Here and Now on RIPR

Weekdays, Noon - 2:00 PM
  • Hosted by 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.

DOT Seeks Transparency In Airfares

May 30, 2014

This summer, millions of vacationers will buy plane tickets. But will they be able to fairly compare fares?

Critics say airlines have made it impossible to figure out the true cost by obscuring fees and taxes. Now, the Department of Transportation is proposing a rule that would effectively change the way a "ticket" is defined, and require all ticket agents and airlines to display that ticket price to provide a basis for comparison.

However, the airlines are howling.


It’s commencement season, and yesterday at Harvard University, soul legend Aretha Franklin was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree. And just in case anyone doubted the degree was deserved, Franklin sat down at the piano, and schooled those in attendance, with her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Funeral To Be Held For Philadelphia House

May 29, 2014

Mourners will gather in Philadelphia on Saturday to bid farewell to an old house. The gathering will be a celebration of a life, a “home going,” with drill teams and bands and a meal — all after they’ve carted the shingles, broken window panes and floorboards away.

Park Service Launches LGBT Sites Initiative

May 29, 2014

The National Park Service is set to launch an initiative to fold LGBT historic sites into its commemoration of American history.

The effort, first a study to identify landmarks, is scheduled for kick-off tomorrow at the famous Stonewall Inn in New York City.

Yesterday, President Obama laid out his foreign policy plan for his final two and a half years in office, at a commencement ceremony at West Point.

Following that speech, NPR’s Steve Inskeep interviewed the president about foreign policy, including his approaches to Syria, Ukraine and China, as well as his remaining White House priorities and his effort to close Guantanamo Bay prison.

In California yesterday, two assembly members proposed a gun restraining order that would allow family members and therapists to ask police and a judge to bar someone from buying a gun.

Lawmakers are also proposing a law that would adopt new protocols for police making well-being checks on people. It would require that police check whether someone has bought a weapon, rather than just talk to them.

Today, President Obama offered a strong defense of his administration’s foreign policy in a commencement speech at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

Admiral James Stavridis, the former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, discusses the speech with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

DJ Sessions: Accountants Take The Stage

May 28, 2014

KCRW’s Anthony Valadez shares the latest music he’s listening to with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson, including two musicians who’ve worked or do work as accountants.

A day ahead of a big foreign policy speech at West Point tomorrow, President Obama is making public his plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan.

Obama is largely taking the recommendation of his generals and plans to leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan for one year beyond the withdrawal of combat forces in December. By the end of 2015, that number will be halved with troops consolidated in the Kabul area, and their primary mission will not be combat but counter-terrorism.

The Thorne Miniature Rooms are one of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most beloved exhibits: 68 miniature detailed representations of rooms that might have existed in Europe and America over some six centuries.

They inspired author Marianne Malone to write a series of children’s books aptly named “The Sixty-Eight Rooms.” The latest in the series, “The Pirate’s Coin,” is released in paperback today.

What causes gang violence?

James Diego Vigil, a professor emeritus of social ecology at the University of California, Irvine, uses the term “locura,” from the Spanish word loca (crazy) to describe what he calls the “quasi-controlled insanity” of gang members.

He joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to explain.

Interview Highlights: James Diego Vigil

On what pushes kids into gangs

Fraternities and sororities get a bad wrap for wild parties, hazing and binge drinking, but a new survey finds that those who pledge in college have the last laugh — or at least more laughs than others.

A survey of more than 30,000 university graduates found that for students who belonged to fraternities and sororities, life after college is happier and they tend to be more successful.


The tradition of setting aside a day to honor the nation’s war dead started after the Civil War. It was called Decoration Day then and on the first one in 1868 people decorated the graves of the Union and Confederate dead at Arlington National Cemetery. Cemeteries across the country are decorated just like that today as we mark Memorial Day 2014.

Economist Thomas Piketty is defending his book today, from charges that he got his math on rising inequality wrong.

Piketty’s nearly 600-page book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” has been the most hotly debated book this spring over its key conclusion: “The central contradiction of capitalism” is that it leads to the concentration of wealth in the hands of those already rich.

In a memorable episode of “Seinfeld,” Kramer and Newman fill up Newman’s mail truck with bottles and cans collected in New York and head for Michigan — where the return deposit is a nickel higher.

Well, unlike Michigan, Arizona doesn’t have a return deposit for containers — but that doesn’t mean its bottles and cans aren’t worth something, somewhere.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, KJZZ’s Alexandra Olgin reports.