Here & Now

News & Information: Mon-Fri • 11am-1pm
  • Hosted by Robin Young, Jeremy Hobson

A fast-paced program that covers up-to-the-minute news and also provides regular features on food, technology, finance, culture and more.

Whole Foods is reducing its total number of stores, and moving away from its ambitious expansion target. The move comes after six-straight quarters of sales decline, and as other retailers like Kroger and Wal-Mart expand their organic food offerings.

Americans will spend about $2 billion buying flowers for Valentine’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation. Most of those flowers are grown far away and shipped a long distance before they end up in a vase.

In 1997 a Cleveland-based researcher studying a rare, sometimes-cancerous condition noticed that an unusually high percentage of her patients also had a particular type of autism. She eventually discovered that both conditions shared the same genetic mutation.

Since then, a number of other cancer genes have been found in some types of autism, and a recent report out of the University of California Davis says 43 genes thought to be involved in autism are also associated with cancer.

Many people trying to focus on a healthy lifestyle search out healthy foods or join a gym. What about clean air?

Some California farmers are turning to cleaning the soil in an effort to use less water — and to help clean air we breathe. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero (@ezraromero) reports.

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as Education secretary by the narrowest of margins, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie in a historic vote.

Two Republicans joined Democrats in the unsuccessful effort to derail the nomination of the wealthy Republican donor. The Senate historian said Pence’s vote was the first by a vice president to break a tie on a Cabinet nomination.

President Trump made a campaign promise to lower the price of prescription drugs. After meeting with several big pharmaceutical companies last week, the president emerged with different plans to do that, from reducing taxes to cutting back regulations.

Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss the legal back-and-forth that took place in court over the weekend about President Trump’s executive order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Two students who are part of the UC Berkeley College Republicans were attacked Thursday on campus, though not by anyone affiliated with the university. The attack happened the day after a group of protesters caused thousands of dollars worth of damage on campus protesting a planned appearance by the far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.

The university ended up canceling the event a couple of hours before it was supposed to start.

Want to know a secret about Tom Brady? Ask his Dad.

“Tommy is a football player,” says Tom Brady Sr. “This is not a July-January or February endeavor for him. He has a countdown clock in his gym that is now ticking to next year’s Super Bowl.”

That’s what Brady Sr. told the CSN “Quick Slants” podcast about a countdown clock his son started roughly a year ago. The timepiece is a glimpse into the focus, drive and preparation that makes his son arguably the best quarterback ever.

“Is Steve Bannon the second most powerful man in the world?”

That’s the headline of a new Time magazine story out this week. It paints a picture of Bannon’s life, and shows how the man described as “aggressive,” “talkative” and “brash” rose to his current role in the White House as chief strategist to President Trump.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with the author of the piece, Time editor-at-large David Von Drehle.

In Texas, Showdown Over 'Sanctuary Cities'

Feb 1, 2017

In Texas, a standoff between a county sheriff and the governor over the issue of “sanctuary cities” could come to a head on Thursday. The Republican-led Texas Senate is holding its first public hearing on a bill that would allow the state to withhold funding for local counties or cities in the state that call themselves “sanctuaries” and refuse to cooperate with federal officials on immigration issues.

Gov. Greg Abbott supports the bill. Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez has vowed to implement a “sanctuary city” policy.

A family of Syrian refugees was scheduled to arrive in Cleveland on Tuesday. But those plans and others like them have been canceled because of President Trump’s executive action on Friday, temporarily suspending entry into the U.S. for people from a number of Muslim majority countries. It also bars all Syrian refugees indefinitely.

The Environmental Protection Agency is bracing for major changes under the Trump administration. During the campaign, Trump said he wanted to eliminate the EPA entirely.

On the same day President Trump signed his new immigration ban, a Twitter account launched to shine the spotlight on what happened to a group of refugees that were turned away from the U.S. in 1939.

About 900 Jewish people had attempted to escape Nazi Germany on the MS St. Louis. But the ship was turned away by the U.S. because of immigration restrictions. Later, more than 250 of those passengers were killed during World War II and the Holocaust.

A meeting in Washington between President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was canceled this week after disagreement over who would pay for President Trump’s proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine are conducting a study of microbial communities inside buildings and how they affect human health. The report is expected to be published later this year.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to Jordan Peccia (@jordan_peccia), a professor of chemical and environmental engineering at Yale University and one of the scientists involved in the research.

What’s hot in the food world in 2017? Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst (@mainecook) checked out a couple of California shows this week and says one major trend is unfamiliar flavors in familiar foods. Gunst and Here & Now‘s Robin Young go through some examples.

Here’s Kathy’s take on some of the products she discovered:

We’re just a few days into the presidency of Donald Trump, and news from his administration is coming out at a seemingly faster-than-ever pace.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with NPR’s David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) about how journalists and news consumers can handle the overwhelming amount of information coming out of the political world this week.

The Mercer County Public Schools in West Virginia are being sued by a mother known as Jane Doe, along with the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The plaintiffs say the school system’s 75-year-old “Bible in the Schools” program violates the First Amendment’s separation between church and state.

Earlier this month Here & Now reported on the beating of a white 18 year old with schizophrenia. Many pointed out that his attackers were black, and attributed the incident to racism. But disabilities advocates, and others, saw something else: a very common attack on a vulnerable disabled person.

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