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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

According to a recent report by the United Nations, more than 45 million people worldwide were forced to flee their homes in 2012 — the highest number of refugees in nearly two decades.

People leave their homes for many reasons, including war and violence, environmental disaster and persecution. More than half of the refugees worldwide came from five countries, according to the UN: Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan and Syria.

The economic crisis in Spain, where the unemployment rate is a record 27 percent, is forcing people to leave the country to look for work.

The BBC’s Tom Burridge reports the birthrate in Spain is also falling, because couples believe they can’t afford to have children under the economic circumstances.

A Jedi Knight In Queen Elizabeth's Court

Jul 10, 2013

What if William Shakespeare had written Star Wars? Well now we know!

Ian Doescher, author of “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope” pulls back curtain on the eternal question: what does a wookie sound like in Elizabethan English?

Book Excerpt: ‘William Shakespeare’s Star Wars’

By: Ian Doescher

BIGGS: Make haste, O Luke. Methinks they do approach

Do Diet Drinks Mess Up Metabolisms?

Jul 10, 2013

It may seem counterintuitive, but there's a body of evidence to suggest that the millions of Americans with a diet soda habit may not be doing their waistlines — or their blood sugar — any favors.

As the consumption of diet drinks made with artificial sweeteners continues to rise, researchers are beginning to make some uncomfortable associations with weight gain and other diseases.

Peter Gabriel's 'Interspecies Internet'

Jul 9, 2013

The internet helps to connects people all over the world, but what if the internet could also connect dolphins, apes, elephants and other species with one another — and also with us?

That’s the goal of computer scientist Neil Gershenfeld. Gershenfeld — who runs the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT — is partnering with Vince Cerf, one of the founders of the internet, cognitive psychologist Diana Reiss and musician Peter Gabriel to create an interspecies internet.

Advice Columnist Margo Howard Retires

Jul 9, 2013

Margo Howard is the only child of the beloved advice columnist Ann Landers. Her mother’s twin sister, Pauline Phillips, was Dear Abby.

Within the local food movement, the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model is highly valued. You buy a share of a farmer’s produce up-front as a shareholder, then if all goes well, you reap the rewards at harvest time.

But running a CSA can bring with it some tricky business decisions.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports.

Barnes & Noble CEO Resigns

Jul 9, 2013

Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch Jr. has resigned. The company has faced poor earnings reports and recently announced that it would stop manufacturing its own e-reader, the Nook.

What do these changes mean for Barnes & Noble, and booksellers?

In the best selling books “Little Brother” and “Homeland,” Cory Doctorow uses his hero, teenage hacktivist Marcus Yallow, to get young people to think about privacy, civil liberties and the duties of the citizen in the age of the Internet.

Citizen Journalist Killed In Syria

Jul 9, 2013

Fidaa al-Baali was a trusted source for international journalists.  He used his video camera to document the Syrian war and anti-government protests. Baali died last Friday.

We talk about his contributions, and have an update of the continuing upheaval in his country.


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Republican Mitch McConnell first won election to the Senate nearly 30 years ago, in 1984. This year he faces a Democrat who was born just a few years before McConnell took office, 34-year-old Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

How To Garden In Drought And Heat

Jul 8, 2013

With much of the country under drought conditions and temperatures soaring in the rest of the country, what is a backyard gardener to do?

Ahmed Hassan is a professional landscaper and former host of Turf Wars and Yard Crashers on the DIY network and HGTV. Hassan told Here & Now that the most important things to think about when prepping your garden for drought are the type of plants you use and how you treat your soil.

Japan’s suicide rate is twice that of the United States. More than 30,000 people a year kill themselves in Japan.

So many people jump in front of subway trains that when a train stops between stations, people just assume it’s a suicide.

A Buddhist monk, Ittetsu Nemoto, decided he wanted to do something about that. He now works with depressed Japanese people who make the journey to his temple.

Larissa MacFarquhar, a staff writer for The New Yorker, wrote about Nemoto in a recent issue.

After 77 years, a British man finally won Wimbledon. Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic in three straight sets.

When it was over, Murray acted as if he couldn’t quite believe it, and most of Britain felt the same way.

Michael Goldfarb is a longtime public radio journalist who has been living in Britain for a third of that 77-year wait. Over the years, Goldfarb has vowed that he will leave Britain if a Brit ever won Wimbledon.

Pokey LaFarge's Love Song To The Midwest

Jul 8, 2013

Stephen Thompson, writer and editor for NPR Music, brings us a new song each week.

This week he introduces us to the music of musician and songwriter Pokey LaFarge, with his new song “Central Time” from his self titled album.

More than 50 supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi were killed in an outburst of violence around the time of morning prayers on Monday, according to Egypt’s state news agency.

The violence erupted outside of the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo, where Morsi supports were holding a sit-in to demand his release. He’s under house arrest.

With so much in flux, what is it like for Egyptian Americans to watch this unfold? We hear from Abrar Rageh, a junior scientist at the University of Minnesota in the department of Opthamology.

Congress is back from it’s Fourth of July recess. With only 15 laws passed so far this year, lawmakers will again take up immigration reform and the farm bill.

Senate Democrats are expected to hold a vote this week on a plan to extend the fixed 3.4 percent student loan rate for another year. The rate rose to 6.8 percent on July 1.

NPR’s senior Washington editor Ron Elving joins us for a preview of what to expect this week in politics.

Paige Burress / Texas Storm Chasers

The twister that ripped through the town of Granbury, Tex.  Wednesday night killed at least six people and injured dozens of others.

The National Weather Service classified the deadly Texas twister as a powerful EF4, with winds up to 200 miles-per-hour.

University of Oklahoma meteorology student Paige Burress captured video of the tornado for the weather blog Texas Storm Chasers. She told Here & Now host Robin Young it was a "sobering experience."

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