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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
2:50 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Putin's 'Russkii' Comment Raises Fears Of A New Yugoslavia

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a joint session of Russian parliament on Crimea in the Kremlin in Moscow on March 18. Putin sparked controversy when he used the word "Russkii" to refer to the Russian people, rather than "Rossisskii." (Alexei Nikolsky/Getty Images)

Political scientist Kimberly Marten says Vladimir Putin “may have permanently changed” Russia and its relationship with the outside world by using the word “Russkii” in Parliament this week.

In her post on The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post, Marten says there are two words for “Russian” in the Russian language, “Rossisski,” and “Russkii.”

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Korean BBQ Chef Shines Spotlight On Korean Food Culture

Gal bi, prime beef short rib, and Kobe style beef, Ggot sal, with all the side dishes, banchan. (Parks BBQ/Facebook)

Jenee Kim studied food science in South Korea, apprenticed at a friend’s restaurant in Seoul and opened her first restaurant in L.A.’s Koreatown in 2003.

Since then, Park’s BBQ has become one of L.A.’s best Korean restaurants, known for the quality of its meat and for its banchan, or side dishes.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

State Tax Laws 'A Mess' For Same-Sex Couples And Employers

(kenteegardin/Flickr)

Same-sex couples who are married can file jointly for federal taxes, but they face a confusing and complicated set of state tax laws.

Attorney Carol Calhoun has put together a comprehensive summary of how state tax laws work for same-sex married couples.

As Calhoun explained in an email to Here & Now:

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

British Troops Draw Down In Afghanistan

As U.S. troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan, forces from the U.K. are doing the same thing. They have closed or handed over to the Afghans all but two of their bases across Helmand Province. They used to occupy more than 130 bases in that area.

The BBC’s defense correspondent Jonathan Beale reports from Helmand.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

The Bang In The Big Bang

MIT physicist Alan Guth is pictured in the Here & Now studios. (Robin Lubbock/Here & Now)

When a team of astronomers announced yesterday that they had been able to peer back 13.8 billion years to the first few moments of the Big Bang, they were confirming the work of Alan Guth in the 1970s.

The researchers say they say they saw some of what gave the bang to the Big Bang — what made the universe expand as quickly as it did. It’s being called one of the greatest discoveries in science.

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NPR Story
3:01 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Will L.A. Have A Future Like 'Her' Or 'Elysium'?

Matt Damon is pictured in the film "Elysium."

Two recent movies sketch out two very different visions of the future of Los Angeles, the epitome of the sprawling, western city. There’s the L.A. in the Oscar-winning movie “Her.” And then there’s the L.A. in the movie “Elysium.”

Parts of “Her” were filmed in Shanghai; nobody seems to drive and people live and work in high-rise buildings. In “Elysium,” run-down parts of Mexico City stand in for L.A.

Could L.A.’s future look like either one of these movies, if current trends continue?

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NPR Story
3:01 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Why The Search For The Missing Plane Is CNN's Story

A screenshot of CNN's coverage of the missing plane on Mar. 18, 2014. (CNN.com)

CNN’s ratings are through the roof. It’s been criticized for reporting more speculation than other networks, but its wall-to-wall coverage of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 doesn’t seem to be putting off a lot of viewers.

Joe Concha, TV news columnist for Mediaite.com, says this is an example of the cable news approach of today: all-in on one story. He speaks to Here & Now’s Robin Young.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Packing A Vacation Suitcase To Help Those In Need

Students at a school in Llano Grande, Costa Rica, received donated art school supplies from traveler Susan Sachs Lipman, through Pack for a Purpose and La Quinta de Sarapiqui. (packforapurpose.org)

A nonprofit organization called Pack for a Purpose is encouraging international travelers to use some of their luggage space to carry medical and school supplies to their vacation destination.

The organization has teamed up with local lodging, tour agencies and community organizations in countries across the globe to find out what items are needed, from pencils and soccer balls in schools to clothes and toiletries in orphanages.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Earthquake Shakes Los Angeles

Egill Hauksson, a Caltech seismologist, talks about an early morning earthquake during a news conference in Pasadena, Calif, on Monday, March 17, 2014. The pre-dawn quake rolled across the Los Angeles basin on Monday, rattling residents from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach but causing no reported damage. The quake's magnitude was 4.4 and it was centered 15 miles west-northwest of the downtown civic center, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (Nick Ut/AP)

It wasn’t exactly “the big one,” but people in Southern California did get a rude awakening today when a 4.4 magnitude earthquake struck. The quake could be felt from the San Fernando Valley down to Long Beach, but there are no reports of damage or injury.

Here & Nows Jeremy Hobson is reporting from Los Angeles this week and checks in with co-host Robin Young about what the quake felt like. He also shares what he has in store for us tomorrow and Wednesday when he co-hosts the show from NPR West.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Why Flight 370 Pilot Is Wrongly Being Called A 'Fanatic'

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak addresses the media alongside Malaysia's Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein (left) and Director General of Civil Aviation Department, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (right) during a press conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on March 15, 2014. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 8:50 pm

With the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, Slate’s politics and foreign affairs editor William Dobson joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain speculation that the pilot of the missing plane is a “fanatical” supporter of Anwar Ibrahim.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Choral Music Based On Great American Words

Lisa Graham will direct a music program March 15 and 16 featuring Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," narrated by Here & Now's Robin Young. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 2:22 pm

Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” has been performed numerous times since Copland wrote the piece, shortly following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942. Iconic voices including Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and James Earl Jones have read Lincoln’s words to Copland’s music.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Aging Natural Gas Pipes: How Safe Are Our Cities?

A police officer near the scene of a gas leak explosion that caused two buildings to collapse on Park Avenue and 116th street in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan March 12, 2014 in New York City. (Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

Rescue workers with dogs and thermal units are searching the rubble for victims of a the gas explosion earlier this week in Manhattan, as investigators struggle to pinpoint where the leak came from and try to determine whether it was caused by the city’s aging infrastructure. Eight bodies have been pulled from the debris, but rescue workers have, so far, only cleared about half the site.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Obama Proposes Tighter For-Profit College Rules

The Obama administration is announcing new regulations aimed at for-profit and vocational colleges.

The rules will set standards for what colleges must do to prepare students for employment after graduation, tying their success to federal student aid programs.

The proposal would make a program ineligible for federal student aid if its graduates fail to meet a debt-to-earnings metric.

Federal officials say they’re trying to protect students from low-quality programs that burden them with debt. Critics say the rules harm students and single out for-profit colleges.

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NPR Story
3:12 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

More Deaths In Venezuela As Protests Persist

Demonstrators take part in an anti-government protest in the east of Caracas on March 12, 2014. (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, three people were shot dead in Venezuela during anti-government protests in the central city of Valencia. A month of student-led demonstrations in a number of Venezuelan cities have left at least 25 people dead, according to the government.

Demonstrators say they have taken to the streets to protest shortage of goods, high inflation and the highest homicide rates in the world.

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NPR Story
3:12 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Herbalife Pyramid Scheme Claims Investigated

Herbalife uses a network of distributors to sell its nutritional supplements and weight-loss products. (netodarkis/Flickr)

Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has won a round in his 15-month fight against supplements and weight-loss products maker Herbalife. The direct seller’s shares tumbled Wednesday after Herbalife revealed that it is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission for possible “deceptive practices.”

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