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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
2:16 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Senators Agree On Plan To Replace Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

A plan to phase out the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and instead use mainly private insurers to backstop home loans has advanced in Congress.

The plan by Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, chairman of the Banking Committee, and Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the committee’s senior Republican, would create a new government insurance fund.

Essentially, investors would pay fees in exchange for insurance on mortgage securities they buy and the government would become a last-resort loan guarantor.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Lessons From High-Achieving Low-Income Schools

Why do some low-income schools succeed where others fail? That’s one of the questions that authors Sonia Caus Gleason and Nancy Gerzon set out to answer in their book, “Growing Into Equity: Professional Learning and Personalization in High-Achieving Schools

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NPR Story
1:56 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

SXSW Puts Spotlight On Latinos In Tech

The first ever Latinos in Tech event, which took place on March 6, 2014, was founded by the Kapor Center and Esquivel McCarson Consulting. (Kety Esquivel/Esquivel McCarson Consulting)

The interactive section of South by Southwest (SXSW) wraps up today, and for the first time it included three days of panels and discussions specifically focused on the integration of Latinos in tech.

The sessions were designed to make Latinos feel more comfortable in a field where they are underrepresented.

We hear a report from Veronica Zaragovia of KUT that for some Latinos, the results were less than satisfying.

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NPR Story
1:56 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Ex-Christie Aides Seek To Quash Subpoenas In Bridge Hearing

Lawyers for Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien, two former aides to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, are in court today. They’re trying to persuade a judge not to force them to turn over private communications that could incriminate them in the investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closing.

The decision is important because Kelly and Stepien might have evidence that could clarify who orchestrated and knew about the September bridge closings, which led to major traffic issues. The lawyers will cite the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

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NPR Story
1:56 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

How To Coordinate An International Search

Nine countries are involved in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, with dozens of planes and ships scanning the area where the flight may have gone down.

There is no designated leader in the search. Aviation officials say that the official investigation can not begin until the aircraft is located. It’s expected to be found in either Malaysian or Vietnamese waters.

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NPR Story
3:07 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Sudanese 'Lost Boy' Returns To Search For Family

Mangok Bol, pictured here at Brandeis University, returned to his native Sudan to find his orphaned nieces and nephew. (Mike Lovett/Brandeis University)

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 2:01 pm

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power took time from the Ukraine crisis on Friday to speak to the U.N. Security Council about another critical issue: children in armed conflict.

Power talked about South Sudan, mentioning specifically Mangok Bol, a program administrator at Brandeis University.

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NPR Story
3:07 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Visiting Eudora Welty's Mississippi Home

The home of American writer Eudora Welty in Jackson, Mississippi. (J R Gordon/Flickr)

Funeral services were held this weekend for Chokwe Lumumba, the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi.

Here & Now’s Robin Young visited Jackson a few months ago, and during her trip went to the home of Southern writer Eudora Welty.

Welty’s niece, Mary Alice Welty, took Young on a tour of the house, which Welty lived in from 1925 until her death in 2001.

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NPR Story
3:07 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Week In Politics: CPAC And Aid To Ukraine

NPR’s Charlie Mahtesian joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and bipartisan reaction in Congress to the crisis in Ukraine.

CPAC came to a close this weekend after Sen. Rand Paul won the conference’s presidential straw poll for the second year in a row. Although Republican officials acknowledged the need for the party to come together on a unified platform, there was little agreement on what that agenda would be.

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NPR Story
3:29 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

March Madness Sadness: A Look Back On The 1970 Season

Forty-four years ago tonight, North Carolina State beat South Carolina 44-39 in double overtime to win the Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina. That wasn’t supposed to happen. And it left the captain of the team, Bobby Cremins, so heartbroken, he and another player on the team fled into the mountains of North Carolina for several days before they could return to the South Carolina campus in Columbia.

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NPR Story
3:29 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Basketball Roundup: Lakers Low Point And LeBron's Short Sleeves

The Los Angles Lakers have won 16 NBA championships, but this season they probably won’t even make the playoffs. Last night they hit a real low point, losing to their neighborhood rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, 142 to 94.

The 48-point loss was the worst in Lakers history. The Lakers weren’t the only ones who had a bad night. LeBron James of the Miami Heat made only six shots in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, just a few days after he had poured in 61 points.

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NPR Story
3:29 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

New Rules Press Colleges To Improve Sexual Assault Procedures

President Teresa A. Sullivan addresses attendees of the national conference on student sexual misconduct, Feb. 10, 2013. (Dan Addison/UVA)

The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act takes effect today. It holds institutions of higher education responsible for the prevention of sexual violence, not just responding to it after assaults occur.

It also establishes standard procedures for disciplining those found guilty, and requires greater transparency on sexual violence policy and procedures, not just about rape but also domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

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NPR Story
3:58 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Historian: Pay More Attention To The Midwest

Shoulder-high stalks are seen in a corn field July 5, 2006 in Prairie View, Illinois. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

I’m happy to live in Boston and have been for the last 16 years. But I must admit I miss the Midwest. I came here from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, which is also where Here & Now co-host Jeremy Hobson grew up. In fact I worked with Jeremy’s high school class on a documentary when I was at the public radio station there, WILL.

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NPR Story
3:58 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

BatKid's Oscars Appearance Canceled

We all remember the story of 5-year-old Miles Scott, who is in remission from leukemia. Back in November, Here & Now spoke to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in San Francisco, which organized the entire city to help grant Miles’ wish to be BatKid for a day.

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NPR Story
3:58 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Soda Can Solar Furnace Helps Cut Heating Bills

Metro State University students designed an inexpensive solar furnace to help heat homes in Denver's low-income Westwood neighborhood. (Jessica Taves/Metro State University)

When residents of Westwood, a low-income neighborhood in Denver, were asked what would help them the most, the answer was simple: Help us lower our utility bills.

Engineering students at Metro State University took up that challenge. They designed a furnace that uses recycled materials, is solar powered and costs less than $50 to build — and pennies a day to run.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Jenny Brundin of Colorado Public Radio found out how the design is working.

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NPR Story
2:56 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Girl Who Inspired 'The Fault In Our Stars' And A Network Of Friends

Esther Earl was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 12, and died in 2010 shortly after her 16th birthday.

But in that short time, she developed a network of friends through social media, blogging and YouTube videos. She was a devoted fan of the Harry Potter books and was an active member of the Harry Potter Alliance.

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NPR Story
2:56 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Good And Bad Of Terrible Traffic

Across the country, traffic is getting worse. That’s a good thing — at least in terms of economic indicators. More people on the roads means more people are headed to jobs and the economy is bouncing back.

One of the cities that has a major problem with traffic is Austin, Texas. Approximately 70 new cars hit the streets daily in Austin, making it one of the top five most congested cities in America, according to a new traffic scorecard by INRIX, a traffic research firm.

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NPR Story
2:56 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Bitcoin Bank Flexcoin Collapses After Hack Attack

On Tuesday, the bitcoin bank Flexcoin was forced to shut down after hackers stole approximately $600,000 worth of bitcoins.

The bank announced it lost all 896 units of the digital currency stored online, and will not be able to come back from the loss.

The theft comes in the wake of the closure of Mt. Gox, another bitcoin exchange, which filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo last week after losing 750,000 bitcoins in a hack attack.

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NPR Story
3:49 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Song Of The Week: Phantogram's 'Fall in Love'

Phantogram is an electronic rock duo from New York state. (phantogrammusic.virb.com)

NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson joins us each week to introduce us to a new song. This week it’s “Fall in Love” by New York electronic rock duo Phantogram. Thompson says Phantogram’s sound is catchy but a little bit challenging.

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NPR Story
3:49 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Catching Up With Dave Barry

An 11-year-old Jeremy Hobson (left) is pictured with Dave Barry and Chris Jeckel in 1993 at Willard Airport in Savoy, Ill. (WILL)

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson first spoke to humorist Dave Barry back in 1993. At that time, Hobson was an 11-year-old interviewer for “Treehouse Radio” for radio station WILL in Urbana, Illinois.

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NPR Story
3:49 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

IBM Slashes Jobs

IBM was once one of the country’s largest employers. Considered a major innovator in the high tech world, IBM was also a place where workers could count on having a job throughout their entire career.

But IBM is now going through a major restructuring after sustaining years of losses. These changes could result in some 13,000 layoffs, both in the U.S. and abroad. Some of these layoffs have already started, but the company will not confirm any numbers.

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Uncertainty In Ukraine Is Sending Markets Downward

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of March 3, 2014 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down amidst turmoil between Russia and Ukraine. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Global markets have been dropping today as the situation heats up in the Ukraine. The Russian ruble has also been plummeting and Russia’s central bank reacted by raising its interest rates.

Cardiff Garcia of the Financial Times joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Obama Says Russia Violating International Law

President Barack Obama says Russia is “on the wrong side of history” in Ukraine and its actions violate international law.

Obama told reporters in the Oval Office on Monday that the United States is considering economic and diplomatic options that will isolate Russia. The president called on Congress to work on an aid package to Ukraine and make it the “first order of business.”

Obama said continued military actions in Ukraine “will be a costly proposition for Russia.”

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Red Carpet Hits And Misses

Lupita Nyong'o attends the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Now that we know who walked away with the Oscars, it’s time to discuss who rocked the red carpet. Vogue contributing editor Andre Leon Talley joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti and Jeremy Hobson to look at some of the fashion highlights of the evening.

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

How To Pay For The Nation's Crumbling Infrastructure

A cyclist rides beneath the Brooklyn Bridge during the evening commute August 25, 2009 in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

President Obama will reveal his budget proposal to Congress tomorrow. He recently proposed a $302 billion dollar transportation bill to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

The funds would help replenish the nation’s Highway Trust Fund, which is expected to run out before the end of the year.

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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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