Here and Now

Monday through Thursday at 1 p.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One

 

Here! Now! In the moment! Paddling in the middle of a fast moving stream of news and information. Here & Now is Public Radio's daily news magazine, bringing you the news that breaks after "Morning Edition" and before "All Things Considered."

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Inside The Lives Of Chinese Restaurant Workers

Restaurant workers relax in New York's Chinatown district on July 11, 2014 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/AFP/Getty Images)

Atticus Lish’s novel “Preparation for the Next Life” and a recent New Yorker article, “The Kitchen Network” by Lauren Hilgers, have thrown a spotlight onto the plight of the workers in Chinese restaurants.

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Atticus Lish's 'Preparation For The Next Life'

Atticus Lish is author of the book "Preparation for the Next Life." (Shelton Walsmith)

Atticus Lish‘s debut novel “Preparation for the Next Life” has already been drawing raves from critics.

It centers around an unlikely romance between Skinner, a veteran of the war in Iraq, and Zou Lei, a Uyghur from China. Lish told Here & Now‘s Robin Young that the book’s title has significance for both characters.

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

School Tries To Help Students By Coaching Parents

Moms gather at a classroom in Morales Elementary for a morning charla, or chat. They watch a training video about how to support their kids’ education and share their own experiences. (Houston Public Media)

For more than a decade, federal education policies have pushed schools to get parents more involved on campus. The idea is that if parents are more involved, then their children will do better academically — especially kids who struggle.

In one Texas school district, that idea is taking a new form. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Laura Isensee of Houston Public Media visits an elementary school to find out more.

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NPR Story
2:37 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

The Hunt For Afghan War Criminals

Documents collected by Dutch prosecutors pursuing Afghan war criminals. (BBC)

As the NATO combat mission winds down in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani says his country has to overcome the past and face the future with confidence. But as Afghanistan tries to move forward, there are growing calls for the prosecution of those responsible for war crimes.

Dutch prosecutors are preparing cases against several who are believed to be living in Europe. Some of the crimes date back 30 years to the time before Russia invaded Afghanistan. The BBC’s David Loyn reports.

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NPR Story
1:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

'Sacred Journeys' Documents Religious Pilgrimages

Bruce Feiler is pictured in Lourdes, France for the PBS series "Sacred Journeys," which begins airing tonight. (pbs.org)

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 1:53 pm

Bruce Feiler is well known for his book “Walking the Bible.” In his new PBS series “Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler,” the best-selling author accompanies Americans on pilgrimages to six of the world’s holiest sites.

The first episode airs tonight and focuses American troops wounded in war as they travel to the French city of Lourdes, where the waters are said to have healing power.

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NPR Story
1:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

4 U.S. Cities Make Their Case To Host Summer Olympics

A man arrives on December 8, 2014 for the 127th International Olympic Committee (IOC) extraordinary session in Monaco. The U.S. Olympic committee meets today to decide a U.S. city for an Olympic bid.(Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)

Four U.S. cities are making their case to the U.S. Olympic Committee to host the 2024 Summer Olympics: San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston and Los Angeles.

Three of the cities have never hosted the Summer Olympics, while Los Angeles has hosted the games twice, in 1932 and 1984.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Curt Nickisch of WBUR in Boston, who is covering the story in Redwood City, Calif.

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NPR Story
1:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Questions And Mourning After Sydney Cafe Siege

A woman kneels down as she lays flowers in a makeshift memorial near the site where a gunman held hostages for 16 hours at a popular Sydney cafe, Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.(Steve Christo/AP)

Australians are mourning the two hostages killed in a 16-hour siege at a cafe, and asking how the attack happened.

Australia recently passed tough laws against terrorism. The attack was carried out by a man with a long history of run-ins with police. The government had information that the Islamic State sought to recruit individuals to carry out attacks in the country.

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NPR Story
2:15 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Canadians Head South Of Their Border For Medical Procedures

CNA Taylor Jasper makes up the bed in a patient room at Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls, Idaho. (Jessica Robinson/ Northwest News Network)

A hospital in north Idaho is marketing itself to Canadian tourists — medical tourists, that is.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Jessica Robinson from the Northwest News Network has the story.

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NPR Story
2:15 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Actor Samuel L. Jackson Asks People To Join His Singing Protest

A video of Samuel L. Jackson singing in protest of the choking death of Eric Garner by a white police officer in NYC has gone viral. (Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

On Saturday, actor Samuel L. Jackson posted a clip on his Facebook page calling on celebrities who participated in the ice bucket challenge to support ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, to now join him in another action: singing in protest of the choking death of Eric Garner by a white police officer in New York City

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NPR Story
2:15 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

As School Fees Rise, So Do Questions Over What Constitutes A Free Education

(ginoroncaglia/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 9:40 am

Only a dozen states allow schools to charge for bus service but the number is expected to grow.

Parents in Indiana have filed a lawsuit, now before the state Supreme Court, arguing that bus fees violate the state’s constitutional guarantee to a free education. But state officials across the country say budget cuts have severely hampered their ability to continue to provide transportation and other services for free.

Indiana officials also say that caps on property taxes approved by voters in 2008 have also cut into school funds.

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

On Stage: Comedians Under The Radar

Maria Bamford performs her stand-up comedy on Comedy Central. (YouTube screenshot)

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 3:52 pm

In our series On Stage, we look at what’s happening on the boards across the country. We’ve covered tap dance competitions and marching band smackdowns, but today’s installment is something a little different: who should you look for in the stand-up comedy world?

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks to Dylan Gadino, founder of the website laughspin.com, about the under-the-radar comedians he recommends.

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Obama: NFL 'Behind The Curve' On Rice Case

President Barack Obama says the Ray Rice domestic violence case showed that the National Football League was “behind the curve” in setting policies about athlete behavior. He says new policies now in effect will send a message that there is no place for such behavior.

He says in an interview Friday with Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio that “an old boys’ network” at the NFL had created “blind spots.”

He says: “You don’t want to be winging it when something like this happens; you want to have clear policies in place.”

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Meeting The Maker Of Moore's Law

What’s in a name? Key chip dimensions, such as the transistor gate length [yellow] and the metal one half pitch [orange]—half the distance spanned by the width of a wire and the space to the next one on the dense, first metal layer of a chip—have decreased but not strictly tracked the node name [red]. These numbers, provided by GlobalFoundries, reflect the company’s plans to accelerate the introduction of 14 nm chips in 2014, a good year early. (Data Source: GlobalFoundries)

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:12 pm

It almost feels like a law of nature. You break your two-year-old smartphone. The next day you go the store and find a new one that’s faster and cheaper and just plain better. Computer chips keep getting better — it’s a phenomenon that engineers call Moore’s law. And it’s about to celebrate an anniversary.

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Doctors Consider What They Can Do About Gun Violence

The artwork "Non-Violence" (a.k.a. "The Knotted Gun") by Fredrik Reuterswärd was a gift from the government of Luxembourg to the United Nations in 1988. (jcapaldi/Flickr)

The idea that guns are dangerous to your health is not new. But figuring out what steps, if any, doctors should take to protect people from gun violence is both new and politically explosive.

Recently, more than 100 physicians and crime prevention advocates gathered in Boston for what they say was the first continuing medical education course on how to prevent gun violence. Martha Bebinger from Here & Now contributor station WBUR was there and has this report.

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NPR Story
2:09 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

CIA Chief: Results Of Harsh Interrogation Unknown

Did the CIA’s harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects yield crucial information that could not have been obtained another way? CIA chief John Brennan says the answer cannot be known.

The Senate torture report this week asserted that none of the CIA’s techniques used against captives provided critical, life-saving intelligence. Brennan told a news conference that valuable intelligence did come from the interrogations.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

‘Water Stories’: A Conversation In Paint And Sound

"Spill" by Anne Neely, part of the "Water Stories" exhibit at Boston's Museum of Science. (Courtesy of Ann Neely)

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 12:56 pm

Nationally acclaimed artist Anne Neely has produced an exhibit exploring the phenomena of water — not only how hit relates to nature, but also to memory and imagination.

Her paintings, currently on display at Boston’s Museum of Science, explore the beauty of water, but also raise a cautionary flag about issues that threaten the world’s water, including pollution and climate change.

The exhibit is accompanied by an audio composition by sound artist Halsey Burgund, whose water-themed compositions play throughout the gallery.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

'Birdman' Tops Golden Globes With 7 Nominations

“Birdman” squawked loudest in the Golden Globes nominations, flying away with a leading seven nods including best picture in the comedy or musical category.

In nominations for the 72 annual Golden Globes announced Thursday morning by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, “Boyhood” and “The Imitation Game” trailed with five nods apiece. Those two films led a best drama category that also included “Foxcatcher,” “Selma” and “The Theory of Everything.”

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NPR Story
2:19 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Kathy Gunst's Holiday Favorites

Be sure to make multiple batches of Andrea's Chocolate-Dipped Buttercrunch. (Kathy Gunst)

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:17 am

Just in time for the holidays, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst shares recipes for her favorite holiday ham glaze and her favorite food gift: her sister-in-law’s chocolate-dipped buttercrunch (recipes below). She also shares a few of her picks for the year’s great cookbooks. See her full list of cookbook recommendations here.

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NPR Story
2:19 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Training Simulator Leaves Officers Surrounded

Military servicemen use VirTra's training center(Facebook)

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 3:06 pm

A recent rash of police shootings of unarmed black men, and the shooting of a 12-year-old in Cleveland who was holding a BB gun, have raised questions about how police are trained to use their guns.

Today, Here & Now begins an occasional series looking at just that. We start with a look at simulators. A company called VirTra makes this equipment, including a $200,000 firearms training simulator being used by local and national law enforcement agencies.

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NPR Story
2:19 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Madoff Secretary Gets 6 Years For Role In Ponzi Scheme

Annette Bongiorno, age 65, who served as an executive assistant for Madoff Investment Securities, leaves federal court after being found guilty of charges of aiding, assisting and profiting from the Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff on March 24, 2014 in New York City. (Andrew Burton/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:04 pm

Employees complicit in Bernie Madoff’s multi-billion dollar ponzi scheme were sentenced Tuesday, including his former secretary who became rich working for her disgraced boss.

Annette Bongiorno earned millions keeping the books as Madoff’s secretary. A federal judge in Manhattan sentenced her to six years in a Florida prison. The judge said Bongiorno wasn’t “fundamentally corrupt,” but she should have recognized the fraud she helped perpetuate. Bongiorno could have faced life in prison.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

De-Cluttering Your House With Love

"Tidying consultant" Marie Kondo has built a huge following with her method of organizing and de-cluttering. (Ten Speed Press)

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 2:52 pm

Marie Kondo has built a huge following in her native Japan with her “KonMari” method of organizing and de-cluttering. Clients perform a sort of tidying up festival: time set aside specifically to go through belongings. Each object is picked up and held, and the client needs to decide if it inspires joy. If it doesn’t, it needs to go.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Kidnapped In Yemen: A Former Diplomat Shares His Story

Former German deputy foreign minister Juergen Chrobog answers journalist's questions after his arrival at a military airport on January 1, 2006 in Cologne, Germany. Chrobog, his wife and his three children were taken hostage by armed tribesmen on December 28 during a holiday in eastern Yemen and were released on December 31, 2006 (Ralph Orlowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 2:58 pm

In 2005, German diplomat Juergen Chrobog and his family were traveling in Yemen when they were kidnapped by Bedouins who wanted the government to free their tribe members who were being held because of crimes committed against another tribe.

They were held for a few days before they were released when the Bedouins were convinced their demands would be met. No ransom was paid.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

McDonald's Tries To Put The Brakes On Steep Decline

McDonald’s reports that its sales in the U.S. fell 4.6 percent last month compared to a year ago — more than double what analysts expected. It comes after a 4.1 percent sales drop in September.

The fast food chain is trying to simplify its menu, enhance marketing and “implement a more locally driven organizational structure,” according to a press release.

Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal joined Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss what’s happening with McDonald’s.

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NPR Story
1:51 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Menu Calorie Count Mandate Adds Up To $5 Billion In 'Lost Pleasure'

The FDA estimates that consumers will suffer more than $5 billion in lost pleasure over a 20 year period due to the calorie counts that will soon be required of fast food chains, movie theaters and certain sit-down restaurants next year.

This new lost pleasure calculation is part of the new regulations that are geared to discourage people from eating junk food and curbing obesity.

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NPR Story
1:51 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

In 'The Death of Santini' Pat Conroy Turns From Fiction To Memoir

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 1:12 pm

Readers of Pat Conroy‘s novels “The Prince of Tides” and “The Great Santini” are very familiar with his troubled family history, in particular his harsh military father But last year, Pat decided to step out from behind the guise of fiction and write a memoir: “The

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NPR Story
1:51 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

With The Cost Of Beef Up, Pasture Prices Rise, Too

Cattle take a drink from a tank filled by a windmill. Rancher Dave Wright was hoping to buy part of a neighboring ranch to expand his herd, but it sold for extreme prices. (Grant Gerlock /Harvest Public Media)

The U.S. beef herd is smaller than it has been in decades, thanks to drought and low cattle prices. But Midwest ranchers are eager to grow. And that has turned grass into a hot commodity.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock has the story.

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NPR Story
1:23 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Sharon Isbin, Guitarist Extraordinaire

Sharon Isbin has been called "the preeminent guitarist of our time." (J. Henry Fair/Shore Fire Media)

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 2:57 pm

Sharon Isbin has been called “the preeminent guitarist of our time,” and was voted “the best classical guitarist” by Guitar Player magazine.

She was one of the first woman musicians in a field where there are few. And she’s a guitarist in the classical world where few believed the instrument deserved a place.

After decades of pushing against those limitations, Isbin now has three Grammy Awards and numerous other awards under her belt, and has collaborated with many world class composers and musicians of various genres.

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NPR Story
1:23 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Study: Office Workers Spend Less Than Half Of Working Hours On Main Job Duties

Employees at large companies reported spending 40 percent of their time on meetings, administrative tasks and "interruptions." (Nlpictures/Wikimedia Commons)

According to a new survey, U.S. employees at large companies report spending only about 45 percent of their time at work on primary job duties. Instead, workers reported spending their time on email, in meetings, doing administrative tasks or on “interruptions.”

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NPR Story
1:23 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Gas Dips Below $2 In Oklahoma

Long lines formed after the OnCue gas station in Oklahoma City dropped its price to $1.99 a gallon. (@keatonfox/Twitter)

Goldman Sachs estimates that Americans stand to save $75 billion from the recent drop in gasoline prices. That works out to about $1,100 a year per household.

Now, a gas station in Oklahoma City has apparently become the first in the nation to lower the price of gas below $2 a gallon since July 2010.

Yesterday, the OnCue station dropped its price from $2.11 to 1.99 for a gallon of regular gas. That prompted long lines of drivers waiting to fill up, and set off a price war with nearby competitors, who dropped their prices too.

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NPR Story
3:10 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Lawyer: No Indictment For Officer In NYC Chokehold Death

A woman, who did not want to give her name, places flowers at a memorial for Eric Garner near the site of his death in the borough of Staten Island Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014., in New York. (Seth Wenig/AP)

A lawyer says a grand jury in New York City has declined to indict a white police officer on criminal charges in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man in July.

Jonathon Moore, an attorney for the victim’s family, said Wednesday he was told there would be no indictment of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of 43-year-old Eric Garner. Garner was stopped in Staten Island on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

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