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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."

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

A Suggestion for A Live Holiday Broadcast: Bring Back Amahl!

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 1:08 pm

 

NBC has been making waves with their live musical performances of “The Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan” the last couple of holiday seasons.

So Here & Now’s Robin Young’s former choir director Ron Cohen has a suggestion for next year: revive Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors!”

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Do Protests Incite People With Mental Illness?

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:29 pm

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton sparked a debate on the Today show yesterday after he said, referencing Saturday’s shooting of two police officers by a mentally ill man, that “the targeting of these two police officers was a direct spin-off of this issue of these demonstrations” about police use of force against unarmed Black men.

We hear from Jonathan Metzl, a psychiatrist who has studied the nexus of mental illness and social protest movements.

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Controversial Film 'The Interview' Will Now Air On Christmas

Conterversial film, "The Interview" will now air on Christmas day. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

“The people have spoken! freedom has prevailed!”

That’s a tweet from actor Seth Rogen, a star in the controversial film the “The interview,” about an assassination plot against North Korea’s leaders.

The tweet came in the wake of today’s that there will be a limited release of the film on Christmas day.

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NPR Story
1:43 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Media Analyst John Carroll's Top Five Ads of 2014

Actor, singer Justin Timberlake is just one of dozens of celebrities who completed the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS this year. (YouTube)

In the United States, roughly $180 billion was spend on advertising this past year.

Here & Now media analyst John Carroll, a professor of mass communications at Boston University, shares a few of his favorite ad campaigns, which encompass both television and web advertising.

John Carroll’s Favorite Ads

[Youtube]

[Youtube]

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NPR Story
1:43 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Reporter Raises Red Flag About Pet Medications

Sesame, a golden doodle owned by the family of Nimu Sirtani of Noblesville, plays in the back yard. Sesame died in 2013 after taking Trifexis, a heartworm medicine made by Eli Lilly’s Elanco division. The Sirtani family suspects that Trifexis was to blame. (Photo provided by the Surtani Family/Courtesy of The Indianapolis Star)

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:41 pm

The The Indianapolis Star is shining a light on the booming industry of pet medications and raising some red flags about it.

In a three-part series, the newspaper finds a booming industry with higher risk of unforeseen side effects than the human drug market, veterinarians on the payroll of drug makers, and little legal protection for owners who say their pets have been killed by medications their pets were on.

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NPR Story
1:43 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Dreamers Get To Drive In Arizona

Arizona’s Motor Vehicles Department is now open to DREAMers.

Starting today, immigrants who qualify for the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals can get driver’s licenses in Arizona.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday let stand a ruling requiring the state to issue licenses to residents brought to the U.S. unlawfully as young children by their parents. The policy change follows a recent rollback of a string of strict immigration enforcement policies in Arizona.

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NPR Story
3:02 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Special Coverage: Obama's Year-End Remarks

President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference in the briefing room of the White House December 19, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Obama addressed the press before traveling with the first family on their annual Christmas beach vacation in the president's birth state of Hawaii. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Here & Now provided special coverage of the president’s remarks on Friday afternoon, before he and his family left for a Christmas vacation in Hawaii. The audio includes the entirety of the remarks and special coverage.

President Barack Obama praised the reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba on Friday but said he doesn’t expect it to bring overnight change on the island, a quick end to the U.S. economic embargo or the likelihood that he will soon visit the communist nation.

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NPR Story
2:52 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Obama: Sony Decision To Cancel Movie A 'Mistake'

President Barack Obama said Friday that Sony Pictures Entertainment “made a mistake” in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader, and he vowed the United States will respond “in a place and manner and time that we choose” to a hack attack the FBI blamed on the secretive Communist regime.

Speaking of Sony executives, Obama said at a year-end news conference, “I wish they had spoken to me first. … We cannot have a society in which some dictatorship someplace can start imposing censorship.”

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NPR Story
2:52 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Mixed Reaction As New York Bans Fracking

An opponent of the hydraulic fracturing holds a sign during a demonstration on March 20, 2014 in New York. The demonstrators say "fracking," the process used in natural gas drilling, is dangerous for water supplies and food sources. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

This week, New York became the second state in the nation to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Vermont’s ban, which was the first, was largely symbolic, as the state doesn’t have any real natural gas resources. New York, though, sits on the gas-rich Marcellus Shale, and the debate over whether to open it to fracking has been deeply emotional and contentious.

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NPR Story
1:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Putin Vows To Fix Russian Economy

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 18, 2014. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

In his annual press conference, which ran four hours, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to ease the country’s economic woes by diversifying its heavy reliance on oil and gas. He also said he’s confident the plummeting ruble will recover.

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NPR Story
1:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Are Artificial Christmas Trees Really More Environmentally Sound?

Tree farms provide the majority of Christmas trees. (jpmatth/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 9:02 am

Three million American families will buy real Christmas trees this year. Most are grown in either Oregon or North Carolina, the top two Christmas-tree-producing states in the country.

However, the real-tree industry has something in common with many other businesses: competition with China. About 79 percent of people now use artificial Christmas trees.

One reason people purchase artificial trees is because they believe they’re more environmentally sound. But is that true?

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NPR Story
1:49 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

A Short History Of U.S.-Cuba Relations

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (left) shakes hands with Cuban President Fidel Castro on May 12,, 2002, at the State Council in Havana, where Castro, Carter and their respective delegations met for a working meeting. Carter was on a five-day visit to Cuba, invited by Castro. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama’s decision to change U.S. policy on Cuba comes after a half century of icy relations. The announcement came as a surprise to many, including Julia Sweig, director for Latin American studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sweig joined Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the history of the struggle between the two nations and outline what the opening of diplomatic relations and easing of restrictions will mean both for Cuba and the United States.

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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

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
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
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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