBC’s Natalia Antelava is visiting the town of Lugansk, a pro-Russian stronghold, and reports on the debate between those loyal to Kiev and those loyal to Moscow.

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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

North Korea Steps Up Nuclear Activity Ahead Of Obama Visit

President Obama arrives in Japan on tomorrow amid reports that North Korea might carry out a fourth underground nuclear test to coincide with the president’s trip.

The reports about the possible test come from the South Korean Defense Ministry, which says it has spotted several activities related to a possible nuclear test in Punggye-ri in North Korea.

Jim Walsh, an expert on North Korea and international security, discusses this with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

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NPR Story
2:09 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

South Korean President Condemns Captain Of Sunken Ferry

Boats and cranes surround the site of the submerged 'Sewol' ferry off the coast of Jindo on April 21, 2014. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

On Monday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye likened the actions and decisions of the captain and some of the crew members of the sunken ferry in Sewol as “unforgivable, murderous behavior.”

The disaster has left some 300 people missing or dead. Journalist Jason Strother joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson from Seoul with the latest.

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NPR Story
1:57 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Remembering Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter is pictured in February 2010. (Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 3:18 pm

Middleweight boxing champion Rubin “Hurricane” Carter died on Sunday at age 76. He was twice wrongly convicted in a 1966 triple murder. Celebrities rallied for his release, but after his second conviction, many fell away.

Thom Kidrin was among the few who kept up support and lobbied relentlessly for Carter’s release. In 1985, a federal judge ruled Carter had been wrongly convicted.

Kidrin joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss his friend’s life and legacy.

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NPR Story
1:52 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Song Of The Week: 'Animals'

The band The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger consists of Sean Lennon and his girlfriend and fellow musician Charlotte Kemp Muhl. (Courtesy of the artist)

NPR music writer and editor Stephen Thompson introduces Here & Now’s Robin Young to the song “Animals” by the band The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.

The band consists of John Lennon’s son, Sean Lennon, and his girlfriend and fellow musician Charlotte Kemp Muhl.

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NPR Story
2:24 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Boston Is Ready To Run Again

The finish line of the Boston Marathon, located on Boylston Street, is seen on April 16, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

One of the biggest fields ever will assemble in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, for the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday morning, which is Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts. It’s the first Boston Marathon since the bombings near the finish line last April.

This year, 36,000 people will be running, including elite athletes from all around the world. African runners have dominated the Boston Marathon for more than two decades and they are the favorites again this year.

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NPR Story
2:24 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Boston Marathon Inspires At Children's Cancer Clinic

A mural in MGH’s pediatric cancer clinic tells the story of the hospital’s marathon team, which was founded by Dr. Howard Weinstein, chief of MGH’s pediatric hematology-oncology program, in 1998. (Courtesy of MGH)

While the Boston Marathon will be the center of international attention this year, the marathon has always been a focal point at a Boston clinic that treats children with cancer.

For each of the past 16 marathons, many patients at the pediatric cancer program at Massachusetts General Hospital have been paired with runners — using the race’s symbol of endurance and strength to the youngsters undergoing cancer treatment.

Two former patients ran last year but were stopped before the finish line because of the bombings.

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NPR Story
2:24 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

First Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned From Adults

For the first time, scientists have successfully grown stem cells from adults using cloning techniques.

This development, published in Thursday’s online edition of the journal Cell Stem Cell, brings scientists closer to developing patient-specific lines of cells that can be used to treat medical ailments.

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