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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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NPR Story
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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NPR Story
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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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Stolen Stradivarius Possibly Recovered

In this undated photo provided by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster Frank Almond plays a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin that was on loan to him during a concert in Milwaukee. (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra via AP)

A Milwaukee County assistant district attorney says three people have been arrested in connection with the theft of a multi-million dollar Stradivarius violin stolen last week from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Police say that the investigation is ongoing and it’s not yet clear whether the violin was recovered. Experts are asked to determine whether the violin recovered is authentic.

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NPR Story
3:16 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Concerns Over Brazil’s Readiness For World Cup And Summer Olympics

The Arena Pantanal stadium is under construction ahead of the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament in Cuiaba, Brazil, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. FIFA wants all World Cup stadiums completed by December. (Felipe Dana/AP)

With the 2014 Winter Olympic Games kicking off this week in Sochi, it may seem excessive to look ahead to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. However, Brazilian officials are already under significant pressure for not meeting deadlines in planning the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2014 World Cup.

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NPR Story
3:16 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

To Close Or Not to Close Highways In A Winter Storm

Cars travel down a highway during a snowstorm in the Brooklyn borough on February 3, 2014 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Forecasters are calling it Nika – the latest major winter storm, now dumping snow on Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New England. In New York, ice spurred Governor Cuomo to take the major step of closing I-84, the highway that runs from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts.

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NPR Story
3:16 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Stock Market Volatility Jumps In 2014

The Chicago Board of Options Exchange’s Volatility Index (VIX) has been tracking the speed of stock price movements since 1990. In January, the index showed that volatility – or the fluctuation of share prices – jumped 34 percent.

This is the largest increase in VIX history and possibly indicates that investors are getting surprised and changing their investment decisions. NPR’s Marilyn Geewax joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss “volatility” and what this increase says about the market in 2014.

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NPR Story
3:01 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

'Jeopardy Villain' Explains How He Keeps Winning

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek and contestant Arthur Chu pose for a photo. (Facebook)

He’s being called the “Jeopardy villain,” but Arthur Chu of Broadview Heights, Ohio, considers himself more of a “mad genius.” The 30-year-old insurance analyst and voiceover artist has won three times since he came on the show last week.

Some say Chu is taking all the fun out of the game. He goes for the hardest questions first, slams down his buzzer incessantly and tries to get the host to speed up. It’s all part of his strategy inspired by game theory — a model of strategic, mathematical decision making.

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NPR Story
3:01 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Behind The Ups And Downs On Wall Street

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher today after the Dow Jones plunged more than 320 points yesterday — the worst day in more than seven months. The S&P 500 also inched up at the open, after ending yesterday down nearly 6 percent from a recent high.

So what’s up with the ups and downs? Jason Bellini of the Wall Street Journal joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the drop and whether it will continue.

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NPR Story
3:01 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

What Airline Hub Closures Mean For Communities

A United Airlines sits on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport on January 23, 2014 in San Francisco, California. United Airlines parent company United Continental Holdings reported a surge in fourth quarter profits with earnings of $140 million compared to a loss of $620 million one year ago. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

This weekend, United Airlines announced it was cutting roughly 60 percent of its departures from Cleveland, beginning this spring. The move effectively eliminates United’s hub at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Yesterday, city officials gave their official response to the news, doing their best to put a positive spin on it. We hear a report from Brian Bull of WCPN, a Here & Now contributor station.

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NPR Story
4:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Dining Out At The Dawn Of The 1900s

Hotel Astor, December 7, 1904, Byron Company. (From the book "Repast: Dining Out at the Dawn of the New American Century, 1900-1910" by Michael Lesy and Lisa Stoffer)

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 1:26 pm

When did Americans, raised on the food of the Puritans — some meat or fish, some potatoes, some corn — start eating the food of immigrants who came after them?

Author and Hampshire College literary journalism professor Michael Lesy takes up that question in one chapter of his latest book, written with his wife Lisa Stoffer, “Repast: Dining Out at the Dawn of the New American Century, 1900-1910.”

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NPR Story
4:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

With Hoffman's Death, A Look At Heroin Use

New York City Police Department investigators leave the apartment building of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman after he was reported dead on February 2, 2014 in the Greenwich Village area of New York. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 9:35 am

The New York City medical examiner’s office is doing an autopsy today on the body of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. The actor and father of three was found on Sunday in his Manhattan apartment, dead of an apparent heroin overdose.

Philadelphia social worker and former heroin addict Jeff Deeney writes about Hoffman’s death in a piece in The Atlantic:

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NPR Story
4:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

U.S. Banks In Buyer's War For Loan Officers

Refinancing has plummeted, so with peak home purchasing season on the horizon, banks are trying to beef up their new home loan business.

Some banks that have laid off workers in their re-fi call centers are now engaged in bidding wars for experienced home loan officers.

Cardiff Garcia of the Financial Times joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

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NPR Story
2:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Researchers Create Pizza That Lasts 3 Years

Military researchers in Natick are using cutting-edge pizza technology to create state-of-the-art slices that can last up to three years at 80 degrees. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Pizza is an American favorite, with 93 percent of Americans eating pizza at least once a month. In Natick, Mass., researchers are using cutting-edge technology to creating state-of-the-art slices for the U.S. military.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Bruce Gellerman of WBUR delivers our report.

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NPR Story
2:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Massive Super Bowl Security Preparations Underway

Super Bowl security measures have involved dogs, boats, divers and military jet drills. Reuters reporter Scott Malone speaks with Here & Now’s Robin Young about the huge security measures in place for the Super Bowl stadium in New Jersey and the Super Bowl street fair in New York City.

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NPR Story
2:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

'Peter Brook: The Tightrope' Is A Rare Look At A Legendary Director

Theatre and film director Peter Brook, left, and his son, director Simon Brooks, pose during the 69th Venice Film Festival on September 5, 2012 at Venice Lido. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Peter Brook: The Tightrope” is a documentary about famed director and theatrical sage Peter Brook.

The film, directed by Brook’s son, Simon Brook, is a rare glimpse behind the scenes of a unique exercise called “the tightrope,” which Brook uses to help his actors give extraordinary performances.

NPR’s Trey Graham brings Here & Now a review of the film.

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NPR Story
1:39 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Public Radio Super Bowl Bet: Denver Vs. Seattle

Public Radio hosts from the Broncos and Seahawks' hometowns -- Seattle's Andy Hurst and Denver's Jay Keller -- talk smack and place bets in anticipation of Super Bowl XLVIII. (Arturo Pardavila III/Flickr)

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:28 am

The deluge of hype, buildup, beer and pizza ads will be over on Sunday, because either the Seattle Seahawks or the Denver Broncos will rise victorious out of the swamps of Jersey — raising high the trophy that goes to the winner of Super Bowl XLVIII. Back in the hometowns, the fans are gearing up.

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NPR Story
1:39 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

What Makes Tunisia Different?

Tunisia's new Prime minister Mehdi Jomaa (left) shakes hands with his predecessor Ali Laarayedh during a handover ceremony in Tunis on January 29, 2014. (Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images)

In a rare and historic development in the Arab world this week, an Islamist party stepped down as part of an orderly democratic transfer of power. It happened in Tunisia, the country that sparked the pro-democracy uprising three years ago that became the Arab Spring.

Tunisia has seen plenty of strife in the interim, including the assassination of two liberal political leaders. But while Tunisia’s neighbors, including Egypt and Libya, have slipped on the path to democracy, Tunisia just passed the most liberal constitution in the Arab world.

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NPR Story
1:39 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Google To Sell Motorola For $2.91 Billion

A guard stands in front of a newly opened Motorolla handphone shop in downtown Hanoi, Nov. 13, 2006. (Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images)

Google has agreed to sell Motorola to the Chinese technology giant Lenovo. This comes just two years after Google paid $12.5 billion to buy the company.

Google was counting that getting into the mobile cellphone business would pay off, but that didn’t happen. However, this isn’t a total financial loss for Google. The company is keeping billion of dollars’ worth of Motorola patents.

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NPR Story
2:38 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

DJ Sessions: Milwaukee's Paul Cebar

Paul Cebar is a musician and host of a weekly show on WMSE in Milwaukee. (Richard Dorbin)

In the latest installment of DJ Sessions, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson listens to some new music out of Milwaukee, from the sister-pair Vic and Gab to the Middle East-inspired Painted Caves and longtime singer-songwriter Paul Cebar, who is also our guide.

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NPR Story
2:38 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

New Safety Regulations For Bakken Shale Oil

Oil containers sit at a train depot on July 26, 2013 outside Williston, North Dakota. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Canadian and American regulatory bodies are taking steps to change the way crude oil from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota is transported by train.

While most crude oil is not very flammable, oil from the Bakken Shale has been involved in two huge explosions during train accidents, one of which claimed 47 lives.

The new safety regulations call for strengthening the train cars in which Bakken crude is moved, and planning new routes for those trains that would minimize exposure to populated areas.

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NPR Story
2:38 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Study: Yoga Benefits Breast Cancer Survivors

A new study finds yoga may help breast cancer survivors with fatigue and inflammation. (Melissa Emmons Photography/Flickr)

New research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology shows that yoga may be particularly beneficial at helping breast cancer survivors mitigate fatigue and inflammation.

According to the study, which surveyed about 200 women, after three months of doing yoga classes, women were experiencing 40 percent less fatigue than those who did not practice yoga. Additionally, the women’s levels of inflammation were reduced 10 to 15 percent.

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NPR Story
3:15 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

One Year In, Vine Has Reasons To Celebrate

Vine, the app that lets users create and share six-second videos, celebrated its first birthday recently. Vine is owned by Twitter and boasts 40 million users, including celebrities and politicians like President Obama.

It’s also created its own celebrities, including Nicolas Megalis whose video Gummy Money has 2.2 million “likes.”

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NPR Story
3:15 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Chinese New Year With Chef Ming Tsai

Chef Ming Tsai prepares food in the Here & Now kitchen. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 11:15 am

This Friday marks the beginning of the year 4712 in the Chinese Calendar, the year of the horse. James Beard Award-winning chef Ming Tsai joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson in the studio to discuss some of the customs of Chinese New Year, as well as the Mandarin, Hunan, Szechwan and Cantonese cuisines.

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NPR Story
3:15 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Kentucky Highlands Becomes Both 'Promise' And 'Empowerment' Zone

Earlier this month, parts of southeastern Kentucky were named a “Promise Zone” by President Obama. Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton named neighboring parts of the Kentucky Highlands an “Empowerment Zone.”

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NPR Story
2:34 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

What Santa Does When Christmas Is Over

The Golden Corral sections off a private room to protect Santa’s identities from children. (Eric Mennel/WUNC)

Content Advisory: If Santa is real to your kids, this story may not be suitable for them.

It’s a month after Christmas, and in parts of the nation, the Santas are gathering for some rumination. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Phoebe Judge of WUNC has the story of what professional Santas do when Christmas is over.

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Song Of The Week: 'Neon Fists' By Yellow Ostrich

Yellow Ostrich consists of Alex Schaaf (vocals and guitar), Michael Tapper (drums), Jared Van Fleet and Zach Rose. (Courtesy)

Every week, NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson freshens our playlists with a new song.

This week he introduces Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to the song “Neon Fists” by the Wisconsin-born, Brooklyn-based indie rock band Yellow Ostrich, off their forthcoming album “Cosmos.”

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