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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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

FCC Approves Plan To Increase Wi-Fi Access

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 2:58 pm

The Federal Communications Commission has approved a plan to spend $2 billion to increase wireless service in schools and libraries across the country.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said at a hearing last week that because of the plan, “ten million kids will be connected next year who otherwise wouldn’t.”

Not all find the plan beneficial. There is controversy from some Republicans who oppose the plan, saying that this will lead to an increase in phone bills for some Americans.

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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

DJ Sessions: Golden Summer Oldies

DJ Mike Haile shares his favorite summer songs in this DJ session. Above, an image from Blue Stingrays' "Surf-N-Burn." (Mutant Surfing/Flickr)

Today we’re listening to summer oldies with DJ Mike Haile, more commonly known by his DJ moniker “Mike in the Morning,” at WHMS in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson used to listen to him when he was growing up in the area.

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NPR Story
2:17 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Nobel Prize-Winning Author Nadine Gordimer Dies

South African novelist Nadine Gordimer is pictured during a literature festival in Rome on May 29, 2006. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 3:08 pm

Nadine Gordimer, a South African author who won the Nobel Prize for novels that explored the cost of racial conflict in apartheid-era South Africa, has died at the age of 90. The African National Congress declares they have lost an “unmatched literary giant.”

Gordimer wrote in startling detail about the poverty and institutionalized racism that blacks faced under the apartheid system. But it wasn’t politics that moved her to write. Rather, Gordimer once noted that it was learning to write that sent her “falling, falling through the surface of the South African way of life.”

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NPR Story
3:24 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
3:24 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
3:24 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
6:53 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
2:00 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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Here & Now
12:44 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)

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 2:00 pm

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
1:48 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 2:41 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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