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Here and Now with Robin Young
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Monday January 25, 2010

Surfing the Brown Wave

President Obama outlined a series of measures today to help middle class Americans, in what is thought to be a preview of his upcoming State of the Union speech.  Republicans are coming to terms with a surge of new candidates, some of them challenging moderate Republicans.  Both national parties are responding to Republican Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts and hoping to catch the popular wave.   We take a look at the week in politics with with Rick Klein, senior political reporter for ABC News and author of the network’s blog, The Note.

The Rise and Fall of Haiti

A man stands among tents made of bedsheets, tarps and sticks in a makeshift refugee camp in Port-au-Prince, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010. (AP)

The earthquake in Haiti shined a light on the nation’s poverty – both before the earthquake and since. While Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, the countries have forged very different paths. The Dominican Republic has a developing economy, tourism, and six times the wealth of Haiti. But during colonial times, Haiti was the richer neighbor. So what happened to Haiti? We take a look at it with Jared Diamond, an authority on the rise and fall of civilizations. He examines the histories of the island neighbors in the new book, “Natural Experiments of History.”

Gaza’s Economy, A Year Later

A year after an Israeli offensive inside Gaza ended, The BBC’s Edward Stourton reports on Gaza’s economy.

Foreclosures Create Obstacle in 2010 Census

The 2010 census officially kicks off today in the remote village of Noorvik, Alaska. Getting an accurate count is always difficult, says our guest Ken Prewitt, Columbia University professor and census bureau director from 1998-2001. But this year will be even harder, in part because it will be hard to track down people whose homes have been foreclosed.

Bluegrass Artists Tour Yemen as Musical Diplomats

(From left) Chad Kimbler, Mark Gerolami, Julio Appling and Liz Chibucos of The Student Loan. (Arian Stevens)

(From left) Chad Kimbler, Mark Gerolami, Julio Appling and Liz Chibucos of The Student Loan. (Arian Stevens)

The Portland, Oregon-based band, the Student Loan, recently returned from a trip to Yemen, Syria and Cyprus as part of a State Department program that seeks to engage other countries through music. We speak with Liz Chibucos and Mark Gerolami of the Student Loan.

Music from the show

  • Air, “Mike Mills”
  • Christian McBride, “Theme for Kareem”
  • The Rolling Stones, “She’s So Cold”
  • Dntel, “Last Songs”
  • Ahmad Jamal, “Patterns”
  • Peter Dixon, “Nagog Woods”
  • Charles Mingus, “Open Letter to Duke”
  • The Student Loan, “Maeby”
  • The Student Loan, “Don’t Bring Me Down”
  • The Student Loan, “Moustache of Justice”
  • Candace Keirns

    In relation to the out of state support of Scott Brown, I wonder whether anyone has researched the ethnicity and income levels of the Tea Party participants.

  • James Robinson

    Thank you for Jared Diamond. His INTEL was useful and insightful. After living in Miami for 5 years and befriending many Haitians, the information that was put forth was accurate and necessary for more listeners to know.

    After listen to the interview I realized that I own Guns,Germs, and Steel.

  • jackie n

    I was listening to the story on census. Thanks for bringing up Michele Bachmann and her questionable stand on census. I have strong opinion about that congressman’s intelligence and motive, but I will refrain from saying anything here.

  • Barbara S. Balboni

    Jared Diamond’s comparative history of Haiti and the Dominican Republic was excellent. Any chance you will publish the transcript as Morning Edition often does?

Robin and Jeremy

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

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