Here and Now

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson

This midday newsmagazine combines updates on the top national and international news stories of the day with intelligent, broad-ranging conversations. This daily conversation about news, arts and culture is hosted by Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson.

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Distributed by: NPR, Produced at: WBUR

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NPR Story
2:09 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

CIA Chief: Results Of Harsh Interrogation Unknown

Did the CIA’s harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects yield crucial information that could not have been obtained another way? CIA chief John Brennan says the answer cannot be known.

The Senate torture report this week asserted that none of the CIA’s techniques used against captives provided critical, life-saving intelligence. Brennan told a news conference that valuable intelligence did come from the interrogations.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

‘Water Stories’: A Conversation In Paint And Sound

"Spill" by Anne Neely, part of the "Water Stories" exhibit at Boston's Museum of Science. (Courtesy of Ann Neely)

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 12:56 pm

Nationally acclaimed artist Anne Neely has produced an exhibit exploring the phenomena of water — not only how hit relates to nature, but also to memory and imagination.

Her paintings, currently on display at Boston’s Museum of Science, explore the beauty of water, but also raise a cautionary flag about issues that threaten the world’s water, including pollution and climate change.

The exhibit is accompanied by an audio composition by sound artist Halsey Burgund, whose water-themed compositions play throughout the gallery.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

'Birdman' Tops Golden Globes With 7 Nominations

“Birdman” squawked loudest in the Golden Globes nominations, flying away with a leading seven nods including best picture in the comedy or musical category.

In nominations for the 72 annual Golden Globes announced Thursday morning by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, “Boyhood” and “The Imitation Game” trailed with five nods apiece. Those two films led a best drama category that also included “Foxcatcher,” “Selma” and “The Theory of Everything.”

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

California's Whooping Cough Epidemic

Pharmacist Kristy Hennessee administers a vaccination against whooping cough (pertussis), at a Walgreen's Pharmacy in Pasadena, California on September 17, 2010. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 2:09 pm

Whooping cough has reached epidemic levels in California. Nearly 10,000 people in the state have been diagnosed with the disease this year, as of the end of November, making it the worst whooping cough outbreak in 70 years.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, can be treated with antibiotics but can be deadly for young infants.

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Training Simulator Leaves Officers Surrounded

Military servicemen use VirTra's training center(Facebook)

A recent rash of police shootings of unarmed black men, and the shooting of a 12-year-old in Cleveland who was holding a BB gun, have raised questions about how police are trained to use their guns.

Today, Here & Now begins an occasional series looking at just that. We start with a look at simulators. A company called VirTra makes this equipment, including a $200,000 firearms training simulator being used by local and national law enforcement agencies.

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NPR Story
2:19 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Kathy Gunst's Holiday Favorites

Be sure to make multiple batches of Andrea's Chocolate-Dipped Buttercrunch. (Kathy Gunst)

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:17 am

Just in time for the holidays, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst shares recipes for her favorite holiday ham glaze and her favorite food gift: her sister-in-law’s chocolate-dipped buttercrunch (recipes below). She also shares a few of her picks for the year’s great cookbooks. See her full list of cookbook recommendations here.

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NPR Story
2:19 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Madoff Secretary Gets 6 Years For Role In Ponzi Scheme

Annette Bongiorno, age 65, who served as an executive assistant for Madoff Investment Securities, leaves federal court after being found guilty of charges of aiding, assisting and profiting from the Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff on March 24, 2014 in New York City. (Andrew Burton/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:04 pm

Employees complicit in Bernie Madoff’s multi-billion dollar ponzi scheme were sentenced Tuesday, including his former secretary who became rich working for her disgraced boss.

Annette Bongiorno earned millions keeping the books as Madoff’s secretary. A federal judge in Manhattan sentenced her to six years in a Florida prison. The judge said Bongiorno wasn’t “fundamentally corrupt,” but she should have recognized the fraud she helped perpetuate. Bongiorno could have faced life in prison.

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NPR Story
2:47 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

De-Cluttering Your House With Love

"Tidying consultant" Marie Kondo has built a huge following with her method of organizing and de-cluttering. (Ten Speed Press)

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 2:52 pm

Marie Kondo has built a huge following in her native Japan with her “KonMari” method of organizing and de-cluttering. Clients perform a sort of tidying up festival: time set aside specifically to go through belongings. Each object is picked up and held, and the client needs to decide if it inspires joy. If it doesn’t, it needs to go.

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NPR Story
2:43 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Kidnapped In Yemen: A Former Diplomat Shares His Story

Former German deputy foreign minister Juergen Chrobog answers journalist's questions after his arrival at a military airport on January 1, 2006 in Cologne, Germany. Chrobog, his wife and his three children were taken hostage by armed tribesmen on December 28 during a holiday in eastern Yemen and were released on December 31, 2006 (Ralph Orlowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 2:58 pm

In 2005, German diplomat Juergen Chrobog and his family were traveling in Yemen when they were kidnapped by Bedouins who wanted the government to free their tribe members who were being held because of crimes committed against another tribe.

They were held for a few days before they were released when the Bedouins were convinced their demands would be met. No ransom was paid.

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NPR Story
2:14 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

McDonald's Tries To Put The Brakes On Steep Decline

McDonald’s reports that its sales in the U.S. fell 4.6 percent last month compared to a year ago — more than double what analysts expected. It comes after a 4.1 percent sales drop in September.

The fast food chain is trying to simplify its menu, enhance marketing and “implement a more locally driven organizational structure,” according to a press release.

Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal joined Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss what’s happening with McDonald’s.

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