90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday November 8, 2010

U.S. Had Numerous Warnings About Mumbai Terror Plotter

ProPublica reports more details about the U.S. government’s contacts with David Coleman Headley, a central figure in the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and a one-time informer for the Drug Enforcement Administration. At least five times, relatives or associates of Headley’s warned the U.S. government that Headley was working with or training militants in Pakistan.  Sebastian Rotella, senior reporter for Propublica, investigated why those warnings weren’t heeded.

President Obama Talks Trade And Security In India

U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, embrace following a joint statement and press conference in New Delhi, India. (AP)

As the president visits India as part of a ten day trip to Asia, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman says “do believe the hype” about India, China and globalization. Friedman is just back from his own trip to Asia, where in India he saw a rising tide of tech-savvy entrepreneurs investing in low-cost solutions to “every problem you can imagine.” He says their resourcefulness could affect business models around the world, and he joins us to explain.

Can Re-branding Fruit And Veggies Help Kids Make Healthier Choices?

(Courtesy: k8lane/Flickr)

Scientists at Cornell University say if you want kids to eat better at school, you need to re-think how the food is presented. For instance, fruit needs to be moved from stainless steel bins tucked away in the corner to more attractive bowls; salad bars should be next to the check-out line. And carrots? Name them “x-ray vision carrots,” and grade school kids will gobble them up. We speak with David Just, co-director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell, about designing smarter cafeterias.

Healthcare 2.0: People Look For Cures And Community Online

When you get sick, is your first stop Google? According to a survey by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 61 percent of Americans turn to the web for online medical advice and information. And 20 percent of Americans have posted information about their health conditions at online forums. And new companies are popping up everyday that are connecting people via online communities so they can do everything from lose weight to start trials for new medications. We speak to Susannah Fox, associate director of digital strategy at Pew Internet and Mike Zani, CEO of Shape Up The Nation.

Author Dennis Lehane Continues ‘Gone Baby Gone’ Story

In his new novel, “Moonlight Mile,” author Dennis Lehane picks up the story of two detectives and lovers who were featured in his 1998 novel, “Gone Baby Gone.”  In that book, Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro searched for four-year-old Amanda, who was kidnapped from her drug-addicted mother.  When they found her, Kenzie decided to return Amanda to her negligent mother, even though he kidnappers had offered the child a better life. That decision that caused a split between Kenzie and Gennaro.  In “Moonlight Mile,” set 12 years later, the two have reconciled and married and have a young daughter. But Amanda is missing again, and Patrick is determined to find her.

Music From The Show

  • Medeski, Martin and Wood, “Bloody Oil”
  • Ken Vandermark, “New Acrylic”
  • The Lickets, “Meat City”
  • Jimi Hendrix, “Crosstown Traffic”
  • Moby, “Myopia”
  • Ahmad Jamal, “Patterns”
  • Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, “Moonlight Mile” performed by The Rolling Stones
  • Benjamin Morton

    Tom Friedman – He cares not what will happen, just was is. Many of us care what will happen.

    This talk of skilled workers on iPhones shows his disconnect with all the jobs that keep a place like NYC or Mumbai working.

    He does not get where most americans or indians work. Lower skill than this. He will likely say it is about raising all boats, but you can’t until we have robots to get our trash, cash out our groceries and do the 70% of our economy that is now services.

    Why don’t we build a thousand locos. The most recent deal is for maybe 76.


  • Paula Brennan


    Hello Robin (You’re a wonderfully well-informed interviewer!)-

    You probably heard this from many today…Nearly every parent knows it…it’s not all about lighting. Just cut fresh fruit up into fruit salad…more work of course…but kids (and adults…all of us being innately lazy) will demolish it. Schools should try it! I watched it for years in my own home…now see it in the homes of my children. Top it with a little yogurt, if they like it. Voila. Fruit consumption soars. The whole-fruit bowl, so “pretty” on the counter, subliminally seen as decoration, tends to go untouched!

  • Amber Seidel

    I’ve noticed that with my young kids, whole apples and oranges are too big and oranges take too much work to peel. The eat better when it is presliced. Also, I’ve also seen young kids more likely to take salad when there are goldfish crackers in the salad.

  • One Tough Frog

    Jeff Immelt of GE talking about President Obama’s trip to India…”unprecedented!” Wow! Big surprise! It’s not like he is objective or anything…I mean…he and GE get billions of government contracts from the government trough….and he’s got a page on the white house website for gosh sakes…


    Other than that, it was an interesting interview with Tom Friedman.

  • Pete Krsnak

    Thomas Friedman is BandWagoneer who hasn’t got his finger on the pulse of anything.

    Just ask him about Iraq…Ooops! He doesn’t discuss Iraq anymore since that war, which his cheerleading helped lead us into, turned into such an unmitigated disaster.

    Now he’s onto “Green Technology!” as the salvation for the US economy. Just wait til some wrinkle develops and he’ll slink quietly away and pretend he never supported it.

    Please don’t feature him ever again.

  • http://npr.org Karwani Nyakairu

    Mr. Friedman makes complete sense. We should not be crying over lost low cost jobs. We should be finding ways to do things better and faster then the competition. Companies should be led by knowledgeable and competent managers. It makes no sense to have a quality manager who cannot tell the difference between a mean and a standard deviation, or a manager who cannot comprehend the manufacturing metrics. We need a better educated workforce capable of solving problems.

  • William

    Hi Robin,

    I’m a big fan of your show, but share the feeling that a long interview with Tom Friedman is an insult at best. He’s not a fool, just maddeningly enthralled with his own simplistic generalities. Invest in infrastructure, train high tech workers? Duh. As Benjamin said, there are vastly more real, physical jobs being done by Americans, and hard working people worldwide, than Friedman can conceive. Yes, robotics and technology are increasingly integral and hugely important, which is obvious to workers as well as talkers. The primary, and fundamentally disqualifying offense comes in the form of Freidman’s unapologetic advocacy for war in Iraq. Still unable to say he was profoundly wrong (‘they did it wrong, they didn’t take my advice’) Freidman has cemented his reputation as unable to come to grips with his own easy, uncritical infatuation with his own pontificating voice.’


  • Steve Vetter

    It is more than bitterly disheartening to hear Tom Friedman proscribe yet even more of the same poisonous globalism that’s been killing our nation. Many are on our knees, and Tom’s solution is to to kick us even further into the gutter. Oh- we are helping India to help themselves? How does that help US, and what happens to India when India’s new jobs get outsourced to Africa? Please- Americans are wisening up with more and more left behind. Allowing internationalists like Friedman to continue their siren-song lies is beyond insulting.

  • Elaine

    On making healthier choices in school cafeterias. Have good tasting apples available. Not mealy dry versions, just because they keep well.

  • William

    And that last apostrophe after voice was a mistake. Oops.

  • Andrew Butz

    Tom Friedman is awfully confident of “free trade’s” presumed record of developing countries’ economies. But I wonder, can he name a *single* example of a country that developed a robust middle-class and social infrastructure — to an OECD level of prosperity & democracy — by adhering only to neoclassical free trade principles? (NOTE: a cursory review of recent economic history will thus disqualify all of Europe, Japan, Taiwan, S. Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Canada, AND the U.S.A.) So what does that leave? The tiny, non-democratic city-state of Singapore? Friedman’s more than overconfident; he’s a global pollyanna of neoliberalism.



  • Steve Matchett

    Feedback on the subject of using the net to gather medical information: 22 months ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and told I had up to six months to get it taken care of before it would spread to other organs, bones, etc. Serious condition. The doctors had me scheduled for surgery in ten days, saying there was really no time to waste. I decided to give myself three months to learn more about prostate cancer. That included more doctors, more tests, etc., plus a schedule of four hours on the net every morning, seven days a week. Long story short, I found that in most of the world, except for the FDA controlled USA, a treatment called HIGH INTENSITY FOCUSED ULTRASOUND (HIFU) is widely used to great effect. I also found a clinical trial for HIFU, was fortunate enough to be admitted, and have now had 18 months of cancer free tests. HIFU is truly a miraculous procedure: knocks out the cancer with zero side effects that are so common with current FDA-approved procedures. Without the internet I would not be the healthy, happy camper I am today.

  • http://sites.google.com/site/understandingthewarming/ Ryan T

    Energy technologies, aimed at both low-carbon production and efficiency, must be a wave that America catches, or someone will eat our lunch (in some ways they already are). Particularly given that the playing field often isn’t level in terms of labor and environmental standards. The masses in developing nations haven’t really pushed on those fronts when they’re just trying to get a leg up.

    Friedman points to the equipment in Indian offices as a sign that all this activity necessarily means great future demand for American products. Well, it may have an American names stamped on it, but guess where many of the parts originate/much of the assembly occurred? This raises the prospect that it’ll mainly be holders of established brands and their investors that will benefit, with the possible exception of some specialized manufacturing.

    So if we can’t all rely on international trade for a living wage job, we still need efforts to maintain economic diversity in America. Technology and outsourcing together are shrinking the job pool. If we can’t find niches that are big enough and unlikely to fall to international competition, we may have a large permanent underclass that relies on state assistance. Innovation, access to education, and the development of regional economies look like some our best hopes against that.

  • M. Delphia Block

    Obviously Tom Friedman has India’s best interest at heart, not America. Why does Tom Friedman hate America so much? Of course, Senator Specter tried to double the number of H1-B Visas for India and lost his seat!

    In his op-ed column (2-10-09) Mr. Friedman stated, “Leave it to a brainy Indian to come up with the cheapest and surest way to stimulate our economy: immigration.

    Tom Friedman has joined the chorus of mostly Jews (Alice Rivlin and Richard Hass) who advocate for bringing foreigners to America to attend our institutions of higher learning and retain them to “create jobs for Americans: “It would require us to overhaul our immigration laws so we can better control our borders, let in more knowledge workers and retain those skilled foreigners going to college here. And it would require us to reduce some services — like Social Security — while expanding others, like education and research for a 21st-century economy.”

    Tom Friedman should be exported to India! Bon Voyage!

Robin and Jeremy

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

August 26 6 Comments

It’s Not Business As Usual In Ferguson, Missouri

From barber shops to bike shops, WBUR's Deborah Becker looks at what the protests have meant for businesses.

August 26 78 Comments

A Fan Says No To Football

Steve Almond writes, "our allegiance to football legitimizes and ever fosters within us a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and even homophobia."

August 25 12 Comments

Pediatricians Group: Delay School Start Times So Teens Can Sleep

Many studies have shown that the average adolescent doesn't get enough sleep, and that can cause physical and mental health issues.

August 25 13 Comments

A Police Officer On Lessons From Ferguson

Jim Bueermann says the shooting of Michael Brown and the aftermath point to the need for a conversation about policing in the U.S.