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NPR Story
2:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Radisson Hotels Take Aim At Millennials

The Radisson Hotels chain is creating a new brand of hotels aimed at attracted millennials. Radisson Red will allow guests to offer à la carte choices for their rooms, ranging from what drinks are in the minibar to family photos on the television.

Parent company Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is not alone in trying to market to the younger generation. Think “The Tonight Show” pushing Jay Leno out in favor of Jimmy Fallon. We take a look at how marketers decide what millennials want.

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NPR Story
2:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

The Roller Rink Where Olympians Are Born

Youth inline skaters line up to practice sprint starts at Pattison's West in Federal Way, Wash. (Tom Banse/Northwest News Network)

At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the U.S. has collected no medals so far in speedskating, an uncharacteristic result.

The Americans’ best remaining hope for hardware rests with short track speedskater J.R. Celski and the men’s relay team. Celski began his career at a skating rink in the Seattle suburb of Federal Way, the same city where his former speedskating idol Apolo Ohno got his start.

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NPR Story
2:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

As Syria Fighting Wears On, What's Next?

A tank confiscated by rebel fighters fires at a pro-government position near the Syrian city of Hama, on February 19, 2014. More than 140,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict in the country began in March 2011. (Abu Hadi Al-Hamwi/AFP/Getty Images)

Twin suicide bombings killed at least four people and injured dozen more in Beirut, Lebanon today. The targets appear to be Hezbollah, the militant Shia group that has fighters in Syria fighting for President Assad.

Meantime in Syria, the evacuation of civilians from the besieged city of Homs continues, but so does the fighting. And two round of peace talks, the latest of which ended last week, haven’t produced any results.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Maker Of 'Candy Crush' App Files For I.P.O.

A man plays at Candy Crush Saga on his iPhone on January 25, 2014 in Rome. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

“Candy Crush Saga,” the addictive smartphone game, is no longer just looking for gamers — it wants investors too. King Digital Entertainment, the European gaming company behind the game, filed for an initial public offering today.

Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti with details.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Barkhad Abdi's Journey From Somalia To Hollywood

Actor Barkhad Abdi is pictured in Santa Monica, California, Jan. 14, 2014. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Somali-born actor Barkhad Abdi has won critical acclaim as well as an Oscar nomination and a British Academy Film award for best supporting actor in “Captain Phillips.”

Abdi plays the leader of the Somaili pirates who capture Phillips’ cargo ship. It was Abdi’s first film role. He tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that he found the first day of filming “really nerve wracking,” but that director Paul Greengrass “believed in me before I believed in myself.”

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Saliva Test May Predict Depression In Teen Boys

Joe Herbert, left, Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge is pictured in London, on Feb. 17, 2014. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England have developed a saliva test for teenage boys with mild symptoms of depression that researchers say could help identify those who will later develop major depression. Currently, there is no biological test that detects depression.

Joe Herbert is one of the study authors and joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the research.

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NPR Story
11:55 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Play Illuminates Tumultuous Year In LBJ's Life

At left, Bryan Cranston is pictured as Lyndon Johnson in "All the Way." At right is Lyndon Johnson. (Evgenia Eliseeva/American Repertory Theater)

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:18 pm

The new play “All The Way” is now in previews on Broadway. Written by Robert Shenken and commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare festival, it tells the story of a year in the life of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who is played by former “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston.

Beginning in November 1963, when Johnson took office after President Kennedy was assassinated, “All the Way” focuses on Johnson’s push to pass Kennedy’s civil rights legislation and get reelected at the same time.

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NPR Story
11:54 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

U.S. Banks Now Open For Marijuana Business

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:18 pm

Legal marijuana sellers across the country now have an easier place to deposit those wads of cash.

The Obama administration has issued guidelines to banks on doing business with licensed marijuana operators, giving them the green light to finance and set up checking and savings accounts with marijuana businesses.

And there may be a lot of money to deposit. According to the National Cannabis Industry Association legal U.S. industry is expected to reach $2.57 billion dollars in sales this year.

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NPR Story
11:54 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

The Search For New Antibiotics

Microbiologist Tatiana Travis works with tubes of bacteria samples in an antimicrobial resistance and characterization lab within the Infectious Disease Laboratory at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nov. 25, 2013, in Atlanta. (David Goldman/AP)

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:18 pm

Two drug companies, Roche Holding and GlaxoSmithKline, have announced they’ll ramp up research into antibiotics. They join a handful of other companies. This comes after pharmaceutical companies largely stopped working on antibiotics, citing high costs and little payoff.

But with drug-resistant “superbugs” killing more than 23,000 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been calls for more research in the field.

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NPR Story
2:18 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Philippines City Struggles To Recover After Typhoon

It was one of the strongest storms ever recorded at landfall. Typhoon Haiyan clocked at 190 miles an hour when it struck the Philippines late last year. More than 6,000 were killed, nearly 2,000 more are missing and millions were displaced when their homes were destroyed or washed away.

Authorities are still struggling with the simplest tasks like clearing away debris, rebuilding houses and counting the dead. NPR’s Kelly McEvers recently traveled to Tacloban, the Philippines city that bore the brunt of the typhoon.

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NPR Story
3:44 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

People Around The World Dance For 'One Billion Rising' Day

Volunteers dance during the One Billion Rising campaign in the city center of Pristina, Kosovo, on February 14, 2014. (Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:22 pm

It’s Valentines Day today, which also means it’s the second annual “One Billion Rising” Day, an international event started by playwright Eve Ensler to draw attention to domestic violence.

The event is billed as a global call to women survivors of violence to gather safely, together or alone — in courthouses, police stations, government offices, parks and homes — to express themselves through art, word and dance.

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NPR Story
3:44 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Inside The World Of Jewish Matchmaking

An couple stands under a 'chupa', a Jewish altar, during a traditional wedding ceremony. (David Furst/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 11:55 am

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

The 1964 production made history: the first musical to surpass 3,000 performances, it went on to win nine Tony awards, including Best Musical and Best Score.

Four Broadway revivals and one successful film adaptation later, the story of Tevye and his daughters remains alive in popular culture.

Based on the book by Yiddish master storyteller Sholem Aleichem, Tevye attempts to preserve his family and Jewish traditions while outside influences threaten to derail all he knows.

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NPR Story
3:44 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Syria Peace Talks End In Apparent Failure

A Syrian man helps a child in a wheel chair as others inspect the scene following a reported air strike attack by government forces on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 14, 2014. More than 136,000 people have been killed in Syria's brutal war since March 2011, and millions more have fled their homes. (Khaled Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 2:22 pm

The peace talks in Switzerland aren’t changing much on the ground in Syria. Government troops and warplanes continue to batter a rebel-held town near the border with Lebanon, and an effort to evacuate trapped civilians from the besieged city of Homs has been halted.

NPR’s Deborah Amos joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the talks.

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NPR Story
2:34 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Plushenko Retires After Olympic Withdrawal

Evgeni Plushenko of Russia withdraws from the competition after warming up during the Men's Figure Skating Short Program on day 6 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by (Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Evgeni Plushenko’s Olympics are over. His competitive career, too. The Russian star retired Thursday just after he withdrew from the men’s event at the Sochi Olympics for medical reasons.

The 31-year-old Plushenko is the only modern-era figure skater to win medals in four Olympics. He helped Russia win the team gold over the weekend.

“I think it’s God saying, `Evgeni, enough, enough with skating,”‘ said Plushenko, who originally was hurt in a training session Wednesday. “Age, it’s OK. But I have 12 surgeries. I’d like to be healthy.”

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NPR Story
2:34 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

'The Reluctant Father' Comes Clean

Toledano wrote a blog last year, "The Reluctant Father," chronicling his struggle to connect with his baby daughter Loulou, pictured here with his wife, Carla. (Phillip Toledano)

Like all new fathers, Phillip Toledano was thrilled. Actually, that’s a big lie.

Toledano was resentful and felt he’d been downsized. He said that bonding with his newborn Loulou was “like trying to have a relationship with a sea sponge, or a single-cell protozoa.”

He wrote about those feelings in a blog that went viral last year. His thoughts and pictures of his daughter and wife are now part of a new book, “The Reluctant Father.”

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NPR Story
2:34 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

The Puck Drops For Men's Hockey In Sochi

James van Riemsdyk #21 of United States shoots the puck against Jaroslav Halak #41 of Slovakia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The American and Russian teams played their first games in the men’s hockey tournament at the 2014 Winter Olympics today.

Russia beat Slovenia 5-2, and the U.S. men defeated Slovakia 7-1. The Russians and the Americans will meet on the ice for a highly anticipated game on Saturday.

NPR’s Robert Smith is in Sochi and joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

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NPR Story
3:25 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Former New Orleans Mayor Found Guilty On 20 Counts

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 11:43 am

A federal jury has convicted former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on charges that he accepted bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work while he was in office.

The jury today convicted Nagin of 20 of 21 counts against him.

Nagin was indicted in January 2013 on charges he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and truckloads of free granite for his family business in exchange for promoting the interests of a local businessman.

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NPR Story
3:25 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

DJ Sessions: The Sounds Of College

Smith Westerns is one of the bands featured in this weeks' college DJ Sessions. (Smith Westerns/Facebook)

Time for another installment of the DJ Sessions. This week, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson goes back to college with Taylor Jones, aka DJ Tesla, who hosts the show “Pop Rocks and Coke” on KWVA, University of Oregon’s campus radio station.

He shares some songs on his playlists — ranging from garage rock and punk to glam rock.

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NPR Story
3:25 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Court To Sperm Donor: You Owe Child Support

A little more than four years ago, William Marotta saw an ad on Craigslist — a lesbian couple, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, was looking for a sperm donor so that they could conceive.

Marotta answered the ad and all parties signed a contract the couple had downloaded, aimed at relieving Marotta of any parental responsibilities. Several months later, Schreiner gave birth to a little girl.

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NPR Story
2:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Obama, Hollande Push Message Of Renewed Ties

U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande hold a joint press conference during a State Visit in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 11, 2014. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

In Washington, D.C. today, French President François Hollande joined President Obama for a press conference at the White House ahead of a state dinner scheduled for tonight.

The men are pushing a message of a renewed relationship between France and the U.S., one that faltered over a decade ago when France opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

NPR’s Scott Horsley joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details on what the two presidents had to say.

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NPR Story
2:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Judging The Judges As Pairs Figure Skating Begins

Russia's Maxim Trankov and Russia's Tatiana Volosozhar perform during the Figure Skating Pairs Team Short Program at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 6, 2014. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

Pairs figure skating begins tonight at the Sochi Olympics. Will Russia’s Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar restore the luster of the once-vaunted Russian figure skating program? They helped seal Russia’s gold in the team skating event this past weekend.

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NPR Story
2:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Cossacks Are Back In Sochi

Russian Cossacks stand guard, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana outside the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

If you’re watching the Sochi Olympics coverage, you’ve probably seen them in their tall lambswool hats and long gray overcoats and boots. There are some 1,000 uniformed Cossacks among the 70,000 security officials in Sochi.

Cossacks have a complicated place in Russian history and their presence, both symbolic and serving a real purpose, is picking at old wounds in the region.

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NPR Story
2:57 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Tiny Birds Rock Out In Museum Exhibit

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot's sonic installation introduces a flock of 70 Zebra Finches to Gibson Les Paul and Thunderbird bass guitars. (www.pem.org)

How do 70 live zebra finches play about a dozen electric guitars? It sounds like the start of a joke, but the answer can be found through a new art and sound exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., titled, “From Here To Ear.”

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Andrea Shea of WBUR has the story. The exhibition runs through April 13.

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NPR Story
2:57 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Copenhagen Zoo Criticized For Giraffe Killing

A perfectly healthy young giraffe named Marius was shot dead and autopsied in the presence of visitors to the gardens at Copenhagen zoo on Febuary 9, 2014 despite an online petition to save it signed by thousands of animal lovers. (Kasper Palsnov/AFP/Getty Images)

Saying it needed to prevent inbreeding, the Copenhagen Zoo killed a 2-year-old giraffe and fed its remains to lions as visitors watched, ignoring a petition signed by thousands and offers from other zoos and a private individual to save the animal.

Marius, a healthy male, was put down Sunday using a bolt pistol, said zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro. Visitors, including children, were invited to watch while the giraffe was then skinned and fed to the lions.

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NPR Story
2:57 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Puerto Ricans Leave Island Amid Economic Woes

Antonia Arroyo sits on a bench in November, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After working for the Municipality of San Juan for 35 years she lives off her 500 dollar a month government pension. The government remains the largest employer in Puerto Rico and can only service about 11 percent of the pension costs out of it's budget. (Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 12:59 pm

Puerto Rico just had its bond rating downgraded to “junk status” by two of the three main rating agencies, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. The government is now starting a round of budget cuts and austerity measures to try to turn the economy around.

The economic problems in Puerto Rico have the potential to ripple through the U.S. bond market, since 70 percent of U.S. municipal funds hold some Puerto Rican debt.

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NPR Story
2:22 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Power Out For Thousands In Mid-Atlantic

Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders and Pennsylvanians are still without power, after a winter storm earlier this week dumped as much as a foot of snow in some areas.

The lights have come back on for about half of those who lost power, but thousands are expected to be in the dark until late in the weekend.

Tom McDonald of WHYY in Philadelphia joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with the latest.

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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

'Japanese Beethoven' Admits Fraud

Mamoru Samuragochi, a celebrated Japanese composer known as the "Japanese Beethoven" because he composed some of the country's most well known music after losing his hearing, is sending shockwaves throughout his country on Wednesday after admitting to using a ghostwriter. (Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images)

Mamoru Samuragochi is known as the “Japanese Beethoven” because he composed some of the country’s most well-known music after losing his hearing. But it turns out he didn’t really write much of that music.

Samuragochi admitted on Wednesday he had a ghostwriter. That ghostwriter is now coming forward, and is suggesting Samuragochi might not even be deaf.

The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson from Tokyo.

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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Ice Fishing A Stone's Throw From Downtown Milwaukee

The trip to Milwaukee's new bay is a quick one for three north shore ice fishermen. (Marge Pitrof/WUWM)

While frigid temperatures are a hardship for some, they’re a blessing for ice fishermen. Marge Pitrof from Here & Now contributor station WUWM met up with some on a small bay in Lake Michigan, a stone’s throw from downtown Milwaukee.

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2:20 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

DJ Sessions: From Sam Smith To Takuya Kuroda

Disclosure, an English electronic music duo, is among the bands KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez recommends. (disclosureofficial.com)

KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with some new music — from a new version of the song “Latch” with British artist Sam Smith, to a song that caught his attention from the soundtrack of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

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2:16 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Will Sochi Olympics Architecture Win Gold?

Fisht Olympic Stadium is pictured in the new Sochi Olympic Park. (Courtesy of Populous)

The Olympics start today, and one thing viewers are excited to see that isn’t an event is the architecture of the facilities. At a price tag of $50 billion, they are the most expensive games in history. The president of the Sochi chapter of the Union of Russian Architects says the city has been transformed.

This is the first Winter Games designed as part of a master plan, but with stories of two toilets in a stall, and facilities for previous Olympics around the world going unused, what will be the legacy of the buildings at Sochi?

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