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."

In 1966, a teenage mother and her boyfriend abandoned their baby in a random car. Her pregnancy, and the episode that followed, were kept hidden, and later the young couple married and had other children.

One of their kids found out he had a brother, and decided to search for him. Thanks to DNA testing, the brothers — and family — were reunited.

Two men with notorious reputations have led Syria for the past 45 years — the late Hafez al-Assad and his son, Bashar.

The lower chamber of the Russian Parliament today called for heightened security measures for the country’s diplomats after the ambassador to Turkey was assassinated in Ankara this week.

The Man Behind Atari's 'Secret Room'

Dec 21, 2016

The Atari video game console was king in the 1980s, and one of the most popular games was called “Adventure.” The medieval quest game was designed by Warren Robinett, but after he did not receive credit, he became angry and created a “secret room” or “Easter egg,” which hid his name within the game.

Tim Skoog from Here & Now contributor WBUR profiles Robinett, who revealed details about his secret message in “Adventure.”

As families gather for the holidays, some parents want their adult children to leave with more than new memories. They’re hoping to pass down antique furniture, collectibles and family heirlooms they feel have sentimental or financial value.

Climate scientists say polar bears have been showing up more frequently in villages along Alaska’s North Slope, looking for food as warming temperatures cause ice to melt in the Beaufort Sea.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Todd Atwood, research wildlife biologist with the United States Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center.

Interview Highlights

On what makes polar bears come ashore

Russia is boosting security at its embassies around the world after its ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was assassinated by an off-duty Turkish police officer at an art gallery in the capital, Ankara, on Monday.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says the assassination, “benefits those who want to drive a wedge between Russia and Turkey” and derail peace talks for Syria.

While stories of “rogue electors” have been swirling in the media for weeks, there’s no evidence to suggest Monday’s Electoral College votes will result in anything other than a Trump presidency.

NPR’s Domenico Montanaro (@DomenicoNPR) joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to talk about precedent, and how Russia’s meddling has affected what is normally a ho-hum process.

China has agreed to return an underwater U.S. drone Beijing seized in the South China Sea last week.

The Pentagon says it was conducting routine operations. But Beijing says the drone was linked to American efforts to contain China.

The gunman who killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey at a photo exhibition in Ankara shouted in Turkish “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!”

The man then yelled: “Stand back! Stand back! Only death will take me out of here. Anyone who has a role in this oppression will die one by one.”

Laughing is something most people do every day, but chances are we don’t really understand why we do it.

Robert Provine, a neuroscientist and professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, explains the science of laughter to Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson. Provine’s most recent book is “Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping and Beyond.”

Do Tax Cuts Bring About Economic Growth?

Dec 12, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has said he plans to cut taxes for individuals and corporations in order to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush also cut taxes with the same reasoning during their time in office. But cutting taxes doesn’t necessarily guarantee economic growth.

Much of the post-game analysis among liberals after November’s election has focused on the working class, and the idea that Hillary Clinton did not do an effective job at reaching out to them.

But The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) says that Clinton actually did reach out to the middle class. She had a plan for coal miners and steel workers, for example, and she still lost.

Cold temperatures and wet weather are spanning the country today after big snowstorms hit the Midwest, Pacific Northwest and other northern regions over the weekend.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Dean DeVore (@DeanPSUpa), a meteorologist for AccuWeather, about the winter weather impacting the country, and what to expect later in the week.

President-elect Trump has said he will dismantle and replace the Affordable Care Act, and possibly privatize Medicaid — the insurance program for the very poor.

Several Republican governors say they’re putting their state’s Medicaid expansion on hold, as they wait to find out Obamacare’s fate.

Inside A Genetic Time Capsule For Seeds

Dec 9, 2016

Climate change has altered the growing season for many plants, including wildflowers. Observation has been the most powerful tool for scientists who study this shift. But it’s the plant’s seeds that may provide the most meaningful answers in the decades to come.

Change is afoot in Las Vegas.

A new casino resort opened this month and it’s catering primarily to Asian tourists. Its signs are in Chinese and English, and the hotel features authentic Chinese food. Two major hotel corporations are now charging for parking at their resorts.

[Youtube]

Two Tennessee teens are being held responsible for the wildfires that tore through the City of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and the surrounding areas of Sevier County. The fires killed at least 14 people, injured 176 and damaged more than 2,400 homes and businesses.

A war of words has erupted between President-elect Donald Trump and Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers 1999.

It began when Jones, who leads the local union branch representing workers at Carrier Corporation’s factory in Indianapolis, accused Trump of lying about the number of jobs he’d saved at Carrier. Trump responded through two tweets. Now Jones says he’s getting threats from Trump supporters.

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to enact stricter immigration policies.

He has said he wants to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA. He also said he wants to deport immigrants who have committed crimes, saying that would cover up to 3 million people.

Even before the election, critics had been drawing comparisons between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler.

They’ve pointed to Trump’s promise to ban Muslims, deport millions of immigrants, crack down on the press and “make America great again.”

The tragic warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., is raising fears of a backlash against the city’s artists and the way many of them live and work. If the city decides to red-tag buildings that don’t have permits, artists could lose their homes and studio spaces.

Stephanie Martin Taylor (@SMartinTaylor) from Here & Now contributor KQED reports.

The Senate is expected to vote this afternoon on the 21st Century Cures Act. It is considered landmark legislation that would provide funding for research programs like Vice President Joe Biden’s moonshot against cancer.

It will also make significant changes in how drugs are tested and approved.

The act passed in the House overwhelmingly and is expected to easily pass the Senate as well.

The president travels to Tampa today, the military’s special operations headquarters. There he will meet with the troops and speak about his administration’s counterterrorism efforts.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd asks American University professor Stephen Tankel (@stephentankel), a counterterrorism expert, to assess the Obama legacy, and also what to expect from the Trump administration.

Uber is thinking about the long game.

The ride-hailing company acquired the artificial intelligence (AI) company Geometric Intelligence Monday, and said it will begin a new research arm called Uber’s AI Labs. Other companies like Google and Facebook have also been making moves to boost their understanding of AI as they look to their future.

A spate of high-profile police shootings in the last year have drawn attention to the way police respond to people dealing with mental illness.

Vladimir Putin said last week that he wants to normalize relations with the United States, and that the two countries should join efforts to fight international terrorism.

During the campaign, Donald Trump praised Putin as a leader, which raised some alarms among those who see Putin as an authoritarian ruler who poses a serious threat to the United States and its Western allies.

Ryan Speedo Green (@RyanSpeedoGreen) is the bass-baritone taking the opera world by storm. A recent New York Times review of the Metropolitan Opera’s “La Bohème” called him “a show stopper.”

Several companies, including Kellogg’s, Allstate, Nest and Warby Parker, announced Tuesday they would pull their advertisements from the right-wing site Breitbart — some claiming they did not even know their ads were appearing there.

The controversial website, formerly run by President-elect Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, has drawn ire for publishing articles considered sympathetic to white nationalists. Breitbart denies that and responded in kind to the ad pulls, calling for a boycott of Kellogg’s.

Advice For Employees Who Hate The Boss

Dec 1, 2016

The latest research from Gallup shows that half of all employees in the United States end up quitting jobs at some point — because they don’t like their boss.

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