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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Syrian-American Rapper Focuses On Violence In Syria

Omar Offendum performs at the 2012 Doha Tribeca Film Festival on November 18, 2012 in Doha, Qatar. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Doha Film Institute)

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 2:52 pm

You may have heard of Omar Offendum, the 31-year-old Syrian-American rapper who made a song about the Arab Spring called #Jan25 that was released just days before the overthrow of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.

Now, he’s focusing his music on his parents’ home country of Syria. He joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss his music and what it’s been like to watch the conflict from the U.S.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

New Thinking On Women And Alcohol

(CoffeeCypher/Flickr)

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 2:52 pm

Alcoholics Anonymous is commonly considered the gold standard for helping people control their drinking problems.

But there’s a growing school of thought that there are problem drinkers who can cut back — as opposed to severely dependent drinkers who must cut out drinking altogether. There are new tools, such as medication and online support.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

'Brutal Massacre' Of Civilians Unsettles Western Agencies In Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers inspect the scene of a suicide attack outside a base in Zhari district, Kandahar province on January 20, 2014. (Javed Tanveer/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 2:52 pm

NATO forces repelled a Taliban attack on a Western base today in the Southern Afghan province of Kandahar that killed one coalition soldier. All nine Taliban fighters, along with two Afghan civilians were killed in the battle.

That attack comes after a suicide bombing on Friday in Kabul that killed 21 people, 13 of them foreigners. NPR’ Sean Carberry tells Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti that the attack was “unprecedented.”

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NPR Story
1:41 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Malware Used In Target Breach Found

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:54 pm

The malicious computer program used against Target was revealed in a government report released yesterday.

Officials are calling the cyber attack operation “Kaptoxa,” a Russian word that comes from a piece of code in the malware. Investigators say the malware used in the recent breach was partly written in Russian, though it’s unclear whether the attack originated in Russia.

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

'Saturday Night Live' Seeks Diversity With New Hire

Comedienne Sasheer Zamata will make her debut as a Saturday Night Live cast member this weekend. Zamata is the first African-American female cast member since Maya Rudolph's departure six years ago. (Cate Hellman)

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:54 pm

This weekend, “Saturday Night Live“ will debut its newest cast member, Sasheer Zamata. Zamata is the first African-American female hire in six seasons — since the departure of Maya Rudolph in 2007.

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NPR Story
1:40 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Fighting Rages On Turkey's Border With Syria

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:54 pm

The civil war in Syria is a confusing mix of rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, al-Qaida aligned fighters from the group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), and the regime’s army.

That’s especially true on Syria’s border with Turkey. The BBC’s James Reynolds reports from the border on that conflict.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Netflix May Take A Hit With End Of Net Neutrality

While the end of net neutrality may mean higher costs for Netflix, the company may be able to pay to ensure that its content stream faster and in higher quality than its competition, or refuse to pay more money for high speed Internet. (Netflix Blog)

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:46 pm

The recent appeals court ruling that overturned a FCC regulation requiring Internet Service Providers to treat all online services equally, known as “net neutrality,” may mean higher costs for Netflix and other online services.

But it also could have an upside for Netflix: the company may be able to pay to ensure that its content streams faster and in higher quality than its competition. Or the company can refuse to pay more money for high speed Internet.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Dancing Doctor Continues Healing Journey

Dr. Deborah Cohan's friend Hillary Goidell took this picture of her the morning before surgery. (Facebook)

Dr. Deborah Cohan, a California mother of two, inspired millions by deciding to dance to Beyoncé’s “Get Me Bodied” — with the entire operating room staff — just before her double mastectomy.

Deborah Cohan’s video was viewed by millions and her healing journey continues. Just days ago, she started chemotherapy treatment.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Florida Man In Assisted Living Squanders Lottery Winnings

Lottery winner Malcolm Ramsey, 55, sits in his room at the Loving Care assisted living facility in St. Petersburg, Fla., with some of the shoes he bought recently with his winnings. Ramsey was on a $54 monthly allowance before buying a scratch-off ticket worth $500 a week for life. (James Borchuk/Tampa Bay Times)

It’s every scratch card lottery player’s dream — seeing those matching numbers that mean big bucks. And that’s exactly what happened to Florida resident Malcolm Ramsey, whose winning numbers added up to $500 a week, for life.

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NPR Story
1:32 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

DJ Sessions: Rare Soul Gets Some Love

The Four Tops were among the American soul singers who became popular in the U.K.'s "Northern Soul" scene. (Wikimedia Commons)

Americans who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s are probably familiar with soul artists like Marvin Gaye and Al Green.

But a number of artists who didn’t make it big in the U.S. went on to become stars in Northern England years later.

And to mark the 40th anniversary of the first Northern Soul All Night Dance Party in Northern England, KALW in San Fransisco curated a 24/7 music channel online devoted to the style.

One of the DJs behind the effort is Ashleyanne Krigbaum of KALW in San Francisco.

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NPR Story
1:32 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Peru Now The Biggest Cocaine Producer

Peru has taken over as the world’s top producer of cocaine, overtaking its neighbor Colombia.

Colombia drastically reduced cocaine production there with a multi-billion dollar effort to eradicate the coca leaf that is used to produce cocaine.

The BBC’s Robin Lustig traveled to Peru to see that nation’s effort to stall cocaine production.

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NPR Story
1:32 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Increases to Public Health Funding in Omnibus Spending Bill

Aerial photo of the NIH Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, Bethesda, Maryland. (Wikimedia Commons)

The National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will all be spared from further cuts if Congress passes the omnibus spending package.

The NIH specifically would get $29.9 billion, a $1 billion increase from 2013.

This increased funding would help Americans and patients get preventative care, including amplified efforts toward mental health programs.

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NPR Story
1:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Study Questions Benefit Of Gifted Education Programs

(Steve Ruark/AP)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:12 pm

In 2008, 73 percent of teachers surveyed by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute agreed that “too often, the brightest students are bored and under-challenged in school.”

Gifted and talented programs are in place to remedy that, and they’re heralded as a breeding ground for high-performing students.

Three million kids nationwide are placed in these exclusive programs — and parents view them as important to their kids’ futures.

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NPR Story
1:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Detroit Auto Show Warms Up With Hot New Cars

Mary Barra, the new CEO of General Motors, walks to a media scrum on the eve of the 2014 North American International Auto Show on January 12, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:12 pm

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit is chock full of previews of new and experimental cars.

But all eyes were locked on incoming General Motor CEO, Mary Barra. When she takes the reigns later this week, she’ll be the first female chief of a global automaker.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Bellini is at the auto show, and he speaks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about the buzz.

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NPR Story
1:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Project Tracks Ospreys From N.H. To The Amazon

An osprey nest in Umbagog Lake, New Hampshire. (Christine and John Fournier/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:12 pm

Ospreys, also called sea hawks or fish eagles, are found all over the world. But when the temperature drops, the birds head for the tropics.

For juveniles, that first migration is a crucible that only 25 to 40 percent survive.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Sam Evans-Brown of New Hampshire Public Radio brings this story of a project that tracks ospreys to learn about the adventures they have between their departure in the fall and return in the spring.

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NPR Story
1:09 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

The Multitalented Molly Ringwald

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Molly Ringwald has gone far beyond being the girl who made such a splash in films like 1985′s “The Breakfast Club.”

Though she continues to act, she is also a singer, on tour promoting her 2013 jazz album “Except Sometimes.” And in 2012, she published the book “When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories.”

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NPR Story
1:09 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ And ‘12 Years A Slave’ Surprise At Golden Globes

Steve McQueen and the cast of "12 Years A Slave" accept the award for Best Motion Picture, Drama during the 71st Annual Golden Globe Award at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Last night’s Golden Globe awards ceremony celebrated Hollywood’s best performances in television and in film.

“12 Years A Slave,” the film about a free black man captured and sold into slavery, lost in the individual actor categories but picked up a Best Picture award, stunning its director, Steve McQueen.

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NPR Story
12:10 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Utah Couple Stays Optimistic Amid Gay Marriage Limbo

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Last week was an intense one for same-sex couples in Utah. Same-sex couples have been getting married in Utah since December 20, when a federal district judge ruled that the state ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.

But on Wednesday, Utah governor Gary Herbert told state agencies not to recognize the marriages. The attorney general’s office said it was not sure whether the same-sex marriages that had occurred since Dec. 20 were valid.

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NPR Story
12:10 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Young Poet's 'Shrinking Women' Goes Viral

Lily Meyer performs at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitation in 2013. Her poem, "Shrinking Women" went viral. (Screenshot from CUPSI)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:13 pm

[Youtube]

Lily Myers intended her poem “Shrinking Women” to be a personal one.

But a video of her recital at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational was posted to the poetry website Button Poetry and to The Huffington Post, where it went viral.

With more than 3 million views, it continues to circulate across social media websites.

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NPR Story
12:10 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

James Scott's Bleak Novel Of Revenge Set In Upstate N.Y.

(book cover image)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:13 pm

James Scott’s debut novel “The Kept” (excerpt below) has already been garnering critical acclaim. The New York Times calls it both “daring and bleak,” and compares the book to Charles Portis’ “True Grit” and the novels of Cormac McCarthy.

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NPR Story
2:42 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Israeli Troubadour Uses Music To Bridge Divides

Israeli musician, David Broza, performs in the Here & Now studios. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Singer-songwriter David Broza is an icon in his native Israel.

His first song “Yihye Tov,” written more than 30 years ago during the Arab-Israel peace talks, became the anthem of the peace movement. He has toured all over the world and has recorded more than 30 albums since.

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NPR Story
2:42 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Target Breach More Widespread Than Originally Thought

A customer signs a credit card statement next to a scanner in a Target store in Miami, Florida. Target now believes that about 70 million credit and debit card accounts of customers who made purchases by swiping their cards at terminals in its U.S. stores between November 27 and December 15 may have been stolen. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Update 3 p.m.: Target now believes that up to 110 million customers may have had their personal information stolen.

Target has increased its estimate of the number of customers affected by its recent security breach to 70 million.

The retailer originally stated that 40 million shoppers were affected by the theft which came during the holiday season.

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NPR Story
2:42 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Franklin McCain, Civil Rights Pioneer, Dies

Franklin McCain of Wilmington, North Carolina is pictured in April, 1960. (AP)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Franklin McCain was one of four students who sat down at an all-white lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., on February 1, 1960.

The freshman from North Carolina A&T ignited a sit-in movement in the Jim Crow South that led to other key chapters in the Civil Rights era.

McCain died yesterday at the age of 73.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Jeff Tiberii of WUNC has this remembrance.

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NPR Story
2:53 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Obama Picks 'Promise Zones' To Fight Poverty

President Obama will announce the designation of five "promise zones" today, including one in Philadelphia. (coia.nac/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:13 pm

The Obama administration has designated five regions around the country as “promise zones” — areas where the administration will focus on closing the gap between rich and poor by creating jobs and strengthening existing poverty-cutting programs.

This comes 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty.”

Derek Thompson, business editor for The Atlantic, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain how “promise zones” work.

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NPR Story
2:53 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The Real Philomena

Actress Dame Judi Dench and Philomena Lee attend the 'Philomena' American Express Gala screening during the 57th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 16, 2013 in London, England. (Zak Hussein/Getty Images for BFI)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Philomena,” the movie starring Dame Judi Dench, has been both a critical and commercial success.

The film is based on the story of Philomena Lee, who as an unmarried pregnant teenager, went to a Catholic-run home for unwed mothers in Rosecrea, Ireland in 1952.

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NPR Story
2:53 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Chris Christie Runs Up Against Bully Reputation

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:13 pm

The New Jersey governor now in the middle of a political scandal over George Washington bridge lane closures has a reputation for hardball politics.

He’s stripped a former governor of his police escort, he’s pulled funding for a political scientist who declined to endorse Republican redistricting plans, and his office has pressured prosecutors who were investigating a Republican sheriff and fundraiser.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

A Look At One Ordinary, Beautiful Life

Shelagh Gordon died suddenly at 55 in February, 2012, leaving an ordinary but magical life. (Courtesy)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:14 pm

In our busy lives — we tend to overlook the simple acts of kindness around us. For the past few weeks, WBUR has been highlighting some of these as part of a series called “Kind World.”

In this edition we hear about an idea reporters at the Toronto Star came up with: Is it possible to capture the life of a person you’ve never met through the stories of their friends and family… after their death?

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Are We On The Titanic Or The Olympic?

Olympic (left) returning to Belfast for repairs in March 1912, and Titanic (right). This was the last time the two sister ships would be seen together. (Robert John Welch/Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:14 pm

Are we on the Titanic or the Olympic? That’s the question New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik asks in his piece “Two Ships,” as he looks at the last time Western civilization went from ’13 to ’14.

Gopnik is re-visiting the turn from 1913 to 1914, to think about the turn from 2013 to 2014.

He writes that 1913 was “full of rumbling energy and matchless artistic accomplishment,” which included achievements for Cubism in art, Proust in literature and Stravinsky in music.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

2014 Consumer Electronics Show Begins

Visitors check Audi's Concept Vision of Tomorrow during the 2014 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:14 pm

The 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show opened this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center. More than 3,200 exhibitors will present both retailers and the media with the latest in consumer technology.

NPR technology correspondent Steve Henn joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss what items are already selling and what the next major technological breakthrough will be.

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NPR Story
2:28 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Tips On The Cold From An Alaskan

In Fairbanks, Alaska, it's not uncommon for parking lots to have plug-in stations, to keep vehicle engines warm. (ffg/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:14 pm

A few days ago, we did a story about the harsh effect the cold was having on cars, and our Canadian colleague mentioned that in most places in Canada, there are places where you can plug in to your car to keep things from freezing while you shop or run errands.

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