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.

Netflix Eyes Expansion Into China

May 15, 2015

Netflix is said to be in talks with a Chinese company backed by billionaire Jack Ma to bring the streaming service to the world’s most populous country.

China’s online video market is worth nearly $6 billion, but Netflix will face many challenges in its bid to enter China.

The country has stringent censorship rules that restrict violent or sexual content, which could be trouble for some popular Netflix programs like “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black.”

We all know that things go viral. Someone’s cat, or a dancing baby. Or that dress – the one that was either blue and black or white and gold. But where does a viral picture or meme start? What spreads one idea around the world and leaves another one dead on the screen?

One researcher at Northeastern University is trying to figure it all out. With his computers gathering data day and night, he’s looking for the roots of what is now known as the “viral cascade.”

Texas Fiddler Johnny Gimble Dies At 88

May 15, 2015

American music has lost one of its lesser-known heroes. “Lesser known,” that is, unless you’re one of the many musicians who benefited from his services as the king of country fiddle.

Johnny Gimble died in his native Texas over the weekend at age 88, leaving a legacy that spans pop, jazz, country and Americana music. David Brown of public radio’s Texas Standard has more.

Here & Now’s Robin Young checks in with Julia Turner, editor-in-chief of Slate magazine, about what’s been buzzing on social media. The stories include:

It Was Not A Good Week For Jeb Bush

May 15, 2015

Jeb Bush is under fire this week for a number of comments he’s made about the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

It started off on Monday when he was asked by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly about whether he would have authorized the war, as did his brother, President George W. Bush. He seemed to have misunderstood the question and the “knowing what we know now” part, and backtracked in an interview a day later on conservative Sean Hannity’s radio show.

B.B. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans, while earning him the nickname King of the Blues, died late last night. He was 89.

For most of a career spanning nearly 70 years, Riley B. King was not only the undisputed king of the blues but a mentor to scores of guitarists, who included Eric Clapton, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall and Keith Richards.

He recorded more than 50 albums and toured the world well into his 80s, often performing 250 or more concerts a year.

Senate Paving Clear Path For Trade Deal

May 14, 2015

The debate over the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership seems to be settling down on Capitol Hill. It was just earlier this week when Senate Democrats rejected an attempt to advance the White House’s request for more trade negotiation authority, but today the Senate voted to begin debating a fast-track option for President Obama to work out a Pacific Rim trade deal. NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax talks about the Senate’s change of heart with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

In the new film “Good Kill,” Ethan Hawke plays Tom Egan, a former Air Force pilot who’s now a drone operator in Las Vegas. Egan longs to go back into combat, but instead is relegated to firing at suspected terrorist targets from thousands of miles away.

Writer-director Andrew Niccol told Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti that he was drawn to make the film because he found drone operators to be an entirely new kind of solider.

The open hiring policy at Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, N.Y., invites local residents to apply for jobs, regardless of their immigration status, whether they have criminal or drug records, or even prior work experience.

It’s all part of the company’s social justice business model, based on the Buddhist philosophy of Bernie Glassman, who founded the industrial food facility in 1982.

“Black Lives Matter” has become a rallying cry across the U.S. among people upset about cases of police brutality against black men. In Milwaukee, another movement is afoot. It aims to let people know that black love also matters. LaToya Dennis from Here & Now contributor Milwaukee Public Radio reports.

When the self-proclaimed Islamic State occupied the Iraqi city of Tikrit last summer, it was “a disaster without precedent in the city’s modern history,” Zaid Al-Ali writes in the New York Review of Books.

Worse yet, the city fell in moments – the time it takes for an afternoon nap, as one Tikriti told Al-Ali. And though it’s been liberated, Tikrit is a hollow shell now. Al-Ali discusses Tikrit with Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti.

The Fellowship Of The Raga

May 14, 2015

Each year, the IndianRaga Fellowship brings together young musicians in North America devoted to carrying on the tradition of Indian classical music. Over the course of a year, these high school and college-age kids get to collaborate with some of the heavyweights in Indian music. Recently the students and the masters gathered in a New Jersey recording studio to improvise and compose. Reporter Jon Kalish was there and has this report.

As cases in Madison, Wisc., Baltimore, Md., Ferguson, Mo. and elsewhere in the U.S. are stirring the debate over the proper use of police force, one of the police chiefs that has been tapped by states and the federal government to help improve community-police relations and work toward reform is Richmond, Calif.’s Chris Magnus.

“Deflategate” is not going away. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has hired attorney Jeffrey Kessler, long a thorn in the NFL’s side, to handle his case.

The league suspended Brady for four games after an investigation conducted by attorney Ted Wells concluded that more probably than not, the Patriots used under-inflated footballs in their AFC championship game win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The Patriots then went on to capture their fourth Super Bowl title with Brady at the helm. The team continues to deny it tampered with the footballs.

One of the most ambitious refugee resettlement efforts out of Africa is taking place right now. The United Nations refugee agency is aiming to find homes for at least 50,000 Congolese refugees over the next few years. They will be taken in by countries around the world, but primarily by the U.S.