Here & Now

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NPR's midday news magazine.  

Countering The Super Bowl Counterfeiters

Jan 25, 2016

The match-ups for Super Bowl 50 are now set. On Feb. 7, it will be the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers vying for the Vince Lombardi Trophy at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Now is the time that sophisticated counterfeit tickets and merchandise scams go into overdrive. Beth Willon from Here & Now contributor KQED looks at the technological race between the NFL and counterfeiters.

This weekend’s East Coast blizzard is expected to have much less of an economic impact than if it had fallen on a weekday. But there are still many who were impacted economically.

Airlines had to cancel thousands of flights and will most likely take a hit, and many businesses that get visitors on weekends had to close, including theaters, restaurants and museums.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Jill Schlesinger of CBS News about the economic effects of the winter storm.

The spokesman for Haiti’s electoral council says that a much-criticized presidential runoff election will be postponed for a second time.

Roudy Stanley Penn tells The Associated Press that the Provisional Electoral Council has agreed to postpone the presidential and legislative runoffs that had been set for Sunday.

Penn did not immediately provide any other specifics Friday, saying a news conference would be held later.

'Modern Love' Becomes A Podcast

Jan 22, 2016

The New York Times’ popular column Modern Love is now a podcast. Modern Love: The Podcast, is a production of WBUR in Boston, in collaboration with the Times.

Low Oil Prices Bring Down Airfares

Jan 22, 2016

Airlines are reaping the benefits of low fuel prices. Both United and Southwest earned record profits this week, and they are passing some of the savings onto consumers.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with Jill Schlesinger of CBS News about the cheap flights and whether prices will fall further.

It’s been a little more than a year since the Atlanta Streetcar took its first trip. The transit system is modest: 12 stops on a 2.7 mile loop in the heart of downtown Atlanta.

Since then, the streetcar has had some issues, from collisions with cars to a letter from the federal government questioning the system’s management.

Now, stakeholders are assessing how the streetcar’s first year has gone, and where it might be going next. Sam Whitehead from Here & Now contributor Georgia Public Broadcasting reports.

Eastern U.S. Braces For Major Winter Storm

Jan 21, 2016

The eastern part of the U.S. is bracing for a major winter storm this weekend. Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky are seeing ice and freezing rain today, but the worst is expected in parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., where the National Weather Service is warning of double-digit snow totals.

This morning, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city is prepared, and she apologized to area residents for not pretreating the roads enough before an inch of snow from a snow squall last night turned D.C.-area roads into parking lots during the evening commute.

Addressing The Oscars' Lack Of Diversity

Jan 21, 2016

When the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards were announced, the outcry came out almost immediately. There were no acting nominees of color, and two critically-acclaimed films featuring actors of color – “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” – were snubbed for Best Picture.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, about some of the changes that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is considering.

More than three months have gone by and natural gas is still leaking at Aliso Canyon, affecting the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles.

California Governor Jerry Brown has issued a state of emergency and is calling for emergency rules, infrared cameras for inspection and emergency shut-off valves.

California State Senator Fran Pavley, who represents Porter Ranch community, joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss the new legislation she has introduced, which calls for no more injections of natural gas into the storage facilities.

The broken natural gas well in Los Angeles has been pouring methane into the air for nearly three months now. It’s estimated the Aliso Canyon leak has pumped 4.6 billion cubic feet of potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere – as much as 1.3 million cars would in a year.

Now the spewing gas is sparking calls for a new watchdog system for methane. Ingrid Lobet of the investigative nonprofit inewsource reports.

Imagine you’ve been living in a nursing home for a few years, long enough that you’ve made close friends. Maybe you eat with them every day. And then one day, one of your friends doesn’t come to dinner, or to breakfast the next morning. They’re just gone. And no one will tell you what happened.

Bob Tedeschi, a senior writer for the new national health and medicine publication STAT, has discovered this happens in many nursing homes when a resident dies. The staff won’t confirm the death or discuss it with the other residents.

Tiny houses are generally associated with quirky, self-made, 100-square-foot homes that people pull behind their car. Could they find a more permanent place in the American city? One neighborhood is willing to build one in order to find out.

Pittsburgh is getting its first tiny house: a 330-square-foot, open-concept dwelling that resembles a studio apartment with a porch and a foundation. The hope is that it will be one of many more to come. Lou Blouin from The Allegheny Front at WESA has more.

Reporter

Remembering Glenn Frey

Jan 19, 2016

In a special edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions, host Jeremy Hobson remembers the music of Glenn Frey, a founding member of the Eagles. Frey died yesterday at the age of 67.

The Detroit-born singer and guitarist started the Eagles with drummer and singer Don Henley about 45 years ago in Los Angeles. The group came to define California pop through the ’70s. We listen back with Jem Aswad, a senior editor at Billboard.

A rare sight will greet early risers starting Wednesday morning. About 45 minutes before sunrise, five planets – Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter – will all be visible in the sky.

The best time to get planetary sightseeing in will be at the end of the week. By then, the five aforementioned planets will form an arch-shaped line in the sky that will be fairly easy to follow. The moon will pop up in the intergalactic line-up shortly thereafter.

The average age of the first-time American mother continues to rise, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics, a branch of the CDC. In 2014, the age of a woman having her first child was over 26, up about a year and a half from 2000.

NPR Science reporter Rae Ellen Bichell talks with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson about the data, which is also broken down by demographics and geography across the country.

Goldman Sachs agreed late yesterday to pay $5 billion to end investigations into claims that it knowingly sold faulty mortgage bonds in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup have already settled.

This comes during a week that the financial crisis has been in the news for other reasons. Yesterday, “The Big Short,” based on the Michael Lewis book that documents the events that led up to the 2008 crisis, was nominated for five Oscars.

The Chinese appliance maker Haier is paying a premium for General Electric’s appliance business, as GE announced today. The move marks Haier’s desire to expand its access to the U.S. market as the Chinese economy slows down.

Mike Regan, a columnist for Bloomberg Gadfly, joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the $5.4 billion deal.

Diversity and stereotypes are difficult to talk about in any situation, but that’s especially true in Hollywood. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans talks with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson about a dust-up he had at the TV Critics Association winter press tour in L.A., when he tried to talk with a show executive about CBS’s upcoming TV series “Rush Hour,” based on the popular film franchise. Deggans discusses diversity in the upcoming season of TV.

Guest

ISIS Makes Inroads In Libya

Jan 14, 2016

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a bombing last week that killed more than 60 people in the western city of Zliten. It’s the latest sign of the turmoil that has engulfed the country since longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi was toppled in 2011.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young checks in with Rana Jawad, North Africa correspondent for the BBC, about the ongoing situation in the region.

Tropical Zika Virus Found In Texas

Jan 14, 2016

Doctors have diagnosed a woman in the Houston area with the tropical mosquito-borne Zika virus. It is not known where she contracted the virus, but officials believe it likely happened during a recent visit to El Salvador.

A contentious labor dispute between the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and its musicians has reached a breaking point. Symphony management say the orchestra is running out of cash and will have no choice but to close its doors – for good – by the end of the week, unless musicians agree to substantial concessions.

Despite the looming deadline, neither side seems willing to budge on the terms of a new contract. Ray Hardman from Here & Now contributor WNPR in Hartford reports.

General Electric is moving its global headquarters from Connecticut to Boston.

GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said Wednesday that the Boston area has a diverse, technologically fluent workforce that fits with its aspirations.

Several states have been competing to lure the company from Fairfield since GE announced in June that it was unhappy about legislative tax proposals and thinking about a move.

The very first challenges President Obama raised in the his final State of the Union address last night were criminal justice reform, and helping people who are battling prescription drug abuse.

It’s well known by now that in the last 15 years or so, sales of prescription opioids – painkillers – have risen by more than 300 percent. And the number of people dying from overdoses of prescription opioids or heroin has also shot up, by 200 percent.

More than two million people in the United States have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, which can be a difficult illness to treat effectively. In the past few years, some states have adopted a new approach to treating schizophrenia, and the results are encouraging so far.

These programs focus on those who’ve experienced their first psychotic break, involve patients in their own treatment decisions, provide family support and help with school and work. One such program is called OnTrackNY.

In a special edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions, music editor Lyndsey Parker remembers the wide-ranging work of David Bowie. The 69-year-old musician died Sunday after an 18-month battle with cancer.

Bowie left behind many different styles of sound, played out through personas as diverse as the late-1960s trippy Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke in 1976. His final voyage into an experimental jazz sound was “Blackstar,” his album released Friday.

Are Squirrels Getting Fatter?

Jan 11, 2016

You may have seen images on Facebook or Twitter of squirrels looking a little huskier than usual. Social media has noticed that squirrels appear to be a bit heavier this year because of the warm weather and more access to food.

But is something really going on, or have people just turned to “fat shaming” the furry mammals? Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Vicki Croke, host of WBUR’s The Wild Life, about the chunky squirrels appearing on social media.

Fugitive Drug Lord 'El Chapo' Recaptured

Jan 8, 2016

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced Friday that fugitive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was recaptured seven months after he escaped from a maximum security prison.

An official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be quoted by name said Guzman was apprehended after a shootout with Mexican marines in the city of Los Mochis, in Guzman’s home state of Sinaloa.

Security Plans For Super Bowl 50 Underway

Jan 8, 2016

Super Bowl 50 is just weeks away but the security preparations have been going on for more than two years. Ever since Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium won the Super Bowl bid, it has been planning began for the weeklong celebration throughout the Bay area.

Beth Willon from Here & Now contributor KQED reports that recent terrorist attacks have added even more pressure to make sure the security is as airtight as possible.

It has been seven days since armed protesters seized control of several buildings on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward met face-to-face with the group’s leader, Ammon Bundy, on Thursday to try to bring a peaceful end to the occupation.

Bundy, who lives in Arizona, maintains that his group will not leave until two locals convicted of setting fire to federal land are released and the government relinquishes its control of that land so people can “reclaim their resources.”

Building A Better Honeybee

Jan 7, 2016

Honeybees have almost become an annual crop. In fact, honey bee die-offs are so common now that beekeepers generally just order more bees in the spring when they lose a hive over the winter.

This has put a lot of pressure on bee breeders to raise more and more bees. And that is only bringing the quality of bees down. But researchers and backyard beekeepers are now teaming up to build better honeybees that are real survivors. And not through genetic engineering—through good old-fashioned selection.

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