Here and Now

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  • Hosted by Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson

Midday news and features from NPR and WBUR Boston.

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We usually think of vaccines as preventing illness. But some cancer researchers hope to create a vaccine that will “treat” the disease, and they’ve made progress recently on a whole new mode of fighting cancer called a “personal cancer vaccine” — a treatment that would be custom-made for a single patient.

In remarks at his golf club in Florida on Sunday night, President Trump said Democrats don’t want to reach a deal on immigration, and he told reporters he’s “the least racist person you have ever interviewed.” Trump made those remarks days after he reportedly spoke in crude terms in a White House meeting about immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.

You may not have heard of them, but electronic sports, or e-sports, are a fast-growing industry in the U.S. Tournaments are now selling out arenas just like football and basketball games do.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus said in a statement Friday that President Trump’s comments about Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries are “shameful, abhorrent, unpresidential” and deserve “our strongest condemnation.”

When Johnny Cash Met Glen Sherley

Jan 11, 2018

Johnny Cash first performed the song “Greystone Chapel” as part of his legendary recording session at Folsom State Prison near Sacramento, 50 years ago this Saturday. It was also the day Cash met the the song’s author, inmate Glen Sherley.

As Chloe Veltman (@chloeveltman) from KQED reports, the fateful encounter was to change both men’s lives — for better and for worse.

Environmental groups are applauding New York City’s decision to sue five major oil companies and divest its pension funds of $5 billion in fossil fuel investments.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement Thursday that the city is suing BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell.

A new Republican bill being introduced Wednesday would allow young undocumented immigrants who receive protection from deportation under the expiring Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program to receive three-year renewable legal status. It also would dramatically boost border security and immigration enforcement.

In a nearly hourlong live shot from inside the White House on Tuesday afternoon, President Trump and a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the House and Senate deliberated on whether there should be a deal on deportation protection for young immigrants living in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

President Trump signed two executive orders Monday aimed at addressing broadband access for rural Americans. While the orders are supposed to reduce regulations for internet providers, critics say the real problem is a lack of government investment.

The U.S. is in the midst of a “moderately severe” flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Dave Feldman, chairman and medical director at the emergency department at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California, joins Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss what his hospital and others in the area are seeing.

Interview Highlights

On whether California’s flu season has been worse than “moderately severe”

Viking Lumber cuts large trees like old-growth Sitka spruce and yellow cedar. It buys most of the trees from the federal government’s timber sales in the Tongass National Forest. But those sales could become a thing of the past, unless Congress steps in.

A new law in Oregon allows people in counties with a population of less than 40,000 to pump their own gas. Trouble is, that’s been banned in the state for so long that some Oregonians don’t know how to do it themselves. The reaction by some people in the state has led to Oregonians being mocked on social media.

Journalist Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” was released Friday.

Publisher Henry Holt & Co. decided to push the publication date up by four days after President Trump’s legal team issued a cease-and-desist letter to Wolff, the publisher and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was interviewed at length for the book.

The U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in the last month of 2017, closing out a strong year of job growth. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent in December.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with CBS News’ Jill Schlesinger (@jillonmoney), host of “Jill on Money” and the podcast “Better Off.”

President Trump has been tweeting encouragement to protesters in Iran, bringing a sharp rebuke from the Iranian government. But former Obama administration official Dennis Ross says Trump is right to change U.S. policy toward Iran.

President Trump’s lawyer is trying to stop the publication of reporter Michael Wolff’s forthcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” Trump has also threatened legal action, sending a cease-and-desist letter to his former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to talk about the reaction to the book.

Throughout rural America, it’s common to see old, weathered houses abandoned and sinking back into the earth. But the people of Smith Center, Kansas, have made a point of saving one such home on the range. That’s because it is the home on the range.

The sharing economy is thriving in California: people share everything from car rides to community gardens to housing. Now, there’s a tiny nonprofit in the Bay Area that’s using sharing to help ease one of the nation’s worst homelessness crises.

Erica Garner died Saturday at the age of 27. She was an outspoken activist against police brutality following her father Eric Garner’s death in 2014, after a white NYPD officer put him in a chokehold.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young remembers Erica Garner’s role in the debate over race and police use of force with activist DeRay Mckesson (@deray), a leader of Black Lives Matter.

Interview Highlights

On Erica Garner’s work as an activist

Months after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck central Mexico, killing hundreds of people and displacing thousands, some survivors have asked why their homes and other structures weren’t strong enough to remain standing.

Jorge Valencia (@jorgeavalencia) of KJZZ reports from Mexico City.

Racially insensitive comments and unsportsmanlike behavior have spurred school and sports officials to take action in Pennsylvania.

The Salt Lake Tribune has made a year-end declaration: Orrin Hatch, Republican senator from the state and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is the Utahn of the Year.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill certified Doug Jones as winner of the Dec. 12 Senate election Thursday afternoon. Jones’ challenger, Roy Moore, filed a lawsuit Wednesday night alleging voter fraud, seeking to delay certification.

Merrill (@JohnHMerrill) joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to address Moore’s charges that there was voter fraud in the election.

France’s Constitutional Council is due to rule on the constitutionality of the country’s new anti-terrorism law. The new law was spurred by a series of high-profile terrorist attacks, but there are concerns that it increases security at the expense of civil liberties.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley (@ElBeardsley).

It’s that time of the year when pictures of smiling, posing, frolicking families make their way to our mailboxes. Now, an exhibition at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is exploring how photographers have chosen to represent different concepts of family, which can come in all shapes and sizes.

Winter break is when many high school seniors are rushing to finish their college applications. Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson gets some tips from Lisa Micele (@LisaMicele), director of college counseling at the University of Illinois Laboratory High School in Urbana, Illinois.

10 ‘Micele Musts’ For College Applications And Using Your Winter Break

“Automation” is a politically dirty word right now in the U.S. But in China, it’s a buzzword that politicians love to repeat. China is installing more robots than any other country, and it’s a top priority for the Chinese government.

WBUR’s Asma Khalid (@asmamk) traveled to the country for more on what this automation revolution looks like.

Andrew Enos works for the American Red Cross collecting blood donations. But the 19-year-old from Brockton, Massachusetts, is also a volunteer who gets nothing but a prepaid expense card to travel to disaster zones for the relief organization.

This fall he traveled to Texas and Florida to help hurricane survivors, and then he went on to Northern California, where he assisted victims of the October wildfires.

Package theft is a problem this holiday season as more people shop online and have boxes delivered to their doorstep.

Here & Now‘s Lisa Mullins talks with Anthony Giorgianni (@anthonyconsumer) of Consumer Reports about ways to safeguard against “porch pirates,” and what to do if packages are stolen.

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