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.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced today that he would not seek reelection, months after the 75-year-old suffered an eye injury and Democrats lost control of the Senate to Republicans. And Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas became the first major declared presidential candidate for 2016.

Margaret Talev of Bloomberg News and Don Gonyea of NPR join Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the latest in 2016 politics and Capitol Hill news.

IRS Cuts Can Make Filing Difficult

Mar 27, 2015

It’s tax season. Are you among those who wait until the last minute to file? This year, that might not be the best idea. When the federal agency in charge of tax collection gets hit with budget cuts, there can be problems. And reduced IRS services are creating real road blocks for many people. Sara Lerner from Here & Now contributor KUOW reports from Seattle.

Plan To Save Astrodome Tops $240 Million

Mar 27, 2015

A report out this week outlines a $240 million plan to renovate and save the iconic Houston Astrodome. When it first opened in 1965, some people called it the Eighth Wonder of the World.

But time caught up to the world’s first domed stadium. In 1999, the Houston Astros found a new home, the stadium fell into disrepair, and Harris County has been looking for a way to save it now for years.

Voters rejected a bond initiative in 2013, but the latest plan calls for a mix of public and private funding.

Alissa Quart is a journalist, a keen observer of our culture and a believer in the power of poetry to cut to the heart of issues around us: money, class, gender and the environment.

She has just released her first book of poetry that is both personal and universal – inspired by work and research she has done as a journalist.

The price of Brent crude jumped 5 percent yesterday as Saudi Arabia began airstrikes in Yemen. It was the biggest spike in oil prices since February. The benchmark settled near $60 a barrel.

Saudi involvement in Yemen’s growing unrest has led to fears of instability in the oil market, even though a global supply glut was a primary reason why oil prices have been so low.

The 70th anniversary of the end of WWII will be marked later this year. In the meantime, some veterans of that war are embarking on one more mission.

In some cases, wives or children are taking on the mission if the veteran has passed away. The object is to return Japanese flags taken as war souvenirs from Pacific battlefields.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Tom Banse reports from Astoria, Oregon on an emotional gesture of peace and reconciliation.

In writer-director Noah Baumbach‘s new film “While We’re Young,” Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts play a documentary filmmaker and his wife who live a reasonably content life in New York City. They befriend a younger couple whose free-spirited ways first energize them and then cause them to question themselves and their marriage.

Trying To De-Radicalize French Prisons

Mar 26, 2015

French prisons have come under the spotlight in the past two months, as a key recruiting ground for Islamist extremists. January’s attacks in Paris by brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi and Ahmedy Coulibaly, in which 17 people were killed, led to fresh questions about the links they made in prison.

For the first time in 16 years, the opposition party in Nigeria has enough support that it could win in national elections. But would the president allow for a peaceful handover of power?

Election monitor Darren Kew says the answer to that question could determine whether this is the beginning of a new era for democracy in Nigeria, or the beginning of devastating internal strife. He speaks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

A series of severe thunderstorms led to tornadoes across Oklahoma last night, killing one person and injuring several others. More than 75,000 people are without power and numerous schools are closed, as the damage is assessed.

On the same day in 1948, a tornado hit the Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, causing considerable damage but few injuries and no fatalities. That is because Air Force Captain Robert Miller and Major Ernest Fawbush predicted the atmospheric conditions that led to the storm, based on another storm that occurred five days earlier.

President Obama touted the achievements of the Affordable Care Act this week, saying it's making health coverage more affordable and effective. But critics say the law is hurting small businesses and complicating taxes, and Republicans in Congress are still trying to get rid of it five years later.

The co-pilot of the Germanwings flight that went down Tuesday “intentionally” crashed the plane into the French Alps, a French prosecutor said today. Brice Robin said that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz’s “intention was to destroy this plane,” though he stopped short of calling it suicide.

If you’re planning your next family vacation abroad or shopping for a French-made wine, the strong U.S. dollar may seem like a pretty good thing. But when the worth of that George Washington goes up, it also typically means lower exports and, especially, low inflation.

Key West Honors Its Other Famous Writer

Mar 26, 2015

When most people think about famous writers and Key West, they think of Ernest Hemingway. There’s the house with all the cats and the annual look-a-like contest. But Hemingway only lived on the island for six years, on and off.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence today declared a public health emergency in one of the state’s southern counties. More than 70 cases of HIV have been confirmed there since January.

Health officials are calling it an HIV outbreak, and say it stems from the use of shared needles to inject the narcotic pain reliever Opana (oxymorphone). Gov. Pence has authorized a short-term needle exchange program for Scott County, despite his opposition to using that program statewide.