Here and Now

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Acorn TV Streams Shows From Abroad

Jan 27, 2016

After the acclaimed period drama “Downton Abbey” wraps up its final season, what new shows can Anglophiles latch onto? The Acorn TV streaming service brings beloved British programs, along with productions from Canada, Australia and New Zealand, to subscribers’ devices. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans speaks to Here & Now's Robin Young about Acorn TV's roots and growing popularity.

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At a forum in Iowa this week, an undecided young voter questioned Hillary Clinton’s honesty, while Bernie Sanders was pressed to acknowledge that he’d raise taxes to pay for his universal health care plan.

In the Republican race, Donald Trump continued to discredit Ted Cruz, while Cruz insisted he wouldn’t engage in personal attacks. Here & Now‘s political analysts take a look at the unfolding week in politics, ahead of next Monday’s caucuses in Iowa.

Authorities say the armed group occupying the national wildlife preserve in Oregon was given “ample opportunity” to leave peacefully.

Greg Bretzing, the FBI’s Portland special agent in charge, said at a news conference Wednesday that authorities took a deliberate and measured response to those who took over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2. He says they’re working to safely remove those who are still occupying the site.

With U.S. stocks off to a dismal start in 2016 and China’s economic growth slowing, Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson checks in with Harvard economist Larry Summers. Summers says there’s a 1 in 3 chance the U.S. is heading for a recession. He also says he’s supporting Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

Interview Highlights: Larry Summers

Are you worried about the volatility of the stock market and the direction of the U.S. economy?

Oprah announced this week on Twitter that she lost 26 pounds – good news for her, but even better news for Weight Watchers, the program she says she used. Weight Watchers saw its stock increase by 20 percent yesterday after the announcement.

The diet company has struggled in recent years with competition from new diet apps and online services. Oprah purchased 10 percent of the company in October. Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Maggie Lake of CNN about Oprah Winfrey and her effect on the company.

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In Texas yesterday, a grand jury that was investigating possible misconduct by Planned Parenthood cleared the organization, and instead indicted two anti-abortion activists, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.

The grand jury was called after undercover videos released last summer purportedly showed Planned Parenthood officials talking about selling fetal tissue.

Meanwhile in Florida, lawmakers advanced legislation yesterday that would essentially make abortion illegal in the state.

A Day At Auschwitz

Jan 26, 2016

The road to Auschwitz winds past farmland, historic churches and small country homes. Our driver, Irek Wis, knows the route well. For nearly two decades, he has taken visitors to the world’s most infamous concentration camp, making the round-trip roughly 250 times each year.

As we drive there, he offers us this advice: “You are on vacation,” he says. ‘Try to relax…I know that for you it will be a very unpleasant visit. No one promises that it will be easy. But try to little bit relax or the bad emotions will burn you.”

The Federal Reserve is meeting today amid concerns about some wild swings in stocks in China and around the world in recent weeks. The Fed in December raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, and some are concerned that may have been a mistake.

This week, we’re expected to hear more about when the next rate hike may be coming. Jason Bellini of the Wall Street Journal joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

Countering The Super Bowl Counterfeiters

Jan 25, 2016

The match-ups for Super Bowl 50 are now set. On Feb. 7, it will be the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers vying for the Vince Lombardi Trophy at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Now is the time that sophisticated counterfeit tickets and merchandise scams go into overdrive. Beth Willon from Here & Now contributor KQED looks at the technological race between the NFL and counterfeiters.

Recent polls show Ohio Governor John Kasich tied for second place in the Republican presidential field in New Hampshire, where the first primary elections will be held on Feb. 9. Kasich spoke with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson from his campaign bus on Friday.

This weekend’s East Coast blizzard is expected to have much less of an economic impact than if it had fallen on a weekday. But there are still many who were impacted economically.

Airlines had to cancel thousands of flights and will most likely take a hit, and many businesses that get visitors on weekends had to close, including theaters, restaurants and museums.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Jill Schlesinger of CBS News about the economic effects of the winter storm.

The spokesman for Haiti’s electoral council says that a much-criticized presidential runoff election will be postponed for a second time.

Roudy Stanley Penn tells The Associated Press that the Provisional Electoral Council has agreed to postpone the presidential and legislative runoffs that had been set for Sunday.

Penn did not immediately provide any other specifics Friday, saying a news conference would be held later.

'Modern Love' Becomes A Podcast

Jan 22, 2016

The New York Times’ popular column Modern Love is now a podcast. Modern Love: The Podcast, is a production of WBUR in Boston, in collaboration with the Times.

Low Oil Prices Bring Down Airfares

Jan 22, 2016

Airlines are reaping the benefits of low fuel prices. Both United and Southwest earned record profits this week, and they are passing some of the savings onto consumers.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with Jill Schlesinger of CBS News about the cheap flights and whether prices will fall further.

It’s been a little more than a year since the Atlanta Streetcar took its first trip. The transit system is modest: 12 stops on a 2.7 mile loop in the heart of downtown Atlanta.

Since then, the streetcar has had some issues, from collisions with cars to a letter from the federal government questioning the system’s management.

Now, stakeholders are assessing how the streetcar’s first year has gone, and where it might be going next. Sam Whitehead from Here & Now contributor Georgia Public Broadcasting reports.

Eastern U.S. Braces For Major Winter Storm

Jan 21, 2016

The eastern part of the U.S. is bracing for a major winter storm this weekend. Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky are seeing ice and freezing rain today, but the worst is expected in parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., where the National Weather Service is warning of double-digit snow totals.

This morning, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city is prepared, and she apologized to area residents for not pretreating the roads enough before an inch of snow from a snow squall last night turned D.C.-area roads into parking lots during the evening commute.

Addressing The Oscars' Lack Of Diversity

Jan 21, 2016

When the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards were announced, the outcry came out almost immediately. There were no acting nominees of color, and two critically-acclaimed films featuring actors of color – “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” – were snubbed for Best Picture.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, about some of the changes that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is considering.

More than three months have gone by and natural gas is still leaking at Aliso Canyon, affecting the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles.

California Governor Jerry Brown has issued a state of emergency and is calling for emergency rules, infrared cameras for inspection and emergency shut-off valves.

California State Senator Fran Pavley, who represents Porter Ranch community, joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss the new legislation she has introduced, which calls for no more injections of natural gas into the storage facilities.

The broken natural gas well in Los Angeles has been pouring methane into the air for nearly three months now. It’s estimated the Aliso Canyon leak has pumped 4.6 billion cubic feet of potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere – as much as 1.3 million cars would in a year.

Now the spewing gas is sparking calls for a new watchdog system for methane. Ingrid Lobet of the investigative nonprofit inewsource reports.

Imagine you’ve been living in a nursing home for a few years, long enough that you’ve made close friends. Maybe you eat with them every day. And then one day, one of your friends doesn’t come to dinner, or to breakfast the next morning. They’re just gone. And no one will tell you what happened.

Bob Tedeschi, a senior writer for the new national health and medicine publication STAT, has discovered this happens in many nursing homes when a resident dies. The staff won’t confirm the death or discuss it with the other residents.

A rare sight will greet early risers starting Wednesday morning. About 45 minutes before sunrise, five planets – Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter – will all be visible in the sky.

The best time to get planetary sightseeing in will be at the end of the week. By then, the five aforementioned planets will form an arch-shaped line in the sky that will be fairly easy to follow. The moon will pop up in the intergalactic line-up shortly thereafter.

Tiny houses are generally associated with quirky, self-made, 100-square-foot homes that people pull behind their car. Could they find a more permanent place in the American city? One neighborhood is willing to build one in order to find out.

Pittsburgh is getting its first tiny house: a 330-square-foot, open-concept dwelling that resembles a studio apartment with a porch and a foundation. The hope is that it will be one of many more to come. Lou Blouin from The Allegheny Front at WESA has more.

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Remembering Glenn Frey

Jan 19, 2016

In a special edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions, host Jeremy Hobson remembers the music of Glenn Frey, a founding member of the Eagles. Frey died yesterday at the age of 67.

The Detroit-born singer and guitarist started the Eagles with drummer and singer Don Henley about 45 years ago in Los Angeles. The group came to define California pop through the ’70s. We listen back with Jem Aswad, a senior editor at Billboard.

The average age of the first-time American mother continues to rise, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics, a branch of the CDC. In 2014, the age of a woman having her first child was over 26, up about a year and a half from 2000.

NPR Science reporter Rae Ellen Bichell talks with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson about the data, which is also broken down by demographics and geography across the country.

Goldman Sachs agreed late yesterday to pay $5 billion to end investigations into claims that it knowingly sold faulty mortgage bonds in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup have already settled.

This comes during a week that the financial crisis has been in the news for other reasons. Yesterday, “The Big Short,” based on the Michael Lewis book that documents the events that led up to the 2008 crisis, was nominated for five Oscars.

The Chinese appliance maker Haier is paying a premium for General Electric’s appliance business, as GE announced today. The move marks Haier’s desire to expand its access to the U.S. market as the Chinese economy slows down.

Mike Regan, a columnist for Bloomberg Gadfly, joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the $5.4 billion deal.

Diversity and stereotypes are difficult to talk about in any situation, but that’s especially true in Hollywood. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans talks with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson about a dust-up he had at the TV Critics Association winter press tour in L.A., when he tried to talk with a show executive about CBS’s upcoming TV series “Rush Hour,” based on the popular film franchise. Deggans discusses diversity in the upcoming season of TV.

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ISIS Makes Inroads In Libya

Jan 14, 2016

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a bombing last week that killed more than 60 people in the western city of Zliten. It’s the latest sign of the turmoil that has engulfed the country since longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi was toppled in 2011.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young checks in with Rana Jawad, North Africa correspondent for the BBC, about the ongoing situation in the region.

Tropical Zika Virus Found In Texas

Jan 14, 2016

Doctors have diagnosed a woman in the Houston area with the tropical mosquito-borne Zika virus. It is not known where she contracted the virus, but officials believe it likely happened during a recent visit to El Salvador.

A contentious labor dispute between the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and its musicians has reached a breaking point. Symphony management say the orchestra is running out of cash and will have no choice but to close its doors – for good – by the end of the week, unless musicians agree to substantial concessions.

Despite the looming deadline, neither side seems willing to budge on the terms of a new contract. Ray Hardman from Here & Now contributor WNPR in Hartford reports.

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