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Author: The Washington Post

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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.
727 Episodes
With his performance of “God Bless America” during Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, NYPD officer Daniel Rodriguez comforted a nation still grieving in the wake of 9/11. It felt like a timeless moment. Instead, it proved fleeting. Twenty years later, the reasons for that tell a story of the political divisions and embellished patriotism that now polarize American sports. The weight of it all can be felt through the struggles of Rodriguez, who’s still trying to bless people with his voice as America attempts to rediscover its own.Join Washington Post sports columnist Jerry Brewer, sports features writer Kent Babb and audio producer Bishop Sand as they explore how a man and a nation have attempted to heal and find meaning after trauma and tragedy.Read more and see photos of Daniel then and now here.In Part 2, Jerry, Kent and Bishop visit Daniel in L.A. to see what his life is like now, and look into the origins of the song that made him famous. Then they look at what else happened to him, the song and the country in the years after 9/11, as shifting political winds drove the Americans further apart. 
America’s Song, Part 1

America’s Song, Part 1


With his performance of “God Bless America” during Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, NYPD officer Daniel Rodriguez comforted a nation still grieving in the wake of 9/11. It felt like a timeless moment. Instead, it proved fleeting. Twenty years later, the reasons for that tell a story of the political divisions and embellished patriotism that now polarize American sports. The weight of it all can be felt through the struggles of Rodriguez, who’s still trying to bless people with his voice as America attempts to rediscover its own.Join Washington Post sports columnist Jerry Brewer, sports features writer Kent Babb and audio producer Bishop Sand as they explore how a man and a nation have attempted to heal and find meaning after trauma and tragedy.Read more and see photos of Daniel then and now here.
After a decade and a half in office, Germany’s Angela Merkel is stepping down. On today’s show, we take a closer look at the chancellor’s life and legacy, and what this shift in power will mean for Germany and the world.Read more:Angela Merkel grew up the daughter of a pastor in communist East Germany, and political possibilities opened up for her after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. As chancellor she carried Germany and by extension the European Union through crisis after crisis with a steady hand. But her legacy is somewhat more complicated at home than it is abroad, as Loveday Morris and Ishaan Tharoor report.“Some applaud her humble, consensus-driven political style,” Morris writes. “Others see a lack of bold leadership, particularly in the face of a more aggressive Russia and rising Chinese power.”As Merkel leaves office, we talk about the vacuum of power she leaves behind and what might happen next. 
When we talk about abortion access in the U.S., we talk a lot about Roe v. Wade, the actions of state lawmakers, the court system. But we don’t talk about doctors — and what they do or don’t say to patients behind closed doors. Read more:After Texas passed the country’s most restrictive abortion law, many abortion rights advocates feared that other states would follow suit — states like West Virginia that have already made moves in the past to restrict access to abortion. But reporter Caroline Kitchener has found that there are other barriers to abortion already in place, some of which are invisible to us: “I had never even thought about this other barrier that is doctors,” Caroline said. “Doctors who might not talk to women about the option of abortion.” Caroline has spent many, many months reporting on Byron Calhoun, the only high-risk pregnancy OB/GYN in central West Virginia. He also happens to be staunchly antiabortion. Today on “Post Reports,” we talk about what that means for his patients — and, more broadly, how doctors’ political beliefs can affect the kind of care they provide their patients.
The Biden administration has made in-person learning a priority for this school year. Now that most kids are back in school, the question on everyone’s mind is: Will it last? Read more:By now almost all students are back to learning in person. But what some school districts are calling vague guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has led to widely varying coronavirus protocols — only some districts are requiring masks, while others may not be properly notifying parents of positive cases at their kids' schools. With the delta variant surging, many parents, teachers and experts are frustrated with this patchwork response. Health and policy reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb shares how schools have fared in the first weeks of classes, and why the guidance from the White House isn’t more prescriptive.
A recall election in California ends Tuesday night. After pandemic-related shutdowns and mandates, can Gov. Gavin Newsom survive the challenge to his liberal policies? Read more:Forty-six candidates on the recall ballot. One governor with his first term on the line. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is fighting to hold on to his seat, with the recall election that could replace him set to end Tuesday night. Newsom needs more than 50 percent of the vote to maintain his governorship. Senior correspondent Scott Wilson says recall elections are baked into California life. Every governor for the past 60 years has been challenged with a recall, but only one attempt has been successful.This recall election could flip leadership of the country’s most populous state to a vastly different candidate — and have far-reaching implications for national politics and the makeup of the U.S. Senate. 
Watching the chaotic end of America’s longest war, we’ve been thinking a lot about the terrorist attack that set it in motion. We interviewed colleagues who covered 9/11 to try to make sense of how that day changed the country and the world.Read more:“Where were you on September 11th?” Most Americans over a certain age have a 9/11 story — of the moment they heard the news of the terrorist attacks, or of anxiously calling family members to make sure they were okay. In the 20 years since the attacks, that day for some may feel like a slowly fading memory. But the direct consequences of that Tuesday in 2001 are still playing out in the news in front of us every day.Today on Post Reports, we’re telling the story of 9/11 through the eyes of our newsroom. We spoke with Post colleagues who covered it — from senior editors, to reporters at the Pentagon, to an intern.“It changed everyone's lives,” says Post reporter Juliet Eilperin, who was covering Congress that day, “not only in terms of those who lost people that they cared about that day, but what it meant for the commitment of our military and what it meant for people living in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Middle East.”As the Afghanistan war comes to a harrowing close, we look at how the 9/11 terrorist attacks shaped our world and how the consequences of that day are still with us. This story was produced by Ariel Plotnick and Emma Talkoff. It was edited by Maggie Penman, Renita Jablonski and Martine Powers.It was scored and mixed by Ted Muldoon, who wrote original music for this show. Reena Flores and Rennie Svirnovskiy were also a huge help with this story.In this story, you’ll hear the voices of Leonard Downie, Arthur Santana, Juliet Eilperin, Valerie Strauss, Amy Goldstein, Amy Argetsinger, Marc Fisher, Katie Shaver, Karen DeYoung, Mike Allen, Rosalind S. Helderman, Chuck Lane, Debbi Wilgoren and Matt Vita. Thank you to WTOP News for sharing its 9/11 archive.We talked to so many people for this story who helped shape our understanding of that day, including Tracy Grant, Freddy Kunkle, Dana Milbank, Ellen Nakashima, Ann Gerhart and Dudley Brooks. And a big thank-you to Joe Heim, who pitched this idea to our show.The Post has many other stories reflecting on the anniversary of 9/11 and how our country has changed 20 years later.Listen to “America’s Song,” a special podcast series from The Post about how a singing police officer comforted a grieving nation after 9/11 — and why the moment couldn’t last.9/11 was a test. Carlos Lozada writes that the books of the past two decades show how America failed.
The YOLO economy paradox

The YOLO economy paradox


What the mismatch between the number of people employed and the number of jobs available tells us about America’s reassessment of work. Plus, how the pandemic has set women in the workforce back globally.  Read more:There is a mystery at the center of the economic recovery in the U.S. — 8 million people are unemployed, but there are 11 million jobs open. Senior economics correspondent Heather Long explains that this is all part of the overall rethinking of American life and labor.There has been a lot of reporting on the impact of the pandemic on women’s careers and livelihoods, especially here in the U.S. But Emily Rauhala and Anu Narayanswamy wanted to look at the problem globally — and what they found is that the pandemic has derailed a slow crawl toward equality for women in the workforce. 
For many Afghan evacuees arriving in the United States, escaping the Taliban was just the beginning. Now, they face the uncertainty of a tenuous legal status with little financial support unless Congress acts. Read more:The Biden administration is preparing to screen and resettle tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees in the United States over the coming months, but the majority will arrive without visas as “humanitarian parolees,” not refugees. Reporter Nick Miroff explains what this means. Volunteers are working to help the thousands of Afghan refugees who are starting new lives in the United States, but the transition is still a difficult one. Jorge Ribas has been interviewing Afghan evacuees who have recently arrived in the country. You can see more of his reporting here. 
Life in Texas under the nation’s most restrictive abortion law. Plus, the unusual legal strategy that allowed the law to go into effect and how it could be a blueprint for other states to circumvent Roe v. Wade. Read more:The nation’s most restrictive abortion law is now in effect in Texas after the Supreme Court refused to block it, banning abortions after six weeks. Hours before S.B. 8 went into effect, abortion clinics were packed — and now that abortion providers can be sued, they’re recommending people go across state lines to get the procedure if they’re more than six weeks pregnant. Caroline Kitchener traveled to Texas to report on what it's like for patients and clinics.This law is a huge win for antiabortion activists throughout the country, and it provides a blueprint for other states to use the same legal strategy. Ann E. Marimow reports on what this could mean for the future of Roe v. Wade.
What is ISIS-K?

What is ISIS-K?


What we know about the Thursday bombing near the Kabul airport. Plus, an Afghan journalist who left Kabul just before its collapse tells us why she fears for the family and friends she left behind. Read more:A bombing outside the Kabul airport Thursday left more than a hundred people dead, including civilians and U.S. service members. Military reporter Dan Lamothe says the attack was “a nightmare scenario” for the United States, making the mission to evacuate Afghans and U.S. personnel much more difficult. Journalist and Fulbright scholar Nasrin Nawa’s flight left Kabul right before the capital fell to the Taliban. In an op-ed she wrote for The Post, Nawa says her parents and sister tried to follow her but didn’t make it out.
The future of a federal ban on evictions is in the Supreme Court’s hands. But in many cases, whether a person gets evicted is up to a judge’s discretion, as our reporter found in Mississippi. Read more:A federal ban on evictions has been in place in one form or another since the beginning of the pandemic. But after spending a day in an eviction court in Mississippi, reporter Marissa Lang found it’s often left up to individual judges whether to enforce it. “So many of these cases are judge dependent, the outcome really varies, not just county by county, but judge by judge,” Lang said. She followed a woman facing eviction — and spoke to the judge who decided her fate. 
The Full Comirnaty

The Full Comirnaty


What the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine means. Plus, big business pledged nearly $50 billion for racial justice after George Floyd’s killing. Where did the money go?Read more:Goodbye, “emergency use authorization.” Hello, “full approval.” On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, commercially called Comirnaty. The four-month evaluation process was fast by the FDA’s usual standards, but regulators have emphasized that they did not sacrifice any kind of rigor in the process. Health and science writer Ben Guarino reports on the effect that full approval could have on vaccine mandates –– and whether it will change the hearts and minds of the vaccine-hesitant. After the murder of George Floyd ignited nationwide protests, corporate America promised to take an active role in confronting systemic racism. Now, more than a year after leading businesses pledged money toward racial-justice causes, reporter Tracy Jan analyzes where that money actually went. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court said the Biden administration must comply with a ruling from a lower court to restart President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers. This was the program that forced people seeking asylum in the United States to wait on the other side of the southern border, in Mexico. It’s unclear what this new mandate will mean for the controversial program, but last month our podcast aired a two-part story about what living under this program is actually like for an asylum seeker. To better understand what it means to “remain in Mexico,” you can find those episodes — “Marooned in Matamoros,” Parts 1 and 2 — at this link. 
What the return of the Taliban means for women in Kabul. And, the story behind a secret meeting between the CIA director and the leader of the Taliban.Read more:Mahbouba Seraj, activist and director of the Afghan Women Skills Development Center, weighs the dire stakes for the women in Afghanistan — and explains why she chooses to stay in the country as dangers mount. President Biden said Tuesday he will stick to the Aug. 31 deadline to fully withdraw from Afghanistan. The Taliban has said U.S. troops staying any longer would be crossing a “red line.”As pressure to safely evacuate people from Kabul mounts, national security reporter John Hudson reports that CIA Director William Burns held a secret meeting with the leader of the Taliban, Abdul Ghani Baradar. It is the highest-ranking official within the administration to meet with the Taliban since the takeover of the country.
Is this a new Taliban?

Is this a new Taliban?


The Taliban insists it has changed. Afghanistan’s future hinges on whether that’s true.Read more:Frenzied evacuations from Afghanistan continue as the U.S. scrambles to meet its Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw all troops. But it’s still unclear what the country will look like after that. Taliban leaders say they will refrain from retaliatory violence and respect women’s rights. Griff Witte, The Post’s former Kabul bureau chief, evaluates those promises.
This week, Americans watched in disbelief as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in a matter of days — and we wondered what Craig Whitlock was thinking. Two years ago he and a team at The Post published a prescient and ground-breaking project called “The Afghanistan Papers,” revealing hundreds of secret interviews with U.S. officials candidly discussing the failures of the war.The interviews with some 400 people were part of a project called “Lessons Learned,” undertaken by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, and The Post obtained them after a three-year legal battle. These Afghanistan papers are a secret history of the war, Whitlock tells Martine Powers, and “they contain these frank admissions of how the war was screwed up and that what the American people were being told about the war wasn’t true.” “They really do bring to mind the Pentagon Papers, which were the Defense Department’s top-secret history of the Vietnam War,” Whitlock says. These recordings have new resonance this week. Read excerpts from Craig Whitlock’s new book, ‟The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War”.Deceptions and lies: What really happened in AfghanistanThe grand illusion: Hiding the truth about the Afghanistan war’s ‘conclusion’
Haitians face devastation after two natural disasters hit the island. And what the tragedies have exposed about the country’s preparedness.Read more:Last weekend, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake caused widespread destruction and death in Haiti. Then, torrential rain from Tropical Storm Grace hit the island. Now, Haitians are recovering from two back-to-back natural disasters while reeling from political turmoil caused by the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last month. Caribbean bureau chief Anthony Faiola reports on how public officials and citizens living close to the epicenter of the earthquake are grappling with the compounded loss and tragedy.When an earthquake hits, it’s not the quake itself that kills people — it’s often the rattled buildings that collapse with people inside, or on top of them. And in Haiti, earthquakes are more dangerous than in other countries, because buildings there aren’t designed to withstand them. Reginald Desroches is a Haitian American engineer and provost of Rice University. After Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, he traveled there about a dozen times to investigate why the damage was so severe and to figure out how to reinforce the structures that remained standing. Listen to our episode on the assassination of Haiti’s president and how years of U.S. intervention in the Carribean country contributed to the chaos we’re seeing now.
Today, Post Reports answers your questions about kids, schools and covid-19 with physician and columnist Leana Wen and education reporter Hannah Natanson. Plus, the latest news on booster shots. Read more:Subscribe to The Checkup With Dr. Wen to get guidance in your inbox on how to navigate the pandemic and other public health challenges.
Almost as soon as Kabul fell, the political blame game began in Washington. But why weren’t we more prepared? Plus, an interview with Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the United States on her fears for women and girls in her country.Read more:As quickly as Kabul fell, the finger-pointing commenced. Reporter Shane Harris on the political fallout of a disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan — and how it could have gone better. Roya Rahmani was Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the United States, serving from 2018 until just a few weeks ago. She spoke with producer Arjun Singh of the podcast “Can He Do That?” about what it’s like to watch her country fall to the Taliban, and what her fears are for women and girls who are still there.
As the United States left Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of war, the Taliban seized control of the country in a matter of weeks. President Biden defended the withdrawal Monday afternoon while Americans and vulnerable allies remained in limbo in Kabul.Read more:The Taliban seized the Afghan capital Kabul Sunday morning, restoring the insurgent group’s grip over Afghanistan after they were removed from power by U.S.-led forces in 2001, and kept at bay for about two decades during America’s longest war. Kabul bureau chief Susannah George explains what it’s like to be in the city in such a dramatic  moment of transition. “Once the Taliban took over Kabul, the security forces in the entire city melted away overnight,” she says.Meanwhile in Washington, Pentagon reporter Dan Lamothe on the military calculus for withdrawing from Afghanistan, and the efforts to safely resume evacuations.  With the Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan, we want to hear from veterans or anyone who was involved in the war effort — whether you’re American, Afghan or served in the coalition. If you had friends or family members serve, we’d also like to hear your perspective on how the war affected you. Tell us your stories.
Comments (94)

Philly Burbs

Can someone please tell me why this man suddenly went under the microscope when he was the ONLY DEMOCRAT who showed he wasn't afraid of Trump, McConnell or the DNC? It's bullshit. biden cares more about global vacs than protecting our voters rights & boosters. dem leadership is too weak to even say positively they will supenea Republican legislators over 1/6 & the only leader with any balls gets kicked to the curb. they did the same thing to Al Franken It is rigged. on both sides. I have been harassed for years on the job. these complaints are bullshit. total & complete.

Aug 5th

Larry Koenigsberg

A sad story. The revolution eats its own, and then the uninvited United States crashes in and eats everyone who had been hungry.

Aug 4th


LOVED the Carolyn Hax episode. Could she be a regular? Like every other Friday? It was so helpful.

Jul 6th

Terri Hunt

Loved the explanation on what a producer does to make a podcast! Very informative peek "under the covers". Thank You!

May 29th

Elephant Wig

Obviously randy was a bad person but did she burn down his house?

May 28th

Philly Burbs

these people make very little money. I foress a lot quitting. it's just not worth it. u expect someone to stand alone at a drop box & be picked off one at a time? give me a break.

May 15th

Elephant Wig

happy birthday!

May 2nd

Wilfer Zuleta

I just listened to the George Floyd podcast. Thank you for the indephed commentary. The right wing media portray him as a thug and left makes no mention of how complex his life and struggles to keep it together really were. He really tried to change his life for the best but always seemed to hit a wall.

Apr 30th

Rachel He

What is it about WaPo that you make such an EXCELLENT podcast but can only get supervillains like Facebook, big pharma, etc. to sponsor the show?!? Do you have someone in sales who's just got that strategy, or can you not help it, that's who comes to you?

Apr 16th

Kathryn Ragsdale

this just reminds us how many Americans never matured past adolescents; most are white babyboomers.

Apr 5th

Rachel He

Lol this gross sponsor makes me hate them more every time I hear that guy's voice

Mar 22nd

Eli Eccles

sponsored by WHO!?

Mar 19th

Laurie Klemme

no new pronunciations?

Feb 17th

Zach Tabor

seriously? Hauwei?! how desperate are you?

Jan 16th


The accent of the second interviewee was very unpleasant to listen to. American or British? She needs to pick an accent because her current one is very difficult to listen to.

Jan 12th
Reply (1)

N Me

DC Cops arrested some guys, I believe on a police stop which produced a warrant...when police searched their hotel rooms, caches of weapons & ammunition were found...before 1/6..they, law enforcement knew shit was going to pop off, they didn't fact they were among the insurrection- ists..

Jan 11th

Elephant Wig

Not saying it is okay for Jewish people to be persecuted, but xenophobia refers to "dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries." Religion is a choice, but where you are from is not. Once again, not saying it's acceptable, but not the same as xenophobia.

Nov 20th

AB Bonnett

Does the reaction to the relative success of African countries reflect a general bias against Africa by euro pean countries and America? Contrast this reaction to the relative success of Asian countries and the lack of a similar reaction. Is the difference solely based on GDP?

Nov 18th

ML Walton

She hit the nail on the head for me when talking about trust in each other. For those of us who do believe in the science and facts and are trying diligently to stay home as much as we can, etc., it's frustrating feeling like we're the only one not doing things. 💔 It does feel a bit like 'what's like point?' in our efforts, too. It's an isolating feeling declining invites by people who aren't of that same mindset, but my husband told me there are lots of people doing what we're doing, you just don't realize it because they're not the ones inviting you do to stuff!

Nov 14th


It's striking that we must always talk about Trump as we'd talk about an especially petulant toddler.

Nov 8th
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