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The Daily

The Daily

This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.

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Episodes

The Sunday Read: ?The Ghost Writer?

The author Philip Roth, who died in 2018, was not sure whether he wanted to be the subject of a biography. In the end, he decided that he wanted to be known and understood.

His search for a biographer was long and fraught ? Mr. Roth parted ways with two, courted one and sued another ? before he settled on Blake Bailey, one of the great chroniclers of America?s literary lives.

Today on The Sunday Read, the journey of rendering a writer whose life was equal parts discipline and exuberance.

This story was written by Mark Oppenheimer and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

2021-04-11
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Odessa, Part 3: The Band Bus Quarantine

Last fall, as Odessa High School brought some students back to campus with hybrid instruction, school officials insisted mask wearing, social distancing and campus contact tracing would keep students and faculty safe. And at the beginning of the semester, things seemed to be going OK. But then a spike in coronavirus cases hit town, putting the school?s safety plan to the test. 

In part three of our four-part series, we follow what happened when a student quarantine stretched the school?s nurses to capacity, fractured friendships and forced some marching band members to miss a critical rite of passage: the last football game of their high school career.

2021-04-09
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The Case Against Derek Chauvin

In Minneapolis, the tension is palpable as the city awaits the outcome of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer accused of murdering George Floyd last summer.

The court proceedings have been both emotional ? the video of Mr. Floyd?s death has been played over and over ? and technical.

At the heart of the case: How did Mr. Floyd die?

Today, we look at the case that has been brought against Mr. Chauvin so far. 

Guest: John Eligon, a national correspondent covering race for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

Bystanders? pain had been mostly hidden for the last 10 months. But over the first week of Derek Chauvin?s murder trial, it spilled tearfully into the open as witnesses testified to their shared trauma.Follow along live here for the latest updates on the trial of Mr. Chauvin.What to know about the death of George Floyd.

For more information on today?s episode, visit 

nytimes.com/thedaily

. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-04-08
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Targeting Overseas Tax Shelters

The I.R.S. says that Bristol Myers Squibb, America?s second-largest drug company, has engaged a tax-shelter setup that has deprived the United States of $1.4 billion in tax revenue.

The Biden administration is looking to put an end to such practices to pay for its policy ambitions, including infrastructure like improving roads and bridges and revitalizing cities.

We look at the structure of these tax arrangements and explore how, and whether, it?s possible to clamp down on them. 

Guest: Jesse Drucker, an investigative reporter on the Business desk for The New York Times.

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Background reading: 

The I.R.S. says that Bristol Myers Squibb used an ?abusive? offshore setup to avoid $1.4 billion in federal taxes.In a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made the case for a global minimum corporate tax rate, kicking off the Biden administration?s effort to help raise revenue in the United States. 

For more information on today?s episode, visit 

nytimes.com/thedaily

. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-04-07
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A Vast Web of Vengeance

How one woman with a grudge was able to slander an entire family online, while the sites she used avoided blame.

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For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-04-06
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A Military That Murders Its Own People

Two months ago, Myanmar?s military carried out a coup, deposing the country?s elected civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and closing the curtains on a five-year experiment with democracy. 

Since then, the Burmese people have expressed their discontent through protest and mass civil disobedience. The military has responded with brutal violence. 

We look at the crackdown and how Myanmar?s unique military culture encourages officers to see civilians as the enemy. 

Guest: Hannah Beech, the Southeast Asia bureau chief for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

Four officers speak about life in the Tatmadaw, Myanmar?s feared army, which has turned its guns on civilians again. ?The Tatmadaw is the only world? for most soldiers, one said.Myanmar?s security forces have killed more than 40 children since February. Here is the story of one, Aye Myat Thu. She was 10.As the nation?s military kills, assaults and terrorizes unarmed civilians each day, some protesters say there is no choice but to fight the army on its own terms.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-04-05
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The Sunday Read: ?The Beauty of 78.5 Million Followers?

During the pandemic, cheerleader-ish girls performing slithery hip-hop dances to rap music on TikTok has been the height of entertainment ? enjoyed both genuinely and for laughs.

Addison Rae, one such TikToker, is the second-most-popular human being on the platform, having amassed a following larger than the population of the United Kingdom.

In seeking to monetize this popularity, she has followed a path forged by many social media stars and A-list celebrities like Rihanna and Kylie Jenner: She has started her own beauty brand.

On today?s Sunday Read, a look at how beauty has entered a phase of total pop-culture domination and how influencers are changing the way the sell works by mining the intimate relationships they have with their fans.

This story was written by Vanessa Grigoriadis and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

2021-04-04
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Inside the Biden Infrastructure Plan

President Biden is pushing the boundaries of how most Americans think of infrastructure.

In a speech on Wednesday, he laid out his vision for revitalizing the nation?s infrastructure in broad, sweeping terms: evoking racial equality, climate change and support for the middle class.

His multitrillion-dollar plan aims not only to repair roads and bridges, but also to bolster the nation?s competitiveness in things like 5G, semiconductors and human infrastructure.

Today, we take a detailed look at what his plans entail and the congressional path he will have to navigate to get it passed.

Guest: Jim Tankersley, a White House correspondent for The New York Times.

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Background reading: 

President Biden began selling his infrastructure proposal on Wednesday, saying that it will fix 20,000 miles of roads and 10,000 bridges while also addressing climate change and racial inequities and raising corporate taxes.Here is how his $2 trillion in proposed spending on infrastructure breaks down.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-04-02
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A Union Drive at Amazon

Since its earliest days, Amazon has been anti-union, successfully quashing any attempt by workers to organize.

A group of workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., just might change that ? depending on the outcome of a vote this week.

We look at how their effort came together and what it means for the nature of work in savvy, growing companies like Amazon.

Guest: Michael Corkery, a business reporter for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

The outcome of a vote at a warehouse in Alabama could have far-ranging implications for both Amazon and the labor movement.Here?s what will happen after this week?s union vote. 

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-04-01
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A Conversation With Senator Raphael Warnock

Republican-led legislatures are racing to restrict voting rights, in a broad political effort that first began in the state of Georgia. To many Democrats, it?s no coincidence that Georgia ? once a Republican stronghold ? has just elected its first Black senator: Raphael Warnock. Today, we speak to the senator about his path from pastorship to politics, the fight over voting rights and his faith that the old political order is fading away.

Guest: Astead W. Herndon, a national political reporter for The New York Times.

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Background reading: 

Georgia Republicans passed a sweeping law to restrict voting access in the state, making it the first major battleground to overhaul its election system since the turmoil of the 2020 presidential contest.Last year, Mr. Warnock ran for office in a state where people in predominantly Black neighborhoods waited in disproportionately long lines. Several Black leaders have said Georgia?s new law clearly puts a target on Black and brown voters.

For more information on today?s episode, visit 

nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-31
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A National Campaign to Restrict Voting

Georgia, a once reliably red state, has been turning more and more purple in recent years. In response, the Republican state legislature has passed a package of laws aimed at restricting voting.

Today, we look at those measures and how Democrats are bracing for similar laws to be passed elsewhere in the country. 

Guest: Nick Corasaniti, a domestic correspondent covering national politics for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

Georgia Republicans have moved early in a campaign to rewrite voting rules. Republicans in other states are determined to follow them.The country?s most hotly contested state has calmed down after months of drama, court fights and national attention. But new storms are on the horizon.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-03-30
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The Trial of Derek Chauvin

On the docket on Monday at a Minneapolis courthouse is the biggest police brutality case in the United States in three decades: the trial of Derek Chauvin, a white former police officer accused of killing George Floyd, a Black man, last year.

The case centers on a 10-minute video, shot by a bystander, showing Mr. Chauvin kneeling on Mr. Floyd?s neck. That video reverberated around the world.

We look at the contours of the trial and what we know about it so far.

Guest: Shaila Dewan, a national reporter covering criminal justice for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

Read an exploration of the life and death of George Perry Floyd Jr., from ?I want to touch the world? to ?I can?t breathe.?Mr. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, faces charges of manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder in the death of George Floyd. Here?s what you need to know about the trial.In more than 19 years on the Minneapolis police force, Mr. Chauvin had a reputation as a rigid workaholic with few friends. He sometimes made other officers uncomfortable.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-03-29
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The Sunday Read: 'Rembrandt in the Blood'

It was in the winter of 2016 that Jan Six, a Dutch art dealer based in Amsterdam, made a discovery that would upend his life. He was leafing through a Christie?s catalog when he spotted a painting featuring a young man wearing a dazed look, a lace collar and a proto-Led Zeppelin coif. Christie?s had labeled it a painting by one of Rembrandt?s followers, but Mr. Six knew it was by the Dutch master himself.

Today on The Sunday Read, a look at Mr. Six?s discovery of the first new Rembrandt painting in over four decades, and the fallout from finding it.

This story was written by Russell Shorto and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

2021-03-28
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A Nursing Home?s First Day Out of Lockdown

The Good Shepherd Nursing Home in West Virginia lifted its coronavirus lockdown in February.

For months, residents had been confined to their rooms, unable to mix. But with everybody now vaccinated, it was finally time to see one another again.

We share some of the relief and joy about the tip-toe back to normalcy for staff members and residents.

Guest: Sarah Mervosh, a national reporter for The New York Times.

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Background reading: 

The Good Shepherd Nursing Home, where vaccinations have finished, offers a glimpse at what the other side of the pandemic might look like.Nursing homes, once hot spots of the coronavirus, are far outpacing the rest of the United States in Covid declines.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-26
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The State of Vaccinations

The United States has never undertaken a vaccination campaign of the scale and speed of the Covid-19 program. Despite a few glitches, the country appears to be on track to offer shots to all adults who want one by May 1.

We look at the ups and downs in the American vaccination campaign and describe what life after inoculation might look like.

Guest: Apoorva Mandavilli, a science and global health reporter for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

It?s not clear how easily vaccinated people may spread the virus, but the answer to that question is coming soon. Until then, scientists urge caution.Many scientists are expecting another rise in infections. But this time, vaccinations should help to counter the surge. By summer, Americans may be looking at a return to normal life.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-25
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Joe Biden?s 30-Year Quest for Gun Control

In less than a week, the United States has seen two deadly mass shootings: one in Boulder, Colo., and another in the Atlanta area.

These events prompted President Biden to address the nation on Tuesday. In his speech, he said it was time to ban assault weapons.

Mr. Biden has been here before. He has tried several times in his political career to bring in gun-control legislation, all to little avail.

How likely is this latest attempt to succeed, and what lessons can Mr. Biden take from his decades-long effort?

Guest: Sheryl Gay Stolberg, a Washington correspondent for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

A deadly shooting at a Boulder supermarket left 10 people dead and a state full of grief and anger.After the second mass shooting in a week, President Biden has said tighter gun laws should not be a partisan issue, but Republicans in Congress have shown little interest in Democratic proposals.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-24
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A Food Critic Loses Her Sense of Smell

For Tejal Rao, a restaurant critic for The Times, a sense of smell is crucial to what she does. After she contracted the coronavirus, it disappeared. It felt almost instant.

?If you?re not used to it, you don?t know what?s going on,? she said. ?It?s almost like wearing a blindfold.?

We follow Tejal on her journey with home remedies and therapies to reclaim her sense. 

Guest: Tejal Rao, a California restaurant critic and columnist for The New York Times.

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Background reading: 

Regaining a sense of smell is tedious and slow, but Tejal is using the only therapy proven to work.Listen to our Sunday Read about how the coronavirus could precipitate a global understanding of the sense of smell, which has long been disregarded as the least important sense.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-23
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The Cruel Reality of Long Covid-19

This episode contains strong language.

Ivan Agerton of Bainbridge Island, Wash., was usually unflappable. A 50-year-old adventure photographer and former marine, he has always been known to be calm in a crisis.

Soon after testing positive for the coronavirus this fall, he began experiencing psychosis. He spent Christmas in a psychiatric ward.

Today, we hear from Ivan and look at the potential long-term neurological effects of the Covid-19

Guest: Pam Belluck, a health and science reporter for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

A small number of coronavirus patients have reported severe psychotic symptoms. Most had no history of mental illness.Some people experiencing long-term Covid-19 symptoms are feeling better after getting the vaccine, but it is too soon to tell whether the shots have a broad beneficial effect on patients with continuing issues.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-22
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The Sunday Read: 'Beauty of the Beasts'

The bright elastic throats of anole lizards, the Fabergé abdomens of peacock spiders and the curling, iridescent and ludicrously long feathers of birds-of-paradise. A number of animal species possess beautifully conspicuous and physically burdensome features.

Many biologists have long fit these tasking aesthetic displays into a more utilitarian view of evolution. However, a new generation of biologists have revived a long-ignored theory ? that aesthetics and survival do not necessarily need to be linked and that animals can appreciate beauty for its own sake.

Today on The Sunday Read, a look at how these biologists are rewriting the standard explanation of how beauty evolves and the way we think about evolution itself. 

This story was written by Ferris Jabr and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

2021-03-21
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Bonus: The N-Word is Both Unspeakable and Ubiquitous. 'Still Processing' is Back, and They're Confronting it.

Introducing the new season of ?Still Processing.? The first episode is the one that the co-hosts Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris have been wanting to make for years. They?re talking about the N-word. It?s both unspeakable and ubiquitous. A weapon of hate and a badge of belonging. After centuries of evolution, it?s everywhere ? art, politics, everyday banter ? and it can?t be ignored. So they?re grappling with their complicated feelings about this word. Find more episodes of ?Still Processing? here: nytimes.com/stillprocessing

2021-03-20
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The Ruthless Rise and Lonely Decline of Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York is known as a hard-charging, ruthless political operator.

But his power has always come from two sources: legislators? fear of crossing him and his popularity among the electorate.

After recent scandals over bullying allegations, his administration?s handling of nursing home deaths and accusations of sexual harassment, the fear is gone.

But does he still have the support of voters?

Guest: Shane Goldmacher, a national political reporter for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

As he tries to plot a political survival strategy, Andrew Cuomo is an object lesson on the dangers of kicking people on the way up.Nearly all of the Democrats in New York?s congressional delegation, including Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have said that Mr. Cuomo has lost the ability to govern. But the governor has said that he will not bow to ?cancel culture.?

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-19
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A Murderous Rampage in Georgia

The pandemic has precipitated a rise in anti-Asian violence in the U.S. However, the full extent of this violence may be obscured by the difficulty in classifying attacks against Asian-Americans as hate crimes. 

A recent shooting at three spas in the Atlanta area, in which the eight victims included six women of Asian descent, has heightened anxiety in the Asian-American community. Many see this as a further burst of racist violence, even as the shooter has offered a more complicated motive. 

Today, a look at why it?s proving so difficult to reckon with growing violence against Asian-Americans and whether the U.S. legal system has caught up to the reality of this moment. 

Guest: Nicole Hong, a reporter covering New York law enforcement, courts and criminal justice for The New York Times. 

 

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Background reading: 

The suspect in the Atlanta spa attacks has been charged with eight counts of murder. Six of the people killed were women of Asian descent, setting off a new wave of outrage and fear.The killing of eight people in Atlanta and suburban Cherokee County has come amid a rising tide of anti-Asian incidents nationwide.Hate crimes involving Asian-American victims soared in New York City last year.

For more information on today?s episode, visit 

nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-18
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The Fight for (and Against) a $15 Minimum Wage

The passage of the stimulus package last week ushered in an expansion of the social safety net that Democrats have celebrated. But one key policy was not included: a doubling of the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.  

Today, we look at the history of that demand, and the shifting political and economic arguments for and against it. 

Guest: Ben Casselman, an economics and business reporter for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

Earlier this month, a group of senators from both sides of the aisle declined to advance a federal minimum wage increase to $15 an hour.The politics of a higher minimum wage are increasingly muddled, but some Republicans are gravitating toward the idea, citing the economic needs of working-class Americans.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-17
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A Wind Farm in Coal Country

Wyoming has powered the nation with coal for generations. Many in the state consider the industry part of their identity.

It is in this state, and against this cultural backdrop, that one of America?s largest wind farms will be built.

Today, we look at how and why one local politician in Carbon County, Wyo. ? a conservative who says he?s ?not a true believer? in climate change ? brought wind power to his community.

Guest: Dionne Searcey, a domestic correspondent for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

The tiny town of Rawlins, Wyo., will soon be home to one of the nation?s largest wind farms. But pride in the fossil fuel past remains a powerful force

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-03-16
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Life After the Vaccine in Israel

Just a few months ago, Israel was in dire shape when it came to the coronavirus. It had among the highest daily infection and death rates in the world. 

Now, Israel has outpaced much of the world in vaccinating its population and hospitalizations have fallen dramatically. 

Today, how it is managing the return to normality and the moral and ethical questions that its decisions have raised. 

Guest: Isabel Kershner, a correspondent in Jerusalem for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

Israel?s ?Green Pass? creates a two-tier system for the vaccinated and unvaccinated, raising legal, moral and ethical questions.The pandemic lockdowns brought tensions between Israel?s secular and ultra-Orthodox communities to the boiling point. The political consequences could be felt for years.

For more information on today?s episode, visit 

nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-15
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The Sunday Read: 'The Case for the Subway'

Long before it became an archaic and filthy symbol of everything wrong with America?s broken cities, the New York subway was a marvel.

In recent years, it has been falling apart.

Today on The Sunday Read, a look at why failing to fix it would be a collective and historic act of self-destruction. 

This story was written by Jonathan Mahler and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

 

2021-03-14
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Odessa, Part 2: Friday Night Lights

In 1988, a high school football team in Odessa, Texas, was so good that it became the inspiration for a book, movie and, eventually, the television series ?Friday Night Lights.? And in the decades since, as West Texas has weathered the unsettling undulations of the oil industry, football has remained steady. 

So after the pandemic hit, the town did what it could to make sure the season wasn?t disrupted. And at Odessa High School, where the football team struggles to compete against local rivals, the members of their award winning marching band were relieved they could keep playing. In Part 2 of Odessa, we follow what happened when the season opened ? and how the school weighed the decision to start against the possible risks to students? physical and mental health.

New episodes of Odessa will be released as they become available in this feed. For more information visit nytimes.com/odessa.

2021-03-12
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Diana and Meghan

This episode contains references to suicide, self-harm and eating disorders.

In 1995, Diana, Princess of Wales, made a decision that was unprecedented for a member of the British royal family: She sat down with the BBC to speak openly about the details of her life.

On Sunday, her younger son, Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan, told Oprah Winfrey of their own travails within the family.

Today, we look at the similarities between these two interviews.

Guest: Sarah Lyall, a writer at large for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

A quarter-century after Diana broke her silence about life among the British royals, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, did the same. Their stories were remarkably similar.The Sussexes have accused the royal family of failing to protect them, both emotionally and financially. Here?s what we learned from Meghan and Harry?s interview with Oprah Winfrey. 

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-03-11
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?I Thought I Was Going to Die?: A Capitol Police Officer Recounts Jan. 6

When Officer Harry Dunn reporter for work at the Capitol on the morning of Jan. 6, he expected a day of relatively normal protests. But the situation soon turned dangerous.

Today, we talk with Officer Dunn about his experience fending off rioters during the storming of the Capitol.

Guest: Officer Harry Dunn, a Capitol Police officer who was on duty during the storming of the Capitol. 

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Background reading: 

?Black officers fought a different battle? on Jan. 6, Officer Harry Dunn said. Here is what he saw and heard when rioters, including white supremacists, stormed the Capitol.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-03-10
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A Safety Net for American Children

Even as recently as a year ago, even the most cleareyed analysts thought it was a long shot. But this week, a child tax credit is expected to be passed into law, as part of the economic stimulus bill.

The child tax credit is an income guarantee for American families with children. It will provide a monthly check of up to $300 per child ? no matter how many children.

We look at why this provision is so revolutionary and what has changed in the policy landscape to allow its passage.  

Guest: Jason DeParle, a senior writer for The New York Times and frequent contributor to The Times Magazine. 

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Background reading: 

The $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package moving through Congress advances an idea that Democrats have been nurturing for decades: establishing a guaranteed income for families with children.What?s in the stimulus bill? Here is a guide to where the money will be going

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-03-09
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Biden's Dilemmas, Part 2: Children at the Border

The number of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border is growing ? and, with it, anxiety in the Biden administration.

Newer concerns have mixed with longstanding ones to create a situation at the border that could become untenable.

Today, in the second part of our series on what we?re learning about the Biden administration, we look at the president?s response to the growing number of minors at the border.

Guest: Zolan Kanno-Youngs, a homeland security correspondent based in Washington for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

In recent months, hundreds of migrant families have been released into the United States by Border Patrol agents. Thousands more are hoping for a chance to enter under looser policies.President Biden is trying to untangle an interlocking web of Trump-era border restrictions, leading for now to disparate treatment of migrants and rampant confusion.The Biden administration has said it will shorten the detention of migrant families. Researchers say children can show symptoms of trauma after spending long periods in custody.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-03-08
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The Sunday Read: 'The Lonely Death of George Bell'

Thousands die in New York every year. Some of them alone. The city might weep when the celebrated die, or the innocent are slain, but for those who pass in an unwatched struggle, there is no one to mourn for them and their names, simply added to a death table.

In 2014, George Bell, 72, was among those names. He died alone in his apartment in north central Queens.

On today?s Sunday Read, what happens when someone dies, and no one is there to arrange their funeral? And who exactly was George Bell?

This story was written by N.R. Kleinfield and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

2021-03-07
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Biden?s Dilemmas, Part 1: Punishing Saudi Arabia

Joe Biden has had harsh words for the Saudis and the kingdom?s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

It appeared that the period of appeasement toward the Saudis in the Trump administration was over. But the Biden administration?s inaction over a report that implicated the crown prince in the 2018 killing of the dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi has disappointed many of his allies.

Today, the first of a two-part look at what we?re learning about the Biden administration. First, a look at its approach to Saudi Arabia. 

Guest: David E. Sanger, a White House and national security correspondent for The Times. 

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Background reading: 

For President Biden, deliberation and caution has thus far been his approach on the world stage.The president has decided not to penalize the Saudi crown prince over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, fearing a breach in relations. This decision will disappoint many in the human rights community and in his own party. 

For more information on today?s episode, visit 

nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-05
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How Close Is the Pandemic?s End?

It?s been almost a year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

And the virus is persisting: A downward trend in the U.S. caseload has stalled, and concern about the impact of variants is growing. Yet inoculations are on the rise, and the F.D.A. has approved Johnson & Johnson?s single-dose vaccine, the third to be approved in the U.S.

Today, we check in on the latest about the coronavirus.

 

Guest: Carl Zimmer, a science writer and author of the ?Matter? column for The New York Times. 

   

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Background reading: 

After the Johnson & Johnson vaccine approval, President Biden vowed that there would be enough vaccine doses for ?every adult in America? by the end of May.For more information about the emerging mutations, check out The Times?s variant tracker. 

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-04
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Can Bill Gates Vaccinate the World?

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Microsoft founder Bill Gates was the most powerful and provocative private individual operating within global public health.

Today, we look at the role he has played in public health and his latest mission: procuring Covid-19 vaccines for countries in the developing world.

Guest: Megan Twohey, an investigative reporter for The New York Times; and Nicholas Kulish, an enterprise correspondent covering philanthropy, wealth and nonprofits for The Times.

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Background reading: 

Bill Gates is working with the World Health Organization, drugmakers and nonprofits to tackle the coronavirus, including in the world?s poorest nations. Can they do it?An operation to supply billions of vaccine doses to poorer countries got underway last week. But as rich countries buy most of the available supply, stark inequalities remain.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-03
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The $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Plan

The Senate is preparing to vote on another stimulus bill ? the third of the pandemic.

The bill has the hallmarks of a classic stimulus package: money to help individual Americans, and aid to local and state governments. It also contains provisions that would usher in long-term structural changes that have been pushed for many years by Democrats.

Today, we explore the contours of the Biden administration?s stimulus bill and look at the competing arguments. 

Guest: Jim Tankersley, a White House correspondent for The New York Times.  

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Background reading: 

The stimulus bill is polling strongly across the country, including with many Republican voters, despite a scattershot series of attacks from congressional Republicans.Before the vote on President Biden?s stimulus package, here?s a fact check on some of the common talking points. 

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-03-02
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Texas After the Storm

Even as the cold has lifted and the ice has melted in Texas, the true depth of the devastation left by the state?s winter storm can be difficult to see.

Today, we look at the aftermath through the eyes of Iris Cantu, Suzanne Mitchell and Tumaini Criss ? three women who, after the destruction of their homes, are reckoning with how they are going to move forward with their lives.

Guest: Jack Healy, a Colorado-based national correspondent for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

Even with power back on across most of the state and warmer weather forecast, millions of Texans whose health and finances were already battered by a year of Covid-19 now face a grinding recovery from the storm.Here?s an analysis of how Texas?s drive for energy independence set it up for disaster.As the freak winter storm raged, historically marginalized communities were among the first to face power outages.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-03-01
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The Sunday Read: ?Sigrid Johnson Was Black. A DNA Test Said She Wasn?t?

It all started when Sigrid E. Johnson was 62. She got a call from an old friend, asking her to participate in a study about DNA ancestry tests and ethnic identity. She agreed.

Ms. Johnson thought she knew what the outcome would be. When she was 16, her mother told her that she had been adopted as an infant. Her biological mother was an Italian woman from South Philadelphia, and her father was a Black man.

The results, however, told a different story.

Today on The Sunday Read, what the growth in DNA testing, with its surprises and imperfections, means for people?s sense of identity.

This story was written by Ruth Padawer and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

2021-02-28
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Odessa, Part 1: The School Year Begins

Odessa is a four-part audio documentary series about one West Texas high school reopening during the pandemic ? and the teachers, students and nurses affected in the process.

For the past six months, The New York Times has documented students? return to class at Odessa High School from afar through Google hangouts, audio diaries, phone calls and FaceTime tours. And as the country continues to debate how best to reopen schools, Odessa is the story of what happened in a school district that was among those that went first.

2021-02-26
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Fate, Domestic Terrorism and the Nomination of Merrick Garland

Five years ago, Judge Merrick B. Garland became a high-profile casualty of Washington?s political dysfunction. President Barack Obama selected him to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but Senate Republicans blocked his nomination. In the process, Mr. Garland became known for the job he didn?t get.

Now, after being nominated by the Biden administration to become the next attorney general, Mr. Garland is finding professional qualifications under scrutiny once again. In light of the attack on the Capitol, we explore how his career leading investigations into domestic terrorism prepared him for his Senate confirmation hearing.

Guest: Mark Leibovich, the chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, who spoke with Judge Merrick B. Garland.

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Background reading: 

In his confirmation hearing this week, Mr. Garland said the United States now faced ?a more dangerous period? from domestic extremists than at the time of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.Here?s why Mr. Garland described his experience leading the Justice Department?s investigation into the 1995 bombing as ?the most important thing I have ever done in my life.?

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-02-25
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When Covid Hit Nursing Homes, Part 2: ?They?re Not Giving Us an Ending?

When the pandemic was bearing down on New York last March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo?s administration issued a directive that allowed Covid-19 patients to be discharged into nursing homes in a bid to free up hospital beds for the sickest patients. It was a decision that had the potential to cost thousands of lives.

Today, in the second part of our look at New York nursing homes, we explore the effects of the decisions made by the Cuomo administration and the crisis now facing his leadership. 

Guest: Amy Julia Harris, an investigative reporter on The New York Times?s Metro desk. 

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Background reading: 

Trying to quell a growing outcry over the state?s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched into a 90-minute defense of his actions while hitting back at critics.The scrutiny of Covid-19 deaths in New York nursing homes has also put Mr. Cuomo?s aggressive behavior in the spotlight.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-02-24
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When Covid Hit Nursing Homes, Part 1: ?My Mother Died Alone?

When New York was the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, Gov. Andrew Cuomo emerged as a singular, strong leader. Now his leadership is embattled, particularly over the extent of deaths in nursing homes during the peak.

Today, in the first of two parts on what went wrong in New York's nursing homes, we look at the crisis through the eyes of a woman, Lorry Sullivan, who lost her mother in a New York nursing home.

Guest: Amy Julia Harris, an investigative reporter on The New York Times?s Metro desk. 

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Background reading: 

Trying to quell a growing outcry over the state?s handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched into a 90-minute defense of his actions while lashing out at critics.The scrutiny of Covid-19 deaths in New York nursing homes has also put Governor Cuomo?s aggressive behavior in the spotlight.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-02-23
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The Legacy of Rush Limbaugh

The conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh died last week. He was 70.

For decades, he broadcast mistrust and grievance into the homes of millions. Mr. Limbaugh helped create an entire ecosystem of right-wing media and changed the course of American conservatism.

Today, we look back on Rush Limbaugh?s career and how he came to have an outsize influence on Republican politics.

Guest: Jim Rutenberg, a writer at large for The New York Times and The Times Magazine. 

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Background reading: 

With a following of many millions and a a divisive, derisive style of mockery and grievance, Rush Limbaugh was a force in reshaping American conservatism. Read his obituary here.Weaponizing conspiracy theories and bigotry long before Donald Trump?s ascent, the radio giant helped usher in the political style that came to dominate the Republican Party.  

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-02-22
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The Sunday Read: ?The Man Who Turned Credit Card Points Into an Empire?

In recent years, travel ? cheap travel, specifically ? has boomed. Like all booms it has its winners (including influencers and home-sharing platforms like Airbnb) and its losers (namely locals and the environment). Somewhere in that mix is The Points Guy, Brian Kelly, who runs a blog that helps visitors navigate the sprawling, knotty and complex world of travel and credit card rewards.

Today on The Sunday Read, a look at the life and business of Mr. Kelly, a man who goes on vacation for a living.

This story was written by Jamie Lauren Keiles and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

2021-02-21
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Kids and Covid

The end of summer 2021 has been earmarked as the time by which most American adults will be vaccinated. But still remaining is the often-overlooked question of vaccinations for children, who make up around a quarter of the U.S. population.

Without the immunization of children, herd immunity cannot be reached.

Today, we ask when America?s children will be vaccinated.

Guest: Apoorva Mandavilli, a science and global health reporter for The New York Times. 

For an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. You can read the latest edition here.

Background reading: 

Pfizer and Moderna have begun testing their vaccines on children 12 and older. The vaccine for kids is coming, but not for many months.New research has cast doubt on the idea that prior infections with garden-variety coronaviruses might shield some people, particularly children, from the pandemic.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-02-19
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A Battle for the Soul of Rwanda

The story of how Paul Rusesabagina saved the lives of his hotel guests during the Rwandan genocide was immortalized in the 2004 film ?Hotel Rwanda.? Leveraging his celebrity, Mr. Rusesabagina openly criticized the Rwandan government, and is now imprisoned on terrorism charges.

Today, we look at what Mr. Rusesabagina?s story tells us about the past, present and future of Rwanda.

Guest: Declan Walsh, chief Africa correspondent for The New York Times; and Abdi Latif Dahir, East Africa correspondent for The Times.

For an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. You can read the latest edition here.

Background reading: 

Paul Rusesabagina was mysteriously taken back to Rwanda late last year and arrested. His supporters say he has no chance of getting a fair hearing.In a jailhouse interview with Abdi Latif Dahir, Mr. Rusesabagina said he was duped into an arrest. He believed he was being flown to Burundi to talk to church groups.
2021-02-18
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The Blackout in Texas

An intense winter storm has plunged Texas into darkness. The state?s electricity grid has failed in the face of the worst cold weather there in decades.

The Texas blackouts could be a glimpse into America?s future as a result of climate change. Today, we explore the reasons behind the power failures.

Guest: Clifford Krauss, a national energy business correspondent based in Houston for The New York Times; and Brad Plumer, a climate reporter for The Times. 

For an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. You can read the latest edition here.

Background reading: 

Systems are designed to handle spikes in demand, but the wild and unpredictable weather linked to global warming will very likely push grids beyond their limits.As a winter storm forced the Texas power grid to the brink of collapse, millions of people were submerged into darkness, bitter cold and a sense of indignation over being stuck in uncomfortable and even dangerous conditions.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

2021-02-17
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An Impeachment Manager on Trump?s Acquittal

There was a sense of fatalism going into former President Donald Trump?s second impeachment trial. Many felt that it would almost certainly end in acquittal.

Not the Democratic impeachment managers. ?You cannot go into a battle thinking you?re going to lose,? said Stacey Plaskett, the congressional representative from the U.S. Virgin Islands who was one of the managers.

Today, we sit down with Ms. Plaskett for a conversation with Ms. Plaskett about the impeachment and acquittal and what happens next.

Guest: Delegate Stacey Plaskett of the U.S. Virgin Islands, an impeachment manager in the second trial.

For an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. You can read the latest edition here.

Background reading: 

Who is Stacey Plaskett? She could not vote to impeach President Donald Trump, but she made a case against him in his Senate trial.As one of the few Black lawmakers to play a role in the impeachment proceedings, Ms. Plaskett plans to turn her newfound prominence into gains for her constituents.

For more information on today?s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-02-16
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The Sunday Read: 'Who's Making All Those Scam Calls?'

The app Truecaller estimates that as many as 56 million Americans have fallen foul to scam calls, losing nearly $20 billion.

Enter L., an anonymous vigilante, referred to here by his middle initial, who seeks to expose and disrupt these scams, posting his work to a YouTube channel under the name ?Jim Browning.?

On today?s Sunday Read, Yudhijit Bhattacharjee follows L.?s work and travels to India to understand the people and the forces behind these scams.

This story was written by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

 

2021-02-14
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France, Islam and ?Laïcité?

?Laïcité,? or secularism, the principle that separates religion from the state in France, has long provoked heated dispute in the country. It has intensified recently, when a teacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded after showing his class caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

We look at the roots of secularism and ask whether it works in modern, multicultural France.

Guest: Constant Méheut, a reporter for The New York Times in France.

For an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. You can read the latest edition here.

Background reading: 

For generations, public schools assimilated immigrant children into French society by instilling the nation?s ideals. The beheading of a teacher raised doubts about whether that model still worked.

For more information on today?s episode, visit 

nytimes.com/thedaily.

 Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

2021-02-12
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