Here & Now

Monday - Thursday, 10:00 a.m. - noon, Friday, 10:00 a.m - 11:00 a.m. on KUOW | Monday - Thursday, noon - 1:00 p.m. on KUOW2

Here! Now! In the moment! Paddling in the middle of a fast moving stream of news and information, Here & Now is public radio's daily news magazine.

Special Coverage: Obama's Year-End Remarks

18 hours ago

Here & Now provided special coverage of the president’s remarks on Friday afternoon, before he and his family left for a Christmas vacation in Hawaii. The audio includes the entirety of the remarks and special coverage.

President Barack Obama praised the reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba on Friday but said he doesn’t expect it to bring overnight change on the island, a quick end to the U.S. economic embargo or the likelihood that he will soon visit the communist nation.

Obama: Sony Decision To Cancel Movie A 'Mistake'

18 hours ago

President Barack Obama said Friday that Sony Pictures Entertainment “made a mistake” in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader, and he vowed the United States will respond “in a place and manner and time that we choose” to a hack attack the FBI blamed on the secretive Communist regime.

Speaking of Sony executives, Obama said at a year-end news conference, “I wish they had spoken to me first. … We cannot have a society in which some dictatorship someplace can start imposing censorship.”

Mixed Reaction As New York Bans Fracking

18 hours ago

This week, New York became the second state in the nation to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Vermont’s ban, which was the first, was largely symbolic, as the state doesn’t have any real natural gas resources. New York, though, sits on the gas-rich Marcellus Shale, and the debate over whether to open it to fracking has been deeply emotional and contentious.

Putin Vows To Fix Russian Economy

Dec 18, 2014

In his annual press conference, which ran four hours, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to ease the country’s economic woes by diversifying its heavy reliance on oil and gas. He also said he’s confident the plummeting ruble will recover.

Three million American families will buy real Christmas trees this year. Most are grown in either Oregon or North Carolina, the top two Christmas-tree-producing states in the country.

However, the real-tree industry has something in common with many other businesses: competition with China. About 79 percent of people now use artificial Christmas trees.

One reason people purchase artificial trees is because they believe they’re more environmentally sound. But is that true?

A Short History Of U.S.-Cuba Relations

Dec 18, 2014

President Obama’s decision to change U.S. policy on Cuba comes after a half century of icy relations. The announcement came as a surprise to many, including Julia Sweig, director for Latin American studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sweig joined Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the history of the struggle between the two nations and outline what the opening of diplomatic relations and easing of restrictions will mean both for Cuba and the United States.

Atticus Lish‘s debut novel “Preparation for the Next Life” has already been drawing raves from critics.

It centers around an unlikely romance between Skinner, a veteran of the war in Iraq, and Zou Lei, a Uyghur from China. Lish told Here & Now‘s Robin Young that the book’s title has significance for both characters.

For more than a decade, federal education policies have pushed schools to get parents more involved on campus. The idea is that if parents are more involved, then their children will do better academically — especially kids who struggle.

In one Texas school district, that idea is taking a new form. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Laura Isensee of Houston Public Media visits an elementary school to find out more.

Atticus Lish’s novel “Preparation for the Next Life” and a recent New Yorker article, “The Kitchen Network” by Lauren Hilgers, have thrown a spotlight onto the plight of the workers in Chinese restaurants.

The Hunt For Afghan War Criminals

Dec 16, 2014

As the NATO combat mission winds down in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani says his country has to overcome the past and face the future with confidence. But as Afghanistan tries to move forward, there are growing calls for the prosecution of those responsible for war crimes.

Dutch prosecutors are preparing cases against several who are believed to be living in Europe. Some of the crimes date back 30 years to the time before Russia invaded Afghanistan. The BBC’s David Loyn reports.

Bruce Feiler is well known for his book “Walking the Bible.” In his new PBS series “Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler,” the best-selling author accompanies Americans on pilgrimages to six of the world’s holiest sites.

The first episode airs tonight and focuses American troops wounded in war as they travel to the French city of Lourdes, where the waters are said to have healing power.

Four U.S. cities are making their case to the U.S. Olympic Committee to host the 2024 Summer Olympics: San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston and Los Angeles.

Three of the cities have never hosted the Summer Olympics, while Los Angeles has hosted the games twice, in 1932 and 1984.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Curt Nickisch of WBUR in Boston, who is covering the story in Redwood City, Calif.

Australians are mourning the two hostages killed in a 16-hour siege at a cafe, and asking how the attack happened.

Australia recently passed tough laws against terrorism. The attack was carried out by a man with a long history of run-ins with police. The government had information that the Islamic State sought to recruit individuals to carry out attacks in the country.

On Saturday, actor Samuel L. Jackson posted a clip on his Facebook page calling on celebrities who participated in the ice bucket challenge to support ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, to now join him in another action: singing in protest of the choking death of Eric Garner by a white police officer in New York City

Only a dozen states allow schools to charge for bus service but the number is expected to grow.

Parents in Indiana have filed a lawsuit, now before the state Supreme Court, arguing that bus fees violate the state’s constitutional guarantee to a free education. But state officials across the country say budget cuts have severely hampered their ability to continue to provide transportation and other services for free.

Indiana officials also say that caps on property taxes approved by voters in 2008 have also cut into school funds.

Pages