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Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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Thursday September 16, 2010

Poverty Rate Increases In U.S.

The Census Bureau reports today that the poverty rate shot up to 14.3 percent last year, its highest level since 1994. We speak with Tim Smeeding, director of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison about what the poverty rate means. He says more children are poor, but the poverty rate among seniors went down.

Castro Says Cuba’s Model Isn’t Working

This week, the Cuban government announced it would lay off 500,000 state workers — the latest sign that the Communist island is overhauling its economy. The news comes as Cuba’s former leader, Fidel Castro, re-emerges on the world stage. Castro recently told The Atlantic that Cuba’s model doesn’t even work for Cuba anymore. Julia Sweig, director for Latin American Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, was at the meeting with Castro when he made those comments. She joins us to talk about where Cuba is headed.

The Pope Makes A Controversial Visit To Britain

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, left, accompanies Pope Benedict XVI, center, as he leaves the Palace of Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday Sept. 16, 2010. (AP)

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, left, accompanies Pope Benedict XVI, center, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (AP)

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Scotland today, starting a four day visit to the United Kingdom. The pope’s visit to Britain — the first official papal state visit since Henry VIII broke with the church — comes under the shadow of the continuing clergy sex abuse scandal. Recent revelations in Belgium of hundreds of new victims, at least 13 of whom committed suicide, have reignited the ongoing scandal and colored the pope’s visit to Britain. The BBC’s Dan Damon joins us from London.

Is NASA’s Future On Mars?

Congress is debating it, and so is the scientific community: What should be done with NASA and human space flight? Our guest is Pat Duggins, news director at Alabama Public Radio, and public radio’s longtime space watcher. Duggins is also author of “Trailblazing Mars.”

Justin Townes Earle Sets Manhattan To Music

Harlem River Blues,” the new cd from Justin Townes Earle, is getting rave reviews. Time Magazine places the record on its “What To Listen To” list for Fall, calling the music classic country-infused rock, or maybe rock-infused country. Either way, we agree, it’s terrific. Earle joins us to talk about his the evolution of his sound from the days of playing with his dad, Steve Earle.

Music From The Show

  • Dean & Britta, “Herringbone Tweed”
  • Nathan Milstein, “Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin”
  • Tito Puente, “Royal T”
  • Ahmad Jamal, “Patterns”
  • Massive Attack, “Saturday Come Slow”
  • Art Blakey, “Free for All”
  • “Move Over Mama”, written and performed by Justin Townes Earle
  • “Ain’t Waitin”, written and performed by Justin Townes Earle
  • “Harlem River Blues”, written and performed by Justin Townes Earle
  • “Workin’ For The MTA”, written and performed by Justin Townes Earle
  • “Slippin’ And Slidin'”, written and performed by Justin Townes Earle
  • “Rogers Park, written and performed by Justin Townes Earle”
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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