Episodes
This episode contains strong language.  In June, weeks after George Floyd was killed by the police, a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council expressed support for dismantling the city’s police department. The councilors’ pledges to “abolish,” “dismantle” and “end policing as we know it” changed the local and national conversation about the police. President Trump has wielded this decision and law-and-order arguments in his campaigning — Midwestern states like Wisconsin,...
Published 09/25/20
This episode contains strong language. Breonna Taylor’s mother and her supporters had made their feelings clear: Nothing short of murder charges for all three officers involved in Ms. Taylor’s death would amount to justice. On Wednesday, one of the officers was indicted on a charge of “wanton endangerment.” No charges were brought against the two officers whose bullets actually struck Ms. Taylor. In response, protesters have again taken to the streets to demand justice for the 26-year-old...
Published 09/24/20
President Trump appears to be on course to give conservatives a sixth vote on the Supreme Court, after several Republican senators who were previously on the fence said they would support quickly installing a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In our interview today with Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, she says she senses a turning point. “No matter who you are, you feel the ground shaking underneath,” she said. “I’m feeling very...
Published 09/23/20
The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the ensuing battle to fill her seat is set to dominate American politics in the lead up to the election. A poll conducted for The New York Times before Justice Ginsburg’s death found voters in the battleground states of Arizona, Maine and North Carolina placed greater trust in Joseph R. Biden Jr. than in President Trump to fill the next Supreme Court vacancy. Now that it’s longer a hypothetical scenario, what impact will the vacant seat have on...
Published 09/22/20
When Ruth Bader Ginsburg graduated from law school, she received no job offers from New York law firms, despite being an outstanding student. She spent two years clerking for a federal district judge, who agreed to hire her only after persuasion, and was rejected for a role working with Justice Felix Frankfurter because she was a woman. With her career apparently stuttering in the male-dominated legal world, she returned to Columbia University to work on a law project that required her to...
Published 09/21/20
In the second episode of a two-part special, we consider the ramifications of Justice Ginsburg’s death and the struggle over how, and when, to replace her on the bench. The stakes are high: If President Trump is able to name another member of the Supreme Court, he would be the first president since Ronald Reagan to appoint three justices, tipping the institution in a much more conservative direction. Guest: Julie Hirschfeld Davis, a congressional editor for The New York Times.  For more...
Published 09/21/20
According to Ludmila Savchuk, a former employee, every day at the Internet Research Agency was essentially the same. From an office complex in the Primorsky District of St. Petersburg, employees logged on to the internet via a proxy service and set about flooding Russia’s popular social networking sites with opinions handed to them by their bosses. The shadowy organization, which according to one employee filled 40 rooms, industrialized the art of “trolling.” On this week’s Sunday Read,...
Published 09/20/20
“Nothing comes easily out here,” Terry Tempest Williams, a Utah-based writer, said of the American West. Her family was once almost taken by fire, and as a child of the West, she grew up with it. Our producer Bianca Giaever, who was working out of the West Coast when the wildfires started, woke up one day amid the smoke with the phrase “an obituary to the land” in her head. She called on Ms. Williams, a friend, to write one. “I will never write your obituary,” her poem reads. “Because even...
Published 09/18/20
Iolani teaches dual-language kindergarten in Washington Heights in New York City, where she has worked for the last 15 years. She, like many colleagues, is leery about a return to in-person instruction amid reports of positive coronavirus cases in other schools. “I go through waves of anxiety and to being hopeful that it works out to just being worried,” she told our producer Lisa Chow. On top of mixed messaging from the city about the form teaching could take, her anxiety is compounded by...
Published 09/18/20
Among the olive groves of Moria, on the Greek island of Lesbos, a makeshift city of tents and containers housed thousands of asylum seekers who had fled conflict and hardship in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. Already frustrated at the deplorable conditions, inhabitants’ anger was compounded by coronavirus lockdown restrictions. The situation reached a breaking point this month when fires were set, probably by a small group of irate asylum seekers, according to the authorities. The...
Published 09/17/20
This episode contains strong language. Infected with the coronavirus and separated from their peers in special dorms, some college students have taken to sharing their quarantine experiences on TikTok. In some videos posted to the social media app, food is a source of discontent; one student filmed a disappointing breakfast — warm grape juice, an unripe orange, a “mystery” vegan muffin and an oat bar. Others broach more profound issues like missed deliveries of food and supplie. It was...
Published 09/16/20
“The entire state is burning.” That was the refrain Jack Healy, our national correspondent, kept hearing when he arrived in the fire zone in Oregon. The scale of the wildfires is dizzying — millions of acres have burned, 30 different blazes are raging and thousands of people have been displaced. Dry conditions, exacerbated by climate change and combined with a windstorm, created the deadly tinderbox. The disaster has proved a fertile ground for misinformation: Widely discredited rumors...
Published 09/15/20
This episode contains strong language. After Donald Trump was elected president, two filmmakers were granted rare access to the operations of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Since Mr. Trump had campaigned on a hard-line immigration agenda, the leaders of the usually secretive agency jumped at a chance to have their story told from the inside. Today, we speak to the filmmakers about what they saw during nearly three years at ICE and how the Trump administration reacted to a cut of the...
Published 09/14/20
Prince is 9 years old, ebullient and bright; he has spent much of the pandemic navigating the Google Classroom app from his mother’s phone. The uncertainty and isolation of the coronavirus lockdown is not new to him — he is one of New York City’s more than 100,000 homeless schoolchildren, the largest demographic within the homeless population. Families like Prince’s are largely invisible. Samantha M. Shapiro, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, has spent the last two...
Published 09/13/20
When many in California talk about this year’s wildfires, they describe the color — the apocalyptic, ominous, red-orange glow in the sky. The state’s current wildfires have seen two and a half million acres already burned. Climate change has made conditions ripe for fires: Temperatures are higher and the landscape drier. But the destruction has also become more acute because of the number of homes that are built on the wildland-urban interface — where development meets wild vegetation. The...
Published 09/11/20
This episode contains strong language.  “So there’s just shooting, like we’re both on the ground,” Kenneth Walker, Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, said of the raid on her home. “I don’t know where these shots are coming from, and I’m scared.” Much of what happened on the night the police killed Ms. Taylor is unclear. As part of an investigation for The New York Times, our correspondent Rukmini Callimachi and the filmmaker Yoruba Richen spoke to neighbors and trawled through legal documents,...
Published 09/10/20
At the beginning of 2020, Breonna Taylor posted on social media that it was going to be her year. She was planning a family with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker; she had a new job and a new car. She had also blocked Jamarcus Glover, a convicted drug dealer with whom she had been romantically involved on and off since 2016, from her phone. But forces were already in motion. The Louisville Police Department was preparing raids on locations it had linked to Mr. Glover — and Ms. Taylor’s address...
Published 09/09/20
This episode contains strong language. In March, Daniel Prude was exhibiting signs of a mental health crisis. His brother called an ambulance in the hopes that Mr. Prude would be hospitalized, but he was sent back home after three hours without a diagnosis. Later, when Mr. Prude ran out of the house barely clothed into the Rochester night, his brother, Joe Prude, again called on the authorities for help, but this time it was to the police. After a struggle with officers, Daniel Prude...
Published 09/08/20
Three months into Broadway’s shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, Michael Paulson, a theater reporter for The New York Times, got a call from a theater in western Massachusetts — they planned to put on “Godspell,” a well-loved and much-performed musical from 1971, in the summer. Today, we explore how, in the face of huge complications and potentially crushing risks, a regional production attempted to bring theater back to life. Guest: Michael Paulson, a theater reporter for The...
Published 09/04/20
This episode contains strong language. Jimmy Lai was born in mainland China but made his fortune in Hong Kong, starting as a sweatshop worker and becoming a clothing tycoon. After the Tiananmen massacre in 1989, he turned his attention to the media, launching publications critical of China’s Communist Party. “I believe in the media,” he told Austin Ramzy, a Hong Kong reporter for The New York Times. “By delivering information, you’re actually delivering freedom.” In August, he was arrested...
Published 09/03/20
Aleksandr Lukashenko came to office in Belarus in the 1990s on a nostalgic message, promising to undo moves toward a market economy and end the hardship the country had endured after gaining independence from the Soviet Union. As president, he acquired dictatorial powers, removing term limits, cracking down on opposition and stifling the press. In recent years, however, economic stagnation has bred growing discontent. And when Mr. Lukashenko claimed an implausible landslide victory in a...
Published 09/02/20
Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s plan for winning the presidential election relies on putting together African-American voters of all ages, including younger Black people who are less enthusiastic about him, and white moderates who find President Trump unacceptable. At last week’s Republican National Convention, the Trump campaign appeared to be sowing discord within that coalition. By framing the response to unrest in cities as binary — you are either for violence or for the police — Republicans...
Published 09/01/20
This episode contains strong language. As a police officer in his hometown of Flint, Mich., Scott Watson has worked to become a pillar of the community, believing his identity has placed him in a unique position to do his job. He has given out his cellphone number, driven students to prom and provided food and money to those who were hungry. After watching the video of the killing of George Floyd, his identity as a Black police officer became a source of self-consciousness instead of...
Published 08/31/20
Many American states use the labor of inmates to help fight its fires, but none so more than California. Using incarcerated firefighters saves the state’s taxpayers an estimated $100 million a year. The women that choose to enter the firefighting camps are afforded better pay, by prison standards, and an improved quality of time served. However, the money they earn from putting their lives on the line is dwarfed by the salaries of the civilian firefighters they work alongside — one woman...
Published 08/30/20
For much of his life, Donald Trump Jr. has been disregarded by his father. He played only a bit part in the 2016 campaign and when the team departed for Washington, he was left to oversee a largely unimportant part of the Trump Organization. But after The New York Times revealed that he had played an integral role in organizing the Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and Russians promising information on Hillary Clinton, the younger Mr. Trump struck back hard at his father’s...
Published 08/28/20