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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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NPR Story
3:40 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Super Bowl Economics: NY May Profit More Than NJ

Next week’s Super Bowl XLVIII is expected to bring $600 million to the New York/New Jersey region, says the NFL. But how much of that will stay in New Jersey, the host city, isn’t clear.

Hotels and homeowners on both sides of the Hudson River are trying to profit as football fans come to the region to attend the game at MetLife Stadium.

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NPR Story
3:41 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Color Used In Many Sodas Contains Potential Carcinogen

A recent article in Consumer Reports says that the caramel color used to make most sodas brown, contains a potential carcinogen. One of the the worst offenders is the diet brand Pepsi One. (Brandon Warren/Flickr)

It may not be news that soda is unhealthy, but today, Consumer Reports is saying that in addition to the sugar and empty calories most soda consumers may worry about, they also should be concerned about the color of the soda.

Tests show that the caramel color used to make most sodas brown, contains a potential carcinogen, and one of the the worst offenders is the diet brand Pepsi One.

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NPR Story
3:41 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

'Sustainability' Is Big In Food Retail, But Hard To Prove

Whole Foods already employs a labeling system to identify the sustainability ratings of its seafood. The company plans to introduce a similar system for flowers and produce later this year. (Quim Gil/Flickr)

When you head to the supermarket, you have a lot of choices these days. You can choose from any number of brands, prices and labels. You can go organic, buy local, make sure your food is antibiotic free. And now you can add “sustainable” to the grocery list.

Retailers and restaurants like Whole Foods, Chipotle and Walmart are all providing information to consumers about how “sustainably” some of their products were produced. But it’s hard to know just what “sustainably” means and how to judge whether food was produced in a “sustainable” way.

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NPR Story
3:41 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

How China's Web Traffic Wound Up In Wyoming

Pictured is the building in Cheyenne, Wyo., registered to the Internet address that received the Chinese web traffic. (Google Streetview)

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:52 am

Half a billion Internet users in China were blocked from the Internet for nearly eight hours on Tuesday when China’s vast “firewall,” or censorship technologies, accidentally routed most of the country’s web traffic to an Internet address registered to a company in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

While the physical location of the servers receiving the traffic isn’t clear, the massive loss of Internet service may be the biggest crash in the Internet’s history.

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NPR Story
3:36 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

DJ Sessions: Reviving Snoop And Other '90s Sounds

Oddience is one of the bands KCRW's Travis Holcombe features in this week's DJ Sessions. (Oddience/Facebook)

KCRW’s Travis Holcombe joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson in the latest installment of DJ Sessions.

Travis shares music that is being produced now, but is reminiscent of the sounds from the ’90s, including one group that’s reviving Snoop Dogg.

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NPR Story
3:36 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Justices Hear Arguments In Restitution Case

The Supreme Court lent a sympathetic ear Wednesday to a victim of child pornography who wants the court to make it easier for victims to collect money from people convicted of downloading and viewing the pornographic images.

The woman known as Amy was at the court, her legal team said, for arguments in which the justices underscored that she and other victims of child pornography suffer serious psychological harm whenever anyone looks at their images online.

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NPR Story
3:36 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Apple's Mac Computer Turns 30

The Apple Computer Inc., manufacturing plant in Milpitas, Calif., producing Macintosh computers, is shown in this Feb. 24, 1984 photo. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

This coming Friday marks the 30th anniversary of the first Apple Mac that went on sale.

NPR technology correspondent Steve Henn joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the genesis of the Macintosh, the future of Apple and how the Mac has influenced both Apple and the technological world.

[Youtube]

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Pandora And Performance Rights Organization In Court Over Music Fees

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:32 am

Pandora is facing off with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in federal court today to determine how much money the online radio giant should pay for the use of their compositions.

Pandora pays 4.3 percent of its revenues to ASCAP publishers and songwriters. It pays about half its revenue to record labels and performers. The decision could have an impact on the evolving digital music industry.

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

The Kings Of Ice Castles Come To New Hampshire

Cory Livingood stands in a potential ice throne location. (Sean Hurley/NHPR)

Utah has one. So does Colorado. And now New Hampshire has one, too: Its very own ice castle.

The frozen structure is now open to the public at Loon Mountain in north central New Hampshire.

It’s taken mother nature and 20 workers about a month to turn tons of homemade icicles into a glacial maze of frozen caverns and clear blue coliseums.

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

One Year Later: Reflections On An Inaugural Poem

President Barack Obama and Richard Blanco look at a framed copy of "One Today," in the Oval Office, May 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

When Richard Blanco was tapped last year to write the inaugural poem at the ceremony for President Obama’s second term, he was more than surprised. The Latino gay poet was given three weeks to write and submit three poems.

Blanco says the poem chosen for the big day, “One Day,” was not his favorite. We hear the one that was: “Mother Country.”

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NPR Story
3:05 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Is Another Housing Bubble Growing?

Peter Wallison, a conservative voice in the world of fiscal policy, recently wrote a much-commented-upon opinion piece in the New York Times entitled "The Bubble is Back." But unlike his most of colleagues on the 2011 Fiscal Crisis Inquiry Commission, Wallison blames government housing policy for the last bubble. (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 3:52 pm

Peter Wallison, a conservative voice in the world of fiscal policy, sees signs of another housing bubble. He points to the growing gap between owning versus renting, and to a return to no-money-down mortgages.

He recently wrote a much-commented-upon opinion piece in the New York Times entitled “The Bubble is Back.” But unlike his most of colleagues on the 2011 Fiscal Crisis Inquiry Commission, Wallison blames government housing policy for the last bubble.

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NPR Story
2:41 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

World's Richest 85 Hold Same Wealth As Poorest 3.5 Billion

A slum community in Lucknow, India. (Tom Pietrasik/Oxfam)

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 8:17 am

Income inequality has been in national headlines for weeks, but a new report out today from the Britain-based international charity Oxfam says it’s a major issue worldwide.

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NPR Story
1:27 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Syrian-American Rapper Focuses On Violence In Syria

Omar Offendum performs at the 2012 Doha Tribeca Film Festival on November 18, 2012 in Doha, Qatar. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Doha Film Institute)

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 3:52 pm

You may have heard of Omar Offendum, the 31-year-old Syrian-American rapper who made a song about the Arab Spring called #Jan25 that was released just days before the overthrow of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.

Now, he’s focusing his music on his parents’ home country of Syria. He joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss his music and what it’s been like to watch the conflict from the U.S.

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NPR Story
1:27 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

New Thinking On Women And Alcohol

(CoffeeCypher/Flickr)

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 3:52 pm

Alcoholics Anonymous is commonly considered the gold standard for helping people control their drinking problems.

But there’s a growing school of thought that there are problem drinkers who can cut back — as opposed to severely dependent drinkers who must cut out drinking altogether. There are new tools, such as medication and online support.

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NPR Story
1:27 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

'Brutal Massacre' Of Civilians Unsettles Western Agencies In Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers inspect the scene of a suicide attack outside a base in Zhari district, Kandahar province on January 20, 2014. (Javed Tanveer/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 3:52 pm

NATO forces repelled a Taliban attack on a Western base today in the Southern Afghan province of Kandahar that killed one coalition soldier. All nine Taliban fighters, along with two Afghan civilians were killed in the battle.

That attack comes after a suicide bombing on Friday in Kabul that killed 21 people, 13 of them foreigners. NPR’ Sean Carberry tells Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti that the attack was “unprecedented.”

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NPR Story
2:41 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Malware Used In Target Breach Found

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:54 pm

The malicious computer program used against Target was revealed in a government report released yesterday.

Officials are calling the cyber attack operation “Kaptoxa,” a Russian word that comes from a piece of code in the malware. Investigators say the malware used in the recent breach was partly written in Russian, though it’s unclear whether the attack originated in Russia.

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NPR Story
2:40 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

'Saturday Night Live' Seeks Diversity With New Hire

Comedienne Sasheer Zamata will make her debut as a Saturday Night Live cast member this weekend. Zamata is the first African-American female cast member since Maya Rudolph's departure six years ago. (Cate Hellman)

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:54 pm

This weekend, “Saturday Night Live“ will debut its newest cast member, Sasheer Zamata. Zamata is the first African-American female hire in six seasons — since the departure of Maya Rudolph in 2007.

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NPR Story
2:40 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Fighting Rages On Turkey's Border With Syria

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:54 pm

The civil war in Syria is a confusing mix of rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, al-Qaida aligned fighters from the group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), and the regime’s army.

That’s especially true on Syria’s border with Turkey. The BBC’s James Reynolds reports from the border on that conflict.

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Netflix May Take A Hit With End Of Net Neutrality

While the end of net neutrality may mean higher costs for Netflix, the company may be able to pay to ensure that its content stream faster and in higher quality than its competition, or refuse to pay more money for high speed Internet. (Netflix Blog)

The recent appeals court ruling that overturned a FCC regulation requiring Internet Service Providers to treat all online services equally, known as “net neutrality,” may mean higher costs for Netflix and other online services.

But it also could have an upside for Netflix: the company may be able to pay to ensure that its content streams faster and in higher quality than its competition. Or the company can refuse to pay more money for high speed Internet.

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NPR Story
3:14 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Dancing Doctor Continues Healing Journey

Dr. Deborah Cohan's friend Hillary Goidell took this picture of her the morning before surgery. (Facebook)

Dr. Deborah Cohan, a California mother of two, inspired millions by deciding to dance to Beyoncé’s “Get Me Bodied” — with the entire operating room staff — just before her double mastectomy.

Deborah Cohan’s video was viewed by millions and her healing journey continues. Just days ago, she started chemotherapy treatment.

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NPR Story
3:14 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Florida Man In Assisted Living Squanders Lottery Winnings

Lottery winner Malcolm Ramsey, 55, sits in his room at the Loving Care assisted living facility in St. Petersburg, Fla., with some of the shoes he bought recently with his winnings. Ramsey was on a $54 monthly allowance before buying a scratch-off ticket worth $500 a week for life. (James Borchuk/Tampa Bay Times)

It’s every scratch card lottery player’s dream — seeing those matching numbers that mean big bucks. And that’s exactly what happened to Florida resident Malcolm Ramsey, whose winning numbers added up to $500 a week, for life.

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NPR Story
2:32 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

DJ Sessions: Rare Soul Gets Some Love

The Four Tops were among the American soul singers who became popular in the U.K.'s "Northern Soul" scene. (Wikimedia Commons)

Americans who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s are probably familiar with soul artists like Marvin Gaye and Al Green.

But a number of artists who didn’t make it big in the U.S. went on to become stars in Northern England years later.

And to mark the 40th anniversary of the first Northern Soul All Night Dance Party in Northern England, KALW in San Fransisco curated a 24/7 music channel online devoted to the style.

One of the DJs behind the effort is Ashleyanne Krigbaum of KALW in San Francisco.

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NPR Story
2:32 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Peru Now The Biggest Cocaine Producer

Peru has taken over as the world’s top producer of cocaine, overtaking its neighbor Colombia.

Colombia drastically reduced cocaine production there with a multi-billion dollar effort to eradicate the coca leaf that is used to produce cocaine.

The BBC’s Robin Lustig traveled to Peru to see that nation’s effort to stall cocaine production.

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NPR Story
2:32 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Increases to Public Health Funding in Omnibus Spending Bill

Aerial photo of the NIH Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, Bethesda, Maryland. (Wikimedia Commons)

The National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will all be spared from further cuts if Congress passes the omnibus spending package.

The NIH specifically would get $29.9 billion, a $1 billion increase from 2013.

This increased funding would help Americans and patients get preventative care, including amplified efforts toward mental health programs.

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NPR Story
2:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Study Questions Benefit Of Gifted Education Programs

(Steve Ruark/AP)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:12 pm

In 2008, 73 percent of teachers surveyed by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute agreed that “too often, the brightest students are bored and under-challenged in school.”

Gifted and talented programs are in place to remedy that, and they’re heralded as a breeding ground for high-performing students.

Three million kids nationwide are placed in these exclusive programs — and parents view them as important to their kids’ futures.

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NPR Story
2:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Detroit Auto Show Warms Up With Hot New Cars

Mary Barra, the new CEO of General Motors, walks to a media scrum on the eve of the 2014 North American International Auto Show on January 12, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:12 pm

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit is chock full of previews of new and experimental cars.

But all eyes were locked on incoming General Motor CEO, Mary Barra. When she takes the reigns later this week, she’ll be the first female chief of a global automaker.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Bellini is at the auto show, and he speaks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about the buzz.

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NPR Story
2:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Project Tracks Ospreys From N.H. To The Amazon

An osprey nest in Umbagog Lake, New Hampshire. (Christine and John Fournier/Flickr)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:12 pm

Ospreys, also called sea hawks or fish eagles, are found all over the world. But when the temperature drops, the birds head for the tropics.

For juveniles, that first migration is a crucible that only 25 to 40 percent survive.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Sam Evans-Brown of New Hampshire Public Radio brings this story of a project that tracks ospreys to learn about the adventures they have between their departure in the fall and return in the spring.

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NPR Story
2:09 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

The Multitalented Molly Ringwald

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:13 pm

Molly Ringwald has gone far beyond being the girl who made such a splash in films like 1985′s “The Breakfast Club.”

Though she continues to act, she is also a singer, on tour promoting her 2013 jazz album “Except Sometimes.” And in 2012, she published the book “When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories.”

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NPR Story
2:09 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ And ‘12 Years A Slave’ Surprise At Golden Globes

Steve McQueen and the cast of "12 Years A Slave" accept the award for Best Motion Picture, Drama during the 71st Annual Golden Globe Award at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:13 pm

Last night’s Golden Globe awards ceremony celebrated Hollywood’s best performances in television and in film.

“12 Years A Slave,” the film about a free black man captured and sold into slavery, lost in the individual actor categories but picked up a Best Picture award, stunning its director, Steve McQueen.

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NPR Story
1:10 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Utah Couple Stays Optimistic Amid Gay Marriage Limbo

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:13 pm

Last week was an intense one for same-sex couples in Utah. Same-sex couples have been getting married in Utah since December 20, when a federal district judge ruled that the state ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.

But on Wednesday, Utah governor Gary Herbert told state agencies not to recognize the marriages. The attorney general’s office said it was not sure whether the same-sex marriages that had occurred since Dec. 20 were valid.

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