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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The movie “Truth” comes out today. It stars Robert Redford as longtime CBS News anchor Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett as his veteran producer Mary Mapes.

When the film opens, they’re in the midst of an intense controversy over their 60 Minutes II report that President George W. Bush received preferential treatment from the Texas Air National Guard.

Almost as soon as the piece aired, the documents and interviews they had used were called into question, and both of their careers at CBS were suddenly in jeopardy.

By day, mild-mannered Jack Lepiarz is a news anchor for WBUR in Boston, and the voice of Here & Now‘s headline news.

But like Clark Kent, Jack has a secret alter ego. On weekends, he takes up a whip, paints on a mustache and appears at Renaissance fairs around the country as “Jacques Ze Whipper.”

This month, skygazers will have the chance to see something called “earthshine” on the moon, as well as Jupiter, Mars, Venus and a rare sighting of the elusive Mercury. Here & Now hosts Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young speak with Kelly Beatty, senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine about where in the sky to look and when.

The ancient art of navigating by the stars is making a comeback at the U.S. Naval Academy. The academy did away with teaching classes on celestial navigation in 1998 and replaced it with GPS and satellite technology.

The decision to bring back celestial navigation comes after the escalation of hacking threats. Frank Reed is an expert in celestial navigation. He tells Here & Now’s Robin Young about the Navy’s decision and the pros and cons of modern and ancient navigation techniques.

After 1,657 days, adventurer Sarah Outen is back in England. She’s the British woman who undertook a round-the-globe odyssey, all powered by her own energy. Here & Now spoke with her in April when she was in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, preparing the final leg of the journey – a row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Around the world, many major cities trying to improve public transit have adopted city rail lines that use open gangways.

Instead of multiple cars strung together, an open gangway is one long car, allowing passengers to walk the full length of the train without getting out. The design is believed to increase rider capacity of trains and even make late-night riding safer.

On Television, What's Old Is New Again

Oct 14, 2015

Classic is in. “The Judy Garland Show,” which aired in the 1960s, is returning to Sony Pictures’ getTV network, along with “The Merv Griffin Show.” The nostalgic audience member can also enjoy “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” on Tribune Broadcasting’s Antenna TV.

For contemporary viewers, The CW Network launched a new musical comedy this week, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” which received mediocre ratings despite positive reviews. Saturday Night Live also announced that Donald Trump will be hosting the show on Nov. 7, 2015, his first time hosting since 2004.

For nearly two decades, Henry Bloch – the ‘H’ in H&R Block – and his wife Marion, collected what they described as “pretty pictures” — mostly French impressionist works by the likes of Degas, Matisse and Monet.

Nearly 30 of these paintings filled the walls of their Mission Hills, Kansas, home. As Laura Spencer from Here & Now contributor KCUR in Kansas City reports, they are not there now – but you wouldn’t know it by looking.

While California struggles to find relief from the effects of its drought, the U.S. Senate will soon consider a plan, passed by House Republicans in July, to get more water to farmers in the Golden State.

The Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015 calls for the construction of new dams and for increasing the capacity of existing dams.

A Muslim man living in the Indian city of Dadri, just outside New Delhi, was beaten to death by a mob of Hindus angry that the man allegedly had beef in his refrigerator that he was planning to eat.

The cow is considered sacred by Hindus, who make up the majority of the population in India, and the slaughter and consumption of beef is illegal in many – but not all – states.

No More Nudity In Playboy

Oct 13, 2015

Playboy magazine will no longer publish images of nude women beginning this spring, though the magazine will still have photographs of women in suggestive poses, according to a statement from Playboy. It’s part of a big redesign, and an effort to attract more readers.

An Iranian court has convicted Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, according to a court spokesman on Iranian state television. There aren’t many details, however.

Rezaian has been detained in Iran for nearly 15 months on charges including espionage, but it’s not clear which charges Rezaian was convicted of or what the sentence might be. Rezaian’s imprisonment in Iran is the longest of any Western journalist since the current regime came into power in Iran in 1979.

The Great Place to Work Institute‘s annual list of the world’s best workplaces comes out tomorrow. SAS, a data analytics company based in Cary, North Carolina, consistently rates as one of the list’s best multinationals.

Dell and the private equity firm Silver Lake said today that they would buy the data storage company EMC for $67 billion, in what is being called the biggest technology industry takeover ever. This comes after Dell’s chief executive Michael Dell took the personal computer maker private two years ago.

It’s an effort to reinvent the company, as the market for personal computers has been changing rapidly. Ali Velshi of Al Jazeera America discusses the deal with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

For the first time in more than a decade, there’s a new treatment for patients diagnosed with one of the most common and deadly forms of brain cancer, known as glioblastoma or GBM. More than 12,000 Americans are diagnosed annually and until now, the median life expectancy after diagnosis was about 15 months.

Unlike traditional treatments, which include chemotherapy and radiation, this new treatment is non-invasive, doesn’t involve drugs and has few side effects. In fact, it looks a lot like an old-fashioned bathing cap hooked up to a backpack.

It sounds like a storyline out of Hollywood. A group of convicted inmates from the Eastern New York Correctional Facility, all of them participants in Bard College’s Prison Initiative, challenge Harvard University’s national championship-winning debate team. The inmates, who research without the Internet (because it’s not allowed), and wait weeks for the books they need to be cleared by security, win.

On Thursday, Volkswagen’s U.S. executive Michael Horn apologized before a congressional committee for the deception over software that evades emissions tests. The automaker is mired in an emissions cheating scandal that affects half a million cars in the U.S. and 11 million around the world.

There’s also news today that federal and California regulators are investigating a second computer program in Volkswagen diesel cars that also impacts emissions controls. Mike Regan of Bloomberg News joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

In an unexpected announcement Thursday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the race to succeed John Boehner as House speaker.

Although the Republican representative from California was expected to win, his support was undermined Wednesday night when the Freedom Caucus, a 40-member conservative splinter group, endorsed Republican Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida instead.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, a member of the Freedom Caucus, for his reaction.

Fifty years before Rosa Parks helped spark the modern civil rights movement by refusing to give up her seat in the colored section of a city bus to a white passenger, the African-American community in Nashville, Tennessee, took a bold stand – with a dash of entrepreneurial spirit – against Jim Crow laws on their streetcars. Nina Cardona from Here & Now contributor WPLN has the story.

Dealing With Alcoholism In The Family

Oct 8, 2015

A memoir called “A Common Struggle,” released Tuesday by former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy, bares all about his family’s health and alleged addictions.

The portrait of his father, the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, and his mother Joan, breaks what he calls a “conspiracy of silence” about how alcoholism poisoned the family. Others are disputing the account, including his older brother, Ted Kennedy Jr., a Connecticut state senator.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneidermann is launching an inquiry into two major companies: New York-based FanDuel and Boston-based DraftKings are the top dogs in the daily fantasy sports industry. That’s where people create virtual teams of actual pro sports players, and try to outscore other people’s virtual teams. And they do it for money, weekly or even daily.

The latest Steve Jobs biopic may be named after the late Apple CEO, but critics are already standing by, worried that it may not do justice in how it portrays him. The film, from veteran screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and director Danny Boyle, opens in select theaters Friday.

It fronts an all-star cast with Michael Fassbender playing the lead in a three-act dramatization of some of the most pivotal product launches in Jobs’ career (curiously, the iPhone launch of 2007 is not one of them).

The gym chain Planet Fitness has found itself in the middle of a national debate over how to accommodate transgender people in single-sex spaces like bathrooms and locker rooms.

Earlier this year, Yvette Cormier complained to her gym in Midland, Michigan, after seeing a transgender woman in the women’s locker room. Cormier took it upon herself to “warn” other customers of the transgender-friendly policy. The gym canceled her membership, and now she’s suing.

Two major, rival fantasy sports companies—FanDuel and DraftKings—are barring their employees from betting on fantasy games, amid allegations of insider trading.

This comes after an employee at DraftKings admitted to accidentally releasing valuable data, such as what players the majority of participants were betting on, ahead of the third week of N.F.L games. That employee won $350,000 at rival site, FanDuel, the same week.

The introduction of infant formula led many women to stop breastfeeding in the 1950s and ’60s. It has taken decades, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say breastfeeding rates are on the rise.

Although it’s the most natural way to feed babies, and there is a scientific consensus on the benefits of breastfeeding, it can be extremely difficult for some mothers.

The trio known as Algiers fuses gospel and punk music to confront racism, cultural assimilation and other issues specific to the American experience.

The band members are from Georgia, and there is a distinct Southern sound to much of their music.

Franklin James Fisher, Algiers’ lead singer and songwriter, talks to Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti about the band’s mission.

Chvrches started out humble enough. A few singles hitting the Internet, some online buzz and a debut album recorded in a basement.

Less than four years later, however, and the band is massive – headlining summer festival stops the past two years across the country, while playing more than 350 shows.

Earlier this year Planet Fitness canceled a woman’s membership after she complained that a transgender woman’s presence in the locker room made her feel unsafe. She’s now suing the gym chain. Planet Fitness says it was not her complaint that led to the decision, but her showing up three days in a row to warn other customers about “a man in the locker room.”

Another Hat In The Ring For House Speaker

Oct 5, 2015

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz declared on Fox News Sunday his candidacy for speaker of the House of Representatives. He is now the third Republican to vie for the seat, along with Majority Leader Kevin O. McCarthy of California and Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida.

Chaffetz’s announcement comes one week after Speaker John Boehner announced he was stepping down at the end of October. NPR’s lead political editor Domenico Montanaro joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to talk about the process of selecting a new speaker of the House.

A collection of stringed instruments, largely silent for seven decades, is giving voice to the horrors of the Holocaust. The “Violins of Hope” were once owned by the inmates of Nazi concentration camps and are now part of a three-month exhibit that opens today in Cleveland. David C. Barnett from Here & Now contributor WCPN has the story behind the violins.