Here & Now

Weekdays, noon to 2pm

NPR's midday news magazine.  

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has decided to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, making her the first woman on U.S. paper currency in 100 years, a Treasury official said Wednesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of Lew’s official announcement, said that the 19th century abolitionist and a leader of the Underground Railroad, would replace the portrait of Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president.

Lew’s announcement is expected to provide details on other changes being made to the $20, $10 and $5 bills.

Michigan’s attorney general filed felony and misdemeanor charges Wednesday against three state and city environmental managers in connection with the lead contamination of the Flint water supply. The charges are the first to be filed in the ongoing state investigation into the contaminated water. A federal investigation is also ongoing. Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Lindsey Smith, who covers the Flint crisis for contributor station Michigan Radio.

President Obama met Saudi Arabia’s King Salman in Riyadh today. The president’s final visit to the kingdom comes during a time of strained relations. The Saudis are concerned about the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran and the fight against ISIS. On President Obama’s agenda are questions about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Greg Myre of NPR about the issues involved in the talks.

Ahead of today’s New York’s primary, many polls showed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton comfortably ahead of her rival, Bernie Sanders. But Sanders, who has drawn big crowds at his New York rallies, says polls can be wrong. What is the outlook for Sanders in New York and beyond? NPR’s lead political editor Domenico Montenaro addresses that question in his conversation with Here & Now‘s Robin Young.

As New York State votes in the primaries today, Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, one of the longest-serving women in Congress. They discuss the issues that matter most to her constituents and why she’s stumping for Hillary Clinton.

Across the country, school districts get their funding from property taxes. But the Texas Supreme Court will soon rule on a challenge to that system, which opponents say short-changes poor children and those whose parents don’t speak English.

Prices on crude oil dropped Monday as OPEC members failed to reach an agreement on freezing oil production. Jill Schlesinger of CBS News joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to explain this, as well as the latest step in Amazon’s plan to expand its business in streaming video.

President Obama recently described the lack of planning for post-civil war Libya as the worst mistake of his presidency. Shahrazad Kablan advised the White House during the Libyan civil war, and tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that she is disappointed with the president’s comments and his Libya policy.

Here & Now’s Robin Young sat down with Linda Stasi, the longtime firebrand columnist for the New York Daily News, the left-leaning tabloid with the wild front pages (see some of them below). Stasi talked about the presidential campaign and the boost that Donald Trump has given her paper.

Stasi also addressed concerns that the New York Daily News and her coverage of Trump have helped to create him as a national candidate. “We did not create him, we put him on steroids,” she said.

Sounds of Akron poster

For the past year, residents of Akron, Ohio, have been collecting soundbites from their city for a new symphony. On Saturday night, they will hear their contributions in the final product.

Bernie Sanders' Burlington Political Roots

Apr 15, 2016

Bernie Sanders might be from Brooklyn, but he’s spent his political career in Vermont. Anthony Brooks of Here & Now contributor WBUR, traveled to Burlington, where Sanders’ political career began, and where the passion for his political agenda still shapes the city.

As the final weekend of campaigning in New York State approaches, the Democratic primary race is tightening. Hillary Clinton has now appeared on a ballot four times in New York, twice for a U.S. Senate seat and twice as a presidential candidate.

Reporter Brian Mann of Here & Now contributor North Country Public Radio explores what Clinton’s past campaigns might tell us about this year’s race. Sixteen years ago, Mann trekked along as the then-first lady stumped for votes in her first campaign, a historic bid for a U.S. Senate seat.

How To Make Really Good Pizza At Home

Apr 14, 2016

Americans spend $30 billion a year on take-out pizza. But Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst says making pizza at home is cheaper, easier than you might think and tastes great! She joins hosts Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young with samples and these recipes:

In New Zealand, an octopus named Inky has captured the world’s attention with his crafty escape from the National Aquarium. Inky slipped out of his tank, slithered across the floor and disappeared through a drain pipe and into the ocean.

The escape happened three months ago, but only came to light this week. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Roger Hanlon, an octopus expert and senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, about Inky and the antics of other octopuses.

Behind The Furious Debate Over GMO Crops

Apr 14, 2016

Genetically engineered crops, commonly called GMOs (genetically modified organisms), trigger lively discussions over the way they are created. For the farmers who grow them, many feel they are a wonder of technology. For those opposed, the plants represent everything they feel is wrong with modern agriculture. Luke Runyon of Here & Now contributor Harvest Public Media explains what people are really arguing about.

Around the world, subway projects are booming. New metros have sprung up or are in the works in Brazil, Saudi Arabia and India, and China announced several years ago that it would build 25 new subway systems. But in the United States, investment in new subways has lagged.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to Fred Salvucci, senior lecturer in civil and environmental engineering at MIT and former Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation, about what state and local governments should be doing about transportation for the future.

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Sean Parker, of Napster and Facebook fame, announced today that he’s pouring $250 million into cancer research – specifically to explore immunotherapy treatment, which tries to get the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells.

Another key piece of Parker’s effort is getting several hundred scientists, who are normally in intense competition with one another, to join forces and share research.

A pastor in Patchogue, Long Island has asked the Suffolk County Republican Party to move a Donald Trump fundraiser scheduled for tomorrow. Trump is scheduled to speak at a nightclub on the same street where Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero was killed in a 2008 hate crime. Lucero was beaten to death by seven white teenagers.

Today physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced the Breakthrough Starshot Project, an initiative to send multiple tiny crafts to the Alpha Centauri star system, some four light-years away.

Could it work, and what could it mean for the future of space exploration? Here & Now’s Robin Young discusses the project with Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

On June 9, California will become the fifth state in the country where it’s legal for terminally ill people to take their own lives with the help of a physician.

Supporters say such aid-in-dying laws save people from needless pain and suffering in their final days and allow them a more dignified death.

Critics worry about people being coaxed into taking their own lives and, more fundamentally, the morality of assisted suicide.

Saul Gonzalez from KCRW in Los Angeles has more.

Two more deaths have been added to the number associated with pneumonia-like Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area, which has been plagued by tainted water. Meanwhile, calls for the resignation of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder continue. Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks to NPR’s Cheryl Corley and Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody about the latest developments.

Beach House Brings 'Dream Pop' To Coachella

Apr 11, 2016

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival begins this Friday. The two-weekend event is one of the biggest music festivals in the country. One of the bands in the line-up is Beach House, the duo out of Baltimore known for their “dream pop” style of music. Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson spoke with Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally of Beach House in August, 2015. Today we revisit that conversation.

The Justice Department announced today that Goldman Sachs will pay $5 billion to settle probes into the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Goldman Sachs had disclosed the deal in January, but today’s official announcement includes further details of the agreement.

This is the fifth multibillion-dollar settlement reached with a major bank in the wake of the financial crisis. Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Jill Schlesinger of CBS News about the investigations and settlements.

The U.S. Masters golf tournament wrapped up this weekend, and the big story wasn’t the winner, Danny Willett. It was 22-year-old Jordan Spieth, who blew a lead in the last half of the round to come in second. Some are calling his bungling of the 12th hole the biggest golf meltdown of all time. Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd speaks to sports psychologist Patrick Cohn about what was going on in Spieth’s mind, and how he could recover.

Interview Highlights: Patrick Cohn

On Jordan Spieth’s 12 hole collapse

A video of Florida Governor Rick Scott getting lambasted in a Starbucks went viral this week. Hillary Clinton’s struggle swiping her Metrocard in the New York City subway made news almost instantly. And, yesterday, President Bill Clinton was confronted by Black Lives Matter activists at a campaign event. Videos of that exchange quickly made the rounds online.

Travis Holcombe of KCRW joins us for this week’s edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions. He shares the glam rock of Philadelphia’s Sheer Mag, a new piece from Rostam (formerly of Vampire Weekend) that features sitar, and music from the faux-band Aquazul.

CEO Pay Takes A Dive In 2015

Apr 8, 2016

CEOs of major American companies took a hit last year.

A new Wall Street Journal analysis of chief executive pay at 300 public companies showed its worst decline since the 2008 financial crisis.

The slowdown is related to weak performance and accounting rules that put a crimp in pensions.

It’s kosher (a non wool-linen mix). It’s blue, white, red and gold. You can buy it as a prayer shawl. Or a skull cap. And of course…as a kilt. That’s right, a kilt. It’s the world’s first and only officially registered authentic Jewish tartan, now available online.

It’s perfect, according to the Jewish Tartan website, for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, Scotch Whiskey events, Scottish & Burns nights, and more.

What Happened To The Dinosaurs?

Apr 7, 2016

The extinction of the dinosaurs remains one of the world’s enduring mysteries, but a project getting underway off the coast of Mexico may provide some answers.

A team of researchers from the US and the UK will be drilling into the Chicxulub Crater, which was created when an asteroid hit the earth more than 60 million years ago.

Last month, the NFL admitted for the first time that football collisions are linked to brain damage. It’s something researchers have documented for years.

Now, new research shows a surprising way to possibly reduce the brain-damaging effects of head trauma: an ingredient in fish oil.

From the Here & Now contributor network, Texas Standard’s Lauren Silverman reports.

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