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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.

A Vaccine Breakthrough

The Daily

  • 150 views
  • 10 months ago
  • 26:14

It’s a dark time in the struggle with the coronavirus, particularly in the United States, where infections and hospitalizations have surged.But amid the gloom comes some light: A trial by the drug maker Pfizer has returned preliminary results suggesting that its vaccine is 90 percent effective in preventing Covid-19.With the virus raging, how strong is this new ray of hope?Guest: Carl Zimmer, a science writer and author of the “Matter” column for The New York Times.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Pfizer has announced positive early results from its coronavirus vaccine trial, cementing the lead in a frenzied global race that has unfolded at record-breaking speed.Meet the couple behind the German company, BioNTech, that partnered with Pfizer to develop the vaccine.

The Sunday Read: ‘Kamala Harris, Mass Incarceration and Me’

The Daily

  • 210 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 37:14

At 16, Reginald Dwayne Betts was sent to prison for nine years after pleading guilty to a carjacking and attempted robbery.“Because Senator Kamala Harris is a prosecutor and I am a felon, I have been following her political rise, with the same focus that my younger son tracks Steph Curry threes,” Mr. Betts said in an essay he wrote for The New York Times Magazine.On today’s “Sunday Read,” Mr. Betts’s exploration of his own experiences with the criminal justice system, Kamala Harris and the conversations that America needs to have about mass incarceration.This story was written and introduced by Reginald Dwayne Betts and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

The Field: The Specter of Political Violence

The Daily

  • 140 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 50:41

This episode contains strong language.With an election in which uncertainty may abound, concerns are swirling around the possibility of political violence. Experts and officials — including those charged with the security of polling stations and ballot counting facilities — have been taking extra precautions.Americans across the political spectrum appear to be preparing themselves for this possibility, too: Eight of the 10 biggest weeks for gun sales since the late 1990s took place since March this year. Many of those sales were to people buying guns for the first time.Today’s episode examines these anxieties from two perspectives.Andy Mills, a senior audio producer for The New York Times, speaks to patrons of gun stores in Washington State about their motivations and sits down with a first-time gun owner who relays his anxiety, ignited by the unrest and protests in Seattle over the summer.And Alix Spiegel, a senior audio editor for The Times, visits three women of color in North Carolina, one of whom says the scenes in Charlottesville, the killing of Black people at the hands of the police and the threat of white militias have encouraged her to shift her anti-gun stance. Guests:  Andy Mills, a senior audio producer for The New York Times; Alix Spiegel, a senior audio editor for The Times; and Reid J. Epstein, who covers campaigns and elections for The Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Gun buyers say they are motivated by a new sense of instability that is pushing them to purchase weapons for the first time, or if they already have them, to buy more.

A Partisan Future for Local News?

The Daily

  • 210 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 36:51

Local news in America has long been widely trusted, and widely seen as objective. But as traditional local papers struggle, there have been attempts across the political spectrum to create more partisan outlets.Few can have been as ambitious or widespread as the nationwide network of 1,300 websites and newspapers run by Brian Timpone, a television reporter turned internet entrepreneur.He has said that he sees local news as a means of preserving American civil discourse. But a Times investigation has found that Republican operatives and public relations firms have been paying for articles in his outlets and intimately dictating the editorial direction of stories.Today, we speak to the Times journalists behind the investigation.Guests: Davey Alba, a technology reporter for The New York Times covering online misinformation and its global harms; and Jack Nicas, who covers technology for The Times from San Francisco. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Here’s the full investigation into a nationwide operation of 1,300 local sites that publishes coverage ordered up by Republican groups and corporate P.R. firms.

The Shadow of the 2000 Election

The Daily

  • 230 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 34:58

What does the specter of the 2000 election mean for the upcoming election? The race between George W. Bush and Al Gore that year turned on the result in Florida, where the vote was incredibly close and mired in balloting issues. After initially conceding, Mr. Gore, the Democratic nominee, contested the count.What followed was a flurry of court cases, recounts, partisan fury and confusion. It would be months until — after a Supreme Court decision — Mr. Bush would become the 43rd president of the United States.The confrontation held political lessons for both sides. Lessons that could be put to the test next week in an election likely to be shrouded in uncertainty: The pandemic, the volume of mail-in voters and questions around mail delivery could result in legal disputes.Today, we take a look back at the contest between Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush.Guest: Jim Rutenberg, a writer-at-large for The New York Times and The Times Magazine. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: A number of legal battles over voting rights are in the pipeline. Any ruling could resonate nationwide.Elections supervisors say they have learned the hard lessons of the 2000 presidential recount and other messes. But challenges are already apparent.

The Sunday Read: 'My Mustache, My Self'

The Daily

  • 320 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 40:02

During months of pandemic isolation, Wesley Morris, a critic at large for The New York Times, decided to grow a mustache.The reviews were mixed and predictable. He heard it described as “porny” and “creepy,” as well as “rugged” and “extra gay.”It was a comment on a group call, however, that gave him pause. Someone noted that his mustache made him look like a lawyer for the N.A.A.C.P.’s legal defense fund.“It was said as a winking correction and an earnest clarification — Y’all, this is what it is,” Wesley said. “The call moved on, but I didn’t. That is what it is: one of the sweetest, truest things anybody had said about me in a long time.”On today’s episode of The Sunday Read, Wesley Morris’s story about self-identity and the symbolic power of the mustache.This story was written by Wesley Morris and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

A Peculiar Way to Pick a President

The Daily

  • 310 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 34:15

The winner-take-all system used by the Electoral College in the United States appears nowhere in the Constitution. It awards all of a state’s electors to the candidate with the most votes, no matter how small the margin of victory. Critics say that means millions of votes are effectively ignored.The fairness of the Electoral College was seriously questioned in the 1960s. Amid the civil rights push, changes to the system were framed as the last step of democratization. But a constitutional amendment to introduce a national popular vote for president was eventually killed by segregationist senators in 1970.Desire for an overhaul dwindled until the elections of 2000 and 2016, when the system’s flaws again came to the fore. In both instances, the men who became president had lost the popular vote.Jesse Wegman, a member of The Times’s editorial board, describes how the winner-take-all system came about and how the Electoral College could be modified.Guest: Jesse Wegman, a member of The New York Times’s editorial board.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Here’s a guide to how the Electoral College works.Watch Jesse’s explainer, from our Opinion section, on how President Trump could win the election — even if he loses.

Social Media and the Hunter Biden Report

The Daily

  • 170 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 26:53

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have invested a significant amount of time and money trying to avoid the mistakes made during the 2016 election.A test of those new policies came last week, when The New York Post published a story that contained supposedly incriminating documents and pictures taken from the laptop of Hunter Biden. The provenance and authenticity of that information is still in question, and Joe Biden’s campaign has rejected the assertions.While YouTube largely did nothing, Facebook deprioritized the Post story and Twitter initially moved to ban all links to the piece on its platform. Those actions infuriated some Republican lawmakers and conservative media figures, who accused the social networks of censorship and election interference.We speak to Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The Times, about how the episode reveals the tension between fighting misinformation and protecting free speech.Guest: Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The New York Times.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Here’s Kevin’s full report on the efforts by Twitter and Facebook to limit the spread of the Hunter Biden story.The New York Post published the piece despite doubts within the paper’s newsroom — some reporters withheld their bylines and questioned the credibility of the article.Joe Biden’s campaign has rejected the assertions made in the story.

The Field: A Divided Latino Vote in Arizona

The Daily

  • 210 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 42:05

This episode contains strong language. In the last decade, elections have tightened in Arizona, a traditionally Republican stronghold, as Democrats gain ground.According to polls, Joe Biden is leading in the state — partly because of white suburban women moving away from President Trump, but also because of efforts to activate the Latino vote.Will that turn states like Arizona blue? And do enough Hispanic voters actually want Mr. Biden as president?To gauge the atmosphere, Jennifer Medina, a national politics reporter for The New York Times, spoke to Democratic activists and Trump supporters in Arizona.Guests: Jennifer Medina, a national politics reporter for The Times.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Though a majority of Latino voters favors Democrats, Hispanic men are a small but enduring part of Trump’s base. Those supporters see him as forceful, unapologetic and a symbol of economic success.If Joe Biden wins Arizona, he would be only the second Democratic presidential candidate to have done so since 1952. But the state has been trending more friendly to the party for years.

The Field: Energizing the Latino Vote

The Daily

  • 160 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 42:05

This episode contains strong language. In the last decade, elections have tightened in Arizona, a traditionally Republican stronghold, as Democrats gain ground.According to polls, Joe Biden is leading in the state — partly because of white suburban women moving away from President Trump, but also because of efforts to activate the Latino vote.Will that turn states like Arizona blue? And do enough Hispanic voters actually want Mr. Biden as president?To gauge the atmosphere, Jennifer Medina, a national politics reporter for The New York Times, spoke to Democratic activists and Trump supporters in Arizona.Guests: Jennifer Medina, a national politics reporter for The Times.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Though a majority of Latino voters favors Democrats, Hispanic men are a small but enduring part of Trump’s base. Those supporters see him as forceful, unapologetic and a symbol of economic success.If Joe Biden wins Arizona, he would be only the second Democratic presidential candidate to have done so since 1952. But the state has been trending more friendly to the party for years.

The Sunday Read: 'Jim Dwyer, About New York'

The Daily

  • 130 views
  • 11 months ago
  • 21:44

Jim Dwyer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The New York Times, died earlier this month. He was 63.Throughout his nearly 40-year career, Jim was drawn to stories about discrimination, wrongly convicted prisoners and society’s mistreated outcasts. From 2007, he wrote The Times’s “About New York” column — when asked whether he had the best job in journalism, he responded, “I believe I do.”Dan Barry, a reporter for The Times who also wrote for the column, has called Jim a “newsman of consequence” and “a determined voice for the vulnerable.” Today, he reads two stories written by Jim, his friend and colleague.These stories were written by Jim Dwyer and read by Dan Barry. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

Why the Left Is Losing on Abortion

The Daily

  • 180 views
  • 12 months ago
  • 38:03

Most Americans say that abortion should be legal with some restrictions, but President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, signed a statement in a 2006 newspaper advertisement opposing “abortion on demand.” Her accession would bolster a conservative majority among the justices.How did that happen? According to Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, abortion rights advocates have for too long taken Roe v. Wade for granted.Ms. Hogue describes how Republican attacks on abortion were not countered forcefully enough. “I think most people in elected positions had been taught for a long time to sort of ‘check the box’ on being what we would call pro-choice and then move on,” she said.Guest: Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: The 2006 statement signed by Amy Coney Barrett appears to be the most direct evidence of her personal views, ones she has vowed to set aside on the bench.The issue of abortion contains political risks for both Democrats and Republicans, even as it energizes parts of their bases.

The Sunday Read: 'David's Ankles'

The Daily

  • 280 views
  • 12 months ago
  • 55:03

There are cracks in the ankles of Michelangelo’s David. The weakness was first discovered in the 19th century, but it wasn’t until a paper by Italian geoscientists was published in 2014 that the extent of the statue’s precariousness was fully understood: If the David were to be tilted 15 degrees, his ankles would fail.“We are conditioned to believe that art is safe,” Sam Anderson, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, explained in this week’s The Sunday Read. “Destruction happens in a number of ways, for any number of reasons, at any number of speeds — and it will happen, and no amount of reverence will stop it.”Sam explores his personal relationship with the David and the imperfections that could bring down the world’s most “perfect” statue.This story was written by Sam Anderson and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

How a Small Bar Battled to Survive the Coronavirus

The Daily

  • 200 views
  • 12 months ago
  • 46:12

This episode contains strong language. Jack Nicas, a technology reporter for The New York Times, moved to Oakland, Calif., five years ago. When he arrived, he set out to find a bar of choice. It quickly became the Hatch.Unpretentious, cheap and relaxed, the Hatch was a successful small business until the coronavirus hit.After the announcement in March that California would order bars and restaurants to shut down, Jack decided to follow the fortunes of the Hatch. Over six months, he charted the struggle to keep the tavern afloat and the hardship suffered by its staff.“I can’t afford to be down in the dumps about it,” Louwenda Kachingwe, the Hatch’s owner, told Jack as he struggled to come up with ideas to keep the bar running during the shutdown. “I have to be proactive, because literally people are depending on it.”Guest: Jack Nicas, a technology reporter for The Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Here’s the full story of the Oakland tavern and its staff as they try to weather the fallout from the pandemic. 

The Field: Policing and Power in Minneapolis

The Daily

  • 170 views
  • 12 months ago
  • 43:36

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, Michigan and Minnesota may be decisive in the general election.He has claimed that Joseph R. Biden Jr. wants to defund the police — which he does not — and told voters that they would not be safe in “Biden’s America.”On the ground in Minneapolis, Astead Herndon, a national politics reporter, speaks to activists, residents and local politicians about the complexities of trying to overhaul the city’s police.Guest: Astead W. Herndon, a national politics reporter for The New York Times, speaks to Black Visions Collective co-director, Miski Noor; Jordan Area Community Council executive director, Cathy Spann; and Minneapolis City Council president, Lisa Bender. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Across America there have been calls from some activists and elected officials to defund, downsize or abolish police departments. What would efforts to defund or disband the police really mean?In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, some cities asked if the police are being asked to do jobs they were never intended to do. Budgets are being re-evaluated.

A Historic Opening for Anti-Abortion Activists

The Daily

  • 220 views
  • 12 months ago
  • 37:41

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 optimistic for the mission that our organization launched 25 years ago.”In pursuit of that mission, the Susan B. Anthony List struck a partnership with Mr. Trump during the 2016 election. The group supported his campaign and provided organizational backup in battleground states in exchange for commitments that he would work to end abortion rights.Ms. Dannenfelser described the partnership as “prudential.”“Religious people use that term quite a lot because it acknowledges a hierarchy of goods and evils involved in any decision,” she said. “and your job is to figure out where the highest good is found.”Guest: Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: The transformation of groups like the Susan B. Anthony List from opponents of Mr. Trump early in the 2016 campaign into proud and unwavering backers of his presidency illustrates how intertwined the conservative movement has become with the president — and how much they need each other to survive politically.For months, abortion has been relegated to a back burner in the presidential campaign. The death of Justice Ginsburg and the battle to replace her has put the issue firmly back on the agenda.

Part 1: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Daily

  • 210 views
  • about 1 year ago
  • 40:23

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 spend time in Sweden. There, she encountered a more egalitarian society. She also came across a magazine article in which a Swedish feminist said that men and women had one main role: being people. That sentiment would become her organizing principle.In the first of two episodes on the life of Justice Ginsburg, we chart her journey from her formative years to her late-life stardom on the Supreme Court. Guest: Linda Greenhouse, who writes about the Supreme Court for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in her home in Washington on Friday. She was 87. The second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg’s pointed and powerful dissenting opinions made her a cultural icon.“Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and landmark opinions moved us closer to a more perfect union,” former President Bill Clinton, who nominated her for the court, wrote on Twitter. Other tributes have poured in from leaders on all sides of the political spectrum.

The Sunday Read: 'The Agency'

The Daily

  • 190 views
  • about 1 year ago
  • 01:01:50

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, Adrien Chen reports on trolling and the agency, and, eventually, becomes a victim of Russian misinformation himself.This story was written by Adrian Chen and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

Special Episode: ‘An Obituary for the Land’

The Daily

  • 1K views
  • about 1 year ago
  • 10:51

“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 as you burn, you throw down seeds that will sprout and flower.”Guest: Bianca Giaever, a producer for The New York Times, speaks to the writer Terry Tempest Williams.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily

A Messy Return to School in New York

The Daily

  • 180 views
  • about 1 year ago
  • 33:55

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 a concern that she might bring the coronavirus home to her daughter, whose immune system is weaker as a result of an organ transplant.Today, we look at how one teacher’s concerns in the lead up to the first day back illustrates issues around New York City’s reopening of public schools. Guest: Lisa Chow, a producer for The New York Times, speaks to a kindergarten teacher in New York City.  For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily Background reading: New York City was scheduled to reopen public schools on Monday. Mayor Bill de Blasio this week delayed the start of in-person instruction.Nearly 40 percent of parents have opted to have their children learn fully remotely through at least the first few months of the school year. That number reflects the deep divide among the city’s families about how to approach in-person learning.