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Robin Young, Jeremy Hobson

Here & Now offers a distinctive mix of hard news and rich conversation featuring interesting players from across the spectrum of arts and culture, business, technology, science and politics.

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NPR Story
4:54 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Environmental Concerns Over Palm Oil

In the past 20 years, cultivation of palm oil — a widespread ingredient used in everything from packaged snack foods to soaps and detergents — has wiped out more than 30,000 square miles of rainforests and contributed to extensive social conflict in forest communities.

In an effort to mitigate these ethical concerns, Kellogg’s announced last week that it would only purchase palm oil from suppliers that actively protect rainforests and respect human rights.

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NPR Story
4:54 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Why Oklahoma's Universal Pre-K Is Successful

Pre-kindergarten students work with numbers during their class in Dallas in April 2011. (LM Otero/AP)

President Obama has vowed to offer federally-funded universal early childhood education. Oklahoma has been a model state for universal pre-kindergarten.

Since 1998, the state has funded early education for 4-year-olds, requiring certified teachers and small classes.

Last week, Steven Dow, executive director of Community Action Project (CAP) of Tulsa, the state’s largest anti-poverty problem that was involved in establishing pre-K as state policy, testified in front of the New York City Council on how Oklahoma’s program works.

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NPR Story
4:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Radisson Hotels Take Aim At Millennials

The Radisson Hotels chain is creating a new brand of hotels aimed at attracted millennials. Radisson Red will allow guests to offer à la carte choices for their rooms, ranging from what drinks are in the minibar to family photos on the television.

Parent company Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is not alone in trying to market to the younger generation. Think “The Tonight Show” pushing Jay Leno out in favor of Jimmy Fallon. We take a look at how marketers decide what millennials want.

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NPR Story
4:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

The Roller Rink Where Olympians Are Born

Youth inline skaters line up to practice sprint starts at Pattison's West in Federal Way, Wash. (Tom Banse/Northwest News Network)

At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the U.S. has collected no medals so far in speedskating, an uncharacteristic result.

The Americans’ best remaining hope for hardware rests with short track speedskater J.R. Celski and the men’s relay team. Celski began his career at a skating rink in the Seattle suburb of Federal Way, the same city where his former speedskating idol Apolo Ohno got his start.

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NPR Story
4:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

As Syria Fighting Wears On, What's Next?

A tank confiscated by rebel fighters fires at a pro-government position near the Syrian city of Hama, on February 19, 2014. More than 140,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict in the country began in March 2011. (Abu Hadi Al-Hamwi/AFP/Getty Images)

Twin suicide bombings killed at least four people and injured dozen more in Beirut, Lebanon today. The targets appear to be Hezbollah, the militant Shia group that has fighters in Syria fighting for President Assad.

Meantime in Syria, the evacuation of civilians from the besieged city of Homs continues, but so does the fighting. And two round of peace talks, the latest of which ended last week, haven’t produced any results.

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NPR Story
4:13 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Barkhad Abdi's Journey From Somalia To Hollywood

Actor Barkhad Abdi is pictured in Santa Monica, California, Jan. 14, 2014. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Somali-born actor Barkhad Abdi has won critical acclaim as well as an Oscar nomination and a British Academy Film award for best supporting actor in “Captain Phillips.”

Abdi plays the leader of the Somaili pirates who capture Phillips’ cargo ship. It was Abdi’s first film role. He tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that he found the first day of filming “really nerve wracking,” but that director Paul Greengrass “believed in me before I believed in myself.”

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NPR Story
4:13 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Saliva Test May Predict Depression In Teen Boys

Joe Herbert, left, Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge is pictured in London, on Feb. 17, 2014. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England have developed a saliva test for teenage boys with mild symptoms of depression that researchers say could help identify those who will later develop major depression. Currently, there is no biological test that detects depression.

Joe Herbert is one of the study authors and joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the research.

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NPR Story
4:13 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Maker Of 'Candy Crush' App Files For I.P.O.

A man plays at Candy Crush Saga on his iPhone on January 25, 2014 in Rome. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

“Candy Crush Saga,” the addictive smartphone game, is no longer just looking for gamers — it wants investors too. King Digital Entertainment, the European gaming company behind the game, filed for an initial public offering today.

Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti with details.

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NPR Story
4:18 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Philippines City Struggles To Recover After Typhoon

It was one of the strongest storms ever recorded at landfall. Typhoon Haiyan clocked at 190 miles an hour when it struck the Philippines late last year. More than 6,000 were killed, nearly 2,000 more are missing and millions were displaced when their homes were destroyed or washed away.

Authorities are still struggling with the simplest tasks like clearing away debris, rebuilding houses and counting the dead. NPR’s Kelly McEvers recently traveled to Tacloban, the Philippines city that bore the brunt of the typhoon.

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NPR Story
4:18 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

U.S. Banks Now Open For Marijuana Business

Legal marijuana sellers across the country now have an easier place to deposit those wads of cash.

The Obama administration has issued guidelines to banks on doing business with licensed marijuana operators, giving them the green light to finance and set up checking and savings accounts with marijuana businesses.

And there may be a lot of money to deposit. According to the National Cannabis Industry Association legal U.S. industry is expected to reach $2.57 billion dollars in sales this year.

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