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.

Cool winds are bringing relief to nearly 10 million residents of the northern Chinese city of Harbin, where thick smog caused schools, airports and businesses to shutter their doors earlier this week. Residents were ordered to remain indoors. At the pollution’s worst, visibility was only 65 feet.

The smog coincided with the first day residents fired up their heating systems in a city known for its cold temperatures and ice festivals.

What Hits A Home Run In Sports Writing?

Oct 24, 2013

What defines good sports writing? Two men at the top of their craft join Here & Now’s Robin Young to answer that question.

Bill Littlefield is host of the NPR show Only a Game. He’s also a terrific writer. One of his stories was chosen for the 2013 edition of ”The Best American Sports Writing.”

Gas Prices At Three Year Low

Oct 24, 2013

The federal shutdown had economists worried, but consumers have had something to smile about.

Gasoline prices are the lowest in three years — under $3 a gallon in some places.

Analysts credit greater supplies, lower demand, the easing of Middle East tensions and even a slow hurricane season.

Music From The Show

Oct 24, 2013
  • Parachute, “The Other Side”
  • St.

Meet The New Voice Of NPR Underwriting

Oct 23, 2013

Big news for NPR junkies: The new voice of NPR funding credits was announced today. Starting next month, you’ll be hearing New York City native Sabrina Farhi on the air.

Farhi will be taking over for Frank Tavares who’s leaving at the end of the year after more than 30 years with NPR.

The new Myspace is hoping the creative community will make the site their space.

Myspace was once the biggest social media network on the web, but with the emergence of social media sites like Facebook, Myspace lost its following when many of the casual users moved to the sleeker new social sites.

In 2011, Myspace was acquired from NewsCorp by singer and actor Justin Timberlake, along with brothers Tim and Chris Vanderhook, owners of the online advertising site Specific Media.

Tonight the Boston Red Sox take on the Saint Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park in Game 1 of the World Series.

Cardinals fans have adopted the 1985 Glenn Frey hit “The Heat is On” as their own. Here & Now takes a quick listen to a much-loved remix of the song, made especially to honor the Cardinals back in the 1980s.

More questions keep coming in about the Affordable Care Act.

One listener named Will wrote in saying that when he signed up, he didn’t appear to be eligible for a subsidy, even though he believes he is. There are also reports of individuals getting insurance cancellations notices due to the Affordable Care Act.

Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to sort through some of the questions.

New Jersey firefighter Capt. Bill Lavin is building 26 playgrounds for each of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in communities that were hit hard by superstorm Sandy last year.

It’s part of his project called The Sandy Ground: Where Angels Play. Two of the playgrounds are being built in New Jersey this week.

Maryland Health Exchange Has A Slow Start

Oct 23, 2013

Screenshot of Maryland health connection websiteAs of October 17th, around 2,400 people had signed up for health insurance within the state of Maryland. Those numbers pale in comparison with states like Kentucky, which had enrolled almost 11,000 by October 8th.

Today, “Allegiant,” the third book in Veronica Roth’s best-selling “Divergent” trilogy, hits e-readers and book stands.

The young adult (YA) novels are set in a dystopian future in which society has been divided into factions based on personality types. The book’s heroine doesn’t fit within that society’s limitations.

Flesh-Eating Drug 'Krokodil' Hits The U.S.

Oct 22, 2013

A flesh-eating narcotic known as “krokodil” has made its landing in the United States. The drug is injected, leaving the skin with gangrenous wounds and scaly, green flesh — hence the name “crocodile.”

The narcotic, usually created by mixing codeine with household ingredients like gasoline and iodine, emerged in Russia more than 10 years ago during a heroin shortage. Recent cases in the United States have been identified in Arizona, Illinois and Utah.

Netflix is riding on the success of streaming original television programs, such as “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards.”

The company now has 40 million worldwide subscribers, and its stock has tripled this year. Netflix reported revenue of $1.11 billion in the third quarter.

As he does every Monday, NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson brings us a new song to kick off our week. This week it’s “This Lonely Morning” by Los Angeles rock duo Best Coast, off their new album “Fade Away.”

Thompson says Best Coast’s latest offering is a good follow up to its album that came out last year, “The Only Place.”

“It’s a really worthy sequel — full of irresistibly summery, beachy songs that are really sad if you scrape just slightly below the surface.”

A growing number of communities are creating places for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia — and their caregivers — to socialize and share a meal.

Among the latest are: Stamford, Conn., Brookfield, Wis., Chalfont, Calif. and Presque Isle, Maine.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Rick Howlett of WFPL reports on the memory cafe in Louisville, Kentucky.

Carol Burnett

We tip our hat to legendary comedienne Carol Burnett, 80, who was awarded the Mark Twain Award for Comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. last night.

Julie Andrews, Tony Bennett and Tina Fey were among those who honored Burnett in the tribute.

Mickey Edwards represented Oklahoma’s 5th district for 16 years in Congress. Edwards says the dysfunction in Washington is a “systemic problem,” and can’t be cured until the power of political parties diminishes.

Edwards told Here & Nows Jeremy Hobson that the last impasse in Washington is a result of how the political parties, both the Democrats and the Republicans, operate.

Puerto Rico Struggles With Debt Crisis

Oct 18, 2013

Puerto Rico has about $87 billion of debt — that’s about $23,000 for every resident.

The island nation is a U.S. territory, but it can’t declare bankruptcy.

Puerto Rican politicians are looking to raise taxes and cut pension obligations. 

Four Years Later, Army Hero Honored

Oct 18, 2013

This week, retired Army Capt. William Swenson was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during an intense firefight in Afghanistan in 2009.

His team was conducting meetings with village elders in the village of Ganjar, in Kunar Province, when they were ambushed.

Swenson was honored for risking his life several times to rescue fellow troops and recover bodies during the seven-hour battle.

Kenya has begun three days of national mourning today, after the siege of a Nairobi shopping mall ended on Tuesday.

Now, the stories of what happened inside the mall are emerging, and people affected by the siege are still coming to terms with what’s happened.

The BBC’s Will Ross is in Nairobi and has been meeting those who were there, and the people trying to help them.