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Post Reports

Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you?ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post. For your ears. Martine Powers is your host, asking the questions you didn?t know you wanted answered. Published weekdays by 5 p.m. Eastern time.


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The origin story of the lunar landing

Lillian Cunningham on the United States? path to being the first to have astronauts walk on the moon. Plus, Sebastian Smee on an iconic photo of Mother Earth.
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Trump?s racist tweets, and the politics of white identity

Michael Scherer explains the president?s identity politics. Plus, Eugene Scott on the history underpinning the ?go back? refrain. And readers tell us how it feels to be told you don?t belong.
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Seven years, 76 billion pain pills - tracking the opioid epidemic in the U.S.

Scott Higham and Steven Rich unpack the DEA?s pain pill database. Sean Sullivan explains what?s missing in presidential candidates? appeals to Hispanic voters. And Justin Moyer on an alternative currency.
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What happened to Beto O?Rourke?

Damian Paletta explains how the U.S. government got behind on its bills. Plus, Jenna Johnson unpacks Beto O?Rourke?s lackluster fundraising numbers. And Sarah Kaplan on NASA?s upcoming experiments on old moon rocks.
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The immigration policies causing further uncertainty for asylum seekers

Nick Miroff and Kevin Sieff on the policies causing further uncertainty for asylum seekers. Plus, Amy Goldstein explains another threat to the ACA. And Rick Maese on the 10-year-old hoping to skateboard into the Olympics.
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?You do know the banjo is an African instrument, right?!?: The black roots of country music

Emily Yahr, Valerie June and Dina Bennett talk about how black people have been largely excluded from country music -- an art form rooted in black history. And Danielle Paquette on how controversy over a black Ariel gets mermaid lore wrong.
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?A constant state of drowning?: 40% of Americans say they struggle to pay bills

Heather Long on the not-so-booming economy. Mike DeBonis explains the Democratic rifts in the House. And as far as Europe?s ?flight shame? movement goes, Hannah Sampson says it has no chance in the United States.
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The FBI and ICE are scanning millions of Americans? faces ? without their knowledge or consent

Drew Harwell on how the FBI and ICE are using local DMV photos for facial-recognition searches. Dave Weigel talks about how Bernie Sanders has evolved on the campaign trail. And Anna Fifield on the bare bellies creating controversy in Beijing.
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Trump digs in on 2020 Census question over citizenship

Aaron Blake on how the citizenship question might make its way onto the census. Beth Reinhard on how the Newtown massacre created a rift within the National Rifle Association. Plus, Peter Whoriskey on the price of cocoa.
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New sex trafficking charges against Jeffrey Epstein ? and the story behind a decade-old plea deal

Matt Zapotosky reports on the new abuse charges against well-connected multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein. Michael Kranish talks about how Donald Trump got into Wharton. Plus, Chico Harlan on Italy?s cheese-authentication wars.
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Keeping the music on: How go-go became the center of D.C.?s gentrification battle

Marissa Lang on how a D.C. store?s booming go-go beats became a focus of Washington?s gentrification dilemma. And Sally Jenkins explains what she believes is the first truly woman-powered franchise in sports history.
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How a trade war could blow up the U.S. fireworks supply

Taylor Telford explains how the United States became reliant on China for fireworks ? and what the ongoing trade war might mean for future Fourth of July celebrations. And science reporter Lena Sun explains her obsession with sour cherries.
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Will President Trump's Fourth of July be a rally or a celebration?

Juliet Eilperin details President Trump’s plans for a grandiose Independence Day event. Greg Miller and Souad Mekhennet explain how ISIS-inspired killings helped radicalize Europe’s far right. And, Roxanne Roberts finds the White House’s oldest volunteer.

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As the tear gas clears, a turning point in Hong Kong?s protests

Shibani Mahtani explains how Hong Kong?s demonstrations are at a crossroads. Plus, Luisa Beck on how people?s tours of concentration camps are colored by present-day anxieties. And Hannah Sampson on why you?re not alone in the ?Mile Cry Club.?
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Trump?s meeting with Kim was great for ratings, but was it good for denuclearization?

Seung Min Kim and Anna Fifield on President Trump?s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Plus, Geoff Fowler on how airport facial recognition is a scam. And Caitlin Gibson on the rise of the only child.
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Bringing agency to the black man at the heart of ?To Kill a Mockingbird?

Amber Phillips dissects the first Democratic primary debates. Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe on the toll of playing Tom Robinson in Broadway?s ?To Kill a Mockingbird.? And Joy Harjo on her role as the first Native American poet laureate of the U.S.
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Why the Supreme Court is blocking a citizenship question in the 2020 Census ? for now

Robert Barnes explains the Supreme Court rulings in two closely watched cases. Michelle Lee analyzes the ways 2020 candidates use Facebook. And Gillian Brockell on how New York CIty is remembering two women at the center of the Stonewall riots.
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Behind the story Kirsten Gillibrand tells about her change of heart on guns

Nick Miroff on the growing crisis at the border. Robert Samuels examines how Kirsten Gillibrand?s past informs her present on guns. And Abha Bhattarai reports on yet another item on millennials? kill list: traditional wedding registries.
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From women?s advocate to favored Trump defender: Judge Jeanine Pirro?s evolution

Sarah Ellison untangles Judge Jeanine Pirro?s Trump-like political evolution. Rhonda Colvin delves into three lawmakers? personal encounters with gun violence. And Jacob Bogage explains how Michigan?s baseball team recruited racial diversity ? and won.
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Joe Biden vs. the rest of the Democratic field

Matt Viser on why Joe Biden is campaigning with an air of inevitability. Karla Adam on who could become Britain’s next prime minister. Plus, Gillian Brockell on a gay first lady’s love letters.

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?I had a teardrop that floated in front of me.? Astronauts on what it?s like to be in space.

Chris Davenport on The Washington Post’s project for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing: 50 astronauts on what it’s like to be in space. And art critic Sebastian Smee on Frida Kahlo, after the release of a recording thought to be her voice.

Get unlimited access to The Washington Post’s website and apps for less than $1 a week. Go to to access a special offer for podcast listeners.

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Political donors are mostly white men. These women of color are trying to change that.

Josh Dawsey explains how the White House is handling escalating tension with Iran. Michelle Ye Hee Lee finds the women of color working to change the political donor class. Plus, Daron Taylor on why it?s probably fine to eat expired food.
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Meet the New York couple donating millions to the anti-vax movement

Carol Morello talks about the U.N. investigator’s report about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Lena Sun on the Manhattan couple donating millions to anti-vax groups. And Rachel Siegel on new ad standards in Britain.

Get unlimited access to The Washington Post’s website and apps for less than $1 a week. Go to to access a special offer for podcast listeners.

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Former defense pick tells The Post, ?Bad things can happen to good families?

Aaron Davis on conversations with Trump’s former acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan about domestic violence incidents in his family. Maria Sacchetti on planned mass deportations of migrant families. And Ashley Parker on Trump’s reelection bid.

Get unlimited access to The Washington Post’s website and apps for less than $1 a week. Go to to access a special offer for podcast listeners.

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A once-in-a-generation expedition to the Arctic

Rick Noack explains why tensions between the U.S. and Iran have reached new heights. Science reporter Sarah Kaplan on an expedition to the Arctic. And Kareem Fahim on the death of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president.

Get unlimited access to The Washington Post’s website and apps for less than $1 a week. Go to to access a special offer for podcast listeners.

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Why ?Queer Eye?s? Tan France is an expert at hard conversations

?Queer Eye? star Tan France on his new book ?Naturally Tan.? Plus, Travis Andrews on how to hack the Billboard charts.
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For Bernie Sanders, the path to power began Halloween night in a public-housing laundry room

Marc Fisher talks about the only executive office Bernie Sanders has held: mayor of Burlington, Vt. Anna Fifield on her new book, ?The Great Successor,? examining North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. And Shibani Mahtani explains the protests in Hong Kong.
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?I can?t breathe:? Five years later, Eric Garner?s family is still seeking justice

Wesley Lowery on the disciplinary hearing for the officer involved in Eric Garner?s death. Ashley Parker about what President Trump calls ?the I-word.? And Steven Goff unpacks criticism of the U.S. women?s domination in their first World Cup game.
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?I hate elephants?: How Botswana?s giants became the center of a political clash

Max Bearak on the political background of the lifting of Botswana?s elephant hunting ban. Peter Jamison on a public housing complex at the heart of a D.C. housing debate. Plus, Luisa Beck on the Bauhaus movement 100 years later.
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How the NRA directed money to the people who oversee its finances

Mary Beth Sheridan explains the Trump-Mexico tariff deal. Beth Reinhard on growing allegations of exorbitant spending by the National Rifle Association?s top executives. And Steven Zeitchik on whether Broadway has a place on streaming platforms.
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A T. rex exhibit 66 million years in the making

Steve Hendrix and Peggy McGlone track the journey of a T. rex fossil to the newly reopened fossil hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Peter Holley shares how content about prison is making a space for former inmates on YouTube.
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Allegations of harassment, cash gifts: A West Virginia bishop?s fall from grace

Michelle Boorstein on new details about a Catholic bishop suspended from ministry in March. Theater critic Peter Marks with actress Laurie Metcalf on playing Hillary Clinton. And Barry Svrluga on his grandfather?s World War II journal.
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President Trump is bullish on foreign policy. In a secret recording, Mike Pompeo has doubts.

John Hudson talks about the secret recording of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Peter Whoriskey on the child labor problem in chocolate production. Plus, Sarah Kaplan looks at the unexpected consequences of gender discrimination against lab rats.
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Dick?s Sporting Goods lost money when it changed its gun policies. CEO Ed Stack is fine with that.

Rachel Siegel talks to the CEO putting gun policies over profits. Anne Gearan on President Trump?s London visit. Plus, Emily Yahr details the end of a ?Jeopardy!? era.
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Trump is using tariffs as a bargaining chip for a border crackdown. Will it work?

Mary Beth Sheridan on U.S.-Mexico trade negotiations and how migrants? lives are in the mix. Todd Frankel on the Fisher-Price Rock ?n Play recall. Plus, Simon Denyer on why Japan is defending a small object in the ivory trade fight.
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The Great Forgetting: How China erased the Tiananmen Square massacre

Abby Hauslohner reports that Border Patrol often holds unaccompanied minors for far longer than is legal. How the government erased the Tiananmen Square massacre from memory in China. And book critic Ron Charles on breaking the rules of summer reading.
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Why Nancy Pelosi is reluctant to impeach the president

Rachael Bade on the impeachment divide among Democrats. Loveday Morris reports on why Israel will hold a second parliamentary election. Plus, Brady Dennis explains why dead puffins in Alaska may be a harbinger for climate change.
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Mueller closes up shop: ?The work speaks for itself?

Rosalind S. Helderman on Robert S. Mueller III?s first public comments on the Russia investigation. Reis Thebault on the latest state to take up a ?heartbeat bill? -- and the Democratic governor who has said he?ll sign it. And the existence of UFOs.
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Health officials are targeting communities battling measles. Anti-vaxxers are, too.

Lena Sun explores the rise of the modern anti-vaccine movement. Michael Kranish analyzes President Trump?s changing rhetoric on Iran. Plus, Michael Birnbaum explains the Green parties? surge in the European Parliament election.
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When ?school choice? tests parents? personal values

Education reporter Perry Stein discusses a family weighing a decision of where to send their eighth-grader for high school ? and how that decision has tested their political and social values.
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Pitchers are throwing faster than ever ? and it?s ruining baseball

William Booth breaks down Theresa May?s resignation and what it means for Brexit. Dave Sheinin fields questions on the velocity of baseball pitches. And Andrea Sachs raises the alarm on travel scams.
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A Georgia clinic braces for the state?s new abortion law

Caroline Kitchener visits a Georgia abortion clinic. Damian Paletta explains the next front in the U.S.-China trade war. And DeNeen Brown discusses why Harriet Tubman won?t be on the $20 bill anytime soon.
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President Trump vowed to fight opioids. But the fentanyl crisis keeps getting worse.

Jeff Stein on what an IRS draft memo means for the fight over President Trump?s taxes. Sari Horwitz and Scott Higham on the Trump administration?s response to the fentanyl crisis. And Carol Leonnig on the meticulous lawyer subpoenaed by Congress.
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One conservative's quest to reshape U.S. courts

Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg discuss the man reshaping the federal judiciary. Laura Meckler examines the power of a high school?s controversial mock funeral. And Jennifer Hassan dissects a new form of British protest.
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Private companies are reviving the Space Coast. Can it last?

Joanna Slater on India?s election, the largest exercise of democracy ever. Christian Davenport on the business resurgence along Florida?s Space Coast. And a gift for Morehouse College 2019 graduates.
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The new Howard Stern on the old one: ?I don?t know who that guy is?

The bold new strategy in the fight against abortion rights

For years, antiabortion advocates have tried to chip away at Roe v. Wade incrementally. They pushed legislatures to impose waiting periods and mandate hallway widths in clinics and generally make it more onerous for abortion clinics to operate and for women to access the procedure.

Now, the pretense is being thrown out as states such as Georgia and Missouri impose much more restrictive bans. In Alabama, a law passed that outlawed the procedure almost entirely, without exceptions for rape or incest.

Aaron Blake is a senior political reporter for The Fix. He explains the thinking behind their strategy — and how it could backfire.

More on this topic:

In Alabama, the GOP goes big on overturning Roe v. Wade. It could regret it.States racing to overturn Roe v. Wade look to a Supreme Court that prefers gradual changeGovernor signs Alabama abortion ban that has galvanized support on both sides, setting up a lengthy fight

The new Howard Stern says the old Howard Stern makes him ‘cringe’

Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed “King of All Media,” was mostly known for mocking everyone and objectifying women on his TV and radio shows. But, he told The Post’s Geoff Edgers, that’s all behind him now.

“I tried to watch some of my old Letterman [appearances],” Stern said during an interview at his SiriusXM radio studio. “I couldn’t get through two minutes of it. It’s just not me. I don’t know who that guy is.”

In a new book, “Howard Stern Comes Again,” Stern hopes marks his evolution from an impatient and often nasty blabbermouth to a master conversationalist.

More on this topic:

Meet the new Howard Stern. He’d like to make amends for the old Howard Stern.

The art world is out of touch

A rabbit sculpture by Jeff Koons just sold for $91.1 million — a record breaking figure. When an artwork fetches that kind of price at auction, the first question everyone silently asks is: “Could it really be worth that?”

“The first and best answer, obviously, is no,” says Post art critic Sebastian Smee. He sees the sale as evidence that the art world is increasingly untethered from reality.

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A bunny sculpture by Jeff Koons just sold for $91.1 million — another sign that the art world is untethered from reality
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A medical mystery on a college campus

Is having so many candidates bad for Democrats?

So many Democrats are running for president that some will not qualify for the first debate — even though it allows for 20 candidates.

Michael Scherer covers campaigns for The Post. He says some Democratic leaders are worried the party will struggle to coalesce around one candidate in time to mount the strongest possible campaign against a president they urgently want to defeat.

More on this topic:

As presidential field swells to unheard-of size, Democrats may struggle to choose a nominee and message

How university officials left their students in the dark about a viral outbreak

In late 2018, University of Maryland student Olivia Paregol was stricken with a mysterious illness. For more than two weeks, university officials remained silent about the reason — a viral outbreak.

Amy Brittain and Jenn Abelson are investigative reporters for The Post. They explored the consequences of the university’s decision through the story of this 18-year-old student.

More on this topic:

Adenovirus at the University of Maryland: Officials waited 18 days to inform students of the threat

Trash at the bottom of the ocean

Trash is everywhere — even in places where no human has set foot before.

More on this topic:

He went where no human had gone before. Our trash had already beaten him there.
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?He?s entwined his business with his presidency . . . and it?s not going well.?

How Trump’s presidency is hurting the Trump brand

Trump’s prized Doral golf resort in Miami is crucial to his overall finances, says David Fahrenthold, who covers the Trump Organization for The Post.

But, according to company documents and exclusive video obtained by The Post, the Doral resort is in steep decline.

“They are severely underperforming,” tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak told a Miami-Dade County official in a bid to lower the property’s tax bill. The reason, she said: “There is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand.”

“He’s entwined his business more than any modern president with his presidency,” Fahrenthold says. “And it’s not going well.”

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Trump’s prized Doral resort is in steep decline, according to company documents, showing his business problems are mounting

Tensions mounting with Iran

Tension between the United States and Iran has been rising steadily. Tehran has indicated it may curtail its full cooperation with the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement, and the Trump administration spoke of “planned or contemplated attacks” by Iran against U.S. forces and friends in the Middle East.

“Things have escalated very quickly in terms of our mind-set, our posture about Iran,” says national security reporter John Hudson, “but there’s a lot of confusion about exactly what the U.S. is responding to.

Hudson explains the responses the White House is considering — including deploying troops — even as lawmakers from both parties complained that the White House has not fully briefed them on the escalating tensions.

More on this topic:

Trump administration considers responses to potential Iranian attacks, including troop increaseIranian threats led to White House’s deployment announcement, U.S. officials sayPompeo crashes Brussels meeting of E.U. diplomats but changes few minds on Iran

Politicians who run for office and run marathons

All successful politicians are competitive — that’s how they got elected, right? But some find that relentless drive not just on the campaign trail but also in the weight room, in a road race or on the basketball court.

Graphics reporter Bonnie Berkowitz lists the most impressive athletic feats by lawmakers.

More on this topic:

They never stop running: For some lawmakers, over-the-top competition isn’t limited to elections. Our panel rated the athletic feats of 20 politicians.

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Bible study before recess: ?It?s more important than any other book?

Nick Miroff on what was happening behind the scenes before the purge at DHS. Julie Zauzmer on the conservative effort to get Bible classes in public schools. Plus, Ellen McCarthy on the could-be first gentleman.
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The state legislatures trying to overturn Roe v. Wade

Deanna Paul explains the state laws aimed at getting the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe. Political reporter Holly Bailey on the millionaire running on a universal basic income platform. And, the impact of climate change on surfing, with Rick Maese.
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