Here and Now on IPR News and News/Studio One

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."

Household debt is on the rise again. Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have released a new report showing our debts – including mortgages, credit cards, car loans and student loans – have been shooting up, even though the economy has been improving.

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is recently back from Iran, where he visited three different cities and interviewed dozens of people in a matter of days.

He arrived amid celebrations marking the anniversary of the Iranian revolution, marked with clear anti-American sentiment. But as Iran, the U.S. and other countries continue to negotiate a possible nuclear deal, Inskeep met many people there who are open to changing the strained relationship with the United States.

Think you’re too busy to be creative? How about taking a few minutes to draw your breakfast? That’s just one of the suggestions from artist and author Danny Gregory in his new book “Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are” (excerpt below).

Toymakers Face Shifting Market

Feb 18, 2015

The International Toy Fair wrapped up in New York City this week, as the industry deals with shifting demand. Children have become interested in playing games on tablets and mobile phones.

CNN’s Maggie Lake interviewed a number of CEOs about how their companies are dealing with the new landscape. She joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.


Sampling Chinese Cuisines With Ming Tsai

Feb 18, 2015

Chinese New Year begins tomorrow. We celebrate by revisiting our conversation last year with James Beard Award-winning chef Ming Tsai. Ming came into our studios to share some New Year’s customs and take Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson on a taste tour of four different Chinese cuisines: Mandarin, Hunan, Szechwan and Cantonese.

It’s been 13 years since the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal broke. Now, a new investigation finds that the leaders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses have instructed elders to keep cases of child sexual abuse a secret, both from law enforcement and from their own congregations.

Memos from the religion’s parent organization, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, show this policy dates back at least 25 years.

Ilyasah Shabazz is Malcolm X’s daughter and co-author of a new young adult novel based on her father’s teen years.

X: A Novel” focuses on when Malcolm X, then known as Malcolm Little, dropped out of school after the death of his father and started using drugs and breaking into houses.

That behavior eventually led to his imprisonment, which is where he came into contact with Islam.

America is growing older, and so is its population of HIV-positive adults. This year, for the first time ever, half of Americans living with HIV are 50 years old and older.

For many of them, life presents a unique set of challenges. Among those challenges is increased social isolation.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Lydia Brown of WNPR reports.

Meet The New Top Dog Judge At Westminster

Feb 17, 2015

The Westminster Kennel Club 139th Annual Dog Show concludes tonight with the much-anticipated anointing of the Best in Show dog.

Taking to the ring to judge that dog will be David Merriam. Merriam is a retired judge, champion breeder of bull terriers and past chairman of board of the American Kennel Club, but this will be his first time judging the Best in Show dog at Westminster.

Greece Rejects New Bailout Offer From Europe

Feb 16, 2015

The eurozone’s top official on Monday effectively gave Greece an ultimatum to request an extension to the country’s bailout program, a proposal Athens has so far rejected stridently.

Greece and its eurozone creditors have been at an impasse over how to lighten the country’s bailout loans.

Athens would like to scrap the existing bailout program and instead agree on a “bridging program” to support its finances. Greece’s new government blames the current bailout program for inflicting budget austerity on the country and has promised its electors it would get rid of it.

6 Tips From An Online Dating Coach

Feb 16, 2015

Online dating is now a billion-dollar business. Singles have their choice of a number of Internet services through apps and websites that range from totally free to very costly.

There are also online dating coaches, like Kimberly Koehler. She charges $200 for her online class teaching dating strategies. She also offers one-on-one dating coaching for $495.

Annie Colbert of Mashable joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to take a look at how the news is reverberating on social media, from meteorologist Jim Cantore’s celebration over “thundersnow” in Plymouth, Mass., to Saturday Night Live’s 40 year anniversary celebration.




For nearly a year, Anna Sale has been talking to people about love and life – and not just the fun parts. She’s the host of “Death Sex & Money,” a podcast from WNYC about “the things we think about a lot, and need to talk about more.”

Earlier this week, we spoke to the parents of Austin Tice, a former marine and freelance journalist kidnapped in Syria in 2012. Marc and Debra Tice said they’ve received little assistance from the Syrian and U.S. governments in securing the safe release of their son.

Expedia has reached a deal to buy Orbitz, as both travel companies try to defend their turf from the likes of Google and Airbnb.

The companies are also facing competition from hotels and airlines who are increasingly doing business through their own websites.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Michael Regan of Bloomberg News about the implications for the industry.

Eavesdropping On The Ocean

Feb 12, 2015

There’s a layer in the ocean – in between the warm surface waters and the deep, high pressured waters – where sound waves move more slowly. The so-called SOFAR channel is a sweet spot of ocean acoustics.

American and Soviet researchers independently discovered the channel in the 1940s. The U.S. military deployed hydrophones in the underwater channel for surveillance purposes, and today still uses them for scientific research.

For this week’s DJ Session, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson sits down with Julie Lavender, a jazz musician and host of Dream Farm Radio in New Hampshire. She shares some of her favorite new eclectic jazz, from artist Mark Shilansky and the group The Fretful Porcupine.

Oil prices have fallen nearly 60 percent since June, but it’s not the only commodity that’s dropping in value. Grains, metals and other bulk products have been plunging too.

Since February 2011, copper has fallen from $4.50 a pound to $2.53; corn fell from $7.50 a bushel to $3.88. The changes have a put a squeeze on farmers and miners, but so far they haven’t really trickled down to consumers.

NPR’s Marilyn Geewax joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

PepsiCo today reported that the company’s revenue and profit fell in its fourth quarter, a day after The Coca-Cola Company reported that its earnings fell 55 percent last quarter.

Both companies are grappling with a weak demand for soda. Pepsi continues to rely on its snack business Frito-Lay to offset some of the declines in the soda market. CNN’s Maggie Lake discusses Pepsi and Coke’s struggles with Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd.

Mimi Sheraton has written about food for some six decades. She’s been the restaurant critic for The New York Times, traveled the world writing about food for numerous magazines and published several books including the James Beard award winning “The Whole World Loves Chicken Soup: Recipes and Lore to Comfort Body and Soul.”

When Mary Harris was 35 years old, she got the devastating diagnosis that she had breast cancer. As she was preparing to deal with surgery and chemotherapy, she got another surprising piece of news: she was also pregnant.

Harris was faced with a series of wrenching decisions about how to treat her cancer while also trying to protect the health of her unborn baby. Her story is featured as part of a 10-part series on cancer co-produced by WNYC and NPR.

On the heels of last Friday’s jobs report, the U.S. Department of Labor released new numbers today that put some flesh on the bones of Friday’s report, which showed employers adding 257,000 new jobs.

Today’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) shows there were 5 million job openings at the end of December 2014, the highest number since January 2001.

Tonight, “Fresh Off the Boat” moves into its regular time slot on ABC. It’s the first network sitcom in two decades to feature an Asian-American family.

Though the show is inspired by former restaurateur, TV show host and author Eddie Huang‘s 2013 memoir of the same name, the real Eddie Huang is ambivalent about the show.

Samsung Electronics is downplaying the possibility that its Smart TVs are spying on viewers. The statement comes after reporters found a statement in the privacy policy for Samsung’s Smart TV warning users about how their voices could be captured when they use the voice recognition feature.

The policy reads: "Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.”

Mayor Of London Visits Snowy Boston

Feb 9, 2015

London Mayor Boris Johnson is like many big city mayors. He likes to promote the city he leads. Johnson is visiting the United States this week and he arrived at his first stop, Boston, during the latest blizzard.

It’s a trade mission that will also include a stop in New York City, but it’s also a bit about politics, as Johnson tries to raise his already high profile by meeting with Hillary Clinton.

Greg Abbink, the first transgender police officer in Austin, Texas, has had to come out of the closet twice in his life: first, many years ago, as a lesbian, and more recently, as transgender.

His wife is going through some difficulties adjusting to Greg’s transition from female to male but she knows that Greg is the same person she fell in love with years ago when he was known as Emily.

Reporter Joy Diaz of KUT has this profile.

Former Foe Remembers Coach Dean Smith

Feb 9, 2015

Legendary college basketball coach Dean Smith died on Saturday at the age of 83. He coached the University of North Carolina Tar Heels for 36 years and his teams won two national championships.

He’s being remembered by former players, including Michael Jordan, as a father figure. Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd speaks with one of Smith’s former rivals, retired Georgia Tech head coach Bobby Cremins, who says Smith “made the game of basketball better.”

White House: No Evidence Backing Up Claim Of American's Death

Feb 6, 2015

The White House says it hasn’t seen any evidence at this time to corroborate the Islamic State group’s claims that an American female hostage has been killed in a Jordanian airstrike.

National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan says the White House is “deeply concerned” by the reports but has not seen evidence to support the claims.

A purported statement by the Islamic State claims the woman was killed in an airstrike Friday on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the militant group’s main stronghold.

At the end of December, as the U.S. announced the end of its combat mission in Afghanistan, NPR correspondent Sean Carberry was also wrapping up his time there.

Sean lived in Kabul since mid-2012, covering the country’s tumultuous and ongoing political and security transition.

Now back in the U.S., he joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to reflect on his time in Afghanistan, and talk about his own transition.

Making Music From NASA's Sound Archives

Feb 6, 2015

NASA has taken years of sound from its historic space flights and probe missions and put it online. All the sound is free on SoundCloud, and you can use it for whatever you want. That gave two musicians a brilliant idea.

While working on a soundtrack for a documentary about aliens, musicians Davide Cairo and Giacomo Muzzacato stumbled upon NASA’s massive sound library. While some people may hear bleeps and bloops and mechanical gears, with a little remixing, they heard music.