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Here & Now


NPR and WBUR's live midday news program

NPR and WBUR's live midday news program


Boston, MA





NPR and WBUR's live midday news program






1111 North Capitol St NE Washington, DC 20002 (617) 358-0397


Rural Health Care And COVID-19; Holiday Books

Rural health care is complicated by small, isolated communities, limited resources and social stigmas around getting treatment. The pandemic has put these struggles in stark relief. Joey Traywick, a nurse with St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Montana, talks about his experiences. Also, Petra Mayer of NPR Books discusses book sales during the pandemic as well as a few of her favorite reads for the holiday season.


US Coin Shortage; COVID-19 Outbreak At Mink Farms

Earlier this year, the pandemic spurred a shortage of coins in the U.S. While more coins are slowing rolling through the economy again, the shortage highlighted the broader implications of moving away from physical currency. Jay Zagorsky, professor at Boston University, explains. Also, the impact of COVID-19 outbreaks at U.S. mink farms could be devasting. In Denmark, the government recently ordered the culling of millions of COVID-infected mink. WUWM's Chuck Quirmbach reports.


'Half Brothers' Star Luis Gerardo Méndez; Tegu Lizards Invade The South

"Half Brothers" star Luis Gerardo Méndez joins us to talk about the need for more authentic portrayals of Mexicans in film. The new movie tells the story of a Mexican aviation executive who learns he has a half-brother in America. And, lizards that can grow up to 4 feet long are invading the American South. The Argentine black-and-white tegu first appeared in the Florida Everglades nearly a decade ago, but now are being seen in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.


Detecting COVID-19 Through Sound; Climate Change And Auto Fuel Standards

Some scientists say they can narrow down who should be tested for COVID-19 by using sounds hidden in human vocal cords. Brett Dahlberg with IEEE Spectrum reports. Also, the Biden administration plans to tackle climate change, and it has the support of businesses to take swift action. Last week General Motors dropped its support of the Trump administration's legal fight against California's strict fuel-efficiency standards, indicating that it's eager to work with Biden.


Long-Term Effects Of Evictions; Ski Season And The Pandemic

The federal government's moratorium on evictions expires at the end of the year. In some states, including Georgia, evictions can have long-lasting consequences for tenants. WABE's Stephannie Stokes reports. Also, ski season is underway, and it's bumping up against spikes in COVID-19 cases across the country. Resorts have put safety protocols in place, but will they be enough? Colorado Public Radio's Sarah Mulholland has the story.


COVID-19 Survivor Shows Gratitude; Arecibo Telescope Collapses

After being put on a ventilator while fighting COVID-19, Jeff Gerson launched a project to find the more than 134 hospital workers who attended to him. Gerson joins us to tell his story. And, the Arecibo telescope — a platform of radio receivers suspended over a massive dish — collapsed on Tuesday in Puerto Rico. We talk with Alyssa Goodman, astronomy professor at Harvard University.


Mysterious Obelisk In Utah Disappears; World AIDS Day

A week after its discovery, a mysterious 9-foot steel obelisk in the Utah wilderness has disappeared. No one knows who removed the object. Zak Podmore of The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Also, nearly 40 years after HIV/AIDS was first detected, more than 30 million have died. One of the co-founders of activist group ACT UP reflects on what progress has been made since the 1980s.


'Saint Maker' Author; Restaurant Tests For COVID-19 Upon Entering

Father Emil Kapaun died in a prisoner of war camp during the Korean War but not before saving the lives of countless fellow prisoners. A new book, "The Saint Makers" by Joe Drape, tells Kapaun's story and also details the campaign to make him a saint. Drape joins us. And, one New York City restaurant is testing employees and guests before they're allowed into the dining room. We talk with CEO of City Winery NYC, Michael Dorf.


Democrats Make History In The Southwest; At-Home COVID-19 Tests

Democrats made history in the Southwest in the 2020 election. We speak with two politics professors about the signs that perhaps that the Sun Belt may be just as important as the Rust Belt in future elections. And, epidemiologist Michael Mina says at-home tests could be one of the country's most effective tools against COVID-19. He joins us to explain how at-home tests could stop the pandemic by Christmas.


Nevada Coroner Worried About Morgue Capacity; Historic Hurricane Season

As surges in COVID-19 cases strain hospital capacity across the U.S., morgue capacity is also a growing concern for the coroner of Washoe County, Nevada. Dr. Laura Knight has been preparing for a scenario where she could run out of space in the weeks ahead. Also, a record-breaking hurricane season ends on Monday. We review the historic weather with meteorologist Jeff Huffman.


Holocaust Education Requirements; Police Disability Training

The Arizona Board of Education has made it a requirement that middle and high school students learn about the Holocaust and other genocides. Kim Klett, an English teacher at Dobson High School in Mesa, Arizona, joins us. And, the sheriff's department in Ellis County, Texas, is expanding disability and mental health training, after an incident in 2018 where a disabled man was hospitalized following his arrest. KERA's Bekah Morr has this story.


Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas; Detecting COVID-19 Through Sound

Though the Thanksgiving meal might have been smaller this year, there may still be leftovers. Chef Kathy Gunst shares some of her leftover ideas. Also, a COVID-19 surge is putting pressure on testing supplies. Now, some scientists think they might have found a way to relieve that pressure. They say they can narrow down who should be tested by using sounds hidden in human vocal cords. IEEE Spectrum's Brett Dahlberg reports.


Pandemic Effects Charitable Giving; COVID-19 And Native Americans

Chances are you didn't run your annual turkey trot this year. While some races went virtual, asking participants to run on their own and send a donation, others canceled altogether. So what does that mean for charity dollars during the giving season? Stacy Palmer of the Chronicle of Philanthropy explains the challenges. Also, Native Americans are among the hardest hit by COVID-19. We get an update on the situation.


Annual Trip To See The Snow Geese; Covering The Middle East

As we do every Thanksgiving, we'll take a visit to see the snow geese in Vermont with host Robin Young and her late uncle Lachlan Maclachlan Field. And, Jane Arraf has covered Egypt, Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East for NPR News for the past four years. Before she leaves NPR for her next chapter at the New York Times, she joins us to talk about this region she knows so well and the stories she's done for public radio.


National Day Of Mourning; Yuma Homeless Shelter Thanksgiving Meal

For Native peoples, Thanksgiving is not a day to rejoice. It's a day of mourning. We talk to the granddaughter of one of the founders of the National Day of Mourning, which is honored every Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Also, we visit Crossroads Mission, a homeless shelter in Yuma, Arizona, ahead of their yearly Thanksgiving meal, which due to the pandemic is a lot smaller and less social.


Grasping At Gratitude In 2020; Limiting Kids' Screen Time

Many people have lost loved ones in 2020. Family members and friends are choosing to stay apart this Thanksgiving to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Two interfaith leaders in Oklahoma have some thoughts on giving thanks this holiday season. And, now that virtual learning has become the new norm, parents are struggling to limit screen time for kids. We talk with a mom of three and get some nuanced guidance.


'Ready Player Two' Author; Biden's Cabinet Nominations

Author Ernest Cline talks about "Ready Player Two," his sequel to the best selling "Ready Player One." The first book became a hit film directed by Steven Spielberg. And, NPR's Domenico Montanaro joins us to discuss the history-making names that President-elect Joe Biden is floating for his cabinet and what their selection means for governance and his administration.


Supply Chains And The Pandemic; A Funeral Director's View Of COVID-19

Harvard University professor Willy Shih says while we may see some brief, local shortages of items this winter, stores have learned a lot about making their supply chains more resilient this past year. Also, COVID-19 deaths continue to spike in El Paso, Texas. Jorge Ortiz sees this devastation up close as a funeral manager. These days, his job includes figuring out where to store so many bodies and how to hold drive-through funerals. KERA's Mallory Falk has the story.


Hyperloop's First Human Riders; SUNY Chancellor On Thanksgiving Travel

Virgin Hyperloop is the first company to conduct a test of its new hyperloop technology with human passengers. Sara Luchian was one of the two passengers on the first test ride earlier this month. And, the surging coronavirus pandemic has complicated the annual college student exodus for Thanksgiving. At The State University of New York system, known as SUNY, all students will be required to provide proof of negative test results before they're allowed to leave. Jim Malatras, chancellor of...


Zoom Accessibility; Causes Of Student Loan Debt

Zoom has been the clear favorite to connect people during the pandemic. Hearing health advocates, however, say it hasn't connected everyone. One advocate explains her efforts to get Zoom's closed captioning out from behind a paywall. Also, the incoming Biden administration has signaled that it is willing to consider some form of student loan debt forgiveness, but critics worry it will not address the root causes. Kevin Carey of the New America's Education Policy discusses what is driving...