Here & Now

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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.

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Water
1:46 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Bringing The Colorado River Back To Long-Dry Parts Of Mexico

An eight-week release of water from the Morelos Dam has filled parts of the Colorado River Delta that haven't seen water in nearly two decades, like this spot about 20 miles south of the dam. (Stina Sieg/KJZZ)

For the first time in almost 20 years, the Colorado River is flowing into northern Mexico through a dam that usually stops it. It’s called a pulse flow — a temporary release of water.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Stina Sieg of KJZZ traveled to see the effect it’s having on Mexico’s long-barren delta.

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1:46 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Water Crisis Not Over After West Virginia Chemical Spill

It’s been called one of the most serious episodes of drinking water contamination in U.S. history. Four months after thousands of gallons of the coal-washing chemical MCHM spilled from an unregulated above-ground storage tank into the Elk River, many people in and around Charleston, West Virginia, are still using bottled water.

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1:46 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Debate Over 'Love Locks' On Paris Bridges

No one knows where this practice started, but hundreds of thousands of locks adorn bridges in Paris. (Carlo Occiena/Flickr)

“Love locks” can be found on bridges from Australia to Italy, and even in U.S. cities like Norfolk, Virginia. The padlocks are latched onto pedestrian bridges and inscribed with vows of love. The keys are tossed into the water below as an testament of unbreakable devotion.

No one knows where the practice started, but hundreds of thousands of these locks adorn bridges in Paris. Some say it was from the 2006 novel, “Ho Voglia Di Te” (I Want You), by Italian author Federico Moccia, while other believe it was at the Seoul Tower in Korea.

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NPR Story
1:06 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Art Imitates Life For Transgender Artists

From the "Relationship" series, 2008–2013 by Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst. Courtesy of the artists and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 11:07 am

The Whitney Biennial has been one of the art world’s hottest shows for new artists.

This year, artists Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker are grabbing attention with their photo series, “Relationship.”

The photos detail their developing relationship and their transitioning bodies, as each travels across the gender spectrum. Ernst is transitioning from female to male, while Drucker is transitioning from male to female.

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NPR Story
1:06 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Rwanda Marks Terrible Anniversary

Today, Rwanda and the world remember the beginning of one of the bloodiest periods in modern history.

It’s been 20 years since the Rwandan genocide resulted in the massacre of at least 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in just three months.

The BBC’s Prudent Nsengiyumva reports from Kigali.

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NPR Story
1:06 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

The Mystery Surrounding The Johnson Twins of Tennessee

Residents of Chattanooga, Tenn., are still puzzling over the mystery of Andrew Gary Johnson and Anthony Larry Johnson.

Police discovered the decayed bodies of the twin brothers in their home a little over a week ago. But investigators think the brothers — who were in their early 60s — died about three years ago.

How they died is a mystery.

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NPR Story
3:22 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

A Visit With Renowned Composer John Harbison

John Harbison is pictured at his home in Cambridge, Mass. (Robin Young/Here & Now)

In 2004, Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer John Harbison released “Songs America Loves To Sing – Old and New Music for Winds, Strings and Piano,” a compilation of recognizable choral preludes with a twist putting the spotlight on the true meanings of the work. It includes hymns like “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and classics such as “Anniversary Song” — which we know as “Happy Birthday.”

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3:22 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

George W. Bush The Artist Makes His Formal Debut

Portraits of world leaders which are part of the exhibit "The Art of Leadership: A President's Diplomacy," are on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Friday, April 4, 2014. The exhibit of portraits painted by former President George W. Bush opens Saturday and runs through June 3. (Benny Snyder/AP)

Former President George W. Bush has found painting as his new passion to fill the void in his life after he left the White House.

In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, Bush tells his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, “I paint a lot because, as you know, I’m a driven person.”

The occasion was to highlight his portraits of world leaders, which he displays at his library in Texas.

One is of a grim-looking President Vladimir Putin.

Bush says “I got to know him very well. It became more intense as time went on.”

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3:22 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Earthquake Fear Rises In California

A picture taken on January 19, 1994 in Los Angeles shows a bulldozer tearing down a section of the Santa Monica Freeway that collapsed during the massive Northridge earthquake. A huge earthquake this week in Chile and two minor quakes in California are raising concerns if California is prepared in the even of another major earthquake.(Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Geologists say this week’s huge earthquake in Chile is not directly related to two smaller Los Angeles-area earthquakes and one that struck off the Northern California coast recently, even though California has gone for an unusually long time without a significant quake.

In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco killed 63 and injured more than 3,700 people. In 1994, the Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles killed 57 people and injured more than 5,000.

Is California ready for the next big one?

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Looking At The Legacy Of Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City, November 18, 1993. On the 20 year anniversary of Cobain's death and with Nirvana about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we look back on Cobain's lasting legacy. (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 11:27 am

It’s been 20 years since Kurt Cobain, leader of the rock band Nirvana, committed suicide. It was April 5, 1994, and his death left a legion of fans grieving his loss. But according to a new book, Cobain lives on in Nirvana’s music, and you can still see his spirit in culture and fashion. So with Nirvana about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next week, Cobain biographer Charles Cross joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to talk about the Nirvana frontman’s legacy.

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Long-Term Unemployed Face Tough Odds Of Getting New Jobs

The Labor Department releases March jobs numbers tomorrow. Economists expect relatively good news with payrolls expected to rise by 200,000 in March.

But the outlook for the long-term unemployed is still murky. A recent Brookings Institution paper found that only 11 percent of the long-term unemployed find work again a year later.

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11:45 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Don't Try This At Home: Whales Set New Breath-Hold Record

Satellite tag being attached to the dorsal fin of a Cuvier's beaked whale. The tagging arrow can be seen in the air as it detaches from the tag. (Erin Falcone/Cascadia Research under NOAA permit 16111)

Researchers have documented a new breath hold record among mammals. They timed a dive by a whale off the coast of California that lasted two hours and 17 minutes.

To gather the initial results, which were published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS One, the researchers used barbed darts to attach temporary dive recorders to the dorsal fins of eight whales. The satellite-linked tags were made by a Redmond, Washington company, Wildlife Computers.

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11:51 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Acceptance Letters In Hand, Students Wonder How To Pay

(silversnake852/Flickr)

It’s that time of year again — when college acceptance (and rejection) letters find their way into the hands of nervous high school seniors. But that’s the easy part. Exponentially more complicated is figuring out how to pay.

The average cost of four-year-private college in 2013 was $30,094. The sticker price at in-state public colleges is close to $9,000 or $22,000, if you’re coming from out of state. And those jaw-dropping estimates don’t include room and board, books or even an apple to give the teacher.

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11:51 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Cass Sunstein On Conspiracy Theories

Cass Sunstein is pictured in the White House in March 2011, when he was Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget. (AP)

Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein says pick your topic — the tragic disappearance of the Malaysian plane, Ukraine, the NSA, the economic crisis, even the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays — and you can find a conspiracy theory.

Sunstein himself has faced hate mail and threats after his time in the Obama White House, and for his articles on topics such as FDR and the rights of animals. Glenn Beck repeatedly described him as “the most dangerous man in America.”

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11:51 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Embattled D.C. Mayor Concedes In Primary

Last night, Muriel Bowser, Democratic mayoral candidate in Washington, D.C., won the primary election positioning her to be the next mayor of the nation’s capital.

The election took a dramatic twist three weeks ago when federal prosecutors alleged that the current Mayor Vincent Gray was aware of an illegal $680,000 slush fund that aided his 2010 mayoral campaign.

Patrick Madden, city hall reporter for WAMU, joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

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