Here & Now

Weekdays, noon to 2pm

NPR's midday news magazine.  

The Senate voted yesterday to block a new rule issued by the Obama Administration that requires brokers to act in the best interest of their clients when it comes to retirement accounts.

Before the rule change, they were required to make sure that investments were “suitable,” for clients, which was a lower standard. Republicans have supported blocking the rule, while President Obama has promised to veto the Senate bill so that the rule stands.

Here & Now’s Robin Young discusses the situation with CNN’s Maggie Lake.

Long car commutes not only cost drivers time, it may also cost them good health. Extended commutes in heavy traffic are tied to stress, less time to exercise, and more exposure to air pollution. As Carey Goldberg of Here & Now contributor WBUR reports, researchers say those three factors can lead to a higher risk for cardiovascular problems.

The Fast Talking Dean Of Hamilton College

May 23, 2016

At Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, Dean of Faculty Pat Reynolds holds the record for the fastest reading of graduates’ names at the college’s commencement ceremony. Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks to Reynolds about this year’s performance and the difficulties involved in providing a quick, dignified, and accurate reading of the names.

What are the hopes and expectations of this year’s college graduates? This week, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson will speak with several graduating seniors. First up: Konje Machini, who was chosen to be one of the commencement speakers at the University of Chicago’s graduation in June.

A new assessment shows that eighth grade girls are more proficient in technology and engineering literacy tests than boys. The National Assessment of Educational Progress was administered in 2014 to more than 21,000 students in 800 public and private schools across the United States. Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of The National Center for Education Statistics about the surprise results of the assessment.

KCRW DJ Anne Litt brings us new music, including one piece from the Haitian-Canadian electronic musician Kaytranada and a song off a new Grateful Dead tribute album. Litt tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson what caught her ear about this music.

Songs In The Segment

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As American consumers swipe and scan their credit cards more often, card debt is climbing back towards its pre-recession peak of $1.02 trillion. U.S. credit card balances are headed for $1 trillion this year, a sign perhaps that the economic recovery has soothed consumers’ concerns about carrying debt.

The Latest On The Missing EgyptAir Plane

May 19, 2016

The latest on the missing EgyptAir flight MS 804 that disappeared early this morning. NPR national security editor Phil Ewing tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that the U.S. could play a role in the investigation because the jet engines were made in the U.S.

Seasonal Ingredients And How To Use Them

May 19, 2016

As local produce makes its way into stores and farmers markets, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst wants to know: What’s in season?  She brings us ingredients and recipes from Arizona, Illinois, Washington, and her home state of Maine.

See more recipes and cooking segments with Kathy Gunst

The disappearance of EgyptAir flight MS 804 en route from Paris to Cairo with 66 people on board comes after a number of deadly incidents for the airline. On March 29, an Egypt Air flight was hijacked by a passenger who said he was wearing an explosives belt, which turned out to be a fake. There was also an EgyptAir crash in 1999 during a flight from New York to Cairo that killed all 217 people on board, which may have deliberately been caused by its pilots, and another accident in 2002 involving an EgyptAir flight near Tunis that killed 14 passengers out of 62 on board.

Apple CEO Tim Cook visited a Hindu temple in Mumbai before dawn Wednesday. Coming on the heels of a trip to China that resulted in a major investment in the Chinese company Didi Chuxing, Cook’s India itinerary is likely to include some significant business meetings.

Charter schools throughout the country are increasingly competing with public schools for students. In Washington DC, nearly half of all students attend charter schools, some switching to them between grades. This can wreak havoc on the stability of enrollment from one grade to the next. Matthew Schwartz from Here & Now contributor WAMU visited Brent Elementary, a public school that has seen a steep decline in enrollment.

By the time alto-saxophonist, singer and composer Grace Kelly was 15, she’d performed with the Boston Pops and released several albums. Now 23, Kelly has released her tenth album: “Trying to Figure it Out,” she’s performed hundreds of concerts around the world, and she’s a regular member of Jon Batiste’s “Stay Human,” the house band for “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”

Her music has also been featured on the Amazon TV series “Bosch,” on which Kelly made an appearance. Here & Now’s Robin Young catches up with Grace Kelly.

The Oregon Trail Game’s Minnesota Roots

May 17, 2016

The Oregon Trail game has sold over 65 million copies worldwide and it is considered to be the most widely distributed educational game ever. But it was created in Minnesota by three aspiring teachers. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with one of them, Paul Dillenberger, about why he and his friends created the game and what its popularity has meant for them. He also stops by the end of the Oregon Trail in Oregon City and talks with school children on a field trip about the game.

Why It's 'Transgender' Not 'Transgendered'

May 17, 2016

The word “transgender” has only recently come into widespread usage, largely as a result of the firestorm over state laws restricting which bathrooms transgender people should use. Assistant professor K.J. Rawson explains the word’s history, and tells Here & Now’s Robin Young why the proper use is “transgender,” not “transgendered” — because “transgender” is something you are, not something you do.

Why Are Oil Prices Going Up?

May 17, 2016

Oil prices hit a six-month high yesterday and could reach $50 a barrel for the first time since November. For the past two years, the global demand for oil has been less than supply, but that may be changing. Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal.

The show Portlandia made fun of Portland’s obsession with food that’s local and sustainable. In one episode, the characters have to visit the farm where a chicken was raised before deciding whether they can eat it.

401(k) Fees Keep Getting Lower

May 16, 2016

Employers are shopping around to find 401(k) plans that mean lower fees for the employees who are saving for retirement. And as a result, management fees have fallen. Here & Now's Robin Young talks with CBS's Jill Schlesinger about what kind of savings a person could amass if their plan — which used to charge 1.25% — lowers their management fee to .25%.

Guest

David Norman grew up in Harlem, sold and took drugs, and killed a man in a street fight.

In prison he nourished his love for reading, when he got out he counseled inmates, and

though it took him ten years, he graduates today from Columbia University with a degree in philosophy.

Interview Highlights: David Norman

On people’s reactions to his past crimes

Rodrigo Duterte, who earned the nickname “The Punisher” as a tough, crime fighting mayor, has what seems to be an unassailable lead in the race for the presidency in this nation of 7,000 islands. But he is not without controversy. There have been allegations that he used death squads to target and kill criminals in Davao City, where he has been mayor for more than 20 years. We ask Richard Heydarian, a political science professor in Manila, what Duterte’s apparent election means for the Philippines and its place in the region.

At Clark’s Trading Post in Lincoln, New Hampshire you can see a live bear show, watch Chinese Acrobats, mine for gems, visit five tiny museums, ride a Segway and, if you want, you can be chased – on a train – by the Wolfman. Clark’s version of the Wolfman anyway. But what happens when your Wolfman wants to retire? You hold tryouts, of course.

The most popular comedy on television by a wide margin, “The Big Bang Theory,” is the anchor of CBS’ Thursday night lineup. But as NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans tells host Meghna Chakrabarti, the show is turning to big name cameos Thursday in its season 9 finale to fight a stale streak.

Senator Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s West Virginia primary. Although Clinton is far ahead of Sanders in delegate count, Sanders is committed to staying in the race for the democratic nomination. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to Here & Now political analyst Angela Rye about what this means for the Clinton campaign as it heads toward next week’s primaries in Oregon and Kentucky.

Climate protests on six continents are underway, targeting what activists call the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects. They’ll culminate this weekend with civil disobedience planned in a number of cities.

The debate about whether or not humans are warming the planet is essentially over–almost all climate scientists agree that we are. But the debate about how to reduce our carbon emissions is just starting to heat up. Amy Martin from Here & Now contributor Inside Energy reports.

Congress is expected to unveil a plan today to address Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, but environmentalists are anxious about a possible rider in the bill that would relinquish federal control of a national wildlife refuge on the island of Vieques. Representative Robert Bishop, chairman of the house natural resources committee, wants the federal government to give up a 3,100-acre chunk of the refuge, which is home to 16 endangered species and hosts hundreds of species of birds as they migrate across the Caribbean.

The Science And Culture Of Picky Eating

May 10, 2016

What foods do you love that other people just cannot stomach?

Google tracked food-related searches over the past two years, and found our tastes are as fickle as ever. Trending ingredients included pork shoulder, cauliflower rice, and cheese curds. That list may make your mouth water, or you might find it nauseating.

Diane Guerrero is a successful actress with roles on the Netflix prison series “Orange is the New Black” and the CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” But when she was 14, her future looked bleak: She returned from school to find that her parents, undocumented immigrants from Colombia, had been taken by immigration officials. They were detained and deported. Diane saw them infrequently over the next decade as she struggled to make a life for herself.

Heat Wave And Drought Hit India

May 10, 2016

Note: This BBC interview can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR app.

As of Monday morning, you can no longer get Uber or Lyft in Austin, Texas. Both companies have suspended service there indefinitely, after residents voted this weekend to keep a new city law that regulates ride-sharing services and requires them, among other things, to fingerprint drivers as part of the background check process.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Nathan Bernier, reporter and host at Here & Now contributor KUT, about the vote and about how people in Austin are reacting.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell is scheduled to attend a listening session in New York this week to hear activists and local officials make the case for the first national monument to the gay rights movement.

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