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.

A photograph of a $77 dress has ricocheted around the Internet, apparently breaking BuzzFeed’s traffic records, with 16 million hits in six hours.

The dress drew attention after Scottish musician Caitlin McNeill posted it on Tumblr with the question, “guys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black?”

Earl Lloyd broke down color barriers in professional basketball in 1950, three years after Jackie Robinson integrated baseball.

At 6’5″, Lloyd started out as a forward for the Washington Capitals, after being a star player at the black college West Virginia State.

He also became the NBA’s first black assistant coach in 1968 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

In Ukraine, Russian Military Threat Remains

Feb 27, 2015

In Ukraine, the fighting may have eased around Donetsk, but it’s continuing to the south, near the port city of Mariupol, which is just 37 miles from the Russian border.

Pro-Kiev forces in a variety of guises are preparing for a potential attack by pro-Russian forces. The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports.

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice referred to the upcoming speech from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress as “destructive,” and President Obama will not meet with the prime minister during the visit.

Some Israeli groups say they are offended by these moves. The controversy stems, in part, from the way in which Republican House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak without consulting the White House.

More Parents Say No To Standardized Testing

Feb 27, 2015

A growing number of parents and students are deciding to “opt out” of assessment tests in an effort to stem the rise of what they call a “toxic testing culture.”

Pennsylvania saw a five-fold increase in parents “opting out” over the past three years. In New York, some 67,000 students – 5 percent of all students – sat out the statewide math test.

And it seems that some officials are paying attention. U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan pledged to urge Congress to set state testing limits.

Officials in Saudi Arabia estimate that more than 2,000 young men have joined up with the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS.

The Saudi Special Operations Forces, under the Ministry of the Interior, have begun large-scale exercises to protect the border between that country and Iraq, to the north. Officials also worry about Saudis returning home after fighting with ISIS and carrying out attacks.

With funding for the Department of Homeland Security set to run out on Friday, President Obama was in South Florida yesterday for a televised town hall-style meeting on immigration reform.

Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti talks to Enrique Acevedo, anchor and correspondent at Univision, about the issue that’s at the heart over this fight over funding DHS: the president’s executive actions on immigration. Acevedo also discusses how all of this is playing out among Latinos.

The Department of Homeland Security could run out of money by this Friday, Feb. 27, if the House and the Senate don’t vote for a funding extension before then.

The Senate has made noises like it has reached a deal; Democrats say they’ll vote for a Republican plan to vote separately on the Homeland Security funding and the president’s executive actions on immigration.

The Republican-controlled House has already passed a bill tying the two together. So will the House compromise and vote on a bill that matches up with the Senate?

The name on everybody’s lips is going to be Jennifer Nettles, as she stars in the Broadway musical “Chicago.”

Nettles, who is best known for the Grammy-winning country duo Sugarland, is playing the role of Roxie Hart, a murderess awaiting trial in 1920s jazz-age Chicago.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with the country star about her debut and the challenges of going from singer to Broadway actor.

Two Tennessee high school girls basketball teams made news this week after playing so badly as to tip off the referee and the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association that they were playing to lose. Here & Now sports analyst Mike Pesca joins host Meghna Chakrabarti with details.

The Labor Department today reported that the Consumer Price Index, which measures how much Americans pay for various goods and services, fell in January from a year earlier, the first annual drop in five years. This comes as the economy is improving and wages are slowly growing. NPR’s Marilyn Geewax joins Here & Now’s to explain what’s happening.

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The Federal Communications Commission today voted to override state laws blocking city-owned broadband companies from expanding and competing with commercial Internet providers.

At the center of this debate are communities like Wilson, North Carolina. The city, about 50 miles east of Raleigh, built its own broadband network before the state legislature prohibited cities from competing with private broadband providers.

The Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC, usually attracts the country’s most die-hard conservative activists. This year it’s also attracting nearly a dozen – depending on how you count – Republican presidential hopefuls for 2016.

NPR’s Don Gonyea is there and joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to talk about who’s at CPAC to show off their stuff, and how they might try to win hearts and minds.

‘Tis the season to speculate who’s going to run for president, who will make it through the primary, who will ultimately end up in Oval Office.

But before you slap a bumper sticker on your car, or hang a political cartoon at work, you might want to think twice. Because it turns out that either of those could get you fired. And in most states in the country, labor laws will not protect you.

While federal law bars employers from firing workers for race, religion or gender, there is no protection for freedom of political speech or action.

Cellphones are just about everywhere these days. But in remote, rural places the key ingredient – a cell network – is often missing. In the U.S., long-distance users pay a surcharge into the Universal Service Fund, which the government uses to pay network operators to provide affordable phone access in rural or low-income areas.

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