Here & Now

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A live production of NPR and WBUR Boston, in collaboration with public radio stations across the country, Here & Now reflects the fluid world of news as it’s happening in the middle of the day, with timely, smart and in-depth news, interviews and conversation.

Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson, the show’s daily lineup includes interviews with NPR reporters, editors and bloggers, as well as leading newsmakers, innovators and artists from across the U.S. and around the globe.

Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida took advantage of leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s notable boycott of Thursday night’s debate on the Fox News Channel.

With four days left until the Iowa caucuses, the rest of the top GOP candidates sparred on policy issues like immigration, veterans’ rights, national security and the economy.

The water quality in Flint, Michigan, was an issue long before the national news media got to the story. Now many are asking, “What took so long?”

Are American tech companies facing “discriminatory taxation” in Europe? That is what a bipartisan group of senators are calling it. They say that companies like Apple and Amazon are treated unfairly – getting taxed at higher rates than European companies – and they’re calling on the Obama administration to retaliate.

The candidates have just one more weekend to make their final pitches to voters ahead of the first presidential contest of the year, the Iowa caucuses.

In their final debate last night before the caucuses, the GOP candidates attacked each other on immigration reform, and also trained their fire on Democrat Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump skipped the debate and held an event to benefit veterans. Meanwhile, Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a dead heat in Iowa.

It’s been a mixed bag for retail so far this year, with announcements from Macy’s and Wal-Mart of store closings, while online shopping numbers continue to tick up. As the market finds its balance, some customers have fewer and fewer options when it comes to shopping.

Neil Saunders, managing director of the retail research firm Conlumino, talks with Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti about why some parts of the U.S. might become “retail deserts.”

In Washington D.C., one of the places to find movers and shakers is The Bombay Club, a block from the White House. For nearly 30 years at The Bombay Club, turbaned waiters with white gloves have been serving refined Indian dishes to presidents, as well as tourists, long before Indian food became popular in the U.S.

When the sanctions on Iran were lifted earlier this month, as a result of the nuclear deal, we also got news that four Americans would be released from Iran, as part of a prisoner swap. Separate from that swap, another American, Matthew Trevithick, was being released.

Avoid Tax Identity Theft By Filing Early

Jan 28, 2016

Another reason to dread tax season: the Internal Revenue Service says it paid out $63 billion in fraudulent tax refunds between 2011 and 2014. That means someone posing as you could walk away with a refund check with your name on it.

Shawn Novak teaches tax policy at Arizona State University. He’s also a former tax adviser for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. He joins Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd to discuss the problem, and ways to avoid becoming a victim.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is now investigating the NFL over its ticketing practices – specifically, whether it is illegally pricing tickets on the resale market using a mechanism known as “resale price floors.” Bloomberg has been covering the story, and Mike Regan of Bloomberg joins Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd with details.

In December, the Pentagon proposed a plan to restructure and strengthen the network of U.S. military bases around the world. The hope is that the plan would help combat ISIS and other terrorist organizations. But author and American University professor David Vine argues that it might have the opposite effect. He speaks with Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd.

Interview Highlights: David Vine

On the Pentagon’s plan to build more bases

Detroit 'Sickouts': What The Teachers Want

Jan 28, 2016

The teachers union in Detroit has been in a dispute over conditions and salaries, and has staged several “sickouts” over the last couple of weeks. The school district is $500 million in debt, and due to run out of money to operate in April.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti talks with Terrence Martin, a leader at the Detroit Federation of Teachers, about the state’s failure thus far to fix the problem, despite taking over control of the Detroit Public Schools more than 15 months ago.

Tonight’s FOX News debate is the last chance for Republican candidates to shine before the Iowa caucuses on Monday.

Frontrunner Donald Trump, presently off the debate lineup after falling out with the host network, will be running an event to benefit veterans organizations during air-time. Other candidates, like conservative favorite Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, hope to woo voters with non-stop campaigns as well.

The Australian Open is in full swing, but fan favorite Roger Federer is not going on to the next round. Serena Williams is moving forward and fans are hopeful of a “Serena Slam.” Here & Now’s sports analyst Mike Pesca talks with host Meghna Chakrabarti about how the match fixing scandal is playing out at the open.

Thirty years ago Thursday, the nation watched in horror as the space shuttle Challenger exploded moments after takeoff, killing six astronauts and Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher from Concord, New Hampshire. She was one of 11,000 applicants to get the opportunity and was set to be the first private citizen in space.

Dropping oil prices have so far had some impact on consumers in 2016, but perhaps not as much as people might think. One place customers continue to pay is in fuel surcharges, which show up everywhere from airlines to taxis to UPS shipping – and are remnants from the years of much more expensive oil. Patrick DeHaan of joins Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd with details.