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Post Reports

News & Politics Podcasts

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 and Elahe Izadi are your hosts, asking the questions you didn’t know you wanted answered. Published weekdays around 5 p.m. Eastern time.


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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 and Elahe Izadi are your hosts, asking the questions you didn’t know you wanted answered. Published weekdays around 5 p.m. Eastern time.






How a neuroscientist beats winter depression

Each year, millions of people experience seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Today we talk to neuroscientist-turned-journalist Richard Sima about how to get ready for the change in season and beat the winter depression. Read more: Susceptible people — an estimated 5 percent of Americans — already are feeling the effects of winter SAD: lower moods, lethargy and excessive sleep. Today on “Post Reports,” we talk about strategies that can help you cope. Subscribe to The Washington Post here.


How to keep junk mail out of your mailbox

Americans are inundated with junk mail in their physical mailboxes. Climate coach Michael Coren tried to manage the flood – and his techniques actually worked. Read more: The typical American gets about 41 pounds of junk mail every year delivered to their door. And for some, it’s even worse during the holiday season, as catalogs and coupon booklets come flooding in. The Post’s climate coach Michael Coren looked at this junk mail as a challenge and started asking: How do I get it all to stop? Today, Coren explains the origins of the snail mail you never wanted – and he shares tips on how he succeeded in stopping it in its tracks. Subscribe to The Washington Post here.


Why Ukraine’s counteroffensive failed to deliver

The war in Ukraine has reached a critical point. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hoped for victory in 2023, but a lagging counteroffensive put Ukraine’s ability to defend itself in doubt – and has raised questions about the U.S.’s role in the war. Read more: In January, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Ukranians that he expected 2023 to be a victorious year for the country. With support from the United States and other Western allies, Ukraine had planned a counteroffensive in the spring against Russian troops, which ultimately proved unsuccessful. The foundering counteroffensive has raised questions about Ukraine’s decision-making and America’s deep involvement in the military planning behind the counteroffensive. President Biden has asked Congress to authorize more aid for Ukraine, but he faces stiff resistance from some Republicans in Congress who have tied the aid to negotiations over U.S.-Mexico border policy changes. Missy Ryan, who covers diplomacy and national security for The Post, joins us to explain.


Who will run Gaza after the war?

The Israel-Gaza war escalated this week with Israel’s military forces beginning their invasion into southern Gaza. But what happens when the fighting stops? Today, we tackle the question of who runs Gaza post-war. Read more: As Israel’s assault on Gaza rages on, the United States and Arab nations are wondering who will control the area after the fighting stops. Michael Birnbaum covers the State Department for The Post and traveled with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week. He’s been reporting on the unpopular governing options and how the decision about who rules will ultimately be made. Subscribe to The Washington Post here.


Biden and the tale of the $16 McDonald's meal

An irregular $16 McDonald’s order, a viral TikTok, and a growing conundrum for President Biden’s economic platform. The internet has been awash with social media rants lately about the high cost of fast-food. One video in particular keeps making the rounds, nearly a year on. Jeff Stein, The Post’s White House economics reporter – and self-proclaimed fast-food connoisseur – joins “Post Reports” to break down what these reactions do and don’t tell us about the actual state of the economy, and what it may foreshadow for President Biden’s 2024 reelection bid. Read more: Biden turns up the pressure on corporate ‘price gouging’ as 2024 nears. Inflation eased in October in the latest sign of cooling economy. The viral $16 McDonald’s meal that may explain voter anger at Biden.


The N.Y. law behind high-profile sexual assault cases

Today, how a New York law briefly changed how survivors of sexual assault found justice, and the impact it’s had on the legal system. Read more: Over the past month, several sexual assault lawsuits have been filed in New York against high-profile celebrities such as hip-hop mogul Sean P. Diddy Combs, musician Axl Rose and actor Jamie Foxx. Some of the alleged abuse dates back decades, and survivors were only able to file these claims because of the Adult Survivors Act – a New York law that expired last week. Style reporter Anne Branigin has been following the fallout from these cases and how this law briefly changed what justice looks like for survivors of sexual assault. Subscribe to The Washington Post here.


Does America have a drinking problem?

Many Americans drink more than usual this time of year – as much as double, according to some studies. But drinking more isn’t just happening around the holidays. Today, why alcohol consumption has gone up in recent years, and the deadly consequences. Read more: U.S. consumption of alcohol, which had been increasing in recent years, spiked during the pandemic as Americans grappled with stress and isolation. At the same time, the number of deaths caused by alcohol skyrocketed nationwide, rising more than 45 percent. In 2021, alcohol was the main cause of death for more than 54,000 Americans, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today on “Post Reports,” reporters David Ovalle and Caitlin Gilbert join us to talk about this trend – and the policies that could reverse it. If you’re interested in reassessing your own drinking habits, check out our reporting on “Dry January” and the health benefits of drinking less. Subscribe to The Washington Post here.


The oil executive leading this year’s climate summit

Dozens of world leaders will gather in the UAE Thursday for the start of COP28, the biggest climate summit of the year. But this year’s host country has drawn scrutiny for putting the head of its national oil company in charge of the event. Read more: The stakes are high for this year’s U.N. Climate Change Conference: Many countries have exceeded emissions targets set to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, with time running out to change course. As global climate correspondent Chico Harlan reports, it’s not uncommon for COP conferences to be held in countries that rely heavily on the oil industry, like this year’s host, the United Arab Emirates. But the UAE has already drawn scrutiny for placing Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the head of its national oil company, in charge of the conference. It’s just one of the contradictions in the petro-state’s approach to climate change. As world leaders make their way to Dubai, Chico breaks down what they’re hoping to achieve at this year’s conference – and how the controversial president of this year’s event is shaping the agenda.


How a strike transformed the auto industry

What the end of the UAW strike says about the future of the auto industry. Read more: After six weeks on strike, the United Auto Workers reached a deal this month with the Big 3 automakers: GM, Ford and Stellantis. The union successfully negotiated for major improvements, including wage increases, cost of living adjustments, and larger contributions to retirement plans. Jeanne Whalen, The Post’s global business reporter, says the wins are already changing the wider auto industry. Today, we break down how the UAW managed to make such large gains and how their strike fits into a strong year for organized labor. Subscribe to The Washington Post here.


Freed hostages and a fragile pause

After nearly seven weeks, Israel and Hamas reached a temporary deal: Hamas freed dozens of hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. And Israel paused its bombardment of Gaza. Read more: Over the weekend, Israeli families celebrated the return of dozens of the hostages taken by Hamas, after the militant group’s attack on Israel on Oct. 7. In exchange, Israel released more than 100 imprisoned Palestinian women and teenagers. The exchange is part of a fragile deal brokered between Israel and Hamas, with Egypt and Qatar serving as mediators. Under the terms of the agreement, Israel paused its assault on Gaza. Now the sides have agreed to extend the pause for two more days as more hostages and prisoners are exchanged. Claire Parker is The Washington Post’s Cairo bureau chief reporting from Israel. She tells us what it took for this deal to take shape – and what could happen next. Subscribe to The Washington Post here.


Deep Reads: Football bonded them. Then it tore them apart.

They were roommates and teammates at Harvard, bound by their love of football and each other. Then the game — and the debate over its safety — took its toll. This Deep Reads episode is part of a collection of occasional bonus stories from “Post Reports.” Read more: This story is part of a collection of occasional bonus episodes you’ll be hearing from “Post Reports.” We’re calling these stories “Deep Reads,” and they’re part of The Post’s commitment to immersive and narrative journalism. Today’s story was written by sports writer Kent Babb, and read by Michael Satow for Noa: News Over Audio, an app offering curated audio articles. Subscribe to The Washington Post via Apple podcasts here.


A holiday message from ‘Post Reports’

A surprise in our studio – and a thank you to our listeners. Read more: Our sincerest thanks to our listeners this holiday season! We don’t have a show this Thanksgiving, but we do have a message with some good news. And while you’re here, you can subscribe to The Washington Post via Apple podcasts and get our latest Black Friday deal.


How to be a financially savvy holiday shopper

Today on “Post Reports,” personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary gives advice on how to avoid overspending on gifts this holiday season. Read more: Last year, retail sales during the November to December holiday season were $936.3 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Americans are predicted to spend even more this year. Adobe Analytics projects the best discounts will land on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But a flashy red sale sign doesn’t always mean you’re getting a bargain. Personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary says we can avoid overspending on gifts by cutting down on our list, shopping earlier, and sticking to a budget. She also shares ideas for meaningful gifts from the heart that won’t break the bank. You can also sign up for her free SMS course, “How to be a financially savvy holiday shopper.” Michelle will send you a short text message every day for five days to make sure you’re spending with purpose this holiday season. You can sign up by following this link. And subscribe to The Washington Post via Apple podcasts here.


Sam Altman and the chaos at OpenAI

When the board of the world’s leading artificial intelligence company abruptly ousted its popular CEO, it threw the entire tech industry into flux. Today, the rise and removal of Sam Altman and what OpenAI’s shake-up means for the future of AI technology. Read more: Just weeks ago, Sam Altman was on top of the world, the star of the artificial intelligence community and the leader of the company behind the popular chatbot ChatGPT. Then, without notice last week, the board of OpenAI voted him out. The hasty decision triggered mounting uncertainty at the company and beyond. Was it fraud? Workplace misconduct? Washington Post technology reporter Gerrit De Vynck reports on what we know — or don’t — about the industry upheaval and its ripple effects on the future of AI. Subscribe to The Washington Post via Apple podcasts here.


Trapped in Gaza

An American family who visited Gaza for a reunion found themselves trapped in the territory for nearly a month as Israeli rockets rained down. How they got out - and the desperate situation for the vast majority of civilians who cannot escape Gaza. Read more: In September, a Boston-area couple traveled to Gaza, hoping to introduce their 1-year-old son to his grandparents. War shattered their plans: For almost a month, the family was trapped in Gaza as Israel ratcheted up its air and ground assault. Now back in Massachusetts, Abood Okal shares the story of escaping through Egypt with his wife and child – and his worries about the family they left behind. Okal’s family is just one of many trying to survive a brutal war. More than 11,000 Palestinians – at least 4,600 of them children – have been killed in Gaza since the Israel-Gaza war began, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Louisa Loveluck, who covers global crises for The Post, reports on rising civilian casualties in Gaza and whether there could be a cease-fire.


Deep Reads: The librarian who couldn’t take it anymore

Tania Galiñanes had planned to spend the rest of her career in the Osceola County School District. She was 51. She could have stayed for years at Tohopekaliga, a school she loved that had only just opened in 2018. That was before the school board meeting on April 5, 2022, when Tania watched parents read aloud from books they described as a danger to kids. It was before she received a phone call from the district, the day after that, instructing her to remove four books from her shelves. It was before a member of the conservative group Moms for Liberty told her on Facebook, a few days later, that she shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near students. It had been 18 months since then. Tania still showed up every weekday at 7 a.m. and tried to focus on the job she had signed up for, which was, she thought, to help students discover a book to love. But she could feel something shifting. – This story is part of a new collection of occasional bonus episodes you’ll be hearing from “Post Reports.” We’re calling these stories “Deep Reads,” and they’re part of The Post’s commitment to immersive and narrative journalism. Today’s story was written and read by national political enterprise reporter Ruby Cramer.


Surviving to graduation, Part 3

In Part 3 of our series on schools and gun violence, audio producer Sabby Robinson chronicles the tragic outcome of Huguenot High School’s graduation – which was supposed to mark a moment of cathartic celebration for the school but ended in gunfire. Read more: Graduation was supposed to be a sweet moment of celebration after a difficult year. Instead, gunfire broke out just after the ceremony, killing a graduate and his stepfather and wounding five others. A former Richmond public school student was charged in the death of the graduate, Shawn Jackson. The shooting forced the school, its staff and its students, to heal and adapt yet again. Some educators reassessed how they try to keep kids safe. For others, it was too much: They had to walk away. Today on “Post Reports,” audio producer Sabby Robinson examines what happened at graduation and how it left a mark on everyone involved. Subscribe to The Washington Post via Apple podcasts here.


Surviving to graduation, Part 2

In Part 2 of our series on how schools address gun violence, reporter Moriah Balingit dives into the life and death of Huguenot student Jaden Carter and how school officials in Richmond try to save students like him. Read more: It took months to find out more about what happened the night Jaden Carter was fatally shot behind Huguenot High School’s baseball fields. In that time, The Post learned how and why school officials, from his teacher to a Huguenot police officer, tried to intervene and set Jaden on a better path. It’s part of a district-wide program in Richmond Public Schools: an ambitious bid to build a safer community. But sometimes students stray into danger anyway. Today on “Post Reports,” education reporter Moriah Balingit explores what’s working – and what’s not.


Surviving to graduation, Part 1

Gun violence is reshaping U.S. education. The Washington Post spent a year inside a Richmond high school facing a surge in shootings and deaths to learn what schools are doing to stop students from dying – and whether their efforts are working. Read more: Youth gun violence is soaring nationwide, and schools are on the front lines dealing with the fallout. Three Washington Post reporters were embedded inside Richmond's Huguenot High School for one year to find out what that looks like. During The Post's first visit to Huguenot, a student, Jaden Carter, was shot and killed behind the baseball fields. The Post was inside the school the next day as administrators grappled with the death – and spent the following months tracing how the tragedy affected Jaden's school, friends and family. Today on “Post Reports,” education reporter Hannah Natanson explains what happened. Subscribe to The Washington Post via Apple podcasts here.


Why it took so long to get a postpartum depression pill

How the first-ever postpartum depression pill could change the landscape of maternal health. Read more: In August, the Food and Drug Administration approved Zurzuvae, the first pill to treat postpartum depression. This is a huge milestone for the serious and potentially life-threatening condition, which can afflict about 1 in 7 women following childbirth. Unlike other commonly recommended treatments such as talk therapy and antidepressants, the drug is meant to act quickly, working to ease symptoms including mood swings, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of worthlessness, and severe anxiety. Health reporter Sabrina Malhi explains how this new drug works, and why it took so long to develop this medication in the first place. Subscribe to The Washington Post via Apple podcasts here.