Here and Now

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  • Hosted by Robin Young & Jeremy Hobson

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Public Radio's daily news magazine bringing up-to-date midday news between Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

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.

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.

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.

The free music streaming service Grooveshark has closed down its service after a six-year legal battle with the music industry.

The closure of the service, owned by Escape Media, is part of a settlement with Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group, in which the company issued a formal apology in lieu of paying damages to the labels.

David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official in New Jersey, pleaded guilty today to playing a role in shutting down lanes of traffic during rush hour on the George Washington Bridge, a move taken as political retribution against the Mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, who refused to support New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s bid for re-election.

Wildstein was a known Christie ally, as well as one of the governor’s childhood friends.

In 1992, the Lincoln Vault Oak was cut down to protect Abraham Lincoln’s burial vault.

At the president’s funeral in 1865, the tree stood just a few feet from the event, shading the funeral choir.

When the tree was finally cut down, local arborist Guy Sternberg salvaged the massive stump and began a dissection project that peeled back the layers of history to reveal clues about that day.

Sternberg speaks with Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd about what he was able to learn.

 

The death toll in Nepal continues to climb after a devastating earthquake over the weekend. Sean Casey, an aid worker with the International Medical Corps, joins Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins from Kathmandu to discuss the response methods.

Casey says his organization is exploring the use of drones to get a view of how remote villages were affected by the earthquake. Access to many of those villages has been hampered by the damage from the earthquake.

When people think of George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, Va., usually comes to mind – but that’s just where he lived later in life. Our first president spent most of his childhood at Ferry Farm in Fredericksburg, Va.

The house itself has long since been destroyed, but after years of excavation, archaeologists have found its exact location, along with hundreds of thousands of artifacts. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Matthew Schwartz of WAMU went there to hear the tale.

When President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train left Indianapolis on May 1, 1865, it turned north to Chicago. But Here & Now’s series Tracking Lincoln is going due west to Decatur, Illinois.

Lincoln lived near Decatur long before he became president. It’s said that he made his first public speech right there in the center of town, where a statue of the young president-to-be now stands.

Adrienne LaFrance speaks with Here & Now’s Robin Young about the history of the public radio tote bag, and why it’s become so identified with NPR and fundraising.

While tote bags may be the most associated with public radio fundraising, NPR does have an array of merchandise people can get for their support.

The “placebo effect” is the idea that a pill or treatment with no medicinal ingredient can help or cure a person because he or she believes it will — that the idea of treatment can be as important as treatment itself.

The clinical research into placebos goes back to 1978, when researchers found that some dental patients got as much relief from a placebo pill as others did from a narcotic painkiller.

On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressed a joint meeting of the House and Senate. He urged them to strengthen economic and trade ties between the U.S. and Japan while talking up a trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP.

U.S. lawmakers are divided over the idea of supporting broader trade with Japan. Democrats especially want to protect the American car market, while Japan is looking for the U.S. to remove obstacles to Japanese car and part imports.

Police in Indianapolis are struggling to contain a surge in murders. Last year police counted 138 homicides – a 44 percent jump from 2012.

Patrol Officer Lona Douglas works on the city’s west side in one of six neighborhoods designated as a high-crime area. On a recent afternoon, I was with her as she responded to a potential burglary.

David Breashears is an American filmmaker and climber who’s well aware of the dangers of Mount Everest.

He’s summited five times, and he was on the mountain filming in May 1996 when a sudden blizzard killed eight climbers, among them his friends. His film about that event, the first IMAX movie shot on the mountain, aired in 1998.

From asparagus and fava beans to ramps and radishes, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst is reveling in spring produce and thinking of ways to turn it into healthy salads. She shares her ideas with hosts Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson, along with these four recipes:

Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd is retracing part of the route that Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train took 150 years ago. The train was carrying the body of the late president and was making its way to Springfield, Illinois from Washington, D.C.

The HBO film “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown” won a Peabody Award this week. When the documentary first premiered, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson spoke with the filmmaker, Alex Gibney, longtime Brown trombonist Fred Wesley and Michael Veal, a professor of ethnomusicology. We revisit that conversation.

Italy says it wants more information from the United States about how an Italian aid worker was killed in a U.S. drone strike on the Afghan-Pakistani border.

Mike Barry of The Guardian joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to look at how the news is reverberating on social media. The stories include:

Big farms are collecting taxpayer dollars that they haven’t necessarily earned, by taking advantage of a loophole in government subsidy rules, according to regulators, members of Congress and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking aim at what is known as the “actively engaged” loophole, which has been gaping for nearly three decades, by changing the qualifications for some subsidy payments.

If “Full House” was a major part of your childhood, you might get a kick out of this. Netflix announced this week that it’s coming back – as “Fuller House.”

John Stamos – or Uncle Jesse – will produce the new series, and will also reprise his role, along with some of his old co-stars (though not all).

“Full House” is just the latest in a parade of old favorites that seem to be returning to television. There’s also “Arrested Development,” “The X-Files,” “Coach,” “Twin Peaks,” “Boy Meets World” (reimagined as “Girl Meets World”), “Bewitched” and the list goes on.

The Modi government in India is considering a proposal to replace the tiger – the iconic symbol of India since the 1970s – with the lion. Vicki Croke of WBUR’s The Wild Life joins Here & Now hosts Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson with details on the tiny community of wild Asian lions – a remnant of a once much larger population.

The marathon bombing trial is now in the sentencing stage. The 12 jurors will decide whether or not Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will get the death penalty. If the lawyer representing Tsarnaev has her way, the 21-year-old will spend his life in prison and not be put to death.

Navinder Sarao is making an initial court appearance in the U.K., after he was arrested yesterday by British authorities on U.S. charges that he helped cause what’s known as the “flash crash,” when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 1,000 points on May 6, 2010.

CNN’s Maggie Lake joins Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson to take a look at this case, as well as the trial over the 2008 government bailout of American International Group, or AIG. Closing arguments are being delivered today.

The season premier of “Inside Amy Schumer” airs on Comedy Central tonight. The sketch comedy series recently won a Peabody award, and was also just picked up for a fourth season.

The show’s star, comedian Amy Schumer, hosted the MTV Movie Awards on April 12, and will soon be starring in a Judd Apatow film, out this summer.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to NPR TV critic Eric Deggans about the show and its star.

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April 24 marks the 100th anniversary of what most historians refer to as the Armenian Genocide, when 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were killed by the Ottoman government in modern day Turkey. Millions more fled, in a diaspora that spans the globe.

“The only stories I could find were about the genocide. As if 1915 had ended the Armenian story.”

Blue Bell Creameries is voluntarily recalling all of its products after the bacteria listeria was found in two cartons of Blue Bell ice cream in March.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that tests indicate the outbreak started from plants in Texas and Oklahoma.

Five adults have been sickened, and three have died. Officials in Kansas say listeriosis didn’t cause the deaths, but it may have been a contributing factor. Blue Bell distributes ice cream and other frozen desserts to about half of the United States.

The first wave of millions of homeowners who lost their home to foreclosure may soon be on the market to get back into buying real estate.

These so-called “boomerang buyers” are now past the seven-year window they need to begin repairing their credit to qualify to buy a new home.

CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger tells Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins about these boomerang buyers and how they may change the housing market in the next decade.

Patricia McNamara, 75, of Orange County, Calf. started skating in her late 40s, and she’s participated in every one of the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships since the Adult Nationals event started in 1995.

“I feel like the best of myself is really being expressed.”

She says skating helped her recover from breast cancer, and she’s hoping it helps her fully recover from a stroke seven years ago, in which she lost some muscle control on her left side.

Time magazine just released its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. One of the names on the list is China’s premier Xi Jinping.

That comes as no surprise to former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who writes in Time that Xi looks like he’s on track to pass Chairman Mao as China’s most powerful leader.

But what about beyond China? What influence does Xi have on the global stage – especially with the United States?

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