Here and Now

Weekdays 12-3 PM
  • Hosted by Robin Young, Jeremy Hobson

Here & Now reflects the fluid world of news as it’s happening, with timely, smart and in-depth news and conversation.

Here & Now is co-hosted by Robin Young.  A Peabody Award-winning journalist, she has reported for NBC, CBS and ABC television, and was substitute host and correspondent for The Today Show.

Co-host Jeremy Hobson, hosted the Marketplace Morning Report. Hobson has broad producing, reporting and hosting experience at the program and network level and at the station level including sister station WILL in Urbana.

Additionally, Meghna Chakrabarti, is the program’s primary back-up host.

Al-Qaida Surges Into Syria

Aug 15, 2013

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has always blamed the conflict in Syria on terrorists, even when it started as a popular uprising.

Now, he might finally be right. An affiliate of al-Qaida in Iraq is surging into Syria. It’s called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

This new group is in competition with the original Syrian al-Qaida affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, but they are seemingly aligned — along with rebel groups — in the effort to oust Assad.

Why ESPN Reigns Supreme In Covering Sports

Aug 15, 2013

ESPN is the champion of sports media. If you look at the numbers, the 34-year-old network does reign supreme when it comes to covering sports.

The network’s value is estimated between $40 billion and $60 billion — that’s at least 20 times bigger than the New York Times Company.

Just this month, more than four million people watched ESPN’s “NASCAR Spring Cup,” making it the top cable sporting event of the week.

So how does ESPN live up to its tagline of “The Worldwide Leader in Sports”?

Sally Sampson founded ChopChop magazine to get kids to eat healthier by getting them interested in cooking.

The magazine won a James Beard award earlier this year and this week, Sampson published the book “Chop Chop: The Kids Guide to Cooking Real Food With Your Family.”

A rapidly changing world is altering the lives of millions of women.

In India, the rising economic wherewithal of a new generation of women is transforming an institution as old as the country itself: marriage.

NPR’s Julie McCarthy has this report on Indian match-making with a modern twist.

European Union Emerges From Recession

Aug 14, 2013

After a record 18-month slump, the European Union is coming out of a recession.

Numbers released today show three-tenths of a percent growth for the second quarter of the year.

While that may not sound like a lot, it is a signal that a much-needed recovery to pull the eurozone out of its three-and-a-half-year debt crisis may be here.

The 160-year-old piano maker, Steinway, is set to change hands. Last month, a private equity firm emerged as the likely buyer.

That was until today, when hedge fund manager John Paulson made an offer of $500 million. The billionaire now looks set to take control of one of the oldest manufacturers in the country.

But, Steinway’s workers don’t think a change of ownership will mean much of a change for them.

Katy Perry‘s new single “Roar” from her upcoming album “Prism” and Lady Gaga’s latest track “Applause” from her new album “ARTPOP,” both were leaked over the weekend. The artists and their labels have very different initial reactions.

Lady Gaga called upon fans to report leaks for removal, while Katy Perry simply tweeted “Looks like there’s a tiger on the loose!!!”

Ultimately, both songs were released early.

The last thing most patients do when they receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is seek another diagnosis.

But research shows that up to 5 percent of dementia cases are misdiagnosed cases of a treatable but largely unknown condition called “normal pressure hydrocephalus.”

It is theorized that NPH arises from excess fluid building up in the brain. The cure is to drain the fluid with shunts.

Egypt Violence Upsets White House Policy

Aug 14, 2013

As the death toll mounts today in Egypt, it also upends the Obama administration’s delicate balance on the Egyptian crisis.

The White House has steadfastly refused to call the Egyptian army’s ouster and arrest of former President Mohammed Morsi a coup.

At the same time, the administration has urged the Egyptian military to move forward quickly with constitutional reform and free elections.

Danny Strong went from being in the background in the cult favorite “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to having an episode written for him and becoming one of the series’ villains.

Though he still acts, he’s become more well known as a screenwriter, winning two Emmys for his work on HBO’s “Game Change.”

James “Whitey” Bulger is facing life in prison after yesterday’s dramatic verdicts in his case in federal court in Boston.

The jury convicted him on 31 of 32 counts in a murder and racketeering trial that lasted nearly two months.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 13, but his lawyers plan to appeal.

The verdict was overwhelming, but as WBUR’s David Boeri reports, nothing in the Bulger case is ever as straightforward as it might appear.

Conventional investing wisdom over the past couple years was that emerging markets, such as China, India and Brazil, are volatile but vibrant, whereas developed markets are stable but sluggish.

But it looks like emerging markets might be losing their shine.

Jason Bellini of the Wall Street Journal joins us.

China is in a holding pattern, waiting for the trial of a former rising star in the Communist party, Bo Xilai.

Bo ran the city of Chongqing — a metropolis of 30 million people. He is being tried on corruption charges, including taking $3.3 million in bribes.

Bo is considered by Forbes to be the 10th richest man in China. He is also suspected of involvement in the killing of British business man Neil Heywood — for which his wife Gu Kailai has been convicted.

So far, authorities have not said exactly when the trial will begin, or detailed all the charges against Bo.

Israeli authorities are preparing to release a group of 26 Palestinian prisoners from jail in the next 24 hours.

It is a gesture intended to kick start a new round of negotiations.

Tomorrow, representatives of the Israeli government and the Palestinian authority will sit down together in Jerusalem and talk. The meeting will be chaired by the U.S.

The BBC’s Middle East correspondent, Kevin Connolly reports.

Elysium,” the new movie starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, depicts a world where Earth is a destitute planet, covered in slums and plagued by disease, home to only the poorest of souls.

The more fortunate get to live on a space station called Elysium, where the air is pure and medical problems can be zapped with the flip of a switch.

This isn’t the first time that income inequality has been tackled on the big screen.

'Whitey' Bulger Guilty Of 11 Killings

Aug 12, 2013

James “Whitey” Bulger, the feared Boston mob boss who became one of the nation’s most-wanted fugitives, was convicted Monday in a string of 11 killings and other gangland crimes, many of them committed while he was said to be an FBI informant. (Read the full verdict here)

After his aunt Eunice recently died, columnist Danny Heitman inherited many of her books — from Plutarch to coffee table books of her favorite artist, Andrew Wyeth.

But with the proliferation of e-books, Heitman wonders whether books will be passed on from one generation to the next.

In a recent column called “Can you inherit an e-book?,” Heitman writes:

Sarah Siskind's Music, Rediscovered

Aug 12, 2013

NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson brings us new music each week to listen to.

This week, we’re reaching back into the archive, sort of.

In 2003, Sarah Siskind released an album called “Covered.” But as a result of severe sinus problems that required surgery, Siskind wasn’t able to tour and the album never really got off the ground.

With U.S.-Russia relations at a new low, we revisit our conversation with Tom de Waal, who says that when it comes to understanding Russia and Vladimir Putin, stop listening to the political scientists.

Instead, de Waal says reading Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekhov and Fyodor Dostoyevsky will help you understand not just Russia, but key neighboring states like Ukraine and Georgia., the U.S. online travel agency, has seen its stocks rise to near $1,000 — a record it set during the dot-com bubble of the 1990s.

Priceline purchased the Amsterdam-based in 2005, and has relied on European hotel reservations for its growth.

This comes despite the tanking economies of some of the biggest European tourist destinations: Portugal, Greece, Ireland and Spain.

Today marks the end of Ramadan — or does it?

For 30 days, more than 1.5 billion Muslims fast during daylight hours, commemorating the month in which Allah is said to have revealed the first verses of the Koran.

But now, a theological debate surrounding the end of the holiday is making diplomacy and business in the Muslim world a bit more complicated.

The jury in the Boston trial of reputed mobster James “Whitey” Bulger is deliberating for the third day in his murder and racketeering trial.

For the families of his 19 alleged murder victims, the wait for the verdict to come down is just part of a long, painful journey.

From the the Here & Now Contributors Network, David Boeri of WBUR reports.

Austin Music Goes Beyond City Limits

Aug 8, 2013

Music journalist David Brown of KUT and KUTX joins us to talk about the latest new music out of Austin, Texas.

The amber alert that was issued in California for two children, Hannah and Ethan Anderson, ages 16 and 8, has been extended to Washington and Oregon.

The children went missing from a Southern California community near San Diego.

The suspect is a family friend, James "Jim" Lee DiMaggio. He's believed to be driving a Nissan Versa, California license plate 6WCU986. Officials think it was sighted Wednesday afternoon in southern Oregon.

Even as the alert extends north, officials are also looking for the suspect in Mexico.

Scientists along the East Coast are alarmed and puzzled by the number of dead bottlenose dolphins that have been washing up on beaches from Virginia to New York.

At least 91 dolphins washed up in July alone. Compare that to just nine last year, and 16 the year before.

There’s no word yet on what’s causing the increase.

It appears that four had been sick with pneumonia and one died of morbillivirus, which killed hundreds of dolphins along the East Coast in the 1980s.

The Summer Of Ethan Hawke

Aug 7, 2013

It’s been a great summer for actor Ethan Hawke.

Before Midnight,” the third installment in the series of films he made with actress Julie Delpy and filmmaker Richard Linklater, opened to wide critical acclaim, giving him undeniable indie credentials. (See trailers for all three films below.)

He also had had a number one hit at the box office with the horror film “The Purge.”

In a letter published today in the nation’s two most prestigious scientific journals — Science and Nature — bird flu researchers say they need to perform research on the H7N9 virus that would make it more dangerous.

The researchers say that’s necessary in order to prepare for its possible spread between humans, perhaps as early as this winter.

The paper comes on the heels of a new study in the British Medical Journal that shows the first probable transmission between humans of the H7N9 virus.

new study in the British Medical Journal shows the first probable transmission between humans of a new strain of avian flu — the H7N9 virus.

A 32-year-old woman in China became sick and died after caring for her father who had the H7N9 virus. The father also died.

However, the authors of the study stress this does not mean the virus has evolved to be easily transmissible between humans.