Here & Now

Weekdays 12 Noon - 2 p.m.
  • Hosted by 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.

More from the archives

How does free college sound?

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders will propose legislation on Tuesday that would make tuition at four-year public colleges free – much like it is in many European Countries.

Here & Now’s Robin Young talks to Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed, about how various European countries offer free college tuition, and how well such a model might work in the United States.

There’s a new term that is unfortunately now a part of our lexicon: selfie-stick.

You’ve seen them. The idiotic plastic or metal arms that tourists all over the world are using to take medium-distance selfies with their phones.

I was in Europe last week and I saw it for myself: In front of the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum in London, underneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, even on a train a couple decided to take a photograph of themselves from above.

Gender Pronouns And The History Of 'They'

May 18, 2015

The use of the word “they” as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is gaining wider acceptance, even among copy editors. But linguist and Wall Street Journal columnist Ben Zimmer says the use of the universal pronoun ‘they’ is nothing new.

Zimmer tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that writers including Chaucer and Shakespeare have used “they” instead of he or she. But will modern-day English speakers adapt their style to incorporate “they”?

Boston Marathon Bomber Sentenced To Death

May 15, 2015

A jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death Friday for the Boston Marathon bombing, sweeping aside pleas that he was just a “kid” who fell under the influence of his fanatical older brother.

Tsarnaev, 21, stood with his hands folded upon learning his fate, decided after 14 hours of deliberations over three days in the nation’s most closely watched terrorism trial since the Oklahoma City bombing case two decades ago.

If you’ve ever been prescribed an expensive new medication, you may be familiar with step therapy.

Rather than pay for a costly new drug, many insurance companies now require patients to try cheaper alternatives first.

As drug prices have skyrocketed in recent years, step therapy has become increasingly common, but now many states legislatures are pushing back.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Alex Smith reports.

NATO has been carrying out its largest ever anti-submarine warfare exercise in the North Sea.

It’s seen as a response to increasing activity by Russian submarines. There have been recent reports of Russian submarines operating off the coast of Scotland, as well as Sweden and Finland.

The exercise has also highlighted a gaping hole in Britain’s own maritime defenses. The BBC’s Jonathan Beale reports.

The City of Austin recently welcomed its first majority female city council, but what’s grabbing headlines is a recent workshop to train city staff on how to deal with the shift to a female-centered environment.

One of the speakers, Jonathan K. Allen – who has since been fired from his role as city manager of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. for unrelated reasons – warned the group to expect more questions, and that women aren’t as interested in financial arguments.

We all know that things go viral. Someone’s cat, or a dancing baby. Or that dress – the one that was either blue and black or white and gold. But where does a viral picture or meme start? What spreads one idea around the world and leaves another one dead on the screen?

One researcher at Northeastern University is trying to figure it all out. With his computers gathering data day and night, he’s looking for the roots of what is now known as the “viral cascade.”

Texas Fiddler Johnny Gimble Dies At 88

May 15, 2015

American music has lost one of its lesser-known heroes. “Lesser known,” that is, unless you’re one of the many musicians who benefited from his services as the king of country fiddle.

Johnny Gimble died in his native Texas over the weekend at age 88, leaving a legacy that spans pop, jazz, country and Americana music. David Brown of public radio’s Texas Standard has more.

In the new film “Good Kill,” Ethan Hawke plays Tom Egan, a former Air Force pilot who’s now a drone operator in Las Vegas. Egan longs to go back into combat, but instead is relegated to firing at suspected terrorist targets from thousands of miles away.

Writer-director Andrew Niccol told Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti that he was drawn to make the film because he found drone operators to be an entirely new kind of solider.

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