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.

Detroit’s retired firefighters made it through the city’s bankruptcy with their pensions intact, but they lost their healthcare.

Today, many of these retired firefighters aren’t just battling illnesses like cancer – they’re also shouldering tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Michigan Radio’s Kate Wells reports.

Actress, director and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie made headlines in 2013 when she announced that she’d had a preventive double mastectomy, following the discovery that she carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene.

In her case, doctors estimated that she had a 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer.

After watching her mother, grandmother and maternal aunt die of the disease, and after consulting with physicians, Jolie decided that she was unwilling to live with that risk.

A new study by internationally-recognized climate experts Stefan Rahmstorf and Michael Mann shows that human-caused melting of polar ice has slowed down currents in the Atlantic Ocean, particularly since 1970.

The researchers say one result of the slowdown is sea-level rise in cities like New York and Boston, and temperature changes on both sides of the Atlantic.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says a helicopter has managed to land near where a passenger plane carrying 150 people crashed in the Alps — and has found there are no survivors.

A German airliner traveling from Barcelona to Dusseldorf crashed in the southern French Alps this morning, less than an hour after taking off.

Officials say they do not yet know what caused the crash. Emergency teams are organizing a rescue and recovery operation to get to the wreckage.

Meerkat is a little under a month into its launch and the social media app is enjoying success many startups dream of and few ever achieve.

The app lets the user livestream video on Twitter, something Twitter itself is currently developing with its newly-acquired Periscope.

Meerkat was one of the major highlights at this month’s SXSW in Austin and just raised $12 million at a $40 million valuation.

Head of the Hayden Planetarium and host of the popular science series, “Cosmos,” Neil deGrasse Tyson is launching a new program on the National Geographic Channel on April 20th.

The program is based on his podcast, “Star Talk,” which features conversations about science with sometimes unexpected guests, like Josh Groban and the late Joan Rivers.

Tyson joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to talk about the new show.

[Youtube]

The Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow in a lawsuit that challenges the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 standards for reducing power plant pollution.

The lawsuit — Michigan v. EPA — argues the regulatory agency improperly adopted the standards without first considering how much it would cost to reduce emissions of mercury and other toxins.

Jeff Holmstead is the former head of the Clean Air Office at the EPA and now is a private practice attorney representing energy companies.

James Corden is the new face of CBS's “The Late Late Show.”

Corden is virtually unknown in the U.S., aside from those of who know him as the baker in Disney's screen adaptation of "Into The Woods."

NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans stayed up late, late last night to watch Corden's first show and now shares his impressions with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

[Youtube]

Guest

Has your car ever broken down the day after you bought it? Are your flights constantly delayed and overbooked? Did your barber give you the wrong haircut for your wedding day?

You might need the help of the man who’s been called “Britain’s Greatest Complainer.”

Jasper Griegson is a complaint expert and wrote over 5,000 complaint letters on behalf of readers of the British newspaper, The Daily Express.

Americans' Love Of Diet Soda Fizzing Out

Mar 24, 2015

New data from the market research firm Euromonitor finds that sales of low calorie soft drinks in the United States fell almost 20 percent over the last five years.

By 2019, sales are projected to fall off by a third since their peak in 2009. Diet Coke has seen its sales fall off by 15 percent in the past two years.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson looks at what’s happening in the soda business with Jason Bellini of the Wall Street Journal.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz got out in front of the pack today and announced he will run for President in 2016.

The junior senator from Texas is beloved by the Tea Party, but lately he’s been as odds with his fellow Senate Republicans.

NPR’s Ron Elving speaks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about why Cruz made the announcement ahead of his Republican rivals, who his supporters and critics are, and who of the big players may be next to officially announce their candidacy.

A new study from the American Press Institute finds that the vast majority of young Americans from the Millennial generation get their news from their social media feeds — rather than going directly to news sites. This does not mean that Millenials are less informed.

U.S. Skaters Aim For Gold At Worlds

Mar 23, 2015

The World Figure Skating Championships begin this week in Shanghai, China.

American skaters like Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold, Polina Edmunds, Jason Brown and Josh Farris may stand a chance at getting on the podium, but they are not favored to win gold.

It’s been eight seasons since an American woman won a singles medal at the world or Olympic level, and four for the men.

It’s that time of year: the high school class of 2015 is now receiving college decision letters.

At the same time, current high school freshmen and sophomores will face a revised version of the preliminary SAT or PSAT in the fall of 2015.

The PSAT is an important step before taking the actual SAT but the announced changes may change the way students go about preparing.

China’s top weather official is warning people about the potential impact of climate change.

China’s Xinhua news agency reports that Zheng Guoguang, chief of China’s Meteorological Administration, said climate change could reduce crop yields and lead to “ecological degradation.”

The statements are considered rare, even though China is the world’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions.

“As the world warms, risks of climate change and climate disasters to China could become more grave,” Zheng said.

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