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.

How do you know that you are drinking too much? That you might be an alcoholic? If you are in high school or college, where alcohol can flow like water, it can be hard to tell.

Four in five college students drink alcohol, and about half of those drinkers consume by binge drinking. For most, the drinking curbs with age, which is why it may seem so easy to claim heavy drinking is just a phase for the young.

The August jobs report is out and the numbers are murky. The Labor Department says the U.S. unemployment rate is down to its lowest level since 2008, but only 173,000 jobs were created last month – that is lower than economists were expecting.

This was the last report before the Federal Reserve meets later this month to make a decision on whether to raise interest rates. Mike Regan of Bloomberg News talks with Here & Now host Lisa Mullins about the report.

A new program that allows allows real estate companies to buy a share of public housing buildings is causing controversy in Baltimore.

Some say the Rental Assistance Demonstration program frees up needed funding for affordable housing programs, but others worry that the program shows a cutback on government commitment to public housing and leans too heavily on the private sector.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Jonna McKone of WYPR in Baltimore explains the story of public housing’s future and past.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady can suit up for his team’s season opener after a judge erased his four-game suspension for “Deflategate.”

The surprise ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman came Thursday after more than one month of failed settlement talks between the NFL and its players’ union. Many legal experts believed the judge was merely pressuring the sides to settle when he criticized the NFL’s handling of the case at two hearings in August.

But the judge wasn’t posturing.

Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst enjoys yogurt as a breakfast dish with granola and fruit. She also likes it as a dessert, perhaps drizzled with maple syrup, coconut and more fruit. But as she tells host Robin Young, yogurt also has endless savory possibilities.

President Barack Obama made history this week by becoming the first U.S. president to cross the invisible line into the Arctic Circle while in office. He used the trip to draw attention to global warming trends that are melting ice in the Arctic Ocean.

Scientists predict the body of water will be ice-free for much of the summer, as early as 2030. That calls into question who has access to what in an increasingly accessible part of the world.

How much are you working when you’re at work? That’s the question increasingly on the minds of employers, especially ones in Silicon Valley.

The New York Times exposé on Amazon painted a portrait – one that Amazon refutes – of a harsh workplace where employees are measured by algorithms and anonymous peer reviews.

New Zealand is holding a public competition to possibly replace the country’s current flag. Over 10,000 designs were submitted and yesterday, four designs were revealed as finalists.

New Zealand residents will vote on a winner later this year and then in March 2016, they will vote on whether that winner will replace the current New Zealand flag.

Lawyers representing thousands of inmates who have been held in small, windowless rooms say they’ve reached a settlement with the state of California to end the practice of extreme long-term isolation. Michael Montgomery talks with Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins about the history of solitary confinement in California and what is going to change.

Flying presents a particular set of challenges for people with allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. Even touching an armrest with residue on it can cause someone with an allergy to go into anaphylactic shock, where the airway closes and the person is unable to breathe.

People who use Google’s internet browser Chrome could soon see fewer of those ads that pop up or start playing automatically. Starting today, Chrome will block online ads that use Adobe Flash. Flash is the technology behind many of the online video and banner ads that pop up or start playing on their own.

Now the ads will be defaulted to pause on Chrone, so users will have to elect to watch them. Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal joins Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins to take a look at what this means for Adobe Flash and for online advertising.

As part of a series of listening sessions across the country, representatives from the Bureau of Land Management recently came to Gillette, Wyoming, to meet with residents about the agency’s federal coal program.

The BLM says it wants to modernize the program to ensure American taxpayers receive a fair return on mining on federal lands. A reformed program will be an additional blow to the coal industry, already struggling with declining production and restrictive regulations.

Daniel James Brown‘s book about the University of Washington’s eight-oar rowing team, “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” was a bestseller for months when it was published in 2013.

The U.S. open gets underway today, and there’s a buzz in the air as Serena Williams tries to complete her first Grand Slam – winning all four major tennis competitions in one season.

For what is believed to be the first time in history, tickets for the women’s final sold out before tickets for the men’s final. Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins speaks with Jill Schlesinger of CBS News for a look at the U.S. Open and women’s tennis through a business lens.

Gyms and personal trainers across the country are watching new regulations coming from the Board of Physical Therapy in Washington, D.C. The board is preparing new guidelines that would make a registry of personal trainers and place further requirements on the industry.

Gyms fear Washington will be a testing ground for other states. Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Phillip Godfrey, a medical exercise specialist in Washington, D.C. who opposes the regulations.

As the nation marks 10 years since Hurricane Katrina, Here & Now has a special New Orleans edition of the DJ Sessions. Host Jeremy Hobson sits down with Nick Spitzer, a New Orleans resident and host of “American Routes,” from Tulane University and WWNO in New Orleans, distributed by PRX. He talks about the music that has resonated in the city since the storm, and how the music scene has changed.

A ruling yesterday from the National Labor Relations Board gave contract workers and employees of franchises a lot more leverage to unionize.

The NLRB’s decision gives those employees the right to negotiate a union contract not only with a franchise owner, but also with the larger parent company. It has implications in the fast food industry, which is locked in a national debate about worker pay and benefits.

Michael Regan of Bloomberg News discusses this with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

A new Chinese action musical is holding its U.S. premiere on a stage in Denver. “Terracotta Warriors 3D” is a live performance piece centered around the story of China’s first emperor, who was buried with an army of clay soldiers. It’s part of an effort to spread Chinese culture around the world. Corey Jones from Here & Now contributor Colorado Public Radio reports.

This week, students arriving at Old Dominion University could see banners hanging from a Sigma Nu fraternity house. “Rowdy and fun, hope your baby girl is ready for a good time,” and “freshman daughter drop off.” The signs were criticized for mocking sexual violence against women, and sparked national outrage.

A former student at St. Paul’s School, an elite New Hampshire prep school, is on trial for allegedly raping a freshman girl two days before graduation in 2014. The alleged assault is suspected to be part of a longstanding hook-up tradition at the Concord, New Hampshire, boarding school. Paige Sutherland from Here & Now contributor New Hampshire Public Radio reports.

TV journalism was crucial to the country seeing what was and wasn’t being done to help the survivors of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since then, however, there has not been a focus – in either fictionalized television or in journalism – on the underlying issues that were uncovered.

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss why issues like poverty and class are generally unattractive to many TV audiences.

Update 2:23 p.m.: Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton says the suspect in the shooting has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Virginia State Police say that as they were pursuing the suspect in an on-air fatal shooting, he ran off the road and crashed, and was found suffering from a gunshot wound.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said Wednesday that the suspect is being treated for life-threatening injuries.

Japanese mountaineer Nobukazu Kuriki is heading up Everest. This week he became the first person granted a permit to climb the mountain since a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated much of Nepal in April.

After four attempts, Kuriki hopes to reach the top. He also says he hopes to send a message that the mountain is safe for climbers.

Seven-time summiter Peter Athans says Nepal needs tourists now more than ever. He speaks with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

The Napa Valley Wine Train is facing backlash, after members of women’s book club said they were kicked off the train over the weekend because of their race. All but one of the 11 book club members kicked off the train was African-American. The train company says the group was being too noisy. Danielle Belton of The Root discusses the story with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

For decades, sandwiches have been the go-to food for picnics and school lunches. In the 1950’s, various trade organizations declared August to be National Sandwich Month. Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst shares a few of her favorites with hosts Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson.

As we mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast and killed more than 1,800 people in August of 2005, Here & Now listens back to some of the memorable moments from the storm and the news coverage.

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A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that most U.S. middle and high schools start the school day too early, before 8:30 a.m.

Lead author Dr. Anne Wheaton says if teens don’t get enough sleep, they are more prone to not getting enough exercise and engaging in risky behavior like drinking alcohol. She cites a recommendation from the National Sleep Foundation that 14 to 17-year-olds need eight to 10 hours of sleep a night.

What makes American music “American”? The answer depends on who you ask.

Guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. was born in Los Angeles to two immigrants, the British-Gibraltarian musician Albert Hammond and Argentine model Claudia Fernández. When he was 18, he moved to New York City to form what would become the hugely successful band The Strokes.

A pioneering mushroom scientist and a bee expert have teamed up to help fight against a disease-carrying killer of the honeybee called the varroa mite. The scientists’ weapon of choice: mushrooms. They believe a special fungus mixture they’re working on may be able to kill parasites without harming bees. Ken Christensen of Here & Now contributor EarthFix went into the field with the scientists and reports.

A life-sized photo of the new wave band Devo was mounted over an abandoned storefront in downtown Akron, Ohio, this past week. The picture was taken in 1978, and features the band dressed in yellow hazmat suits.

This piece of public art is designed to capture the moment the band made the leap from hometown heroes to worldwide fame. From the Here & Now contributors network, David C. Barnett of WCPN brings us the story of Devo’s Rust Belt roots.