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NPR Story
12:34 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Summer TV Preview From NPR's Eric Deggans

It used to be that summer was a time for reruns on television, but networks are now taking summer television seriously, premiering new shows and limited series.

NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans joins Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins with recommendations on what to watch in the summer months.

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NPR Story
12:34 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

A 'DREAMer' Goes To College

Barbara Olochea just graduated from Alhambra High School in Phoenix. (Courtesy)

It’s graduation time around the country, and many high school seniors are making plans to head off to college at the end of the summer.

Barbara Olachea, a recent graduate of Alhambra High School in Phoenix and the daughter of Mexican immigrants, tells us in her own words about how growing up in two cultures helped her prepare for the big move. Her story comes to us from Here & Now contributor KJZZ’s Spot 127 Youth Media Center in Phoenix.

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NPR Story
12:34 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Big Decisions Still To Come From U.S. Supreme Court

There are only a few weeks left for the U.S. Supreme Court to announce its decisions in some pretty hefty cases they heard this term. Same-sex marriage, healthcare reform and the death penalty are just a few of the issues the justices will weigh in on.

NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg talks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about impending Supreme Court decisions.

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NPR Story
12:29 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

In India, Heat Kills As Monsoon Season Approaches

The front page of the Hindustan Times carried this photo of asphalt melting in Delhi. (Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times)

A heat wave in India has left over 1,100 people dead over the past month. In the capital New Delhi, 113 degree Fahrenheit temperatures have melted roadway crosswalks.

The sweltering heat will continue for at least another week when the annual monsoon rains begin. The BBC’s Delhi correspondent Zubair Ahmad joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

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NPR Story
12:29 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Parched Rivers, Grasslands Choke California Wildlife

The giant kangaroo rat plays a big role in California’s ecosystem. (John Roser/University of California at Berkeley)

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 1:14 pm

Torrential rains this week in Texas have helped ease the drought in that state, but in California there is no relief in sight. Ranchers in San Luis Obispo County have sold off 75 percent of their cattle in the past four years. There’s not enough water or food to sustain them. And as Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd reports, in the wild, other animals important to the state’s economy and ecosystem are dying off.

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NPR Story
12:29 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Texas Lake Slowly Recovers From Drought

This photo taken by John Williams' daughter Tiffany Jowers shows the creek bottom, where the water is normally 20 to 25 feet deep. Right now, it's about 6 inches deep, but John says "we're glad it is flowing." (Tiffany Jowers)

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 2:07 pm

It continues to rain today in South Central Texas, which was hit hard by devastating flooding this week. The heavy rains have brought an end to the extreme drought there, which began in 2010.

In September 2013, John Williams, who owns Thunderbird Lodge and Resort on Lake Buchanan in Central Texas, spoke with Here & Now. The lake had shrunk to about one-third capacity.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Simon Rich's 'Spoiled Brats'

If you’re looking for light fun read for an upcoming vacation, Simon Rich‘s collection of short stories “Spoiled Brats” is out in paperback today.

Rich is a former writer for Saturday Night Live, and he’s also the creator of the FXX series “Man Seeking Woman,” which has been renewed for a second season. Though he’s had a lot of success in television, he still enjoys writing short stories.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Department Of Justice Unveils Settlement To Reform Cleveland Police

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder holds a roundtable meeting with law enforcement, local officials, and community leaders to discuss the U.S. Department of Justice's report on excessive police force and violence in Cleveland, Dec. 4, 2014. Today, Cleveland waits for the Department of Justice's police statement. (Tony Dejak/AP)

The Department of Justice is announcing a settlement to reform the Cleveland police department’s policing tactics, months after a scathing DOJ report found unnecessary and excessive use of force by patrol officers.

The settlement is expected just days after the acquittal of a white Cleveland police officer accused of manslaughter in the deaths of two unarmed black suspects in 2012.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Bounce Houses: The Dangers Lurking Within

(jaarons/Flickr)

If you thought bouncy houses were completely safe, think again. Here & Now has reported on the children’s play houses taking flight before, and on Monday three children in Florida were injured when a waterspout came ashore and lifted the inflatable house they were in.

NPR Story
1:07 pm
Mon May 25, 2015

Debate Over Seal Hunting In Greenland Resumes

The Inuit people of Greenland are trying to get a ban on the sale of seal products overturned.

The European Union imposed that ban five years ago, and the Inuit say it has destroyed their livelihoods because it has wiped out the export of seal fur.

The BBC’s Malcolm Brabant reports.

NPR Story
1:07 pm
Mon May 25, 2015

Not Your Mother's Pot Brownie

Karin Lazarus' bakery in Boulder, Colo., specializes in marijuana-infused baked goods. (Ally Bruschi)

Twenty-three states now allow marijuana for medical use and several others are considering doing the same. Two states including Colorado now allow recreational use of the drug as well.

For people who are sick and use pot to relieve symptoms related to pain, seizures or depression, smoking is often not an option.

The so-called edible market is becoming big business in Colorado, where patients can buy cannabis-infused brownies, truffles and ice cream at their neighborhood dispensary.

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NPR Story
1:07 pm
Mon May 25, 2015

Under Pressure In Europe, Amazon Changes Tax Strategy

Amazon is no longer routing its European sales through the low-tax country of Luxembourg, in an effort to cut costs. Instead the American company will pay taxes in individual European countries.

The move comes amid numerous EU investigations into how companies, including Amazon, pay their taxes on the continent.

As Al Jazeera’s Ali Velshi tells Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins, it could significantly increase Amazon’s tax bill.

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NPR Story
11:26 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Dr. Beach Reveals His Top 10 U.S. Beaches For 2015

Waimanalo Bay Beach Park on the Hawaiian island of Oahu won the #1 spot on Dr. Beach's top 10 beaches list for 2015. (Ryan Ozawa/Flickr)

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, which for many people marks the first real beach weekend of the year. Just in time, a new list of the top 10 public beaches in the U.S. is out, ranked by a man who goes by the name “Dr. Beach.” Taking this year’s top honor: Waimanalo Beach in Oahu, Hawaii.

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NPR Story
11:26 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Oregon Looks To Raise Wages For People With Intellectual Disabilities

Workers with All Seasons Grounds Care at the City of McMinnville Water Reclamation Facility. (Chris Lehman/Northwest News Network)

As the national debate on whether to raise the minimum wage continues, some adults in Oregon with developmental disabilities are still paid as little as 25 cents an hour.

Now, a group of Oregon lawmakers is trying to change that. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Chris Lehman reports.

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NPR Story
11:26 am
Mon May 25, 2015

ISIS Gains Ground In Iraq And Syria

A view of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra one day after the self-proclaimed Islamic State fired rockets into the city on May 17, 2015. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

ISIS is expanding its control of territory in Iraq and Syria. The militants have now seized the last Syrian-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq.

There are also reports that ISIS has overrun another town in Iraq’s western Anbar province, less than a week after taking control of Ramadi, the provincial capital.

Concerns are mounting about the famous archaeological site at Palmyra in Syria, which ISIS seized a couple of days ago.

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NPR Story
2:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Jailed Journalist Goes On Trial In Iran Next Week

In this photo taken on April 11, 2013, Jason Rezaian, right, an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post, and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, an Iranian correspondent for the Abu Dhabi-based daily newspaper The National, smile as they attend a presidential campaign of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Iran. (Vahid Salemi/AP)

For nearly a year, The Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian has been held in custody. He goes on trial next week, and the trial may not be open to the public or his family.

Rezaian’s lawyer says Iran accuses him of spying, but his editor at The Washington Post defends Rezaian and says he was merely doing his job as a journalist.

Douglas Jehl, foreign editor of The Washington Post, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

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NPR Story
2:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

YouTube Sensation Publishes Her First Cookbook

YouTube cooking sensation Maangchi is out with her first cookbook, "Maangchi's Real Korean Cooking." (maangchi.com)

Kwangsook Kim was always interested in food and cooking, first in her native South Korea, then later in Canada and the United States.

In 2007, her son suggested she take up a new hobby: posting videos on YouTube of her making Korean dishes. She did, adopting the name “Maangchi” that she used in her other hobby, online gaming.

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NPR Story
2:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Rookie Drivers Get A Pass On Parallel Parking In Maryland

"Driver education" sticker on the back of a car. (minidriver/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:32 pm

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has eliminated the parallel parking requirement on its driving test. A spokesman says it’s about redundancy. The test still requires a “reverse two-point turnabout.”

But driving instructors in Maryland say that too many people were failing the test, and the right of passage in driving is still an important skill to learn. Georgena Ewing, owner of Perry Hall Driving School in Nottingham, MD., shares her view with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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NPR Story
12:20 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Becoming A Cop, As Police Protests Dominate Headlines

The squad of six, including Stephanie Schendel, pose after being pepper-sprayed. Instructor Russ Hicks said the recruits bond after that unpleasant experience. (Isolde Raftery/KUOW)

What motivates someone to become a police officer these days? And what is it like to be a recruit as images of police protests dominate the news? Amy Radil of Here & Now contributor station KUOW met some of Washington state’s newest recruits.

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NPR Story
12:20 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

'Finding The Good' Through Obituary Writing

About 2,000 people live in Haines, Alaska, where Heather Lende has been writing obituaries for 20 years for the Chilkat Valley News. (Andrei Taranchenko/Flickr)

Journalist Heather Lende lives in the small town of Haines, Alaska, where the population is about 2,000. She’s written obituaries for almost 20 years at the Chilkat Valley News.

In doing so, she’s learned to “find the good,” as she says, not only in the lives of people she writes about, but also in her own life. Lende told Here & Now’s Robin Young that a portrait of the town she lives in also comes through her work.

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NPR Story
12:20 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Five Banks To Pay Billions Over Currency Manipulation

This combination made from file photos shows signage for four banks, Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, that will pay $2.5 billion in fines and plead guilty to criminally manipulating global currency market going back to 2007. The banks conspired with one another to fix rates on U.S. dollars and euros traded in the huge global market for currencies, according to a settlement announced Wednesday, May 20, 2015, between the banks and U.S. Justice Department. (Lefteris Pitarakis, Nick Ut, Kathy Willens, Matt Dunham/AP)

JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Citigroup and UBS have agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay more than $5 billion in total penalties relating to a U.S. investigation into whether the banks manipulated foreign currency rates.

The fines are on top of more than $4 billion in penalties that many of the same banks paid in November over similar charges. Matt Klein of the Financial Times joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

DJ Sessions: From Gypsy Funk To A 12-Year-Old Jazz Pianist

Joey Alexander performs in the 10th Year Edition of Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2014 day 3 at JIExpo Kemayoran on March 2, 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

KCRW’s Tom Schnabel joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to share some of the music he’s listening to from around the world, including Brazilian guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento, the New York artist collective “Brooklyn Gypsies” and a 12-year-old pianist named Joey Alexander.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Supreme Court Adds Protections For 401(k) Investors

The Supreme Court ruling on Monday is expected to better protect people from high fees in their 401(k) retirement plan investments.

By a unanimous vote, the court said that companies managing 401(k) retirement plans have to monitor investments and “remove imprudent investments.”

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal about the ruling’s implications.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Can Boston Lose Its 2024 Olympic Bid?

The Boston Skyline is seen from Cambridge, Mass. in April 2013. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 12:25 pm

Many U.S. cities tried out for the 2024 Summer Olympic bid, but in January the U.S. Olympic Committee selected Boston.

There has been tough opposition from citizens in the city who don’t agree with the local committee’s plans, but Monday at a Boston City Council meeting Angela Ruggiero, a USOC and IOC member said, “There’s no guarantee that Boston will be the city in September.”

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

How - And How Well - Would Free College Work?

How does free college sound?

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders will propose legislation on Tuesday that would make tuition at four-year public colleges free – much like it is in many European Countries.

Here & Now’s Robin Young talks to Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed, about how various European countries offer free college tuition, and how well such a model might work in the United States.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Jeremy Hobson's Advice For Selfie-Stick Users

Tourists use a selfie-stick to take a picture of themselves in front of the Pyramid of the Louvre in Paris on March 7, 2015. (Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)

There’s a new term that is unfortunately now a part of our lexicon: selfie-stick.

You’ve seen them. The idiotic plastic or metal arms that tourists all over the world are using to take medium-distance selfies with their phones.

I was in Europe last week and I saw it for myself: In front of the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum in London, underneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, even on a train a couple decided to take a photograph of themselves from above.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Gender Pronouns And The History Of 'They'

A dictionary definition of they. (Rachel Rohr/Here & Now)

The use of the word “they” as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is gaining wider acceptance, even among copy editors. But linguist and Wall Street Journal columnist Ben Zimmer says the use of the universal pronoun ‘they’ is nothing new.

Zimmer tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that writers including Chaucer and Shakespeare have used “they” instead of he or she. But will modern-day English speakers adapt their style to incorporate “they”?

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Boston Marathon Bomber Sentenced To Death

A jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death Friday for the Boston Marathon bombing, sweeping aside pleas that he was just a “kid” who fell under the influence of his fanatical older brother.

Tsarnaev, 21, stood with his hands folded upon learning his fate, decided after 14 hours of deliberations over three days in the nation’s most closely watched terrorism trial since the Oklahoma City bombing case two decades ago.

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

States Push Back, As Insurers Push For Cheaper, Older Drugs

Firefighter Glenn Helverson says step therapy has caused him to lose work for weeks at a time. (Alex Smith/Heartland Health Monitor)

If you’ve ever been prescribed an expensive new medication, you may be familiar with step therapy.

Rather than pay for a costly new drug, many insurance companies now require patients to try cheaper alternatives first.

As drug prices have skyrocketed in recent years, step therapy has become increasingly common, but now many states legislatures are pushing back.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Alex Smith reports.

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

NATO Carries Out Huge Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise

A Russian nuclear submarine is pictured near the Sevmash factory in the northern city of Arkhangelsk, Russia, July 2, 2009. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

NATO has been carrying out its largest ever anti-submarine warfare exercise in the North Sea.

It’s seen as a response to increasing activity by Russian submarines. There have been recent reports of Russian submarines operating off the coast of Scotland, as well as Sweden and Finland.

The exercise has also highlighted a gaping hole in Britain’s own maritime defenses. The BBC’s Jonathan Beale reports.

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