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NPR Story
4:24 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Thoughts On Neighbors In Summertime

What Hurley's neighbors see (Sam Hurley/NHPR).

When the weather is warm and the days long, we often get a chance to see and talk to our neighbors more often than we do when winter’s cold keeps people indoors.

Of the range of people you can know in the world, the neighbor occupies a curious spot.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Sean Hurley of New Hampshire Public Radio has these thoughts on what he’s learned about the people who live near him.

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NPR Story
4:24 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

GMO Bananas Must Pass Their First Test

Ugandan researcher Stephen Buah and Professor James Dale hold bananas bred to be rich in vitamin A at Queensland University of Technology (Erika Fish/Courtesy of Queensland University of Technology)

Volunteers in Iowa are getting a great deal — $900 for eating a banana. It’s part of a human feeding experiment to test genetically-engineered bananas.

Researchers hope that blood drawn from the volunteers will show higher levels of vitamin A, so the bananas can head to Uganda, where bananas are a staple and vitamin A deficiency is widespread.

NPR’s Dan Charles joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to talk about the experiment, and what this may mean for fortified produce.

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NPR Story
4:24 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

On Stage: The Colorado Black Arts Festival

Fresh Oil From Heaven performs at the 2013 Colorado Black Arts Festival, which was founded 28 years ago. (CBAF/Facebook)

“On Stage” is our look at what’s happening on the boards across the country, from comedy shows to celebrations of slices of American life.

Today, we turn to the Colorado Black Arts Festival, kicking off in Denver today. The festival features three full stages with jazz, blues, reggae and gospel music, as well as traditional African drumming and dance.

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NPR Story
7:53 am
Fri July 11, 2014

As Quadruple Amputee Awaits Arm Transplant, Identical Twin Waits As Well

Will Lautzenheiser and his identical twin Tom are pictured at Will's home in Brookline, Mass. on July 3, 2014. (Samantha Fields/Here & Now)

Will Lautzenheiser, a former teacher at Boston University, had just started teaching film at Montana State University three years ago when he lost all four limbs to a group A streptococcal infection.

It was shattering for Will, but also for his identical twin Tom Lautzenheiser. Now, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has given the OK to a rare, still experimental double arm transplant for Will.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

What LeBron James' Upcoming Decision Says About NBA Economics

LeBron James of the Miami Heat reacts on the bench against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

LeBron James, considered by many to be the best player in basketball right now, is deciding where he’ll play next year, after his contract with the Miami Heat comes to an end.

Derek Thompson joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to talk about the economics of the NBA, including player contract negotiations.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Oil Train Workers Raise Questions About Safety

BNSF Railway, the second largest freight network in the U.S., is at the center of the boom in crude by rail. The railroad touts its commitment to safety. Current and former workers question the safety culture on the ground. (Michael Werner)

Crude oil shipments by rail increased by more than 80 percent, nationally, last year. Most of it is coming from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. That crude is more flammable than other types of oil, and has been shown to catch fire and explode when trains derail.

More than 15 trains of Bakken oil move through some parts of the Northwest each week, en route to refineries and terminals in Washington and Oregon.

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NPR Story
3:02 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Medal Of Honor Recipient Reflects On Honor And Loss

Sgt. Ryan Pitts, pictured here at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, will become the ninth living recipient of the Medal of Honor for bravery in Afghanistan or Iraq. (U.S. Army)

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:24 am

The Battle of Wanat is one of the bloodiest battles of the war in Afghanistan. Nine American soldiers were killed and more than two dozen were wounded when hundreds of insurgents assaulted the Army outpost they were building in Waygal Valley on July 13, 2008. It was just after 4 o’clock that morning when the American soldiers were blasted with machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and hand grenades.

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NPR Story
2:48 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

YA Novel 'Say What You Will' Draws Inspiration From Teens With Disabilities

Cammie McGovern is author of "Say What You Will." (Ellen Augarten)

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 3:41 pm

When author Cammie McGovern’s oldest son was diagnosed with autism, she looked for an outlet where he could be with other children with similar difficulties. That led her to form the group “Whole Children,” an after-school and weekend program for children with disabilities.

Now, a decade later, those kids spurred her to write the new young adult novel “Say What You Will” (excerpt below).

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NPR Story
2:48 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Citigroup And Justice Department Reportedly Near Deal

In this Jan. 6, 2012 photo, a Citibank customer makes a transaction at an ATM, in New York. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Citigroup and the Justice Department are reportedly closing in on a $7 billion deal that would settle allegations that the bank sold shoddy mortgages in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis.

The deal is expected to be announced in the next week and comes after months of tense negotiations between the bank and government officials — negotiations that became so tense that in June, the Justice Department threatened to sue if the bank did not agree to the government’s proposed penalty.

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NPR Story
4:28 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Selfies Endanger Tour De France Riders

Zoe Doyle poses for a selfie at Tour de France. (@zoedoyle/Twitter)

The world’s most storied bicycle competition, the Tour de France, has been imperiled by spectators trying to take selfies.

Riders have taken to social media with pleas for fans to show restraint, since fans turning their backs on the race to take photos are unaware of where the riders are and how fast they may be going.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Bill Strickland, interim editor of Bicycling magazine about the phenomenon and get his take on this year’s race.

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NPR Story
4:28 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Baseball Fans Lukewarm To Variable Ticket Prices

Kansas City Royals fans are not taking kindly to new pricing measures for games. (Michael Zupon/Flickr)

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:42 pm

Baseball fans in many cities, including Kansas City, can no longer count on the price of single game tickets during the season. Teams are using variable ticket pricing and selling tickets according to projected attendance.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Greg Echlin of KCUR reports that teams are looking at factors including the opposing team, day of the week and who’s on the pitching mound.

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NPR Story
4:28 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Time Travel For The Everyday Adventurer

Petra Mayer shares books that will send their readers spiraling through time. (Alan Cleaver/Flickr)

This summer, consider going on a journey of a different kind – a trip through time.

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NPR Story
3:12 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Little Library Causes Big Zoning Controversy

Spencer Collins, 9, with his Little Free Library that a neighbor complained was an eyesore and violated the town's zoning ordinances. (Sarah Collins)

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 10:02 am

Note: See an update on this story here.

City leaders in Leawood, Kansas tonight will take up 9-year-old Spencer Collins‘ Little Free Library.

The boy had put up a slightly larger than a birdfeeder box containing a free book exchange in his front yard, but a neighbor complained it was an eyesore and “an illegal detached structure” that violated the town’s zoning ordinances.

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NPR Story
3:12 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Ukrainian Parliamentarian: Ukraine 'A Test' For Europe And Russia

Olga Bielkova, a member of Ukraine’s parliament says, “what is happening between us and Russia right now is a threat to the whole of Europe; Russia is just testing grounds for what it could to do other countries.”

Bielkova told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that Ukraine is better prepared to take on pro-Russian separatists, and she thinks that the government will begin winning hearts in Eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian sentiment runs strong.

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NPR Story
3:12 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

GoPro Spawns New Category Of Wearable Cameras

Snowboarder Shaun White is pictured wearing a GoPro camera. (GoPro.com)

GoPro stock options began trading today, less than two weeks after it went public. The company, which makes wearable point-of-view action cameras, has come a long way since it was born 10 years ago. GoPro is now one of the best selling cameras in the world, and it’s spawned a whole new category of cameras.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to Lauren Goode, reporter and review columnist for Re/code, about GoPro’s success, its competitors and the future of wearable cameras.

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NPR Story
3:10 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Ben Franklin's Not-So-Famous Sister

Ben Franklin is arguably the most famous American ever. His youngest sister Jane is mostly lost to history. But a Harvard historian found her in the letters she and her brother exchanged over their long lives.

They were called Benny and Jenny, and Benny wrote more letters to Jenny than he did to anyone else. Most of his survive; many of her’s do not.

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NPR Story
3:10 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

On Stage: Orlando Story Club

At the Orlando Story Club, co-founded by a former Hollywood producer, anyone can share their story in front of an audience and judges (Orlando Story Club/Facebook).

In today’s “On Stage” segment, we look at the art of storytelling, which has taken off in venues across the country.

We go to Orlando, Florida, and the Orlando Story Club. The club was co-founded by South African-born Robin Cowie, who has a background in bringing powerful stories to life as a former Hollywood producer. He helped launch the pseudo-reality horror genre as co-producer of the 1999 film, “The Blair Witch Project.”

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NPR Story
3:10 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Dow Jones Closes At An All-Time High

A screen displays the Dow at 17,041.23 on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the morning of July 3 in New York City. The Dow Jones passed 17,000 for the first time today, as economy continues to recover. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The cherry on top to yesterday’s encouraging jobs report was a record close for the Dow Jones industrial average.

Derek Thompson, senior editor at the Atlantic talks to Here & Now’s Robin Young about what the record means in context, for the economy as a whole, and for the average American

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NPR Story
2:58 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Germany Boosts Its Minimum Wage

German Labour and Social Affairs Minister Andrea Nahles (C) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C, R) cast their ballot during a vote on a bill for a national minimum wage on July 3 in Berlin. (Clemens Bilan/AFP Photo)

The German Parliament voted today to set the country’s first national minimum wage, 8.5 euros, which is $11.60 per hour. The new minimum wage will be phased in starting next year.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government supported the move at the insistence of her government coalition partners, the center-left Social Democrats. The minimum wage passed over arguments that it would hurt Germany’s economy, which is Europe’s largest.

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NPR Story
2:58 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Remembering Children's Book Author Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers, the award-winning children’s book author and former ambassador for young people’s literature, died this week at the age of 76.

He was a longtime advocate of children’s reading. Earlier this year, he appeared on Here & Now with his son Christopher to discuss the lack of characters of color in children’s literature.

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NPR Story
2:58 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

'Smart' Homes May Be Vulnerable To Hackers

A LG representative shows a smartphone with Home Chat in front of a LG smart refrigerator during the 2014 International CES, January 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The LG Smart Home system with the Home Chat smart platform allows users to communicate with home appliances via text message. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Our homes are becoming more and more connected. Thermostats, televisions, lights and appliances can all be controlled remotely by our smartphones, tablets and computers, with smart-home software.

But Gunter Ollman, chief technology officer of tech security firm IOActive, tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that technology has not caught up to current security measures, and all this connectivity is leaving us vulnerable to hacking.

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NPR Story
2:26 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Grill Time: New Twists On July 4th Favorites

Kathy Gunst's grilled vegetables for her "Grilled Corn Relish." See recipe below. (Kathy Gunst/Here & Now)

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 9:44 am

The Fourth of July is almost upon us, and for many people that means two things: fireworks and grilling. Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst may not have pointers on the pyrotechnics, but she sure knows her way around a grill. Kathy’s special ingredient for burgers? Bacon. Lots and lots of bacon. She also shares recipes for a goat cheese crostada, vegetable kebabs, potato salad (with bacon or without) and corn relish:

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NPR Story
2:26 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Red Spruce Makes A Comeback

Josh Halman surveys red spruce for signs of "winter injury" or dead needles and buds caused by cold temperatures hitting needles weakened by acid rain. (Sam Evans-Brown/NHPR)

There’s a dramatic recovery underway in the forests of New England. Red spruce, a tree that researchers once thought was doomed because of acid rain, is now growing faster than ever.

And it’s not the only tree growing like gangbusters. The story of the red spruce hints that with a changing climate, there will be species that are winners as well as losers.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Sam Evans-Brown of New Hampshire Public Radio reports.

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NPR Story
2:26 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Not Your Father's Hog

Harley Davidson's "Livewire," the company's foray into the electric motorcycle market. (Latoya Dennis)

Harley Davidson is known for the size of its motorcycles and their distinctive growl. But the bike maker may soon be offering a model that’s a lot quieter.

There’s no shifting and no clutch on the LiveWire, and the motorcycle weighs only about 450 pounds, compared to the 700 to 800 pounds for a more typical Harley.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Latoya Dennis of WUWM reports from Milwaukee on the LiveWire, Harley’s possible foray into the electric motorcycle market.

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NPR Story
3:48 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

World Cup: The Loser Goes Home

Today in Brazil, it’s do or die, one and done, all or nothing — and any other sports cliche you can think of to describe the winner-take-all World Cup match between the U.S. and Belgium.

Doug Tribou of NPR’s Only A Game tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that while Belgium is the favorite, the “Red Devils” are pretty banged up and some of their key players may not take to the pitch. Meanwhile, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann says his team will be going on the attack.

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NPR Story
3:48 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Fireworks Business 'Shaken' By Fatal Accident

Brandon Weaver, right, and his fellow crew members pose in the back of a Budget rental truck. They say being back at work is helping them cope with the death of their co-worker. (Northwest News Network)

July 4th is a day to celebrate the birth of a nation with parades, picnics and in many communities, fireworks.

People in the pyrotechnic business say their job is to entertain people. But the splendor and thrill of a magnificent fireworks display can come with a price.

Last month, a longtime seasonal employee of Entertainment Fireworks, Inc., one of the largest fireworks companies in the Northwest, was killed in an on-the-job explosion and fire.

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NPR Story
3:48 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Supreme Court Solidifies Position On Birth Control

The U.S. Supreme Court is shown June 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Today the U.S. Supreme Court left in place lower court rulings in favor of businesses that objected to covering all forms of birth control mandated for coverage in the Affordable Care Act.

It’s a strong indication that the court’s ruling yesterday extending religious rights to “closely held” companies, applies broadly to all forms of birth control covered by the mandate, rather than just the four types objected to by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga.

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Archie To Meet Untimely Death

This photo released by Archie Comics shows "Life with Archie." Archie Comics says the famous comic book character will heroically sacrifice himself while saving the life of a friend in a July 2014 installment of "Life with Archie." The comic book series tells the story of grown-up renditions of Archie and his Riverdale pals. (Archie Comics/AP Photo)

Comic fans will have more on their mind this summer than whether the beloved, freckle-faced Archie Andrews should chose between Betty or Veronica.

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

New Generation Of TVs Promises More Clarity, Big Price Tag

Attendees walk past the Toshiba Ultra HD 4K TV display at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 8, 2014. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s being billed as a revolution in television — a TV with four times the definition of standard high definition television (HDTV), which is also known as 1080p television (a resolution of 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high).

These new “Ultra HD 4K” TVs have been on sale for about a year, ranging in price from about $1,000 to over $20,000 for the biggest, fanciest models. But is there content available for these new televisions? And can cable companies transmit that much data?

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Why Did France Swing To The Right?

In France, the far right Front National party, under its leader Marine Le Pen, finished on top in the recent European elections. The French prime minister called it a political earthquake, with the ruling Socialist Party pushed into third place. So why did it happen?

The BBC’s Christian Fraser traveled into the French countryside to find out why voters have turned against their main parties.

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Pages

Podcasts

  • Tuesday, July 29, 2014 3:23pm
    Stories from this broadcast: A Long, Loud Night Of Attacks In Gaza; 35 Percent Of Americans Have Debt In Collections; U.S. ‘Border Crisis’ In A Global Context; ‘T-Rex’ Fast Car Drives On Three Wheels; Boehner Calls Impeachment Talk Democratic ‘Scam’; Bill Nye, The Go-To Guy On Climate Change
  • Tuesday, July 29, 2014 2:13pm
    Stories from this broadcast: U.S. Accuses Russia Of Missile Test, West Agrees On Tougher Sanctions; Iraq War Vet Returns To A Broken Country; Tiny House, Big Problems; Google Asks, What Makes Us Healthy? Skeptics Ask, Should Google Be The One To Know?; The Case For Competitive Eating
  • Monday, July 28, 2014 2:54pm
    Stories from this broadcast: Forensic Team Unable To Reach MH17 Debris Field; Congress Not Expected To Accomplish Much Before Recess; Is Social Security In Trouble Again?; Big Money In Dollar Tree’s Acquisition Of Family Dollar; Are House Calls Making A Comeback?; Rob Reiner Reflects On Making Movies From ‘And So It Goes’ To ‘Princess Bride’
  • Monday, July 28, 2014 2:53pm
    Stories from this broadcast: Middle East Violence Continues Into Muslim Holiday; Should California Be Broken Up Into 6 States?; Rare Lightning Strike Kills Man On California Beach; New HBO Documentary ‘Love Child’ Looks At Gaming Addiction
  • Friday, July 25, 2014 2:39pm
    Stories from this broadcast: Crisis On The Border Comes To The White House; Ebola Epidemic Strikes Top Health Worker; N.C. Town Reinvents Itself As Biotech Hub; NYC Approves Building With Separate Entrance For Lower Income Residents; The Best And Worst Companies To Retire From; Market Basket Employees Protest Labor Changes; As Market Basket Store Shelves Empty, Online Presence Grows