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Thursday June 11, 2009
Students wearing mask play at a pre-school facility in Hong Kong Thursday, June 11, 2009. Hong Kong's government has ordered all kindergartens and primary schools closed for two weeks after a dozen students tested positive for the swine flu in the territory's first local cluster of cases on Thursday. (AP)

Students at a pre-school in Hong Kong June 11, 2009. Hong Kong's government has ordered all kindergartens and primary schools closed for two weeks after a dozen students tested positive for the swine flu in the territory. (AP)

Swine Flu Pandemic

The World Health Organization today called swine flu a pandemic – meaning the flu, which emerged in Mexico in April, is spreading globally at a sustained rate. So far, swine flu has killed more than 140 of the nearly 28,000 people who have contracted it. Dr. Robert Webster, a flu expert at Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, is our guest.

Glimmers of Hope or Dangers Ahead?

President Obama says he sees signs that his economic policies are beginning to bear fruit. Other analysts warn that the economy is still at the brink. We’ll speak with Greg Ip, economics editor for The Economist, who says that in either case, the government still has to figure out how to get out of its multi-trillion dollar stake in everything from car companies to banks without causing panic.

Feeling the Pain in Laos

Four decades later, evidence of the US war in Vietnam is still all over the place, and it’s exploding. Heavy and steady U.S. bombings of North Vietnamese supply routes through the neighboring country of Laos left behind countless un-detonated cluster bombs which are killing and maiming innocent villagers all these years later. The BBC’s Jill McGivering has the story.

The Digital Switch… and GM’s Image Control

A quick reminder that midnight Friday, broadcast television stations will switch over from analog to digital… Then: Reinvention is the name of GM’s new ad campaign. The auto giant is using TV, print and the internet to assure consumers that GM will emerge from bankruptcy stronger than ever. We look at the current campaign and some commercials from GM’s glory days with Here & Now media analyst, John Carroll.

Wickett’s Remedy

We revisit a conversation with Myla Goldberg. Her 2005 novel “Wickett’s Remedy” centers around Lydia Wickett, a young nurse working in Boston during the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

Music from the show

  • Peter Dixon, “Nagog Woods”
  • Ahmad Jamal, “Patterns”
  • Sigur Ros, “Nybatteri”
  • The Wee Trio, “About a Girl”
  • J.S. Bach, “Sonata for Violin Solo No. 1 in G minor” performed by Henryk Szeryng
  • Mary Mendoza

    With all due respects, but the 1918 pandemic started not in Europe but here in the United States at Fort RIley, Kansas, amongst the very crowded barracks of young soldiers who got sick and weren’t used to such close quarters. It also appeared in Boston. The flu then traveled to Europe with those same soldiers, incubated in the dreadful conditions of the trenches in WWI and came back and by the time it reappeared in the U.S. and spread world wide, It had become something much different and very deadly indeed.

  • Paul Egan

    The trenchant character of today’s production is deserving of commendation, arresting the listener’s interest from its first minute of report on the present influenza threat to conclusion with consideration of that disease as the subject of fiction, encompassing telling discussion of economics both general and specific, and startling report from the BBC correspondent on the implausibly current effects of artifacts from war long past.
    The sedative effect of the aforementioned was much needed by anyone who had heard the hours of ON POINT earlier, what with its interviewees’ zany language including such as, “book walk,” “blend option,” and “vision quest.” After some time I believe I was able to decipher the latter as, “pursuit of knowledge and experience so as to form an outlook on life,” but if these non-locutions constitute the language of those who are judged to have something worthwhile to broadcast and to publish, then it is no wonder that this civilization is in trouble, more so when the second hour offers a fellow telling the world about his fatherhood. Who cares? If one or more of his offspring have in the elapse of half a century from now achieved note as equivalents of Darwin, Freud, or Einstein, then perhaps the “father” would have something of value to say.

Robin and Jeremy

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

July 22 2 Comments

Remains Of Clovis Boy Reburied In Montana

DNA from the boy buried 12,600 years ago shows his people were ancestors of many of today's native peoples.

July 22 Comment

After Malaysia Airlines Crash, A Closer Look At Planning Flight Paths

Retired pilot John Ransom discusses how to factor in war zones, and how the decision is made to close an airspace.

July 21 Comment

Boxing Attracts More Than Would-Be Fighters

At the Ring Boxing Club, boxers range in age, are both men and women, and include an award-winning author.

July 21 Comment

Why Hot Cars Are So Deadly

An average of 38 kids die in a hot car every year in the U.S. We look at the science of why cars get so hot so fast, and why children are more vulnerable.