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NPR Story
1:07 pm
Mon May 25, 2015

Under Pressure In Europe, Amazon Changes Tax Strategy

Amazon is no longer routing its European sales through the low-tax country of Luxembourg, in an effort to cut costs. Instead the American company will pay taxes in individual European countries.

The move comes amid numerous EU investigations into how companies, including Amazon, pay their taxes on the continent.

As Al Jazeera’s Ali Velshi tells Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins, it could significantly increase Amazon’s tax bill.

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NPR Story
11:26 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Dr. Beach Reveals His Top 10 U.S. Beaches For 2015

Waimanalo Bay Beach Park on the Hawaiian island of Oahu won the #1 spot on Dr. Beach's top 10 beaches list for 2015. (Ryan Ozawa/Flickr)

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, which for many people marks the first real beach weekend of the year. Just in time, a new list of the top 10 public beaches in the U.S. is out, ranked by a man who goes by the name “Dr. Beach.” Taking this year’s top honor: Waimanalo Beach in Oahu, Hawaii.

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NPR Story
11:26 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Oregon Looks To Raise Wages For People With Intellectual Disabilities

Workers with All Seasons Grounds Care at the City of McMinnville Water Reclamation Facility. (Chris Lehman/Northwest News Network)

As the national debate on whether to raise the minimum wage continues, some adults in Oregon with developmental disabilities are still paid as little as 25 cents an hour.

Now, a group of Oregon lawmakers is trying to change that. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Chris Lehman reports.

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NPR Story
11:26 am
Mon May 25, 2015

ISIS Gains Ground In Iraq And Syria

A view of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra one day after the self-proclaimed Islamic State fired rockets into the city on May 17, 2015. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

ISIS is expanding its control of territory in Iraq and Syria. The militants have now seized the last Syrian-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq.

There are also reports that ISIS has overrun another town in Iraq’s western Anbar province, less than a week after taking control of Ramadi, the provincial capital.

Concerns are mounting about the famous archaeological site at Palmyra in Syria, which ISIS seized a couple of days ago.

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NPR Story
2:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Jailed Journalist Goes On Trial In Iran Next Week

In this photo taken on April 11, 2013, Jason Rezaian, right, an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post, and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, an Iranian correspondent for the Abu Dhabi-based daily newspaper The National, smile as they attend a presidential campaign of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Iran. (Vahid Salemi/AP)

For nearly a year, The Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian has been held in custody. He goes on trial next week, and the trial may not be open to the public or his family.

Rezaian’s lawyer says Iran accuses him of spying, but his editor at The Washington Post defends Rezaian and says he was merely doing his job as a journalist.

Douglas Jehl, foreign editor of The Washington Post, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

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NPR Story
2:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

YouTube Sensation Publishes Her First Cookbook

YouTube cooking sensation Maangchi is out with her first cookbook, "Maangchi's Real Korean Cooking." (maangchi.com)

Kwangsook Kim was always interested in food and cooking, first in her native South Korea, then later in Canada and the United States.

In 2007, her son suggested she take up a new hobby: posting videos on YouTube of her making Korean dishes. She did, adopting the name “Maangchi” that she used in her other hobby, online gaming.

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NPR Story
2:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Rookie Drivers Get A Pass On Parallel Parking In Maryland

"Driver education" sticker on the back of a car. (minidriver/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:32 pm

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has eliminated the parallel parking requirement on its driving test. A spokesman says it’s about redundancy. The test still requires a “reverse two-point turnabout.”

But driving instructors in Maryland say that too many people were failing the test, and the right of passage in driving is still an important skill to learn. Georgena Ewing, owner of Perry Hall Driving School in Nottingham, MD., shares her view with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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NPR Story
12:20 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Becoming A Cop, As Police Protests Dominate Headlines

The squad of six, including Stephanie Schendel, pose after being pepper-sprayed. Instructor Russ Hicks said the recruits bond after that unpleasant experience. (Isolde Raftery/KUOW)

What motivates someone to become a police officer these days? And what is it like to be a recruit as images of police protests dominate the news? Amy Radil of Here & Now contributor station KUOW met some of Washington state’s newest recruits.

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NPR Story
12:20 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

'Finding The Good' Through Obituary Writing

About 2,000 people live in Haines, Alaska, where Heather Lende has been writing obituaries for 20 years for the Chilkat Valley News. (Andrei Taranchenko/Flickr)

Journalist Heather Lende lives in the small town of Haines, Alaska, where the population is about 2,000. She’s written obituaries for almost 20 years at the Chilkat Valley News.

In doing so, she’s learned to “find the good,” as she says, not only in the lives of people she writes about, but also in her own life. Lende told Here & Now’s Robin Young that a portrait of the town she lives in also comes through her work.

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NPR Story
12:20 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Five Banks To Pay Billions Over Currency Manipulation

This combination made from file photos shows signage for four banks, Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, that will pay $2.5 billion in fines and plead guilty to criminally manipulating global currency market going back to 2007. The banks conspired with one another to fix rates on U.S. dollars and euros traded in the huge global market for currencies, according to a settlement announced Wednesday, May 20, 2015, between the banks and U.S. Justice Department. (Lefteris Pitarakis, Nick Ut, Kathy Willens, Matt Dunham/AP)

JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Citigroup and UBS have agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay more than $5 billion in total penalties relating to a U.S. investigation into whether the banks manipulated foreign currency rates.

The fines are on top of more than $4 billion in penalties that many of the same banks paid in November over similar charges. Matt Klein of the Financial Times joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Can Boston Lose Its 2024 Olympic Bid?

The Boston Skyline is seen from Cambridge, Mass. in April 2013. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 12:25 pm

Many U.S. cities tried out for the 2024 Summer Olympic bid, but in January the U.S. Olympic Committee selected Boston.

There has been tough opposition from citizens in the city who don’t agree with the local committee’s plans, but Monday at a Boston City Council meeting Angela Ruggiero, a USOC and IOC member said, “There’s no guarantee that Boston will be the city in September.”

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

DJ Sessions: From Gypsy Funk To A 12-Year-Old Jazz Pianist

Joey Alexander performs in the 10th Year Edition of Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2014 day 3 at JIExpo Kemayoran on March 2, 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

KCRW’s Tom Schnabel joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to share some of the music he’s listening to from around the world, including Brazilian guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento, the New York artist collective “Brooklyn Gypsies” and a 12-year-old pianist named Joey Alexander.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Supreme Court Adds Protections For 401(k) Investors

The Supreme Court ruling on Monday is expected to better protect people from high fees in their 401(k) retirement plan investments.

By a unanimous vote, the court said that companies managing 401(k) retirement plans have to monitor investments and “remove imprudent investments.”

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal about the ruling’s implications.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

How - And How Well - Would Free College Work?

How does free college sound?

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders will propose legislation on Tuesday that would make tuition at four-year public colleges free – much like it is in many European Countries.

Here & Now’s Robin Young talks to Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed, about how various European countries offer free college tuition, and how well such a model might work in the United States.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Jeremy Hobson's Advice For Selfie-Stick Users

Tourists use a selfie-stick to take a picture of themselves in front of the Pyramid of the Louvre in Paris on March 7, 2015. (Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)

There’s a new term that is unfortunately now a part of our lexicon: selfie-stick.

You’ve seen them. The idiotic plastic or metal arms that tourists all over the world are using to take medium-distance selfies with their phones.

I was in Europe last week and I saw it for myself: In front of the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum in London, underneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, even on a train a couple decided to take a photograph of themselves from above.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Gender Pronouns And The History Of 'They'

A dictionary definition of they. (Rachel Rohr/Here & Now)

The use of the word “they” as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is gaining wider acceptance, even among copy editors. But linguist and Wall Street Journal columnist Ben Zimmer says the use of the universal pronoun ‘they’ is nothing new.

Zimmer tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that writers including Chaucer and Shakespeare have used “they” instead of he or she. But will modern-day English speakers adapt their style to incorporate “they”?

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Boston Marathon Bomber Sentenced To Death

A jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death Friday for the Boston Marathon bombing, sweeping aside pleas that he was just a “kid” who fell under the influence of his fanatical older brother.

Tsarnaev, 21, stood with his hands folded upon learning his fate, decided after 14 hours of deliberations over three days in the nation’s most closely watched terrorism trial since the Oklahoma City bombing case two decades ago.

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

States Push Back, As Insurers Push For Cheaper, Older Drugs

Firefighter Glenn Helverson says step therapy has caused him to lose work for weeks at a time. (Alex Smith/Heartland Health Monitor)

If you’ve ever been prescribed an expensive new medication, you may be familiar with step therapy.

Rather than pay for a costly new drug, many insurance companies now require patients to try cheaper alternatives first.

As drug prices have skyrocketed in recent years, step therapy has become increasingly common, but now many states legislatures are pushing back.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Alex Smith reports.

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

NATO Carries Out Huge Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise

A Russian nuclear submarine is pictured near the Sevmash factory in the northern city of Arkhangelsk, Russia, July 2, 2009. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

NATO has been carrying out its largest ever anti-submarine warfare exercise in the North Sea.

It’s seen as a response to increasing activity by Russian submarines. There have been recent reports of Russian submarines operating off the coast of Scotland, as well as Sweden and Finland.

The exercise has also highlighted a gaping hole in Britain’s own maritime defenses. The BBC’s Jonathan Beale reports.

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Workshop On How To Work With Female City Councilors Sparks Controversy

The sun sets on the Austin skyline and Congress Street Bridge. (Stuart Seeger/Flickr Creative Commons)

The City of Austin recently welcomed its first majority female city council, but what’s grabbing headlines is a recent workshop to train city staff on how to deal with the shift to a female-centered environment.

One of the speakers, Jonathan K. Allen – who has since been fired from his role as city manager of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. for unrelated reasons – warned the group to expect more questions, and that women aren’t as interested in financial arguments.

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NPR Story
12:48 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

'Good Kill' Takes A Searching Look At Drone Warfare

Ethan Hawke (Tom Egan) in Andrew Niccol’s "Good Kill." (Courtesy of Lorey Sebastian. Copyright © 2014 Clear Skies Nevada LLC. An IFC Films release.)

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 8:18 am

In the new film “Good Kill,” Ethan Hawke plays Tom Egan, a former Air Force pilot who’s now a drone operator in Las Vegas. Egan longs to go back into combat, but instead is relegated to firing at suspected terrorist targets from thousands of miles away.

Writer-director Andrew Niccol told Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti that he was drawn to make the film because he found drone operators to be an entirely new kind of solider.

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NPR Story
12:30 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

No Resume, No Interview, No Problem At Yonkers Bakery

Bakers pose for a photo at Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, N.Y. (Courtesy of Greyston)

The open hiring policy at Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, N.Y., invites local residents to apply for jobs, regardless of their immigration status, whether they have criminal or drug records, or even prior work experience.

It’s all part of the company’s social justice business model, based on the Buddhist philosophy of Bernie Glassman, who founded the industrial food facility in 1982.

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NPR Story
12:30 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

'Black Love Matters' Movement Takes To The Streets In Milwaukee

Members of the Black Love Matters Movement convene during a march through a north side neighborhood. (LaToya Dennis)

“Black Lives Matter” has become a rallying cry across the U.S. among people upset about cases of police brutality against black men. In Milwaukee, another movement is afoot. It aims to let people know that black love also matters. LaToya Dennis from Here & Now contributor Milwaukee Public Radio reports.

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NPR Story
12:57 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

What’s New Is Old At The TV Upfronts

Kermit the Frog speaks to Gonzo the Great in a scene from ABC's "The Muppets." (Eric McCandless/ABC)

NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans is in New York this week at the TV Upfronts and joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to talk about how next season, the hot thing seems to be reviving old shows.

NBC is bringing back “Coach” and “Heroes.” Meanwhile, Fox is doing a television version of “Minority Report” and “The X-Files.” Eric Deggans, though, is most excited about ABC bringing the Muppets to network television for the first time in nearly 20 years.

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NPR Story
12:57 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

New Cookbook Explores The Cuisine Of The Great Plains

Bison is lower in fat than regular cow beef. (Photo © Dana Damewood)

Cover of

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NPR Story
12:57 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

A 'Holodeck' May Be Getting Closer To Reality

It's still a ways off, but UT researchers say that their improved GPS technology coupled with a virtual reality headset could create a holodeck-like experience. (intel.com)

If you use a smartphone for directions, you know how annoying it can be when the tracking device gets your location wrong. A team of researchers at the University of Texas’ Cockrell School of Engineering say they may have fixed that problem.

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NPR Story
1:04 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

'Halal In The Family' Uses Sitcom Humor To Skewer Muslim Stereotypes

"Halal in the Family" is a web series about a Muslim family in America. (Sweet 180)

There’s a new series making waves on the web. “Halal in the Family” centers around the Qu’osbys, an all-American family who also happen to be Muslim.

It’s no coincidence that the family name sounds a lot like “Cosby.” Co-creator Miles Kahn tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that the idea first came from a comment that journalist Katie Couric made, that maybe what American Muslims needed to combat stereotypes was their own “Cosby Show.”

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Why Has It Taken 40 Years To Build A Tennessee Nuclear Power Plant?

In this April 29, 2015 photo, cooling towers for Unit 1, right, and Unit 2, left, are shown at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, Tenn. (Mark Zaleski/AP)

A new nuclear power plant is nearing completion in Spring City, Tennessee, and it’s expected to be up and running by late summer.

It has taken about 40 years to complete the project.

Associated Press reporter Ray Henry tells Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti that the Watts Bar plant serves as a cautionary tale for America’s nuclear power industry.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Senior Stickball League Brings Retirees Back To Boyhood

Palm Beach Stickball League All Star Game at Village Park. (Luis Hernandez / WLRN)

At Village Park in Wellington, Florida, there’s a group of retirees who get together every week to relive their youth.

A dozen men are lined up in three rows in a parking lot. On one end, a 3-foot fence marks the end of the outfield. About 200 feet in the opposite direction, a square drawn in chalk marks home plate.

Every few seconds, a yellow rubber ball is launched up into the air, and the men laugh and joke as they call out for it. This is the Palm Beach Senior Stickball League.

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NPR Story
8:47 am
Tue May 12, 2015

New Hampshire Dems Hope Sanders Will Shake Up Presidential Race

Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders reacts, as supports cheer him on, before speaking at a house party in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, May 2, 2015. Sanders discussed economic issues facing the country. (Cheryl Senter/AP)

The Democratic presidential primary season is officially underway in New Hampshire.

Hillary Clinton is now facing a challenge from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the self-described socialist from Vermont.

And, although he’s a familiar face in New Hampshire, Sanders is a long-shot in this election. But, he is a long-shot with the potential to shake up the race.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Asma Khalid reports.

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