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The news you need to know today — and the stories that will stick with you tomorrow. Plus, special series and behind-the-scenes extras from Here & Now hosts Robin Young, Scott Tong and Deepa Fernandes with help from Producer Chris Bentley and the team at NPR and WBUR.


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The news you need to know today — and the stories that will stick with you tomorrow. Plus, special series and behind-the-scenes extras from Here & Now hosts Robin Young, Scott Tong and Deepa Fernandes with help from Producer Chris Bentley and the team at NPR and WBUR.






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'Maus' author Art Spiegelman on book banning; What the asteroid sample may reveal

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has been indicted on federal corruption charges. He is accused of accepting bribes and influencing an arms deal with Egypt, among other things. Brent Johnson of the New Jersey Star-Ledger tells us more. And, NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission capsule contains an 8.8-ounce asteroid sample that could help scientists worldwide learn more about the solar system's origins. We speak to Dani Mendoza DellaGiustina, the deputy principal investigator for the mission. Then, the American Library Association has dubbed next week, Oct. 1 through Oct. 7, as Banned Book Week, a time to celebrate reading and fight censorship. One author targeted by book banning is Pulitzer Prize winner Art Spiegelman, who wrote the graphic novel "Maus" as a memoir of his family's experiences during the time of Nazi Germany. Spiegelman talks about the potent irony of having a book about the rise of the Nazis being banned.


Books to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month; Recipes inspired by Spanish tapas

More than a year ago, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Wisconsin providers stopped providing abortions. But they've resumed, and Tanya Atkinson, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, joins us to talk about it. And, it's Hispanic Heritage Month. We've got a list of book recommendations telling Latinx stories from the creator of "The Stacks" podcast Traci Thomas. Then, our resident chef Kathy Gunst joins us to offer her takes on Spanish-style tapas recipes. They include chickpeas and leeks, fried potatoes and meatballs.


Culture wars are tearing apart country music; Wall Street investors outbid homebuyers

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in Washington to meet with President Biden, leaders at the Pentagon and members of Congress. He's asking for more aid from the U.S. in the fight against Russia, but he faces resistance from a small number of Republican lawmakers. Retired Adm. James Stavridis weighs in. And, out-of-state investors are buying up thousands of properties in Indianapolis and converting them to rentals. Their cash offers make it harder for average families to compete. The Indianapolis Star's Ko Lyn Cheang and Claire Rafford join us. Then, Rolling Stone's David Browne talks about the culture wars tearing apart the once close-knit country music industry.


Wisconsin GOP moves to oust Supreme Court justice; Climate Week NYC

Five Americans who were imprisoned in Iran are back in the U.S. Jared Genser, a human rights lawyer representing Siamak Namazi, one of those recently freed. joins us. Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post global opinions writer who spent 544 days imprisoned unjustly by Iranian authorities, talks with us about how the freed Americans are readjusting to society. And, Climate Week NYC is one of the largest annual events focused on climate change. Grist reporter Zoya Teirstein joins us. Then, Republicans in Wisconsin are working to lock in their redistricting map and impeach newly elected liberal state Supreme Court justice Janet Protasiewicz. Author and Mother Jones correspondent Ari Berman joins us.


Jazz legend Pat Metheny drops 'Dream Box'; How UAW strike could impact car sales

Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell weighs in on the auto workers strike, now in day five, and its political impact in the swing state of Michigan. Lou Vitantonio, president of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers' Association, talks about the effect of the auto worker strike on car sales. And, CBC's J.P. Tasker explains the diplomatic dustup between Canada and India over the killing of a Sikh activist in Canada. Then, long-time jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny — leader of the Pat Metheny Group for nearly a quarter century starting in the late 1970s — has released the album "Dream Box." He discusses his new work and the inspiration behind it.


U.S.-Iran prisoner exchange; American cyclist Sepp Kuss wins Vuelta A España

Five Americans have been released from prison in Iran. In exchange, the U.S. released five Iranian prisoners and gave Iran access to $6 billion in oil revenues that were previously frozen under sanctions. Borzou Daragahi, journalist and nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council's Middle East Program, joins us. And, American cyclist Sepp Kuss has won Vuelta A España, the Spanish version of the Tour De France. He is the first American to win in more than a decade. Kuss joins us to talk about the victory. Then, some of the Supreme Court's recent decisions have spurred comparisons to the decisions of the late 1800s. Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard Law School, joins us to talk about these comparisons ahead of the new term beginning next month.


UAW members weigh in on historic Big Three strike; Kim Jong Un's trip to Russia

The United Autoworkers Union has called a historic strike against each Big Three auto manufacturer. We speak with Ford autoworkers and UAW members Tiffanie Simmons and Ryder Littlejohn. And, the death toll from the recent deadly flooding in Libya has continued to climb. Al Jazeera's Malik Traina speaks to us from Tripoli while he waits to gain access to the affected areas. Then, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is on the fourth day of his visit to Russia. Jim Walsh, senior research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Security Studies Program, talks about the visit.


Memphis' mark on the hip-hop world; Morocco's monarchy and disaster relief

South Dakota Republican Sen. Mike Rounds talks about whether lawmakers should regulate the use of artificial intelligence and a possible government shutdown this month. And, Samia Errazzouki, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford, talks about Morocco's monarchy and what's behind the government's slow response to a devastating earthquake that has killed thousands of people. Then, rap has always been anchored in regional culture. Zandria Felice Robinson, writer and professor at Georgetown University, explains Memphis' unique rap scene and how this southern city punched above its weight in the burgeoning hip-hop world.


African leaders want a role in climate solutions; Conservatives plan to dismantle EPA

The death toll is expected to rise in Libya as thousands remain missing after heavy rain and flooding over the weekend. Al Jazeera's Malik Traina talks about the devastating flooding in eastern Libya. And, leaders from across the continent have stressed that the world should not just pity African countries as some of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Instead, they say there should be more global investment in Africa as an innovator that could lead a clean energy transition. Grist's Katherine Bagley joins us. Then, Project 2025 aims to dramatically reshape federal agencies, reduce their independence, and give more power to the president if a Republican wins in 2024. Paul Dans, the director of Project 2025 at the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation. AP's Lisa Mascaro also talks about Project 2025.


Auto workers union negotiations; Native American activism through Johnny Cash's music

United Auto Workers are negotiating a new contract, and electric vehicles are at the center of the discussion. Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton and Belvidere, Illinois, Mayor Clinton Morris, join us to talk about what's been discussed as part of the negotiations. And, the death toll from last week's earthquake in Morocco has reached 2,800. John Johnson, a nurse on the Doctors Without Borders emergency response team, joins us to talk about the organization's efforts south of Marrakesh. Then, it's been 20 years since Johnny Cash died. Colorado Public Radio's Vic Vela looks back on his early hits and how his music spoke up for Native Americans throughout the 1960s.


Earthquake devastates Morocco; Fair Play game highlights home life inequality

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the landscape of Morocco and residents are left picking up the pieces. Alice Morrison, writer and resident of the Atlas mountains, joins us. And, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve the latest COVID-19 booster shot. Experts say it will protect against the two most prominent variants of the virus. Epidemiologist Abdul El-Sayed joins us. Then, in most living situations, one person ends up taking on the most work around the house. The Fair Play card game seeks to address that inequality and rebalance it without causing conflict. Creator of the game and author of the book of the same name Eve Rodsky joins us.


Late-summer fruits recipes for scones and jam; Escaped murderer in Pennsylvania

Sahil Kapur of NBC News and Margaret Talev of Axios talk about Republican response to concerns about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's health, and the latest polling on President Biden's re-election chances. And, convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante has been on the run in Pennsylvania for eight days. Cavalcante escaped from prison last Thursday by crab-walking up a wall and scaling a fence. WHYY's Kenny Cooper shares the latest. Then, chef Kathy Gunst shares 3 recipes to make the most of end-of-summer fruits: blueberry and lemon scones, plum clafouti, and blueberry-ginger jam.


Asylum seekers in peril at the Southern border; NFL football is back. So is betting

Asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border are often subject to arbitrary decisions made by border patrol agents who decide whether they can enter the country or not. And in Texas, a federal judge ruled Gov. Greg Abbott's floating barrier in Rio Grande. Reporter Lillian Perlmutter and Krish O'Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, join us. And, as more companies return to in-office work requirements, the future of remote work is uncertain. Callum Borchers, columnist at the Wall Street Journal, joins us to explain what happens next. Then, the NFL football season kicks off on Thursday as the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Detroit Lions. With the return of football comes the return of sports betting, now legal in two-thirds of states. But there's a darker side to the industry. Professor Lia Nower, director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University, joins us.


WVU president defends cuts to language programs; DEI efforts in corporate America

David Miliband, CEO and president of the International Rescue Committee, says he's concerned the war in Ukraine is becoming "normalized." He talks about the war and the humanitarian crisis it has created. And, as part of its plans to make up for a $45 million budget shortfall, the leaders of West Virginia University announced it will end its advanced study of foreign languages programs. Paula Krebs, executive director of the Modern Language Association, explains what's at stake for students, and WVU President E. Gordon Gee shares how he is justifying the cuts. Then, a flurry of hiring of diversity, equity and inclusion specialists followed the murder of George Floyd three years ago. And now, DEI executives leaving their posts or being let go. Professor Shaun Harper, founder and executive director of the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center, joins us.


United Auto Workers strike likely; Most plastic in the U.S. can't be recycled

Amid demands for higher pay and a shorter workweek, the United Auto Workers are likely to strike when the union's current contract expires next week. University of Michigan Ross School of Business professor Erik Gordon joins us. And, New York City, attempting to reign in the short-term rental market, has placed new rules on Airbnb properties. Roben Farzad, host of public radio's "Full Disclosure," joins us. Then, while Americans often diligently sort and recycle plastics at home, only 5% of plastics in the U.S. can actually be recycled. Judith Enck of the non-profit Beyond Plastics joins us to talk about plastic pollution and solutions to it.


How to protect yourself from wildfires; The perils of hot neighborhoods

It's been a hot summer. "This is Wildfire: How to Protect Yourself, Your Home, and Your Community in the Age of Heat" explores the relationship between wildfire, humans and nature. Authors Nick Mott and University of Montana professor Justin Angle offer tips on how to prevent fires and stay safe if they do ignite. And, for researchers to find ways to protect American cities from extreme temperatures, they have to know exactly how hot it is. That's why cities like Phoenix and Chicago are undergoing heat mapping projects. Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd and Chris Bentley report on the projects. Then, solar energy is becoming more popular in the U.S. but infrastructure can take up lots of land. Enter floating solar. WUSF's Steve Newborn takes us to a pond in Florida where one energy company is conducting a floating solar pilot program.


End-of-summer book recommendations; Who was Wallace Stegner?

Even though summer is winding down, there's still enough time to bang out some reading. Creator of "The Stacks" podcast Traci Thomas and hosts Scott Tong and Robin Young offer some of their favorite books they read this summer. And, author Khashayar J. Khabushani joins us to talk about his debut novel "I Will Greet the Sun Again," which follows K., an Iranian-American boy living in Los Angeles. Then, depending on who you ask, Wallace Stegner was either the greatest writer in the American West or a name they've never heard. Melody Graulich is an emeritus professor of English and America Studies at Utah State University and has studied the life of Stegner and his works. She joins us.


Books banned in schools and prisons; Old Crow Medicine Show's new album

Former lawyer Rudy Giuliani is being sued for defamation by Georgia election workers. Michael Gottlieb, the attorney for two of those workers, joins us. And, Ali Velshi tells us about his new podcast, called "Banned Book Club," which focuses on books prohibited in schools across the U.S. And bans on books don't only apply to schools — Missouri has banned incarcerated people from receiving books in the mail. Dylan Pyles, co-founder of the nonprofit Liberation Lit, joins us to talk about it. Then, Nashville band Old Crow Medicine Show released a new album called "Jubilee." Ketch Secor, one of the band's founders and current frontman, joins us to talk about the new music and his commitment to gun policy reform.


Tennessee's flawed gun dispossession system; New technology may offer tinnitus relief

Hurricane Idalia made landfall on the Big Bend area of Florida on Wednesday and homeowners are reeling. Pamela Macrae joins us to talk about what she's seen in her hometown of Homosassa. WUFT's Christopher Will also joins us. And, WPLN criminal justice reporter Paige Pfleger joins us to talk about her joint investigation with ProPublica into Tennessee's flawed gun dispossession system. A large number of homicides are carried out by people legally barred from owning guns. Then, sufferers of tinnitus hear buzzing, ringing or other sounds in their ears, sometimes continuously. But new technology could provide some relief. Dr. Brian Fligor, audiologist and tinnitus expert at Tobias & Battite Hearing Wellness in Boston, and one of his tinnitus patients Elliot Gerberg join us.


Florida braces for deadly storm surge; Feral cats become blue-collar workers

Hurricane Idalia is expected to hit Florida's west coast on Wednesday, and residents are preparing for a potentially deadly storm surge. University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy joins us. And, when Spain won the women's World Cup, the head of the country's soccer federation, Luis Rubiales forcibly kissed forward Jennifer Hermoso. Why hasn't he been removed from the organization? The GIST's Lauren Tuiskula joins us to talk about how sexual misconduct pervades sports still. Then, Washington D.C.'s rat problem has been steadily worsening, and feral cats are part of the solution. The Humane Rescue Alliance's Blue Collar Cats program rehomes feral cats to live outside at houses around the metropolitan area. Washington Post reporter John Hudson is a participant in the program and joins us, along with Maureen Sosa, HRA's director of pet support.