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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."

This week, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced a new anti-corruption initiative that will investigate allegations made against the federal government, including himself.

It’s a move, perhaps, in response to the rising public criticism of the government following the disappearance of 43 Mexican students.

Those students have been declared dead by the country’s attorney general, but the bloody and tragic events that led up to those abductions are still shrouded in mystery.

Stapes announced this week that it is acquiring Office Depot in a $6.3 billion merger deal.

The deal is expected to be scrutinized by regulators wary of reducing competition. But the two retailers argue that there’s a range of competition online from the likes of Walmart and Amazon, and that the merger would keep them competitive.

Derek Thompson, senior editor at the Atlantic, tells Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young what this merger could mean.

DJ Sessions: From Bjork To Bruno Mars

Feb 5, 2015

Travis Holcombe of KCRW in Santa Monica, California shares some of his favorite new music of the year, including artist Mark Ronson, whose song “Uptown Funk,” featuring Bruno Mars is getting a lot of time on the radio and was recently the top song on Spotify.

Holcombe says that most people know the song as a Bruno Marks song, even though it’s by Mark Ronson.

We also hear new sounds from Bjork, who is out with a new album, which chronicles a recent breakup.

Its been half a century since the release of the literary masterpiece “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Yesterday when news hit the web you could hear squeals of delight around the world about her highly anticipated new novel, “Go Set a Watchman,” due out in July.

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Tom Wheeler on Wednesday proposed new rules that would treat the Internet like a public utility.

The new rules aim to prohibit access to so-called Internet fast-lanes for companies and websites willing to pay for faster delivery of their content.

The commission will vote on the rules later this month. And they could have a widespread impact on how we all use the Internet and the status of what’s known as “net neutrality.”

U.S. automakers reported strong sales in January, a time of year that’s normally slow for the industry.

General Motors also recorded a 91 percent jump in profit in the fourth quarter. The company says it will issue $9,000 profit-sharing checks to 48,000 of its employees.

The auto industry is in the midst of a rebound after the recession brought many of the large automakers to the brink of collapse several years ago.

A video released online Tuesday purportedly shows a Jordanian pilot captured by the Islamic State extremist group in Syria last month being burned to death by his captors following a weeklong hostage drama.

The Associated Press was not immediately able to confirm the authenticity of the video, which was released on militant websites and bore the logo of the extremist group’s al-Furqan media service. The 20-minute-long video featured the slick production and graphics used in previous videos released by the group.

Kathy Gunst Goes Californian!

Feb 3, 2015

Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst makes her home in Maine, but she’s been spending the early part of the winter in San Francisco.

Her new location has inspired new recipe ideas: avocado toast, filet of sole with Meyer lemons, artichoke soup and orange and ricotta salad. Kathy also sent host Jeremy Hobson a care package including fresh oranges and avocados for him to sample.

She shares these four recipes:

Low Oil Prices Hit Industry Giants Hard

Feb 3, 2015

Two oil giants this week released reports showing how their earnings have been impacted by the recent steep fall in oil prices.

BP on Tuesday reported a quarterly loss of $4.4 billion dollars in the fourth quarter of 2014, which the company attributes in part to falling oil prices.

On a similar note, Exxon Mobil on Monday reported a steep drop in revenue and profit, with both down 21 percent in the fourth quarter, over the previous year.

Reports that California experienced its second driest January for a second year in a row have many predicting that the drought will continue in 2015.

While cities like San Francisco have seen no measurable rain this year, the snowpacks in the hinterlands of California are also seeing less of the fluffy white stuff.

What Some Malls Are Doing To Survive

Feb 2, 2015

According to the mall tracking group Green Street Advisors, more than two dozen shopping malls have closed since 2010, and dozens more are on the brink of failing.

Robin Lewis, co-author of “The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace,” says that some malls are doing interesting things to stay operating.

President Obama releases a $4 trillion budget today that calls for middle class tax cuts and major investment in infrastructure. The plan would rely on taxing rich Americans by closing tax loopholes on capital gains and trust funds.

Republicans are not on board. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said Obama was exploiting “envy economics.” The president’s proposal included a child care tax credit, a $500 credit for “second-earners” in a household and more money for a preschool development program.

Rod McKuen, the husky-voiced “King of Kitsch” whose avalanche of music, verse and spoken-word recordings in the 1960s and ’70s overwhelmed critical mockery and made him an Oscar-nominated songwriter and one of the best-selling poets in history, has died. He was 81.

McKuen died Thursday morning at a rehabilitation center in Beverly Hills, California, where he had been treated for pneumonia and had been ill for several weeks and was unable to digest food, his half-brother Edward McKuen Habib said.

Cowboy Poets Gather At Annual Celebration

Jan 30, 2015

The 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is underway in Elko, Nevada. Last year, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson spoke with an attendee named Gaul Steiger, a cattle rancher who comes from a long line of cowboy poets. We revisit that conversation.

The economy has slowly been bouncing back since the recession ended in 2009, but predictions for 2014 fell short of expectations in the final quarter.

The economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the October to December period. The growth for the year was a moderate 2.4 percent.

Early 2015 predictions by economists say things are looking up. Mike Regan, editor for Bloomberg News speaks with Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins about last year’s GDP and the year ahead.

DJ Sessions: Go Deadhead

Jan 29, 2015

The Grateful Dead celebrates 50 years since the band’s start this year. For this week’s installment of DJ Sessions, we sit down with a DJ who devotes his entire radio show to the band.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is blaming Iran for the violent flare ups along the Lebanese and Syrian border areas in the country’s north. Yesterday’s shelling by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was the deadliest escalation in that region since 2006, resulting in the deaths of two Israeli soldiers and seven wounded.

Iran has long backed Hezbollah, which declared its attack an act of retaliation for an Israeli airstrike in Syria earlier this month. That attack killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general.

A Sierra Nevada red fox has been captured on a motion-sensitive camera placed by wildlife biologists in a remote part of Yosemite National Park in California.

It’s the first time in nearly 100 years that the state-protected mammal has been seen in the park. Fewer than 50 are known to exist in North America.

Drought conditions are forcing ranchers to thin their cattle herds, and that means there’s a shortage of brisket, the front-end cut of beef that’s emblematic of Texas barbecue.

Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that higher commodity prices have even forced one best-in-state barbecue restaurant to close down recently.

For the first time since 1987, one of the nation’s governors is in a wheelchair. Texas Governor Greg Abbott won the race by promising to fight the federal government with his literal “spine of steel,” but disability advocates are saying that he hasn’t fought for them.

This Sunday is the Super Bowl, which means the biggest and most expensive advertising night of the year. Several of this year’s ads are already available online, in part or in full.

Television is far from the only way to advertise during the game these days, so at $4.5 million for 30 seconds, is it still worth it?

Here & Now’s media analyst John Carroll joins host Lisa Mullins to discuss that question and some of this year’s ads.

The Obama Administration today is proposing opening up parts of the Eastern seaboard to offshore drilling, while at the same time proposing a ban on drilling along some parts of Alaska’s Arctic coast.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Phil Flynn, an energy market analyst with Price Futures Group, and Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Council, about the proposal — a win and a loss each for environmentalists and the oil industry

A report released by the Children’s Advocacy Institute today shows that all 50 states have failed to meet minimum federal requirements for the care of abused and neglected kids.

The institute’s executive director Robert Fellmeth tells Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins that even when the federal government finds that a state is not meeting its requirements, not much changes.

Why Aren't There More Latinos On TV?

Jan 27, 2015

The big four television networks have made progress in diversifying their casts, but only among African-American actors. That’s according to recent numbers compiled by the Associated Press.

Latinos represent about 17 percent of the American population, but on network T.V., that group represents less than 10 percent of characters.

Snowy Owls 'Irrupting' In Northern States

Jan 26, 2015

For a second year in a row, a mass migration of snowy owls from Canada is occurring, and that’s highly unusual. It’s called an irruption and it’s thought to be related to boom and bust cycles of arctic lemmings, the small rodents that snowy owls love to eat.

Author and naturalist Scott Weidensaul is co-founder of Project SNOWstorm, which since last year has been using cellphone technology to track these mysterious and majestic birds.

Across the Northeast, people are gearing up for what forecasters say is likely to be a severe and “potentially historic” blizzard, in which snowfall could be measured in feet.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to Peter Judge of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, about what the state is doing to prepare. Boston officials have already said public transportation will be closed on Tuesday

Each year half of the fresh fruit in the United States – and a quarter of the fresh vegetables – are imported from another country. One of the motivations for the local food movement in the U.S.

This Friday we go on stage, the ultimate stage perhaps, Broadway. January and February are usually considered the “zombie months” on Broadway, says New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley. However, this season is a “surprisingly good one,” he tells Here & Now’s Robin Young. Even better, tickets are still available for some of Brantley’s favorite shows this winter. He shares his four top picks.

Ben Brantley’s 4 Broadway Picks

1. Constellations

Greeks will elect a new government on Sunday, and the new prime minister could be a charismatic leftist named Alexis Tsipras, a boyish engineer-turned-protester.

He’s promised to end painful austerity measures while stimulating the country’s ravaged economy, but he may be on a collision course with the Europeans who have lent Greece billions in bailout loans. Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens.

The number of new Ebola cases in Guinea is dropping steadily. According to the World Health Organization, there were a total of 20 confirmed cases this week, down from 45 last week, the lowest number since August of last year.

The government is shooting for zero Ebola cases by mid-March, and schools are back in session for the first time since July of last year.

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