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Press Play with Madeleine Brand
54 minutes | Dec 5, 2022
Musician Johnny Cash was a born-again Christian who preached to prisoners
After superstar Johnny Cash attempted to take his own life, he reconnected with the faith of his youth, which guided him until he died. His spiritual journey is the subject of a new documentary.Iran’s morality police has been subject to months of protests after the death of Mahsa Amini in its custody. What happens next? The Supreme Court today heard arguments in a case involving a Colorado web designer who doesn't want to work with same-sex couples. A new film, “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” tells the twin story of Nan Goldin’s activism against the Sackler family and her personal journey as an artist.
52 minutes | Dec 1, 2022
Kyiv is ‘almost entirely plunged into darkness.’ How are Ukrainians coping?
Russian missile attacks have prompted widespread power outages in Ukraine. They’ve left millions of locals without heat, electricity, and water, just as the coldest months arrive. Chinese officials are signaling that the country may start to move away from its strict “zero-COVID” policy. The news follows weeks of quarantine-related protests. FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is apologetic, but evasive, in the latest interview about the downfall of his cryptocurrency company. Critics review the latest film releases: “Violent Night,” “Return to Seoul,” “Spoiler Alert,” “Four Samosas.” Pomegranates are much more than fodder for holiday table displays. Once you know how to open them up and reveal the seeds, they are as satisfying a snack as popcorn.
52 minutes | Nov 30, 2022
Jemele Hill on ESPN: ‘They really didn't accept who we were’
In her new memoir “Uphill,” journalist Jemele Hill recounts her high-profile departure from ESPN, and growing up poor in Detroit to a single mother. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries has been elected as the next Democratic leader in the U.S. House. He'll be the first Black man to lead a major party in Congress. Traits and attributes that animals find appealing may not make sense in a warming world, such as a lion’s dark and bushy mane or a peacock’s picturesque plumage. “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” made $13 million during its limited one-week run in theaters. Netflix plans to stream the film starting December 23.
54 minutes | Nov 29, 2022
UC strike continues. How will students’ final exams and grades be affected?
The University of California has reached a tentative deal with striking workers on higher wages and cost-of-living increases. But other demands have yet to be met. Nancy Pelosi says she’ll bring a bill to the House floor on Wednesday to force a deal to prevent a massive railroad worker strike. Kevin McCarthy criticized the Biden administration for letting it come to this. Haiti is unraveling amid escalating gang violence and a growing humanitarian crisis. The Biden administration is considering sending a multinational armed force there. Audible’s “Fade” follows a Latina novelist who lands her first job in a Hollywood writers’ room, then learns she’s a diversity hire, and her only office friend is the janitor. Oscar Award-winning singer, dancer, and actress Irene Cara died at age 63 on November 25. She’s best known for her songs “Fame” and “Flashdance.”
52 minutes | Nov 28, 2022
Constance Wu opens up about sexual harassment, owns up to past mistakes
Actress Constance Wu’s new memoir, “Making a Scene,” is about growing up in Virginia and transitioning from theater, to TV, to film. In a few weeks, COVID will likely rise nationwide due to holiday travel and gatherings. Teams are working on a universal COVID vaccine, but funding is in short supply. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law that required people to have a good reason to carry a gun in public. Could that impact strict gun laws in other states? Actress Brooke Smith (“Grey’s Anatomy”) was a rebellious teenager in the 1980s, hanging out with punk rock kids and photographing the scene in New York. Her new book is “Sunday Matinee.”
51 minutes | Nov 23, 2022
Qatari government controls World Cup, shows it can ‘move the goalposts’
An American journalist says he was detained by security at a FIFA World Cup match in Qatar. He was wearing a shirt with a soccer ball surrounded by a rainbow. This year, many Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday deals have already started. What’s going on, and are they any good? Some of the country’s top law schools are pulling out of U.S. News and World Report’s rankings, which critics say penalize schools. The winners of this year’s KCRW Radio Race: Team Phantom Thread, comprised of Nelson Aguilar and Chuck Hua. In their story called “Liftoff,” Nelson shared his lifelong secret. Critics review new film releases: “Strange World,” “Devotion,” “Nanny,” and “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”
51 minutes | Nov 22, 2022
NASA scientists had unexpected connection with Mars rovers. See it in new film
A new documentary tells the story of Opportunity, a NASA rover that exceeded expectations, and explored and analyzed the planet’s surface for nearly 15 years. As home cooks know, there will likely be hiccups and frustration when putting together a masterful Thanksgiving spread. Good Food host Evan Kleiman shares last-minute hacks. On Saturday, a gunman burst into LGBTQ bar Club Q and killed five people and injured 17 others. The suspect has a history with law enforcement, including a 2021 bomb threat. A shooting at Colorado Springs bar Club Q left five people dead. Two worked at the establishment and another was a mother to an 11-year-old daughter.
53 minutes | Nov 21, 2022
Can Bob Iger right the Disney ship?
Disney’s board of directors has ousted Bob Chapek. Former CEO and Executive Chairman Bob Iger will replace him. Taylor Swift fans are devastated after major glitches crashed the Ticketmaster sale for her upcoming tour. The company is now under intense scrutiny. Another famous U.S. Supreme Court ruling was leaked in 2014. It was written by Justice Samuel Alito. Disgraced FTX leader Sam Bankman-Fried is considered one of the founders of the effective altruism movement. Has it ever been successful? This Thanksgiving, hear again from chefs and cookbook authors who spoke with Press Play. Try their recipes for spicy and sour tomatoes; Calabasas squash, tomatoes, and queso fresco; chocolate gingerbread. And for the main dish: tacos!
52 minutes | Nov 17, 2022
Mayor-elect Karen Bass brings coalition-building track record to LA City Hall
As Congresswoman Karen Bass is officially announced as LA’s next mayor, the homelessness crisis here keeps growing, and Angelenos are losing trust in City Hall. Billions will watch the World Cup as kicks off on Sunday. But this year’s event is plagued with scandals and allegations of human rights abuses. Critics review the latest film releases: “The Menu,” “She Said,” “The Inspection,” “Bones and All.” William Kentridge is best known for his charcoal illustrations and unique animation style, where he draws a picture, films it, makes changes by erasing and redrawing. Thirty years of his work is now on view at the Broad Museum.
52 minutes | Nov 16, 2022
Can Trump win over GOP in 2024 presidential bid?
Donald Trump is running for president for the third time. His Tuesday announcement is widely seen as an attempt to shield himself from criminal and civil investigations. After the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan in 2021, the government fell to the Taliban. “Retrograde” documents Afghan forces’ last battles against the Taliban. Jennifer Siebel Newsom delivered graphic testimony this week in Harvey Weinstein’s trial. She detailed an alleged 2005 sexual assault. If you’re going to bake a pie this Thanksgiving, try making the dough with cookies, nuts, or coconut.
51 minutes | Nov 15, 2022
Penn Jillette on new novel ‘Random,’ religion, Trump
Magician Penn Jillette’s new novel “Random” is about a son who inherits his father’s crippling gambling debt and must repay it if he wants to live. The U.S. is seeing a wave of job cuts at some of the biggest tech companies, including Amazon, Meta, Twitter, Salesforce, Stripe, Redfin, and Lyft. The U.S. is shifting towards electric cars, and some gas stations are preparing now by building charging ports. But the transition is financially tough.
54 minutes | Nov 14, 2022
UC strike: Workers say their wages are at poverty level
Nearly 50,000 academic workers from the University of California are on strike. They want more than double their salaries, plus subsidies for housing, child care, and transportation. Which party will control the House? It could be affected by a Supreme Court decision to let stand legislative maps that were racially discriminatory. A new podcast explores the death of rising art star Ana Mendieta and sculptor Carl Andre, her then-husband who was accused and acquitted of her murder. Musician Allison Russell wants to heal the world — and herself — in her latest album “Outside Child,” which reflects on a decade of childhood abuse.
51 minutes | Nov 10, 2022
Weird Al and Daniel Radcliffe on new biopic: ‘2 huge nerds doing what we love’
Daniel Radcliffe plays Weird Al Yankovic in a new parody biopic. “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” is filled with events that did and did not happen. Ron DeSantis won reelection as Florida’s governor, but his supporters want him to pursue the Republican nomination for president in two years. One obstacle could be Donald Trump. Critics review the latest film releases: “The Fabelmans,” “Sam & Kate,” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” A turkey shortage is happening now because of the avian flu. That means you’ll pay more for the traditional Thanksgiving bird. So maybe you want to skip it?
52 minutes | Nov 9, 2022
Are midterm voters punishing GOP for their positions on abortion?
Voters in California, Vermont, and Michigan enshrined the right to an abortion in their state constitutions. Kentucky residents said no to amending their constitution to deny abortion protections. Many of LA’s midterm races are still too close to call. That includes the mayoral face-off between Rep. Karen Bass and Rick Caruso. Results won’t be known for days. Historically, most Latinos voted for Democrats, and they still do. But in recent years, Republicans started cutting into those margins. Which party are they more likely to support going forward? Thousands of people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated during World War II. A new exhibit in Little Tokyo lists each name in a 1000-page book. Some of LA’s famous recreation spots were used as detainment sites during World War II. That includes a now-shuttered golf course in Tujunga.
51 minutes | Nov 8, 2022
Inside the chaos at Twitter under Elon Musk’s new leadership
Under Elon Musk’s new leadership, Twitter has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and has introduced new changes. Some users are leaving the platform in response. Californians could decide which party controls the U.S. House, due to key races in Orange and LA Counties. That includes the fight between Jimmy Gomez and David Kim, plus Michelle Steel and Jay Chen. Many races in the 2022 midterm elections might not be called for days. It could lead to another replay of the 2020 election, where the Republican lead vanished in several states. CVS announced it will lower the price of its store-brand menstrual products and pay the sales tax on them in more than a dozen states. How do mental health diagnoses shape the identities of people experiencing them? Author Rachel Aviv explores this in “Strangers to Ourselves.”
51 minutes | Nov 7, 2022
Bob Hertzberg v. Lindsey Horvath: What separates each Democrat?
Ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections, Georgia and Pennsylvania have lawsuits over who is allowed to vote. The fight has gotten intense for Sheila Kuehl’s LA County supervisor seat. Democrats Bob Hertzberg and Lindsey Horvath have accused the other of being closet Republicans. The modern Republican Party was created in the image of Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, and Rush Limbaugh, says Vanderbilt University’s Nicole Hemmer, author of “Partisans.” The Sonoran Desert Toad’s glands secrete a potentially deadly hallucinogenic, but national park visitors have been seeking out these creatures to lick them.
51 minutes | Nov 3, 2022
How Tim Robbins brings theater to people who are incarcerated
Actor Tim Robbins has been a champion of people who are incarcerated for decades, by bringing theater to prisons and juvenile detention centers. Right-wing politicians are gaining power in countries such as Israel, Sweden, and Italy. Plane ticket prices are expected to reach an all-time high this holiday season. On average, domestic flights during Thanksgiving cost about $468. Critics review the latest film releases: “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths,” “Next Exit,” “Something in the Dirt”, “Causeway,” and “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.”
52 minutes | Nov 2, 2022
All friendships change us, says ‘Stay True’ author
Hua Hsu and his college friend Ken were both Asian American but opposites. A few years after they met, Ken died in a carjacking. Their bond is the focus of Hsu’s new memoir. Orange County health officials have declared a state of emergency over a serious rise in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which disproportionately affects kids. Prisons have long relied on inmate labor, usually paying them very little or not at all. Next week, voters in five states will decide whether to prohibit that practice. This fall, find satisfaction with the crunch of what is in season. Try a radish salad with a soft, flavorful cheese for balance. And add crisp, sweet apples to the original Waldorf salad.
52 minutes | Nov 1, 2022
Karen Bass on healing the rift caused by leaked council audio
Rep. Karen Bass is running against Rick Caruso in the race for LA mayor. She talks about how she’d alleviate crime and homelessness, and why Black and Brown relations are not broken. Many LA County residents could be inundated by at least a foot of flood water — should a once-in-a-100-year storm hit the area, according to UCI researchers. With shows like “East New York” and “The Rookie: Feds,” Hollywood is telling a new narrative about law enforcement following George Floyd’s murder. All 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 are claimed by songs from Taylor Swift’s new album “Midnights.” It’s the first time that no men are topping the charts.
51 minutes | Oct 31, 2022
Scott Wiener: Threatening elected officials degrades democracy
State Senator Scot Wiener has received thousands of death threats over the last few years. He says there’s little security for the majority of Congress members. The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in two big affirmative action cases, including one from the University of North Carolina, where plaintiffs allege the school discriminated against Asian and white applicants. The new opera “Omar” tells the real story of Omar ibn Said, a man who was taken in 1807 from what’s now Senegal, and was enslaved in North and South Carolina. Looking for a good scary movie to watch this Halloween? Check out “The Innocents,” “Hellbender,” “Sissy,” “Jennifer’s Body,” “The Stranger,” and “Tales From the Hood.”
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