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
11:59 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Cholesterol Drug Vytorin Found To Lower Heart Risk

A new study finds the drug Vytorin helps lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. (Schering-Plough via Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 12:57 pm

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Statins have long been the drug of of choice to lower cholesterol to reduce the rise of heart attacks and strokes.

But a new study — funded by Merck — finds that the drug Vytorin, which combines the statin Zocor with the drug Zetia, is more effective than statins alone at lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients who have had a heart attack or severe chest pain.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Outspoken Olympic Runner Nick Symmonds Pens Memoir

Nick Symmonds of the United States celebrates winning silver in the Men's 800 metres final during Day Four of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 13, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Mark Kolbe/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 1:04 pm

Nick Symmonds has won his share of races, but he often gets as much attention for what he does off the track.

Symmonds is a two-time Olympian, a World Championship medalist and a multi-title winner in college, but he rubs some people the wrong way because he rails against the organizations that govern track and field and he speaks out on issues such as gun control.

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NPR Story
11:30 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Scientists Try To Bring Back The Original New Mexico Chile

New Mexico green chiles are pictured at a farmer's market. (Farmanac/Flickr)

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 12:55 pm

For years, the New Mexico green chile has been under siege. The chile is a huge part of the state’s cultural identity and it grows the most chile peppers of any state in the country, contributing about $50 million to the state’s economy.

But the New Mexico chile industry is in decline — suffering from drought and competition from China and other countries.

New Mexico green chile peppers were first grown in the 1800s and scientists say the secret to recapturing the industry is to recreate chiles from the old seeds and bring back the original flavor that has been lost.

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NPR Story
11:30 am
Mon November 17, 2014

What Do The Midterms Mean For Medicaid?

It’s open enrollment time again for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. One key part of the president’s health law was an expansion of Medicaid, the federal program that provides health coverage for low income Americans.

Several states’ governors declined to expand Medicaid. In the midterm elections, Democratic governors in Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland and Arkansas who expanded Medicaid were replaced by Republicans. And Republican governors in Maine, Wisconsin and Kansas who campaigned against Medicaid expansions kept their jobs.

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NPR Story
11:30 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Social Media Buzz: From A TV Anchor's Suit To Anonymous

Karl Stefanovic, an Australian morning show host, wore the same suit for one year to highlight how his female co-anchors receive more criticism about their appearance (screenshot)

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 2:06 pm

Annie Colbert, viral content editor for Mashable, joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to look at some of the stories reverberating online:

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NPR Story
11:18 am
Fri November 14, 2014

African American Poetry of the 1800s

This is a picture of the First African Church drawn by W.L. Sheppard. (Courtesy of New South Books)

The 19th century was a vibrant period for poetry in the United States. But few know that African-Americans were an essential part of that.

Slaves, former slaves and free African-Americans wrote verses that were published in black-owned newspapers, not only in the more liberal North, but also in the South and center of the country.

The poetry explores oppression, freedom, religion and humor.

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NPR Story
11:18 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Navy SEAL Who Says He Killed Bin Laden Explains Why He Went Public

Robert O'Neill while serving in Liberia. (Courtesy of CRC Public Relations).

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 1:55 pm

It’s been quite a week for Robert O’Neill, who last week told the public that he was the former Navy Seal who fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden.

The U.S. Defense Department has confirmed that O’Neill was on SEAL Team Six, and that he was part of the bin Laden raid, but has said it cannot confirm who fired the final shots.

The Pentagon issued a statement saying that O’Neill’s disclosures may have put “our national security at risk.”

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NPR Story
11:18 am
Fri November 14, 2014

NBA Commissioner Supports Legalizing Sports Gambling

Commissioner Adam Silver commences the 2014 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 26, 2014 in Brooklyn. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 12:05 pm

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is arguing for the legalization of betting on professional sports games.

In an op-ed published in the New York Times, Silver argued, “in light of these domestic and global trends, the laws on sports betting should be changed.”

The NBA currently bans the practice. In fact Tim Donaghy, former referee, was sentenced to federal prison for his role in a gambling scandal.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Woman Sues For The Right To Go Topless In Chicago

This is a screen shot of the video of Sonoko Tagami being ticketed by an officer for indecent exposure. She is now suing for the right to be topless in public. (LuvLuv/YouTube)

A woman who was issued a ticket this summer in Chicago, Ill. for going topless has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court, claiming the city’s ordinance against women appearing bare-chested in public is unconstitutional.

Sonoko Tagami, 41, received a $100 ticket for indecent exposure.

Jason Meisner, a federal courts reporter for the Chicago Tribune and has been covering the story.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Proposed Tobacco Ban Fires Up Citizens Of Small Massachusetts Town

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 11:54 am

The idea that Westminster, Massachusetts would be the first town in the country to ban the sale of all tobacco and nicotine products lit a fire under residents at a public meeting Wednesday night.

Nearly 500 of them turned out – most of them calling the board of health’s proposal an act of too much “big government.” The meeting got so out of hand that it had to be cut short and its chairwoman led out of the building by police.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Myanmar Elephants' Rights Threatened By Democracy

Workers stand near white elephants at their shelter in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw on May 10, 2014. Myanmar will parade its once isolated capital to international leaders this weekend, hosting a landmark summit of Southeast Asia's regional bloc as reforms see the country strut onto the world stage. ( Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama has been traveling throughout Asia this week, including Myanmar, also known as Burma. He will be attending the Asian Summit in the nation’s capital of Naypyidaw to discuss everything from Ebola to territorial trade disputes in the South China Sea.

The president will also be discussing the progress of the nation’s transition to a democracy. Part of the discussion is human rights, as the Muslim Rohingya minority faces a threat in the western Rakhine state.

Elephants are also facing a threat.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

What's Behind The Gluten-Free 'Obsession'?

The gluten-free aisle at a Kroger grocery store in Memphis, Tenn. Taken in March 2013. (ilovememphis/flickr)

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:51 pm

A third of Americans say they’re trying to eliminate gluten from their diets, even though celiac disease affects only 1 percent of the population and many doctors don’t believe that non-celiac gluten sensitivity exists.

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NPR Story
11:55 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Giving The Homeless A Camera To Tell Their Stories

Uploaded from the Homeless GoPro Facebook page, pictured is one of the organization's autobiographers Jimbo. He is among many other people experiencing homelessness who share their stories through video.(Facebook)

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 11:52 am

Few people know about the lives of homeless people.

So, in honor of his late uncle who battled schizophrenia and was homeless on and off for 30 years, Kevin Adler started the Homeless GoPro Project to capture the stories of 100 homeless people across the country.

Adler tells Here & Nows Robin Young how technology and connections with homeless service providers can help dispel myths the general public have about homeless people.

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NPR Story
11:55 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Family Of Ebola Victim Reaches Deal With Texas Hospital

The family of Thomas Eric Duncan, the only person to die of Ebola in the U.S., has reached an agreement with the hospital where he died.

Duncan reported to the hospital when he began feeling ill, but he was turned away and told to care for himself. When he returned to the hospital and tested positive for Ebola, it was too late for them to treat and he later died.

Duncan’s family holds a press conference to talk about the agreement they have reached with the North Texas Hospital.

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NPR Story
12:10 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Berlin Wall A Shadow For Younger Generation

Some in Berlin say that although the Wall is gone, it casts a shadow over the new generation, especially over youth in the east. (Emanuele Toscano/Flickr)

Germany has wrapped up its events commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago — a shining moment of freedom within a dark 20th century history. The country has done a thorough job of repudiating its first dictatorship and its role in the Holocaust.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Marking Veterans Day With 'Operation Flags For Vets'

A man places flags at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, Mass. on November 8, 2014. (Greta Kaemmer/Flickr)

American flags mark veterans’ graves across the country on this Veterans Day. There are more than 50,000 on the graves at the Massachusetts National Cemetery on Cape Cod.

Hundreds of volunteers came to place them on Saturday. It’s a project called Operation Flags For Vets, which was started by Paul Monti, after his son Jared was killed in Afghanistan in 2006 and was buried there.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Study: Americans Don’t Know The Facts On U.S. Issues

Pictured is an infographic from the report by Ipsos MORI. (Ipsos MORI)

Americans don’t have their facts straight. At least that’s the conclusion of a new study from the research group Ipsos-MORI.

When it comes to the nation’s biggest issues, many Americans do not know the basics. They massively overestimate unemployment rates and the number of immigrants. They assume that the nation’s murder rate is rising, when in fact it’s falling.

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NPR Story
12:21 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

'Sesame Street' Turns 45

"Sesame Street" characters are pictured February 16, 2012, in New York. (Richard Termine/sesameworkshop.org)

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 1:48 pm

On this day in 1969, the first episode of Sesame Street aired on public television. A little girl named Sally is new to the neighborhood, and she meets some of the residents, including an awkward, nervous Big Bird.

Forty-five years later, Sesame Street is going strong, with nearly a million viewers every episode, according to PBS.

These days, Alistair Cookie no longer smokes a pipe on Monsterpiece Theatre, and the theme song has a jazzier beat than it used to.

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NPR Story
12:21 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Bistro Trains Ex-Inmates In the Art Of Fine Dining

Francine Warren gets ready to work on the orange duck at the French bistro EDWINS in Cleveland, Ohio. (Brian Bull/WCPN)

EDWINS, a French restaurant in Cleveland’s Shaker Square, celebrates its one year anniversary this month.

The bistro not only offers artisan cuisine, but also gives former inmates a job and the chance to learn a new skill.

From the Here & Now Contributor’s Network, Brian Bull of WCPN reports.

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NPR Story
12:21 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Remembering The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

Three-year-old Hulda Planer-Friedrich sticks roses in the Berlin Wall Memorial. (Curt Nickisch/WBUR)

Germans have celebrated a weekend fraught with symbolism, remembering and commemorating a day 25 years ago — the 9th of November 1989 — when East Germans pushed through the gates in the Berlin Wall, danced on top of it, and brought it down, ending the Cold War along with it. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Curt Nickisch of WBUR brought us this story from Berlin.

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