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.

New surveys out this month suggest Americans still don't understand the value of saving. Millennials are not saving, primarily because of student debt and low wages.

But it's not just young people. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling released a survey showing seven in 10 Americans still say they are consistently worried about their finances.

There is evidence that Americans have gotten better at managing credit card debt, but bottom line, the survey finds people are not getting their finances in good order.

A jury has convicted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of all 30 counts he faced stemming from the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon.

Tsarnaev was found guilty Wednesday on charges that included conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction. Of the 30 charges, 17 are punishable by death.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers admitted he participated in the bombings, but said his now-dead older brother was the driving force behind the deadly attack.

A white South Carolina police officer who claimed he killed a black man in self-defense has been fired and faces murder charges after a bystander’s video recorded him firing eight shots at the man’s back as he ran away. The city’s mayor also said he’s ordered body cameras to be worn by every single officer on the force.

The officer, Michael Thomas Slager, has been fired, but the town will continue to pay for his health insurance because his wife is eight months pregnant, said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, who called it a tragedy for two families.

Nuclear energy is fraught. What do you do with the spent radioactive fuel rods? What happens if there’s a meltdown? These worries have led many to write the whole thing off, and some to rebel against it. But a startup in Cambridge, Mass., thinks things can be different – like, revolutionary different. Ari Daniel, with Here & Now’s tech partner IEEE Spectrum, has our story.

If you have plans Sunday night, NPR’s TV critic Eric Deggans says you may want to cancel.

This Sunday, April 12, there are new episodes of nine critically-acclaimed television shows, including AMC’s “Mad Men,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and CBS’s “The Good Wife.”

Deggans tells Here & Now’s Robin Young exactly why there are so many great shows on Sunday, how to manage the watch-load throughout the week and whether television can keep up with this golden age.

Meb Keflezighi has been running at a world class level for more than a decade, going back to his first Olympic Games in 2000. He knew he wasn’t ready to win a medal in that race, but he knew that if he kept training and working hard someday the medals and the victories would come. They have.

Low oil prices are starting to have an impact on an industry that might surprise people – recycling.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, “Plastic is often derived from oil, and there used to be money in recycled scrap. Not anymore. The fall in oil prices has dragged down the price of virgin plastic, erasing the recyclers’ advantage.”

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks to Georgi Kantchev of The Wall Street Journal about the impact of oil prices on recycling.

The question is often posed to physics students who have always given answers under the assumption that Earth has uniform mass. But now, Alex Klotz, a McGill University grad student, has come up with a new calculation that challenges this concept.

His findings were published in the American Journal of Physics – a publication of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Victor Gotbaum, one of the nation’s most powerful and prominent labor leaders during the 1970s and 80s, has died. Gotbaum led a New York branch of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), during a tense era in American labor history. He is also credited with helping New York City avoid bankruptcy in 1975. Victor’s daughter, Rachel Gotbaum, has worked with Here & Now and WBUR for years as a producer and reporter.

Is Ukraine’s fragile ceasefire in danger? That’s what retired General Wesley Clark, the former supreme commander of NATO thinks.

Clark tells Defense One he believes pro-Russian forces are getting ready for a spring offensive that could run into May – May 9 to be exact, or what is known as Victory Day or V-E Day in Russia.

“We see planning in Russia to celebrate this. It would be wonderful for Putin if he could wrap up his conquest and celebrate it on that day if the allies are boycotting his celebration,” said Clark in an interview with Patrick Tucker.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said today that his country will stand by the commitments it made in the nuclear deal, as long as the U.S. and other world powers stand by theirs. A big part of the framework agreement, announced yesterday, is the lifting of Western sanctions on Iran, including on the export of Iranian oil.

Oil prices fell yesterday on news of the agreement, even though it’s still unclear when sanctions on Iranian oil might actually be lifted.

With 83 weeks to go until the next presidential election, the candidates – both official and unofficial – were under the microscope, as two big political stories captured the week’s headlines.

The divisive Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence and later revised, was barely days old when it began affecting the Republican field. And a tentative Iran deal received criticism from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and praise from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and so we’re re-running our conversation with the Pulitzer Prize winning author of, “A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention.” The book tells the story of a young college student in Utah, who was texting while driving when he struck and killed two rocket scientists.

Tonight, the renowned avant-garde cellist Maya Beiser will perform at the Dillon Art gallery in New York City. Though Beiser is known for her passionate interpretations of modern music, at this show she’ll be playing an instrument that’s nearly as intense as she is: an electric cello enhanced with LED lights. Jean Kumagai, from Here & Now’s tech partner IEEE Spectrum, has this report.

After marathon negotiations, the United States, Iran and five other world powers announced a deal Thursday outlining limits on Iran’s nuclear program so it cannot lead to atomic weapons, directing negotiators toward a comprehensive agreement within three months.

Reading out a joint statement, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini hailed what she called a “decisive step” after more than a decade of work.

The new documentary “The Hand That Feeds” follows a group of undocumented immigrants who work at the Manhattan deli chain Hot & Crusty.

Because of their immigration status, these employees are taken advantage of. Many are working seven days a week without a break and making less than minimum wage.

The film follows the workers in their struggle to organize their own union. It’s a story that shows how despite the decline of labor union membership, new kinds of worker groups are forming.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered state officials to impose mandatory water restrictions for the first time in history as the state grapples with a serious drought.

In an executive order issued Wednesday, Brown ordered the state water board to implement reductions in cities and towns to cut usage by 25 percent.

The move will impact residents, businesses, farmers and other users.

Brown says the historic drought demands unprecedented action.

Do you think of parsley as a decoration? For Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst, parsley is so much more than the sum of its sprigs. Parsley plays an important part in Passover celebrations and often appears on Easter tables at well. Kathy joins hosts Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson to talk parsley and share these six recipes:

When I was boy, my mother worked in the sky. She was a flight attendant. Each month she brought home a new paper booklet, a schedule that listed every Southwest Airlines flight.

The map on the back was a spaghetti bowl of intersecting lines. A short hop from PHX to LAX. In the Midwest, it was MDW straight to STL. And DAL nonstop to LBB.

Who knew the flight from Dallas Love Field to Lubbock, Texas, could be so exciting!

There was a promise of adventure in every one of those little letters, and I memorized as many as I could.

This week, ahead of Easter and Passover, TV is flooded with religious programming. Everything from CNN’s fact-finding mission on Jesus called “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery” to National Geographic Channel’s “Killing Jesus” from Bill O’Reilly.

There’s also NBC’s sequel to “The Bible” with “A.D. The Bible Continues” and “The Dovekeepers” on CBS, about the Siege of Masada.

IBM announced Tuesday that it will invest $3 billion over the next four years in a new “Internet of Things” division that will be charged with finding ways to use its data in the growing market of Internet-connected devices.

The announcement comes the same day IBM also revealed a new partnership with The Weather Company, known for its media properties like the Weather Channel and weather.com.

Nigerian opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign says President Goodluck Jonathan called to concede defeat, paving the way for a peaceful transfer of power in Africa’s richest and most populous nation.

An aide in Jonathan’s offices says the president is preparing to make a speech.

Buhari’s campaign office sent text messages to journalists saying Jonathan had called Buhari to say he will concede.

This week marked 15 years since Vladimir Putin first came to power. He won over 50 percent of the vote and took the reins from Russia’s first President, Boris Yeltsin.

Today, Russia’s main polling agency recently recorded his support at around 85 percent. That popularity at home is a far cry from the image of Mr. Putin in the West, where he’s seen as a power-hungry leader and a threat to European security.

The BBC’s Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford explores what makes Putin so appealing to Russian voters.

Much of the country’s fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in the Southwest and harvested by farm workers.

But these days, a successful harvest relies on a combination of three different factors: farming, technology and venture capitalism.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Kate Sheehy from the Fronteras Desk at KJZZ reports.

Lisa Fischer was one of the singers featured in the Oscar winning documentary “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” which looked at the lives of the singers that back up the stars.

Though Fischer won a Grammy as a solo artist in 1992, she was best known for singing with the Rolling Stones and Tina Turner.

Last month, the office of New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman accused GNC and three other retailers of selling fraudulent herbal supplements.

GNC is the country’s largest specialty retailer of dietary supplements. The company says that its herbal products had passed rigorous quality control tests, but it has agreed to start using new procedures to test the chain’s supplements.

Alissa Quart is a journalist, a keen observer of our culture and a believer in the power of poetry to cut to the heart of issues around us: money, class, gender and the environment.

She has just released her first book of poetry that is both personal and universal – inspired by work and research she has done as a journalist.

The price of Brent crude jumped 5 percent yesterday as Saudi Arabia began airstrikes in Yemen. It was the biggest spike in oil prices since February. The benchmark settled near $60 a barrel.

Saudi involvement in Yemen’s growing unrest has led to fears of instability in the oil market, even though a global supply glut was a primary reason why oil prices have been so low.

A report out this week outlines a $240 million plan to renovate and save the iconic Houston Astrodome. When it first opened in 1965, some people called it the Eighth Wonder of the World.

But time caught up to the world’s first domed stadium. In 1999, the Houston Astros found a new home, the stadium fell into disrepair, and Harris County has been looking for a way to save it now for years.

Voters rejected a bond initiative in 2013, but the latest plan calls for a mix of public and private funding.

The 70th anniversary of the end of WWII will be marked later this year. In the meantime, some veterans of that war are embarking on one more mission.

In some cases, wives or children are taking on the mission if the veteran has passed away. The object is to return Japanese flags taken as war souvenirs from Pacific battlefields.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Tom Banse reports from Astoria, Oregon on an emotional gesture of peace and reconciliation.

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