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Thursday September 17, 2009

Obama Announces New Approach for Missile Defense

President Obama has announced that the U.S. will shelve a controversial plan to build a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, in favor of a new approach.  We examine the implications with Jonathan Marcus, the BBC’s diplomatic correspodent in London.

Are Americans Illiterate When It Comes to Science?

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Authors Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum say yes, and in their new book they argue that many things need to change to get the US back on course. They say scientists need to be better communicators — they need to get into politics, onto Capitol Hill, and into classrooms. They point to the late Carl Sagan as an example of the kind of scientist who brings people into the field.  Chris Mooney is our guest.

Chris Mooney’s recommended links:

Driving While Distracted

If you find yourself in the state of Maine, you may want to think twice about multitasking behind the wheel — eating, applying make-up, reading a map, and more. That’s because Maine has just passed the country’s first law targeting distracted driving. We speak to Lt. Christopher Grotton with the Maine State Police.

Government Sees No Exit from the Housing Market

Many analysts fear that there is no easy, near term exit out of the housing market for the federal government. More than 80% of new home mortgages made this year depended on some government support; the government is spending over a trillion dollars this year to keep long term interest rates low; and an $8,000 tax credit helped motivate many people to buy homes this year. All this may have stabilized the housing market, but can the market work without the government? We’ll speak with Wall Street Journal reporter Deborah Solomon.

Summer Jazz Harvest

As summer draws to a close, Here and Now’s jazz aficionado James Isaacs reviews some of the best releases of the season, including music by the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Christian McBride, and Fred Hersh.

Music from the show

  • Peter Dixon, “Nagog Woods”
  • Fred Hirsch, “Desafinado”
  • Jimi Hendrix, “Crosstown Traffic”
  • The Funk Brothers, “Keep Me Hangin’ On”
  • Christian McBride, “Theme for Kareem”
  • The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, “I Can’t Get Started”
  • Christian McBride, “Brother-Mister”
  • Christian McBride, “Theme for Kareem”
  • Fred Hersch, “Desafinado”
Robin and Jeremy

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

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.

July 18 20 Comments

A Conversation With Immigrant Activist Jose Antonio Vargas

We sit down with the immigrant-rights activist, who has written extensively about the fact that he has been living illegally in the U.S. for years.

July 18 4 Comments

Will Israel Widen The War And Will Hamas Run Out of Rockets?

What will drive Israel's decision? What are the strategic calculations Hamas is making and how will it emerge from this conflict?