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
3:30 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Stay-At-Home Mom's 'DrainWig' Invention Included In Oscar Swag Bag

Jennifer Briggs' invention, the DrainWig, which catches hair lost in the shower and prevents drain clogs, will be in the Oscar swag bags for all the nominees at this Sunday's Academy Awards. (DrainWig)

The Academy Award ceremony is Hollywood’s biggest celebration of movie stars. There is some stiff competition in many of the categories this year, and not everyone will leave with a gold statuette — but they will all get a DrainWig.

DrainWig is a daisy-shaped drain ornament attached to a stainless steel chain with rubber whiskers meant to be inserted into a shower drain to prevent hair clogs. It’s one of the many products featured in this year’s Oscar nominee gift bag, which has been valued at $80,000.

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NPR Story
3:30 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Key West Thief Inspires Crime Writers

An image capture from security footage of the Key West Graveyard Thief. (John Martini)

Key West, Florida, has a history of comically inept thieves and robbers. But a recent crime spree by a stealthy burglar has residents there on high alert.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Mark Hedden of WLRN talked with people who make good money sitting alone in rooms thinking about the kind of characters who commit crimes.

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NPR Story
3:30 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Building A Smaller, Better Army

Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, salute during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner, Feb. 27, 2014 in Fort Knox, Kentucky. (Luke Sharrett/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined his plan for a downsized military. The plan will shrink the Army to its smallest size since the eve of World War II. At that time, there were around 270,000 active duty soldiers, a number that surged to nearly 1.5 million during the fighting in Europe and the Pacific.

Under Hagel’s’ recommendations, this new Army would be reduced from today’s 522,000 soldiers to between 440,000 and 450,000.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Delta To Reward Dollars Over Miles In Frequent Flier Program

In the early ’80s, major airlines introduced frequent flier mile programs that closely resembled one another. Over time, airlines have rolled out new incentives, tiers and rules.

Delta has announced that it will be changing its frequent flier mile program in 2015 to focus less on miles flown and more on dollars spent. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to detail the plans of Delta’s new program.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

New Mexico Town Worries Over Hot Springs

Downtown Truth or Consequences is dotted with locally owned hotels that feature in-house bathhouses for hot mineral water soaks. (Mónica Ortiz Uribe)

The New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences not only has a funny name, but a funky history.

It was called Hot Springs, named for the ancient mineral water that bubbles beneath its downtown. Early settlers braved Apache raids to soak in these so-called healing waters.

Today the town’s economy is built around those springs, and there are concerns about how much of that precious natural resource is left.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Hong Kong Journalist Recovering After Brutal Attack

Protesters hold candles during a demonstration in support of the former editor of the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao, Kevin Lau, who was stabbed in Hong Kong on February 27. Lau is currently in stable condition. (Phillipe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

The former editor of a Hong Kong newspaper who was brutally attacked yesterday is now in stable condition.

Police are investigating the stabbing of Kevin Lau Chun-to and have recovered a stolen motorcycle they suspect was used by one of the attackers. The newspaper Ming Pao, where Lau worked, has offered a $128,000 reward for information leading to the attack.

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Renowned Flamenco Guitarist Paco de Lucia Dies At Age 66

Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucía is pictured in 2007. (Cornel Putan Alin/Wikimedia Commons)

Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia died suddenly of a heart attack today in Cancun, Mexico, while on the beach with his children.

The 66-year-old guitarist vastly expanded the international audience for flamenco music and helped to legitimize flamenco in Spain itself, during a time when the music was largely being ignored by mainstream popularity.

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

After Stabbing, Fears Grow About Hong Kong Media Freedom

Pro-democracy activists hold a sign with an image of former chief editor of the Ming Pao daily Kevin Lau Chun-to as they attend a candlelight vigil at a hospital, to urge the police to solve the stabbing incident involving Lau, on February 26, 2014 in Hong Kong. (Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

The former editor of the Hong Kong daily newspaper Ming Pao is fighting for his life after being stabbed in Hong Kong this morning by an assailant on a motocycle.

Kevin Lau Chun-to was editor of the newspaper when it took part in an investigation published last month that exposed offshore tax havens that have helped the relatives of Chinese leaders hide wealth.

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Average Age Of Farmers Keeps Climbing

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture takes a head count of who is farming the land. The latest census is out and it shows that there’s been a slight uptick in the number of young people getting into farming, but not enough to stop the average age of American farmers from climbing.

That has observers of rural America worrying. Without new blood, the existence of many small communities is at risk. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Grant Gerlock of Harvest Public Media has our story.

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NPR Story
3:41 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Citrus Recipes To Brighten Up A Winter Menu

Kathy's "Meyer Lemon Tart." (Kathy Gunst/Here & Now)

Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst has been thinking citrus: blood oranges, cara cara oranges, grapefruits and Meyer lemons.

“Citrus is kind of this perfect food,” she tells host Jeremy Hobson. “It’s low in calories, high in potassium, tons of vitamin C.”

Citrus can be used in salads, to enhance meat or fish, in desserts and even drinks. Gunst brings in a variety of fruit to taste, as well as a Meyer lemon tart and a blood orange soda. She also shares four recipes:

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NPR Story
3:41 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Researchers Look For Clues To Polio-Like Illness In California Children

Jessica Tomei holds her 4-year-old daughter, Sofia Jarvis, during a news conference at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, in Palo Alto, Calif. Sofia is one of a handful of California children who has been diagnosed with a rare polio-like syndrome that has left her arm paralyzed. (Martha Mendoza/AP)

Since late 2012, between 20 and 25 children in California have developed sudden, permanent paralysis that looks similar to polio. Doctors and public health officials are looking for causes and similarities in the cases.

Dr. Keith Van Haren, a pediatric neurologist at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, looked closely at five cases. Two of the samples tested positive for enterovirus 68, a rare virus which is from the same family as the polio virus.

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NPR Story
3:41 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Home Prices See Biggest Annual Gain Since 2005

Home prices last year posted the largest annual gain since 2005. According to S&P/Case-Shiller price index numbers released today, U.S. home prices increased 11.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to the previous year.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Bellini joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the new data.

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Song Of The Week: 'Kong' By The Notwist

The Notwist are a German indie rock band. (Facebook)

As he does each week, NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson joins Here & Now with a new song. This week, he introduces us to The Notwist’s new track “Kong” from their new album “Close To The Glass.”

Thompson says listening to the German indie rock band, which has been around for 25 years, is like visiting old friends.

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Harold Ramis Has Died At 69

Harold Ramis is pictured in September 2005. (Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Actor, director and writer Harold Ramis, who’s known for writing and directing “Caddyshack” and “Groundhog Day,” and co-writing and co-starring in “Ghostbusters,” has died at age 69.

[Youtube]

Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.

Transcript

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Tue February 25, 2014

'theSkimm' Founders Try To Change How Millennials Read The News

Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg are the co-founders of theSkimm. (theSkimm)

Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin were working for NBC News when they decided they wanted to create their own news source — one more in tune with the lifestyles of millennials.

They quit their jobs and launched “theSkimm,” a daily email newsletter that arrives early in the morning and gives subscribers a few major news stories covering a range of topics.

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NPR Story
3:10 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Dick Button Judges Sochi Skating

Adelina Sotnikova of Russia, centre, Yuna Kim of South Korea, left, and Carolina Kostner of Italy stand on the podium during the flower ceremony for the women's free skate figure skating final at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Sotnikova placed first, followed by Kim and Kostner. (Ivan Sekretarev/AP)

Sadly, it seems the Olympics wouldn’t be the same without a figure skating judging controversy.

This time it’s yesterday’s surprise gold medal by the four-time Russian national champion Adelina Sotnikova, who as skating great Brian Boitano said, literally “jumped her way” to the top of the podium, beating the artistically better skater, South Korea’s Kim Yu-na, who won the gold four years ago.

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NPR Story
3:10 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Navigating Obstacles For Wheelchair Users

Disabled persons often face limited mobility in the winter months when people neglect to shovel their sidewalks. (Knight725/Flickr)

When snow piles up, property owners don’t always shovel their sidewalks, and that can make it nearly impossible for some people to get around safely, especially those who use a wheelchair or have problem vision.

Kelly Buckland knows what it’s like to try to make it along winter sidewalks and roads. He broke his neck in a diving accident when he was 16 in Idaho, and has been using a wheelchair ever since. He also knows what it’s like to advocate and lobby to improve conditions for people with disabilities.

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NPR Story
3:10 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Business Wire Stops First Access To High-Speed Traders

Business Wire, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, has decided to stop giving high-speed trading firms direct access to its service.

The firm gave traders a split-second lead on business press releases and, while the practice is legal, critics say it gave high frequency traders an edge over other investors.

Winnie O’Kelley of Bloomberg News joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to explain.

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NPR Story
3:54 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Death Toll Mounts In Ukraine

Medics and volunteers arrange a field hospital an hotel hall near Independence square in Kiev on February 20, 2014. (Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images)

The top medic for the protesters occupying central Kiev says at least 70 protesters have been killed in clashes with police in the Ukrainian capital.

The coordinator for the protesters’ medical team also says the number killed Thursday could well go even higher.

There was no way to independently confirm his statement. An AP reporter earlier in the day saw at least 21 bodies in Kiev’s central square.

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NPR Story
3:54 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Environmental Concerns Over Palm Oil

In the past 20 years, cultivation of palm oil — a widespread ingredient used in everything from packaged snack foods to soaps and detergents — has wiped out more than 30,000 square miles of rainforests and contributed to extensive social conflict in forest communities.

In an effort to mitigate these ethical concerns, Kellogg’s announced last week that it would only purchase palm oil from suppliers that actively protect rainforests and respect human rights.

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NPR Story
3:54 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Why Oklahoma's Universal Pre-K Is Successful

Pre-kindergarten students work with numbers during their class in Dallas in April 2011. (LM Otero/AP)

President Obama has vowed to offer federally-funded universal early childhood education. Oklahoma has been a model state for universal pre-kindergarten.

Since 1998, the state has funded early education for 4-year-olds, requiring certified teachers and small classes.

Last week, Steven Dow, executive director of Community Action Project (CAP) of Tulsa, the state’s largest anti-poverty problem that was involved in establishing pre-K as state policy, testified in front of the New York City Council on how Oklahoma’s program works.

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NPR Story
3:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Radisson Hotels Take Aim At Millennials

The Radisson Hotels chain is creating a new brand of hotels aimed at attracted millennials. Radisson Red will allow guests to offer à la carte choices for their rooms, ranging from what drinks are in the minibar to family photos on the television.

Parent company Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is not alone in trying to market to the younger generation. Think “The Tonight Show” pushing Jay Leno out in favor of Jimmy Fallon. We take a look at how marketers decide what millennials want.

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NPR Story
3:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

The Roller Rink Where Olympians Are Born

Youth inline skaters line up to practice sprint starts at Pattison's West in Federal Way, Wash. (Tom Banse/Northwest News Network)

At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the U.S. has collected no medals so far in speedskating, an uncharacteristic result.

The Americans’ best remaining hope for hardware rests with short track speedskater J.R. Celski and the men’s relay team. Celski began his career at a skating rink in the Seattle suburb of Federal Way, the same city where his former speedskating idol Apolo Ohno got his start.

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NPR Story
3:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

As Syria Fighting Wears On, What's Next?

A tank confiscated by rebel fighters fires at a pro-government position near the Syrian city of Hama, on February 19, 2014. More than 140,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict in the country began in March 2011. (Abu Hadi Al-Hamwi/AFP/Getty Images)

Twin suicide bombings killed at least four people and injured dozen more in Beirut, Lebanon today. The targets appear to be Hezbollah, the militant Shia group that has fighters in Syria fighting for President Assad.

Meantime in Syria, the evacuation of civilians from the besieged city of Homs continues, but so does the fighting. And two round of peace talks, the latest of which ended last week, haven’t produced any results.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Barkhad Abdi's Journey From Somalia To Hollywood

Actor Barkhad Abdi is pictured in Santa Monica, California, Jan. 14, 2014. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Somali-born actor Barkhad Abdi has won critical acclaim as well as an Oscar nomination and a British Academy Film award for best supporting actor in “Captain Phillips.”

Abdi plays the leader of the Somaili pirates who capture Phillips’ cargo ship. It was Abdi’s first film role. He tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that he found the first day of filming “really nerve wracking,” but that director Paul Greengrass “believed in me before I believed in myself.”

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Saliva Test May Predict Depression In Teen Boys

Joe Herbert, left, Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge is pictured in London, on Feb. 17, 2014. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England have developed a saliva test for teenage boys with mild symptoms of depression that researchers say could help identify those who will later develop major depression. Currently, there is no biological test that detects depression.

Joe Herbert is one of the study authors and joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the research.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Maker Of 'Candy Crush' App Files For I.P.O.

A man plays at Candy Crush Saga on his iPhone on January 25, 2014 in Rome. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

“Candy Crush Saga,” the addictive smartphone game, is no longer just looking for gamers — it wants investors too. King Digital Entertainment, the European gaming company behind the game, filed for an initial public offering today.

Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti with details.

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NPR Story
3:18 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Philippines City Struggles To Recover After Typhoon

It was one of the strongest storms ever recorded at landfall. Typhoon Haiyan clocked at 190 miles an hour when it struck the Philippines late last year. More than 6,000 were killed, nearly 2,000 more are missing and millions were displaced when their homes were destroyed or washed away.

Authorities are still struggling with the simplest tasks like clearing away debris, rebuilding houses and counting the dead. NPR’s Kelly McEvers recently traveled to Tacloban, the Philippines city that bore the brunt of the typhoon.

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NPR Story
3:18 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

U.S. Banks Now Open For Marijuana Business

Legal marijuana sellers across the country now have an easier place to deposit those wads of cash.

The Obama administration has issued guidelines to banks on doing business with licensed marijuana operators, giving them the green light to finance and set up checking and savings accounts with marijuana businesses.

And there may be a lot of money to deposit. According to the National Cannabis Industry Association legal U.S. industry is expected to reach $2.57 billion dollars in sales this year.

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NPR Story
3:18 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Play Illuminates Tumultuous Year In LBJ's Life

At left, Bryan Cranston is pictured as Lyndon Johnson in "All the Way." At right is Lyndon Johnson. (Evgenia Eliseeva/American Repertory Theater)

The new play “All The Way” is now in previews on Broadway. Written by Robert Shenken and commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare festival, it tells the story of a year in the life of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who is played by former “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston.

Beginning in November 1963, when Johnson took office after President Kennedy was assassinated, “All the Way” focuses on Johnson’s push to pass Kennedy’s civil rights legislation and get reelected at the same time.

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