Here and Now

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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.

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NPR Story
2:51 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

In 'The Death of Santini' Pat Conroy Turns From Fiction To Memoir

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:12 pm

Readers of Pat Conroy‘s novels “The Prince of Tides” and “The Great Santini” are very familiar with his troubled family history, in particular his harsh military father But last year, Pat decided to step out from behind the guise of fiction and write a memoir: “The

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NPR Story
2:51 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

With The Cost Of Beef Up, Pasture Prices Rise, Too

Cattle take a drink from a tank filled by a windmill. Rancher Dave Wright was hoping to buy part of a neighboring ranch to expand his herd, but it sold for extreme prices. (Grant Gerlock /Harvest Public Media)

The U.S. beef herd is smaller than it has been in decades, thanks to drought and low cattle prices. But Midwest ranchers are eager to grow. And that has turned grass into a hot commodity.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock has the story.

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NPR Story
2:51 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Menu Calorie Count Mandate Adds Up To $5 Billion In 'Lost Pleasure'

The FDA estimates that consumers will suffer more than $5 billion in lost pleasure over a 20 year period due to the calorie counts that will soon be required of fast food chains, movie theaters and certain sit-down restaurants next year.

This new lost pleasure calculation is part of the new regulations that are geared to discourage people from eating junk food and curbing obesity.

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NPR Story
2:23 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Gas Dips Below $2 In Oklahoma

Long lines formed after the OnCue gas station in Oklahoma City dropped its price to $1.99 a gallon. (@keatonfox/Twitter)

Goldman Sachs estimates that Americans stand to save $75 billion from the recent drop in gasoline prices. That works out to about $1,100 a year per household.

Now, a gas station in Oklahoma City has apparently become the first in the nation to lower the price of gas below $2 a gallon since July 2010.

Yesterday, the OnCue station dropped its price from $2.11 to 1.99 for a gallon of regular gas. That prompted long lines of drivers waiting to fill up, and set off a price war with nearby competitors, who dropped their prices too.

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NPR Story
2:23 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Sharon Isbin, Guitarist Extraordinaire

Sharon Isbin has been called "the preeminent guitarist of our time." (J. Henry Fair/Shore Fire Media)

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 3:57 pm

Sharon Isbin has been called “the preeminent guitarist of our time,” and was voted “the best classical guitarist” by Guitar Player magazine.

She was one of the first woman musicians in a field where there are few. And she’s a guitarist in the classical world where few believed the instrument deserved a place.

After decades of pushing against those limitations, Isbin now has three Grammy Awards and numerous other awards under her belt, and has collaborated with many world class composers and musicians of various genres.

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NPR Story
2:23 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Study: Office Workers Spend Less Than Half Of Working Hours On Main Job Duties

Employees at large companies reported spending 40 percent of their time on meetings, administrative tasks and "interruptions." (Nlpictures/Wikimedia Commons)

According to a new survey, U.S. employees at large companies report spending only about 45 percent of their time at work on primary job duties. Instead, workers reported spending their time on email, in meetings, doing administrative tasks or on “interruptions.”

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NPR Story
4:10 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Lawyer: No Indictment For Officer In NYC Chokehold Death

A woman, who did not want to give her name, places flowers at a memorial for Eric Garner near the site of his death in the borough of Staten Island Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014., in New York. (Seth Wenig/AP)

A lawyer says a grand jury in New York City has declined to indict a white police officer on criminal charges in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man in July.

Jonathon Moore, an attorney for the victim’s family, said Wednesday he was told there would be no indictment of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of 43-year-old Eric Garner. Garner was stopped in Staten Island on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

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NPR Story
4:10 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Recess — It's Not Just For Grade Schoolers Anymore

High school senior and Youth Radio reporter Eli Arbreton makes the case that recess belongs on high schoolers’ schedules, right alongside AP chemistry and English (Stuart Herbert/Flickr)

High school senior and Youth Radio reporter Eli Arbreton sent us this story making a case for why recess belongs on high schoolers’ schedules, right alongside AP chemistry and English.

High school is crazy. I wake up at like 7 a.m., then I rush to get my stuff together and go to school. Once I’m there it seems like it goes on forever before there’s a break.

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NPR Story
4:10 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

NASA's Orion Test Flight May Be The First Step To A Human Mars Visit

NASA’s Orion spacecraft will carry astronauts farther into space than ever before. (NASA)

Tomorrow, NASA is set to launch the first in-space test of its new Orion spacecraft. The mission could mark the beginning of America’s return to human space exploration and, even, a manned journey to Mars.

The plan is to launch Orion from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and send it twice into a 3,600-mile-high orbit of Earth before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.

The test is predicted to take less than five hours, but researchers say the information learned will be critical to future flights, set to go farther into space.

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NPR Story
3:03 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Idina Menzel Of 'Frozen' Has New Holiday Album

Idina Menzel performs during the CMA 2014 Country Christmas on November 7, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 10:10 am

Tony Award-winning singer and actress Idina Menzel became an international sensation last year when she voiced the character of Elsa in the Disney animated film “Frozen” and sang the Oscar-winning song “Let it Go.”

Now she’s released the album “Holiday Wishes.”

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NPR Story
2:49 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

NATO Foreign Ministers Consider Afghanistan Mission

From left, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Afghan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah make a statement prior to a meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on December 1, 2014, on the eve of a foreign ministers meeting. (John Thys/AFP/Getty Images)

Following what NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg called a “year of aggression,” NATO foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to plot a new course in Afghanistan, now that the combat mission is ending there.

They are also discussing Ukraine and the role Moscow has played in the fighting there between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.

The BBC’s Jonathan Marcus discusses the meeting in Brussels with Here & Now‘s Lisa Mullins.

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NPR Story
2:49 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Rise In Inflated Home Appraisals Worrying Regulators

A for sale sign is posted in front of a home on February 18, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 8:28 am

Inflated home appraisals appear to be on the rise, according to the Wall Street Journal, in what industry executives see as a comeback of practices that were common leading up to the financial crisis.

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NPR Story
3:11 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Remembering Poet Mark Strand

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Strand died on Nov. 29, 2014, at age 80. (Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Strand died on Saturday at his daughter’s home in Brooklyn, New York. He was 80 years old. Strand won the Pulitzer in 1999 for his a book of his poetry called “Blizzard of One.”

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NPR Story
3:11 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Congress Faces Looming Budget Deadline

The Capitol Christmas Tree is set upright on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol November 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/AFP/Getty Images)

With 10 days left in this year’s session, congressional lawmakers have a lot on their plate, before the Republican majority takes over in January. The government will shut down on December 11th unless a new funding bill is passed.

Many Republicans are angry at President Obama’s decision to delay deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants and House Speaker John Boehner is trying to figure out how to respond to his party’s anger over the immigration order and avoid a government shutdown.

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NPR Story
3:11 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend Sales Fall, Surprising Analysts

Shoppers jostle for doorbusters at Macy's at Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale, Calif, Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. (Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Sales from Thanksgiving through the weekend are down 11 percent compared to last year, according to preliminary numbers released Sunday by the National Retail Federation. The numbers have surprised retail analysts, who are still trying to figure out what happened.

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