🎧 ‘The Daily’: Gina Haspel and the Shadow of Torture | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Gina Haspel and the Shadow of Torture by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The Central Intelligence Agency is waging an unusual campaign to make Gina Haspel its next leader, despite her polarizing past. Why do officers see her most controversial quality as her greatest asset?

On today’s episode:

• Adam Goldman, a reporter who covers the intelligence community for The Times.

• John Bennett, a former chief of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service who retired in 2013.

Background reading:

• Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee for C.I.A. director, is expected to face tough questions at a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday about her involvement in torture and secret prisons after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

• Ms. Haspel offered to withdraw her nomination last week amid concerns that her role in the brutal interrogation of a Qaeda suspect in Thailand would scuttle her confirmation.

Apparently there’s a broader story to be told about Haspel than the one that’s been circulating recently. Perhaps she’s not as pro-torture as previously indicated?

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Return of Rudy Giuliani | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: The Return of Rudy Giuliani by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

Since joining President Trump’s legal team, Rudolph W. Giuliani has repeatedly made attention-grabbing TV appearances in which he has antagonized Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation. The strategy is reminiscent of one that Mr. Giuliani has used before — 30 years ago, as a prosecutor in New York City taking on the Mafia.


On today’s episode:

• Michael Winerip, who covered Mr. Giuliani’s rise as a Manhattan prosecutor in the 1980s for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• Mr. Giuliani’s revelation that President Trump reimbursed his personal lawyer for a $130,000 payment to Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film actress known as Stormy Daniels, may expose the president to new legal and political troubles.

• In an interview on Sunday, Mr. Giuliani suggested it was possible that other women had received hush money on behalf of Mr. Trump and that the president might invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying in the Russia investigation.

• Mr. Giuliani’s recent criticism of law enforcement has come as a surprise to those who have known him as one of its fiercest advocates.

So the implication here is not so much that Trump is bringing in someone who has been a champion for him, but that he’s brought in someone with experience prosecuting massive corruption and criminal enterprise similar to the mafia.

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🎧 Caliphate – Chapter Three: The Arrival | New York Times

Listened to Caliphate - Chapter Three: The Arrival by Rukmini Callimachi, Andy Mills from nytimes.com

ISIS turns fantasy into reality for a new recruit.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Hunt for the Golden State Killer | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: The Hunt for the Golden State Killer by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

Paul Holes was on the verge of retirement, having never completed his decades-long mission to catch the Golden State Killer. Then he had an idea: Upload DNA evidence to a genealogy website.

On today’s episode:

• Paul Holes, an investigator in California who helped to crack the case.

Background reading:

• A spate of murders and rapes across California in the 1970s and 1980s went unsolved for decades. Then, last week, law enforcement officials arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, a former police officer.

• Investigators submitted DNA collected at a crime scene to the genealogy website GEDmatch, through which they were able to track down distant relatives of the suspect. The method has raised concerns about privacy and ethics.

A stunning story with some ingenious detective work. I worry what the potential privacy problems are off in the future, though one of the ideas here is that it actually helps protect the privacy of some individuals who are wrongly and maliciously accused and thus saves a lot of time and money.

The subtleties will be when we’re using this type of DNA evidence more frequently for lower level crimes while at the same time the technology gets increasingly cheaper to carry out.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Sexual Harassment’s Toll on Careers | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Sexual Harassment’s Toll on Careers by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

In a case that highlights the economic consequences of sexual harassment and retaliation, Ashley Judd is suing Harvey Weinstein for the damage he did to her career after she rebuffed his advances.

And in the second part of the episode, three women who pioneered the language of consent reflect on being far ahead of their time on the politics of sex.

On today’s episode:

• Jodi Kantor, one of the investigative reporters at The New York Times who broke the story about the raft of sexual harassment accusations against Mr. Weinstein, discusses the implications of a new lawsuit.

• We hear from Juliet Brown, Christelle Evans and Bethany Saltman, who helped to establish an affirmative consent policy for sex at Antioch College in 1990.

Background reading:

• Ms. Judd filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing Mr. Weinstein of harming her career by spreading lies about her after she rejected his sexual requests. Her claim is corroborated by the director Peter Jackson, who revealed last year that Mr. Weinstein had warned him not to hire the actress for his “Lord of the Rings” franchise.

• Antioch College students developed a sexual consent policy in the 1990s. It was mocked by much of the rest of the world. Since then, campuses across the country have caught up, and a new generation of Antioch students is pushing the conversation further.

• A Times video journalist recalls being asked to sign a verbal consent form during a visit to Antioch College in 2004, long before the language of sexual consent had entered the mainstream.

It’s long been an open secret in casting related discussions that people’s character and habits are maligned to push decisions in one direction or another, and often in ways that harm not only the person’s career, but their future potential for hiring. In most other industries, this would be easily litigated or at least brought up. I’m glad to see it may be banned outright as a result of cases like these.

Having gone to college in the 90’s myself I also remember the Antioch College agreements. Though they may have gone a bit too far, it’s obvious they were generally right in re-balancing the power in relationships as well as being well ahead of their times.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Taxi Driver’s Plight | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: The Taxi Driver’s Plight by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

A New York City taxi driver, Nicanor Ochisor, took his own life in March. His family says he grew increasingly hopeless as ride-hailing services like Uber took over the industry. Mr. Ochisor’s suicide is one of several in recent months that have called attention to the economic straits of professional drivers.


On today’s episode:

• Nicolae Hent, who has been a taxi driver in New York City for three decades and was a friend of Mr. Ochisor.

Background reading:

• Four drivers have taken their lives in five months, bringing renewed urgency to calls for stronger regulations on for-hire vehicles in New York City.

• Mr. Ochisor’s family has created a fund-raising website to help pay off the balance on his taxi medallion, the value of which decreased dramatically after 2014.

• Last year, the number of Uber trips surpassed the number of yellow cab rides taken in New York City for the first time.

This has long been a fixable problem. Cities that have or had taxi-cab medallion systems should absolutely be on the hook for buying them back at at-market-level prices if they’re going to allow ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to enter their jurisdictions. I’m all for disruption, but these services have obviously been skirting or flaunting the law to operate. It should also be permissible for these services to be dinged by these cities for a large share of the loss of value in cities like New York.

I’m surprised that with the amounts of money involved and the fact that there are suicides that no enterprising attorney has taken up cases like these against large municipalities.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Mueller’s Questions for Trump | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Mueller’s Questions for Trump by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The New York Times has obtained the list of questions that Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel looking into Russia’s election interference, wants to ask President Trump. The wide-ranging queries offer a rare view into an investigation that has been shrouded in secrecy.


On today’s episode:

• Michael S. Schmidt, who has been covering the Russia investigation for The Times.

Background reading:

• The Times reports that Mr. Mueller’s team shared with the president’s lawyers a list of at least four dozen questions, the majority of which focus on possible obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation.

• Here are the questions, along with a look at their context and significance.

If his attorneys couldn’t have guessed all of these questions by themselves, they should be fired. The real secret is to know the hidden questions to things they’re aware of, but no one knows they’re privy to.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: A Family Divided by the Korean War | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: A Family Divided by the Korean War by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

In a historic summit meeting, North and South Korea vowed to pursue a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War after more than 65 years. That could bring reunions for the thousands of families who have been separated since the war broke out.

On today’s episode:

• Sylvia Nam tells the story of her grandfather, who went to North Korea a few months after the Korean War started and never returned.

Background coverage:

• After more than six decades, the Korean War is technically still not over. Here are photographs of the war, and a video explaining what happened— and why it matters.

• At a summit meeting on Friday, the leaders of North and South Korea signed a joint statement affirming that “a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula” would be a common goal of the two countries.

• The South Korean government said on Sunday that Kim Jong-un, the North’s leader, had declared he would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States agreed to sign a peace treaty and promised not to invade his country. Skeptics warn that North Korea has made similar pledges in the past.

A fascinating story…

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🎧 Caliphate – Chapter Two: Recruitment | New York Times

Listened to Caliphate - Chapter Two: Recruitment by Rukmini Callimachi, Andy Mills from nytimes.com

Who is it that ISIS appeals to, and how? Rukmini speaks with a former ISIS member about how and why he joined the fold.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Allegations Against Ronny Jackson | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: The Allegations Against Ronny Jackson by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The nomination of Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, President Trump’s personal doctor, as the next head of Veterans Affairs has come to an abrupt stop. Now, Congress is beginning to examine several alarming allegations from unidentified whistle-blowers that derailed the doctor’s Senate confirmation process.

On today’s episode:

• Michael D. Shear, a White House correspondent for The Times.

Background reading:

• President Trump hinted at a midday news conference that Dr. Jackson might soon withdraw from consideration for the role of Veterans Affairs secretary. By the evening, however, the White House moved to aggressively defend the doctor, calling his record “impeccable.”

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: A Syrian Voice | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: A Syrian Voice by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The United States says that the suspected chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Douma, Syria, this month was part of a military push by President Bashar al-Assad’s government to break the will of the people still living there.

One of them tells his story.



On today’s episode: Mahmoud Bwedany, who grew up in Douma and was there when Syrian forces attacked this month.

Background reading:
• Dozens of people died in what rescue workers said was a chemical attack on a suburb of Damascus.
• After repeated delays, international inspectors are examining the site.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: James Comey Opens Up About Ego, Distrust and More | New York Times

Listened to 'The Daily': James Comey Opens Up About Ego, Distrust and More by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, spoke with me for Friday’s episode of “The Daily,” as he wraps up a publicity tour for his book, “A Higher Loyalty.” Our conversation focused on his decision, before his firing, to document his interactions with President Trump in a series of memos — and to eventually share the contents of one of those memos with a journalist, in the hopes of pressuring the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel in the Russia investigation.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Trump’s Fixer | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Trump’s Fixer by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com
For months, the federal inquiry into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia focused on Washington. Now, it has led back to New York, and to Michael D. Cohen.

#Hubris

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: California vs. the E.P.A. | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: California vs. the E.P.A. by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com
An auto emissions battle is brewing between the Environmental Protection Agency and the state of California. Separately, James Comey tore into the president on national TV.

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🎧 Song Exploder | The Daily

Listened to Bonus Episode: The Daily from New York Times by Hrishikesh Hirway from Song Exploder

Wonderly – “The Daily” theme song

The Daily is the New York Times’ daily news podcast, hosted by Michael Barbaro. In this special edition of Song Exploder, composers Jim Brunberg & Ben Landsverk (aka Wonderly) break down how they composed the show’s theme song. You can listen on the New York Times website at nytimes.com/dailysong, or below:

footnotes:

Theme to HBO’s Westworld, by composer Ramin Djawadi (hear his Song Exploder episode on Game of Thrones’ theme song here)

A fantastic little podcast breaking down music. I always wish I knew more about music and structure and have some real appreciation for analysis like this. I’m considering subscribing to the rest of their content. Interestingly this looks like the same host as The West Wing Weekly. I suspect this may be how I came across it originally.

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