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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.






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.


Netanyahu: The man leading Israel's war against Hamas

Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister – and one of its most scrutinized. Now, with Israel at war with Hamas, The Washington Post’s Griff Witte breaks down Netanyahu’s political history and his fragile future. Read more: It’s been over a month since Hamas militants attacked Israel, leaving at least 1,200 people dead and 239 people kidnapped. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared war on Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. An estimated 11,000 people in the territory have been killed since. Most of the dead are women and children. Though the Israeli government has agreed to military pauses to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, Netanyahu has rejected calls for a total cease-fire – a stance that is testing his support worldwide. Netanyahu’s leadership was already scrutinized before the war, rooted in corruption charges and his government’s judicial overhaul that sparked historic protests across Israel. Today on “Post Reports,” Griff Witte, a former Jerusalem bureau chief for The Post, unpacks Netanyahu’s rise and his chances of political survival.


The soft power of China’s pandas

Today, why the United States is saying goodbye to its pandas. And how the bears became a powerful diplomatic symbol of U.S.-China relations. Read more: For decades, China has deployed its giant pandas as a diplomatic tool to shore up alliances and woo new partners, including the United States. In 1972, China first gifted the United Statestwo pandas. Since then, it has leased pandas to zoos across the country. Now, after American zoogoers have come to adore the bears, China is taking all of its pandas back. This week, under police escort and accompanied by their longtime keepers, Washington’s three giant pandas boarded a FedEx cargo jet at Dulles International Airport headed for Chengdu, China. The only remaining pandas in the nation will be in Atlanta, and they are scheduled to depart for China next year. The pandas’ exit comes at a moment of strained U.S.-China relations. Enterprise reporter William Wan explains the hidden diplomatic power of China’s pandas, and how these black-and-white bears are beloved by Americans across the country.


Portugal's secret to living longer

Life expectancy is dropping in the United States, despite the nation spending more per person on health care than any other country. So what is a place like Portugal — where people live longer with far fewer resources — doing right? And what is the United States missing? Today on “Post Reports,” we bring you a tale of two sisters, two countries and two health systems. Lurdes and Lucilia Costa share a lot in common. They’re sisters, and they both have rheumatoid arthritis, a complex chronic illness that requires special medical attention to prevent worsening symptoms. But their health care experiences couldn’t be more different, with one living in Portugal and the other in the United States. For The Post’s Frances Stead Sellers and her colleague Catarina Fernandes Martins, these sisters’ divergent paths contain larger lessons for why a country with lots of resources, such as the United States, is floundering at keeping people alive — while Portugal, a small country that spends much less on health care, is doing so much better promoting longer, healthier lives. “Portugal is one of the countries that people describe as positive outliers,” Sellers told “Post Reports.” “They’re living longer than we are, and a key thing there appears to be primary care and community health. They’re really looking after people before they get to hospital.” Read more: A tale of two sisters, two countries and their health systems Compare your life expectancy with others around the world Primary care saves lives. Here’s why it’s failing Americans.


Why are so many Americans dying early?

Despite spending more per person on health care than any other nation, the United States has a crisis of premature deaths. The Post’s health team has been investigating why that is, and today we learn how politics, stress and chronic illness play a role. The United States was once on a track to reach an average life expectancy of 80, but after decades of progress, we’re falling further and further behind. The Washington Post spent the past year examining why this is happening. Our reporters and editors have analyzed death records from five decades and spoke to scores of clinicians, patients and researchers in the United States and abroad. “One of the best quotes we had in the series was, if we came in last in the Olympics, how would we react?” said data reporter Dan Keating. “We're coming in last in the Olympics of staying alive.” Today, we hear from Keating about what the data reveals. Then we turn to Akilah Johnson to hear about how stress and weathering play a role. And finally, we turn to Dan Diamond, who looked at how red-state politics are shaving years off Americans’ lives. Plug your age and gender into our life expectancy calculator to compare yourself with peers overseas. Find out why so many do better than in the United States.