Here and Now on The News And Ideas Network

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  • Hosted by Hosted By: Robin Young & Jeremy Hobson

Produced every weekday at WBUR in Boston, Here and Now features fast breaking news, more leisurely analysis, and human interest stories. The program also covers the arts: film, theater, music and much more.

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Inspired by a poem, an art exhibit on sexual assault titled “What Were You Wearing?” re-creates outfits survivors had on when they were assaulted, alongside personal stories.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Jen Brockman, one of the creators of the installation and director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center at the University of Kansas.

The leaders of North and South Korea meet for the first time since 2007 on Friday. The meeting will set the stage for an expected meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, where the North’s nuclear weapons program will be the main topic.

It’s not easy for a professional musician to give up their own instrument and play with another. But in Nashville, members of the symphony are performing around the city using the “Violins of Hope” — a collection of string instruments that survived the Holocaust.

Emily Siner (@SinerSays) from WPLN has the story.

The Iran nuclear deal will be one of the big items on the agenda Tuesday during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit with President Trump. Macron wants the U.S. to stick with the deal, but President Trump has been a harsh critic of the agreement.

Here & Now‘s Eric Westervelt (@Ericnpr) speaks with MSNBC’s Ali Velshi (@AliVelshi), co-host of “Velshi & Ruhle.”

The toymaker Hasbro reported weaker-than-expected earnings Monday, and the company’s CEO pointed to the ongoing liquidation of Toys R Us stores in the U.S. as a cause. Toys R Us was one of Hasbro’s largest customers, and it filed for bankruptcy in September.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young learns more from USA Today’s Charisse Jones (@charissejones).

President Trump hinted over the weekend that he might grant a posthumous pardon to boxer Jack Johnson. Johnson was the first African-American world heavyweight champion, but he also was the subject of a racially motivated arrest.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Jesse Washington (@jessewashington), senior writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated.

The Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger is known for his pioneering work describing the form of autism that now bears his name. But previously unexamined documents now show Asperger was also involved with a notorious euthanasia program run by Nazis in Austria.

Editor’s Note: This segment discusses rape and sexual violence, and contains audio that some listeners may find disturbing or offensive.


There have been protests in northern India this week over the rape and murder of an 8-year-old Muslim girl in January. The case has taken a political turn, because two officials from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party protested in favor of the accused men, who are Hindus. Those officials resigned last week.

U.S. troops are involved in combat, counterterrorism or combat support missions in Iraq, Africa, the Philippines and elsewhere. This year marks the American military’s 17th year in Afghanistan.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner once called himself “unelectable.” Yet the 57-year-old attorney, known for being as outspoken as he is progressive, was sworn into office in January after winning the November election in a landslide.

The list of aging rock ‘n’ roll musicians who have damaged their hearing after a long career on stage is growing.

Huey Lewis and the News canceled its 2018 tour last week after Lewis told fans that he “can’t hear music well enough to sing.”

Eric Clapton told the BBC this year that he is going deaf.

Inspectors with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons say they were denied access to the Syrian town of Douma, where a suspected chemical weapons attack on April 7 killed dozens and prompted U.S.-led missile strikes over the weekend.

Here & Now‘s Lisa Mullins speaks with NPR’s Michele Keleman (@michelekelemen).

A video that has garnered more than 9 million views on Twitter shows two black men being arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia. There have been large protests at the store.

Here & Now‘s Eric Westervelt (@Ericnpr) speaks with WHYY’s Peter Crimmins (@petercrimmins) for the latest.

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office predicts the federal deficit will balloon past $1 trillion in the next two years. That takes into account the Republicans 1.5 trillion dollar tax overhaul signed into law last year, and a $1.3 trillion bipartisan spending bill last month.

The Dow opened down 200 points today after the President Tweeted that Russia should “get ready” because missiles “will be coming” at Syria.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Michael Regan (@Reganonymous), senior editor at Bloomberg News.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying before a joint Senate subcommittee hearing Tuesday, amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Facebook’s role in the Cambridge Analytica data leaks.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd discusses the latest with NPR’s Miles Parks (@MilesParks).

The federal deficit is expected to surpass $1 trillion in 2020, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO also predicts that in 10 years the deficit will be about the same size as the country’s gross domestic product.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd looks at the implications of the deficit with MSNBC’s Ali Velshi (@AliVelshi), co-host of “Velshi & Ruhle.”

In his long career as a lawmaker and diplomat, George Mitchell dealt with many of the world’s thorniest problems. He helped broker the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, which is marking its 20th anniversary Tuesday.

In the first of two conversations, Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Mitchell about the Middle East, where he also served as an envoy.

A surprising number of animals in the animal kingdom take the idea of “repair” to the next level: They can actually regenerate an entirely new limb, or parts of their hearts and brains, after injury. Scientists around the world are studying this ability in hopes of someday harnessing it for humans.

Paige Pfleger (@PaigePfleger) from WHYY’s The Pulse reports.

With full military honors and an honorary flyover, Thomas Hudner Jr., who received the Medal of Honor in 1951 for bravery during the Korean War, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday.

Here & Now‘s Alex Ashlock (@aashlock) was there for the ceremony, and has this report.

Fifty years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 39 years old.

On the 50th anniversary of his death, new biographies of King reveal little-known facets of King’s connections to Boston, and to Robert Kennedy. Fred Thys (@fredthys) from member station WBUR begins with the civil rights leader’s ties to Boston University.

The country’s biggest owner of local television stations is under fire for making its news anchors read a scripted promo decrying “false news” and echoing conservative rhetoric about bias in the media. A compilation of anchors at stations owned or operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group went viral over the weekend, and President Trump weighed in Monday morning on Twitter.

President Trump called Roseanne Barr to congratulate her on the reboot of her show, “Roseanne.” The revival addresses political issues, even as Barr herself has generated controversy for her sometimes extreme views.

Utility companies are looking toward electric vehicles to revive the demand for electricity, which has been falling due to improved energy efficiency in the United States. Companies are offering rebates to help get more people to buy electric cars.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with Quartz reporter Michael J. Coren (@MJ_Coren).

IRS Audits Drop To Lowest Level Since 2002

Mar 29, 2018

If you’re worried about being audited by the IRS, the chances of that happening are increasingly slim. In 2017, the percentage of individual tax audits dropped to its lowest level since 2002, according to data being released Thursday. The decline comes as the IRS has faced budget cuts.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with USA Today’s Charisse Jones(@charissejones).

A Border Patrol agent is on trial for murder more than five years after he shot through a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border, killing a teenager on the other side.

Lonnie Swartz faces second-degree murder charges for the death of 16-year-old Mexican citizen Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in 2012. Swartz shot Rodriguez 10 times across the border in Nogales.

As Easter and Passover approach, University of Connecticut music professor Robert Stephens joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss the evolution of gospel music, from African rhythms to the Hammond organ that characterizes the popular “Brooklyn sound” in churches today.

Interview Highlights

On how gospels grew out of spirituals

Private office phone booths are becoming a thing — especially in a world of open-floor-plan office spaces that are too noisy and don’t give coworkers enough privacy.

This is just one of several ways offices are giving workers more privacy in design.

Uber Pulls Out Of Southeast Asia

Mar 27, 2018

Uber is selling off its operations in Southeast Asia to a local rival named Grab.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Roben Farzad (@robenfarzad), who hosts “Full Disclosure” on NPR One, about how Uber is doing outside of the U.S., as the ride-hailing company also faces setbacks over its self-driving car testing. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey this week suspended Uber’s self-driving car tests, after a self-driving car operated by Uber killed a pedestrian in Tempe earlier this month.

Monday night the Commerce Department announced it would reinstate a citizenship question in the federal census, which will next be taken in 2020. Democratic lawmakers say it will depress the count of people living in the U.S. because immigrants will be afraid to fill out the form. Republican say it will bolster citizen rights.

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