Here & Now

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NPR's midday news magazine.  

New Dictionary Words For 2015

4 hours ago

As the year draws to a close, it’s time for our annual look at words that have been added to the American Heritage Dictionary. This year, the words include humblebrag, cosleeping and bibimbap.

Steve Kleinedler, executive editor of the American Heritage Dictionary, looks at some of the words added with Here & Now‘s Indira Lakshmanan and explains why certain popular words don’t get into the dictionary right away.

11 New Words In The American Heritage Dictionary

Food terms

DJ Session: Broadway's Hamilton And Beyond

4 hours ago

Marion Hodges of KCRW in Los Angeles shares a range of new music, including the “post-punk meets dance” sound of the band Pale Blue. She also calls attention to “The Schuyler Sisters,” off the soundtrack for Broadway’s production of “Hamilton.”

Hodges says the song shows the power of the female leads in the musical. “It turns into this very En Vogue, TLC, Destiny’s Child kind of thing,” she tells Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson.

At the Paris climate talks today, President Obama met with leaders of some of the countries with the most to lose – the small island countries. The Bahamas, Tonga, Barbados, Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda are all part of the Alliance of Small Island States.

According to the U.N.’s intergovernmental panel on climate change, some of these islands could be almost completely covered in water by 2100.

How The Holiday Shopping Season Is Changing

Nov 30, 2015

Cyber Monday may be giving way to Cyber Week, and Black Friday is losing its importance, as more retailers offer deals through the month of November and more shopping is being done online. Jill Schlesinger of CBS News speaks with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson about the shift in the holiday shopping season.

The number of people using bicycles to get to and from work has more than doubled since 2009. Take Washington D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood. Recent census data show one out of every 10 work trips originating in Shaw is on a bicycle, leading to calls for better bike lanes there.

Have you ever opened your closet and wondered why you bought that hideous sweater? Well, it turns out that maybe you weren’t responsible. Instead, the culprit may be science.

In a new article in The Atlantic, Eleanor Smith delves into the science behind many purchases, looking at 13 different scientific studies that add up to big bucks for retailers, particularly during the holiday season.

Police say they are unsure about the location of a shooter in an attack near a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs that left three officers injured.

A witness says she heard as many as 20 shots in less than five minutes and saw an officer fall to the ground Friday during the shooting.

Denise Speller, manager of a nearby haircut salon, told The Gazette of Colorado Springs that she saw another officer kneel down to render aid to the officer who fell.

Books To Give As Gifts This Year

Nov 27, 2015

If you’re looking to give a book to a friend or family member this holiday, check out these recommendations from NPR Books editor Petra Mayer.

This year marks the centennial of the last log drives on the Connecticut River. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, logs up to 30 feet long were floated 300 miles downriver to sawmills in Massachusetts and Connecticut to build the cities of 19th century New England.

Jon Kalish brought Here & Now this story about two Vermonters who are keeping the history alive by chronicling the history of the drives.

Friendship is unlike any other relationship in a person’s life. It can be difficult to define and may carry different meanings for different people. Two friends may describe the degree of their relationship in totally different ways.

While family bonds are typically considered unconditional, friendships are voluntary and thus subject to being set aside when people enter adulthood and “more important” events arise.

Here & Now’ Robin Young and her now-late uncle, Lachlan Maclachlan Field, take a trip to see the migrating snow geese in Vermont. Revisiting their pilgrimage has become a Thanksgiving tradition at Here & Now.

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Qirat Chappra, a terminally ill 18-year-old who has spent most of her life at a children’s hospital in Houston, will be granted what she calls her dying wish.

Chappra has not seen her parents, who live in Pakistan, for 13 years. They have been repeatedly denied travel visas, but after a social media campaign and some help from a congressman, their visas have been approved. The parents could be in the United States as early as next week.

Lynn Fisher and Nick Crohn, two web designers from the Phoenix area, love airport codes. They launched the website in March that links hundreds of those three-letter codes with a pretty picture and a brief story about the airport – enough to keep you busy while you’re waiting in line at one of those airports this week.

This story originally aired on April 1, 2015.

When Seattle public radio news station KUOW announced recently that it would purchase Seattle’s other major public radio station KPLU, it was met with shock and anger by members of the KPLU advisory board. The board subsequently voted unanimously to oppose the sale of the radio station.

KUOW has said that it would change the format of KPLU from news and music to jazz and blues. NPR’s David Folkenflik tells Here & Now’s Indira Lakshmanan about the broadcast landscape behind the proposed merger.

National security analyst and author John Walcott argues that the conversation about how to fight ISIS – with more surveillance, restrictions on refugees and more military action – is all wrong. He speaks with Here & Now’s Indira Lakshmanan about the critical missing piece of the campaign against ISIS: human intelligence.

There’s a long history of people chaining themselves to trees or posts or buildings – or to each other – to protest some injustice or simply to get their voices heard. But up in New Hampshire, they may have a first.

Early in November, Kevin Dumont, the owner of Liquid Planet Water Park in Candia, New Hampshire climbed to the top of his water slide tower and chained himself to the rail. His goal: To save the park from a planned December 2nd auction.

Ferguson: One Year Later

Nov 24, 2015

One year ago tonight, an announcement came from the St. Louis County prosecutor in Ferguson Missouri. Darren Wilson, a white police officer, would not be indicted for fatally shooting an unarmed black 18-year-old named Michael Brown.

The city of Ferguson erupted. Protesters set fire to more than a dozen buildings around the city. Police officers used tear gas, smoke, armored vehicles, snipers and police dogs to quell the demonstrations, which continued for weeks.

Millions of Americans are hitting the road, rails and skies for the Thanksgiving holiday. Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Bart Jansen, transportation reporter for USA Today, about the heightened security as a result of the terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month, and how it could affect holiday travel.

Mark Bertolini has been CEO of Connecticut-based health insurance provider Aetna since 2010, the year the Affordable Care Act was passed.

He talks with Here & Now’s Indira Lakshmanan about why premiums are going up next year, and also how his near-fatal skiing accident caused him to view healthcare and his own work culture differently. He now provides free yoga and meditation classes to all of his employees, as well as base minimum wage of $16 an hour.

The drug companies Pfizer and Allergan said today that they will merge, in a nearly $160 billion deal that would create the world’s biggest drug maker, and bring Botox and Viagra under one roof.

Allergan is based in Dublin, Ireland, and the joint company could reincorporate there – making it an inversion, and the biggest inversion ever. Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with CBS News’ Jill Schlesinger to understand what’s happening.

Walk into popular clothing stores and you’ll find trendy garments embellished with Native American-inspired patterns. That kind of cultural borrowing raises questions and concerns about commodification for the community of contemporary, indigenous American fashion designers. For them, tribal symbols, imagery and materials go much deeper than the mass marketplace.

Militants armed with guns and grenades stormed a Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, the capital of Mali early Friday.

About 170 hostages were taken, including Americans and French citizens, although state officials say those hostages are no longer being held. At least 27 are dead, according to the United Nations Mission in Mali.

Here & Now’s Indira Lakshmanan speaks with Ofeibea Quist-Arcton of NPR for the latest.

Protests in favor of greater diversity and racial awareness on college campuses have spread across the country. Mike Barryhead of audience at the Guardian U.S., joins Here & Now’s Indira Lakshmanan to discuss how these protests are playing out over social media.

DJ Session: Sounds Of Paris

Nov 20, 2015

For this week’s edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions, host Jeremy Hobson turns to Paris, a week after the attacks there. Clément Bindzi is a musician in Paris, and he was at a concert very close to one of the restaurant attacks in Paris.

Backlash from last Friday’s rampage in Paris prompted many American governors to say they oppose allowing Syrian refugees to settle in their states. But the current refugee crisis started well before Paris. Migrants have been flooding Europe for months. We hear from a leading advocate for refugees who says European countries are responding differently to the challenge.

New TV Drama 'The Art Of More' Gets Raves

Nov 19, 2015

Pilot episodes often fall flat, but many TV critics are praising the new drama “The Art of More.” The show, which streams for free on, centers around a slimy group of wealthy art collectors and thieves who are driven by their individual ambitions and desires. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans joins Here & Now’s Indira Lakshmanan to explain why critics are so pleased with this show.

Christie’s auction house in New York is auctioning off some great American artworks today, including a Norman Rockwell painting that belonged to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. As the price of art soars, the press club was confident it would make millions off the sale. The winning bid: $10.2 million ($11.6 million with buyer’s premium).

E-Cigarette Sales Drop Off

Nov 18, 2015

Sales of electronic cigarettes have been falling in recent months, as the industry deals with inventory issues, increasing safety concerns and some new state laws targeting e-cigs.

CNN’s Maggie Lake speaks with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson about what’s happening to the e-cig industry and what this means for big tobacco.


High School Football Deaths Raise Concerns

Nov 18, 2015

At least 11 high school football players have died this year, either from head or neck injuries or heat-related illnesses. The most recent was a 17-year-old football player in Silver Springs, Kansas, who collapsed on the field after scoring an extra point and could not be revived.

Succeeding By 'Thinking Like The Enemy'

Nov 18, 2015

You might not be familiar with the term “red team” but it’s a concept that is used by the CIA, the military and many corporations to assess their vulnerabilities and better protect themselves against threats.