Here & Now

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Ukrainians Remain Uneasy In Kiev

People pay their respects at a makeshift memorial where a protester was killed during clashes with police near Independence Square The Ukrainian government has promised justice for the fallen, but citizens in Kiev remain uneasy. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

As Russia consolidates its control over Crimea and international sanctions intensify, it is easy to forget the traumatic events that took place in the Ukrainian capital Kiev exactly one month ago.

The new Ukrainian government is promising justice for the murder of at least eighty protesters, killed by gunmen in and around Independence Square. But as the BBC’s Chris Morris reports from Kiev, many people remain wary.

Note: Please subscribe to the Here & Now podcast to hear this BBC report.

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NPR Story
1:50 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Maple Syrup Recipes From Chef Kathy Gunst

Kathy's husband John taps a maple tree. (Kathy Gunst/Here & Now)

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:10 pm

It may be spring today, but in Maine, it’s maple syrup season. Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst’s husband John Rudolph has been tapping their trees and making syrup.

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NPR Story
1:50 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Putin's 'Russkii' Comment Raises Fears Of A New Yugoslavia

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a joint session of Russian parliament on Crimea in the Kremlin in Moscow on March 18. Putin sparked controversy when he used the word "Russkii" to refer to the Russian people, rather than "Rossisskii." (Alexei Nikolsky/Getty Images)

Political scientist Kimberly Marten says Vladimir Putin “may have permanently changed” Russia and its relationship with the outside world by using the word “Russkii” in Parliament this week.

In her post on The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post, Marten says there are two words for “Russian” in the Russian language, “Rossisski,” and “Russkii.”

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NPR Story
1:50 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Obama Orders New Sanctions Against Russia

The U.S. has announced a second round of sanctions in protest of Russia’s takeover of Crimea. President Obama said the new sanctions would hurt the Russian economy.

Meanwhile, the Russian takeover of Crimea is scaring off investors. Companies stocks are suffering, Russia’s richest people are also losing money and smaller businesses are scared about the future.

The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson joins Here & Now’s Sacha Pfeiffer with details.

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

State Tax Laws 'A Mess' For Same-Sex Couples And Employers

(kenteegardin/Flickr)

Same-sex couples who are married can file jointly for federal taxes, but they face a confusing and complicated set of state tax laws.

Attorney Carol Calhoun has put together a comprehensive summary of how state tax laws work for same-sex married couples.

As Calhoun explained in an email to Here & Now:

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

British Troops Draw Down In Afghanistan

As U.S. troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan, forces from the U.K. are doing the same thing. They have closed or handed over to the Afghans all but two of their bases across Helmand Province. They used to occupy more than 130 bases in that area.

The BBC’s defense correspondent Jonathan Beale reports from Helmand.

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Korean BBQ Chef Shines Spotlight On Korean Food Culture

Gal bi, prime beef short rib, and Kobe style beef, Ggot sal, with all the side dishes, banchan. (Parks BBQ/Facebook)

Jenee Kim studied food science in South Korea, apprenticed at a friend’s restaurant in Seoul and opened her first restaurant in L.A.’s Koreatown in 2003.

Since then, Park’s BBQ has become one of L.A.’s best Korean restaurants, known for the quality of its meat and for its banchan, or side dishes.

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NPR Story
2:01 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Will L.A. Have A Future Like 'Her' Or 'Elysium'?

Matt Damon is pictured in the film "Elysium."

Two recent movies sketch out two very different visions of the future of Los Angeles, the epitome of the sprawling, western city. There’s the L.A. in the Oscar-winning movie “Her.” And then there’s the L.A. in the movie “Elysium.”

Parts of “Her” were filmed in Shanghai; nobody seems to drive and people live and work in high-rise buildings. In “Elysium,” run-down parts of Mexico City stand in for L.A.

Could L.A.’s future look like either one of these movies, if current trends continue?

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NPR Story
2:01 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

The Bang In The Big Bang

MIT physicist Alan Guth is pictured in the Here & Now studios. (Robin Lubbock/Here & Now)

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:13 pm

When a team of astronomers announced yesterday that they had been able to peer back 13.8 billion years to the first few moments of the Big Bang, they were confirming the work of Alan Guth in the 1970s.

The researchers say they say they saw some of what gave the bang to the Big Bang — what made the universe expand as quickly as it did. It’s being called one of the greatest discoveries in science.

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NPR Story
2:01 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Why The Search For The Missing Plane Is CNN's Story

A screenshot of CNN's coverage of the missing plane on Mar. 18, 2014. (CNN.com)

CNN’s ratings are through the roof. It’s been criticized for reporting more speculation than other networks, but its wall-to-wall coverage of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 doesn’t seem to be putting off a lot of viewers.

Joe Concha, TV news columnist for Mediaite.com, says this is an example of the cable news approach of today: all-in on one story. He speaks to Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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NPR Story
1:14 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Packing A Vacation Suitcase To Help Those In Need

Students at a school in Llano Grande, Costa Rica, received donated art school supplies from traveler Susan Sachs Lipman, through Pack for a Purpose and La Quinta de Sarapiqui. (packforapurpose.org)

A nonprofit organization called Pack for a Purpose is encouraging international travelers to use some of their luggage space to carry medical and school supplies to their vacation destination.

The organization has teamed up with local lodging, tour agencies and community organizations in countries across the globe to find out what items are needed, from pencils and soccer balls in schools to clothes and toiletries in orphanages.

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NPR Story
1:14 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Earthquake Shakes Los Angeles

Egill Hauksson, a Caltech seismologist, talks about an early morning earthquake during a news conference in Pasadena, Calif, on Monday, March 17, 2014. The pre-dawn quake rolled across the Los Angeles basin on Monday, rattling residents from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach but causing no reported damage. The quake's magnitude was 4.4 and it was centered 15 miles west-northwest of the downtown civic center, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (Nick Ut/AP)

It wasn’t exactly “the big one,” but people in Southern California did get a rude awakening today when a 4.4 magnitude earthquake struck. The quake could be felt from the San Fernando Valley down to Long Beach, but there are no reports of damage or injury.

Here & Nows Jeremy Hobson is reporting from Los Angeles this week and checks in with co-host Robin Young about what the quake felt like. He also shares what he has in store for us tomorrow and Wednesday when he co-hosts the show from NPR West.

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NPR Story
1:14 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Why Flight 370 Pilot Is Wrongly Being Called A 'Fanatic'

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak addresses the media alongside Malaysia's Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein (left) and Director General of Civil Aviation Department, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (right) during a press conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on March 15, 2014. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 7:50 pm

With the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, Slate’s politics and foreign affairs editor William Dobson joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain speculation that the pilot of the missing plane is a “fanatical” supporter of Anwar Ibrahim.

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NPR Story
1:22 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Choral Music Based On Great American Words

Lisa Graham will direct a music program March 15 and 16 featuring Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," narrated by Here & Now's Robin Young. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” has been performed numerous times since Copland wrote the piece, shortly following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942. Iconic voices including Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and James Earl Jones have read Lincoln’s words to Copland’s music.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Aging Natural Gas Pipes: How Safe Are Our Cities?

A police officer near the scene of a gas leak explosion that caused two buildings to collapse on Park Avenue and 116th street in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan March 12, 2014 in New York City. (Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

Rescue workers with dogs and thermal units are searching the rubble for victims of a the gas explosion earlier this week in Manhattan, as investigators struggle to pinpoint where the leak came from and try to determine whether it was caused by the city’s aging infrastructure. Eight bodies have been pulled from the debris, but rescue workers have, so far, only cleared about half the site.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Obama Proposes Tighter For-Profit College Rules

The Obama administration is announcing new regulations aimed at for-profit and vocational colleges.

The rules will set standards for what colleges must do to prepare students for employment after graduation, tying their success to federal student aid programs.

The proposal would make a program ineligible for federal student aid if its graduates fail to meet a debt-to-earnings metric.

Federal officials say they’re trying to protect students from low-quality programs that burden them with debt. Critics say the rules harm students and single out for-profit colleges.

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NPR Story
2:12 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Pat Metheny Keeps Moving Forward

Guitarist Pat Metheny performs on July 24, 2010 in Nice, France. (Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)

Jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny has won 20 Grammys and released dozens of albums, but he keeps experimenting with his music. In 2010, he toured and recorded an album with “The Orchestrion,” a wall of instruments.

Now, the 59-year-old Kansas City, Mo., native has released “Kin” with his latest band The Unity Group, which incorporates horns and vocals in his music.

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NPR Story
2:12 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

More Deaths In Venezuela As Protests Persist

Demonstrators take part in an anti-government protest in the east of Caracas on March 12, 2014. (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, three people were shot dead in Venezuela during anti-government protests in the central city of Valencia. A month of student-led demonstrations in a number of Venezuelan cities have left at least 25 people dead, according to the government.

Demonstrators say they have taken to the streets to protest shortage of goods, high inflation and the highest homicide rates in the world.

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NPR Story
2:12 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Herbalife Pyramid Scheme Claims Investigated

Herbalife uses a network of distributors to sell its nutritional supplements and weight-loss products. (netodarkis/Flickr)

Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has won a round in his 15-month fight against supplements and weight-loss products maker Herbalife. The direct seller’s shares tumbled Wednesday after Herbalife revealed that it is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission for possible “deceptive practices.”

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NPR Story
1:25 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

DJ Sessions: Twin Cities Melting Pot

Melissa Jefferson, who is known by her stage name Lizzo, is a hip hop artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (lizzomusic.com)

Dave Campbell, host of “The Local Show” on The Current from Minnesota Public Radio, says that the music scene in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, have a melting pot of a music scene — including a vibrant hip hop culture.

Songs Heard In This Segment

Lizzo, “Paris”

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Expert Suspects Fuselage Cracking In Missing Plane

An Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency personnel scans the seas aboard a boat on patrol in the Malacca Strait off Aceh province located in the area of northern Sumatra island on March 12, 2014, during the continued search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 2:27 pm

For analysis of the latest developments in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370, Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Mary Schiavo.

Schiavo is the former Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Transportation. She has also litigated on behalf of plane crash victims’ families in more than 50 cases.

Interview Highlights: Mary Schiavo

On the anger from victims’ families at the latest press conferences

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Senators Agree On Plan To Replace Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

A plan to phase out the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and instead use mainly private insurers to backstop home loans has advanced in Congress.

The plan by Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, chairman of the Banking Committee, and Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the committee’s senior Republican, would create a new government insurance fund.

Essentially, investors would pay fees in exchange for insurance on mortgage securities they buy and the government would become a last-resort loan guarantor.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Lessons From High-Achieving Low-Income Schools

Why do some low-income schools succeed where others fail? That’s one of the questions that authors Sonia Caus Gleason and Nancy Gerzon set out to answer in their book, “Growing Into Equity: Professional Learning and Personalization in High-Achieving Schools

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

SXSW Puts Spotlight On Latinos In Tech

The first ever Latinos in Tech event, which took place on March 6, 2014, was founded by the Kapor Center and Esquivel McCarson Consulting. (Kety Esquivel/Esquivel McCarson Consulting)

The interactive section of South by Southwest (SXSW) wraps up today, and for the first time it included three days of panels and discussions specifically focused on the integration of Latinos in tech.

The sessions were designed to make Latinos feel more comfortable in a field where they are underrepresented.

We hear a report from Veronica Zaragovia of KUT that for some Latinos, the results were less than satisfying.

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Ex-Christie Aides Seek To Quash Subpoenas In Bridge Hearing

Lawyers for Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien, two former aides to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, are in court today. They’re trying to persuade a judge not to force them to turn over private communications that could incriminate them in the investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closing.

The decision is important because Kelly and Stepien might have evidence that could clarify who orchestrated and knew about the September bridge closings, which led to major traffic issues. The lawyers will cite the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

How To Coordinate An International Search

Nine countries are involved in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, with dozens of planes and ships scanning the area where the flight may have gone down.

There is no designated leader in the search. Aviation officials say that the official investigation can not begin until the aircraft is located. It’s expected to be found in either Malaysian or Vietnamese waters.

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NPR Story
2:07 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Visiting Eudora Welty's Mississippi Home

The home of American writer Eudora Welty in Jackson, Mississippi. (J R Gordon/Flickr)

Funeral services were held this weekend for Chokwe Lumumba, the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi.

Here & Now’s Robin Young visited Jackson a few months ago, and during her trip went to the home of Southern writer Eudora Welty.

Welty’s niece, Mary Alice Welty, took Young on a tour of the house, which Welty lived in from 1925 until her death in 2001.

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NPR Story
2:07 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Week In Politics: CPAC And Aid To Ukraine

NPR’s Charlie Mahtesian joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and bipartisan reaction in Congress to the crisis in Ukraine.

CPAC came to a close this weekend after Sen. Rand Paul won the conference’s presidential straw poll for the second year in a row. Although Republican officials acknowledged the need for the party to come together on a unified platform, there was little agreement on what that agenda would be.

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NPR Story
2:07 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Sudanese 'Lost Boy' Returns To Search For Family

Mangok Bol, pictured here at Brandeis University, returned to his native Sudan to find his orphaned nieces and nephew. (Mike Lovett/Brandeis University)

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 1:01 pm

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power took time from the Ukraine crisis on Friday to speak to the U.N. Security Council about another critical issue: children in armed conflict.

Power talked about South Sudan, mentioning specifically Mangok Bol, a program administrator at Brandeis University.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

March Madness Sadness: A Look Back On The 1970 Season

Forty-four years ago tonight, North Carolina State beat South Carolina 44-39 in double overtime to win the Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina. That wasn’t supposed to happen. And it left the captain of the team, Bobby Cremins, so heartbroken, he and another player on the team fled into the mountains of North Carolina for several days before they could return to the South Carolina campus in Columbia.

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