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NPR Story
12:58 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Documentary Tells Story Of Landscape Design Pioneer Olmsted

Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed some of America's most well known green spaces, including Central Park, a green oasis in the middle of busy Manhattan. (PBS)

Nineteenth-century landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed some of America’s most well-known green spaces, including Central Park in New York City.

A new documentary, “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America,” which premieres on PBS stations around the country on June 20, shows how Olmsted not only designed the city parks, but influenced the way America looked at landscape design.

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NPR Story
12:22 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Study Looks At What's Killing Centenarians

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 1:16 pm

The population of centenarians — people age 100 and over — is growing across the globe.

People over 100 years are expected to reach 3.2 million by 2050, according to a new study by Kings College in London.

The study, which examined the cause of death among the growing demographic, found that centenarians are less likely to die of cancer or heart disease at that age, and more likely to die from pneumonia or frail health.

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NPR Story
1:23 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

'The Fault In Our Stars' Resonates For Esther Earl's Parents

Today, the much anticipated film “The Fault In Our Stars” opens in theaters.

The movie stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as two teens who meet in a cancer support group and fall in love, and is based on the blockbuster John Green novel.

Green was inspired to write the book by one of his fans, Esther Earl, a young woman who succumbed to cancer in 2010 shortly after her 16th birthday.

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NPR Story
1:23 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

D-Day Artifacts On Display At Massachusetts World War II Museum

Kenneth Rendell, owner of the Museum of World War II, has been amassing his collection of WWII memorabilia since he was a kid. (Andrea Shea/WBUR)

The announcement of the the invasion of Normandy which signaled the end of World War II, happened 70 years ago today.

A special exhibition about D-Day is on display at the World War II museum in Natick, Mass. It houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of documents and artifacts about the war.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, WBUR’s Andrea Shea takes us on a tour of the museum.

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NPR Story
1:23 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Walmart Workers Air Grievances At Annual Meeting

Walmart workers and union activists protest outside a Walmart store on June 4 in Chicago. Workers and activists were scheduled to hold strikes at Walmart stores in more than 20 cities today in their campaign to raise wages. The strikes are scheduled to draw attention to worker grievances before Walmart’s annual shareholder meeting, taking place today in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Walmart’s annual meeting today is a star-studded affair, but the company’s new CEO Doug McMillon has a big challenge on his hands.

The giant retailer faces increased scrutiny amid allegations of bribery in Mexico, lack of oversight in Bangladesh factories, and growing criticism about low wages and benefits, and high compensation for its executives.

Bob Moon of Bloomberg Radio tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that this comes as Walmart is seeing declining sales for five consecutive quarters.

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NPR Story
12:19 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Young Doctor Becomes Crusader To Keep Teens Out Of Tanning Beds

Dr. Brundha Balaraman, a dermatology resident at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is behind new Missouri law requiring anyone under 17 to get parental consent before using an indoor UV tanning device. (Valerie Yermal/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 2:12 pm

The FDA has just put in a place some new guidelines for indoor tanning beds and booths, but the state of Missouri is going even further.

A bill signed into law today by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon requires anyone under 17 to get parental consent before using a tanning bed or booth.

The person behind the law is Dr. Brundha Balaraman, a dermatology resident at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She pushed for seven years to get the bill approved by state lawmakers.

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NPR Story
12:19 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Military Law And The Case Of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

How does military law handle a deserter or a defector? And how will the U.S. military deal with the controversial case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl? Military law expert Eugene Fidell discusses these questions with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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NPR Story
12:19 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Preview: NHL And NBA Finals

Drew Doughty, #8, of the Los Angeles Kings, celebrates after he scores a second period goal past Henrik Lundqvist, #30, of the New York Rangers, during Game One of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Staples Center on June 4 in Los Angeles. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Tonight, the NBA finals begin as the Miami Heat compete against the San Antonio Spurs.

The two teams will meet for the second year in a row in the finals as Miami fights for a three-peat win, making them the fourth team ever to achieve the record and the first team since the Los Angeles Lakers since 2000 to 2002.

NHL finals also continue tonight as the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings fight for the Stanley Cup. The Kings dominated in game one, but will they hold up against the Rangers’ speed?

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NPR Story
12:31 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Steady Market Has Fed Worried About Investor Complacency

Federal Reserve officials have expressed concern that investors may start taking big risks due to a relatively long period of low volatility in the stock market.

Business Insider executive editor Joe Weisenthal discusses the Fed’s worries and how they might affect their decisions on interest rates, with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

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NPR Story
12:28 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

High School Valedictorians Have High Aspirations

Leilanie Martinez, 17, is the valedictorian of her class at South Gate High School in Los Angeles. She plans to attend U.C. Berkeley in the fall. (Courtesy of Leilanie Martinez)

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 2:31 pm

This week we are speaking to high school valedictorians from across the country. Today we speak with 17-year old Leilanie Martinez.

Martinez is graduating from South Gate High School in Los Angeles county. She will attend U.C. Berkeley next year and plans to major in political science.

That’s because she eventually wants to come back to South Gate to run for mayor of Los Angeles.

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Summer Salad Recipes From Kathy Gunst

Kathy adds some freshly cracked black pepper. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 6:00 am

With the warmer weather, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst‘s garden has been flourishing. As she tells host Robin Young, “seeing tender young greens come up in my garden, I’m like a little kid in a candy store, I am just so excited.”

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NPR Story
12:55 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Stays Independent

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 11:12 am

The Philadelphia-based indie rock band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah has been making music for about a decade and doing it outside the mainstream music business. At first, the band got a boost from music blogs and today it releases its music independently.

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NPR Story
12:55 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

France: U.S. $10 Billion Fine On BNP Paribas 'Unreasonable'

A BNP Paribas advertisement sits atop a building on Broadway June 2 in New York. BNP Paribas faces a potential fine of up to $10 billion USD for breaking sanctions imposed by the U.S. government on Iran. The fine would be the largest imposed on a bank by US. regulators for sanctions-breaking, and one of the largest regulatory fines in history. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. is investigating whether France’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, violated sanctions on Sudan, Iran, and Syria between 2002 and 2009.

France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, says the reported $10 billion fine on BNP Paribas is not reasonable. This comes as President Obama is about to visit France for talks with French President Francois Hollande.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Bellini tells Here & Now’s Robin Young about the situation.

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NPR Story
12:55 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Tree-Killing Beetle Creates Opportunity For Urban Lumber Mills

Small holes signify emerald ash borer damage in a dying tree. (Frank Morris/KCUR)

Ash trees are dying across much of the country. A green beetle, the emerald ash borer, has spread from the Upper Midwest, imperiling millions of trees.

But there is opportunity amid the destruction. Urban lumber mills that saw up salvaged city trees are on the rise — spurred by mounting demand for local products and a tsunami of supply delivered by the emerald ash borer.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Frank Morris of KCUR reports from Kansas City.

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NPR Story
2:11 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

New Apple Mac, Mobile Features Coming This Fall

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West center on June 2, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Tim Cook kicked off the annual WWDC which is typically a showcase for upcoming updates to Apple hardware and software. The conference runs through June 6. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple’s Mac operating system is getting a new design and better ways to exchange files, while new features in the software for iPhones and iPads include one for keeping tabs on your health.

Apple executive Craig Federighi pointed out that data from various fitness-related devices now live in silos, so you can’t get a comprehensive picture of your health. That will change, he says, with HealthKit coming to the new mobile software, iOS 8. Apple is also working with the Mayo Clinic to make sure your weight, calorie intake and other health metrics are within healthy ranges.

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NPR Story
2:11 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Remembering Ann B. Davis Of 'The Brady Bunch'

Ann B. Davis was best known for playing the part of Alice, the housekeeper on The Brady Bunch. (YouTube screenshot)

Emmy-winning actress Ann B. Davis, who became the country’s favorite and most famous housekeeper as the devoted Alice Nelson of “The Brady Bunch,” died Sunday at a San Antonio hospital. She was 88.

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans talks to Here & Now about her life and her role on the show.

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NPR Story
2:11 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Study Finds Seasonal Workers Worse Off In Fair Trade Operations

A four-year study has found that agricultural workers are worse off in "fair trade" operations. (ftepr.org)

A recently released four-year study from the University of London shows that agricultural workers in and near operations with a “Fair Trade certified” label are actually worse off than their non-Fair Trade counterparts.

Rodney North of the Fair Trade group Equal Exchange says the goal of Fair Trade was never to improve the wages of temporary workers, rather its goal was to ensure that small farmers got to keep their land.

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NPR Story
12:41 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Is It Time To Scrap The Resume And Cover Letter?

Are those résumés and cover letter we work so hard on perfecting a waste of time? Journalist Jesse Singal thinks so -- adding that it's discriminatory, that companies should adopt alternative techniques when screening job candidates. (Scott Kellum/Flickr)

“It’s time for the résumé and the cover letter to die,” writes New York Magazine’s Jesse Singal. He tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that the current cover letter and résumé packet is discriminatory and time wasting, and that companies should adopt alternative techniques when screening job candidates.

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NPR Story
12:41 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

DOT Seeks Transparency In Airfares

People heading to the airport this summer may have an easier time finding a fair price on flights. The DOT is proposing a rule that would effectively change the way a “ticket” is defined, and require all ticket agents and airlines to display that ticket price to provide a basis for comparison. (Jonathan Cohen/Flickr)

This summer, millions of vacationers will buy plane tickets. But will they be able to fairly compare fares?

Critics say airlines have made it impossible to figure out the true cost by obscuring fees and taxes. Now, the Department of Transportation is proposing a rule that would effectively change the way a "ticket" is defined, and require all ticket agents and airlines to display that ticket price to provide a basis for comparison.

However, the airlines are howling.

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NPR Story
12:41 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Aretha Franklin Performs The National Anthem At Harvard Graduation

Aretha Franklin performs the National Anthem at Harvard University's 2014 commencement. (Screenshot)

[Youtube]

It’s commencement season, and yesterday at Harvard University, soul legend Aretha Franklin was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree. And just in case anyone doubted the degree was deserved, Franklin sat down at the piano, and schooled those in attendance, with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

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NPR Story
1:32 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Funeral To Be Held For Philadelphia House

3711 Melon Street in West Philadelphia will get a proper goodbye on Saturday with the "Funeral for a Home" event, organized my Temple Unviersity's Tyler School of Art. (Jeffrey Stockbridge/funeralforahome.org)

Mourners will gather in Philadelphia on Saturday to bid farewell to an old house. The gathering will be a celebration of a life, a “home going,” with drill teams and bands and a meal — all after they’ve carted the shingles, broken window panes and floorboards away.

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NPR Story
1:31 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Park Service Launches LGBT Sites Initiative

The U.S. National Park Service, best known for showcasing our country's natural resources, will soon also be home to monuments LGBT Americans who have made significant contributions to our nation's history. (erin_pass/Flickr)

The National Park Service is set to launch an initiative to fold LGBT historic sites into its commemoration of American history.

The effort, first a study to identify landmarks, is scheduled for kick-off tomorrow at the famous Stonewall Inn in New York City.

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NPR Story
1:31 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

NPR’s Steve Inskeep Discusses His Interview With President Obama

President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address at the graduation ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on May 28. In a highly anticipated speech on foreign policy, the President provided details on his plans for winding down America's military commitment in Afghanistan. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Yesterday, President Obama laid out his foreign policy plan for his final two and a half years in office, at a commencement ceremony at West Point.

Following that speech, NPR’s Steve Inskeep interviewed the president about foreign policy, including his approaches to Syria, Ukraine and China, as well as his remaining White House priorities and his effort to close Guantanamo Bay prison.

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NPR Story
2:24 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Rep. Tim Murphy: Mental Health Bill Would Make Patients, Communities Safer

Republican Congressman Tim Murphy, pictured here on April 1, 2014, says that privacy laws should serve to protect the mentally ill, not prevent them from being treated properly. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

In California yesterday, two assembly members proposed a gun restraining order that would allow family members and therapists to ask police and a judge to bar someone from buying a gun.

Lawmakers are also proposing a law that would adopt new protocols for police making well-being checks on people. It would require that police check whether someone has bought a weapon, rather than just talk to them.

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NPR Story
2:12 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Former NATO Commander Reacts To Obama's Foreign Policy Speech

Admiral James Stavridis is pictured on July 12, 2008, in Mayport, Florida. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Regina L. Brown)

Today, President Obama offered a strong defense of his administration’s foreign policy in a commencement speech at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

Admiral James Stavridis, the former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, discusses the speech with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

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NPR Story
2:12 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

DJ Sessions: Accountants Take The Stage

San Francisco-based DJ Spinnerty is one of the acts KCRW's Anthony Valadez can't get enough of at the moment. (Nica Lorber/Flickr)

KCRW’s Anthony Valadez shares the latest music he’s listening to with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson, including two musicians who’ve worked or do work as accountants.

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NPR Story
1:57 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Obama Announces Afghan Troop Withdrawal Plan

President Barack Obama speaks about troop pullout from Afghanistan at the White House on May 27. The administration's plan is to keep a contingency force of 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014, consolidating them in Kabul and on Bagram Air Base. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 9:59 am

A day ahead of a big foreign policy speech at West Point tomorrow, President Obama is making public his plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan.

Obama is largely taking the recommendation of his generals and plans to leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan for one year beyond the withdrawal of combat forces in December. By the end of 2015, that number will be halved with troops consolidated in the Kabul area, and their primary mission will not be combat but counter-terrorism.

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NPR Story
12:49 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Art Institute's Miniature Rooms Exhibit Comes Alive In Literature

Marianne Malone's "The Sixty-Eight Rooms" series was inspired by an exhibit at the Art Institute in Chicago. Pictured here is “Cape Cod Living Room, 1750-1850,” by Narcissa Niblack Thorne. Malone's most recent book, "The Pirate Coin," is set in 18th-century Cape Cod. (Art Institute of Chicago)

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 9:59 am

The Thorne Miniature Rooms are one of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most beloved exhibits: 68 miniature detailed representations of rooms that might have existed in Europe and America over some six centuries.

They inspired author Marianne Malone to write a series of children’s books aptly named “The Sixty-Eight Rooms.” The latest in the series, “The Pirate’s Coin,” is released in paperback today.

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NPR Story
12:49 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Anthropologist: Gang Violence Caused By Mental Illness

Anthropologist James Diego Vigil calls the violent, "crazy" behavior of gang members "locura," and suggests it may be a form of mental illness. (Rubén Díaz/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 9:59 am

What causes gang violence?

James Diego Vigil, a professor emeritus of social ecology at the University of California, Irvine, uses the term “locura,” from the Spanish word loca (crazy) to describe what he calls the “quasi-controlled insanity” of gang members.

He joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain.

Interview Highlights: James Diego Vigil

On what pushes kids into gangs

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NPR Story
12:49 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Does College Pledging Lead To Greater Happiness And Success?

The survey results go against the image of Greek life depicted in the 1978 movie "Animal House" with John Belushi.

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 9:59 am

Fraternities and sororities get a bad wrap for wild parties, hazing and binge drinking, but a new survey finds that those who pledge in college have the last laugh — or at least more laughs than others.

A survey of more than 30,000 university graduates found that for students who belonged to fraternities and sororities, life after college is happier and they tend to be more successful.

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