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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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NPR Story
12:49 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

In Arizona, Shipping Aluminum Cans Out-Of-State Is Big Business

Aluminum beverage cans on the tables are to be sorted and prepped to be shipped out of Arizona. (Alexandra Olgin/KJZZ News)

In a memorable episode of “Seinfeld,” Kramer and Newman fill up Newman’s mail truck with bottles and cans collected in New York and head for Michigan — where the return deposit is a nickel higher.

Well, unlike Michigan, Arizona doesn’t have a return deposit for containers — but that doesn’t mean its bottles and cans aren’t worth something, somewhere.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, KJZZ’s Alexandra Olgin reports.

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NPR Story
12:49 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

A Father's Labor Of Love Sparks A Tradition And A Hit Song

Paul Monti started the event called Operation Flags for Vets to place flags on every grave at Massachusetts National Cemetery after his son was killed in Afghanistan in 2006. (Alex Ashlock/Here and Now)

 

The tradition of setting aside a day to honor the nation’s war dead started after the Civil War. It was called Decoration Day then and on the first one in 1868 people decorated the graves of the Union and Confederate dead at Arlington National Cemetery. Cemeteries across the country are decorated just like that today as we mark Memorial Day 2014.

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NPR Story
12:49 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

New Debate Over Piketty's Book On Economic Inequality

French economist Thomas Piketty, pictured here during a presentation at King's College in London on April 30, is drawing criticism and praise for his new book "Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century," in which he argues that capitalism leads to the concentration of wealth in the hands of those already rich. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

Economist Thomas Piketty is defending his book today, from charges that he got his math on rising inequality wrong.

Piketty’s nearly 600-page book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” has been the most hotly debated book this spring over its key conclusion: “The central contradiction of capitalism” is that it leads to the concentration of wealth in the hands of those already rich.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Tom Rush's Rite Of Passage Song

This is the season of high school and college graduations, a time when many young people are planning to leave home. The bittersweet mood of that time is captured in “Child’s Song,” which Canadian singer-songwriter Murray McLauchlan wrote and folk and blues singer Tom Rush made famous.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Who Is In Your Thoughts On Memorial Day?

Let us know who you are remembering on our Facebook page or in the comments.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Washington Concertgoers Fill Nearby Hospital

The Gorge Amphitheater, a week before Sasquatch. When 25,000 people pack the Gorge, its population exceeds every other town in Grant County. (Jessica Robinson/Northwest News Network)

This weekend, rock and indie music fans from across the country make their annual pilgrimage to a corner of the Northwest’s farm country, for the annual Sasquatch Music Festival.

Over three days, 25,000 rollicking concertgoers turn the picturesque Gorge Amphitheater along the Columbia River in central Washington into the largest city in the county.

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NPR Story
1:54 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Clive Owen Gets Wordy In New Romantic Comedy

British actor Clive Owen, who stars in "Words and Pictures," is pictured here on May 20, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

British actor Clive Owen is known for his roles in thrillers such as “Killer Elite,” the dystopian “Children of Men” and Spike Lee’s heist drama “Inside Man.” But for his latest film, he goes into academia.

In “Words and Pictures,” Owen plays a poet turned prep school English teacher. His job is in jeopardy: he drinks too much and his teaching has become lackluster.

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NPR Story
1:54 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

California Counties Sue 5 Narcotics Makers

The prescription medicine OxyContin is displayed in 2001 at a Walgreens drugstore in Brookline, Mass. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Two counties in California — Orange and Santa Clara — are suing five major drug companies, accusing them of causing the growing prescription drug epidemic across the country.

The complaint, filed on behalf of the state of California, accuses the companies, which make painkilling drugs such as Oxy­Con­tin, of deceptive marketing. The lawsuit seeks financial damages.

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NPR Story
1:54 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Americans Are Working Less, So Why Are We So Stressed Out?

Americans are working less hours overall, but among the white-collar crowd, time spent working is at a high, while leisure is at a low. (Phil Whitehouse/Flickr)

The amount of hours worked in the U.S. is considerably less than it used to be. And we’re not alone — every other advanced economy around the world is working less, too. But single parents are working more, as are the highly educated and wealthy.

Derek Thompson of The Atlantic joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss some of the reasons why it seems like we all have less leisure time.

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Natasha Trethewey Ends Her Tenure As U.S. Poet Laureate

As her tenure as U.S. Poet Laureate comes to an end, Natasha Trethewey reflects on her work and poetry in our country today. (W.T. Pfefferle/Flickr)

The role of the United States Poet Laureate is to raise the country’s consciousness about poetry and to spark passion for the craft.

At the conclusion of her two-year tenure as the 19th U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey has done that and more.

As her term comes to an end, she joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to reflect on her work, her unique past and the state of poetry today.

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Fare-Dodging Movement Strengthens In Sweden

A fare dodger is pictured in this 2011 photo on Planka.nu's Flickr. (Planka.nu/Flickr)

They’re the nemesis of public transportation agencies across the world: fare dodgers. But a growing number say they’re not bandits, rather participants in an important social movement.

Case in point: a group in Stockholm, Sweden, that wants fares to be abolished altogether and transport to be 100 percent tax-funded (it’s currently 50 percent tax-funded).

Alex Berthelsen is a longtime member of that organization, called Planka.nu (roughly translated to “Free-Ride.Now”).

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NPR Story
12:51 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Pennsylvania Becomes Latest Gay Marriage State

Peg Welch, center left, and her wife Delma Welch gather with others at a gay marriage rally on the steps of the state Capitol Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Harrisburg, Pa. Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned Tuesday by a federal judge in a decision that makes same-sex marriage legal throughout the Northeast. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 1:28 pm

Pennsylvania’s Republican Governor Tom Corbett says he won’t appeal yesterday’s ruling from a federal judge striking down a state law that banned gay marriage.

Hundreds of gay couples are rushing to get married in the state, which as of today has become the 19th state where gay marriage is legal.

On Monday, a federal judge in Oregon struck down a voter-approved ban on gay marriage and a federal judge in Utah ordered state officials to recognize more than 1,000 gay marriages performed there in the two weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court issued an emergency stay.

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NPR Story
1:08 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Catching Up With Michelle Chamuel Of 'The Voice'

Michelle Chamuel is pictured in the cover photo for her single "Go Down Singing." (Courtesy)

Tonight is the season finale of NBC’s hit singing competition, “The Voice.” That means it’s been about a year since Michelle Chamuel came in second, after her breakout run on the fourth season of the show.

Chamuel was a huge fan favorite, with her big black-framed glasses that inspired the hashtag #foureyesontheprize.

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NPR Story
1:08 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

NIH: Scientists Must Include Female Animals In Testing

The National Institutes of Health will soon begin requiring scientists to test new drugs on both male and female animals. Researchers now tend to use mostly male animals in pre-clinical tests, even for drugs that will also be used by women.

But that has had some major consequences for women.

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NPR Story
1:08 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

How Saudi Arabia Is Responding To MERS Crisis

The World Health Organization is seriously worried about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). It has killed 126 people in Saudi Arabia since it was first identified two years ago.

The BBC’s Zubeida Malik brought us this report about how the country is responding to the crisis.

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NPR Story
12:29 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Why Walking Matters

(Montse PB/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:24 am

A recent study out of Stanford University found that walking for at least 10 minutes enhances a person’s creativity.

Psychiatrist and author John Ratey is not surprised. Ratey has written several books about how the brain is improved by exercise.

He says when his patients stopped exercising, many not only became depressed, by some actually developed adult ADHD.

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NPR Story
12:21 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Primary Election Campaigns Focusing On Family Ties

Dad, father, daughter, son and husband are all common words popping up in election ads this year, as family seems to be the theme in political campaigns this year.

Here & Now media analyst John Carroll discusses the trend with Here & Now’s about the familial trend.

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NPR Story
12:21 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Recently Ousted Jill Abramson Delivers Commencement Speech

Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson made her first public comments since being fired, when she spoke to graduates of Wake Forest’s class of 2014.

She had agreed to deliver today’s commencement address several months before her very public fallout with the newspaper last week.

Abramson’s abrupt ouster has raised questions about her management style, her compensation and whether gender bias plays a role in any of the controversy.

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