Here and Now on KBIA 2

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Here! Now! Imperative: not to be avoided: necessary. In a typical week, the show will cover not only all the big news stories, but also the stories behind the stories, or some of the less crucial but equally intriguing things happening in the world.

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Just once per century, the date and time line up with the first 10 digits of the mathematical symbol pi (π). Saturday at 9:26:53 is the big moment.

Pi has perplexed and puzzled mathematicians for millennia. We learn it in school as having something to do with circles, but it turns up as the solution to lots of other problems, even when there are no circles involved.

At a press conference this morning, Dallas police identified a suspect in the March 4 shooting death of Iraqi immigrant Ahmed Al-Jumaili last week. Nykerion Nealon, a black 17-year-old, was arrested last night and charged with murder.

Al-Jumaili was shot while taking pictures of his first snowfall outside his new home in Dallas, Texas. Community leaders say it’s left many Muslims who live in the area feeling afraid.

On Wednesday, Utah approved the first white-collar felon public registry in the country. The registry needs final approval from the governor and it would include a recent photo of white-collar offenders, their eye color, hair color, date of birth, height and weight.

Obama And Unions Clash On Trade Deal

Mar 12, 2015

This week, labor leaders let President Obama know that when it comes to foreign trade, they are living on opposite sides of the tracks – the fast track, that is. That’s a term people use for giving a president the power to negotiate a trade agreement, and then put the final package on a “fast track” through Congress.

Lawmakers can give it a yes-or-no vote, but can’t amend the deal. Presidents have been using this power for decades, but only because Congress has regularly renewed it. Now the authority has expired, which is making it tough for Obama to wrap up an Asian trade deal.

Are Women's Colleges Still Relevant?

Mar 12, 2015

Sweet Briar College, a small women’s school in Virginia, announced last week that it will close in August. Students, faculty, staff and alumnae were caught by surprise. The college’s president, James Jones, announced that enrollment was down and the college couldn’t cover its expenses.

For the first time in about a century, there are no working union coal miners in Kentucky. The state’s few remaining union coal miners were laid off New Years Eve when Patriot Coal’s Highland Mine in Western Kentucky shut down.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Erica Peterson of WFPL reports that the union is struggling to appeal to younger coal miners, but others feel organized labor still has a role to play.

On Tuesday, a California federal jury delivered its verdict after eight days of trial testimony examining whether Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ song “Blurred Lines” infringed on the copyright for Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.”

The Gaye estate walked away with a victory and Thicke and Williams were ordered to pay more than $7 million in damages, plus profits attributable to infringement. It is a sad day for the “Blurred Lines” duo, but what could the ruling mean for the music industry?

Are you one of those people who constantly ends up on crutches? Friends say you should be covered in bubble wrap? Well it could be that it’s not your fault. In fact, it could be your genes.

A new review article published in the Journal of Sports Medicine concludes that genetics play a key role in a person’s risk of suffering from sports injuries. That holds true for athletes of all ages and all abilities, from weekend warriors to Olympians.

Why A Strong Dollar Sent Markets Plummeting

Mar 11, 2015

U.S. stock indexes opened a little higher Wednesday, after taking a tumble the day before. The Dow and S & P 500 both fell by close to 2 percent. The moves come as the U.S. dollar continues to make gains against the euro and other currencies. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson takes a look at what’s happening with Maggie Lake of CNN.

People in the United States have shorter lifespans than in almost any other industrialized country in the world, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Lisa Berkman set out to find out why and what can be done about it. She's a professor of epidemiology and public policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Breaking her silence, Hillary Rodham Clinton conceded Tuesday that she should have used a government email to conduct business as secretary of state, saying her decision was simply a matter of “convenience.”

“At the time, this didn’t seem like an issue,” Clinton said in her first public comments since it was disclosed last week that she exclusively used her private email for government business and housed her communications on a personal server.

Kurds Launch New Offensive Against ISIS

Mar 10, 2015

Kurdish Peshmerga forces are attacking ISIS in the oil-rich Iraqi province of Kirkuk. The offensive started yesterday and comes as Iraqi forces and Shiite militias try to retake Tikrit from the militants.

The two assaults are taking places as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee gets ready to consider President Obama’s request for authorization to use military force against ISIS for three more years.

U.S. fighter jets have been conducting airstrikes against ISIS targets for several months.

Getting Mental Health Help In High School

Mar 9, 2015

It used to be that students went to their school nurse to have their sore throat checked, or to get a vaccine.

But many kids have needs that go beyond physical health, whether it’s dealing with exposure to violence, or having suicidal thoughts.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Ruby de Luna reports that a growing number of schools in Seattle have started offering mental health services in response.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv believe that the best way to raise children is to give them the freedom to play, walk and explore without parental supervision.

That philosophy got them in trouble when police picked up their two children – Rafi, age 10, and Dvora, age 6 – when they saw the kids walking home from a park one mile from their house in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the three biggest companies that collect and disseminate credit information, have agreed to change the way they report credit scores under an agreement being announced Monday.

The changes will take effect over the next three years or so and will impact how the industry handles reporting errors and how they list unpaid medical bills.

Credit scores can determine whether people can rent apartments, get home or car insurance or in some cases find a job.

The highest grossing movie of 2014, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” comes out on DVD and Blu-ray today. We revisit Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson’s November conversation with director Francis Lawrence about the rewards and challenges of bringing such beloved books to the screen. Lawrence also directed two other films in the series: “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay – Part 2.”

The San Antonio Spurs take on the Denver Nuggets tonight in the Alamo City, Texas. The Spurs have won five NBA Championships in the past 16 years.

But it’s another award the team just picked up that we want to focus on. The M.I.T. Sloan Sports Analytics Conference named the Spurs the “Best Analytics Organization” and gave team manager R.C. Buford a lifetime achievement award.

Rare coin enthusiasts are gathered in Portland, Oregon for the National Money Show, a celebration of rare coins and bills.

Over $100 million worth of coins are expected to be displayed by dealers and collectors alike, but attendees expect the focus of the event to be the fabled Brasher Doubloon.

Struck in 1787, the Brasher Doubloons were the first gold coins ever struck for the United States and the first coins ever valued at $10 million.

The doubloon will take center stage in a convention full of historical curiosities and wild manufacturing errors.

4 Recipes For Beet Lovers

Mar 5, 2015

Growing up, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst hated beets. But now she’s become a beet convert, using them in salads and even beet hummus. Kathy shares recipes for her favorite beet dishes with hosts Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson.

After months of anticipation, the United States Justice Department has released a scathing report on the Ferguson Police Department, following the death last year of a young unarmed black man by a white police officer.

The report comes just a few days after the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing presented guidelines for law enforcement across the country.

In Kentucky, hundreds of people have been stranded in their cars and trucks since last night because of a storm that dumped over 20 inches in parts of the state. The stranded drivers are primarily on I-65 and I-24.

Seth Slifer from Franklyn, Tenn., is among those stranded on I-65. He spoke with Here & Now’s Robin Young by cellphone about the scene and how he’s holding up.

Adolf Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf” is a rambling, hate-filled, disjointed and sometimes unintelligible blueprint for the Third Reich. When a new annotated edition of the book is published in Germany in January 2016, it will mark the first time in almost 70 years that the text will be found in German bookstores.

After the war, the occupying allies banned the book, and the rights passed to Hitler’s home state of Bavaria. But the copyright expires at the end of the year, and all 16 German states have agreed that the book can be re-released, as long as it contains annotations.

Mobile games – the apps you download onto your phone or tablet – used to be a bit of an afterthought in the gaming industry, behind the bigger console and computer markets.

But mobile games are growing fast, and are reaching millions of users who don’t consider themselves gamers.

The mobile gaming industry held its annual awards dinner last night, and the game Monument Valley took the Grand Prix.

Smarter Robots In The Works

Mar 4, 2015

Having robot office helpers could be pretty handy. But today’s machines are nowhere close to the smart, free-roaming robots you see in movies. Right now, robots couldn’t get around a building without tripping on chairs or getting stuck behind doors.

From Here & Now’s tech partner IEEE Spectrum, Prachi Patel reports on a new bot that will work better in human environments.

What Makes Or Breaks A TV Remake?

Mar 3, 2015

British television’s crime drama “Broadchurch,” about a young boy’s murder in a seaside town, has been an absolute success, and returns tomorrow for a second season.

Meanwhile, the American remake of the same show, “Gracepoint” was a flop and Fox canceled it after just one season.

Speeding Up The Game Of Baseball

Mar 3, 2015

Major League Baseball’s spring training games are underway in Florida and Arizona – and clocks are ticking. After last season’s average game lasted a record 3 hours and 2 minutes, the push is on to speed things up.

Doug Tribou of NPR’s Only A Game joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain how the league plans to do that, and how the players are reacting.

Oral arguments begin tomorrow in a closely watched Supreme Court case that could dismantle the Affordable Care Act and eliminate health insurance for more than eight million Americans.

The case centers on one phrase in the law – “established by the State.”

The four plaintiffs in King V. Burwell, funded by conservative groups including Competitive Enterprise Institute, argue that “the State” refers solely to the 16 states that have set up their own exchanges, not the federal government, which established exchanges in 34 states.

Iraq Launches Offensive Against ISIS

Mar 2, 2015

Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces today began a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit from the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State.

The offensive is seen as a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by ISIS.

Last year, Chinese American author Lisa See spoke with us about her latest book, “China Dolls.” The book tells the story of popular Chinese nightclubs in San Francisco in the late 1930s.

With the release of the paperback edition of the novel this week, we revisit Here & Now host Robin Young’s conversation with Lisa See.

There’s long been speculation about who will take the reins as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway when Warren Buffett steps down.

This weekend, that speculation continued as Buffett repeated that he had identified his successor. His vice chair Charlie Munger, in a separate letter, named two Berkshire employees – Ajit Jain and Greg Abel – as among those likely to get the job.

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