Here & Now

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

Here & Now is public radio's live mid-day news program. A 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.

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NPR Story
1:42 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Franklin McCain, Civil Rights Pioneer, Dies

Franklin McCain of Wilmington, North Carolina is pictured in April, 1960. (AP)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:13 pm

Franklin McCain was one of four students who sat down at an all-white lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., on February 1, 1960.

The freshman from North Carolina A&T ignited a sit-in movement in the Jim Crow South that led to other key chapters in the Civil Rights era.

McCain died yesterday at the age of 73.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Jeff Tiberii of WUNC has this remembrance.

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NPR Story
1:53 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The Real Philomena

Actress Dame Judi Dench and Philomena Lee attend the 'Philomena' American Express Gala screening during the 57th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 16, 2013 in London, England. (Zak Hussein/Getty Images for BFI)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:13 pm

Philomena,” the movie starring Dame Judi Dench, has been both a critical and commercial success.

The film is based on the story of Philomena Lee, who as an unmarried pregnant teenager, went to a Catholic-run home for unwed mothers in Rosecrea, Ireland in 1952.

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NPR Story
1:53 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Chris Christie Runs Up Against Bully Reputation

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:13 pm

The New Jersey governor now in the middle of a political scandal over George Washington bridge lane closures has a reputation for hardball politics.

He’s stripped a former governor of his police escort, he’s pulled funding for a political scientist who declined to endorse Republican redistricting plans, and his office has pressured prosecutors who were investigating a Republican sheriff and fundraiser.

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NPR Story
1:53 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Obama Picks 'Promise Zones' To Fight Poverty

President Obama will announce the designation of five "promise zones" today, including one in Philadelphia. (coia.nac/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 2:13 pm

The Obama administration has designated five regions around the country as “promise zones” — areas where the administration will focus on closing the gap between rich and poor by creating jobs and strengthening existing poverty-cutting programs.

This comes 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty.”

Derek Thompson, business editor for The Atlantic, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain how “promise zones” work.

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NPR Story
1:29 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

A Look At One Ordinary, Beautiful Life

Shelagh Gordon died suddenly at 55 in February, 2012, leaving an ordinary but magical life. (Courtesy)

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

In our busy lives — we tend to overlook the simple acts of kindness around us. For the past few weeks, WBUR has been highlighting some of these as part of a series called “Kind World.”

In this edition we hear about an idea reporters at the Toronto Star came up with: Is it possible to capture the life of a person you’ve never met through the stories of their friends and family… after their death?

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NPR Story
1:29 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Are We On The Titanic Or The Olympic?

Olympic (left) returning to Belfast for repairs in March 1912, and Titanic (right). This was the last time the two sister ships would be seen together. (Robert John Welch/Wikimedia Commons)

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

Are we on the Titanic or the Olympic? That’s the question New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik asks in his piece “Two Ships,” as he looks at the last time Western civilization went from ’13 to ’14.

Gopnik is re-visiting the turn from 1913 to 1914, to think about the turn from 2013 to 2014.

He writes that 1913 was “full of rumbling energy and matchless artistic accomplishment,” which included achievements for Cubism in art, Proust in literature and Stravinsky in music.

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NPR Story
1:29 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

2014 Consumer Electronics Show Begins

Visitors check Audi's Concept Vision of Tomorrow during the 2014 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

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

The 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show opened this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center. More than 3,200 exhibitors will present both retailers and the media with the latest in consumer technology.

NPR technology correspondent Steve Henn joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss what items are already selling and what the next major technological breakthrough will be.

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NPR Story
1:28 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Listener Thoughts On Laser Beam Headlights

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

Earlier this week, Paul Eisenstein, publisher of the car news website The Detroit Bureau, joined us to talk about all the high-tech car innovations at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (See the interview here.)

There was one thing he said that drew some pretty strong listener reaction. It was about a new device from Audi.

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NPR Story
1:28 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Should We Do Away With 'Wind Chill Factor'?

(Mel Evans/AP)

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

As cold weather grips much of the country, we’re hearing a lot about the “wind chill factor.”

The measurement comes from Canadian Antarctic explorers Paul Siple and Charles Passel, who in 1945 worked out an equation to show how quickly water froze at different temperatures depending on the wind.

The numbers that come out of their equation were the precursor to our modern day “wind chill factor,” which is supposed to tell you how cold it feels outside.

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NPR Story
1:30 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

American Skaters Not Expected To Take Much Gold In Sochi

Meryl Davis and Charlie White competes in the Ice Dance short program during day two of ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/2014 NHK Trophy at Yoyogi National Gymnasium on November 9, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. (Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

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

The U.S. National Figure Skating Championships take place in Boston this week. Winners will make the U.S. Olympic team.

Sports writer John Powers tells Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to expect ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the reigning world champions, to make history as the first U.S. pair to take gold in the Sochi Olympics next month.

But Powers says U.S. figure skaters are falling short in pairs and men’s and women’s individual events.

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Robin Young On Michael Bay's Teleprompter Fail

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

We began our story today on the Consumer Electronics Show by mentioning film director Michael Bay’s onstage meltdown at the show.

He said later in an email that he’d been so excited he’d jumped off his script, and that confused the poor teleprompter operator, who’d jumped ahead.

Who has not been there?

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Innovation And Connectivity Dominate Consumer Electronics Show

Sony Executive Vice President of Sony Corporation and Sony Mobile Communications President and CEO Kunimasa Suzuki displays a Sony Xperia Z compact phone during a Sony press event at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the 2014 International CES on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (David Becker/Getty Images)

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

Curved high-definition televisions, wearable computers, internet-connected cars, water bottles and tennis rackets are just some of the thousands of gadgets on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal is at the CES and tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that smart TVs and improved smartphones are among the hottest trends at the show, as tech companies respond to consumer demand for more connectivity.

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NPR Story
1:35 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Technology Writer Calls For 'Information Environmentalism'

Evgeny Morozov says that perhaps constant connectivity is not a good thing. (Ed Yourdon/Flickr)

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

Technology writer Evgeny Morozov says we’ve ceded key decisions on public space to technology companies, and he is joining the call for a movement to take the space back.

“We’ve decided by default that more connectivity is a good thing, but maybe it isn’t,” Morozov tells Here & Now’s Robin Young.

For one thing, Morozov argues, we turn to technology to escape boredom, but information overload also leads to profound boredom.

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NPR Story
1:35 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

A Modern Greek Saga: Sisyphus And The Ivy

Tom Banse/Northwest News Network

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

Some causes just seem hopeless some days. But you’ve no doubt met people who insist on tackling intractable problems locally and around the world.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Tom Banse of the Northwest News Network introduces us to a particularly dedicated fellow who wages a solo fight each weekday morning against invasive English ivy vines in his home state of Washington.

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NPR Story
1:35 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

JP Morgan To Pay $2 Billion Settlement In Madoff Case

The headquarters of JP Morgan Chase on Park Avenue December 12, 2013 in New York. JP Morgan Chase and federal authorities are close to a USD $2 billion settlement over the bank's ties to financier Bernard L. Madooff that involve penalties and deffered criminal prosecution. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

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

JP Morgan Chase is expected to reach a deal with federal authorities this week to pay about $2 billion in civil and criminal penalties to the government for its ties to Bernie Madoff.

The bank is suspected of ignoring signs of Madoff’s criminal financial scheme in order to win more commissions on services it provided.

With this payout, JP Morgan will have paid $20 billion to the government in the past year to resolve investigations.

The government reportedly plans to give some of the $2 billion settlement to investors affected by Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

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NPR Story
1:34 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

'Racial Isolation' A Growing Phenomenon

Realtor Tony Campos, right, Watsonville's first Latino elected official, chats with Brian Chavez, center, and Oscar Gomez at an affordable housing complex for farmworkers and their children in Watsonville, Calif., July 19, 2013. As the Golden State becomes less and less white, communities are becoming more segregated, not less. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

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

In Watsonville, Calif., 82 percent of residents are either immigrants or descendants of immigrants, according to the Associated Press. It’s an example of what some are calling “racial isolation,” the phenomenon of a minority group living among others of the same race and language.

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NPR Story
1:34 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Cold Temperatures Grip Most Of US

People carry sleds at Montrose Beach Park in Chicago on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

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

The “polar vortex” has descended on much of the country. It’s so cold that schools are closed in Chicago and St. Louis. More than 400 flights have been canceled in Chicago, and the Chicago Sun-Times has renamed the city “Chiberia.”

It’s 32 degrees below zero in Fargo, North Dakota, and in Indianapolis, it’s illegal for anyone to drive, except for emergencies or to seek shelter.

Here & Now’s Robin Young checks in with longtime reporter Dan Verbeck at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri.

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NPR Story
1:34 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Supreme Court Puts Utah Same-Sex Marriage On Hold

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

The Supreme Court has put same-sex marriages on hold in Utah while a federal appeals court considers the issue. The court has issued a brief order blocking any new same-sex unions in the state.

More than 900 gay and lesbian couples have married since Dec. 20, when a federal judge ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage violates gay and lesbian couples’ constitutional rights.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Composer Caroline Shaw Nominated For Grammy

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

Violinist, singer and composer Caroline Shaw is the youngest person ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for music.

Her voice bending piece “Partita For 8 Voices” captured the attention of the Pulitzer judges this spring.

And she has been nominated for a Grammy award in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category, also for “Partita For 8 Voices.”

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

New Mayor Vows To Outlaw A Central Park Tradition

A horse-drawn carriage is seen near Central Park January 2, 2014 in New York. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced he would like the city council to outlaw the horse-drawn carriages and have them replaced by electric antique cars. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

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

The horse drawn carriages are a staple in New York’s Central Park and an almost mandatory destination for the hoards of tourists that visit the city each year.

They have been around for more than 150 years–ever since Central Park first opened in 1858.

But this year, New York’s new mayor Bill DeBlasio is vowing to do away with Central Park’s horse drawn carriages.

He says that the practice is cruel and essentially amounts to animal abuse.

DeBlasio says doing away with this NY tradition will be one of the first changes he makes in office.

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