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NPR Story
6:22 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

A Visit With Renowned Composer John Harbison

John Harbison is pictured at his home in Cambridge, Mass. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

In 2004, Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer John Harbison released “Songs America Loves To Sing – Old and New Music for Winds, Strings and Piano,” a compilation of recognizable choral preludes with a twist putting the spotlight on the true meanings of the work. It includes hymns like “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and classics such as “Anniversary Song” — which we know as “Happy Birthday.”

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NPR Story
6:22 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

George W. Bush The Artist Makes His Formal Debut

Portraits of world leaders which are part of the exhibit "The Art of Leadership: A President's Diplomacy," are on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Friday, April 4, 2014. The exhibit of portraits painted by former President George W. Bush opens Saturday and runs through June 3. (Benny Snyder/AP)

Former President George W. Bush has found painting as his new passion to fill the void in his life after he left the White House.

In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, Bush tells his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, “I paint a lot because, as you know, I’m a driven person.”

The occasion was to highlight his portraits of world leaders, which he displays at his library in Texas.

One is of a grim-looking President Vladimir Putin.

Bush says “I got to know him very well. It became more intense as time went on.”

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NPR Story
6:22 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Earthquake Fear Rises In California

A picture taken on January 19, 1994 in Los Angeles shows a bulldozer tearing down a section of the Santa Monica Freeway that collapsed during the massive Northridge earthquake. A huge earthquake this week in Chile and two minor quakes in California are raising concerns if California is prepared in the even of another major earthquake.(Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Geologists say this week’s huge earthquake in Chile is not directly related to two smaller Los Angeles-area earthquakes and one that struck off the Northern California coast recently, even though California has gone for an unusually long time without a significant quake.

In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco killed 63 and injured more than 3,700 people. In 1994, the Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles killed 57 people and injured more than 5,000.

Is California ready for the next big one?

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NPR Story
2:45 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Looking At The Legacy Of Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City, November 18, 1993. On the 20 year anniversary of Cobain's death and with Nirvana about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we look back on Cobain's lasting legacy. (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 2:27 pm

It’s been 20 years since Kurt Cobain, leader of the rock band Nirvana, committed suicide. It was April 5, 1994, and his death left a legion of fans grieving his loss. But according to a new book, Cobain lives on in Nirvana’s music, and you can still see his spirit in culture and fashion. So with Nirvana about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next week, Cobain biographer Charles Cross joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to talk about the Nirvana frontman’s legacy.

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NPR Story
2:45 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Long-Term Unemployed Face Tough Odds Of Getting New Jobs

The Labor Department releases March jobs numbers tomorrow. Economists expect relatively good news with payrolls expected to rise by 200,000 in March.

But the outlook for the long-term unemployed is still murky. A recent Brookings Institution paper found that only 11 percent of the long-term unemployed find work again a year later.

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NPR Story
2:45 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Don't Try This At Home: Whales Set New Breath-Hold Record

Satellite tag being attached to the dorsal fin of a Cuvier's beaked whale. The tagging arrow can be seen in the air as it detaches from the tag. (Erin Falcone/Cascadia Research under NOAA permit 16111)

Researchers have documented a new breath hold record among mammals. They timed a dive by a whale off the coast of California that lasted two hours and 17 minutes.

To gather the initial results, which were published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS One, the researchers used barbed darts to attach temporary dive recorders to the dorsal fins of eight whales. The satellite-linked tags were made by a Redmond, Washington company, Wildlife Computers.

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NPR Story
2:51 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Embattled D.C. Mayor Concedes In Primary

Last night, Muriel Bowser, Democratic mayoral candidate in Washington, D.C., won the primary election positioning her to be the next mayor of the nation’s capital.

The election took a dramatic twist three weeks ago when federal prosecutors alleged that the current Mayor Vincent Gray was aware of an illegal $680,000 slush fund that aided his 2010 mayoral campaign.

Patrick Madden, city hall reporter for WAMU, joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

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NPR Story
2:51 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Acceptance Letters In Hand, Students Wonder How To Pay

(silversnake852/Flickr)

It’s that time of year again — when college acceptance (and rejection) letters find their way into the hands of nervous high school seniors. But that’s the easy part. Exponentially more complicated is figuring out how to pay.

The average cost of four-year-private college in 2013 was $30,094. The sticker price at in-state public colleges is close to $9,000 or $22,000, if you’re coming from out of state. And those jaw-dropping estimates don’t include room and board, books or even an apple to give the teacher.

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NPR Story
2:51 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Cass Sunstein On Conspiracy Theories

Cass Sunstein is pictured in the White House in March 2011, when he was Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget. (AP)

Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein says pick your topic — the tragic disappearance of the Malaysian plane, Ukraine, the NSA, the economic crisis, even the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays — and you can find a conspiracy theory.

Sunstein himself has faced hate mail and threats after his time in the Obama White House, and for his articles on topics such as FDR and the rights of animals. Glenn Beck repeatedly described him as “the most dangerous man in America.”

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NPR Story
4:14 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Legendary House Music Producer Frankie Knuckles Dies At 59

DJ Frankie Knuckles plays at the Def Mix 20th Anniversary Weekender at Turnmills nightclub on May 6, 2007 in London, England. (Claire Greenway/Getty Images)

Fans of house music are mourning the loss today of legendary producer Frankie Knuckles, who died unexpectedly yesterday at age 59. He was considered the “godfather of house music.” That’s a style that started in Chicago in the late 1970s.

Knuckles founded his own club in Chicago called The Power Plant, where he would remix artists like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Luther Vandros. One of his most iconic clubs songs is “Waiting on My Angel” with artist Jamie Principle.

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NPR Story
4:14 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Deadly Ebola Outbreak In Guinea Is Spreading

Staff of the 'Doctors without Borders' ('Medecin sans frontieres') medical aid organisation carry the body of a person killed by viral hemorrhagic fever, at a center for victims of the Ebola virus in Guekedou, on April 1, 2014. (Seyllou/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ebola virus has broken out across Guinea and has reportedly spread to other countries in West Africa.

Already more than 80 people have been killed from the hemorrhagic fever which has no vaccine or treatment.

The Zaire Strain of the virus is reportedly contracted from animal to human contact with bats, primates, rodents and some antelopes.

Neighboring country Senegal has closed its borders to Guinea in hopes of keeping the virus out.

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NPR Story
4:14 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

China Bets On Harnessing The Ocean For Clean Energy

China is chasing Europe’s lead and wants to capture the ocean’s waves and tides for clean and renewable energy.

The country is investing large amounts of money and entering into ventures with Lockheed Martin and partnering with the Netherlands to develop various tidal power projects.

China has 11,000 miles of coastline and, if it becomes affordable, harnessing the sea could be the key to reducing pollution and advancing the renewable energy sector in Asia and elsewhere.

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NPR Story
4:17 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Climate Report Warns of 'Severe' and 'Irreversible Impacts'

Severely damaged corn stalks due to a widespread drought are seen at sunset on a farm near Oakland City, Indiana, August 15, 2012. A new report from the IPCC details the current and future effects of climate change, including droughts and crop shortages. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 4:14 pm

The United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change released its fifth report on climate change today.

The report details recent impacts of climate-related extremes such as wildfires, droughts and floods and predicts the vulnerability of human and natural resources, including a stress on crops and water resources.

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NPR Story
4:17 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Actors Launch Campaign To Keep Celebrities' Kids Out Of Photos

Actor Dax Shepard and actress Kristen Bell arrive at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. They have launched a social media campaign to keep celebrities' children out of photographs unless the parents give consent. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

You know that section in tabloids that shows celebrities running errands with their kids, or at their child’s soccer game?

Maybe you don’t look at those pictures, and our next guests would thank you for that.

Actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have launched a new social media campaign to get the kids of very visible celebrities out of pictures.

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NPR Story
4:17 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

AP Report: GOP Shaped Redistricting To Its Advantage

According to a new report from the Associated Press, Republicans spent years developing a strategy to take advantage of the 2010 census, taking control of state legislatures and drawing Congressional districts that favored the GOP.

That means Democrats face an uphill fight to try to regain control of the House this fall.

Associated Press reporter Stephen Ohlemacher joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss his reporting.

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

DJ Sessions: Off The Radar Festivals

WFPK's Kyle Meredith has the scoop of some of the country's best niche music festivals, like North Carolina's Moogfest, where Dan Deacon will be performing. (Caesar Sebastian/Flickr)

Many have heard of Bonnaroo and Telluride, but what about Asheville, North Carolina’s Moogfest?

WFPK music director Kyle Meredith and Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson look at some smaller niche festivals across the country, and music attendees can expect to hear.

Songs Heard In This Segment

Dan Deacon, “True Thrush”

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Why M&M's Are Made With Natural Coloring In The EU And Not The U.S.

Ingredients in Nestlé Smarties, including plant-based dyes. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)

If you’ve ever eaten candy from a European Union country, you might notice some unusual ingredients.

For  instance, Nestlé’s chocolate “Smarties” contain radish, lemon and red cabbage extracts for coloring, rather than yellow six or red 40. So why is that?

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Will Brooklyn Lose The Nets To Russia?

Russian billionaire and Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has announced plans to transfer ownership of the basketball team to one of his Russian companies, but it's unclear whether or not the NBA will allow it. (Kathy Kmonicek/AP Photo)

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s plans to transfer the Brooklyn Nets to one of his Russian companies may never happen.

The move, which would be the first of its kind in U.S. professional sports, can not take place without the approval of the National Basketball Association. It’s unclear whether the NBA would let such a change happen.

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NPR Story
3:53 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Tracking Shopping Habits Helps Retailers Compete

Retailers are trying to find ways to better compete with online stores. Many are using high tech analytic tools to track consumer behavior through their mobile devices.

A company called iInside uses Bluetooth on mobile phones to tell big box stores, grocers, and even airports about consumers movements — where they go and how long they spend there.

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NPR Story
3:53 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

A Cautionary Tale: Get Your Affairs In Order Now

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 3:51 pm

If you’ve been avoiding preparing a will, or other estate planning directives, think again.

Only 35 percent of Americans have a will, and that can leave families and healthcare providers in a sticky situation.

Washington Post finance columnist Michelle Singletary‘s mother did not have any personal directives. When she was critically injured recently, her family was confronted with many decisions, made more difficult by the absence of written wishes.

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NPR Story
3:53 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

FDA Approves New Epilepsy Treatment

A new technology holds the promise of treatment for the nearly one million Americans with epilepsy who don’t respond to medications.

The FDA has approved a new implant that uses bursts of electricity to stop seizures before they start.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Todd Bookman of New Hampshire Public Radio reports.

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NPR Story
3:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Rough Ocean Complicates Search Efforts For Missing Plane

The cockpit crew of a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion are seen upon their return to RAAF base Pearce from searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Oceanat in Bullsbrook on March 26, 2014. Planes and ships converged on the southern Indian Ocean on March 26, resuming the hunt for wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 after weather conditions improved. (Jason Reed/AFP/Getty Images)

Malaysia’s defense minister is calling a satellite’s detection of 122 objects floating in the ocean more than a thousand miles southwest of Australia “the most credible lead that we have” in the continuing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

But how will crews go about searching a potential crash site roughly the size of Alaska, where the ocean floor is at least 10,000 feet deep?

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NPR Story
3:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Geological Circumstances Behind Washington Mudslide

As search efforts intensify around the site of Washington state’s devastating mudslide, geologists are looking into causes of the rapid collapse of the 1,500-foot-wide segment of hillside in Snohomish County that suddenly cut away and crushed the homes and roads below.

The chief culprit appears to have been the glacial composition of the hillside, which is made of silt, clay and soil, and very little rock, which tends to be very loose.

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NPR Story
3:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

How Do You Get Your Own Wikipedia Page?

Judith Newman really wanted a Wikipedia page. She writes about the ordeal. (Wikipedia)

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 10:13 am

Correction: We inaccurately reported that Wikipedia is considering paying editors.  Wikipedia is considering what to do about editors who are paid to write wiki pages, but who don’t disclose the payment. For more information, please follow this link. 

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NPR Story
3:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Glacial Debris and Saturated Soil: A Geological Recipe For Mudslides

The following images were taken on March 24 during an aerial survey conducted by the Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Geological Survey, and King County Sheriff's Office. (King County Sheriff's Office - Air Support Unit)

The official death toll from Saturday’s massive landslide near Oso, Wash., now stands at at least 16.

Emergency managers say they have located other bodies under the mud, and will add them to the total only after they’re recovered.

Dozens of people are still listed as missing or unaccounted for.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Tom Banse of the Northwest News Network reports on the ongoing rescue and recovery efforts.

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Contraceptive Requirement Before Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will hear arguments today if Hobby Lobby and other for profit corporations can refuse to cover contraceptive services in their employee's healthcare for religious reasons. Activists rally outside the Supreme Court March 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

If a company’s owners have a strong religious objection to some kinds of contraception, can they refuse to include coverage for those types of contraception in their employee health insurance plan?

The President’s Affordable Care Act requires that large companies offer comprehensive health insurance to employees, including coverage for contraception. The administration has exempted religious groups from this requirement, but it has said that for-profit companies cannot be granted an exemption on religious grounds.

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Surprising Questions On Your Next Job Interview

With the economy on the upswing and the job market getting stronger–why is it taking so much longer these days to get hired? A survey of job seekers from glassdoor.com found that since 2009 the time it takes from application to actually hearing about whether or not you got the job –has more than doubled. It now averages 23 days.

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

529 Muslim Brotherhood Members Sentenced To Death

Today, an Egyptian court issued a verdict sentencing 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death. It is the largest mass death penalty verdict issued in the country’s history.

Additionally, 700 more members – including the Brotherhood’s leader – were put on trial for charges that included murder.

NPR’s Cairo correspondent Leila Fadel joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the mass sentencing.

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

A Trick For Bending The Laws Of Physics

You see it on T.V. all the time: cops interrogating a suspect in a cramped room while prosecutors watch from the other side of a one-way mirror.

The prosecutors can see in, but the suspects can’t see out.

Those mirrors are specially coated and lighting is used to create the one-way illusion.

Now engineers at the University of Texas in Austin have figured out how to create a one-way illusion with sound.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Matt Largey of KUT in Austin explains.

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Houston Ship Channel Expected To Reopen

The Coast Guard could soon reopen the Houston Ship Channel that was the scene of an oil spill over the weekend.

The channel is one of the nation’s busiest seaports. Coast Guard Warrant Officer Kimberly Smith says the goal is to reopen part of it sometime Monday. The closure has forced more than 80 ships to wait to enter or leave the bay.

Smith says officials are still trying to determine how much oil spilled Saturday, when a barge carrying about 900,000 gallons collided with a ship. Authorities initially said as much as a fifth of the barge’s cargo spilled.

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Pages

Podcasts

  • Friday, April 18, 2014 3:33pm
    Stories from this broadcast: Pro-Russian Separatists In Ukraine Reject Disarm Deal; Obama’s Asian Trade Mission Faces Obstacles At Home; When Your Life Is On Fire, What Would You Save?; Recycling Gray Water As California Drought Persists; First Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned From Adults; Boston Marathon Inspires At Children’s Cancer Clinic; Boston Is Ready To Run Again
  • Friday, April 18, 2014 2:23pm
    Stories from this broadcast: Hundreds Still Missing In South Korea Ferry Disaster; Adrianne Haslet-Davis Becomes Advocate For Amputees; Inside The Life Of A Restaurant Sous Chef
  • Thursday, April 17, 2014 3:03pm
    Stories from this broadcast: Experienced Captain Says South Korean Ferry Should Have Evacuated; Pot Debate Lights Up On ‘Here & Now’; One Student’s Story Of Trying To Quit Smoking Pot; General Mills’ New Privacy Policy Restricts Consumers’ Right To Sue; New Military Rules On Hair Create Controversy; Jane Goodall Plants ‘Seeds Of Hope’
  • Thursday, April 17, 2014 1:53pm
    Stories from this broadcast: A Look At Russia's Opposition Movement; College Advice From A High School Counselor; Report Finds Flawed Investigation Of Top Football Player; Security Expert Says Emergency Response Shouldn’t Sideline Public; What’s Being Done To Prevent Another Fertilizer Plant Explosion?
  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 2:40pm
    Stories from this broadcast: Study Links Casual Pot Use With Brain Abnormalities; Colorado High School Offers Treatment To Drug Users; Slow Start To Spring Housing Market; ER Doctor Looks Back A Year After Marathon Bombing; DJ Sessions: Blurring The Lines Between Rock, Jazz And Classical