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1:00 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Snowy Owls Head South In Biggest Numbers In 50 Years

Perched upon a car tire in a clam flat at Long Wharf in New Haven on December 15, 2013, a young male Snowy Owl scans its surroundings. In the background is Five Mile Point light in New Haven harbor. (Matt Messina/WNPR)

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 1:30 pm

Birders in the Northeast are enjoying a rare spectacle this winter: sightings of the snowy owl.

Low supplies of food in the birds’ usual habitat — the Arctic — have sent some snowy owls south in search of prey, and they are sparking the imaginations of those who get a glimpse of the rare bird.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Patrick Skahill of WNPR went searching for snowy owls along the Connecticut coast.

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11:56 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Antarctic Explorer's Failure Becomes His Greatest Success

Recently recovered cellulose photos recovered by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust. Pictured, Iceberg and land, Ross Island. (New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:14 pm

A helicopter has rescued all 52 passengers from a research ship that’s been trapped in Antarctic ice since Christmas Eve.

The group was stuck in the ice for 10 days, but imagine being stuck there for 15 months – with no communication with the outside world.

That’s what happened to Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton and his team in their attempt to make a land crossing of Antarctica in 1914.

Their ship got stuck in the ice, and they never reached their goal. But that journey is now remembered for Shackleton’s journey to rescue his crew.

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11:55 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Bringing Back Detroit's 'Jit' Dance

The Jit is a street dance that was developed in Detroit during the 1970s. Haleem Rasul is the founder of HardCore Detroit, a dance troupe, and is keeping the dance's legacy alive in a new documentary. (Courtesy Haleem Rasul)

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:01 pm

Detroit is known for its auto industry, Motown music and now bankruptcy and vacant buildings — but a group of young dancers wants the city’s legacy also to include a street dance, known as the “Jit” (not to be confused with the swing dance called the jitterbug from the 1930s).

Three brothers started the dance in Detroit in the 1970s, they became known as the “Jitterbugs,” doing flips and kicks alongside each other in coordinated routines.

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11:55 am
Thu January 2, 2014

European Union Eases Work Restrictions

People prepare to board a bus to London via Germany and France on January 2, 2014 at the central bus station in Sofia. Romanians and Bulgarians have the right to work in any of the European Union's 28 countries, but 'no major increase' in emigration is expected, the European Commission has said. (Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:14 pm

Citizens of Romania and Bulgaria can now work without restrictions across the European Union.

The two countries are the poorest in the EU and their citizens’ rights to work and claim benefits were limited for the first seven years of their EU membership.

Some in the wealthier countries fear that because those restrictions have been eased, there may be mass migration from Romania and Bulgaria into wealthier member nations.

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NPR Story
12:46 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

The Year In Jazz

Cecile McLorin Salvant is one of jazz critic Francis Davis' picks for best jazz of 2013. (cecilemclorinsalvant.com)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:14 pm

For the past eight years, jazz critic Francis Davis polls his fellow critics on the best jazz records of the year.

Davis joins  Here & Now’s Robin Young to share the best jazz music that came out of 2013. Davis also takes a look back at some of jazz’s biggest losses from the year — from Marian McPartland to Jim Hall and Yusef Lateef.

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NPR Story
12:46 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Economists Predict Good Cheer For The New Year

Confetti falls throughout Times Square during the New Years Eve celebration on January 1, 2014 in New York City. Economists are also among those who are optimistic for the new year. (Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:14 pm

As the new year begins, most economists’ annual forecasts are brimming with good cheer.

Just one example: Goldman Sachs’ forecasters wrote, “The economic news remains broadly encouraging.”

And stock analysts are upbeat about the outlook for Wall Street.

At JPMorgan, they said the country is in the midst of “a classic bull market” that is not done running yet.

NPR’s Marily Geewax joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the data behind the optimism.

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NPR Story
12:46 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Airport Chaplains Minister To The Transient

Senior Chaplain D.D. Hayes of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport's interfaith chaplaincy performs a wedding ceremony. (dfwairportchapel.org)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:14 pm

Their congregations are diverse and transient. Some have scheduled religious services but often, ministering happens in the hallways.

They are airport chaplains, and sometimes, they’re busier than TSA agents.

Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with two chaplains, Bishop D.D. Hayes at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and Rev. Chris Piasta, at John F. Kennedy Airport’s Our Lady of the Skies.

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12:06 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Fasting The Way To Financial Freedom

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:15 pm

Working out every day, eating better, keeping in better touch with family and friends. Just some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions.

Oh, and don’t forget money. Managing it wisely, saving it abundantly. But what about not spending it at all?

Financial columnist Michelle Singletary joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss her 21-day financial fast, in which you can buy only t

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NPR Story
12:06 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

'Born To Run': What Makes A Great Song?

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:15 pm

An early draft of Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics for his first big hit song “Born to Run” sold for $197,000 at auction earlier this month.

The song was written in 1974 at a time when Springsteen was under pressure to produce a hit or get dropped from his record label.

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NPR Story
12:06 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Fast-Rising Category Of Charitable Funds Raises Controversy

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:15 pm

There is a rising debate over “donor-advised funds,” the fastest growing category in charity.

Donor-advised funds are a way to put aside money now for charity, and claim the tax deduction now, but have the freedom to actually donate the money whenever the donor wants. They’ve been around for a long time, but their sharp rise came after the asset management firm Fidelity set up a philanthropic fund, Fidelity Charitable, to manage them.

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12:36 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Renee Graham's Pop Culture Highlights Of 2013

Among Renee Graham's standouts include Idris Elba's (left) performance as Nelson Mandela in the film, "Long Walk to Freedom." (Participant Media)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:15 pm

Renee Graham joins  Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti  to talk about some of the standouts in film, television and music of the past year.

Standout Films

Matthew McConaughey’s performance in “Dallas Buyers Club

Great performances by black actors in major films:

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NPR Story
12:36 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Rejects Calls For Resignation

People hold placards reading 'Shame to thieves with Boxes' during a demostration on December 29, 2013 in Istanbul against corruption and the Government. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the judiciary as he tried to tamp down a corruption probe that has shaken his government and sparked a new wave of anti-government protests. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:15 pm

A corruption scandal has forced Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reshuffle his cabinet, but he is rejecting calls for his resignation.

Three of his ministers have resigned because of the scandal, which the prime minister blames on outside forces.

But anti-goverment protests flared up again last week just as they did this past summer. The situation today is being called the biggest threat yet to Erdogan’s 11 years in office.

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NPR Story
12:36 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

2013: The Year of Risk?

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:15 pm

It’s hard to imagine the market collapse of 2008 when looking at today’s numbers.

The S&P 500 is up 29 percent for the year, it’s best since 1997. The NASDAQ has been trading at its highest levels since 2000, and the Dow is up more than 20 percent, it’s best rally since 2003.

Low-rated “junk bonds” have had a record year, and Facebook is worth more than Disney.

How is this possible five years after the financial collapse?

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Fri December 27, 2013

2013: A Look Back At The Year In Tech

A developer, Loic Le Meu selected for Google Glass explorer edition shows off his device. (Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:15 pm

This year started with high expectations for Google Glass and other wearable technology, but even by the end of the year those devices haven’t really reached the mainstream.

Companies like Samsung and Snapchat saw great success, while others had a few flops.

NPR technology correspondent Steve Henn joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to look at the year in technology.

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Two Years After War's End, US Sends Arms To Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki meets with U.S. President Barack Obama on November 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. Al-Maliki requested additional U.S. assistance in battling a rising wave of violence in Iraq. The U.S. subsequently sent arms and surveillance equipment to Iraq. (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:15 pm

To help the Iraqi government fight the current insurgency, which is at levels not seen since the worst days of the war, the Obama administration is sending missiles and surveillance drones to the country.

The New York Times broke the story and reports that the move follows Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s request when he came to Washington last month.

Al-Maliki said Iraq needs help to fight al-Qaeda-backed militants who are gaining territory in Iraq and also in neighboring Syria.

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Will Holiday Shipping Disaster Change Shopping Habits?

A UPS worker delivers packages on December 26, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Bad weather and a higher than expected demand from online sales caused FedEx and UPS to miss many Christmas delivery deadlines. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:15 pm

More than a few Christmas shoppers were disappointed when their UPS and FedEx were unable to deliver their packages in time for Christmas.

Bloomberg’s Marty Schenker joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson says the failure of the two shipping giants might show that American shopping habits, including a desire to wait until the last minute for the best possible deal, are quickly becoming unsustainable.

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11:56 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Did 'Queer Eye' Help Change Society's Perceptions of Gay Men?

2013 has seen the LGBT community make incredible political progress: the Supreme Court overturned part of the Defense of Marriage Act and states including Minnesota and — after a long legal battle — California, legalized same-sex marriage, bringing the total number of states that recognize same-sex marriage to 18.

Part of the progress toward gay rights, scholars and activists have noted, is increased visibility of LGBT people. That’s where  “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” comes in. The program debuted on the Bravo cable channel ten years ago.

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NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Walt Disney's Growing Empire

A scene from the most recent "Indiana Jones" film. Disney recently reached an agreement with Paramount allowing Disney to control future production in the Indiana Jones franchise. (indianajones.com)

The Walt Disney Company continues to add to its treasure chest with its recent agreement with Paramount to control production of all future “Indiana Jones” films.

Disney now owns Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, Lucasfilm and the Muppets.

As the Atlantic’s business editor Derek Thompson tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson, Disney not only makes money from movies, a lot of its earnings come from television channels, such as ESPN, the Disney Channel, and ABC.

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NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Officials Call For Delay In Thailand Election Following Violence

Thai anti-government protesters run from tear gas during a rally at a stadium to register party-list candidates in Bangkok. (AFP/Getty Images)

Thailand’s election commission is calling for upcoming elections to be delayed after street battles between security forces and protesters resulted in the death of a police officer and injured nearly 100 people.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra wants the Feb. 2 elections to take place as scheduled, believing she can win and renew her mandate. The street violence adds pressure to take a tougher line against the protesters, risking more chaos and possible intervention by the army.

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NPR Story
11:41 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Ski Resorts Looking To Profit From China's Growing Middle Class

Aspen Skiing Company is one resort that is trying to profit from China's growing middle class by wooing them to its slopes. (Aspen Skiing Company)

The Chinese middle class is growing, and so is their disposable income.

Colorado’s ski resorts are trying some new tactics to attract Chinese tourists to the slopes. Marci Krivonen of Aspen Public Radio reports.

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