Here & Now

News & Information: Mon-Fri • 11am-1pm
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.

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NPR Story
11:20 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Renee Graham's Picks For Quintessentially American Music

Blues Legend B.B. King performs his 10,000th concert at B.B. KIng Blues Club & Grill in Times Square on April 18, 2006 in New York City. (Astrid Stawiarz/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 12:49 pm

American composers, singers and other musicians have produced some great music, from country-western to jazz and hip-hop. In a new Here & Now series, host Robin Young asks people to share a playlist of songs they view as quintessentially American music. Up first is Here & Now pop culture critic Renee Graham, who shares the playlist below.

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NPR Story
11:20 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Judge Approves Early Start To Florida's Gay Weddings

Same-sex couples and their attorneys who had previously challenged the wedding ban celebrate on court steps after Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel lifted the stay, allowing same-sex couples to marry January 5, 2015 in Miami, Florida. Miami-Dade County became the first place in Florida to allow same-sex couples to marry joining 36 other states and Washington D.C. (Emily Michot/The Miami Herald/Getty Images)

A Florida judge said Miami-Dade County can immediately start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, meaning Florida’s first gay weddings may begin shortly.

Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel on Monday lifted a stay on her July ruling that Florida’s same-sex marriage ban violates equal protections under the U.S. Constitution.

Miami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin says he will begin issuing licenses immediately, so the first gay and lesbian weddings could take place Monday afternoon. A gay rights group already lined up two couples to be the first.

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NPR Story
11:20 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Wisconsin Is Latest State To Consider Fees On Electric, Hybrid Vehicles

Chris and Ellie Eichman purchased a Nissan Leaf electric car in 2012 -- the first sold in Wisconsin. Chris says a fee for his Leaf is reasonable, but he's irked by the fee he'd pay for his second car, a Prius, given that he already pays a gas tax when he fills up. (Susan Bence/WUWM)

Keeping up with road repair — and finding funds to pay for it — is a struggle for many states, particularly in places where winter weather takes a toll on highways and streets. Wisconsin’s transportation department faces a deficit and is looking for ways to raise $750 million over the next two years.

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NPR Story
12:37 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Is The Supermarket The Next Big Food Trend?

To get to the Time Warner Center Whole Foods Market, customers must descend via escalator through a food court. More supermarkets are adding a seating area to their floor plans. (michaelnyc/Flickr)

Yesterday on our program we talked to a restaurant in Kentucky that has a no-tipping policy — doing away with tipping and instead adding a service charge is one of new food trends that is starting to take off.

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NPR Story
12:37 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

What To Expect For The Stock Market In 2015

Broker distributor buyer at Quattro M. Securities Inc. Peter Touchman trades during the closing bell at New York Stock Exchange on December 31, 2014 in New York City. (Brad Barket/Getty Images)

On the first day of trading in 2015, we look at what’s expected in the stock market this year — after a strong year in 2014.

Mike Regan of Bloomberg News joins Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd to share his outlook.

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NPR Story
12:37 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Documenting The Evolution Of Hip Hop

Graffiti in the Bronx -- where DJs laid the foundations for hip hop in the 1970s. Brian Coleman has written what he calls the "invisible liner notes" of hip hop. Most hip hop wasn't heavily documented, like other musical genres -- leading to lapses in surveying the genre's evolution. (AquaLungBX/Flickr)

If you love a piece of music, chances are you want to know more about the musician. What event prompted them to write a particular song, or what happened in the studio during the recording — the good, the bad, and, of course, the ugly. At minimum, maybe you want to know who produced an album and who it’s dedicated to.

You can usually find this kind of thing on liner notes — the printed little pamphlets slipped inside a CD or vinyl cover.

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NPR Story
1:09 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

TV In 2015: The Brits Are Back

American television loves nothing better than a spot of tea, singing medieval knights, frightfully polite heirs and heiresses, and those delightful accents.

NPR’s TV critic Eric Deggans joins Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins about a few of the British-themed shows we’ll be seeing on television in 2015.

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NPR Story
1:09 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

2015 Brings Freezing Temperatures Around The U.S.

This photo from Jan. 17, 2007 shows icicles created by drip irrigation hanging from an orange tree in Orange Cove, California. California citrus growers are facing another cold snap this year, but it is not expected to be anywhere as dramatic as the one in 2007, which resulted in the governor declaring a state of emergency. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Today is the beginning of a new year, and it is cold. Around the country temperatures are dropping below freezing putting citrus crops at risk in California and freezing fire hoses in Wyoming.

Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Joel Nelsen, president of California Citrus Mutual about how growers are dealing with the low temperatures.

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NPR Story
1:09 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

What Factors Influence The Gender Pay Gap?

Waitress Sheila Abramson at Langer's Delicatessen serves customers on February 26, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. In his report for the Atlantic, Derek Thompson showed that the gender wage gap is almost nonexistent for food service jobs (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images).

The pay gap between men and women is at the lowest level for the Millennial generation, according to a new study by the salary information service PayScale and “personal branding agency” Millennial Branding.

Derek Thompson, senior editor at the Atlantic, tells Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins that some jobs have almost no pay gap, a phenomenon economists explain using the “sticky floor theory” of the wage gap.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

'Life Itself': The Documentary About Film Critic Roger Ebert

Chaz Ebert and filmmaker Steve James attend the premiere of Magnolia Pictures' "Life Itself" at ArcLight Hollywood on June 26 in Hollywood, California. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Roger Ebert once said that movies were an “empathy machine” — they allowed us to have more insight in to lives of other people who are sharing this human journey with us.

That may explain why he won a Pulitzer Prize and went on to become perhaps the most famous film critic in America, the “thumbs-up” partner to Gene Siskel on their TV program about the movies.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

A Resurgence In Space Exploration

NASA's Orion resembles an Apollo capsule, signaling a return to this cheap and effective design (NASA).

It was a big year on Earth, but enough of that — let’s talk about space!

NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel talks to Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins about new spacecrafts, new missions, and space triumphs and failures of 2014.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Minimum Wage To Increase In 20 States On New Year's Day

Protesters march through the streets of New York on December 4 demanding a raise on the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The movement, driven largely by fast food workers, has risen in prominence in the past year. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Twenty states across the nation will ring in the New Year with higher minimum wages — increasing pay for around 3 million workers, according to the liberal Economic Policy Institute.

The highest minimum wage in the country will be in Washington state, where the minimum wage will rise to $9.47. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.

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NPR Story
11:37 am
Tue December 30, 2014

U.S. Veterans Return To The Front Lines

The BBC accompanied a group of veterans from both wars -- part of a program to help veterans come to terms with their physical and mental injuries -- back to the frontline in Afghanistan (screengrab/BBC).

The U.S. war in Afghanistan may be over, but for hundreds of thousands of veterans who served in that conflict, the scars may never heal.

There are physical wounds, of course, but many are also suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Troops who served in Afghanistan are among the estimated 20 veterans who kill themselves every day.

It would seem that the last place a veteran of the Afghanistan conflict would want to return is the front lines of battle. But that is exactly what some U.S. military veterans did recently.

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NPR Story
11:37 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Uncertainty In Europe After Greece Calls Snap General Election

Main opposition leftist Syriza party leader, Alexis Tsipras speaks to the media after the Greek Parliament failed to select the country's next president. The upcoming general election has left investors holding their breath. (Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images)

A snap general election in Greece next month has triggered uncertainty among investors and government across Europe.

The election came about when the Greek Parliament rejected the presidential candidate nominated by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

The radical left Syriza party is leading in opinion polls, and its leader opposes the deep budget cuts and austerity measures that have been instituted in Greece as a condition of financial bailouts.

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NPR Story
11:33 am
Tue December 30, 2014

A Weekend Edition Editor Shares Her Picks For Best Books Of 2014

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 11:36 am

Every list of “best books” of the year is as different as a special little snowflake.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with NPR’s Weekend Edition editor Barrie Hardymon about her picks for the best books of 2014.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Ebola, A Year After The Epidemic Began

A Guinean health worker wearing protective suit poses at an Ebola Donka treatment center in Conakry on December 8, 2014. (Cellou Binani/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s been one year this month since the first case of Ebola was found in Guinea, setting off what has become the deadliest Ebola epidemic in history. New cases have slowed down — but there are reports today that a dozen or so new cases have erupted in Liberia along the border of Sierra Leone.

The Centers for Disease Control in the United States say the virus has killed more than 7,600 people in West Africa.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Mon December 29, 2014

The Booming Black Market For Stolen Smartphones

Customers line up in front of an Apple Store to purchase the new iPhone 6 on September 23, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The rise in the popularity of smartphones has also spawned a lucrative and complex black market around stolen phones. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 3:45 pm

It is no secret: the smartphone industry is booming. But as the number of users rise to one-third of the world’s population, so rises the number of smartphones stolen and traded on the black market.

It is a multibillion dollar industry growing increasingly complicated as security analysts look for answers and black market entrepreneurs work to stay ahead of the curve.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Economists Predict A Bullish 2015

Traders wear hats that say "DOW 18,000" as they work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the afternoon of December 23 in New York City. That day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed a landmark by closing above 18,000 points. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Every December, economists make predictions about the year ahead, and each year they get hit by unexpected events that make them look clueless. Take the plunge in oil prices — nobody saw that coming.

Still, top economists’ forecasts did get a lot right for 2014.

Last year at this time, most were predicting low inflation, more jobs and rising stock prices — and that’s what we got.

Now they are making their predictions for 2015.

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NPR Story
11:28 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Comedian Flings Insults At Here & Now Host

[Note: This show is from a previous interview that aired on March 28, 2014.]

Comedienne Susie Essman plays the sassy Susie Greene on HBO’s acclaimed “Curb Your Enthusiasm” series, bringing to it her own brand of biting sarcasm, pointed insults and no-nonsense panache.

Essman is also a veteran of late night comedy and the world of stand-up, where she made her mark.

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NPR Story
11:28 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Is Voicemail Becoming Obsolete? Coca-Cola Thinks So

Voicemail messages left on a workplace phone are pictured. (JAmes Kearney/Flickr Creative Commons)

Coca-Cola’s recent decision to eliminate their voicemail system at their Atlanta headquarters may be a sign of the times.

The company says this isn’t a cost-cutting measure – Coke estimates it will only save them $100,000 annually – but a move to increase worker productivity.

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