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.

Lawyer: No Indictment For Officer In NYC Chokehold Death

Dec 3, 2014

A lawyer says a grand jury in New York City has declined to indict a white police officer on criminal charges in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man in July.

Jonathon Moore, an attorney for the victim’s family, said Wednesday he was told there would be no indictment of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of 43-year-old Eric Garner. Garner was stopped in Staten Island on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

High school senior and Youth Radio reporter Eli Arbreton sent us this story making a case for why recess belongs on high schoolers’ schedules, right alongside AP chemistry and English.

High school is crazy. I wake up at like 7 a.m., then I rush to get my stuff together and go to school. Once I’m there it seems like it goes on forever before there’s a break.

Tomorrow, NASA is set to launch the first in-space test of its new Orion spacecraft. The mission could mark the beginning of America’s return to human space exploration and, even, a manned journey to Mars.

The plan is to launch Orion from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and send it twice into a 3,600-mile-high orbit of Earth before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.

The test is predicted to take less than five hours, but researchers say the information learned will be critical to future flights, set to go farther into space.

Tony Award-winning singer and actress Idina Menzel became an international sensation last year when she voiced the character of Elsa in the Disney animated film “Frozen” and sang the Oscar-winning song “Let it Go.”

Now she’s released the album “Holiday Wishes.”

Following what NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg called a “year of aggression,” NATO foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to plot a new course in Afghanistan, now that the combat mission is ending there.

They are also discussing Ukraine and the role Moscow has played in the fighting there between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.

The BBC’s Jonathan Marcus discusses the meeting in Brussels with Here & Now‘s Lisa Mullins.

Inflated home appraisals appear to be on the rise, according to the Wall Street Journal, in what industry executives see as a comeback of practices that were common leading up to the financial crisis.

Remembering Poet Mark Strand

Dec 1, 2014

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Strand died on Saturday at his daughter’s home in Brooklyn, New York. He was 80 years old. Strand won the Pulitzer in 1999 for his a book of his poetry called “Blizzard of One.”

Congress Faces Looming Budget Deadline

Dec 1, 2014

With 10 days left in this year’s session, congressional lawmakers have a lot on their plate, before the Republican majority takes over in January. The government will shut down on December 11th unless a new funding bill is passed.

Many Republicans are angry at President Obama’s decision to delay deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants and House Speaker John Boehner is trying to figure out how to respond to his party’s anger over the immigration order and avoid a government shutdown.

Sales from Thanksgiving through the weekend are down 11 percent compared to last year, according to preliminary numbers released Sunday by the National Retail Federation. The numbers have surprised retail analysts, who are still trying to figure out what happened.

What does it mean to be American? That’s the question poet David Roderick explores in his new collection called “The Americans.”

“It’s a series of meditations, I think, on the big, messy, beautiful project that is our country,” Roderick told Here & Now’s Robin Young. “There’s beauty and faith and grace, and there’s also some grit and some doubt too.”

Thirty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear: judges can’t send someone to jail because they’re too poor to pay their court fines. That would be debtors prison, and those were outlawed in the United States back before the Civil War.

But an NPR state-by-state survey found that people are still being sent to jail for unpaid fines and fees. This is an encore presentation of a report filed by NPR’s Joseph Shapiro earlier this year.

Amid all the Black Friday advertisements, you will not see Budweiser’s iconic Clydesdales. The company is focusing on 21 to 27-year-olds, so instead of trotting out the horses, its main holiday advertising campaign will feature hip twenty-somethings and a Twitter hashtag.

The move comes during a long-running decline for Budweiser, amid a surge for craft beers. The beer industry publication Beer Marketer’s Insights reports that in 2013, craft beers surpassed Budweiser for the first time, in terms of total barrels shipped.

Authorities in Cleveland have released surveillance video of the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old African-American boy on Saturday night, after a 9-1-1 caller said he might have a gun.

It turned out that Tamir Rice had a BB gun, but reportedly, the police officer who shot the boy did not know that.

The American Heritage Dictionaries added over 500 new words to the fifth edition of its dictionary of the English language, including food words like banh mi, halloumi and mochi, as well as terms like

Congregants at Chicago’s LaSalle Street Church were surprised on a recent Sunday by an announcement by their pastor. Each of them would be receiving $500 and the only criteria for spending it was to use it to “do good.”

Congregants at first sat in silence, unable to believe what they had just heard. And then, many burst into tears. The money was part of a surprise $1.6 million windfall that came to the small non-denominational church when property it had invested in 40 years ago was sold.

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