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Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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Thursday February 19, 2009

Montana Asbestos Poisoning Case

Five former mining executives go on trial today in an asbestos poisoning case that dates back nearly 70 years and resulted in at least 200 deaths and thousands of illnesses among residents of the town of Libby, Montana. We revisit a conversation we had in 2007 with Libby resident Gayla Benefield, and Drury “Dru” Gunn Carr who co-directed a documentary about what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls the the worst case of industrial poisoning in the nation’s history.

Massachusetts Flu Death

Massachusetts is coming to grips with the state’s first flu death of the season. 12-year old Hunter Pope of Jamaica Plain, who did not get a flu shot this year, died suddenly last weekend, after being sent home from school with symptoms two days before. We speak to a local pediatrician who will take us through the facts and fears surrounding the flu virus, which is expected to claim the lives of 100 children nationwide this season.

Swedish Bank Bailout

How was Sweden able to recover so quickly from its banking crisis in the early 1990s? We speak with Bo Lundgren, who was minister for Fiscal and Financial Affairs in Sweden at the time, and engineered Sweden’s recovery. He is now Director General of Sweden’s National Debt Office.

No More Bad Meetings

Are we wasting too much time in ineffective meetings? Reid Hastie, Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business says yes. He recommends that meeting leaders pre-assign homework and be graded for the effectiveness of the meeting afterwards.

Stolen Blues?

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“Folsom Prison Blues” is one of the late country singer Johnny Cash’s signature songs, made classic when Cash performed it for inmates at Folsom prison in 1968. But in writing it, Cash borrowed heavily from an earlier tune, “Crescent City Blues” written by Gordon Jenkins. Boston journalist Daniel Gewertz tells us the story of both songs and shows the links between them.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 28 Comment

How Bits Of Pink Chewing Gum In A Pouch Changed Baseball

The story of Big League Chew starts in a bullpen, where two pitchers didn't like players' habit of chewing tobacco.

May 28 4 Comments

The Epic Rise And Fall Of BlackBerry

How does a company go from controlling half the world's smartphone market to less than 1 percent?

May 27 Comment

Parched Rivers, Grasslands Choke California Wildlife

Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd reports there is no relief in sight for California farmers and wildlife ravaged by drought.

May 27 21 Comments

Comedy Writer Brings ‘The Tweet Of God’ To Broadway

"An Act of God," starring Jim Parsons, was born out of David Javerbaum's parody Twitter account @TheTweetOfGod.