Here & Now

Weekdays 12 Noon - 2 p.m.
Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson

Paddling in the middle of a fast moving stream of news and information, Here & Now is public radio’s daily digest of news and culture. Produced by WBUR in Boston.

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World
2:42 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Puerto Rico On The Brink Of Running Out Of Money

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. (ricardo_mangual/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 1:16 pm

Puerto Rico evokes images of beautiful beaches, palm trees and perfect weather. But economically, the island is struggling. It’s in its eighth year of recession, the unemployment rate is 12 percent and tens of thousands of people have left the island in recent years in search of better opportunities.

Puerto Rico is now $73 billion in debt and no longer able to meet its payments, and the government is facing the very real possibility that it will run out of money by July.

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Energy
2:39 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Methane Leaks At Gas Wells Contribute To Climate Change

A worker stands by a natural gas well in Susquehanna County, Pa. (Susan Phillips/StateImpact Pennsylvania)

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 1:16 pm

President Obama’s plan to combat climate change relies heavily on replacing coal with natural gas. That would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that electric plants pour into the atmosphere.

But some question the climate benefits of burning natural gas because its main component, methane, comes with it’s own problems.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

The End Of An Era: Looking Back On Letterman's Legacy

US President Barack Obama tapes an appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman" in New York on May 4, 2015. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 2:23 pm

When David Letterman makes his last wisecrack as host of the “Late Show” on May 20th, he’ll be concluding an accomplished 33-year career that included more than 6,000 late-night broadcasts and almost 20,000 guest appearances.

His shows received 16 Emmy Awards awards and a staggering 112 Emmy Award nominations.

NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans talks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about the host’s legacy and final weeks.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

What Is Cinco De Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, but more widely celebrated in the U.S. This parade celebration was in May 2012 on Central Park West in New York City. (Paul Stein/Flickr Creative Commons)

Today is Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May), a Mexican holiday traditionally celebrated with colorful costumes, singing, dancing and lots of drinking.

The day is well known in U.S., but as we sip on margaritas, do we know exactly what we’re celebrating?

The holiday commemorates a Mexican victory over the French in Puebla on May 5, 1862.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Reporter's Notebook: Veteran Baltimore Journalist Jayne Miller

The boarded CVS Pharmacy is seen at Pennsylvania and West North avenues in West Baltimore on May 4, 2015. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is visiting Baltimore today to meet with local leaders, as things are slowly getting back to normal in the city.

The city has lifted its curfew, National Guard Troops are pulling out and businesses, including CVS, are saying they will rebuild.

But tensions are still running high in parts of the city, as evidenced yesterday after police arrested a black man. Rumors were running rampant that police had shot the man in the back as he was running away.

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Damaged Art Memorializes Violent Vietnam Era

Each year, the bullet hole is the subject of chalk messages. (Steve Grant/ideastream)

Today is the 45th anniversary of the killing of four students by National Guard troops on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio during a rally to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

The cultural divisions of those times have been examined in numerous books and documentaries, but sometimes history leaves its mark in other ways.

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Comcast Sees Rising Revenue, Even After Failed Merger

Comcast reported today that its total revenue rose 2.6 percent in the quarter that ended March 31, surpassing analyst expectations.

The earnings report comes after Comcast abandoned its plans to merge with Time Warner Cable, amid news of increased scrutiny from regulators over the deal.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson takes a look at Comcast’s earnings with Jill Schlesinger of CBS News.

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Weather and Climate
2:14 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

As U.S. Takes Reins Of Arctic Council, Climate Change Will Top Agenda

On July 12, 2011, crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy retrieved a canister dropped by parachute from a C-130, which brought supplies for some mid-mission fixes. (Kathryn Hansen/NASA/Flickr Creative Commons)

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 3:37 pm

The United States says climate change will be front and center on the agenda of the Arctic Council – the intergovernmental body made up of eight countries with territories in the region.

The U.S. is now chair of the council, which includes Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Founded in 1996, the council’s purpose is to promote cooperation in the region. They are not policymakers, but do advise governments on issues related to the Arctic.

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Books
2:09 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

A Pen-Pal Friendship Changes Two Lives

Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda met as pen pals in 1997 and are still best friends today. (Courtesy of Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda)

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 3:37 pm

When Pennsylvania schoolgirl Caitlin Alifirenka was offered a pen pal in a foreign country, she chose Zimbabwe because she liked the sound of it. But as she began to correspond with Martin Ganda, who lived in Zimbabwe with his family, she had no idea the extent to which that correspondence would change both of their lives.

As Alifirenka began to learn more about the poverty that Martin faced on a daily bases, her perceptions of her own world began to change.

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Energy
2:06 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Diary Of An Oil Worker Fighting To Keep His Job

Neil LaRubbio on the job site. (Neil LaRubbio/Inside Energy)

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 3:37 pm

Oil is a tough business, and when oil prices fall, like they’ve done over the last six months, one of the first things oil companies do is cut back on workers and on the number of drilling rigs.

There were about half as many rigs in March as there were last September, and fewer rigs means more competition for jobs on drill sites.

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