Here and Now

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Supreme Court rulings. Breaking news. Thoughtful interviews.

A live production of NPR and WBUR Boston, in collaboration with public radio stations across the country, Here & Now reflects the fluid world of news as it’s happening in the middle of the day, with timely, smart and in-depth news, interviews and conversation.

Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson, the show’s daily lineup includes interviews with NPR reporters, editors and bloggers, as well as leading newsmakers, innovators and artists from across the U.S. and around the globe.

Here & Now began at WBUR in 1997, and expanded to two hours in partnership with NPR in 2013. Today, the show reaches an estimated 3.6 million weekly listeners on over 383 stations across the country.

Stay connected to what’s happening…right now…with Here & Now from NPR and WBUR.

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Across the country, the death penalty is on the decline.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia have abolished it, and four others have issued a moratorium on executions. Last year, 50 people were sentenced to death, less than half the number six years ago. But the majority of those sentences were handed down in just 16 counties, out of 3,000 counties in the United States.

Singer-songwriter David Broza is an icon in his native Israel. He has toured all over the world and has recorded more than 30 albums.

His latest album “East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem” which included Israeli and Palestinian musicians, along with artists Wyclef Jean and Steve Earle, was released in 2014. There’s now a documentary of the same name on DVD.

Broza spoke with Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti in January 2014.

This week in presidential politics, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton accused each other of bigotry.

Trump claimed Clinton was using minority voters to win political power, and she claimed he was empowering the so-called “alternative right,” which has been linked to white supremacy.

Journalists Julie Mason and Greg Moore join Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd and Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss where the race for the White House stands 73 days before Election Day.


More stories are emerging about the aftermath of the huge earthquake that leveled three towns in central Italy Wednesday. At least 241 people died and the death toll is rising. Today, emergency crews are searching for survivors.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti hears the latest from journalist Chris Livesay.


American women’s soccer start Hope Solo has been suspended from the U.S. women’s national soccer team for six months, after comments she made when her team was eliminated from Olympic play in the quarterfinal.

Solo’s comments included calling U.S. opponent Sweden “a bunch of cowards” after the U.S. lost on penalty kicks, adding “Unfortunately, the better team didn’t win.” Sweden went on to win the silver medal.

Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump was on the campaign trail again last night, stopping in Jackson, Mississippi to rally supporters.

In his speech, he reiterated many of his economic and national security plans, and tailored many of his comments towards African-American and Hispanic voters.

Trump was also joined on stage by former U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, who was instrumental in pushing through the Brexit vote for Britain to leave the European Union. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

California lawmakers have until next week to pass major changes in how future elections there might be run.

Senate Bill 450 would allow for a major expansion of mail-in ballots. And if counties opt in to the changes, thousands of neighborhood polling places would be closed.

Health insurers in Tennessee say they’re losing money, and many have begun to pull their plans from health care exchanges there.

The state’s insurance commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak, signed off on severe rate hikes intended to stabilize the system, but now Tennesseans buying insurance on the exchange could see their premiums soar by as much as 62 percent next year.

Tax credits may soften the blow for many consumers, but the situation raises questions about the sustainability of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi says the death toll from the quake that hit central Italy has risen.

Renzi spoke Wednesday evening in the provincial capital of Rieti after visiting rescue crews and survivors in the hard-hit town of Amatrice and flying over other demolished towns in nearby Le Marche region.

Californians are backsliding in their efforts to conserve water in the face of ongoing drought.

According to recent water use numbers, the state’s urban residents saved water at a rate of about 22 percent in June compared with the same month in 2013. That’s down from 28 percent in May.

One of the worst at saving is the High Desert town of California City, as Emily Guerin from KPCC in Los Angeles reports.

Read more on this story via KPCC.

In this week’s installment of the Here & Now DJ Sessions, host Jeremy Hobson gets a tour through a few opera classics, from Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde” to Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot,” with Ryan Lohr of Minnesota Public Radio.

Lohr points to some spellbinding performances from divas Birgit Nilsson, Renée Fleming, Frederica von Stade and more.

Hear previous installments of the Here & Now DJ Sessions.

If you’re looking for a respite from the usual summer movie fare, “The Man Who Knew Infinity” is out on DVD this week. The film is also available on demand.

“The Man Who Knew Infinity” stars Dev Patel as the groundbreaking Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and Jeremy Irons as G.H. Hardy, the English mathematician who was his teacher and champion.

The two actors spoke with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson in April, and today we revisit that conversation.


There’s increasing excitement in the world of cancer research regarding the potential of immunotherapy — treatments that use a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.

One promising experimental therapy, particularly for blood cancers, is called CAR-T cell therapy. It’s very risky, and brutal on the body. But when it works, it’s been shown make cancers disappear entirely.

When companies know about problems, they’re often reluctant to admit them publicly.

But it’s better when they do, because when the media exposes their problems, the negative publicity can do lasting damage. Recent examples include Volkswagen and Theranos.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti hears more from Curt Nickisch, senior editor at Harvard Business Review.


The National Parks Service has been making an effort to get more people, especially young people and minorities, to visit and to care about America’s parks.

Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson talks with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who oversees the National Park Service, about those efforts, as well as the challenges of climate change, funding, congestion and whether the Obama Administration will protect more public land before he leaves office.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported over the weekend that pills seized from Prince’s home in Minnesota were marked as ordinary prescription painkillers but they actually contained fentanyl, the highly addictive synthetic drug that killed the pop star.

Last month, the Drug Enforcement Agency issued a report that said hundreds of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl have made their way onto the market.

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros filed a lawsuit yesterday. She claims that Roger Ailes and Fox News executives punished her for complaining about sexual harassment.

NPR’s David Folkenflik joins Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the latest media news, including the Tantaros lawsuit and coverage of the U.S. Olympic swimmers’ robbery allegations in Rio.


More than 4 million people visited Yellowstone National Park last year to see the park’s geysers and abundant wildlife. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson spoke with a few tourists as they waited for Old Faithful to erupt. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Walmart announced Thursday that its e-commerce business jumped nearly 12 percent in its latest quarter, a good sign just 10 days after it announced plans to buy online retailer for $3.3 billion.

Last year, Americans spent about $350 billion online, with Walmart’s rival Amazon leading the pack. And as e-commerce increases, so does shipping and packaging. Specifically, cardboard.

The Olympics wrap up this weekend with the U.S. leading the medal count, trailed by Great Britain and China. A big reason for the Team USA dominance is its performance in track and field events. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Legendary rock star Levon Helm died in 2012 of throat cancer, but his daughter Amy is carrying the family torch. She still produces the Midnight Rambles, a concert series that her father began, and she’s on the road this summer touring behind her 2015 solo album “Didn’t It Rain.”

Here & Now‘s Robin Young spoke with Amy Helm when her album was released.

Hear our original conversation with Amy Helm from July 2015.


Hall of Fame pitcher Bill Lee has lived an eclectic life, from the playing field to his political views and his vineyard in Vermont. In 2012, he became the oldest player to win a professional baseball game.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with the famed Boston Red Sox player about how he’s portrayed in the new movie, “Spaceman,” and his legacy.

The Department of Justice announced this week that it will move away from using private prisons to house federal prisoners. The decision will affect 13 federal prisons, which house about 22,000 inmates.

That is about 11 percent of the federal prison population, and a fraction of the 2 million people in state and local prisons across the country. But many prison reform advocates say it’s a monumental and symbolic step.

In the speech laying out her economic plan last week, Hillary Clinton said she wants to make sure every household in America is connected to broadband by 2020.

Vitamin K shots for newborn babies are standard medical care. Vitamin K helps their blood clot, and prevents potentially dangerous bleeding in case fragile babies are bumped or otherwise injured.

But a few new parents are declining the shots for their babies, which is deeply troubling to doctors. Carey Goldberg from Here & Now contributor WBUR reports.

Read more on this story via WBUR.


On the campaign trail this week, Hillary Clinton stressed her platform in a number of states, amid swirling rumors about her health, questions about her ongoing email scandal and controversy over what will happen to the Clinton Foundation if she is elected president.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump gave a number of speeches from a teleprompter and announced a big campaign staffing shake-up. Paul Manafort resigned as Trump’s campaign chairman Friday morning.

There’s a huge vaccination push underway in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo to try to protect people there from yellow fever. The aim is to stop one of the biggest outbreaks of the disease in decades from spreading around the region and possibly the globe.

Yellow fever is a virus spread by the same mosquito that spreads Zika and dengue, and it’s fatal in about 8 percent of cases. Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Dr. Daniel Lucey of Georgetown University.

Interview Highlights: Dr. Daniel Lucey

The Olympics are winding down, and the U.S. leads the medal count, followed by Great Britain and China. Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with sports analyst Mike Pesca about the latest from Rio, including the hurdles that lie ahead for Team USA in the men’s basketball competition.


This week flooding in Louisiana killed at least 13 and damaged more than 40,000 homes. The disaster stopped life in its tracks for many across the state, including Louisiana’s second-biggest school system: East Baton Rouge Parish.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd checks in with the superintendent of that school system, Warren Drake, who says East Baton Rouge is hoping to resume school Wednesday.

Interview Highlights: Warren Drake

On the closure of East Baton Rouge Parish schools

The New Yorker who left his heart in San Francisco has just turned 90. And the “City by the Bay” is honoring singer Tony Bennett with a statue.

Cy Musiker from Here & Now contributor KQED has more.

Read more on this story via KQED.