Here & Now

Mondays - Thursdays 11am-1pm
Jeremy Hobson & Robin Young

Supreme Court rulings. Breaking news. Thoughtful interviews. A live production of NPR and WBUR Boston, in collaboration with public radio stations across the country, Here & Now reflects the fluid world of news as it’s happening in the middle of the day, with timely, smart and in-depth news, interviews and conversation. Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson, the show’s daily lineup includes interviews with NPR reporters, editors and bloggers, as well as leading newsmakers, innovators and artists from across the U.S. and around the globe. Here & Now began at WBUR in 1997, and expanded to two hours in partnership with NPR in 2013. Today, the show reaches an estimated 3.6 million weekly listeners on over 383 stations across the country. Stay connected to what’s happening…right now…with Here & Now from NPR and WBUR.

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

As North Carolina Grows, Public Education Shifts

A student holds a sign in support of teachers outside a demonstration at Durham's EK Powe Elementary School in November 2013. (Dave DeWitt/WUNC)

Major changes are happening in public education in North Carolina.

Last year, the legislature passed laws that did away with teacher tenure, ended extra pay for teachers who earn master’s degrees and created a voucher system for low-income students.

Analysts who watch education policy say no other state made more changes that affect schools in 2013 than North Carolina did.

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Super Bowl Economics: NY May Profit More Than NJ

Next week’s Super Bowl XLVIII is expected to bring $600 million to the New York/New Jersey region, says the NFL. But how much of that will stay in New Jersey, the host city, isn’t clear.

Hotels and homeowners on both sides of the Hudson River are trying to profit as football fans come to the region to attend the game at MetLife Stadium.

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NPR Story
1:41 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Color Used In Many Sodas Contains Potential Carcinogen

A recent article in Consumer Reports says that the caramel color used to make most sodas brown, contains a potential carcinogen. One of the the worst offenders is the diet brand Pepsi One. (Brandon Warren/Flickr)

It may not be news that soda is unhealthy, but today, Consumer Reports is saying that in addition to the sugar and empty calories most soda consumers may worry about, they also should be concerned about the color of the soda.

Tests show that the caramel color used to make most sodas brown, contains a potential carcinogen, and one of the the worst offenders is the diet brand Pepsi One.

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NPR Story
1:41 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

'Sustainability' Is Big In Food Retail, But Hard To Prove

Whole Foods already employs a labeling system to identify the sustainability ratings of its seafood. The company plans to introduce a similar system for flowers and produce later this year. (Quim Gil/Flickr)

When you head to the supermarket, you have a lot of choices these days. You can choose from any number of brands, prices and labels. You can go organic, buy local, make sure your food is antibiotic free. And now you can add “sustainable” to the grocery list.

Retailers and restaurants like Whole Foods, Chipotle and Walmart are all providing information to consumers about how “sustainably” some of their products were produced. But it’s hard to know just what “sustainably” means and how to judge whether food was produced in a “sustainable” way.

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NPR Story
1:41 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

How China's Web Traffic Wound Up In Wyoming

Pictured is the building in Cheyenne, Wyo., registered to the Internet address that received the Chinese web traffic. (Google Streetview)

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 4:52 am

Half a billion Internet users in China were blocked from the Internet for nearly eight hours on Tuesday when China’s vast “firewall,” or censorship technologies, accidentally routed most of the country’s web traffic to an Internet address registered to a company in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

While the physical location of the servers receiving the traffic isn’t clear, the massive loss of Internet service may be the biggest crash in the Internet’s history.

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NPR Story
1:36 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

DJ Sessions: Reviving Snoop And Other '90s Sounds

Oddience is one of the bands KCRW's Travis Holcombe features in this week's DJ Sessions. (Oddience/Facebook)

KCRW’s Travis Holcombe joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson in the latest installment of DJ Sessions.

Travis shares music that is being produced now, but is reminiscent of the sounds from the ’90s, including one group that’s reviving Snoop Dogg.

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NPR Story
1:36 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Justices Hear Arguments In Restitution Case

The Supreme Court lent a sympathetic ear Wednesday to a victim of child pornography who wants the court to make it easier for victims to collect money from people convicted of downloading and viewing the pornographic images.

The woman known as Amy was at the court, her legal team said, for arguments in which the justices underscored that she and other victims of child pornography suffer serious psychological harm whenever anyone looks at their images online.

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NPR Story
1:36 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Apple's Mac Computer Turns 30

The Apple Computer Inc., manufacturing plant in Milpitas, Calif., producing Macintosh computers, is shown in this Feb. 24, 1984 photo. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

This coming Friday marks the 30th anniversary of the first Apple Mac that went on sale.

NPR technology correspondent Steve Henn joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the genesis of the Macintosh, the future of Apple and how the Mac has influenced both Apple and the technological world.

[Youtube]

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NPR Story
1:34 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

The Kings Of Ice Castles Come To New Hampshire

Cory Livingood stands in a potential ice throne location. (Sean Hurley/NHPR)

Utah has one. So does Colorado. And now New Hampshire has one, too: Its very own ice castle.

The frozen structure is now open to the public at Loon Mountain in north central New Hampshire.

It’s taken mother nature and 20 workers about a month to turn tons of homemade icicles into a glacial maze of frozen caverns and clear blue coliseums.

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NPR Story
1:34 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

One Year Later: Reflections On An Inaugural Poem

President Barack Obama and Richard Blanco look at a framed copy of "One Today," in the Oval Office, May 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

When Richard Blanco was tapped last year to write the inaugural poem at the ceremony for President Obama’s second term, he was more than surprised. The Latino gay poet was given three weeks to write and submit three poems.

Blanco says the poem chosen for the big day, “One Day,” was not his favorite. We hear the one that was: “Mother Country.”

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NPR Story
1:34 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Pandora And Performance Rights Organization In Court Over Music Fees

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 5:32 am

Pandora is facing off with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in federal court today to determine how much money the online radio giant should pay for the use of their compositions.

Pandora pays 4.3 percent of its revenues to ASCAP publishers and songwriters. It pays about half its revenue to record labels and performers. The decision could have an impact on the evolving digital music industry.

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NPR Story
1:05 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Is Another Housing Bubble Growing?

Peter Wallison, a conservative voice in the world of fiscal policy, recently wrote a much-commented-upon opinion piece in the New York Times entitled "The Bubble is Back." But unlike his most of colleagues on the 2011 Fiscal Crisis Inquiry Commission, Wallison blames government housing policy for the last bubble. (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 1:52 pm

Peter Wallison, a conservative voice in the world of fiscal policy, sees signs of another housing bubble. He points to the growing gap between owning versus renting, and to a return to no-money-down mortgages.

He recently wrote a much-commented-upon opinion piece in the New York Times entitled “The Bubble is Back.” But unlike his most of colleagues on the 2011 Fiscal Crisis Inquiry Commission, Wallison blames government housing policy for the last bubble.

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NPR Story
12:41 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

World's Richest 85 Hold Same Wealth As Poorest 3.5 Billion

A slum community in Lucknow, India. (Tom Pietrasik/Oxfam)

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:17 am

Income inequality has been in national headlines for weeks, but a new report out today from the Britain-based international charity Oxfam says it’s a major issue worldwide.

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NPR Story
11:27 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Syrian-American Rapper Focuses On Violence In Syria

Omar Offendum performs at the 2012 Doha Tribeca Film Festival on November 18, 2012 in Doha, Qatar. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Doha Film Institute)

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 1:52 pm

You may have heard of Omar Offendum, the 31-year-old Syrian-American rapper who made a song about the Arab Spring called #Jan25 that was released just days before the overthrow of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.

Now, he’s focusing his music on his parents’ home country of Syria. He joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss his music and what it’s been like to watch the conflict from the U.S.

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NPR Story
11:27 am
Mon January 20, 2014

New Thinking On Women And Alcohol

(CoffeeCypher/Flickr)

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 1:52 pm

Alcoholics Anonymous is commonly considered the gold standard for helping people control their drinking problems.

But there’s a growing school of thought that there are problem drinkers who can cut back — as opposed to severely dependent drinkers who must cut out drinking altogether. There are new tools, such as medication and online support.

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NPR Story
11:27 am
Mon January 20, 2014

'Brutal Massacre' Of Civilians Unsettles Western Agencies In Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers inspect the scene of a suicide attack outside a base in Zhari district, Kandahar province on January 20, 2014. (Javed Tanveer/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 1:52 pm

NATO forces repelled a Taliban attack on a Western base today in the Southern Afghan province of Kandahar that killed one coalition soldier. All nine Taliban fighters, along with two Afghan civilians were killed in the battle.

That attack comes after a suicide bombing on Friday in Kabul that killed 21 people, 13 of them foreigners. NPR’ Sean Carberry tells Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti that the attack was “unprecedented.”

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NPR Story
12:41 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Malware Used In Target Breach Found

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 1:54 pm

The malicious computer program used against Target was revealed in a government report released yesterday.

Officials are calling the cyber attack operation “Kaptoxa,” a Russian word that comes from a piece of code in the malware. Investigators say the malware used in the recent breach was partly written in Russian, though it’s unclear whether the attack originated in Russia.

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NPR Story
12:40 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

'Saturday Night Live' Seeks Diversity With New Hire

Comedienne Sasheer Zamata will make her debut as a Saturday Night Live cast member this weekend. Zamata is the first African-American female cast member since Maya Rudolph's departure six years ago. (Cate Hellman)

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 1:54 pm

This weekend, “Saturday Night Live“ will debut its newest cast member, Sasheer Zamata. Zamata is the first African-American female hire in six seasons — since the departure of Maya Rudolph in 2007.

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NPR Story
12:40 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Fighting Rages On Turkey's Border With Syria

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 1:54 pm

The civil war in Syria is a confusing mix of rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, al-Qaida aligned fighters from the group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), and the regime’s army.

That’s especially true on Syria’s border with Turkey. The BBC’s James Reynolds reports from the border on that conflict.

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NPR Story
1:46 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Netflix May Take A Hit With End Of Net Neutrality

While the end of net neutrality may mean higher costs for Netflix, the company may be able to pay to ensure that its content stream faster and in higher quality than its competition, or refuse to pay more money for high speed Internet. (Netflix Blog)

The recent appeals court ruling that overturned a FCC regulation requiring Internet Service Providers to treat all online services equally, known as “net neutrality,” may mean higher costs for Netflix and other online services.

But it also could have an upside for Netflix: the company may be able to pay to ensure that its content streams faster and in higher quality than its competition. Or the company can refuse to pay more money for high speed Internet.

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