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23 minutes | Oct 22, 2021
Issa Rae and the growing pains of being ‘Insecure’
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.”Read more: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.”
18 minutes | Oct 21, 2021
Vigilante violence on trial
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.Read more: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 The law was repealed in May 2021, but its legacy reverberates today.Margaret Coker, editor of nonprofit investigative outlet The Current, is reporting on the trial for The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.
13 minutes | Oct 20, 2021
Should the U.S. brace for a ‘twindemic’?
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.Read more: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.”
22 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
America’s broken supply chain
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. Read more: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.
18 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
Colin Powell’s complicated legacy
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.Read more: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.
20 minutes | Oct 15, 2021
The NBA’s Kyrie problem
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.Read more: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.
15 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
Should defending Taiwan be a red line for the U.S.?
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.Read more: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.
17 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
A new model for affordable housing
In a predominantly Black Chicago neighborhood, how one affordable housing program is addressing inequality by enabling homeownership. Read more: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.
23 minutes | Oct 12, 2021
The Black voters disappointed in Biden
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.Read more: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.
17 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
Why child-care workers are quitting
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.Read more: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.
20 minutes | Oct 8, 2021
What do we do about Facebook?
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?Read more: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.
19 minutes | Oct 7, 2021
Looted treasure and offshore accounts
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.Read more: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.”
19 minutes | Oct 6, 2021
Putin, a shop cleaner and a Monte Carlo mystery
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. Read more: 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.And the material in the Pandora Papers on Russian officials and oligarchs, Paul Sonne reports,reinforces the depiction of Russia as a country where elites close to government power make millions of dollars and safeguard that personal wealth using opaque financial structures overseas.
15 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
King Abdullah’s secret splurges
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.Read more: 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.
64 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
A tax haven in America’s heartland
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.
19 minutes | Oct 1, 2021
The anti-vax wellness influencers
How wellness influencers are fueling the anti-vaccine movement. Read more: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.
14 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
On the death of species
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.Read more: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.”
19 minutes | Sep 29, 2021
Can military leaders answer for Afghanistan?
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? Read more: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.
21 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
Sex-trafficked — and jailed
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.Read more: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.
20 minutes | Sep 27, 2021
What we know about Havana Syndrome
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. Read more:“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.
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