Post Reports

By The Washington Post

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 Mar 6, 2019
Top shelf Podcast, one of my favorites!

Description

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post. For your ears. Martine Powers is your host, asking the questions you didn’t know you wanted answered. Published weekdays by 5 p.m. Eastern time.

Episode Date
The forces shaping the 2022 midterm story
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With key states holding primaries this week, we ask the big question for the 2022 midterms: Will Republicans take back control of Congress? And, the GOP lawmakers who have echoed the racist conspiracy theory used to justify the mass shooting in Buffalo.


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The 2022 midterms are ramping up. On Tuesday, voters in five states, including Pennsylvania and North Carolina, will vote in primary elections.


Meanwhile, in races around the country, Republicans are pushing anti-immigrant sentiments that echo the “great replacement theory,” a racist conspiracy theory that motivated a mass shooter in Buffalo on Saturday.


Congressional reporter Marianna Sotomayor breaks down Republican strategy and how Democrats might hold on to their slim majorities in Congress. 


Check out The Washington Post’s guide to the 2022 midterm elections.  

May 16, 2022
Black in Time: The Gilded Age, Bridgerton & Beyond
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A few weeks ago, Martine Powers appeared on the Black culture podcast “For Colored Nerds” to discuss her love of period dramas and what does and doesn't work as these shows try to be more inclusive in their casting.


To hear the rest of Martine’s discussion with Eric Eddings and Brittany Luse, check out “For Colored Nerds” wherever you get your podcasts, and listen to the episode “Black in Time.”

May 15, 2022
‘Pregnant? Don’t want to be? Call Jane.’
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In the years before Roe v. Wade, the group known as Jane helped more than 11,000 Chicago women get abortions. We look back at the group and talk with one of its members as activists and health advocates mobilize in anticipation of the end of Roe.



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In the years before Roe v. Wade guaranteed the constitutional right to an abortion, a group of women banded together in Chicago to help others access the procedure illegally. Their fliers read things like: “Pregnant? Don’t want to be? Call Jane.” 


Jane became the group’s code name. They estimate that between 1969 and 1973 they helped around 11,000 women get abortions, and many members of the group learned to perform abortions themselves. 


Laura Kaplan was a member of Jane from 1971 to ’73 and wrote a book on the group’s history called “The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.” 


Today on the show, we talk to Laura about the dangers women faced before abortions were constitutionally protected, how the underground group evolved, and how she’s making sense of this moment as activists and health advocates mobilize in anticipation of the end of Roe.

May 13, 2022
The baby formula crisis
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For months, parents have been scrambling to feed their children amid a nationwide baby formula shortage. Today, why the supply is so short, and how parents are coping.


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Three-quarters of American parents with infants rely on baby formula. For many, it’s the only option to keep their babies alive and healthy. But since the winter, shortages have left caregivers scrambling to find enough food. Last week, supplies in stores were down more than 40 percent. 


Parenting editor Amy Joyce says the shortage is due to a combination of factors, including snarled supply chains and the closure of a major plant in Michigan where Abbott Nutrition produces Similac and other popular formula brands. In February, Abbott recalled some formula after several infants got sick — and two died. The company says it hasn’t found a link between its formula and the illnesses, but the Food and Drug Administration is still investigating. 


Today on “Post Reports,” we hear about parents dealing with a situation they never could have imagined.

May 12, 2022
The ‘kingpin’ of opioid makers
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A cache of more than 1.4 million newly released records exposes the inner workings of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturer. Today on “Post Reports,” we go inside the sales machine at Mallinckrodt.


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The largest manufacturer of opioids in the United States once cultivated a reliable stable of hundreds of doctors it could count on to write a steady stream of prescriptions for pain pills.


But one left the United States for Pakistan months before he was indicted on federal drug conspiracy and money laundering charges. Another was barred from practicing medicine after several of his patients died of drug overdoses. Another tried to leave the country in the face of charges that he was operating illegal pill dispensing operations, or pill mills, in two states. He was arrested and sent to prison for eight years.


These doctors were among 239 medical professionals ranked by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals as its top prescribers of opioids during the height of the pain pill epidemic, in 2013. That year, more than 14,000 Americans died of prescription opioid overdoses.


More than a quarter of those prescribers — 65 — were later convicted of crimes related to their medical practices, had their medical licenses suspended or revoked, or paid state or federal fines after being accused of wrongdoing, according to a Washington Post analysis of previously confidential Mallinckrodt documents and emails, along with criminal and civil background checks of the doctors. Between April and September of that year, Mallinckrodt’s sales representatives contacted those 239 prescribers more than 7,000 times.


The documents, made public after years of litigation and bankruptcy proceedings, shed new light on how aggressively Mallinckrodt sought to increase its market share as the epidemic was raging.


Meryl Kornfield and Scott Higham report



May 11, 2022
What we can learn from vaccinated covid deaths
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Nearly 1 million people in the United States have died of covid-19, and the toll is growing among vaccinated people as the virus gets harder and harder to dodge. Today on Post Reports, what we can learn from looking at vaccinated deaths.


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According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinated people made up a shocking 42 percent of covid deaths in January and February during the peak of the omicron surge, compared with 23 percent during delta’s surge in September. Vaccines are still highly effective at preventing illness and death. But as more and more highly contagious variants arise, it becomes harder for elderly people, the immunocompromised and those whose vaccines are wearing off to avoid infection.


Health reporter Fenit Nirappil wanted to dispel the myth that only unvaccinated people are dying of covid — and he wanted to put names and faces to some of the hundreds of thousands of people who died this past winter. Today on Post Reports, a look at what happened during the winter surge, and what we can learn from it as the virus continues to mutate.

May 10, 2022
Atul Gawande on why we still need covid funding
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Today on “Post Reports,” the head of global health at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Atul Gawande, on the state of the pandemic and why global vaccination efforts are at risk. 


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Today on the show, we hear from national health reporter Dan Diamond about his interview with  Atul Gawande, who leads global health at USAID and co-chairs the Biden administration’s covid-19 task force. He is also an endocrine surgeon, health-care researcher and writer


Gawande explains his efforts as a Biden administration official to slow the pandemic through global vaccination — and how funding for those efforts are at risk. 


“It isn't enough to just bring a bunch of vaccines on the tarmac and say, ‘Go,’” Gawande says. “We need to support their ability to maintain the cold chain, to have workers who can move out into the rural areas.” Gawande also talks about the state of public health abroad as the war in Ukraine continues.

May 09, 2022
One of the deadliest places on Earth to have a baby
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Today on Post Reports, we go to Sierra Leone, where having a baby can mean risking your life. 


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Today, we follow the story of Susan Lebbie. Lebbie is 17 and has just given birth to her son, Evan. Throughout her pregnancy she was terrified of facing the same fate as her mother, who died while giving birth to Susan. 


Susan’s fears are not unfounded: One in 20 women in Sierra Leone die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth, according to the latest United Nations estimate, most often from losing blood. The West African country consistently ranks as one of the deadliest places on Earth to have a baby. But practically every death is preventable. 


To be pregnant in Sierra Leone is to be at the mercy of resource-strapped institutions and the global trends shaping them. Survival is too often up to luck. West Africa bureau chief Danielle Paquette reports. 

May 06, 2022
The power of language in the abortion fight
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In the ‘90s, Buffalo was ground zero for the battle over abortion rights. Today we revisit that time with media columnist Margaret Sullivan — who served as managing editor of the Buffalo News — and talk about how media has shaped the abortion debate.


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In 1998, in Buffalo, NY, OB/GYN Barnett Slepian was murdered in his own home by anti-abortion extremist, James Kopp. 


We hear from media columnist Margaret Sullivan about how she remembers this volatile time and how the media has influenced the abortion debate. Plus, journalist and author Eyal Press discusses the alarming attacks against his own father, a doctor who also provided abortions for patients in Buffalo.

May 05, 2022
The economics of abortion access
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As the Supreme Court seems poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, we talk to an economist about the long-term consequences for someone denied an abortion. 


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What can economic research tell us about the effects of abortion access on women’s lives? 


As the Supreme Court seems poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, we talk to economist Caitlin Myers at Middlebury College, who has been asking this question in her research. Myers says there is a lot we can learn from the data about how being denied an abortion affects people’s economic futures and opportunities, even decades later.


Myers, along with more than 150 other economists, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the Mississippi abortion case currently under consideration, to call attention to this long-term impact. She also wrote an op-ed for The Post about how restricting abortion access restricts women’s lives.

May 04, 2022
Drafting the end of Roe v. Wade
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The Supreme Court may soon overturn Roe v. Wade. Today, we unpack the leaked draft opinion that has spurred intense reaction from both sides of the issue. Plus, we hear about the implications for red states, blue states and the Supreme Court.


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Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. confirmed on Tuesday that the draft opinion is authentic, and that he is opening an investigation into how it became public. Roberts also stressed that the draft opinion was not final, and the ultimate decision of the court or any particular justice could change before the official ruling is released.


“What you see … is one of the justices trying to provide an explanation to the country of why the court was taking this step at this time,” says Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes,“And that doesn't mean it will be a final decision.”


Still, the opinion has been a shock to activists on both sides of the battle over the future of abortion rights. Some of them spoke to national politics reporter Caroline Kitchener, who heard firsthand how abortion providers have been scrambling to make plans for a world after the fall of Roe v. Wade – and how antiabortion activists plan to push to ban abortion completely in the United States.

May 03, 2022
The changing face of J.D. Vance
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This Tuesday, Ohioans will vote in the primary ahead of this fall’s midterm elections. Today on “Post Reports,” we’re talking about the transformation of one candidate from never-Trumper to Trump’s pick for Ohio’s open Senate seat. 


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Back in 2016, commentator and venture capitalist J.D. Vance was known for his memoir “Hillbilly Elegy, about the ravages of poverty and drug use in his Ohio town. He made the rounds on talk shows like “Charlie Rose” and NPR’s “Fresh Air” explaining the conditions and mindset that had led so many people to support then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. But he himself decried Trump’s rise.


Fast forward to today. Vance is now the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for Ohio’s empty Senate seat. He’s a staunch member of a splinter group of the Republican Party called national conservatism, that advocates for tighter borders and cracking down on big business. He’s grown a beard. And he’s embraced Trump and his values, earning him the former president’s endorsement.


Magazine writer Simon van Zuylen-Wood followed Vance for weeks to try to understand his transformation and what his candidacy says about the state of the Republican Party. Today on “Post Reports,” we take you inside Vance’s campaign.


If you’re curious to learn more about the Ohio primary, read The Trailer from The Post’s Dave Weigel.

May 02, 2022
The carpet cleaner who speaks 24 languages
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Today on “Post Reports,” we meet a carpet cleaner who speaks two dozen languages — and we have an update on what’s happened to him since this story was first published in print.


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In a city where diplomats and embassies abound, where interpreters can command six-figure salaries at the State Department or the International Monetary Fund, where language proficiency is résumé rocket fuel, Vaughn Smith was a savant with a secret.


He speaks 24 languages well enough to carry on lengthy conversations — and has basic understanding of more than a dozen others — and yet he works as a carpet cleaner. 


Today on Post Reports, enterprise reporter Jessica Contrera and audio producer Bishop Sand bring us the remarkable story of a hyperpolyglot with a special brain and a history that has kept him a secret for so long. We also have an update about how his life has started to change since Jessica’s story was first published.


Plus, one more thing: Thanks to your support, we won the 2022 People’s Voice Webby for business podcasts! The winning episode is “A tax haven in America’s heartland.

Apr 29, 2022
Why fewer kids are going to college
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Why college enrollment numbers are down. And how one solution to climate change could threaten an endangered species.


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May 1 is college decision day, which is the last chance students have to submit the deposit that secures their spot at the university or college of their choice. But colleges aren’t getting as many students as usual. Enrollment has shrunk more than 5 percent since 2019 — that’s a loss of nearly 1 million students. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel explains why enrollment is down and what it means for higher education.


Then, we join scientists from the New England Aquarium on an expedition off the coast of Cape Cod in search of the elusive right whale. With only about 300 right whales left, the species ranks as one of the world’s most endangered marine mammals. Nearly annihilated centuries ago by whalers, right whales today face new threats from climate change. Dino Grandoni reports on how rising temperatures are driving them to new seas and how one climate solution – offshore wind turbines – could encroach on their habitat.

Apr 28, 2022
On the front lines in Ukraine
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On today’s show we take you on the ground in Bucha, where Russian forces have left a trail of devastation. Then we head east, where we hear from refugees who have escaped the embattled port city of Mariupol. 


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In the suburb of Bucha, Russian forces have left a trail of violent devastation. Post journalists spent a week reporting from the area and counted more than 200 bodies. Foreign correspondent Louisa Loveluck says the actual number of dead is believed to be much higher. “It's very unusual to walk into a scene where the evidence is still fresh on the ground. And it was truly, incredibly shocking.” 


And to the east in the Donbas region, Loveluck takes us to a center to which Mariupol residents have escaped. We hear some of their stories. While Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the United Nations he agrees to a humanitarian corridor “in principle,” Loveluck says that, “as someone who's been standing at that evacuation point for days, I can tell you that is not the case.”

Apr 27, 2022
The $44 billion question
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What will Elon Musk do with Twitter? Today on “Post Reports,” we talk about what’s next for one of the world’s most influential communication platforms.


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Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, will buy social media site Twitter for about $44 billion after weeks of back-and-forth with the company. Musk now holds the future of the platform in his hands, and critics fear his strong belief in free speech could lead to more misinformation and hate speech on the platform. Will Oremus explains what we know about Musk's plans and what this could mean for the rest of us.

Apr 26, 2022
Disney vs. DeSantis
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What the battle between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Disney World says about what Republicans are willing to do to win the culture wars. And, how the end of the federal public transit mask mandate will affect vulnerable people who use buses and trains.  


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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has been publicly feuding with Disney over a controversial law that limits what teachers can say to kids about gender and sexual orientation. Reporter Hannah Sampson explains how the state’s Republican-led legislature has responded and why the fight is another example of the GOP trying to use the culture war to its political advantage. 


When a Florida judge ended the federal transit mask mandate last week, there was a lot of focus on how it would affect air travel. But the end of the mandate also affects public transit such as subways and buses, leaving many people who have no transportation alternatives with a puzzle. Katie Shepherd reports on what ending the mask requirement on public transit means for the medically vulnerable. 

Apr 25, 2022
“Broken Doors,” Episode 3
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“Broken Doors” is a new investigative podcast series about how no-knock warrants are deployed in the U.S. justice system — and the consequences for communities when accountability is flawed at every level. Hosted by Jenn Abelson and Nicole Dungca.


In the third episode of this series, we return to a rural county in Mississippi.


After hearing from survivors of no-knock raids and learning about the deadly consequences, we put our questions directly to the sheriff and the judge who had allowed these raids in Monroe County. People in the community still live in fear as Ricky Keeton’s family continues their battle for justice.


The next episode is out now wherever you get your podcasts. You can email the “Broken Doors” team with any tips or feedback at BrokenDoors@washpost.com

Apr 22, 2022
What ‘greenwashing’ means for climate change
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Today on “Post Reports,” the Biden administration announces a plan to welcome Ukrainian refugees. Plus, just in time for Earth Day, our corporate accountability reporter helps you decipher what it means when a company claims to be “green.”


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The Biden administration announced plans Thursday to expedite the arrival of Ukrainian refugees, creating a new system that will allow citizens and organizations such as churches to sponsor them and warning that Ukrainians attempting to cross via Mexico will be denied entry starting next week. Maria Sacchetti reports.


Plus, it’s almost Earth Day, and corporations are eager to tout their environmental progress. Our corporate accountability reporter, Doug MacMillan, has some tips for how to decipher these promises, which sound good but could be “greenwashed.”

Apr 21, 2022
The trouble with policing ‘hot spots’
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In the past two years, a number of major American cities have experienced spikes in homicides and other violent crimes. Mayors and police chiefs have been under pressure to respond, and some are turning to a new policing strategy called “place network investigations.” 


As its name suggests, the strategy focuses on how criminal networks form and thrive in certain geographical places, and it looks at what can be done to try to break up these patterns of crime. Pioneered by academics and now being adopted by cities across the country, it’s the latest in a long line of American policing philosophies that have used data to target crime concentrated in small areas known as hot spots. 


Washington Post investigative reporter Amy Brittain started looking into this policing strategy after learning That Louisville police had been using the strategy at the time of Breonna Taylor’s death in March 2020. They have since abandoned it, but Amy was surprised to discover that at least nine other cities are now using the strategy.


In today’s episode of “Post Reports,” Amy looks at why so many police departments are focusing on geography to fight crime, whether that approach works, and if it does, at what cost.


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Read more of Amy Brittain’s investigation into the policing strategy known as place network investigations. 


Vote for us in the Webby Awards! Here’s the link to vote for Post Reports for best individual news and politics episode:

https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2022/podcasts/individual-episodes/news-politics


And best individual business episode: https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2022/podcasts/individual-episodes/business

Apr 20, 2022
Planes, trains & poop: the future of coronavirus
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What the end of the transportation mask mandates means for you. And, the key to tracking coronavirus surges across the country could be in your poop. 


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Yesterday a federal judge in Florida struck down a national mask mandate on airplanes and mass transit. The Transportation Security Administration stopped enforcing the mandate, as did major airlines, with some of them informing passengers of the news midflight. The relaxation of the pandemic precaution has raised public health concerns: The decision comes as coronavirus cases are again climbing in the Northeast. Transportation reporter Michael Laris on what the end of the transportation mask mandate means for you.


As official case counts become less reliable, public health officials are looking at poop to predict infection rates. Wastewater surveillance – testing the poop in public sewage systems – can capture the presence of coronavirus infection rates earlier than other testing options. National health reporter Lena Sun on why wastewater surveillance can keep the coronavirus under control.


Vote for us in the Webby Awards! Here’s the link to vote for Post Reports for best individual news and politics episode:

https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2022/podcasts/individual-episodes/news-politics


And best individual business episode: https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2022/podcasts/individual-episodes/business


Apr 19, 2022
Elon Musk’s vision for Twitter
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Today on Post Reports, tech reporter Nitasha Tiku breaks down what’s happening with Elon Musk’s bid to take over Twitter, what his vision of the platform would look like, and why Twitter is putting up a fight.


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Elon Musk is already facing pushback on multiple fronts on his plan to buy social media company Twitter. The billionaire launched his takeover bid last week after back-and-forth wrangling with Twitter since he became a major shareholder. First, he was invited to join the board. Then, he decided not to join the board.


Now, he wants to buy the whole company and take it private. But Twitter’s board and Musk’s own resources might make his takeover attempt a tough task to complete, and Twitter employees have concerns about his leadership


Elon Musk’s vision for Twitter builds on the company's role as a public town square, but Musk wants to remove restrictions Twitter has developed to keep hate speech, harassment and toxicity off the platform in order to promote Musk's idea of free speech.


Vote for us in the Webby Awards! Here’s the link to vote for Post Reports for best individual business episode:

https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2022/podcasts/individual-episodes/business


And best individual news and politics episode: https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2022/podcasts/individual-episodes/news-politics

Apr 18, 2022
Life Kit: Dealing with mental health at work
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On today’s bonus episode of Post Reports, we bring you a collaboration with NPR’s “Life Kit” about how to deal with mental health issues while on the job.


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Being on the clock while experiencing depression, anxiety or another mental health issue can be distracting, difficult and isolating. But you’re not alone. Post Reports producer Jordan-Marie Smith worked with NPR’s how-to podcast “Life Kit” on how to deal with mental health while at work. It doesn’t matter whether you are a barista or a CEO, this episode is a guide for how to get the help you need inside and outside of the workplace.


Check out NPR’s “Life Kit” podcast on your favorite podcast app.

Apr 16, 2022
“Broken Doors,” Episode 2
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A family confronts a sheriff after a deadly no-knock raid.


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“Broken Doors” is a new investigative podcast series about how no-knock warrants are deployed in the U.S. justice system — and the consequences for communities when accountability is flawed at every level. Hosted by Jenn Abelson and Nicole Dungca.


In the second episode of this series, we return to a rural county in Mississippi.


Around 1 a.m. on Oct. 28, 2015, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office hurled a battering ram into the home of Ricky Keeton to carry out a no-knock search warrant. After the raid turned deadly, Ricky’s family confronted the sheriff — and began secretly recording. 


The next episode is out now wherever you get your podcasts. You can email the “Broken Doors” team with any tips or feedback at BrokenDoors@washpost.com 

Apr 15, 2022
The danger of forever chemicals
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Today on “Post Reports,” how forever chemicals upended the lives of farmers in Maine — and just how widespread the contamination might be.


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Adam Nordell and Johanna Davis bought their farm seven years ago. In late 2021, they discovered that their land and water were contaminated with incredibly high levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as “forever chemicals” or PFAS. 


After finding out about the contamination, they shut down all of their farm operations.


More than 2,800 sites nationwide are contaminated by forever chemicals, according to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. “And that’s only what’s documented,” journalist Keith O’Brien wrote for The Washington Post. “The real total is unknown, and possibly much higher.”


Keith O’Brien’s new book is Paradise Falls: The True Story of an Environmental Catastrophe.


If you haven’t voted for Post Reports in the Webby Awards yet - now is the time! We are nominated for best news and politics episode and best business episode. Please support us by voting, and thank you.

Apr 14, 2022
The misinformation war in Ukraine
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Today on “Post Reports,” the battle over misinformation on Facebook in Ukraine. Plus, how TikTok has created an alternative universe, just for Russia. 


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In Ukraine, Facebook fact-checkers are fighting a war on two fronts: racing to debunk propaganda about the war while also trying to survive it. Naomi Nix reports


With Russia cracking down on social media, the Chinese-owned company TikTok has managed to stay online there by banning all new content, even as loopholes let Russian propaganda through. Will Oremus says this basically means there’s a special, censored TikTok just for users in Russia.


“Post Reports” is nominated for two Webby Awards! Please help us win by voting for us for best news episode and best business episode


If you missed these episodes when they were published and want to check out the work that’s nominated, go back and listen to “Four hours of insurrection” and “A tax haven in America’s heartland.”

Apr 13, 2022
Will France elect its first far-right president?
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Could Macron lose? That’s the question we put to Paris correspondent Rick Noack, who has been on the campaign trail with the incumbent and the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen. Today on Post Reports, what to know about the French presidential election.


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French President Emmanuel Macron finished ahead of far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the first round of the French presidential election. But far-right leader Le Pen’s close second-place finish set up a competitive runoff election on April 24.


If you love “Post Reports,” help us win a 2022 Webby award by casting your votes here and here! We are nominated for best news and politics individual episode and best business individual episode.

Apr 12, 2022
How the student loan freeze helped Black women
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On today’s episode of “Post Reports,” what life without federal student loan payments has meant for Black women. Plus, the double life of a WNBA star.


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Lamesha Brown bought a house. Alphi Coleman feels like she can finally rest. Lisa Jackson says it “almost feels like a raise.” 


For millions of Americans who took out loans to pay for college, the past two years have offered a chance to live without the burden of education debt. But Black women like Brown, Coleman and Jackson shoulder a disproportionate share of the $1.7 trillion student debt burden. 


Reporter Danielle Douglas-Gabriel talked with women about what they have been able to do while federal student loan repayment has been on pause during the pandemic. 


Plus, one more thing. It’s not unusual for retired professional athletes to have a second career in sports broadcasting, but Chiney Ogwumike is doing both at the same time. The WNBA star/NBA analyst spoke to sports reporter Ben Golliver


If you love “Post Reports,” help us win a 2022 Webby award by casting your votes here and here! We are nominated for best news and politics individual episode and best business individual episode.

Apr 11, 2022
“Broken Doors,” Episode 1
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An unusual warrant. A pattern of questionable no-knock raids. A reporting thread that just kept going. 


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No-knock warrants allow police to force their way into people’s homes without warning. What happens when this aggressive police tactic becomes the rule, rather than the exception? 


“Broken Doors” is a new investigative podcast series about how no-knock warrants are deployed in the American justice system — and the consequences for communities when accountability is flawed at every level. Hosted by Jenn Abelson and Nicole Dungca.


In the first episode of this series, sheriff’s deputies burst through the front door of a man’s home as he slept. He said they pointed a gun at his head and ransacked his home in search of drugs and cash. The no-knock search warrant they used was threadbare. But that wasn’t the worst of it.


The next two episodes are out now wherever you get your podcasts. You can email the “Broken Doors” team with any tips or feedback at BrokenDoors@washpost.com

Apr 08, 2022
Is accountability possible for Amir Locke's killing?
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Why prosecutors decided not to charge Minneapolis police officer Mark Hanneman in the killing of Amir Locke. Plus, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson gets confirmed to the Supreme Court. 


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On Wednesday, prosecutors announced they would not be filing charges against a Minneapolis police officer in the killing of Amir Locke during a predawn no-knock raid in February. 


In a statement on Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Mark Hanneman, who fatally shot 22-year-old Locke, had violated the state’s use-of-deadly-force statute. 


Reporter Holly Bailey unpacks the decision not to charge Hanneman, and explains how it has deepened the distrust between the Minneapolis police and the community it is intended to serve. 


Plus, on Thursday, the Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court. She is expected to be sworn in this summer when Justice Stephen G. Breyer retires.


Enjoy our podcast? Help us win a 2022 Webby award by casting your votes here and here. We are nominated for best news and politics individual episode, and best business individual episode

Apr 07, 2022
In Oklahoma, a closing window to access abortion
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On Tuesday, Oklahoma lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to ban most abortions in the state, passing a Republican bill that would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. If the law is signed — and not struck down by the courts — it will take effect this summer. 


The state is also weighing two other bills modeled on the restrictive Texas law that has banned most abortions by employing a novel legal strategy that empowers private citizens to enforce the law through civil litigation. Both bills would take effect immediately if signed by the governor. And that could happen within the next few days.


National politics reporter Caroline Kitchener has been reporting on these laws. She and audio producer Rennie Svirnovskiy went to a pair of clinics in Tulsa to see how providers and patients were bracing themselves for what could be the last days of legal abortion in the state.


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Caroline Kitchener breaks down the bill that passed the Oklahoma state legislature in detail.

Apr 06, 2022
A secret campaign against TikTok
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How Facebook’s parent company Meta paid one of the biggest Republican consulting firms in the country to orchestrate a nationwide PR campaign against TikTok. And, where we stand with booster shots and covid antivirals.


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Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is paying the Republican consulting group Targeted Victory to try to turn the American public against TikTok. They’ve done everything from placing op-eds in major regional news outlets to promoting dubious stories about alleged TikTok trends that are harming kids. Drew Harwell reports on why Facebook is targeting TikTok.


And, an update from science reporter Carolyn Johnson on efforts to get another booster to older adults and expand access to covid antiviral medicines.

Apr 05, 2022
‘How many more Buchas are there?’
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On today’s episode of Post Reports, grim scenes from the Ukrainian suburb of Bucha renew calls for investigations into alleged Russian war crimes. 


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On Saturday, Ukrainian forces and journalists found mass graves in Bucha, a suburb northwest of Kyiv, after Russian forces withdrew from the region. Bucha Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk told The Post that about 270 residents had been buried in two graves. He estimated that 40 bodies were left on the street. 


On today’s episode of Post Reports, foreign correspondent Isabelle Khurshudyan reports on the discovery of these civilians’ bodies, and what it has sparked: international condemnation, calls for an investigation into possible Russian war crimes and vows that sanctions are coming.

Apr 04, 2022
An ICU nurse confronts Year 3 of the pandemic
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As we enter Year 3 of the pandemic, we check back in with intensive care unit nurse Jessica Montanaro, whom we first met in 2021. Now sick with covid and facing a ticking clock on her return to work, she reflects on the past year and the present struggles of her profession. 


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Last year we brought you the story of Jessica Montanaro, an intensive care unit nurse from New York City who found herself battling exhaustion and grief as New York became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and she cared for wave after wave of patients. 


Today, we’re going back to Montanaro. Producer Bishop Sand reached out to her earlier this year to see how she was faring as we approached Year 3 of the pandemic. He discovered that Montanaro was sick with covid. 


Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York state had shortened their recovery recommendations for health-care workers sick with the coronavirus, Montanaro was expected back at work after just five days — something she was not happy about. 


During her recovery, she talked to Sand daily. She shared stories of her struggles as a nurse over the past year and described her efforts to address the critical staffing shortages that have affected her team and profession as a whole.

Apr 01, 2022
The view from Kyiv
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Russia announced earlier this week it would scale back its offensive around Kyiv. We take you in and around the capital city to see whether that’s true. Plus, how videos of impromptu concerts around Ukraine have become the soundtrack of hope in the face of war. 


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On Tuesday, Moscow announced that it would “drastically reduce” its military assault around Kyiv. But U.S. officials are leery of Russia’s promise to shift away from the capital city. 


Post foreign correspondent Siobhan O’Grady has been in Kyiv since the start of the war. She tells us that Russia doesn’t seem to be telling the truth based on accounts from the city and its surrounding areas, and explains how life in Kyiv has changed since the start of the war. 


Plus, how videos shared online of musicbeing made in the face of war have become a soundtrack of hope in the midst of despair.

Mar 31, 2022
The rise and fall of Peloton
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How Peloton became a victim of its own success, and what the parasocial relationship with its instructors tells us about our relationships to ourselves. Plus, what happens when two cosmonauts and an astronaut return to earth.


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Peloton saw a meteoric rise at the start of the pandemic. But as normal life has resumed, sales of the stationary bike have plummeted and the company has been plunged into crisis. Business reporter Aaron Gregg explains. 


And writer Anne Helen Petersen, author of the newsletter Culture Study, talks about the general obsession with Peloton and its instructors — and what those relationships might reveal about ourselves and our connection with others. 


Plus, a dispatch from the International Space Station: An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts safely returned back to earth Wednesday after a historic mission. But there’s a conflict brewing over U.S.-Russia relations in space, and the future of the ISS is at stake.

Mar 30, 2022
How the war in Ukraine could end
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On today’s episode of Post Reports, we bring you the latest news from Istanbul, where Russian and Ukrainian delegates are negotiating a de-escalation of the war. 


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After a day of talks in Istanbul, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators have laid out their terms for a potential end to the war.


Moscow has said it would “drastically reduce” military activity near Kyiv and Chernihiv “to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations.” 


Kyiv has proposed that countries such as Israel, Turkey and France “guarantee” Ukraine’s security in the future, in exchange for Kyiv’s neutrality and pledge not to host foreign military bases or forces — in other words, Kyiv would make a promise to not seek NATO membership.


Reporter Shane Harris describes the state of negotiations, and what a path to the end of the war could look like.

Mar 29, 2022
Preparing for a post-Roe America
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As more and more states move to restrict abortion rights, and the Supreme Court weighs whether to overturn Roe v. Wade, we look at how clinics in blue states are preparing for an influx of patients from across state lines. 


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On today’s episode of Post Reports, national politics reporter Caroline Kitchener takes us inside a clinic on the Illinois side of the Illinois-Missouri border, where abortion providers are working to build a blue-state abortion refuge for patients from across the South and Midwest. Many of the more conservative states surrounding Illinois are moving to restrict abortion access as the Supreme Court considers whether to limit or overturn the protections of Roe v. Wade.


The Post is tracking legislation that aims to restrict abortion across the country — 15-week bans, Texas-style bans, trigger laws and abortion pill bans — as well as what’s happening in the Democratic-dominated states moving to protect access to abortion.

Mar 28, 2022
What’s the deal with Ginni Thomas?
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On today’s Post Reports, what we can learn from texts between President Donald Trump’s top aide and the wife of a Supreme Court justice. Plus, why protesters in the Caribbean have not been charmed by William and Kate’s royal “charm offensive.”  


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In text messages obtained by The Washington Post and CBS News, Virginia Thomas — a conservative activist and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — repeatedly pressed White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to keep up the relentless effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, calling Joe Biden’s victory “the greatest Heist of our History.”


The messages, 29 in all, reveal an extraordinary pipeline between Virginia Thomas, who goes by Ginni, and President Donald Trump’s top aide at a time when Trump and his allies were vowing to go to the Supreme Court in an effort to negate the election’s results. 


Despite these ties, Justice Thomas chose not to recuse himself in a case deciding whether the former president could block the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol from obtaining certain records, including these text messages between Ginni Thomas and Meadows. 


On today’s episode of Post Reports, CBS’s Robert Costa tells us about the process of reporting out this story with The Post’s Bob Woodward and shares the questions he’ll be asking next. 


Critics say Ginni Thomas’s activism is a Supreme Court conflict. Under court rules, only her husband can decide whether that’s true. Michael Kranish reports on the criticism that Justice Thomas has exploited a hole in the court’s rules to ignore the conflict of interest created by his wife’s activism.


Plus, Karla Adam explains why Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Catherine, have been met with anti-colonial protests and demands for reparations on their first official overseas visit together since the start of the pandemic.

Mar 25, 2022
Mariupol, war crimes, and NATO’s limits
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The United States and the E.U. announced new sanctions on Russia on Thursday as President Biden held emergency talks with NATO leaders in Brussels. Today we talk about the geopolitical moment, and hear from the families of people trapped in Mariupol. 


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President Biden said on Thursday that the United States will take in 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and will commit more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance for those affected by Russia’s continued invasion in Ukraine. As the war reached the one-month mark, Biden joined leaders from the European Union in projecting a unified front against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine while announcing additional measures to isolate the Kremlin. 


We talk to Missy Ryan about how the geopolitical dynamics have changed over the past month, and how significant it is that the United States has accused members of Russia’s military of committing war crimes in Ukraine.

 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that assessment is based in part on U.S. intelligence and pointed to the suffering of civilians in Mariupol, a key port city that Russian forces cut off early in their invasion and then bombarded.

 

Russian forces have also cut off communications and electricity in the city. Reporters Siobhán O'Grady and Kostiantyn Khudov speak to Ukrainians who are desperately searching for their relatives trapped in Mariupol.

Mar 24, 2022
Fauci on the BA.2 variant
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Today, what we know about the BA.2 coronavirus variant and whether the United States is prepared for a possible rise in cases. Plus, why the war in Ukraine has had an unexpected impact on sushi prices in Japan.


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The BA.2 variant is now the most common variant among new coronavirus cases in the United States. And while experts say it’s unlikely to lead to a big surge, dropped mask mandates across the country could lead to more spread. Meanwhile, the federal government is running out of money for booster shots and other covid responses. Health policy reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb brings us the latest from Anthony S. Fauci on the new variant and the government response.


Thousands of miles away from Ukraine, people in Japan are experiencing a trickle down effect of the war: a spike in sushi prices. That’s because a lot of the cheap fish eaten in Japan actually comes from Russia. The Japanese government had imposed sanctions on that fish – but the effects on local markets are looking too severe to bear. Tokyo bureau chief Michelle Ye Hee Lee explains how these seemingly distant markets are actually closely intertwined.

Mar 23, 2022
The Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings
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Today on Post Reports, the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, and how Republicans are weighing the costs and benefits of opposing Jackson’s nomination.


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The Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson have begun. If confirmed, Jackson would be the first African American woman to be seated on the Supreme Court bench. 


While Jackson’s confirmation hearing is expected to be less contentious than those for other recent Supreme Court nominees, such as Amy Coney Barrett and Brett M. Kavanaugh, her path to the highest court still faces challenges. Senior political reporter Aaron Blake explains the political calculus Republicans are making in the Senate, held by a razor-thin Democratic majority, and how Jackson’s seat on the bench could affect future Supreme Court cases.

Mar 22, 2022
Death in the rainforest
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Today on Post Reports, a journey deep into the Amazon to uncover how the planned redevelopment of a highway could go hand in hand with deforestation and violence. 


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Highway BR-319 slices through the heart of the Amazon. Built in the 1970s, it has slowly deteriorated, giving way to muck and mud. Many people who rely on the road are calling for its repair. But scientists warn that easier access to the rainforest will inevitably lead to illegal deforestation, which will soon tip the forest past a point of no return.


Washington Post Rio de Janeiro bureau chief Terry McCoy and photographer Raphael Alves traveled the length of the broken highway to observe the destruction. They also looked at how criminal groups operate in the region, seizing land, razing trees and defending the seized territory with violence.

Mar 21, 2022
Daylight Saving Time … forever?
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This week, a sleepy Senate voted unanimously to end “spring forward” and “fall back” and make daylight saving time permanent. 


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The Senate surprised everyone in Washington this week by voting unanimously to end clock-switching in the United States and make daylight saving time permanent. Our health policy and politics reporter Dan Diamond got to take a break from covering the coronavirus to talk about the bipartisan legislation, which would need to get through the House and be signed by President Biden to become law. While there’s broad agreement among sleep experts that the country should abandon its twice yearly, seasonal-time changes, many sleep experts think standard time is better for our circadian rhythms


Check out how permanent daylight saving time would change sunrise and sunset times across the United States. Brighter winter evenings would come at the expense of darker mornings.

Mar 18, 2022
Why Jason Rezaian is scared for Brittney Griner
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Today on Post Reports, we talk to our colleague Jason Rezaian about WNBA star Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia. Rezaian, who was unjustly held in Iran for 544 days, fears that Griner is being held as a geopolitical bargaining chip. 


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Post opinions writer Jason Rezaian is very concerned about Brittney Griner. 


When he heard of her arrest, he says, his first thought was, “This sounds a lot like what happened to me.” 


Rezaian was arrested in 2014, and his case became a bargaining chip in nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran.


Given the timing of Griner’s arrest, Rezaian says it could be tied to sanctions from the United States in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His opinions, he says, are informed by a new reality: More Americans are being wrongfully detained abroad, especially in moments of tension or conflict.


Watch The Post’s short documentary “Bring Them Home,” an intimate look at one family in this situation.

Mar 17, 2022
Gas prices are the new war bonds
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On today’s show, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s appeal to Congress. Why U.S. sanctions on Russian oil aren’t the only thing raising gas prices. Plus, how the White House is enlisting TikTok influencers in the information war with Russia.


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On Wednesday morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Congress, calling on the United States to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine. 


While President Biden has resisted calls to create a no-fly zone, he and other world leaders have been moved by Zelensky’s appeals and the plight of Ukrainians. Biden this week pledged billions of dollars in aid to the war-torn country, and announced on Wednesday afternoon that the United States would be sending drones, anti-aircraft systems and other weapons to Ukraine


Western countries have also taken other drastic steps to punish and isolate Russia – including steps to wean the west off Russian oil and gas. Former energy reporter and Moscow Correspondent Will Englund reports on what sanctions on Russian oil could mean for Russia, for Europe, and for gas prices in the United States


The White House recently briefed TikTok creators and influencers on the war in Ukraine, as a way to combat disinformation from Russian propagandists on the popular platform. Taylor Lorenz is a tech columnist at The Post. She got a scoop on the Zoom call and explains what happened, if this is the right move, and what Russian disinformation about the war looks like.

Mar 16, 2022
How Hong Kong’s ‘zero covid’ policy backfired
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Since the omicron outbreak began a few months ago, 10 times as many people have died in Hong Kong as in the previous two years. Today on Post Reports, how Hong Kong’s “zero covid” policy led to a devastating surge.


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Body bags, overflowing morgues and chaotic hospitals. Hong Kong — a wealthy financial center — now has the highest covid-19 death rate in the developed world. More than 4,000 people have died since the start of the city’s most recent outbreak, compared with just 213 in the two years prior. Those dying are overwhelmingly elderly, unvaccinated residents, but they also include toddlers and children too young to be immunized.


Shibani Mahtani reports from Hong Kong on how the city has gone from “zero covid” to a catastrophe.

Mar 15, 2022
Is Russia losing the war?
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Many experts predicted that Russia would take Ukraine in a matter of days –– but fighting is now in its third week. Today on Post Reports, the failures of Russia’s military strategy, the surprising strength of Ukrainian forces, and how this could end. 


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Almost three weeks into the Russian assault on Ukraine, Kyiv remains under Ukrainian control, to the surprise of many onlookers. 


“I think, broadly, there are two big reasons,” says national security reporter Shane Harris. “First, the Ukrainian people’s will to fight is, I think, greater than a lot of people had anticipated –– particularly Vladimir Putin. The second is that this ferocious, feared Russian military has turned out to be a lot less, maybe, than people had thought it was.”


On today’s episode of Post Reports, Shane and Martine discuss the mistakes of the Russian military apparatus and the strength of the underestimated Ukrainian forces and game out scenarios for the end of the war. 


Plus, we hear from reporter Sudarsan Raghavan in Kyiv about the local orchestra playing in the city’s Independence Square. “Fortunately, it was extremely quiet during the performance,” Sudarsan says. “We didn't hear any shells landing. A few moments afterwards, air raid sirens went off and people moved away from the square.”

Mar 14, 2022
Who gets to stop thinking about the pandemic
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Two years in, many Americans are ready to leave the pandemic behind. But some people don’t have that luxury — like the immunocompromised, parents of small children and covid “long-haulers.” Today on the show, what it means to “live with covid.”


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It’s been two years since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Today on Post Reports, we take stock of how far we’ve come … and how far we still have to go.


For many around the country, the pandemic is starting to feel like a thing of the past. In red and blue states alike, masks are coming off and vaccine requirements are relaxing. But for some — including the immunocompromised and parents of young kids — the pandemic is far from over.


Health reporter Fenit Nirappil explains what it means for the virus to become endemic, and how the United States is looking to return to normalcy after two years of covid-19 mitigation efforts. 


Meanwhile, potentially hundreds of thousands of people are experiencing symptoms of long covid, months — or even years — after they were first exposed. And as the world tries to move on, they’re trying not to fall through the gaps in the social safety net. 


Business reporter Chris Rowland talks about the covid “long-haulers” struggling to get the disability benefits they — and their doctors —think they’re due. 

Mar 11, 2022
Russia’s war on the truth
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After blocking media access, the Russian government banned what it calls “fake” news on its war with Ukraine. Journalists are now fleeing the country. Today on Post Reports, what that means for the truth and Russians’ access to it. 


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Independent journalists in Russia have been fleeing since Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a ban on “fake news,” which bars reporters from calling the war in Ukraine a “war” or referring to the “invasion.” (The preferred language is “special military operation.”) 


As foreign media outlets decide what that means for their coverage and staff, The New York Times this week became the first major American news organization to announce that it will pull its staff out of Russia in response to the new law.


Media reporter Elahe Izadi reports on the consequences — for Russians’ access to good information, and for the rest of the world’s understanding of what’s happening in Russia.  


“I think the biggest risk here is it obscures the truth,” Elahe says. “We need to know the truth of the facts of the situation in order to assess an appropriate response. That’s the same for people within Russia.”


This new law is also creating challenges for social media platforms. Nitasha Tiku explains how TikTok has responded, and what other platforms might do. As The Post has reported, TikTok has long tried to stay out of politics, but Russia’s invasion is making that harder.

Mar 10, 2022
The hidden cost of police misconduct
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Today on Post Reports, we explore the hidden cost of police misconduct. Cities around the country spent more than $1.5 billion between 2010 and 2020 to settle claims involving thousands of officers repeatedly accused of misconduct – and often left taxpayers in the dark.


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A warning to listeners: Today’s episode of Post Reports includes a story about police violence that may be disturbing to some people, especially animal lovers.


When we hear about lawsuits against police departments, it’s often in cases involving fatal police shootings, like Breonna Taylor’s or George Floyd’s, that result in multimillion-dollar settlements.


“Those cases, they make the headlines, they make the news,” says Washington Post reporter Keith Alexander. “But there are other cases where officers are the subject of numerous lawsuits — 10, 12, 13 — for much smaller offenses, but they're happening repeatedly.”


In a new investigation from The Post, Keith and fellow reporters tallied nearly 40,000 payments made by 25 major cities and counties around the country to settle repeat allegations of misconduct involving thousands of officers. What they found was the hidden cost of police misconduct: the staggering amount that’s been paid over the past decade and the way that taxpayers are often kept in the dark.


Steven Rich and Hannah Thacker contributed to this report. If you want to learn more about how The Post reported on the hidden billion-dollar cost of repeated police misconduct, check out this video.

Mar 09, 2022
Reading Putin
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Since Russia invaded Ukraine, one question has loomed large: What does Putin want? Nonfiction book critic Carlos Lozada went looking for clues in the Russian leader’s 2000 book and other writings. Today on Post Reports, he shares what he learned. 


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Reporters Siobhan O’Grady and Whitney Shefte have been reporting from the Ukrainian city of Irpin, just outside of Kyiv, where people are desperately trying to escape a Russian attack. 


As the invasion of Ukraine goes on, so many of us around the world are asking: Where is this headed? What does Russia want? Or, maybe, a better question: What does Vladimir Putin want? 




“What Putin really wants” is a perennial topic for cable news debates and big-think magazine covers; the current invasion of Ukraine has prompted questions about the Russian leader’s mental health and pandemic-era isolation. But his motives can also be gleaned in part from his book and his frequent essays and major speeches, all seething with resentment, propaganda and self-justification. In light of his writings, Carlos Lozada says, Russia’s attack on Ukraine seems less about reuniting two countries than about challenging the United States and NATO

Mar 08, 2022
Is Russia committing war crimes?
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How Ukrainians are documenting the destruction of their country. And, why the international community may struggle to hold Russian officials accountable for alleged war crimes.


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As Russia continues its artillery assault of major population centers in Ukraine, Western officials have begun accusing Russian military officials of committing war crimes


“We've seen these really gruesome images of civilian casualties, of the shelling and the complete destruction of Ukrainian cities,” says foreign affairs reporter Claire Parker. “And mounting evidence of the use of weapons that have triggered serious alarm among international observers and raised allegations that Russia could be committing war crimes.”


On today’s Post Reports, Sudursan Raghavan reports from the rubble of a village near Kyiv, where a team was collecting evidence of possible war crimes


Then, Parker walks us through the accusations against the Russian military and why it may be difficult for the International Criminal Court to hold anyone accountable.

Mar 07, 2022
What ‘the Roger Stone tapes’ reveal about Jan. 6
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A team of Danish filmmakers spent more than two years following Trump confidant and adviser, Roger Stone. Their footage — and an investigation from The Washington Post — shed new light on Stone’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.


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As a mob ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Roger Stone, Donald Trump’s longtime political adviser, hurried to pack a suitcase inside his suite at downtown Washington’s Willard hotel. Before leaving the city on a private jet, he told an aide he feared prosecution by the incoming attorney general, Merrick Garland. “He is not a friend,” Stone said.


On today’s Post Reports, how two documentary makers gained extraordinary access to a member of Trump’s inner circle — and what their footage reveals about the campaign to overturn the 2020 election.


Their footage, along with other reporting by The Post, provides the most comprehensive account to date of Stone’s involvement in the former president’s effort to overturn the election and the Jan. 6 insurrection.


For months, he coordinated with far-right leaders and urged allies to join the “Stop the Steal” movement. When it all fell apart, he lobbied the former president for a pardon for himself and “the entire MAGA movement,” up until the day Trump left office.


Their film, “A Storm Foretold,” is expected to come out later this year. You can watch excerpts here.

Mar 05, 2022
Zelensky: The TV president turned war hero
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s improbable journey — from an actor who played the president on TV, to the real president of Ukraine, to the center of an American impeachment, to a war hero. Plus, an interview with the director of “The Batman.”  


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The world has been captivated by videos from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the past week. The TV president turned wartime leader has a habit of turning up center stage in global events. Producer Ted Muldoon talked to reporters from around the newsroom about Zelensky’s unlikely path from entertainer to wartime president


David Betancourt has been guest hosting Post Reports the past couple of days — but his day job is reporting on comic book culture for The Post. He says the new Batman movie marks a return to greatness for DC after a decade dominated by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Today on Post Reports, David interviews the film’s director, Matt Reeves.

Mar 04, 2022
Sanctions on oligarchs, and a lockout in baseball
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Today on Post Reports, how the U.S. is imposing sanctions on Russia’s elite. Plus, why Major League Baseball is canceling games. 


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On Thursday, the White House announced new sanctions against more Russian elites and their family members. Reporter Jeff Stein explains the strategy behind seizing yachts, jets and luxury apartments.  


This week, Major League Baseball announced that roughly 90 games would be canceled amid a labor dispute between the players union and team owners. Baseball reporter Chelsea Janes explains why the two parties can’t come to an agreement and why the lockout is so aggravating to fans. 

Mar 03, 2022
Fleeing Ukraine
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Nearly 900,000 people have fled Ukraine for safety. On today’s show, the refugees of the war in Ukraine. 


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Hundreds of thousands of refugees have left Ukraine for neighboring countries, and many are now waiting in holding centers across the region. Many are women and children; Ukrainian authorities have told men ages 18 to 60 to stay in the country to fight the invasion.


Almost 900,000 people have fled Ukraine and are looking to places like Poland, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary for safety. Traffic data shows severe backups at nearly every border crossing over the weekend, particularly at crossings into Poland. Officials warn that the flow of refugees is likely to escalate into a full-blown humanitarian crisis. 


Today on the show, the refugees fleeing Ukraine to escape the war. 


Katya Merezhinsky is one of those people. She was in Lviv when the war began, and she recounts her harrowing journey out of Ukraine.  


Foreign correspondent and Berlin bureau chief Loveday Morris reports on the ground from the Ukraine-Poland border, where busloads of refugees are arriving in Poland. She says, “Hordes of people are [arriving] with real tales of horror.” 


Video journalist Jon Gerberg is also on the Ukraine-Poland border and reports on the discrimination some refugees of color have faced as they’ve tried to cross it.


“What starts on paper as a policy of national priority in the end effectively translates into a two-class process,” Gerberg says.


Follow our coverage on the war in Ukraine here. 


Mar 02, 2022
Is Russia sanctions-proof?
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Today on Post Reports, we bring you the latest from the war in Ukraine. How sanctions from the West are tanking Russia’s currency. Plus, a dire new climate report from the United Nations.


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Six days into the invasion of Ukraine, fierce fighting continued in Kharkiv as Russian forces closed in on the second-largest Ukrainian city. A convoy seemed to be stalled outside Kyiv on Tuesday afternoon. Follow the latest on the war from our reporters on the ground


The United States and Europe have responded to Russia’s aggression with historic sanctions. But are they working? Paul Sonne reports on the impact on Russia’s economy and how much this changes things for ordinary Russians. 


Meanwhile, on Monday a newly released report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that the window is closing to prevent catastrophic climate change. 


“Frankly, I don't think that I've ever seen a report so dire,” says climate reporter Sarah Kaplan. “The language is just incredibly bleak.”


There is, however, a glimmer of hope: Humanity still has time to shift Earth's warming trajectory, scientists say. But averting the world’s worst-case scenarios will require nothing less than transformational change on a global scale.

Mar 01, 2022
Russia, Ukraine and the NATO question
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Today, on the ground in Kyiv, where the battle for control continues. And NATO 101: how NATO came to be, how its mission has evolved since the end of the Cold War, and why two nonmembers are challenging the way the security organization is seen.


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Ukraine is not a member of NATO, the military alliance of mainly Western countries united by a mutual defense treaty. But post-Cold War tension between the West and Russia over NATO is at the heart of the current crisis. On today’s episode of Post Reports, we ask where NATO fits  into global conflict, and how the history of the organization informs geopolitical relations today.


Since 1999, 14 nations have joined NATO, including Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and the Baltic states. Russia has demanded that the alliance stop expanding eastward — and that it bar Ukraine from joining. Ukraine’s government has said that it would like to enter the alliance, along with other nations that were once part of or allied with the former Soviet Union.


In speeches this month, President Biden has vowed that the United States would meet its commitments under Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which says that an attack on one is an attack on all. But, since Ukraine isn’t a member, what does that even mean for the country? And for the rest of the world? 


“As these countries have grown in number, it’s even more questionable whether we would send our troops to defend these countries,” says Sarah Kreps, professor of government, law and public policy and director of the Tech Policy Lab at Cornell University. “We would need some real leadership to help the public understand what the issue is, and explain the consequences of inaction.” 


Follow the latest from Ukraine here.

Feb 28, 2022
Getting to know Ketanji Brown Jackson
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Today, a deep dive into the life of Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. Plus, a dispatch from Ukraine, where Russian forces are pressing closer to the capital, Kyiv.


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On Friday morning, President Biden announced his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court: federal judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Currently serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Jackson is a former clerk for Justice Stephen G. Breyer. If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman and the first former federal public defender on the Supreme Court. Legal affairs reporter Ann Marimow on Jackson’s past, and what she’d bring to the court.


Plus, a dispatch from Ukraine, where Russia is advancing on the capital, Kyiv. Our foreign correspondent Siobhan O’Grady reports.

Feb 25, 2022
Russia’s assault on Ukraine
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On Thursday, Russia launched attacks on cities across Ukraine, from Kyiv to Kharkiv. Today on Post Reports, what it’s like on the ground there, Putin’s calculus, and why the United States and Europe feel powerless to stop Russia.  

 

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Ukrainians in cities and towns across the country woke up to the sound of explosions early Thursday morning as Russia launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine. 


On Thursday afternoon, President Biden announced further sanctions against Russia, saying, “We have no intention of fighting Russia. We want to send an unmistakable message, though, that the United States, together with our Allies, will defend every inch of NATO territory.”


But will those sanctions make any difference? 


“I don't see any sanctions that are going to, especially at this point, prevent him from trying to execute his plan,” reporter Paul Sonne said of Russian President Vladimir Putin. 


He added: “This is a horrific turn of events in world history. Russia is an incredibly powerful military, and it's unleashing its full military might against a neighboring, much less powerful state. And we're witnessing that in real time. 


“We're seeing Ukrainians suffering deeply, fearing for their lives, fleeing their cities, moving their children into bomb shelters. And because Russia is a nuclear power, people in the United States and in Europe are feeling quite powerless to do anything about it.”


We also hear from our reporters on the ground in Ukraine about what these early days of attacks feel like for the people caught in the crossfire.


Follow The Post’s coverage of the assault on Ukraine here

Feb 24, 2022
Inside a police training conference
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Much of America wants policing to change. But these self-proclaimed experts in police training tell officers they’re doing just fine. Today on Post Reports, we take you inside a police training conference.


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For more than a year now, Robert Klemko has been covering calls for police reform across the country in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.


But last fall, he started wondering — have these calls for reform changed anything about the way police are trained?


He went looking for a police training conference, and he found the Street Cop Training Conference in Atlantic City in October. The speakers included the right-wing political commentator Tomi Lahren, former law enforcement officers and military personnel. Robert wasn’t allowed to attend — but he did obtain a recording of the conference, and he shares it with us today. 

You can read more about Robert’s reporting, and listen to his article here


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners — one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Feb 23, 2022
‘The beginning of a Russian invasion’
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Today on Post Reports – did Russia just invade Ukraine? Foreign correspondent Isabelle Khurshudyan says it depends on who you ask. Plus, Michael Robinson Chavez on what it’s like reporting from the eastern front. 


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On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that he is recognizing two separatist regions of Ukraine as independent. He ordered troops to “perform peacekeeping functions” in those regions – which the United States and other allies say amounts to an invasion. On Tuesday, Biden called it a “flagrant violation of international law” and announced a first round of sanctions, while saying he still hopes diplomacy is possible.


Moscow correspondent Isabelle Khurshudyan reports from eastern Ukraine on what this means for Ukrainians, and how far its allies will go to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.


Later in the show, we hear a harrowing story from photojournalist Michael Robinson Chavez who was reporting from the front lines in Ukraine.  


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please consider a subscription to The Washington Post. Right now you can try it out for FREE for four weeks. Go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Feb 22, 2022
Happy Presidents’ Day! Or … not?
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Students, teachers and historians reflect on what has changed – and what should change – about the way we teach presidential history today.


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Americans are grappling with the complex legacies of former presidents.


In just the past few weeks, a Theodore Roosevelt statue came down in New York City and a high school in New Jersey named after Woodrow Wilson officially decided to drop the president’s name.


Today’s episode is hosted by Lilian Cunningham and looks to students, teachers and presidential historians to illuminate what has – and hasn’t – changed about how the presidency is taught in the classroom.


We’re joined by Professors Barbara Perry of the University of Virginia and Julian Zelizer of Princeton University; Clint Smith, author of “How the Word is Passed”; and the AP government and politics class of teacher Michael Martirone. 


To learn more about the life and legacy of every single American president, check out “The Presidential” podcast: Listen here.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners – one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Feb 21, 2022
Road-tripping through a divided state
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With midterms ahead, both parties are tryings to connect with voters. But what if voters just want politics to stop feeling like an existential death match? Plus, a tribute to “Arthur,” the kids show ending after 25 years.


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This year’s midterm elections have Democrats and Republicans facing tough questions about how to reach voters. Back in November, there was a test case that offered some insight to both parties: the Virginia governor’s race.


Businessman Glenn Youngkin was the first Republican to be elected governor of Virginia in nearly a decade. The race was viewed nationally as both a test of Joe Biden’s presidency and whether Republicans could mount a return after losing the White House.


Washington Post Magazine reporter David Montgomery wanted to know what led voters in a state that voted for Biden by big margins in 2020 to suddenly swing right in 2021. So he set out on a road trip across Virginia to talk to voters and to hear how the heated rhetoric between both political parties has influenced local communities.


After 25 years, the animated children’s show “Arthur” is ending. Producer Ariel Plotnick speaks with the author of the original books and the longtime executive producer of the show about what made “Arthur” so relatable for kids and parents alike. 

Feb 18, 2022
The Sandy Hook settlement
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How some of the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting reached a settlement with Remington Arms nearly a decade after the massacre. Plus, why a convoy of semi-trucks descended on downtown Ottawa three weeks ago — and never left.


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When the families of nine of the victims of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School began their lawsuit against the gunmaker of the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle, their goal was to spare other families the pain that had upended their own lives. 


On Tuesday, the victims’ families marked a victory in that effort with the announcement of a $73 million settlement with Remington Arms, which manufactures the Bushmaster. 


“This lawsuit is really being viewed as an opening, an example of what is possible,” says reporter Kim Bellware. “But also, lawyers are saying this should be a wake-up call for other people who are in business with gun manufacturers … to let them know that these gun companies can’t just operate how they want, and that being in business with companies like this can be very expensive.” 


Later in the show, we take you to Ottawa, where thousands of demonstrators in semi-trucks have been parked in downtown for weeks in protest of vaccine mandates. They also blocked the Ambassador Bridge, a key crossing into the United States, wreaking economic havoc on both countries.


Now their demands have grown to include lifting all pandemic restrictions – and authorities say some have ties to extremist groups. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act for the first time in the country’s history in an attempt to restore order. 


Post reporter Amanda Coletta is in Ottawa watching the protests unfold.

Feb 17, 2022
How private equity is changing America’s suburbs
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Today on Post Reports, how one company made millions by scooping up homes across the United States, then renting them back to people who could no longer afford to buy them.  


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Last year investors bought nearly 1 in 7 homes sold in America’s top metropolitan areas, the most in at least two decades, according to data from the realty company Redfin and an analysis by The Washington Post. Those purchases come at a time when would-be buyers across the country are seeing wildly escalating prices, raising the question of what impact investors are having on prices for everyone else. 


Today we visit a block in the suburbs of Nashville that used to be the perfect place for first-time homebuyers. Then, global investors bought in. As part of the Pandora Papers investigation, financial reporter Peter Whoriskey explains how a private equity-backed company called Progress Residential reaps big profits from stressed American renters amid a national affordability crisis.

Feb 16, 2022
A test for Kamila Valieva – and the Olympics
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Kamila Valieva is arguably the best female figure skater in the world. She’s also a 15-year-old at the center of an Olympics doping scandal. After the skater’s emotional performance Tuesday, we talk about doping and her controversial coach.


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Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old figure skating phenom from Russia, arrived in Beijing poised for a coronation, with a potential Olympic title affirming her status as the best women’s skater of her time. But now at the center of the doping controversy that has rocked these Games, Valieva finished her short program and brought her hands over her eyes, overwhelmed by a week in which her eligibility for this competition was in jeopardy – and is still being called into question.


Health reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb explains the doping scandal andthe questions being raised about Kamila Valieva’s coach, Eteri Tutberidze. The Russian coach has helped revolutionize women's figure skating, but the doping controversy surrounding her latest star has put Tutberidze’s methods under an unwelcome spotlight.

Feb 15, 2022
Will anyone save Ukraine?
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Diplomatic efforts to avert a Russian invasion of Ukraine have failed to ease tensions — and  that has huge stakes for Ukraine, for Europe and for America’s standing in the world.


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The U.S. State Department has announced that the U.S. will close its embassy in Ukraine’s capital, with remaining embassy personnel being relocated closer to the border with Poland because of mounting U.S. fears of an invasion by Russia.


Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to leave the diplomatic door open, but as national security reporter Shane Harris explains, talks aren’t producing any breakthroughs.

Feb 14, 2022
Skating and SCOTUS
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Today on Post Reports, a guide to the judges being considered to fill Justice Stephen Breyer’s Supreme Court seat and make history as the first Black woman on the court. Plus, two Washington Post politics experts talk … figure skating. 


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After Justice Stephen G. Breyer announced his plan to retire at the end of the Supreme Court’s current term, all eyes turned to President Biden, who now has the chance to bolster the court’s liberal minority and deliver on a major campaign promise: to nominate the first Black female justice


On today’s Post Reports, White House reporter Seung Min Kim runs through the professional backgrounds and legal philosophies of three of the judges under consideration – Ketanji Brown Jackson, Leondra Kruger and J. Michelle Childs – and the challenges they could face if nominated. 


And later in the episode, non-sports-reporters Phil Rucker and Robert Samuels join Maggie Penman to talk about … Olympic figure skating



Feb 11, 2022
Why your rent is going up
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We look at why rents have gone up across the nation, and whether that trend will end any time soon.


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Nationwide, the price of renting a home has skyrocketed recently — in some places the rent is up more than 30 percent. As economics correspondent Abha Bhattarai explains, the effect on some renters has been severe: Millions of Americans have been forced to move, while others have become homeless until they can find another place to live.

Feb 10, 2022
Is ISIS back?
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What a brazen Islamic State prison break reveals about the strength of the terrorist group. Plus, amid uncertainty over the future of Roe v. Wade, Vermont moves to enshrine access to abortion in the state’s constitution.


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The world forgot this Syrian prison. The Islamic State did not. Baghdad bureau chief Louisa Loveluck was recently in Syria reporting on the fallout from a brazen ISIS attack, and what it revealed about the enduring strength of the group.


Politics reporter Caroline Kitchener reports on abortion for The Post. She explains the latest moves by state legislatures to either protect — or restrict — access to abortion as the Supreme Court considers a decision that could limit or even overturn Roe v. Wade.

Feb 09, 2022
Born in the U.S.A., skiing for China
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What it means for a star American athlete to compete for China in the Beijing Olympics. Plus, how an anonymous Instagram account called “Dear White Staffers” is exposing what it can be like working for lawmakers on Capitol Hill.


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Eileen Gu is an American dream of an Olympic athlete. Born and raised in San Francisco, she won gold in the big-air freestyle skiing event and is a favorite in two more events. But she’s not competing for the United States. She’s competing for China. Les Carpenter reports on how Gu’s choice magnifies the ongoing tensions between the United States and China.


An Instagram account called “Dear White Staffers'' has become a safe space for congressional aides to anonymously call out lawmakers and share their experiences. Marianna Sotomayor reports that the account is also galvanizing unionization efforts on the Hill.

Feb 08, 2022
Can diplomacy save Ukraine?
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As Russia appears to prepare for a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, the United States and NATO allies scramble to find a diplomatic resolution.


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Russia is close to completing preparations for what appears to be a large-scale invasion of Ukraine that could lead to 50,000 civilian casualties and a humanitarian crisis with millions of refugees fleeing the chaos, according to U.S. military and intelligence assessments. 


Intelligence reporter Shane Harris breaks down how the diplomatic efforts to de-escalate on the border are going –– and where the skepticism of all sides in the conflict comes from.

Feb 07, 2022
A way back to Adelaida
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For four years, Maria Chic Reynoso and her daughter, Adelaida, only spoke through a screen. They were separated at the U.S. border under Trump. Though they’re reunited, they’re still haunted by the past — and the possibility of another separation. 


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Maria Chic Reynoso and her daughter, Adelaida, were among the first to be separated at the U.S.-Mexico border in the summer of 2017 under the Trump administration — a year before the White House publicly acknowledged it was separating young children from their parents. 


Maria was deported back to rural Guatemala, and Adelaida was sent to live with Maria’s sister in South Florida. Maria and Adelaida spent four agonizing years apart from each other, unsure as to whether or when they would see each other again.

 

In 2021, Maria and Adelaida were finally reunited. But as Mexico City Bureau Chief Kevin Sieff explains, the trauma of the separation is far from over.


“Almost every family I've talked to has expressed some fundamental kind of fracture in their family that didn't just occur at the moment of separation, but occurred in the period between separation and reunion,” Sieff explains. “And it's just obvious that all of these families are going to have a hard time rebuilding relationships, including this one.” 

Feb 04, 2022
George Floyd and the ‘duty to intervene’
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Three police officers are on trial in Minnesota for their role in George Floyd’s murder. The case centers on their “duty to intervene” in the actions of Derek Chauvin. But some are asking: How do you teach cops to stand up to other cops? 


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Former Minneapolis police officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao are facing trial on federal charges that they deprived George Floyd of his federal civil rights in the fatal May 2020 arrest. Reporter Holly Bailey has been reporting on the courtroom proceedings — a process that’s played out much differently than in Chauvin’s trial. “It feels like we're really going to get deep into what police officers in Minneapolis are trained to do, and how exactly they are trained,” Bailey says.


In the aftermath of Floyd’s death and Chauvin’s conviction, police departments around the country have been seeking out training in “bystander intervention” — teaching police officers how to speak up when their colleagues are doing something harmful. 


“For decades and decades, we've been teaching police officers about intervention, but we've been doing it really badly,” says Jonathan Aronie of the Sheppard Mullin law firm, the co-founder of the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement Project. “All we do is we give them a PowerPoint and we say, ‘Thou shall intervene,’ as though it's easy. And we've never, ever taught the skills of intervention.”

Feb 03, 2022
Getting vaccines ready for young kids
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For many parents of young kids, the news that Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking emergency-use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine for children younger than 5 couldn’t have come soon enough. What we know — and don’t know — at this point in the process. 


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Earlier this week, The Washington Post reported that coronavirus vaccines for children younger than 5 could be available far sooner than expected — perhaps by the end of February — under a plan that would lead to the potential authorization of a two-shot regimen in the coming weeks.


There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the regulatory strategy here, says science reporter Carolyn Y. Johnson. But for parents of young children, this news may feel like a light at the end of the tunnel.

Feb 02, 2022
Boycott or not, the Olympics are big business
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Today on Post Reports, we talk about corporate responsibility — at the Olympics, and in the C-suite. Plus, Wordle gets bought out. 


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The U.S. government may be boycotting the Olympics, but American corporate sponsors aren’t. Global business reporter Jeanne Whalen says, “China is the world's second biggest economy, and for many of these companies, it is one of their biggest markets.” We break down what that means for the diplomatic boycott and its impact. 


A Washington Post review of America's most valuable public companies reveals that Black employees still represent a strikingly small number of top executives — and that the people tapped to boost inclusion often struggle to do so. Business reporter Tracy Jan explains why. 


Plus, one more thing about Wordle — and why the popular online word game being bought by the New York Times feels like the end of an era. 


Have federal student loans? Tell us what you’ve done since the payment freeze. The Washington Post is covering the freeze on federal student loan payments, which was first imposed in March 2020 because of the pandemic. We'd like to hear from borrowers on how the freeze has impacted them.

Feb 01, 2022
Taking politics out of parole
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The legacy of “truth in sentencing” politics in Maryland, where the vast majority of people serving life sentences are Black, and how a new law could alter what it means to serve life in prison.


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Politics have shaped the parole process in Maryland for decades. In the heat of a tough-on-crime campaign in the 1990s, the state’s governor said that he would reject parole for anyone serving a life sentence, even when parole commissioners had recommended release. This policy, maintained by his successors from both parties, has left hundreds of prisoners with parole-eligible sentences to grow old and die in prison.


This changed in December when state legislators voted to push the governor out of the parole process. Rebecca Tan reports on the policy’s impact and what this change could mean for similar efforts across the country

Jan 31, 2022
And now, some good news
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The revolutionary Webb telescope reaches its final destination. Amy Schneider’s historic winning streak on “Jeopardy!” comes to an end. Plus, the faster world of 5G, explained.


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NASA’s revolutionary James Webb Space Telescope on Monday fired its thrusters for five minutes and reached its final destination, a special orbit around the sun where it will spend the rest of its life scrutinizing the universe and capturing light emitted soon after the big bang. Joel Achenbach reports. 


Amy Schneider’s history-making “Jeopardy!” streak came to an end this week. Emily Yahr breaks down why she charmed so many people. 


5G service just got faster for some people. Our Help Desk colleague Chris Velazco explains why.

Jan 28, 2022
Winter's grip on Kabul
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A hunger crisis in Afghanistan is forcing Western countries to grapple with how to save lives without benefiting the Taliban.


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After Taliban forces took Kabul in August, foreign aid into Afghanistan dried up. The international community worried that aid money would be misused by Taliban officials, so that money stopped coming. Banks ceased normal operations. Billions of dollars in Afghan assets were frozen.


This economic freeze – in combination with the freezing temperatures Afghans have faced this winter – has become a “lethal combination for the people of Afghanistan,” according to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres. 


But after several months of negotiations, the floodgates of foreign relief aid are reopening. This month, the U.N.announced an appeal for more than $5 billion in emergency aid for Afghanistan. The Biden administration has committed $300 million. 


And while these numbers look like they could be life-changing, foreign correspondent Pamela Constable says, “it’s still tiny compared to the need.”

Jan 27, 2022
Breyer will retire — just in time for Biden
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Justice Stephen G. Breyer will retire at the end of the current Supreme Court term. This clears the way for President Biden to make good on his campaign promise to nominate the first Black woman to serve on the court.


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Justice Breyer will retire from the Supreme Court, according to a person familiar with his plans. This clears the way for President Biden to reinforce the court’s liberal minority and make good on a campaign promise: to nominate the first Black woman to the nation’s highest court. 


Our Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes says Breyer will be remembered for his willingness to compromise with his conservative colleagues — and his long-winded questions.

Jan 26, 2022
Your pay raise? No match for inflation.
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How inflation is wiping out pay raises. Plus, how Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s mask mandate ban has plunged Virginia’s public schools into chaos. 


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After years of barely budging, wage growth is finally at its highest level in decades. Workers have more negotiating power than many ever imagined, and average hourly wages rose 4.7 percent last year. But, as economics correspondent Abha Bhattarai explains, the same strong recovery that is emboldening workers is also driving up inflation, leaving most Americans with less spending power than they had a year ago.


Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) banned mask mandates in public schools recently. Now, school districts are suing in the name of science. National education writer Laura Meckler says this is not an isolated incident. Many states are dealing with a fight to either support mask mandates or parents’ rights.



Jan 25, 2022
A war in the heart of Europe?
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Today on Post Reports we ask our Moscow correspondent: Is Russia preparing to invade Ukraine? Plus, 5G wireless service was turned on nationwide last week. We’ll talk about why that caused problems for air travel.


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On Monday, tensions over Ukraine and Russia continued to escalate amid growing fears that more than 100,000 Russian troops massed near Ukraine might soon invade. Isabelle Khurshudyan reports from Kyiv. 


5G service was rolled out nationwide last week, and while it promises faster wireless to a lot of people, it's also raising concerns for airlines and airports. Lori Aratani reports.

Jan 24, 2022
Inside an overwhelmed emergency room
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A Rhode Island emergency department provides a window into how front-line health-care workers are coping with the latest covid surge. And a conversation about how André Leon Talley embodied the heart of the fashion world.


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Laura Forman, Kent Hospital’s emergency department director, says that her days dealing with a deluge of covid patients involves a lot of “best bad options.” Reporters Joyce Koh and Lenny Bernstein reported from Rhode Island, where overwhelmed emergency staff have been forced to see patients in their cars. Forman says her staff are burning out – and the conditions are the worst she’s seen in her 26-year career. 


Fashion icon André Leon Talley died this week at the age of 73. Talley was the former creative director of American Vogue, the first and only black person to hold that position. Senior critic-at-large Robin Givhan interviewed Talley many times over the years – and they were also friends. 


“He had an incredible capacity for generosity. And it came through in a way that was just as grand as his personality,” Givhan says.

Jan 21, 2022
You get a test! And you get a test!
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Today on Post Reports, the government’s rollout of free rapid coronavirus tests in the United States. And later in the show, how China’s “zero covid” policy could affect the Winter Olympics.  


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This week, the Biden administration launched a website where Americans can order free rapid coronavirus tests. Each household is eligible for four tests, which are sent via mail to your residence. Reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb explains the importance — and limitations of rapid tests. You can order your four free tests here.


As some countries become more lenient in their pandemic restrictions, others are doubling down. China’s zero-tolerance policy means some cities are still going through lockdowns in hopes of quashing any possible spread of the virus. Eva Dou reports on what this means for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Jan 20, 2022
Will Democrats flunk their midterm?
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As midterm elections loom, Democrats scramble to hold on to their slim majority. Plus, what a redistricting debacle in Ohio tells us about the map-drawing process happening in states across the country.


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For Democrats in swing districts, the midterm elections are looming large. These “front-liners” especially need something to show for their two years in the majority come November. As Marianna Sotomayor reports, some of them are advocating a new strategy on the stalled Build Back Better spending bill — breaking off popular measures, such as extending the child tax credit and curbing prescription drug costs, and abandoning the big, sweeping package.


Based on the results of the 2020 Census, states are drawing up new maps that could dramatically affect how midterm elections go in the fall. One of the states going through this process right now is Ohio, where last week the state Supreme Court rejected a pair of proposed state legislative redistricting maps, saying they were gerrymandered favoring Republicans. 


Chief national politics correspondent Dan Balz tells us about the rules and processes in place to stop gerrymandering in Ohio, and why they’ve failed –– for now.

Jan 19, 2022
A synagogue held hostage
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What we know about the 11-hour hostage crisis at a Texas synagogue. Plus, Australia sends tennis champion Novak Djokovic home because of his refusal to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. 


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On Saturday night, a gunman held four people hostage for more than 10 hours at a synagogue in Colleyville, Tex. The standoff ended with an FBI raid. The suspect has been confirmed dead, though Colleyville police would not say whether he had been killed by law enforcement or himself.


“The tragedy here is that a house of worship should be a place that people go to without a thought, that it is just simply assumed to be a safe and welcoming place,” says senior editor Marc Fisher. “But of course, in much of the world, synagogues are places that are very much targets.”


Meanwhile, tennis star Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday after losing his legal challenge to compete in the Australian Open despite not being vaccinated against the coronavirus. Reporter Liz Clarke on how the decision to send Djokovic home over his vaccination status could set precedent for future tournaments.

Jan 18, 2022
The first-ever list of enslavers in Congress
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More than 1,700 congressmen once enslaved Black people. On today’s episode of “Post Reports,” the first database of those slaveholding congressmen. And how those politicians shaped the nation. 


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For the first seven decades of its existence, Congress returned again and again to one acrimonious topic: slavery. Many of the lawmakers arguing in Washington were enslavers themselves. But until recently, the world didn’t know how many. 


Last week, The Post published the first-ever list of every slaveholding member of the U.S. Congress. More than 1,700 of them were elected to Congress over a period of well over a century. 


To create the database, reporter Julie Zauzmer Weil combed through 18th- and 19th-century census records and other documents, including wills, journal articles and plantation records. And while she says that the work is not yet complete, it’s still useful, and powerful.


“You can look at a lot of issues through this prism of where we started as a country, and where the people who held power were so often the same people who held slaves,” Julie said. “And what does that mean for us now?”

Jan 17, 2022
The president wants voting reform. Can he get it?
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President Biden says passing voting rights legislation is a top priority for his administration. But a couple of senators have the power to keep that from happening. And, an unlikely casualty of our supply chain blues.


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In Atlanta this week, President Biden pushed for the passage of two voting rights bills facing the Senate. But any meaningful change on voting reform would mean changing Senate rules on the filibuster. And two Democratic senators are holding out: Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.


On The Post’s politics podcast “Can He Do That?” national political reporter Cleve Wootson talks with host Allison Michaels about the state of voting legislation and the filibuster.


And, the pandemic claims an unlikely victim: the color blue. Reporter Kelsey Ables explains how breakdowns in the supply chain have led to a shortage of pigments like ultramarine blue and what it could mean for how we see and record the world now.

Jan 14, 2022
Why everything is so expensive right now
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Inflation has hit a 40-year high in the U.S., driving up the cost of everything from groceries to housing. As the Fed prepares to raise interest rates, here’s what to watch out for.


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In December, inflation hit a staggering 7 percent. That’s far above the Federal Reserve’s target, and Chair Jerome H. Powell says action is needed to keep the economy from sliding into a recession. Economics reporter Rachel Siegel breaks down the impact of record inflation and what the Fed plans to do about it.


Interest rates have hovered near zero since the start of the pandemic, but now the Fed is looking at a series of raises over the next few months. Personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary explains what that means for borrowers.

Jan 13, 2022
Empty shelves, fewer babies: How the pandemic is leading to less
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Today on Post Reports: Why you’re seeing empty shelves at the grocery store — again. Plus, the sharp decline in the U.S. birthrate nine months after the pandemic began.


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A lot of people have been getting “March 2020 vibes” at the grocery store lately: Empty shelves, basic necessities missing and big price increases on certain foods. Reporter Laura Reiley explains there are several factors at play, including the omicron surge, supply chain woes and winter weather.


“Uncertainty is not good for fertility.” That’s what demographics reporter Tara Bahrampour heard from Phillip Levine, a professor of economics at Wellesley College and co-author of a recent report on the “baby bust” nine months after the pandemic began. That’s also what she heard from people about their decisions to delay or reconsider having a child. We talk about the many reasons for this trend, from the logistical to the philosophical.

Jan 12, 2022
Omicron is breaking records – and our health-care system
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Today the United States broke the record for covid hospitalizations. We talk about what overwhelmed hospitals mean for health-care workers and patients. Plus, a story about the power of reclaiming a name. 


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The United States today broke a record with more than 145,000 people sick with covid-19 in hospitals. Health reporter Dan Diamond explains what that means for health-care workers on the front lines, and for those of us who depend upon them.


Plus, editor Marian Chia-Ming Liu on why she started using her full name after a wave of anti-Asian violence. If you’ve ever struggled with your own name or felt pressure to Anglicize it, we want to hear from you. Go to wapo.st/telllusaboutyourname.

Jan 11, 2022
The push to keep schools open
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Today, we look at the toll of remote learning on kids. We’ll dive into what’s happening in school systems across the country during the omicron variant surge — and how the scars of remote school linger, even for kids who are learning in person again. 


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Reporter Laura Meckler talks with producer Bishop Sand about how a San Francisco school’s return to in-person learning revealed the toll virtual school took on students during the pandemic. Plus, an update on how schools across the country are operating — or trying to — amid the omicron surge.

Jan 10, 2022
Four Hours of Insurrection
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As we reflect on the anniversary of Jan. 6, we wanted to share an episode from last year. We reconstructed the riot inside the U.S. Capitol — hearing from the lawmakers, journalists and law enforcement officials who were there, and answering lingering questions about how things went so wrong.

Jan 08, 2022
Jamie Raskin’s year of grief and purpose
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On Jan. 5, 2021, Rep. Jamie Raskin buried his only son. The next day he witnessed firsthand the attack on the Capitol. As we mark a year since the insurrection, we look at how Raskin dealt with his son’s death while serving on democracy’s front lines.

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A warning to listeners: This episode deals with suicide. If you or someone you know needs help now, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. You can also reach a crisis counselor by texting HOME to 741-741.


A year ago this week, as Congress convened to certify the results of the presidential election, a mob breached the U.S. Capitol, attacked police and threatened lawmakers.


Later that night, Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) emerged as one of the day’s most forceful voices, condemning President Donald Trump and his supporters and speaking of his own unthinkable loss. He had recently lost his only son to suicide and had buried him just the day before.


As we mark a year since the Jan. 6 Insurrection, we talk to Washington Post features writer Caitlin Gibson about how Raskin dealt with his son’s death while serving on democracy’s front lines — and, in a year filled with trauma and grief, about why his story has resonated so deeply with so many.


Raskin’s memoir was published this week. It’s called “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy.”


Caitlin Gibson’s profile of Raskin first appeared in The Washington Post Magazine.

Jan 07, 2022
The scars of January 6th
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A year out from the attempted insurrection of the Capitol, we consider the state of American democracy — what’s changed, what hasn’t changed and what will never be the same.  


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One year ago today, rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, set on overturning the results of the 2020 election. Since then, the basic facts of the insurrection have been in contention and democracy itself has remained under siege. 


On today’s episode of Post Reports, politics reporters Dan Balz, Roz Helderman and Amy Gardner join guest host Cleve Wootson to discuss how the spirit of the insurrection has seeped into America’s bloodstream.


To hear more about what it was like inside and around the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, check out our award-winning episode, “Four hours of insurrection.” The episode includes interviews with Capitol Police officers, politicians and Post reporters who were at the Capitol that day. 


And hear investigative reporter Aaron Davis describe what law enforcement entities knew before the insurrection took place and why they failed to protect the Capitol that day. This story was part of The Post’s landmark Jan. 6 investigation, “The Attack.”


Jan 06, 2022
The pivotal and petty battle for QAnon’s future
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An update on what the Jan. 6 commission has learned so far. And how the pro-Trump Internet descended into infighting in the year since the attempted insurrection. 


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Reporter Jacqueline Alemany has been following the Jan. 6 commission for the past six months. As we come up on the first anniversary of the attack on the Capitol, Alemany reports on what the commission has uncovered so far and what she’s watching out for next.


Plus: The far-right firebrands and conspiracy theorists of the pro-Trump Internet have a new enemy: each other. Without a figurehead, far-right influencers are fighting for money and followers. Reporter Drew Harwell explains the reality-television-style drama, and what it means for the future of online extremism.

Jan 05, 2022
A ‘pandemic on fast forward’
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Omicron has coronavirus cases surging across the country. What’s the outlook for this highly transmissible variant?


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The highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus has taken over as the dominant strain in the United States. Now, post-holidays, virus cases are surging, with about 500,000 per day in the United States. Americans are struggling with breakthrough infections, strained hospital systems and the uncertainty of what might come next. 


Reporter Dan Diamond discusses what you need to know about the omicron variant and what it could tell us about how the pandemic might end.



Jan 04, 2022
What is a tree worth?
1149

The Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is home to some of the oldest trees in the country. For decades, they were felled indiscriminately for lumber. Will the remaining trees be protected?


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Old-growth trees are at the heart of a political debate on logging and climate change. That’s because they hold a disproportionate amount of carbon in their trunks. If they’re cut down, most of that carbon escapes into the atmosphere, where it contributes to global warming. But they’re also worth thousands of dollars as lumber.


Post climate editor Juliet Eilperin traveled to Alaska to learn about the forests firsthand, and to speak with some of the people who have built their lives around logging.

Jan 03, 2022
One last look at 2021
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A farewell to 2021 from us here at Post Reports and the photojournalists who witnessed the year’s biggest stories.


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The Washington Post photography editors combed through thousands of images to find the most memorable from 2021. Accompanying the photos this year are interviews with the photojournalists who took them. The team at Post Reports felt inspired by the interviews and images to look back on the past year.


The images of 2021 tell a complex yet dramatic story. It was a year of the angry and the rebellious scaling walls, tearing down barriers, rising up to reverse reality. But it was also a year of carefully considered verdicts and hurriedly ended war, of mass migration and candlelight vigils, a year when millions of people decided to take a shot, venture forth and return to life, together.


There was, perhaps above all, the terror of lethal disease, a second year of a pandemic that unraveled the fabric of daily life and managed to set people against each other in ways that defied reason. The usual questions born of insecurity — Will we be okay? How can we help each other? — were joined by new uncertainties: Is this real? What should I believe? Why don’t people around me believe what I see is true?


If you valued the journalism on this podcast and in this newspaper this year, subscribe to The Washington Post. Right now you can get the best deal we’ve ever offered on a subscription to The Washington Post – a year for just $9.99. Go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Dec 30, 2021
Hasan Minhaj’s diasporic comedy
1446

Today on Post Reports, we talk to Hasan Minhaj about how he uses comedy to “make people’s world bigger.” 


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Hasan Minhaj has worked as a comedian for 17 years. You might know him from “The Daily Show,” the 2017 White House correspondents’ dinner, or his Netflix show, “Patriot Act.” 


On today’s episode of Post Reports, producer Linah Mohammad talks to Minhaj about representation in film and television, their relationship to Islam and what it means to be a diasporic voice in the comedy world.

Dec 29, 2021
J. Smith-Cameron on ‘Succession’
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Today on “Post Reports,” we talk to one of the people who brought us joy during a dark year: the actor J. Smith-Cameron. We cover her role as Gerri on “Succession” and how it feels to become a sex symbol in her 60s. 


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J. Smith-Cameron is having a moment. 


“Succession” Season 3 wrapped up recently – and one of the highlights for us was her character, Gerri Kellman, the calculating interim CEO of Waystar Royco. We talked to the actor about the show and what makes her character so fun to watch. 


Right now you can get the best deal we’ve ever offered on a subscription to The Washington Post – a year for just $9.99. Go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Dec 28, 2021
Amazon, can I have my name back?
1224

Amazon's use of Alexa as a wake word for its voice assistant turned the name into a command, impacting daily interactions for people with the name – including The Washington Post’s own Alexa Juliana Ard.


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Nearly 130,000 people in the United States have the name Alexa. It gained popularity after singer Billy Joel and model Christie Brinkley named their daughter Alexa in 1985. In 2015, more than 6,000 baby girls in the United States were named Alexa, according to a Washington Post analysis of Social Security Administration data.


After Amazon chose Alexa as the wake word of its voice service, the name’s popularity plummeted. In 2020, only about 1,300 babies were given the name. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)


Post video editor Alexa Juliana Ard reports on the impact of Amazon’s choice on Alexas - including her


Watch Alexa’s video about Alexa Jade Morales. She was named after her father, Alexis Morales Jr., who was murdered on Oct. 1, 1992, just three and a half months before she was born. When Amazon made the name Alexa a wake word for its voice service, she experienced people treating her like the bot.


Right now you can get the best deal we’ve ever offered on a subscription to The Washington Post – a year for just $9.99. Go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Dec 27, 2021
The holidays are weird. Carolyn Hax is here to help.
1362

The holidays are weird — this year especially. Today, Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax joins Martine Powers to answer your questions about navigating this tricky time of year.


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The holiday season can be complicated; throw in the spike in omicron cases, and this already stressful time of year just got even trickier. Enter: Carolyn Hax, The Post’s brilliant advice columnist. Today on Post Reports, she’s here to help our listeners and readers navigate the holidays. You can listen to our episode with Hax from earlier in the year about how to gather with family and friends safely here. 


Right now you can get the best deal we’ve ever offered on a subscription to The Washington Post – a year for just $9.99. Go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Dec 23, 2021
Dr. Wen’s advice for the holidays
1349

Omicron is now the most prevalent variant of the coronavirus in the country. But public health expert and emergency physician Leana Wen says that with a three-pronged approach — testing, vaccines and masks — we can still celebrate the holidays.


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Once again, America is looking down the barrel of a winter surge of the coronavirus, thanks to the highly transmissible omicron variant. Houston Methodist Hospital, which has been sequencing genomes since the beginning of the pandemic, says that in a week, omicron spread as rapidly as the delta variant did in three months.


But emergency physician Leana Wen says this isn’t a time for despair: “Despite these staggering numbers, I don’t think vaccinated people should have to cancel their plans for Christmas, New Year’s Eve and other holidays.” Wen joined James Hohmann on his opinion podcast “Please, Go On” to talk about how we can use the tools we’ve developed to keep omicron at bay this holiday season.

Dec 22, 2021
The promise of anti-covid pills
1201

How the approval of anti-covid pills from drug companies Pfizer and Merck could impact the course of the pandemic. And the life and legacy of feminist author bell hooks.


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On Tuesday, President Biden urged calm as coronavirus cases rise, and the omicron variant becomes dominant in the United States. He touted a plan for more readily available testing and more resources for strained hospitals nationwide. 


But on the horizon is another treatment against covid-19: antiviral pills. The pills are said to dramatically reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in vulnerable populations, and could be approved for use as early as this week. Health reporter Carolyn Y. Johnson explains what we know about the pills and what role they could play against the omicron variant.


Plus, a remembrance of bell hooks. Hooks died last week at the age of 69. She was a Black feminist author and critic who had a wary eye even on Beyoncé. “Hood Feminist” author Mikki Kendall reads her remembrance of hooks.

Dec 21, 2021
Omicron is everywhere. Here’s what to do.
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Seemingly overnight, the pandemic has changed — again. On today’s Post Reports, everything you need to know about the omicron variant — and whether you should still plan to travel for the holidays.


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Over the weekend, health reporter Dan Diamond wrote a Facebook post that changed the way we’re thinking about the omicron variant. 


“Every expert I’ve interviewed, including some of the nation’s top health officials, has adjusted his or her mindset and now is mentally bracing to test positive after spending two years dodging this virus,” Dan wrote. 


Today on Post Reports, we tell you everything we can about the omicron surge – and we talk to health reporter Fenit Nirappil about whether and how to travel and gather safely for the holidays.

Dec 20, 2021
Quitters, part 3
995

A record number of Americans quit their jobs this year. Today for our special series “Quitters,” economist Darrick Hamilton examines why that is — and why he thinks it might be a good thing.


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Many Americans have reconsidered their relationship with work this year.

There’s lots of reasons for that — an ongoing pandemic, stagnant wages and a severe labor shortage all made work harder.


But Darrick Hamilton, a professor of economics and urban policy at the New School, says that workers also had more flexibility than ever before, thanks to government stimulus and expanded unemployment. And he wants us to reframe this not as a “Great Resignation” but as a moment of worker empowerment.


Today on Post Reports, we’re bringing you the third installment in “Quitters,” a three-part podcast series about a few of the millions of Americans who quit their jobs this year. 


Listen to part one and part two here.

Dec 17, 2021
Quitters, part 2
1345

What happens when an entire fast-food restaurant staff quits? Today for our special series on “Quitters,” the story of a McDonald’s walkout, and what it can tell us about the labor market right now.


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In September, the entire staff of a McDonald’s in Bradford, Pa., walked out and quit their jobs. One of the staff members left a parting note for the customers, written in blue highlighter because he couldn’t find a pen: “Due to lack of pay, we all quit.”


“The signs are…kind of like primal screams,” says reporter Greg Jaffe. “It’s [the worker’s] chance to convey a message: We’re being mistreated. We’re tired of it. This corporation treats us badly, and doesn’t care about us.”


Today on Post Reports, we’re bringing you the second installment in “Quitters,” a three-part podcast series about a few of the millions of Americans who quit their jobs this year. Jaffe takes us inside the fast-food workers’ season of rebellion.


You can listen to the first part of the series here.

Dec 16, 2021
Quitters, part 1
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2021 was a big year for quitting. Millions of Americans resigned. For the first episode in our series on “quitters,” we go to a restaurant in Arkansas where nearly every employee – and the owners – found themselves reassessing their work, and their lives.


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This year, millions of Americans quit their jobs in the “Great Resignation.” 


Over the next three days on “Post Reports,” we’re talking to some of the “quitters” and exploring why so many people are reassessing the role of work in their lives right now. 


On today’s show, economics correspondent Heather Long and “Post Reports” Executive Producer Maggie Penman head to Arkansas to tell the story of a family-run restaurant. And they report on how the stressors of covid, the pressures of running a small business and the hope for better, more-balanced lives led to a great resignation of sorts. 

Dec 15, 2021
In Chicago, a test case for Biden’s EPA
1586

How the fight in Chicago over a proposed scrap metal facility became a test case for the Biden administration’s approach to environmental justice. 


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General Iron Industries is a Chicago-based scrap metal recycling company with a bad track record of pollution. When the company announced its intention to move from a wealthy, White neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side to a working-class, Latino neighborhood on the city’s Southeast Side last year, the plan set off alarm bells. 


This proposal — and its apparent approval from city officials and state environmental regulators — sparked a massive backlash from Southeast Side residents. They claimed discrimination and argued that their neighborhood was already overburdened by pollution. After a series of protests, a federal civil rights complaint and even a month-long hunger strike, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency intervened in May. 


The opening of the facility has been temporarily paused, but more than seven months later, the conflict over whether the company will operate in that neighborhood is still unresolved.


Environmental justice reporter Darryl Fears and senior producer Robin Amer delve into the high-stakes fight between residents and the company, and what the outcome might reveal about the lengths the Biden administration is willing to go to to protect communities of color that disproportionately bear the cost of pollution — something it has explicitly promised to do.

Dec 14, 2021
The new ‘tornado alley’
1070

On the ground in Mayfield, Ky., after a string of tornadoes devastated the town, flattening buildings and leaving streets unrecognizable. The tornadoes tore through a 200-mile swath of land, and may be the sign of a lengthening tornado season. 


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Late last week, a string of tornadoes ripped through the South and Midwest regions of the United States. Dozens have died, and thousands of structures have been destroyed. National breaking news reporter Kim Bellware takes us on the ground to the hard-hit town of Mayfield, Ky., where survivors are in shock.  


Plus, Capital Weather Gang contributor Jeffrey Halverson explains how unusual it is to see a tornado event this powerful during the winter months, and why it may be a sign of a changing weather patterns


Follow The Washington Post’s live coverage of the tornado recovery efforts here

Dec 13, 2021
After a school shooting
1207

How the tight-knit community of Oxford, Mich., is healing after a mass shooting. Plus, remembering Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt.


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A 15-year-old opened fire at his Michigan high school on Nov. 30, killing four students and wounding seven others, police say. This is the deadliest episode of on-campus violence in almost three years. Reporter Kim Bellware and producer Rennie Svirnovskiy examine what it looks like for a town to start healing. 


The Post remembers Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt, who died this week after a sudden cardiac arrest. A beloved colleague and friend, Hiatt worked for The Post’s editorial pages for 21 years. He is survived by his wife of 37 years and his three children. 


You can also listen to the tributes for Hiatt on the Post’s Opinions podcast “Please, Go On.” 

Dec 10, 2021
When is it self-defense?
1702

What self-defense means in a country deeply divided over gun rights and race. And a story that shows the stakes of disappearing local news – about an Alaska community where climate change is costing them their school. 


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After the high-profile trials of Kyle Rittenhouse and the men who killed Ahmaud Arbery – we wanted to unpack the legal questions with Post columnist and Georgetown law professor Paul Butler and talk about what self-defense looks like in a country with gun rights, stand-your-ground laws and deep racial divides. 


In a remote town in western Alaska, climate change has become a daily reality: Thanks to erosion, the community’s only school sits just feet from a crumbling riverbank. But the state won’t pay to replace it until it falls in. Greg Kim reports from Alaska’s radio station KYUK as part of a Washington Post project on vital stories out of America's news deserts.

Dec 09, 2021
Biden ended “Remain in Mexico.” Now it’s back.
1695

Earlier this year, Joe Biden ended the controversial “Remain in Mexico” policy — but a court has now reinstated it. Today, what that means for asylum seekers, who are forced to wait in Mexico for their immigration proceedings.

 

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Today on Post Reports, we revisit Nancy, a woman we followed as she fled gang violence in El Salvador and ended up stuck in a border camp in Matamoros, Mexico. Nancy’s story shows how this program affects asylum seekers left in limbo on the U.S. southern border.

Dec 08, 2021
Russian troops on Ukraine's border
1445

The limitations of American diplomacy — at the border between Russia and Ukraine, and at the Olympics in Beijing.


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According to U.S. intelligence and The Post’s reporting, Russia is planning to move up to 175,000 troops to its border with Ukraine — plans that have the international community concerned. On a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, President Biden threatened economic sanctions and other measures if the Kremlin were to escalate the situation and invade Ukraine. Shane Harris reports on Putin’s plans, and on how difficult it is to deter a country like Russia.


Plus, the United States’ diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics. Rick Maese reports on the pointed snub in protest of China’s human rights abuses.

Dec 07, 2021
The trial of Elizabeth Holmes
1023

The trial of Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos founder and CEO. 


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Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of the medical technology start-up Theranos, is on trial for 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. 


Tech reporter Rachel Lerman has been covering Holmes’s trial for about three months now. Lerman dives into what we’ve learned about the Theranos founder from her extraordinary moments on the stand – and what that tells us about the “fake it ‘til you make it” culture of start-ups in Silicon Valley.


Do you think you’re experiencing long-haul covid symptoms? Share your experience with The Post. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the question of how some may have to live and reckon with long-haul covid, or lingering symptoms after having had covid-19, remains open. Help The Post understand what it’s like to experience long-haul covid symptoms and how they affect your everyday life. A reporter may follow up with you.



Dec 06, 2021
Mold at Howard U., and an omicron update
1624

Why dozens of students at Howard University spent part of their fall semester living in tents. And, omicron comes to the United States.


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Mold, mice, water damage and no WiFi. Those have been some of the conditions in Howard University’s housing units in Washington. This fall, the conditions led to protests that lasted more than 30 days. Some students even slept in tents on the historically Black university’s campus. But such conditions aren’t new. For years, students and graduates have complained about building conditions at a school that’s often called “the Mecca.”


Many students blamed university president Wayne A.I. Frederick. But some students say Corvias, a private company that manages 60 percent of the housing on Howard’s campus, is the real culprit. Schools often hire companies to handle dining halls and custodial services because they don’t get enough funding from federal, state and local governments. Education reporter Lauren Lumpkin and producer Jordan-Marie Smith report on the relationship between universities and the private companies managing their housing — and the students who say those relationships need to end.


Plus later in the show, national health reporter Dan Diamond explains what President Biden’s administration plans to do about the omicron variant of the coronavirus.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners — one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Dec 03, 2021
Twitter verifies a new CEO
1344

What Jack Dorsey’s departure from Twitter means for Silicon Valley, the platform and its dedicated users. And how the new CEO, Parag Agrawal, could change the direction of the company. 


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In a casually written tweet Monday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that he would be stepping down from his position. As the company’s co-founder, he’s been a Silicon Valley icon for 15 years, and he leaves behind a complicated legacy. Tech reporter Will Oremus says that his departure is shrouded in mystery and that the resignation letter he posted to Twitter did not explain whether he was voluntarily leaving the company or was ousted by investors. 


Dorsey’s replacement is Parag Agrawal, the company’s former chief technology officer. While he’s well-liked by staff, he was an unexpected pick to head one of Silicon Valley’s most fraught and politically embroiled social media companies — and it’s up in the air whether his limited experience will limit his ability to navigate important and thorny questions around content moderation. 

Dec 02, 2021
ICE’s deportation ‘force-multiplier’: Local sheriffs
1470

Today on Post Reports, a deep examination of the sheriffs involved in the controversial 287(g) program. Plus, how the new republic of Barbados signals a changing tide for the British crown.


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Investigative reporter Debbie Cenziper has been looking into the expansion of a controversial program called 287(g) that allows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to recruit sheriffs as partners to question and detain undocumented immigrants.


“What I found most surprising is that some of the sheriffs empowered by the federal government with enforcement authority, the power to investigate and detain undocumented immigrants, had made very public statements — some might call them bombastic statements — about their views on immigration policy,” Cenziper said. 


Later on the show, we’ll talk about Barbados officially removing Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and inaugurating its first president — and bestowing Rihanna as a “national hero.” As Jennifer Hassan reports, the importance of Barbados transitioning to a republic goes beyond one country and reflects a growing debate over why the British monarchy still exists.

Dec 01, 2021
A new vision to overturn Roe v. Wade
1248

It’s a critical week for abortion rights in the United States. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could roll back the protections of Roe v. Wade. But the arguments to gut Roe are coming from the surprising lens of women’s empowerment.


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Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization goes before the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The caseputs Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortions to the test, and it could be the case that defines abortion rights for generations


When The Lily reporter Caroline Kitchener first read a brief in Dobbs written by the attorney general of Mississippi, Lynn Fitch, she found an argument against abortion that she hadn’t heard before. Fitch was urging the court to use the Dobbs case to gut Roe v. Wade because restricting abortion access, Fitch said, empowers women. 


Kitchener reports on the landmark case before the court, and examines the pitch advocates like Fitch are making with their antiabortion arguments — and why some people aren’t buying it.


On Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, The Washington Post is hosting a live Twitter Space conversation about the omicron coronavirus variant. Join Martine Powers and Post health reporters to hear the latest on what scientists have learned about omicron. Set a reminder to join the Twitter Space here.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. Right now you can get a subscription to The Post for just 99 cents every four weeks, and you can give a full year as a gift for just $9.99. Go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe. It's the best deal we’ve ever offered, and it ends today.

Nov 30, 2021
*Omicron has entered the chat.*
1489

Omicron, a new variant of the coronavirus, could be the next big hurdle in beating the pandemic. Today on Post Reports, what we know so far, and why you shouldn’t panic just yet.


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Last week, a new coronavirus variant was detected in southern Africa. Since then, public health officials and government leaders have been trying to figure out what’s next. Some countries have reinstated travel bans, while others are urging people not to panic.


While as of Monday there were no known cases in the United States, President Biden said that “sooner or later we’re going to see cases of this new variant here.”


Reporter Dan Diamond explains what we know about the omicron variant and why you should proceed with caution but not panic. We also talk about what this new variant reveals about tensions between countries where vaccines are widely available and those where they’re not. 


Relatedly, Post Reports recently aired an interview with Dr. Fauci. He talked about booster shots, and why he thinks all eligible Americans should be getting them. You can listen to that episode here.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. Right now you can get a subscription to The Post for just 99 cents every four weeks! And you can give a full year as a gift for just $9.99. Go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe. It's the best deal we’ve ever offered and it's happening only for a couple more days.

Nov 29, 2021
The myth of Thanksgiving
1281

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the “first Thanksgiving” between English pilgrims and Wampanoags in Massachusetts. But historians say the true story of what happened bears little resemblance to the myth that many Americans learn in grade school.


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In 1621, some pilgrims and some Wampanoags shared a feast. It wasn't the first meeting between the two groups and it wouldn't be the last, but for many reasons — including the American Civil War — the anniversary of that meal took on both an outsized importance and a whitewashed simplicity.


This year, in honor of the 400th anniversary of that meal, Post reporter Dana Hedgpeth wanted to hear the Wampanoags’ side of the story

Nov 24, 2021
A family confronts White privilege
784

In the final installment of our series Teens in America, what it sounds like for the family of one 17-year-old to confront White privilege and racism.


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With Thanksgiving coming up this week, a lot of us might be feeling anxious about seeing relatives we may not have seen in a while, especially if we don’t always see eye to eye with them. We might be bracing for some awkward conversations or even some intense debates around politics or what we’ve been seeing on the news.


Iris Santalucia can relate to that. In the final installment of our series Teens in America, we listen in as the 17-year-old New York City native has a tough conversation with her parents about the role White privilege plays in their family. 


Iris’s mother is White. Her father is Latino and has often felt targeted by police because of his race. Although her mother says she knows people of color are sometimes profiled, she doesn’t believe her husband is among them. Iris sees White privilege as one element in her parents’ dynamic and confronts her mother about it on tape. 


This series is produced in collaboration with YR Media, a nonprofit media, music and technology incubator. For more stories in this series, visit wapo.st/teens


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. Right now you can get a subscription to The Post for just 99 cents every four weeks. And you can give a full year as a gift for just $9.99. Go to www.washingtonpost.com/subscribe. It's the best deal we’ve ever offered and it's only happening for a few days.

Nov 23, 2021
Fauci’s advice for America
1574

Today on “Post Reports,” a conversation with Anthony S. Fauci: We cover why you should get a booster, how you can gather safely with family over the holidays, and how Fauci feels about having his job — and science — politicized. 


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Anthony S. Fauci has become a familiar voice for many Americans during the pandemic. As a high-profile member of the White House coronavirus task force and the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he led the country through the worst of the coronavirus pandemic and continues to guide the U.S. response. Ahead of the holidays, we spoke to Fauci about how to gather with friends and family safely. “If people are vaccinated, then they should feel good and safe about enjoying, in their own homes, a typical Thanksgiving meal,” Fauci said. 


However, Fauci does recommend a level of caution, especially if you’re going out or gathering with family and friends who might be unvaccinated. 


We also spoke to Fauci about the toll that it’s taken on him to be a public figure at a time when science and public health are increasingly politicized. 


“What kind of society [is it] in which you have a public servant, who’s not a political person, who the only thing he’s saying is he wants people to get vaccinated [...] and for that his life gets threatened, his wife and his children get harassed and threatened?” Fauci said. “To me, it's an assault on me. But it is also an assault on science in general.”


He cautioned that this assault on science is “very threatening to the foundation of our society.”


Reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb has been covering a recent wave of death threats sent to Fauci. 


“Throughout the pandemic,” Abutaleb said, “we've seen public health officials resign at alarming rates because of the burnout and the hostility that's been directed toward them.” 


Fauci and his office have been swamped by so many angry messages and threats that in late October, his assistant quit answering the phone for two weeks. Just as he and the Biden administration were preparing for the campaign to vaccinate young children, our colleagues reported, he got 3,600 calls in 36 hours


“A lot of people just don't want to follow the public health guidelines that we've had to during this pandemic,” Abutaleb said.“They've been difficult. And I think they take out that anger and resentment out on the health officials who are telling them what they should do.”


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. Right now you can get a subscription to The Post for just 99-cents every four weeks. And you can give a full year as a gift for just 9-dollars and 99-cents. Go to www.washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Nov 22, 2021
Why a jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse
892

Today a jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all counts in last summer’s shootings in Kenosha, Wis. We talk about the verdict, what it means and why this trial captivated the nation. 


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After three and a half days of deliberation, jurors in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse have found the 18 year-old not guilty on all charges — including homicide and reckless endangerment. 


Rittenhouse fatally shot two people and shot and wounded a third during a protest against police conduct in Kenosha, Wis., in August 2020. Rittenhouse, who is White and was 17 at the time of the shootings, said he was acting in self defense. 


National reporter Mark Berman says the prosecution and defense presented dramatically different narratives of the shootings

And Kim Bellware reports from outside the Kenosha courthouse, where a crowd is gathering in support of the family members of the people shot by Rittenhouse.Gun control groups and racial justice activists are calling the verdict a dangerous decision


The parents of Anthony Huber, one of the people fatally shot by Rittenhouse, said in a statement they are “heartbroken and angry” over the verdict. 


“We watched the trial closely, hoping it would bring us closure,” they said. “That did not happen.”


Follow The Washington Post’s live coverage of the Rittenhouse trial here. 


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. Right now you can get a subscription to The Post for just $0.99 every four weeks. And you can give a full year as a gift for just $9.99.. Go to www.washingtonpost.com/subscribe. It's the best deal we’ve ever offered and it's only happening for a few days. 

Nov 19, 2021
How ‘Europe’s last dictator’ is weaponizing refugees
1891

How Belarus’s president is weaponizing a refugee crisis to get back at the European Union. And, what it means to “pass” as White. 


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Thousands of refugees are currently stuck in limbo on the border between Poland and Belarus, invited by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko when he announced that his state would no longer secure Belarus’s border with the European Union. 


The invitation was his way of retaliating against sanctions that the E.U. has enacted against Belarus for a number of reasons. But the power play has created a refugee crisis at the border — one that threatens to grow deadlier as temperatures drop in the forests between Belarus and Poland, Loveday Morris reports. 


Later in the show, we continue our Teens in America series with a story from 17-year-old Ichtaca Lira. Ichtaca has always been certain of their identity as a person of color. But when people on social media told them that they looked White, it sent them down a path of self-exploration: What does it mean to “pass” as White?  


“Language has simply not evolved fast enough with the rate that these complex discussions about race are happening,” Ichtaca says. “We don't have enough words to describe people of color who also just don't feel like they fit into anything that's out there right now.”


This series is produced in collaboration with YR Media, a nonprofit media, music and technology incubator. For more stories in this series, visit wapo.st/teens

Nov 18, 2021
What Sinema wants
1321

Sen. Joe Manchin gets all the attention. But Sen. Kyrsten Sinema could be an even bigger obstacle for Democrats’ spending plans. Today on “Post Reports,” we ask what she wants and how she got here.


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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) has been throwing a wrench in the plans of her own party. The Arizona lawmaker has stalled her votes on major legislative plans including raising the minimum wage and increasing drug prices. But her agenda isn’t explicitly clear, and she’s doing deals behind closed doors, angering her colleagues and her constituents.


Congressional reporter Mike DeBonis reports on Sinema’s political trajectory and what we can glean from it about what her motivations are.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners - one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.


Correction: In this episode, we misstated the senator who Sen. Kyrsten Sinema replaced in Arizona. She took over Jeff Flake's senate seat in Arizona, not John McCain's. The audio has been updated to reflect the correction.

Nov 17, 2021
3G is ending. Who will be left behind?
1603

Why America’s digital divide could soon get worse. And, what happens when extremist beliefs move from the fringe to the mainstream. 


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When they were rolled out nearly two decades ago, 3G wireless networks served as the bedrock of an explosion in cell phones and connected devices. Now, they’re being phased out by telecommunications companies that want to focus their money on their 4G and 5G networks. Cat Zakrzewski reports on the vulnerable Americans that could be left behind if the transition away from 3G networks isn’t done carefully. And if you use a 3G device, here’s what you need to know about the end of the 3G service. 


On Monday, Stephen K. Bannon – one of President Donald Trump’s former advisers – walked into the FBI’s field office in Washington and turned himself in. He’d been charged with two counts of contempt of Congress the week before, having refused to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. 


Hannah Allam reports on some of the other actors facing legal consequences for their involvement in the Capitol riot – and on how the ideologies that fueled the insurrection are finding new homes at school board and city council meetings.


The introduction to this episode has been updated for clarity.

Nov 16, 2021
McConnell & Trump: It’s complicated.
1431

The intertwined legacies of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and former President Donald Trump. And, what happens to a country when its borders are eroded by climate change. 


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Mitch McConnell is the most powerful elected Republican in the country. But the most influential member of the GOP is arguably still former president Donald Trump. That dynamic has become the basis for a tense, awkward, sometimes pugilistic alliance between the two men -- one that could define the future of the Republican Party. In recorded telephone interviews with the politicians, reporter Michael Kranish examines a relationship fraying at the seams. 


As COP26 concludes, the sinking island nation of Tuvalu prompts the question: Are you still a country if you’re underwater? William Booth reported from the U.N. climate summit. 


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners -- one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to postreports.com/offer.

Nov 15, 2021
The environmental cost of online shopping
1421

During the pandemic, online shopping has become more popular than ever. That’s especially true as we head into the holidays. Today, we look at one community that says it’s seeing the costs of that growth in its air quality. 


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To meet the increased online shopping demand, companies like Target, Walmart and Amazon use big distribution centers — warehouses that store products and ship things to customers as fast as possible. (We should say here that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)


These warehouses can take a toll, though — on Amazon workers, as The Post has reported, and on the community around them. 


Today on Post Reports, Kori Suzuki brings us to Fontana, Calif., where a fight over warehouses has consumed the city.  


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners — one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to postreports.com/offer.

Nov 12, 2021
Pandemic math: Retiring without Social Security
1985

The Americans who are retiring — but delaying claiming Social Security benefits. Plus, the next installment in our Teens in America series: a story about students taking on the job of educating their peers about race.


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For better-off Americans, the pandemic economy created some of the strongest incentives to retire in modern history, with generous federal stimulus, incredible market gains, skyrocketing home values and health concerns drawing many Americans into early retirement.


The surprising twist? Many of these retirees also opted to put off claiming Social Security benefits, an exclusive Washington Post analysis shows. By delaying their benefits, these retirees can expect to collect higher monthly checks in the future, as economics reporter Andrew Van Dam explains.


Later in the show, we continue our Teens in America series by hearing from 18-year-old Zoë Jenkins. Though she was a high-achieving student, her experience at school in Kentucky was clouded by racist incidents — plus, she wasn’t really getting an education on race in her classrooms. So she decided to take matters into her own hands, and created a diversity, equity and inclusion curriculum for Gen Z, by Gen Z.


“There are issues in the world that I feel like I can address,” Zoë said. “I feel like I should be doing that. And I think more teenagers feel like we have to do something. So many things are coming to a kind of a tipping point.”

If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners: one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Nov 11, 2021
A post-presidency like no other
1361

Today, we’re taking a closer look at the state of Donald Trump post-presidency — his businesses, his finances, the ongoing criminal investigations into his actions and how all of those things could affect a potential political comeback.


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The Post’s David Fahrenthold has spent half a decade reporting on former president Donald Trump’s family and its business interests — first when Trump was a candidate, then when he was president and now that he’s a private citizen again.


There was a narrative popular among liberals during Trump’s presidency that he would face legal and financial ruin as soon as he was out of office. For a number of reasons, the reality is a little bit more complicated. David fills us in on the latest on Trump’s businesses, his legal battles and what it means that the Trump White House’s records could be turned over to the House Jan. 6 committee.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners - one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Nov 10, 2021
Kyle Rittenhouse on trial
1914

The homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse pits claims of self-defense against accusations of vigilantism. Plus, in the next installment in our series on teens in America: Why it can be especially hard for Black immigrant families to talk about racism.  


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The homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse – the teenager who killed two people and injured a third during a protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. – continues this week. Kim Bellware reports on the evidence brought by both sides, and why the trial likely won’t end with a high-profile conviction


“We have a small set of facts that everybody agrees on,” Bellware says. But while the prosecution is arguing this was first-degree intentional homicide, “The other side is saying, ‘Yes, he did kill these people. He did shoot. But he was doing it to protect himself.’ ”


And later in the show, we hear from 16-year-old Obse Abebe, a teen reporter with YR Media for the latest installment of our series on Teens in America


Obse was born in Ethiopia but moved to the United States when she was three. Being Ethiopian and living in America meant that Obse had to come to terms with being Black in America. 


“Not to say that the topic of race is hush-hush in our family,” Obse said. “But it is difficult to approach when your parents are very passionate about you feeling connected to both their culture from their mother country and the culture that you are currently in.”


A Washington Post-Ipsos poll found that nearly three-quarters of teens in America say they’ve talked to a parent about race in the past year. More than half say they’ve had a similar conversation with a close friend. As part of The Post’s Teens in America series, we’re listening in on what those conversations sound like. 


For more in this series, visit wapo.st/teens.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes online for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Nov 09, 2021
How a crowd can become deadly
1059

After eight people were killed at a Travis Scott concert in Houston late Friday, many of us were left wondering: How did this happen? An expert on crowds explains how too many people packed closely together can become deadly.


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An estimated 50,000 people attended the sold-out 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park to see Travis Scott, whose concerts have a reputation for being raucous.


The Washington Post reviewed dozens of videos from the night to understand how the concert became a mass casualty event, synchronizing video from the audience with a live stream of Scott’s performance published by Apple Music. The videos show a chaotic scene, with concertgoers crying out for help as the show continued, the loud music drowning them out.

The crowd surge victims include a 14-year-old who loved baseball, two friends celebrating a 21st birthday and a 27-year-old attending the concert with his fiancee. Here’s what we know about the victims.


We reached out to Keith Still, a professor of crowd science at the University of Suffolk in Britain, to talk about how these tragedies happen and how they could be prevented.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners: one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Nov 08, 2021
The zebra files
1911

When you hear hoofbeats, think zebras — especially if you’re in the D.C. suburbs, where fugitive zebras have been on the run from a local farm for many weeks. Buckle up for a wild ride as we delve into this suburban safari.


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For more than two months, fugitive zebras in the Maryland suburbs have captured the imaginations of children, neighbors and members of Congress alike. Post Reports producer and amateur zoologist Emma Talkoff started looking into what she thought was a cute local news story — only to unravel a much wilder tale.


Read more from The Post on the zebras from reporters Dana Hedgpeth, Katie Mettler and Maura Judkis.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners - one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Nov 05, 2021
Listening in as teens talk about race
1429

When the pandemic triggered a wave of anti-Asian violence, 18-year-old Miranda Zanca found herself wondering about her own identity and how she fit into the moment. This is the first in a new series in The Post’s Teens in America project.


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Miranda Zanca hasn’t always seen herself as particularly Asian, even if others did. That’s because she’s mixed race — her mom is Chinese and Puerto Rican and her dad is White. And earlier this year, when the pandemic triggered a wave of anti-Asian violence, she found herself wondering what role she should play in conversations around anti-Asian hate. “Am I Asian enough to be upset?” she asked. “Am I White enough to be making a difference?” 


American teenagers are part of what's likely the most diverse generation in our nation’s history — new Census Bureau data shows that the population under 18 is a majority minority for the first time. These young people are also helping to shape more of the conversations we’re all having about race. A Washington Post-Ipsos poll found that nearly three-quarters of teens say they’ve talked to a parent about race in the past year. More than half say they’ve had a similar conversation with a close friend. As part of The Washington Post’s Teens in America series, we’re exploring what those conversations sound like. 


Miranda’s story is the first in a new five-part series from The Post and YR Media, a nonprofit media, music and technology incubator. Listen in as teen reporters from around the country have tough conversations about race with family and friends, and with host Martine Powers.

Nov 04, 2021
Big GOP energy
1177

In a major upset for Democrats Tuesday, Republican Glenn Youngkin eked out a victory in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. Today, we look at the results of that election, and others, to understand the nation one year after the divisive 2020 elections.


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On Tuesday, Glenn Youngkin became the first Republican to be elected governor of Virginia since 2009. For Democrats, the race took on new national significance, with many seeing the results as a reflection of where the country stands nearly a year into Joe Biden’s presidency. 


But it wasn’t just Virginians who went to the polls on Tuesday. New Jersey also held a gubernatorial election, and major cities like Boston and Minneapolis held mayoral elections. National politics reporter Sean Sullivan discusses the implications of Virginia’s elections for both Democrats and Republicans, and examines how other local elections give a snapshot into the division among Democrats when it comes to police reform. 


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners — one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes online for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Nov 03, 2021
Democracy as a trust exercise
2001

On this Election Day, we talk about how the events of Jan. 6 have affected our elections. Plus, what nations participating in COP26 will have to give up to avoid more climate change catastrophes.  


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For months, journalists at The Washington Post have been trying to understand: How did the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 happen? And what’s happened to the country since then?


As part of a three-part investigative series by The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman has been reporting on how a deep distrust of the voting process has taken root across the country.


“Democracy is in some ways a trust exercise,” she says. “We all go into it together and we make an agreement with each other that we are going to trust each other enough to hold an election, and if we lose, to accept the will of the majority. And if you don’t trust that anymore — if the bonds of that trust erode — you just can’t have a democracy.” 


Then we turn to climate reporter Sarah Kaplan for an update on COP26 in Glasgow — the massive climate change summit of almost 200 countries where she says “humanity tries to figure out once again how we are going to tackle climate change.” 


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners: one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Nov 02, 2021
How law enforcement failed on Jan. 6
1539

In the days leading up to Jan. 6, mounting red flags tipped law enforcement agencies off to the coming violence. Why did they fail to act?


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All year, journalists at The Washington Post have been seeking to understand: How did the insurrection on January 6th happen? Why wasn’t it stopped?


A new three-part investigative series by The Washington Post reveals how law enforcement officials failed to heed warnings of violence on Jan. 6., the bloody consequences of President Donald Trump’s inaction during the siege, and how a deep distrust of the voting process has taken root across the country.


On Post Reports, we’re taking you behind the scenes of this mammoth reporting project, talking to the journalists who worked on it about what they learned and how.


On today’s episode, we look at what law enforcement agencies knew about plans to storm the Capitol and when they knew it. And we try to understand why little was done even after terrorism experts across the country met to discuss the coming riot. 


Investigative reporter Aaron Davis takes us inside the failures of law enforcement leading up to the attack on the Capitol. 


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners - one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Nov 01, 2021
Instagram, Facebook and this Meta episode
1323

Instagram’s CEO steps into the limelight in an unexpected public interview. And, after a firestorm, Facebook’s big attempt to pivot.


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In an impromptu interview on Twitter Spaces, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said he still believes building an app for children is “the right thing to do.” The company had paused development of Instagram Kids last month over concerns about privacy, screen time and the mental health of young people. 


But Instagram is just one piece in the puzzle that is Facebook — now rebranded as Meta. Tech reporter Will Oremus discusses the fallout from the Facebook Papers and the company’s latest attempt to move on. 


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners - one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Oct 29, 2021
The next phase of the pandemic
1383

Today on Post Reports, we talk about the latest news on vaccines for young children, booster shots for adults and at-home coronavirus tests for us all. Physician and columnist Leana Wen offers her advice on the next phase of the pandemic.


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Leana Wen is an emergency physician and contributing columnist for The Post. Her newsletter, The Checkup, offers the latest research and advice on such questions as which booster shot to get and how to safely gather with family for the holidays. You can find it and subscribe at Wapo.st/checkup.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners - one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Oct 28, 2021
How did a loaded gun end up on a movie set?
870

As new details emerge about the shooting on the “Rust” movie set that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, we talk to reporter Sonia Rao about how Hollywood is rethinking firearms on sets. 


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In the days since Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of the movie “Rust,” killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza, many of us have been asking the question — how could this have happened?


“How was it that this actor was seemingly handed a gun that had the potential to kill someone on a movie set? ” asked pop culture reporter Sonia Rao.


Today on the show, we cover the latest on the investigation, and talk about the conversation this tragedy has started in Hollywood about the safety of real guns on sets. 


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners: one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes online for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Oct 27, 2021
The mystery of Manchin’s motivations
1336

President Biden’s economic agenda is on hold — thanks, in no small part, to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). The families in his home state could pay the price for it.


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The constant man in the middle, Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), is trying to scale back the president’s Build Back Better economic plan. Part of the White House agenda on Manchin’s chopping block: the permanent expansion of the child tax credit. It’s a recent policy that experts say has been a key part of reducing child poverty in the United States, especially during the pandemic.


Amid reports that Manchin wants to impose caps and include work requirements for families receiving the credit, economics reporter Yeganeh Torbati takes us to the senator’s home state. And she poses the question: What happens when Manchin’s political calculations collide with the realities of West Virginians?


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners - one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Oct 26, 2021
Facebook’s role in the Jan. 6 attack
801

A trove of internal documents turned over to the SEC exposes Facebook’s role in fomenting the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.



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Relief flowed through Facebook in the days after the 2020 presidential election. The company had cracked down on misinformation, foreign interference and hate speech — and employees believed they had largely succeeded in limiting problems that, four years earlier, had brought on perhaps the most serious crisis in Facebook’s scandal-plagued history.


“It was like we could take a victory lap,” said a former employee. “There was a lot of the feeling of high-fiving in the office.”


Many who had worked on the election, exhausted from months of unrelenting toil, took leaves of absence or moved on to other jobs. Facebook rolled back many of the dozens of election-season measures that it had used to suppress hateful, deceptive content. A ban the company had imposed on the original Stop the Steal group stopped short of addressing dozens of look-alikes that popped up in what an internal Facebook after-action report called “coordinated” and “meteoric” growth. Meanwhile, the company’s Civic Integrity team was largely disbanded by a management that had grown weary of the team’s criticisms of the company, according to former employees.


But the high-fives, it soon became clear, were premature.


Elizabeth Dwoskin reports on how this gap in the company’s protective measures paved the way for rioters to organize the Jan. 6 insurrection using their platform.


Oct 25, 2021
Issa Rae and the growing pains of being ‘Insecure’
1350

Five years after the debut of “Insecure,” the acclaimed HBO comedy-drama is finally coming to a close. Creator and star Issa Rae discusses the characters’ journeys, personal growth and “betting on herself.”



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For a certain generation of Black women, Issa Rae’s volume of work is like the Harry Potter books — stories about characters who grow and mature alongside their fans.

 

“In shooting this final season, we've been very nostalgic and thinking about where we came from and imagining what our impact would be like,” says Rae, the creator and star of HBO’s “Insecure.” “Maybe people will hold on to this show as part of their lives in that way, and we may go down in history, you know, if we stick the landing. … And that makes me feel really good.”


“Insecure” debuted on HBO in 2016, focusing on the lives of two late-20s best friends in Los Angeles who are trying to navigate messy romances, social lives and professional aspirations. But Rae has been the voice of millennial Black women for more than a decade, all the way back to her hit Web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.”


“I used to binge-watch this show in my dorm cafeteria on Fridays,” says Martine Powers, “Post Reports” host. “I'd be like, ‘Oh, all my essays are done, getting ready for the weekend. I'm going to watch “Awkward Black Girl.” This is going to be amazing.’”


As Rae reflects on the final season of her show, her characters’ trajectory, and her own personal growth, she says that she’s learned to trust the choices she’s made along the way that have led to greater artistic freedom — and power. 


“One of the scariest things to me … is just, like, the fork-in-the-road choice,” Rae says. “There's something so terrifying about knowing that this is a decision that I could make that could change the course of my life. And I just have to make it.”

Oct 22, 2021
Vigilante violence on trial
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Ahmaud Arbery’s killing changed his Georgia community. Now, as the state grapples with a judicial legacy shaped by racism, three White men stand trial for murder.


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This week, the trial began for Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan. It hinges in part on Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law, which helped codify White vigilante violence for 150 years. The law was repealed in May 2021, but its legacy reverberates today.


Margaret Coker, editor of nonprofit investigative outlet The Current, is reporting on the trial for The Washington Post. She shares her insights on the decades-old law that has its roots in the Civil War, and how it might be used as a defense in the murder trial. 


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Post. We have a deal for our listeners: one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Oct 21, 2021
Should the U.S. brace for a ‘twindemic’?
773

Health officials are worried about a severe “twindemic” this year, when influenza and coronavirus cases increase at the same time. What parallel surges could mean for an already exhausted health-care system and efforts to end the pandemic.


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Last year, similar warnings were made about a potential “twindemic.” Instead, the flu practically vanished. Health officials say this year could be different: Much of the country is up and running again, and 2020’s mild flu season means population immunity is probably lower. 


That’s why officials are urging Americans to get the flu shot. “The flu shot is proven effective and has been shown year after year to save lives,” says health reporter Fenit Nirappil. “And that's going to be particularly acute this year when we're also dealing with a new strain of coronavirus.”

Oct 20, 2021
America’s broken supply chain
1324

The commercial pipeline is clogged. Every year, this supply chain brings $1 trillion worth of toys, clothing, electronics and furniture from Asia to the United States. And right now, no one knows how to unclog it. 


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For months, consumers have confronted shortages of goods such as clothing, toys, groceries and cars. And those shortages aren’t going away any time soon. 


Reporter David J. Lynch visited the ports of Southern California— where giant container ships are waiting up to two weeks to unload their berth – and several of the country’s crammed rail yards and warehouses to figure out what’s clogging the global supply chain.


Correction: A previous version of this episode description incorrectly stated where the reporter visited. He visited ports in Southern California, not shipyards.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners – one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.

Oct 19, 2021
Colin Powell’s complicated legacy
1089

The legacy of Colin Powell, the first Black secretary of state, is complicated — by his role in the Iraq war, by the evolution of the Republican Party and by how he lived his life after public office.


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Former secretary of state Colin Powell died Monday of complications from covid-19. His long career in the public eye — as a decorated military officer and statesman — was marked by choices he made leading up to the Iraq War. But Powell’s life is also characterized by a shift away from the Republican Party, and his adherence to the old guard of American conservatism. 


The Post’s Karen DeYoung, who wrote a biography of Powell, reflects on Powell’s life and the complex lessons of his legacy. 


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners — one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes, for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Oct 18, 2021
The NBA’s Kyrie problem
1214

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has been benched over his decision not to get vaccinated. Today on Post Reports we discuss what responsibilities famous athletes bear and why this story is resonating beyond the basketball world.


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Kyrie Irving has been benched indefinitely because of his refusal to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. His team, the Brooklyn Nets, has been favored to win the NBA title this year, but that is now being thrown into question.


Irving has long been a controversial figure in the league, because of his outspokenness and his espousing of baseless conspiracy claims. But the stakes and implications of his stance are high, with hundreds of millions of dollars and a championship on the line.


NBA reporter Ben Golliver says that beyond the court, the situation raises questions about the social responsibility public figures bear and the collective impact of one individual’s choice. 

Oct 15, 2021
Should defending Taiwan be a red line for the U.S.?
924

In recent days, record numbers of Chinese warplanes have flown into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, signifying a deteriorating relationship between Taiwan and China — and putting the United States in an awkward position.


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Last week, China flew nearly 150 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. Taiwan responded by scrambling to engage its fighter jets and missile systems. 


Meanwhile, the United States is in an increasingly awkward spot. While the United States may technically recognize Beijing over Taipei, it is deepening its ties to the island, says foreign affairs columnist Ishaan Tharoor.


Today on the show: how the situation has escalated, and what it means for geopolitics


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners: one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Oct 14, 2021
A new model for affordable housing
1021

In a predominantly Black Chicago neighborhood, how one affordable housing program is addressing inequality by enabling homeownership. 


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Over the years, rows of two-story stone houses and small buildings have fallen into disrepair in the Chicago neighborhood of North Lawndale. The neighborhood was made famous in 1966, when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — hoping to turn the focus of the civil rights movement on housing inequalities in the North — moved his wife and four children into a dilapidated apartment there. 


Decades later, much has stayed the same in North Lawndale, where crime and poverty rates remain high. Last year, more than 2,000 empty lots dotted the neighborhood. 


But a group of local developers and activists are pushing to change things. They’re planning to build 1,000 standalone affordable homes for people who already live in the neighborhood as renters, so they can buy homes and start building equity and generational wealth through homeownership.


The approach aims to end poverty by focusing not on rental subsidies, but on finance classes and helping people buy their own homes. But according to reporter Kyle Swenson, it’s an approach that will need federal government buy-in to really succeed. 

Oct 13, 2021
The Black voters disappointed in Biden
1371

The “benefit of the doubt” portion of Joe Biden’s presidency is over. His poll numbers are down, especially among Black voters. Today on the show, we return to some of the voters we talked to in Georgia during the state’s runoff election and hear how they’re feeling now.


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A little over nine months into Joe Biden’s presidency, the infrastructure bill is languishing in Congress and his poll numbers have fallen, especially among key Democratic constituencies, including Black Americans. We’re still a year away from the midterms, but it made reporter Cleve Wootson wonder: Are the same people who worked so hard to turn Georgia blue in 2020 willing to do it again?


“If midterms are about enthusiasm and turnout, who do you think is excited to vote on November 2 at this moment?” said Nsé Ufot, chief executive of the New Georgia Project, which has registered more than a half-million voters. “Because it ain’t Democrats. It ain’t Black folks. It ain’t young people.”


Today on Post Reports, we revisit Georgia.


Listen here to our episode from December ahead of the two Senate runoffs in Georgia.


If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners — one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe

Oct 12, 2021
Why child-care workers are quitting
1028
Working in a day care is a demanding job — but the pay is typically around just $12 an hour, and often without benefits. Many child-care workers have quit during the pandemic, leaving parents without options and struggling to return to work themselves.

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Hiring and retaining good workers has been tough in the child-care industry for years, but it is escalating into a crisis. Pandemic-fueled staffing challenges threaten to hold back the recovery, as the staffing problems at day cares have a ripple effect across the economy. Without enough employees, day cares are turning away children, leaving parents — especially mothers — unable to return to work, as economic correspondent Heather Long reports. 

If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners — one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe
Oct 11, 2021
What do we do about Facebook?
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Facebook had a bad week. A whistleblower testified before Congress about the danger the company poses, and an outage took down the site and its products for hours. Now, some are rethinking their relationship with Facebook. But can we live without it?

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This week on the hill, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told lawmakers that the company systematically and repeatedly prioritized profits over the safety of its users, painting a detailed picture of an organization where hunger to grow governed decisions, with little concern for the impact on society. Plus, a prolonged global outage on Monday knocked out Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp for hours, causing inconvenience for some and serious disruptions for others. And now, it seems many are struggling with this tension: We keep hearing over and over again that Facebook is dangerous. But we can’t seem to live without it even for a couple of hours. So, what do we do about Facebook?

On today’s Post Reports, we hear from social media reporter Elizabeth Dwoskin about Facebook’s disastrous week and Help Desk reporter Heather Kelly about how to make the platform safer for us and our kids in the absence of regulation.
Oct 08, 2021
Looted treasure and offshore accounts
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Cambodia wants its religious artifacts returned. Dozens tied to an indicted collector remain in prominent museums. The Pandora Papers expose his reliance on offshore secrecy. Plus, U.S. lawmakers respond to revelations in the Pandora Papers.

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Cambodia wants its religious artifacts returned. Dozens tied to an indicted collector remain in the Met and other prominent museums. The Pandora Papers expose his reliance on offshore secrecy, as Peter Whoriskey reports. 

Although it’s only been a few days since the Pandora Papers published, there has already been a wave of reaction around the world, including in the United States. Will Fitzgibbon, a senior reporter with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, reports that lawmakers are calling for a crackdown on financial “enablers.”
Oct 07, 2021
Putin, a shop cleaner and a Monte Carlo mystery
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Secret money, swanky real estate and a Monte Carlo mystery: Pandora Papers documents tie a woman allegedly in a secret, years-long relationship with Putin to a luxury Monaco apartment. 

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There’s little about the humble background of Svetlana Krivonogikh to indicate that she had the means to acquire luxury property in Monaco, a playground for the world’s elite. The Russian woman reportedly grew up in a crowded communal apartment in St. Petersburg and held jobs that included cleaning a neighborhood shop. 

But previously undisclosed financial records – combined with local tax documents – show that she became the owner of a luxury apartment in Monaco through an offshore company created just weeks after she gave birth to a girl. That child was born at a time when, according to a Russian media report last year, she was alleged to be in a secret, years-long relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Those involved in arranging the Monte Carlo purchase for Krivonogikh took measures that ensured that her name did not appear on public records. 

The clues connecting Krivonogikh to the Monaco property are contained in a massive new repository of financial materials called the Pandora Papers, which expose a hidden world that has allowed government leaders, a monarch, billionaires and criminals to shield their assets.

Oct 06, 2021
King Abdullah’s secret splurges
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While billions of dollars in American aid poured into Jordan over the past decade, a secret stream of money was flowing in the opposite direction as the country’s ruler, King Abdullah II, spent millions on extravagant homes in the United States.


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In the past decade, King Abdullah II of Jordan used an extensive network of offshore accounts to disguise multimillion-dollar purchases of lavish homes in the United States and Britain. Reporter Greg Miller on how the lavish purchases sit in stark contrast to Jordan’s recent economic and political struggles. 


These findings are revealed in a new investigation, the Pandora Papers, that exposes a hidden world that has allowed government leaders, a monarch, billionaires and criminals to shield their assets.


The Washington Post and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists gained unprecedented insight into the money flowing into U.S. trusts through a trove of more than 11.9 million documents — among the largest of its kind — maintained by financial services providers around the world.  

Oct 05, 2021
A tax haven in America’s heartland
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The United States has long condemned secretive offshore tax havens where the rich and powerful hide their money. But a burgeoning American trust industry now shelters the assets of wealthy foreigners by promising even greater secrecy and protection. That same secrecy has insulated the industry from meaningful oversight and allowed it to gain new footholds in states like South Dakota and Alaska.


The Washington Post and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) gained unprecedented insight into the money flowing into U.S. trusts through a trove of more than 11.9 million documents, among the largest of its kind, maintained by financial services providers around the world. 


Their findings are revealed in a new investigation, the Pandora Papers, that exposes how foreign political and corporate leaders or their relatives moved money and other assets from long-established tax havens to obscure trust companies in the United States. In many cases, the assets were connected to individuals or companies accused of fraud, bribery and human rights abuses in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

 

In this audio report, Post reporter Debbie Cenziper, producer Ted Muldoon and ICIJ reporter Will Fitzgibbon travel from the sugar cane fields of the Dominican Republic to the beaches of California to back rooms of Sioux Falls to examine how this industry came to be, who profits from it and whom it harms.

Oct 04, 2021
The anti-vax wellness influencers
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How wellness influencers are fueling the anti-vaccine movement. 

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For many people, the term “misinformation” conjures up images of conspiracy-theorist chat rooms and Russian bots. But as Ashley Fetters Maloy reports, an alarming amount of misinformation about the coronavirus is coming from wellness influencers. 

Today on Post Reports, the social media influencers questioning the wisdom of vaccination –– and how their messaging is increasing the threat of the virus mutating and keeping the pandemic raging.
Oct 01, 2021
On the death of species
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This week, the Fish and Wildlife Service proposed taking 23 animals and plants off the endangered-species list — because none can be found in the wild. What this tells us about climate change, and things to come.


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The ivory-billed woodpecker is officially extinct, along with 22 other species of plants and animals. 

“Just having to write those words was quite difficult,” Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Amy Trahan told climate reporter Dino Grandoni, choking up. “It took me a while.”

The woodpecker was known as the “Lord God Bird” because it was supposedly so beautiful that anyone who saw it would blurt out the Lord’s name. 

Grandoni said that some scientists think the Endangered Species Act came too late to save a lot of animals. 
But maybe not all hope is lost. 

“My inbox today, after publishing the story online, is full of photos from amateur photographers in their backyards of woodpeckers, asking me if this is the bird that people are saying has gone extinct,” Grandoni said. “This might spur some interest in people going on and understanding the birds and other animals that are still with us.”
Sep 30, 2021
Can military leaders answer for Afghanistan?
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This week in Congress, top military officials are testifying on what went wrong in the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Will anyone in the government be held accountable? 


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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie are on Capitol Hill testifying in front of the Senate and House Armed Services committees on the fall of Kabul and the disastrous U.S. exit from Afghanistan. 


As lawmakers press for answers, Alex Horton reports on whether this hearing will result in accountability for the years of government missteps in handling the end of America’s longest war.


Sep 29, 2021
Sex-trafficked — and jailed
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For years, allegations that R. Kelly was abusing young women and girls swirled. This week, the singer was found guilty of sex trafficking in federal court. But not all child sex-trafficking victims get justice — instead, many of them are arrested.

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Jessica Contrera has done a lot of reporting on child sex trafficking in the United States. When she saw the R. Kelly verdict this week, the cases of hundreds of other sex-trafficked children came to mind. 

“People were finally praising and recognizing these Black girls who came forward again and again and went through the grueling process of what it takes to testify in a case like this, and thanking them for coming forward and for their bravery,” Contrera says. “But it’s important to remember the context that Black girls who are sex-trafficking victims are also the most likely to be treated as criminals for being sold for sex.”

Every year, Contrera says, dozens of teenagers are locked up despite being victims of a crime. In Las Vegas, Contrera went on a ride-along with a vice unit as it arrested child sex-trafficking victims, and she reports on what it was like for these youths to be sent to detention centers rather than given help.
Sep 28, 2021
What we know about Havana Syndrome
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What you need to know about “Havana Syndrome,” the mysterious illness affecting U.S. officials stationed around the world — and whether there’s anything the United States can do about it. 

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Havana Syndrome” first popped up in 2016 when a group of people at the U.S. embassy in Cuba reported a wide-ranging set of debilitating symptoms such as headache, nausea, tinnitus and memory loss. 

Five years later, 200 people are known to have shown symptoms of the mysterious illness. The Washington Post broke the news that the head of the CIA station in Vienna was recently recalled for allegedly failing to take the “Havana Syndrome” seriously. 

Intelligence reporter Shane Harris explains what we know about the strange syndrome, and the possible political repercussions if it is the result of a deliberate attack from a foreign adversary.
Sep 27, 2021
Gabby Petito, and the victims left out of headlines
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How Gabby Petito case galvanized sleuths across the Internet. And, how her disappearance and death highlight media failures in covering cases about missing women of color. 

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Washington Post “Tik Tok Guy” Dave Jorgenson explains the Internet’s fascination with Gabby Petito’s disappearance and how the online attention has magnified the media coverage of her case. 

Plus, how the groundswell of news coverage has people wondering: What about other people who have gone missing —  especially marginalized people and people of color? investigative reporter Connie Walker, host of “Stolen: The Search for Jermain” and other crime podcasts, explains the black hole of coverage when Indigenous people disappear.
Sep 24, 2021
Hooked on a ceiling
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Deadlines are looming large for Congress. If policymakers fail to act, the United States could face unprecedented economic catastrophe. 


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Time is running out to fund the federal government, which could shutter by Oct. 1. It all has to do with a bigger fight on the debt ceiling — the government’s borrowing limit. Democrats in Congress want to suspend the debt ceiling until next year, but Republicans aren’t playing ball and are threatening a government shutdown in opposition.


But what does that all mean for Americans outside of Congress — for federal workers, for critical government services and for pandemic relief? Tony Romm reports on the stakes of the political fight on Capitol Hill, and the economic crisis waiting on the other side.

Sep 23, 2021
An immigration crisis in Del Rio, Tex.
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Thousands of mostly Haitian migrants are crossing into the U.S. from the southwest border of Texas. When they arrive, they face rough territory: hostile law enforcement, mass airlifts for deportations, and a squalid, overcrowded migrant camp in the U.S.

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Crossing the Rio Grande into Texas as a Haitian migrant is a treacherous journey. That became apparent after images came out of U.S. Border Patrol agents using whips and horses to police the border.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has also made it clear that there will be law and order conditions where agents are seeing an influx of travelers. This also comes at a time when the Biden administration has begun deporting Haitian nationals in droves.

Arelis R. Hernández covers the southern U.S. border for The Post. She reports from the Rio Grande, giving a glimpse into what life is like on the border and explaining the Trump-era policy under which mass expulsions are taking place.

To learn more about Title 42, the public health order that President Biden has kept in place to expel migrants out of the United States, listen to “Marooned in Matamoros,” a two-part documentary series from Hernández and Post Reports editor Ted Muldoon. It’s about a woman’s treacherous journey from El Salvador to the Matamoros encampment in Mexico.
Sep 22, 2021
The young and the vaccinated
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What the latest news from Pfizer means for getting younger kids vaccinated. Plus, who will be able to get a booster shot and when. 


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On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech said that children ages 5 to 11 had a robust immune response to smaller doses of their coronavirus vaccine. Anita Patel, a critical-care pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital, explains what these results mean for slowing the spread of the coronavirus and what it has been like to take care of severely sick children during the pandemic. 


The Biden administration had promised that this would be the week anybody vaccinated on or before Jan. 20 would be able to get a booster shot. Health and science reporter Lena Sun explains the confusion around who is actually eligible for a booster and when people could get one. 


Sep 21, 2021
Who are the Oath Keepers?
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Members of far-right extremist organizations — such as the Oath Keepers, a self-styled militia movement — are being charged by federal prosecutors for their alleged participation in the Jan. 6 riot. But prosecution may not wipe out their ideologies. 


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Law enforcement officials in D.C. were prepared for a big rally this weekend — the so-called Justice for J6 rally in support of people charged in connection to the Jan. 6 insurrection. While turnout in D.C. was low, underlying conspiratorial ideologies are thriving, showing up in protests at local government offices and school board meetings around the country. 


One of the groups that has pushed that hard-right agenda is called the Oath Keepers. Many members are now being investigated and charged by federal prosecutors. Hannah Allam reports that the ideologies of this anti-government militia group continue to spread, even as members face legal consequences.  

Sep 20, 2021
America’s Song, Part 2
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With his performance of “God Bless America” during Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, NYPD officer Daniel Rodriguez comforted a nation still grieving in the wake of 9/11. It felt like a timeless moment. Instead, it proved fleeting. Twenty years later, the reasons for that tell a story of the political divisions and embellished patriotism that now polarize American sports. The weight of it all can be felt through the struggles of Rodriguez, who’s still trying to bless people with his voice as America attempts to rediscover its own.


Join Washington Post sports columnist Jerry Brewer, sports features writer Kent Babb and audio producer Bishop Sand as they explore how a man and a nation have attempted to heal and find meaning after trauma and tragedy.

Read more and see photos of Daniel then and now here.


In Part 2, Jerry, Kent and Bishop visit Daniel in L.A. to see what his life is like now, and look into the origins of the song that made him famous. Then they look at what else happened to him, the song and the country in the years after 9/11, as shifting political winds drove the Americans further apart. 

Sep 18, 2021
America’s Song, Part 1
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With his performance of “God Bless America” during Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, NYPD officer Daniel Rodriguez comforted a nation still grieving in the wake of 9/11. It felt like a timeless moment. Instead, it proved fleeting. Twenty years later, the reasons for that tell a story of the political divisions and embellished patriotism that now polarize American sports. The weight of it all can be felt through the struggles of Rodriguez, who’s still trying to bless people with his voice as America attempts to rediscover its own.


Join Washington Post sports columnist Jerry Brewer, sports features writer Kent Babb and audio producer Bishop Sand as they explore how a man and a nation have attempted to heal and find meaning after trauma and tragedy.

Read more and see photos of Daniel then and now here.

Sep 17, 2021
The end of the Merkel era
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After a decade and a half in office, Germany’s Angela Merkel is stepping down. On today’s show, we take a closer look at the chancellor’s life and legacy, and what this shift in power will mean for Germany and the world.

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Angela Merkel grew up the daughter of a pastor in communist East Germany, and political possibilities opened up for her after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. As chancellor she carried Germany and by extension the European Union through crisis after crisis with a steady hand. But her legacy is somewhat more complicated at home than it is abroad, as Loveday Morris and Ishaan Tharoor report.

“Some applaud her humble, consensus-driven political style,” Morris writes. “Others see a lack of bold leadership, particularly in the face of a more aggressive Russia and rising Chinese power.”

As Merkel leaves office, we talk about the vacuum of power she leaves behind and what might happen next. 
Sep 16, 2021
When an OB/GYN is antiabortion
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When we talk about abortion access in the U.S., we talk a lot about Roe v. Wade, the actions of state lawmakers, the court system. But we don’t talk about doctors — and what they do or don’t say to patients behind closed doors. 


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After Texas passed the country’s most restrictive abortion law, many abortion rights advocates feared that other states would follow suit — states like West Virginia that have already made moves in the past to restrict access to abortion. 


But reporter Caroline Kitchener has found that there are other barriers to abortion already in place, some of which are invisible to us: “I had never even thought about this other barrier that is doctors,” Caroline said. “Doctors who might not talk to women about the option of abortion.” 


Caroline has spent many, many months reporting on Byron Calhoun, the only high-risk pregnancy OB/GYN in central West Virginia. He also happens to be staunchly antiabortion. 


Today on “Post Reports,” we talk about what that means for his patients — and, more broadly, how doctors’ political beliefs can affect the kind of care they provide their patients.

Sep 15, 2021
Delta’s stress test on schools
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The Biden administration has made in-person learning a priority for this school year. Now that most kids are back in school, the question on everyone’s mind is: Will it last? 

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By now almost all students are back to learning in person. But what some school districts are calling vague guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has led to widely varying coronavirus protocols — only some districts are requiring masks, while others may not be properly notifying parents of positive cases at their kids' schools. With the delta variant surging, many parents, teachers and experts are frustrated with this patchwork response. Health and policy reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb shares how schools have fared in the first weeks of classes, and why the guidance from the White House isn’t more prescriptive.
Sep 14, 2021
California’s recall fever
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A recall election in California ends Tuesday night. After pandemic-related shutdowns and mandates, can Gov. Gavin Newsom survive the challenge to his liberal policies? 


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Forty-six candidates on the recall ballot. One governor with his first term on the line. 


California Gov. Gavin Newsom is fighting to hold on to his seat, with the recall election that could replace him set to end Tuesday night. Newsom needs more than 50 percent of the vote to maintain his governorship.

 

Senior correspondent Scott Wilson says recall elections are baked into California life. Every governor for the past 60 years has been challenged with a recall, but only one attempt has been successful.


This recall election could flip leadership of the country’s most populous state to a vastly different candidate — and have far-reaching implications for national politics and the makeup of the U.S. Senate. 

Sep 13, 2021
Inside the newsroom on 9/11
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Watching the chaotic end of America’s longest war, we’ve been thinking a lot about the terrorist attack that set it in motion. We interviewed colleagues who covered 9/11 to try to make sense of how that day changed the country and the world.


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“Where were you on September 11th?” Most Americans over a certain age have a 9/11 story — of the moment they heard the news of the terrorist attacks, or of anxiously calling family members to make sure they were okay. 


In the 20 years since the attacks, that day for some may feel like a slowly fading memory. But the direct consequences of that Tuesday in 2001 are still playing out in the news in front of us every day.


Today on Post Reports, we’re telling the story of 9/11 through the eyes of our newsroom. We spoke with Post colleagues who covered it — from senior editors, to reporters at the Pentagon, to an intern.


“It changed everyone's lives,” says Post reporter Juliet Eilperin, who was covering Congress that day, “not only in terms of those who lost people that they cared about that day, but what it meant for the commitment of our military and what it meant for people living in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Middle East.”


As the Afghanistan war comes to a harrowing close, we look at how the 9/11 terrorist attacks shaped our world and how the consequences of that day are still with us. 


This story was produced by Ariel Plotnick and Emma Talkoff. It was edited by Maggie Penman, Renita Jablonski and Martine Powers.


It was scored and mixed by Ted Muldoon, who wrote original music for this show. 


Reena Flores and Rennie Svirnovskiy were also a huge help with this story.

In this story, you’ll hear the voices of Leonard Downie, Arthur Santana, Juliet Eilperin, Valerie Strauss, Amy Goldstein, Amy Argetsinger, Marc Fisher, Katie Shaver, Karen DeYoung, Mike Allen, Rosalind S. Helderman, Chuck Lane, Debbi Wilgoren and Matt Vita. 


Thank you to WTOP News for sharing its 9/11 archive.


We talked to so many people for this story who helped shape our understanding of that day, including Tracy Grant, Freddy Kunkle, Dana Milbank, Ellen Nakashima, Ann Gerhart and Dudley Brooks. 


And a big thank-you to Joe Heim, who pitched this idea to our show.

The Post has many other stories reflecting on the anniversary of 9/11 and how our country has changed 20 years later.


Listen to “America’s Song,” a special podcast series from The Post about how a singing police officer comforted a grieving nation after 9/11 — and why the moment couldn’t last.


9/11 was a test. Carlos Lozada writes that the books of the past two decades show how America failed.

Sep 10, 2021
The YOLO economy paradox
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What the mismatch between the number of people employed and the number of jobs available tells us about America’s reassessment of work. Plus, how the pandemic has set women in the workforce back globally.  

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There is a mystery at the center of the economic recovery in the U.S. — 8 million people are unemployed, but there are 11 million jobs open. Senior economics correspondent Heather Long explains that this is all part of the overall rethinking of American life and labor.

There has been a lot of reporting on the impact of the pandemic on women’s careers and livelihoods, especially here in the U.S. But Emily Rauhala and Anu Narayanswamy wanted to look at the problem globally — and what they found is that the pandemic has derailed a slow crawl toward equality for women in the workforce. 
Sep 09, 2021
The legal limbo for Afghan evacuees
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For many Afghan evacuees arriving in the United States, escaping the Taliban was just the beginning. Now, they face the uncertainty of a tenuous legal status with little financial support unless Congress acts. 

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The Biden administration is preparing to screen and resettle tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees in the United States over the coming months, but the majority will arrive without visas as “humanitarian parolees,” not refugees. Reporter Nick Miroff explains what this means. 

Volunteers are working to help the thousands of Afghan refugees who are starting new lives in the United States, but the transition is still a difficult one. Jorge Ribas has been interviewing Afghan evacuees who have recently arrived in the country. You can see more of his reporting here
Sep 08, 2021
The beginning of the end of Roe v. Wade?
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Life in Texas under the nation’s most restrictive abortion law. Plus, the unusual legal strategy that allowed the law to go into effect and how it could be a blueprint for other states to circumvent Roe v. Wade. 

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The nation’s most restrictive abortion law is now in effect in Texas after the Supreme Court refused to block it, banning abortions after six weeks. Hours before S.B. 8 went into effect, abortion clinics were packed — and now that abortion providers can be sued, they’re recommending people go across state lines to get the procedure if they’re more than six weeks pregnant. Caroline Kitchener traveled to Texas to report on what it's like for patients and clinics.

This law is a huge win for antiabortion activists throughout the country, and it provides a blueprint for other states to use the same legal strategy. Ann E. Marimow reports on what this could mean for the future of Roe v. Wade.
Sep 07, 2021
What is ISIS-K?
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What we know about the Thursday bombing near the Kabul airport. Plus, an Afghan journalist who left Kabul just before its collapse tells us why she fears for the family and friends she left behind. 


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A bombing outside the Kabul airport Thursday left more than a hundred people dead, including civilians and U.S. service members. Military reporter Dan Lamothe says the attack was “a nightmare scenario” for the United States, making the mission to evacuate Afghans and U.S. personnel much more difficult. 


Journalist and Fulbright scholar Nasrin Nawa’s flight left Kabul right before the capital fell to the Taliban. In an op-ed she wrote for The Post, Nawa says her parents and sister tried to follow her but didn’t make it out.

Aug 27, 2021
Who decides who gets evicted?
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The future of a federal ban on evictions is in the Supreme Court’s hands. But in many cases, whether a person gets evicted is up to a judge’s discretion, as our reporter found in Mississippi. 


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A federal ban on evictions has been in place in one form or another since the beginning of the pandemic. But after spending a day in an eviction court in Mississippi, reporter Marissa Lang found it’s often left up to individual judges whether to enforce it. 


“So many of these cases are judge dependent, the outcome really varies, not just county by county, but judge by judge,” Lang said. She followed a woman facing eviction — and spoke to the judge who decided her fate. 

Aug 26, 2021
The Full Comirnaty
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What the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine means. Plus, big business pledged nearly $50 billion for racial justice after George Floyd’s killing. Where did the money go?


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Goodbye, “emergency use authorization.” Hello, “full approval.” On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, commercially called Comirnaty. The four-month evaluation process was fast by the FDA’s usual standards, but regulators have emphasized that they did not sacrifice any kind of rigor in the process. Health and science writer Ben Guarino reports on the effect that full approval could have on vaccine mandates –– and whether it will change the hearts and minds of the vaccine-hesitant. 


After the murder of George Floyd ignited nationwide protests, corporate America promised to take an active role in confronting systemic racism. Now, more than a year after leading businesses pledged money toward racial-justice causes, reporter Tracy Jan analyzes where that money actually went. 


On Tuesday, the Supreme Court said the Biden administration must comply with a ruling from a lower court to restart President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers. This was the program that forced people seeking asylum in the United States to wait on the other side of the southern border, in Mexico. It’s unclear what this new mandate will mean for the controversial program, but last month our podcast aired a two-part story about what living under this program is actually like for an asylum seeker. To better understand what it means to “remain in Mexico,” you can find those episodes — “Marooned in Matamoros,” Parts 1 and 2 — at this link

Aug 25, 2021
The choice to stay in Kabul
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What the return of the Taliban means for women in Kabul. And, the story behind a secret meeting between the CIA director and the leader of the Taliban.

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Mahbouba Seraj, activist and director of the Afghan Women Skills Development Center, weighs the dire stakes for the women in Afghanistan — and explains why she chooses to stay in the country as dangers mount.

President Biden said Tuesday he will stick to the Aug. 31 deadline to fully withdraw from Afghanistan. The Taliban has said U.S. troops staying any longer would be crossing a “red line.”

As pressure to safely evacuate people from Kabul mounts, national security reporter John Hudson reports that CIA Director William Burns held a secret meeting with the leader of the Taliban, Abdul Ghani Baradar. It is the highest-ranking official within the administration to meet with the Taliban since the takeover of the country.
Aug 24, 2021
Is this a new Taliban?
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The Taliban insists it has changed. Afghanistan’s future hinges on whether that’s true.

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Frenzied evacuations from Afghanistan continue as the U.S. scrambles to meet its Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw all troops. But it’s still unclear what the country will look like after that. Taliban leaders say they will refrain from retaliatory violence and respect women’s rights. Griff Witte, The Post’s former Kabul bureau chief, evaluates those promises.
Aug 23, 2021
The Afghanistan Papers, revisited
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This week, Americans watched in disbelief as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in a matter of days — and we wondered what Craig Whitlock was thinking. Two years ago he and a team at The Post published a prescient and ground-breaking project called “The Afghanistan Papers,” revealing hundreds of secret interviews with U.S. officials candidly discussing the failures of the war.

The interviews with some 400 people were part of a project called “Lessons Learned,” undertaken by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, and The Post obtained them after a three-year legal battle. These Afghanistan papers are a secret history of the war, Whitlock tells Martine Powers, and “they contain these frank admissions of how the war was screwed up and that what the American people were being told about the war wasn’t true.” 

“They really do bring to mind the Pentagon Papers, which were the Defense Department’s top-secret history of the Vietnam War,” Whitlock says. 

These recordings have new resonance this week. 

Read excerpts from Craig Whitlock’s new book, ‟The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War”.

Aug 20, 2021
Disaster on repeat in Haiti
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Haitians face devastation after two natural disasters hit the island. And what the tragedies have exposed about the country’s preparedness.

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Last weekend, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake caused widespread destruction and death in Haiti. Then, torrential rain from Tropical Storm Grace hit the island. Now, Haitians are recovering from two back-to-back natural disasters while reeling from political turmoil caused by the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last month. Caribbean bureau chief Anthony Faiola reports on how public officials and citizens living close to the epicenter of the earthquake are grappling with the compounded loss and tragedy.

When an earthquake hits, it’s not the quake itself that kills people — it’s often the rattled buildings that collapse with people inside, or on top of them. And in Haiti, earthquakes are more dangerous than in other countries, because buildings there aren’t designed to withstand them. Reginald Desroches is a Haitian American engineer and provost of Rice University. After Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, he traveled there about a dozen times to investigate why the damage was so severe and to figure out how to reinforce the structures that remained standing. 

Listen to our episode on the assassination of Haiti’s president and how years of U.S. intervention in the Carribean country contributed to the chaos we’re seeing now.
Aug 19, 2021
Keeping kids safe this school year
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Today, Post Reports answers your questions about kids, schools and covid-19 with physician and columnist Leana Wen and education reporter Hannah Natanson. Plus, the latest news on booster shots. 

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Subscribe to The Checkup With Dr. Wen to get guidance in your inbox on how to navigate the pandemic and other public health challenges.
Aug 18, 2021
The Afghanistan war blame game
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Almost as soon as Kabul fell, the political blame game began in Washington. But why weren’t we more prepared? Plus, an interview with Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the United States on her fears for women and girls in her country.

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As quickly as Kabul fell, the finger-pointing commenced. Reporter Shane Harris on the political fallout of a disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan — and how it could have gone better. 

Roya Rahmani was Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the United States, serving from 2018 until just a few weeks ago. She spoke with producer Arjun Singh of the podcast “Can He Do That?” about what it’s like to watch her country fall to the Taliban, and what her fears are for women and girls who are still there.
Aug 17, 2021
A disastrous American exit
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As the United States left Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of war, the Taliban seized control of the country in a matter of weeks. President Biden defended the withdrawal Monday afternoon while Americans and vulnerable allies remained in limbo in Kabul.

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The Taliban seized the Afghan capital Kabul Sunday morning, restoring the insurgent group’s grip over Afghanistan after they were removed from power by U.S.-led forces in 2001, and kept at bay for about two decades during America’s longest war. 

Kabul bureau chief Susannah George explains what it’s like to be in the city in such a dramatic  moment of transition. “Once the Taliban took over Kabul, the security forces in the entire city melted away overnight,” she says.

Meanwhile in Washington, Pentagon reporter Dan Lamothe on the military calculus for withdrawing from Afghanistan, and the efforts to safely resume evacuations.  

With the Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan, we want to hear from veterans or anyone who was involved in the war effort — whether you’re American, Afghan or served in the coalition. If you had friends or family members serve, we’d also like to hear your perspective on how the war affected you. Tell us your stories.
Aug 16, 2021
Interview with the TikTok Guy
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Today on Post Reports, an interview with Dave Jorgenson, The Washington Post’s “TikTok Guy.” Throughout the pandemic, he’s been uploading two newsy, funny TikToks a day for The Post’s nearly 1 million TikTok followers.  

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A few of Martine’s favorite Tiktoks from Dave:

During the primary for the 2020 election, Dave made TikToks with a bunch of presidential candidates, including Cory Booker and Julián Castro

You can also check out the sea shanty here.

Aug 13, 2021
The town lost to the Dixie Fire
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How some states are trying to make students and staffers feel safe in school. Why more moms may leave the workforce as the delta variant spreads. And what it’s like to lose your town to a wildfire and to have to start again. 

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Wednesday that the state will require all teachers and school staffers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or to submit to weekly testing. It’s the first state to impose such a rule. The governor is citing the surge of the delta variant as the reason –– and the fact that more and more children are being hospitalized by infection. 

As the pace of coronavirus cases rises nationwide and children’s camps and day cares shut back down, working mothers’ lives and livelihoods are taking another massive hit. Heather Long reports on the panic setting in among America’s millions of mothers with children under the age of 12 and the potential economic cost of a second mass resignation of moms.

The Dixie Fire in California has been burning since mid-July. It now covers more than 500,000 acres in four counties and has forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes. Marisa Iati reports on the state’s containment efforts, the emotional toll of evacuation and why rebuilding may not be an option in Greenville, Calif.
Aug 12, 2021
How Mitch learned to stop worrying and love a bill
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What’s behind Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans embracing a big Biden agenda item? Infrastructure. Plus, a delightful story about a man, his hobby and his dog. 

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The big bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate this week is being hailed as a moment of unity, with politicians from both sides of the aisle finding common ground in building roads, repairing bridges and expanding broadband technology. But the reality is a bit more complicated. Mike DeBonis reports on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s thinking behind his support of President Biden’s agenda item.

Along with being The Post’s art and architecture critic, Philip Kennicott is also an avid piano player. The thing is, his dog hates it when he plays piano, particularly Bach’s Goldberg Variations. He tries to solve the mystery of why.
Aug 11, 2021
The fall of Andrew Cuomo
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The resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. And, as American troops withdraw, the U.S. response to a surge of Taliban control in Afghanistan. 

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Today, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation after a state investigation found he sexually harassed 11 women and oversaw an unlawful attempt to exact retribution against one of his accusers. Reporter Michael Scherer on what this means for New York politics and the women at the center of the accusations. 

The Taliban is gaining more ground in Afghanistan, as U.S. troops withdraw from the country after two decades. Missy Ryan and Susannah George report on the regional capitals that have fallen to Taliban control and America’s role in Afghanistan’s uncertain future. 

As the school year approaches, we want to try to tackle your concerns about how covid affects kids and how to safely go back to in-person learning. If you’re sending your child back to school or going back to school yourself and have a question, send us a voice memo at postreports@washpost.com. We would love to hear from kids and teenagers as well as parents.  
Aug 10, 2021
‘A code red for humanity’
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A landmark United Nations report finds that humans have pushed the climate into ‘unprecedented’ territory. Plus, what we can learn from the Tokyo Olympics with the Winter Games in Beijing just around the corner.

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On Monday, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest and most dire report about the state of the planet. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said that  results are “a code red for humanity” and is calling on countries to embrace the drastic transformation needed to slow the warming of the planet. Reporter Brady Dennise has more.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have officially ended. Tokyo bureau chief Michelle Ye Hee Lee explains that the events have offered a brief respite from the latest pandemic surge but also a complex legacy. With the Winter Olympics set to begin in just six months, what lessons have the International Olympic Committee learned — and will they stick?
Aug 09, 2021
The people left out of the infrastructure deal
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The infrastructure bill making its way through the Senate doesn’t include money for caregivers. Today, we dive into what it’s like to take care of a partner who has a disability and to often not get compensated for that labor.

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Earlier this week, the much anticipated infrastructure bill started moving through the Senate with bipartisan support. What’s left out of the bill, though, is what’s being called “human infrastructure” — money for things like quality child care and care for elderly people and those with disabilities.

Today, we’re diving into one of these groups that’s being left out of the bill: people who care for their partners who have disabilities. 


 “It's just not sustainable for me to do this every single day in the way that I have been,” said Jane Morgan, who has been caring for her boyfriend largely by herself since he became quadriplegic in 2019.
Aug 06, 2021
Back-to-school struggles
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Florida school districts defy the governor’s ban on mask mandates. An elementary school that welcomed its students back in the spring is still struggling to make a full return to normal. Plus, why you should rid your vocabulary of “corporate-isms.”

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At least four school districts in Florida have announced that they will either keep or issue new mask mandates in light of the coronavirus outbreak ravaging the state. Their announcements directly challenge an order by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who has threatened to withhold funds from schools that mandate face coverings for students. 

The debate over mask mandates is just one part of the conversation about how to safely reopen schools for in-person learning, as the coronavirus, aided by the delta variant, threatens to disrupt children’s educations for the third straight school year. Perry Stein reports on the stakes of such a prolonged disruption, and on whether schools can make up for that lost time

“Nice to e-meet you.” “Let’s touch base.” “I’m out of pocket.” Remote, virtual work is making us talk like robots. Tatum Hunter teaches us how to “circle back” to being human
Aug 05, 2021
The brothers Cuomo
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As New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo faces an impeachment effort and calls for his resignation, his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, avoids mentioning the scandal on his show. Plus, your questions on the delta variant — and is NBC ruining the Olympics?

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Will New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo resign? The pressure continues to mount after a damning report was released yesterday by the state’s attorney general. It concludes that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. That report also included the name of the governor’s brother, Chris Cuomo, a host on CNN. But when his show went on the air last night, he didn’t mention any of it. Media reporter Elahe Izadi explains the governor’s response so far, as well as CNN’s handling of the scandal and Chris Cuomo’s involvement.

Earlier this week, we asked you to send us your questions about the current coronavirus surge and the delta variant. We tackle a few of them today with science reporter Ben Guarino

Like many people, host Martine Powers has been watching the Olympics — or trying to. She asks reporter Ben Strauss — is NBC ruining the Olympics?
Aug 04, 2021
‘Broke again’
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The Biden administration is expected to announce a new action to limit evictions as a federal eviction moratorium expires. But it’s unclear how many people that will help. And, why the expanded child tax credit may not be a silver bullet against poverty.

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Nearly a year and a half into the pandemic, 28 percent of households are struggling to cover basic expenses. More than 11 million renters are behind on payments. One in seven parents are struggling to feed their families. This is all despite a raft of government interventions, including an expanded child tax credit approved in March. 

The White House said the expanded child tax credit would cut child poverty by more than 40 percent. But that lofty expectation is crashing into the reality of debt for many people behind on rent and utility bills. Kyle Swenson reports on the potentially blunted impact of those payments for families living with debt, including moms such as Brittany Baker in Ohio.
Aug 03, 2021
The art of the infrastructure deal
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Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have come to rare agreement, crafting a trillion dollar-plan to fix infrastructure across the country.

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After weeks of negotiation, a bipartisan group of senators have put forth a plan to restore America’s infrastructure. The more than $1 trillion plan to improve roads, bridges, pipes, ports and lines of communication could be a centerpiece of Joe Biden’s presidency — unless he has his own deal in the works. Congressional reporter Tony Romm breaks down the far-reaching proposal.
Aug 02, 2021
The dream of a Black utopia
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In 1983, the U.S. invaded the small Caribbean nation of Grenada. Forty years later, many Americans have no idea why — or that it happened at all. Today, in collaboration with “Throughline,” we tell a story of revolution, conquest, and dreams of a Black utopia.

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For host Martine Powers, this historical deep-dive has a personal connection. Growing up in a Caribbean American family offered a different perspective on the 1983 invasion — a moment that isn’t just about President Ronald Reagan or Cold War machinations. Instead, this era in Grenada’s history is also the story of people and ideas that became symbols of Black freedom around the world — and a direct inspiration for Black Americans.

“This was a Black country with people making their own success and failure,” says Dessima Williams, Grenada’s former ambassador to the U.S. “We didn't have White people over us. And I think that itself was revolutionary at the psychic level.”

This story was produced in collaboration with “Throughline,” a podcast about history from National Public Radio. Here are a few other episodes that you’ll want to check out: “Palestine,” about the region’s history of settlements and displacement; “Five Fingers Crush The Land,” on the history and culture of China’s Uyghur people; and the unexpectedly dark story of American imperialism, in “Reframing History: Bananas.”
Jul 30, 2021
‘We don’t even think about race.’
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Debates over critical race theory take over a town in Michigan. Plus, why breakthrough coronavirus infections do not mean that our vaccines aren’t working.

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Traverse City, Mich., is a microcosm of the critical race theory debates taking over school systems across the country. The debates in the town came after the school board decided to fast-track an equity resolution, after students held a fake slave auction over Snapchat. Reporter Hannah Natanson went to Traverse City to understand what White parents think of the resolution and racism in the town, as well as how students feel.

Within the past few weeks, positive coronavirus test results have been delivered to some high-profile fully vaccinated people: New York Yankees players, Olympic gymnast alternates and state lawmakers from Texas. Ben Guarino reports on why such breakthrough infections are to be expected — and why they don’t imply that vaccines are widely failing.
Jul 29, 2021
Return of the Mask
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Why employers are getting bolder with vaccine mandates. How the pandemic worsened the opioid crisis. And the aftermath of the floods in Germany.

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On Tuesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors in certain circumstances because of the highly transmissible delta variant. At the same time, many employers — including the federal government — are considering coronavirus vaccine mandates. Dan Diamond reports on the changing guidance around masks and vaccines.

Last week, the three major drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson reached a settlement in court after being sued for the damages of the opioid crisis. Lenny Bernstein on how the pandemic has affected the continuing opioid epidemic. You can find our related story from 2018 about the Trump administration’s handling of the fentanyl crisis here.

This past month, floods in Germany and Belgium killed nearly 200 people. Loveday Morris reports on the clean-up and recovery in Western Europe.
Jul 28, 2021
The price of being the GOAT
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Why the U.S. women’s gymnastics team settled for a silver medal. And, the search for separated parents in rural Guatemala. 

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The U.S. women’s gymnastics team took home a silver medal in Tuesday’s team final, after star gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the event. Sports reporter Liz Clarke discusses the unexpected upset, and the course of the Russian Olympic team’s winning trajectory. 

The United States lost track of parents after separating them from their children at the border. In rural Guatemala, it’s up to Eriberto Pop — a motorcycle-riding human rights lawyer — to find them. Central America bureau chief Kevin Sieff reports on his journey with Pop into the western highlands of Guatemala.
Jul 27, 2021
Investigating the insurrection
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The political debate — and theater — surrounding a new House committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. And, why wildland firefighters in the West are burning out.  

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A bipartisan select House committee begins its probe of the Jan. 6 insurrection this week. But as national security reporter Karoun Demirjian explains, the investigation kicks off under a cloud of political debate and theater. 

On the heels of one of the worst wildfire years on record, the federal government is struggling to recruit and retain staffers as firefighters grapple with low wages, trauma and burnout from increasingly long and intense fire seasons. Sarah Kaplan reports on the Biden administration’s promise to the federal firefighting force –– and what the United States has to understand about climate change and wildfires.
Jul 26, 2021
Marooned in Matamoros, Part 2
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In February 2020, Washington Post reporter Arelis R. Hernández walked across the bridge from Brownsville, Tex., to Matamoros, Mexico, two sister cities along the international border with the glistening green Rio Grande snaking between them. 

Up on the levee, a breathtaking sight unfolded before her: a makeshift migrant camp full of thousands of asylum seekers from all over Latin America forced by the Trump administration to wait in Mexico while they plead their cases.

There in the camp, Hernández met a woman from El Salvador named Nancy and her two teenage children. Nancy had a chilling story to tell about how she wound up there — and why she feared she would never get out. 

In this special two-part series, Hernández and producer Ted Muldoon explore what Nancy’s story reveals about the real-world impact of the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy.

In Part 2, the Biden administration comes into office promising change. But change can’t come soon enough for Nancy, whose desperation has only deepened after 16 months in the camp.

To find photos and videos of Nancy's journey and her life in the camp, visit wapo.st/nancy. Listen to Part 1 of the series here.

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Hear more of Hernández’s ride-along with the Hidalgo County Constable’s office in this March 2021 episode of Post Reports, or read about it here
Jul 22, 2021
Marooned in Matamoros, Part 1
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In February 2020, Washington Post reporter Arelis R. Hernández walked across the bridge from Brownsville, Tex., to Matamoros, Mexico, two sister cities along the international border with the glistening green Rio Grande snaking between them. 

Up on the levee, a breathtaking sight unfolded before her: a makeshift migrant camp full of thousands of asylum seekers from all over Latin America forced by the Trump administration to wait in Mexico while they plead their cases.

There in the camp, Hernández met a woman from El Salvador named Nancy and her two teenage children. Nancy had a chilling story to tell about how she wound up there — and why she feared she would never get out. 

In this special two-part series, Hernández and producer Ted Muldoon explore what Nancy’s story reveals about the real-world impact of the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy.

In Part 1, Nancy slowly unspools her story, starting with her journey north. After she and her children make their way across the Rio Grande, they're intercepted — not by Border Patrol, but by the cartels. 

To find photos and videos of Nancy’s journey and her life in the camp, visit wapo.st/nancy.

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Photographer Michael Robinson Chavez and reporter Mary Beth Sheridan capture haunting images of migrants fighting for survival at the border. 

Reporter Kevin Sieff looks at what happens when asylum seekers miss their court dates because they were kidnapped.
Jul 22, 2021
Can the Olympics be covid-safe?
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The Tokyo Olympics are set to begin Friday, after dozens of people in the Olympic bubble have tested positive for the coronavirus. How soaring rent prices are becoming the new norm across the U.S. And, Anthony Bourdain and the ethics of audio deepfakes. 

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After a year’s delay, Tokyo 2020 will kick off this Friday despite concerns over the coronavirus: At least 67 people in the Olympic bubble have tested positive. Michelle Ye Hee Lee reports on the precautions that the International Olympic Committee is taking. 


Senior economics correspondent Heather Long says that bidding wars and spiking rental prices are becoming the new norm as the pandemic recedes in the United States.

A new documentary about Anthony Bourdain features a deepfake of the celebrity chef’s voice, evoking criticism. Timothy Bella reports
Jul 21, 2021
The release of Abdul Latif Nasir
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The Biden administration has resumed repatriation of Guantánamo Bay detainees — a practice largely halted under former president Donald Trump. Plus, why some states are considering reinstating mask mandates. 

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The Biden administration on Monday repatriated a detainee from Guantánamo Bay to Morocco, the first transfer of an inmate from the high-security prison since President Donald Trump mostly halted resettlements when he took office in 2017. We hear from The Post’s Missy Ryan about what the release of Abdul Latif Nasir signals about the Biden administration’s plans to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. Plus, we hear from Radiolab’s Latif Nasser, who chronicled Nasir’s case on the podcast series “The Other Latif,” to understand his life beyond being a detainee. 

Two months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinated individuals did not need to wear masks in most settings, a growing number of public health officials are warning that it might be time to put them back on. Health reporter Dan Diamond on the return of mask mandates – and the return of the political debate around them.
Jul 20, 2021
The spyware secretly hacking smartphones
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The military-grade spyware that’s being used to spy on journalists, human rights activists and business executives. Plus, a long overdue trip to space.

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Military-grade spyware leased by the Israeli firm NSO Group to governments for tracking terrorists and criminals was used to hack smartphones belonging to journalists, human rights activists, business executives and the two women closest to murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to an investigation by The Washington Post and 16 media partners led by the Paris-based journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories.

Wally Funk was supposed to go to space 60 years ago. Now she’s going with Jeff Bezos. At 82, the “Mercury 13″ pioneer is poised to become the oldest person to reach space when the first crewed Blue Origin rocket takes flight Tuesday.
Jul 19, 2021
Crying in H Mart with Michelle Zauner
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Michelle Zauner, author of “Crying in H Mart,” on grief, food and embracing her Korean heritage. Plus, what happens when a head of state gets a really bad case of the hiccups.

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Michelle Zauner is the lead singer of the band Japanese Breakfast and also the author of the best selling memoir “Crying in H Mart.” The book chronicles Zauner’s journey through grief when her mother is diagnosed with cancer. Food and trips to the Asian grocery store H Mart, become a central vehicle for exploring her connection with her mother and her Korean heritage. In this episode, Zauner speaks about the process of writing her memoir and what it means to be an Asian American musician and author today. 

Plus, Sammy Westfall reports on an unusual case of the hiccups that has become international news
Jul 16, 2021
America’s collective amnesia in Haiti
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How the killing of Haiti’s former president has sparked a constitutional crisis — and how years of U.S. intervention in the Caribbean country contributed to the chaos we’re seeing now.


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The assasination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse last week has plunged the country into turmoil, with many unanswered questions left surrounding the attack. The Post’s Widlore Merancourt and Ishaan Tharoor report on what’s known so far about the investigation into killing and what a vacuum of power could mean for the safety and security of Haitians.


The international response to Haiti’s political crisis is made more complicated by the legacy of slavery, colonialism and U.S. occupation — and that shapes how we understand the country today. “Haiti is the poorest country in the hemisphere because of — not despite — foreign intervention,” anthropologist Mark Schuller says in this episode. “Slaveholders punished Haiti for their role in ending slavery.”

Jul 15, 2021
Texas Democrats’ exodus
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Why Texas Democrats are camping out in D.C. And how to stay safe in extreme heat.

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This week, Texas Democrats left the state and flew to Washington, D.C., to prevent Texas Republicans from passing restrictive voting legislation. Eugene Scott reports on why Democrats made this extreme move and what it means for the future of voting rights and lawmaker relationships in the state.

A series of heat waves across the Pacific Northwest may have killed hundreds over the past month. Ollie Jay, a professor of heat and health at the University of Sydney, explains how people can die from these extreme conditions and what you can do to stay safe.
Jul 14, 2021
To boost or not to boost?
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The latest on coronavirus booster shots. What to expect from the Olympic Games with no spectators. And for better or worse: how to survive this summer’s wedding fatigue. 

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Concerns over booster shots are growing as new coronavirus variants become more pervasive. Yasmeen Abutaleb shares the latest developments on these extra shots domestically and abroad.

Last week, the Japanese government announced all spectators would be banned from Olympic venues in and around Tokyo. Simon Denyer reports on what to expect from the Games without the normal fanfare.

After the pandemic forced many couples to postpone their weddings, the celebrations are back in full force. Ashley Fetters reports on how guests are handling the jam-packed summer wedding season.
Jul 13, 2021
How to not get scammed
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How to keep yourself and your employer safe from ransomware attacks. And, what to do if you get a scam call. 

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Major ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent and their demands more extreme. Tatum Hunter explains how to identify and avoid these attacks.

Social Security-related telephone scams routinely trick people out of their money — which is what almost happened to personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary’s sister. Michelle shares the tactics the scammer used and how she helped her sister out of the nerve-racking situation. If you’ve also been a victim of a government imposter scam, you can report it to the government by filling out this form.
Jul 12, 2021
Curating Black history
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As museums open up, we wanted to talk to the new director of the National African American Museum of History and Culture about what it means to interact directly with history. Plus, why air travel feels worse than ever. 

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Archivist and poet Kevin Young became the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C. this year. As museums open back up, he’s reflecting on the role he and the museum play in reassessing our national history and preserving Black culture.

With more people traveling again, many flights are being delayed or canceled. Natalie Compton reports on why these disruptions are happening and what you can do to avoid them.
Jul 09, 2021
Leaving Afghanistan
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The future of Afghanistan as U.S. troops withdraw after a 20-year war. Plus, the future of autonomous weapons.

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The slow process of withdrawing the U.S. military presence from Afghanistan reached a milestone: American forces handed over control of Bagram air base to Afghan leaders. Foreign affairs columnist Ishaan Tharoor on Afghanistan after America leaves

Military weapons powered by AI are becoming easier to build. Tech reporter Gerrit De Vynck explains how these weapons are being used now, and how they might be used in the future.

If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners - one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.
Jul 08, 2021
An assassination, and the future of Haiti
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The assasination of Haiti’s president. And, a controversy over drug policies and Olympic athletes. 

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Last night, Jovenel Moïse, the president of Haiti, was assassinated in his private residence by a group of gunmen. Anthony Faiola reports on the Caribbean country’s political instability, growing gang violence, and what Moïse’s assassination means.

Track star Sha’Carri Richardson has been suspended from competition for one month and won’t be able to compete in the Olympics after a positive marijuana test. Anne Branigin explains the backlash and debates over drug and doping rules in sports sparked by the suspension.
Jul 07, 2021
What the delta variant means for you
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How the highly contagious delta variant is affecting the fight against the coronavirus. Plus, Nikole Hannah-Jones's fight for tenure and what it's like to be Black in higher education.

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A mutated, more transmissible form of the coronavirus called the delta variant is forcing countries to go back into lockdown and areas of the United States to reinstate mask mandates. Fenit Nirappil reports on what’s known so far about this new variant and how it could affect the United States.

On Tuesday, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones announced she would accept a faculty position at Howard University, following a controversy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill over whether to offer her tenure. Producer Jordan-Marie Smith spoke to higher ed reporter Nick Anderson and Black professors about what it’s like to be Black in higher education.
Jul 06, 2021
Post-vax advice, with Carolyn Hax
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With more and more Americans vaccinated and cities reopening again, we’re having some joyous reunions — and a lot of social anxiety. Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax answers your questions about how to navigate a post-vaccine America.

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As excited as we are about being vaccinated and emerging into the world again, there are some awkward conversations and social anxiety mixed in there, too. On this special episode, one of The Post’s beloved advice columnists, Carolyn Hax, takes questions from our listeners about how to date, how to talk to people in your life who aren’t getting vaccinated, and how to handle family members who might make comments about pandemic weight gain.
Jul 02, 2021
Another blow to the Voting Rights Act
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Where voting rights stand after a new court decision. An assessment of a shifting Supreme Court. And the latest legal challenges for Trump’s family business. 

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The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Arizona’s voting restrictions. Reporter Amy Gardner discusses what this means for the Voting Rights Act. And Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes shares how the latest rulings show ideological shifts on the bench.

Reporter David A. Fahrenthold discusses new criminal charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.
Jul 01, 2021
Why was Bill Cosby released from prison?
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Why Bill Cosby was released from prison. And why some states are banning lessons on systemic racism.

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On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the sexual assault conviction of entertainer Bill Cosby, allowing for his immediate release. Manuel Roig-Franzia reports on this decision and how some victims are responding.

Several states have banned teaching about systemic racism and gender discrimination, with dozens more proposing similar legislation. Valerie Strauss reports on how critical race theory became a conservative talking point and what these bans could mean for the future of education. 

If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners — one year of unlimited access to everything The Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.
Jun 30, 2021
Surviving the heat dome
1760
What the heat wave in the Pacific Northwest has to do with climate change. A doctor trying to close the racial vaccine gap in Philadelphia. And tips to combat burnout.
 
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A climate-change-fueled heat wave blanketed the Pacific Northwest. In some areas, temperatures passed 110 degrees. Sarah Kaplan reports on how people in cities such as Portland and Seattle grapple with extreme heat.

While at least 70 percent of Philadelphians have received at least one coronavirus vaccination, only 34 percent of Black Philadelphians have gotten a shot. Akilah Johnson on the doctors trying to close the racial vaccine gap.

The pandemic has blurred the boundaries between work and home life. Enter A Better Week, a Post newsletter. Tom Johnson explains how to create a better, more balanced workweek.
Jun 29, 2021
The ‘nightmare scenario’ response to the pandemic
1435
Two Post journalists, Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta, spent months reporting on the chaos inside the White House during the Trump administration’s pandemic response. Revelations include details about how sick President Trump really was and his proposal to send infected Americans to Guantánamo. All of this reporting is in their new book “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration's Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” out Tuesday. 

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Over the past few months, Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta have been looking back to the early days of the pandemic in the United States and at the nightmare scenario that played out when covid-19 and an underprepared federal government collided.

“There was so much going on behind the scenes that Americans didn’t realize,” says Paletta.

As members of the Trump administration jockeyed for power on the coronavirus task force and debated the politics of mask wearing, the coronavirus was ripping through the country. Paletta and Abutaleb report that the crux of the pandemic came down to that unprepared, disorganized federal response.

Jun 28, 2021
The search for voices in the rubble
1753
Dozens are still unaccounted for after a sudden building collapse in the Miami area. And introducing The Washington Post’s new executive editor, Sally Buzbee.

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In the early hours of Thursday, a 12-story condominium building in Miami-Dade County collapsed. Half of the 40-year-old beachfront structure crumbled and over 150 people are missing. The cause of the collapse is unknown, but investigations are underway. Marc Fisher shares what happened.

This month, The Washington Post’s new executive editor, Sally Buzbee, took the helm. Formerly the executive editor and senior vice president at the Associated Press, Sally Buzbee became the first woman to head the nearly 1,000-person newsroom. In an interview, Buzbee discusses the challenges and opportunities facing the future of journalism across the country and at The Post.

If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners — one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe
Jun 25, 2021
Free Britney?
1705
Britney Spears’s fight to end her conservatorship. An experimental brain surgery that could treat substance use disorders. And the forced closure of a Hong Kong newspaper. 

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On Wednesday, Britney Spears made a rare statement on her own behalf to a Los Angeles court requesting that the conservatorship that has taken her finances and lifestyle out of her own control for more than a decade be terminated. Ashley Fetters on Spears’s fight for freedom.

Can an experimental brain surgery help treat substance abuse disorders? Lenny Bernstein reports on the deep brain stimulation that surgeons are using to battle addiction.

Apple Daily, a pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong, ceased operations this week after the government froze its assets and arrested top editors. Shibhani Mahtani on China’s move to close the free press. 

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Jun 24, 2021
A test case for vaccine mandates
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Houston Methodist was one of the nation’s first health systems to impose a coronavirus vaccine mandate. Now, 153 people have either resigned or been fired for refusing it. Plus, ethical questions in the Biden administration. And coming out in the NFL. 

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More than 150 health-care workers who did not comply with a Houston-based hospital system’s vaccine mandate have been fired or resigned, more than a week after a federal judge upheld the policy. Health reporter Dan Diamond on what this story can tell us about ongoing vaccine skepticism in the U.S.

On The Post’s podcast “Can He Do That?” host Allison Michaels talks to national political reporter Michael Scherer about the pair of brothers in Biden’s orbit raising questions about White House ethics. 

Producer Emma Talkoff talks with sports reporter Nicki Jhabvala about the first active NFL player to come out.

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Jun 23, 2021
The legacy of a bombing
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In Oklahoma City, the 1995 bombing offers lessons — and warnings — for today’s fight against extremism. Plus, what a Supreme Court ruling means for the NCAA.

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Reporter Hannah Allam was in high school in Oklahoma City when Timothy McVeigh altered the skyline of her city for good. She remembers her classmates speculating about what could possibly have rattled their school building so intensely — maybe an accident in the chemistry lab? A sonic boom? Twenty-six years later, Hannah found her way back to her hometown, to see what lessons – if any – local lawmakers, survivors and activists were bringing to today’s conversations about far-right domestic terrorism.

On Monday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the NCAA’s limits on education-related perks for college athletes. Columnist Jerry Brewer explains what that means for the NCAA going forward

We are thrilled to announce that Post Reports was honored with a Peabody Award for our episode “The Life of George Floyd.” Check out the video of Trevor Noah presenting the award, as well as our acceptance speech

If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners - one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe
Jun 22, 2021
Biden’s Catholicism
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President Biden is a lifelong Catholic, but because he supports abortion access, some U.S. bishops believe he shouldn't take Communion. A grim discovery is spurring a reckoning in Canada. Plus, how donating breast milk can help grieving mothers heal.

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U.S. Catholic bishops voted last week to back a measure that would limit Communion for Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, including President Biden. Religion reporter Michelle Boorstein explains the significance of this move and what the controversy says about the state of the Catholic community in the United States.

The remains of 215 Indigenous children were uncovered on the grounds of a former residential school in British Columbia. Amanda Coletta describes the history behind the disturbing discovery and how Indigenous people have been responding to it.

A growing community of women who have stillbirths are donating their breast milk to families in need. Miriam Foley reports.

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Jun 21, 2021
The joys and struggle of Juneteenth
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Historian Annette Gordon-Reed discusses the meaning and history behind Juneteenth, the holiday that has come to symbolize the end of slavery in the United States.

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Juneteenth is officially a national holiday. 

This week, Congress rushed to pass a bill officially recognizing June 19, commemorating the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas were finally informed that they had been freed two years earlier by the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Historian Annette Gordon-Reed grew up celebrating Juneteenth with her family and community in Texas. While the holiday started in the Lone Star state in 1866, it has grown in scope and prominence with celebrations across the country. In this episode, we talk with Gordon-Reed about her experience growing up in Texas, Black Americans’ lives during and after slavery, and the growing significance behind this historic holiday. Gordon-Reed is the author of a new book, “On Juneteenth.” 

We also recommend you check out a new podcast at The Post called “Please, Go On.” It’s hosted by James Hohmann from the Opinions desk. This week on the show, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs says the federal government needs to step in to protect voting rights. Listen to the episode here.

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Jun 18, 2021
Inflation, inflation, inflation
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The Fed says inflation could climb higher than projected — but many of the price hikes could be short-lived. How to navigate the many new spending opportunities the end of the pandemic has brought. Plus, the power of this year’s graduation speeches.

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New projections from the Federal Reserve suggest that prices will keep climbing this year. But what does that tell us about economic recovery from the pandemic moving forward? Rachel Siegel explains the Fed’s current approach: Wait and see.

If the return of eating out or traveling has left you burning through savings or reluctantly sitting out, personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary is here to help. Check out her new book, “What to Do with Your Money When Crisis Hits: A Survival Guide.”

High school graduation is always a big moment — but this year some seniors are taking the opportunity to advocate what they believe in from the graduation stage.

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Jun 17, 2021
The Biden-Putin summit
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What Biden’s summit with Putin can tell us about the future of U.S.-Russia relations. And, what could happen to struggling tenants when the rent comes due in July. 

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President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin lauded their Wednesday summit as “positive” and “constructive” — but politics reporter Eugene Scott says their back-to-back news conferences made clear that the two leaders remain at odds. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium is up at the end of June, leaving many renters at risk of eviction. Kyle Swenson reports on why rent relief hasn’t made it to many who need it and how some tenants are getting by.

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Right now, podcast listeners can get one year of unlimited access to The Post for just $29. That’s less than one dollar a week. 

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Jun 16, 2021
How to fix a labor shortage
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Some businesses ask whether higher wages could be the answer to the labor shortage. Members of Congress return to the Capitol, and all its security concerns. And a new era of space travel dawns — for those who can afford it.

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Across the country, businesses have a problem: Workers aren’t taking low-wage jobs. Economics reporter Eli Rosenberg talked to employers who think they have found a solution: paying people more.

Before returning to their home states last month, some lawmakers expressed concerns over safety and sought out funding for additional security. Now, House members have returned to the Hill, where they don’t necessarily feel much safer. Marianna Sotomayor reports

A new kind of space race: Billionaires are competing to launch into space. Others can come along — but only if they can afford astronomical prices. Space travel reporter Christian Davenport has more.

If you value the journalism you hear in this podcast, please subscribe to The Washington Post. We have a deal for our listeners — one year of unlimited access to everything the Post publishes for just $29. To sign up, go to washingtonpost.com/subscribe.
Jun 15, 2021
A reckoning for People of Praise
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An insular Christian group faces a reckoning over sexual misconduct. And, the extraordinary effort from educators to get kids back to school.

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Last fall, the Christian group People of Praise garnered national attention after a prominent member, Amy Coney Barrett, was nominated to the Supreme Court. Soon after, former members began a Facebook group called “PoP Survivors.” Investigative journalist Beth Reinhard reports on some of those former members who say they were sexually abused by other members of the group when they were children. 

Schools across the country are trying to persuade parents to send their kids back to in-person learning in the fall. Reporter Hannah Natanson follows an elementary school principal as she goes door-to-door to reassure hesitant families.


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Right now, podcast listeners can get one year of unlimited access to The Post for just $29. That’s less than one dollar a week. 

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Jun 14, 2021
Introducing ‘Please, Go On’
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An introduction to The Post’s new opinion podcast: “Please, Go On,” with columnist James Hohmann and his first guest, Vice President Harris. And, cartoonist Alison Bechdel shares the secret to superhuman strength.

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The Post’s new opinion podcast launches today: “Please, Go On,” with host James Hohmann. In the first episode, James talks to Vice President Harris about the exodus of women from the workforce during the pandemic. 

This week we’re kicking off our Summer Fridays series, where we’ll explore arts and culture and topics beyond the news. For the first installment, we talk to cartoonist Alison Bechdel about her new book “The Secret to Superhuman Strength,” which explores her lifelong love affair with fitness — and how she realized that superhuman strength isn’t really about muscles at all.

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Jun 11, 2021
Washington’s X-Files