Here & Now

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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
1:14 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Denver School Gets Blind Students Into Chemistry

Quinita Thomas (left), who is blind, works with her partner in a Metro State University chemistry lab. (CPR)

Mixing chemicals in a high school lab is challenging enough. Imagine doing it if you were blind.

A group of visually impaired students from all over the country had that chance at Metro State University in Denver recently.

It’s part of an effort to get more blind people interested in science, technology and math — fields in which they are severely underrepresented in the workforce.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Jenny Brundin of Colorado Public Radio has more.

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NPR Story
1:14 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

New IVF Technique Raises Ethical Questions

Connor Levy is the first baby born using a new in vitro fertilization technique. (Courtesy of Main Line Fertility)

A Philadelphia baby, born in May, is the first child in the world conceived using a new in vitro fertilization (IVF) technique, which screens embryos for chromosomal disorders and abnormalities before implantation.

People who use this technique will avoid implanting chromosomally abnormal embryos that would result in either not becoming pregnant, or in miscarriage.

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NPR Story
12:32 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

State Department Urges U.S. Citizens To Leave Yemen

Police stop cars at a checkpoint near the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. The State Department today ordered non-essential personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen to leave the country. (Hani Mohammed/AP)

The State Department is urging all U.S. citizens to leave Yemen today citing “continued potential for terrorist attacks” and an “extremely high” security threat level.

The department has ordered its non-essential personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen to leave the country.

This follows days of embassy lockdowns across the Middle East and Africa.

This morning, the U.S. Air Force transported State Department personnel out of Yemen’s capital, leaving only the most essential employees on the ground to monitor the security situation there.

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion Make Music Onstage And Off

Johnny Irion and Sarah Lee Guthrie. (Joanna Chattman)

Sarah Lee Guthrie grew up in a musical household — she’s the daughter of Arlo Guthrie and the granddaughter of Woody.

But as she tells Here & Now, growing up, music was something she avoided. With musicians coming in and out and staying for weeks, “I always felt like we were the Addams family, we were so weird!”

Then she met musician Johnny Irion. The two fell in love and began playing together, as well as well as marrying and having a family.

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

One Scientist's Quest: Improving The Flavor Of Commercial Tomatoes

Professor Harry Klee. (Tyler Jones/University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences)

Grocery store tomatoes are bred for yield and firmness, not for flavor.

And even though taste is relative, researchers at the University of Florida, Gainesville, believe they can come up with varieties of delicious tomatoes that will also appeal to commercial growers.

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

George W. Bush Undergoes Heart Procedure

Former President George W. Bush is pictured July 10, 2013. (LM Otero/AP)

Former President George W. Bush underwent a successful heart procedure earlier today at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, to clear an blockage discovered yesterday during a routine physical.

The former president had a stent was inserted.

Cardiologist James Willerson, who is president and medical director of the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, joins us to explain the procedure, the symptoms of a blocked artery and what could have happened if doctors hadn’t discovered it.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Sounds Of Africa In St. Louis

Fred Onovwerosuoke founded the St. Louis African Chorus 20 years ago. (Courtesy of the artist)

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:32 pm

As part of NPR’s Ecstatic Voices series, reporter Neda Ulaby visited the St. Louis choral group Sounds Of Africa.

The group explores the music of contemporary South African composers, including the African sacred music of composer Ikoli Harcourt Whyte.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

The Polyphonic Spree Makes A Joyful Noise

The Polyphonic Spree, a band based in Dallas, Texas, is on tour with the new album, "Yes, It's True." (Paul Kim/Flickr)

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:32 pm

As he does every week, NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson recommends a new song for us.

This week he shares with us The Polyphonic Spree‘s new track “What Would You Do?” from their album “Yes, It’s True.

Thompson says the song is indicative of the bold, beautiful anthems that populate the album.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Pirates Shift Focus From Somalia To West Africa

A crew of U.S. sailors and Nigerian special forces fighters engages in training exercise off the Nigerian coast in 2010. The U.S. Navy offered training to the Nigerian navy as worries mount of increasingly violent pirate attacks along the West African coast. (Jon Gambrell/AP)

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:32 pm

West African leaders have called for the deployment of an international naval force to curb the growing threat of piracy off the Gulf of Guinea.

Piracy in the region needed to be tackled with “firmness,” Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara said at a meeting of regional leaders.

There are now more pirate attacks off West Africa than off Somalia, maritime groups said last week. Patrols by foreign warships are credited with reducing attacks by Somali pirates.

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NPR Story
11:09 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Doctor Who? The Answer Is Peter Capaldi

Peter Capaldi is pictured at the World Premiere of World War Z at a central London cinema, June 2, 2013. (Joel Ryan/Invision via AP)

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:32 pm

Fans of the BBC show “Doctor Who” got the news they’ve been waiting for last night.

During a half-hour special, the BBC announced the name of the actor who will be playing the role of the Doctor in season 8: Scottish actor Peter Capaldi.

The 55-year-old will step into the role in January 2014.

“Doctor Who” has been running on and off since 1963. The show ran from 1963 to 1989 and was revived in 2005.

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NPR Story
11:09 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Bipartisan Bill Aims To Protect NCAA Athletes

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:32 pm

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the organization that regulates college sports, is taking some heat from members of Congress.

The House is considering legislation, called the NCAA Accountability Act, that would require member colleges to guarantee that players’ multi-year scholarships aren’t dropped if they get injured.

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NPR Story
11:09 am
Mon August 5, 2013

First Lab-Grown Burger Has 'Quite Some Intense Taste'

The world's first lab-grown hamburger is eaten in London. (BBC video screenshot)

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:32 pm

The world’s first lab-grown hamburger was cooked and eaten in London today. The burger was grown from stem cells taken from a dead cow.

It cost $325,000 to grow, but researchers believe the technology will eventually reduce the cost of meat production and meet growing demand.

The BBC’s science correspondent, Pallab Ghosh, has had exclusive access to the laboratory in the Netherlands where the meat was grown, and spoke to the researchers involved.

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NPR Story
11:54 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Chef Kathy Gunst Brings Recipes From Alaska

Kathy paddles out onto Tutka Bay in Alaska. (Kathy Gunst/Here & Now)

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 7:09 am

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NPR Story
11:53 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Chicago Changes Gears On Rail Car Seats

A passenger rides the L in Chicago. (TheeErin/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:59 pm

Commuters in Chicago have spoken: they don’t like the New York-style rail car seats.

So the Chicago Transit Authority is making sure that new trains have aisle seats instead of cars with rows facing center.

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NPR Story
11:53 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Fentanyl Overdoses Worry Pennsylvania Officials

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:59 pm

So far this year, 50 people have died in Pennsylvania from fentanyl-related overdoses.

Fentanyl is a prescription drug — an opiate more powerful than morphine.

It is often used to treat cancer patients experiencing extreme pain. An illicit, non-prescription version of fentanyl led to hundreds of deaths in Pennsylvania in 2006.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Elana Gordon of WHYY reports that state health and drug enforcement officials are worried it’s on the rise again.

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NPR Story
11:06 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Gay Olympian To Athletes: Don't Boycott Winter Olympics

Johnny Weir of USA skates at the 2012 Finlandia Trophy Espoo International figure skating competition. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto/LEHTIKUVA via AP)

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:52 am

Recent legislation in Russia that criminalizes homosexuality and gay rights activism is raising concerns ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Russia has also seen an outbreak of violence against gay rights advocates, raising questions about safety for gay athletes and visitors to the Olympic games.

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NPR Story
11:05 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Oregon Uses Song To Sell Health Insurance

A screenshot from Oregon's ad campaign.

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:59 pm

Oregon is launching a $3.2 million campaign to try to attract young people to sign up for the new health insurance exchange.

Under the Affordable Care Act, exchanges need to be set up by October 1 to begin to enroll uninsured residents.

Oregon’s TV ads feature local musicians playing songs about Oregon with no mention of health insurance or the exchange.

The website is shown at the end of the ads. Officials say the hipster ads are an introduction to the exchanges.

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NPR Story
11:05 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Why Not Interrupting Castro Was A Wise Legal Decision

Ariel Castro, right, speaks during the sentencing phase as defense attorney Craig Weintraub watches Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, in Cleveland. Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years. (Tony Dejak/AP)

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:59 pm

Yesterday, after convicted kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro spoke at his sentencing hearing, Judge Michael Russo complimented one of his victims on her remarkable restraint.

Social media wasn’t as polite; it exploded with anger, after Castro said things, including that sex in the house where he held three women captive for over a decade was consensual (see transcript excerpts below).

He added that his victims were not virgins when he kidnapped them, that he was abused as a child and that he was sick.

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NPR Story
12:49 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Forecast For Back-To-School Shopping

Andy and Aimee Smith, background, and their children Ian, left, and Riley shop for back-to-school clothes during the first day of the sales tax holiday at J.C. Penney in Eastdale Mall in Montgomery, Ala. in August 2011. (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

The back-to-school shopping season has begun, and retailers are hoping consumers will be in the mood for clothes, shoes, back packs and computers.

The cold, rainy spring depressed sales as the old school year ended, so fingers are crossed for better results for the new academic year.

KUHF’s Andrew Schneider and NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax look at the mood of consumers as communities offer sales tax holidays to boost interest in shopping.

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NPR Story
12:49 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Ohio Man Gets Life Term In Kidnapping Of 3 Women

Ariel Castro, center, listens to the judge during court proceedings Friday, July 26, 2013, in Cleveland. (Tony Dejak/AP)

One of three women kidnapped and repeatedly raped for a decade before their escape told her abductor Thursday that her life is just beginning while his is over now that he’s about to be sentenced to life in prison.

Michelle Knight stood just feet away from Ariel Castro in a Cleveland courtroom, the first time she’s been seen publicly since her rescue from the house where she was held captive.

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