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Post Reports

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Jul 26, 2021

Investigating the insurrection

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The political debate — and theater — surrounding a new House committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. And, why wildland firefighters in the West are burning out.  
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A bipartisan select House committee begins its probe of the Jan. 6 insurrection this week. But as national security reporter Karoun Demirjian explains, the investigation kicks off under a cloud of political debate and theater. 
On the heels of one of the worst wildfire years on record, the federal government is struggling to recruit and retain staffers as firefighters grapple with low wages, trauma and burnout from increasingly long and intense fire seasons. Sarah Kaplan reports on the Biden administration’s promise to the federal firefighting force –– and what the United States has to understand about climate change and wildfires.
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Jul 22, 2021

Marooned in Matamoros, Part 2

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In February 2020, Washington Post reporter Arelis R. Hernández walked across the bridge from Brownsville, Tex., to Matamoros, Mexico, two sister cities along the international border with the glistening green Rio Grande snaking between them. 
Up on the levee, a breathtaking sight unfolded before her: a makeshift migrant camp full of thousands of asylum seekers from all over Latin America forced by the Trump administration to wait in Mexico while they plead their cases.
There in the camp, Hernández met a woman from El Salvador named Nancy and her two teenage children. Nancy had a chilling story to tell about how she wound up there — and why she feared she would never get out. 
In this special two-part series, Hernández and producer Ted Muldoon explore what Nancy’s story reveals about the real-world impact of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.
In Part 2, the Biden administration comes into office promising change. But change can’t come soon enough for Nancy, whose desperation has only deepened after 16 months in the camp.
To find photos and videos of Nancy’s journey and her life in the camp, visit wapo.st/nancy. Listen to Part 1 of the series here.
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Hear more of Hernández’s ride-along with the Hidalgo County Constable’s office in this March 2021 episode of Post Reports, or read about it here
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Jul 22, 2021

Marooned in Matamoros, Part 1

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In February 2020, Washington Post reporter Arelis R. Hernández walked across the bridge from Brownsville, Tex., to Matamoros, Mexico, two sister cities along the international border with the glistening green Rio Grande snaking between them. 
Up on the levee, a breathtaking sight unfolded before her: a makeshift migrant camp full of thousands of asylum seekers from all over Latin America forced by the Trump administration to wait in Mexico while they plead their cases.
There in the camp, Hernández met a woman from El Salvador named Nancy and her two teenage children. Nancy had a chilling story to tell about how she wound up there — and why she feared she would never get out. 
In this special two-part series, Hernández and producer Ted Muldoon explore what Nancy’s story reveals about the real-world impact of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.
In Part 1, Nancy slowly unspools her story, starting with her journey north. After she and her children make their way across the Rio Grande, they’re intercepted — not by Border Patrol, but by the cartels. 
To find photos and videos of Nancy’s journey and her life in the camp, visit wapo.st/nancy.
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Photographer Michael Robinson Chavez and reporter Mary Beth Sheridan capture haunting images of migrants fighting for survival at the border. 
Reporter Kevin Sieff looks at what happens when asylum seekers miss their court dates because they were kidnapped.
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Jul 21, 2021

Can the Olympics be covid-safe?

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The Tokyo Olympics are set to begin Friday, after dozens of people in the Olympic bubble have tested positive for the coronavirus. How soaring rent prices are becoming the new norm across the U.S. And, Anthony Bourdain and the ethics of audio deepfakes. 
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After a year’s delay, Tokyo 2020 will kick off this Friday despite concerns over the coronavirus: At least 67 people in the Olympic bubble have tested positive. Michelle Ye Hee Lee reports on the precautions that the International Olympic Committee is taking. 
Senior economics correspondent Heather Long says that bidding wars and spiking rental prices are becoming the new norm as the pandemic recedes in the United States.
A new documentary about Anthony Bourdain features a deepfake of the celebrity chef’s voice, evoking criticism. Timothy Bella reports
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Jul 20, 2021

The release of Abdul Latif Nasir

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The Biden administration has resumed repatriation of Guantánamo Bay detainees — a practice largely halted under former president Donald Trump. Plus, why some states are considering reinstating mask mandates. 
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The Biden administration on Monday repatriated a detainee from Guantánamo Bay to Morocco, the first transfer of an inmate from the high-security prison since President Donald Trump mostly halted resettlements when he took office in 2017. We hear from The Post’s Missy Ryan about what the release of Abdul Latif Nasir signals about the Biden administration’s plans to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. Plus, we hear from Radiolab’s Latif Nasser, who chronicled Nasir’s case on the podcast series “The Other Latif,” to understand his life beyond being a detainee. 
Two months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinated individuals did not need to wear masks in most settings, a growing number of public health officials are warning that it might be time to put them back on. Health reporter Dan Diamond on the return of mask mandates – and the return of the political debate around them.
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Jul 19, 2021

The spyware secretly hacking smartphones

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The military-grade spyware that’s being used to spy on journalists, human rights activists and business executives. Plus, a long overdue trip to space.
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Military-grade spyware leased by the Israeli firm NSO Group to governments for tracking terrorists and criminals was used to hack smartphones belonging to journalists, human rights activists, business executives and the two women closest to murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to an investigation by The Washington Post and 16 media partners led by the Paris-based journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories.
Wally Funk was supposed to go to space 60 years ago. Now she’s going with Jeff Bezos. At 82, the “Mercury 13″ pioneer is poised to become the oldest person to reach space when the first crewed Blue Origin rocket takes flight Tuesday.
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Jul 16, 2021

Crying in H Mart with Michelle Zauner

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Michelle Zauner, author of “Crying in H Mart,” on grief, food and embracing her Korean heritage. Plus, what happens when a head of state gets a really bad case of the hiccups.
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Michelle Zauner is the lead singer of the band Japanese Breakfast and also the author of the best selling memoir “Crying in H Mart.” The book chronicles Zauner’s journey through grief when her mother is diagnosed with cancer. Food and trips to the Asian grocery store H Mart, become a central vehicle for exploring her connection with her mother and her Korean heritage. In this episode, Zauner speaks about the process of writing her memoir and what it means to be an Asian American musician and author today. 
Plus, Sammy Westfall reports on an unusual case of the hiccups that has become international news
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Jul 15, 2021

America’s collective amnesia in Haiti

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How the killing of Haiti’s former president has sparked a constitutional crisis — and how years of U.S. intervention in the Carribean country contributed to the chaos we’re seeing now.
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The assasination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse last week has plunged the country into turmoil, with many unanswered questions left surrounding the attack. The Post’s Widlore Merancourt and Ishaan Tharoor report on what’s known so far about the investigation into killing and what a vacuum of power could mean for the safety and security of Haitians.
The international response to Haiti’s political crisis is made more complicated by the legacy of slavery, colonialism and U.S. occupation — and that shapes how we understand the country today. “Haiti is the poorest country in the hemisphere because of — not despite — foreign intervention,” anthropologist Mark Schuller says in this episode. “Slaveholders punished Haiti for their role in ending slavery.”
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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.