🎧 Introducing ‘Charm City,’ a 5-Part Audio Series from ‘The Daily’ | New York Times

Listened to Introducing ‘Charm City,’ a 5-Part Audio Series from ‘The Daily’ by Sabrina Tavernise from nytimes.com

A year after the killing of Freddie Gray, a teenager in Baltimore was fatally shot by the police. This is the story of his life and death, and of a grieving family looking for answers.

[Read a transcript of Part 1 of the series.]

As soon as I heard Davetta Parker’s voice, I knew I had to meet her. Her grandson Lavar Montray Douglas, known as Nook, was among seven young people from one high school in Baltimore who were killed in the spasm of violence that shook the city after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody.

I cold-called her. She was sitting at her desk in a Baltimore public library. She said, “I think God sent you to me.” She said that she had so many questions about the death of her grandson, who had been shot by a police officer, and that she needed someone to help investigate, because the police never did. She said that she had written letters to news channels and newspapers, but that no one had written back. And there I was on the phone.

My colleague Lynsea Garrison and I spent four months examining Nook’s case. It took us on a journey from a quiet back room in the central library, where we first met Ms. Parker and her daughter Lashanda Douglas, known as Toby, into the streets of Baltimore, to drug corners, living rooms and grand homes in the county.

We wanted to tell his story for the simple reason that events like these are rarely told, even though they have become ordinary. Nook and his friends — many of whom have also been killed — were typical for homicide victims in Baltimore. They all had records with serious crimes. But they were boys. Most hadn’t even turned 18. And the deeper question in our minds was: How did things get like this for them?

You’ll meet Ms. Parker and Ms. Douglas in Part 1. Every day this week, we’ll bring you a new chapter in the life of Nook and his family’s search for answers about his death.

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🎧 Introducing ‘Charm City,’ a 5-Part Audio Series from ‘The Daily’ | New York Times

Listened to Introducing ‘Charm City,’ a 5-Part Audio Series from ‘The Daily’ from nytimes.com

A year after the killing of Freddie Gray, a teenager in Baltimore was fatally shot by the police. This is the story of his life and death, and of a grieving family looking for answers.

[Read a transcript of Part 1 of the series.]

As soon as I heard Davetta Parker’s voice, I knew I had to meet her. Her grandson Lavar Montray Douglas, known as Nook, was among seven young people from one high school in Baltimore who were killed in the spasm of violence that shook the city after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody.

I cold-called her. She was sitting at her desk in a Baltimore public library. She said, “I think God sent you to me.” She said that she had so many questions about the death of her grandson, who had been shot by a police officer, and that she needed someone to help investigate, because the police never did. She said that she had written letters to news channels and newspapers, but that no one had written back. And there I was on the phone.

My colleague Lynsea Garrison and I spent four months examining Nook’s case. It took us on a journey from a quiet back room in the central library, where we first met Ms. Parker and her daughter Lashanda Douglas, known as Toby, into the streets of Baltimore, to drug corners, living rooms and grand homes in the county.

We wanted to tell his story for the simple reason that events like these are rarely told, even though they have become ordinary. Nook and his friends — many of whom have also been killed — were typical for homicide victims in Baltimore. They all had records with serious crimes. But they were boys. Most hadn’t even turned 18. And the deeper question in our minds was: How did things get like this for them?

You’ll meet Ms. Parker and Ms. Douglas in Part 1. Every day this week, we’ll bring you a new chapter in the life of Nook and his family’s search for answers about his death.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Truth Behind #WhereAreTheChildren | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: The Truth Behind #WhereAreTheChildren from nytimes.com

The United States government lost track of nearly 1,500 undocumented children in the last three months of 2017, giving rise to claims that they had been separated from their families at the border. What does the confusion reveal about President Trump’s approach to immigration?

On today’s episode:

• Caitlin Dickerson, a national immigration reporter for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• An official with the Department of Health and Human Services said that the agency had not been able to contact 1,475 migrant children it had placed with sponsors in the United States. The children had entered the country as unaccompanied minors; many were fleeing violence in Central America.

• The Trump administration says it separates immigrant families only when necessary to protect the child. But the government’s own figures show this has happened in more than 700 cases.

• The number of children who were unaccounted for was conflated with the number of children who been separated from their guardians in a public outcry that gave rise to hashtags like #WhereAreTheChildren.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder? | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder? by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The sole survivor of an attack in which four people were murdered identified the perpetrators as three white men. The police ignored suspects who fit the description and arrested a young black man instead. He is now awaiting execution.

On today’s episode:

• Kevin Cooper, who has been on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California for three decades.

• Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist who has written about Mr. Cooper’s case.

Background reading:

• The evidence against Mr. Cooper has largely been discredited, but Gov. Jerry Brown of California has refused to allow advanced DNA testing that may shed light on the case.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: What Trump Learned From Clinton’s Impeachment | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: What Trump Learned From Clinton’s Impeachment from nytimes.com

Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton survived impeachment after casting himself as the target of partisan motives. What lessons has President Trump gleaned from that strategy?

On today’s episode:

• Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, who covered the investigation and impeachment of Mr. Clinton.

[READ: When the President Testified: People in the Room Recall Clinton’s 1998 Interrogation]

Background reading:

• Mr. Trump has assailed the Russia investigation as a politically motivated “witch hunt” brought about by Democrats who oppose his presidency. The partisan narrative bears similarities to the one promulgated by Mr. Clinton and his supporters during the inquiry into whether he had lied under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky; Hillary Clinton characterized the matter as a “vast, right-wing conspiracy” against her husband.

• How will the president fare in the Russia investigation? Here’s a look at several possible outcomes, including a finding of no wrongdoing, impeachment and indictment.

• Some Republicans are seizing on the specter of impeachment to energize voters ahead of midterm elections, and Democrats are divided on how to respond.

• Several people who were in the room with Mr. Clinton during his grand jury testimony on Aug. 17, 1998 recall their experience of his interrogation.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: When Democratic Newcomers Challenge the Party Line | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: When Democratic Newcomers Challenge the Party Line by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

Alarm over the election of Donald Trump spurred dozens of first-time candidates to run for Congress. Some of those candidates now present a problem for the Democratic Party.

On today’s episode:

• Mai Khanh Tran, a Democratic candidate for a United States House seat in California.

• Alexander Burns, who covers national politics for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• National Democrats, fearing that crowded rosters of primary candidates could fracture the party, have begun to intervene by urging some to bow out of the election.

• The party views the California midterms as a particular risk. The state’s nonpartisan primary system — in which the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation — could propel two Republican candidates to the November race.

• Here’s what to watch for in the California primaries, which take place on Tuesday.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: ‘Dear Mr. Chairman …’ | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: ‘Dear Mr. Chairman …’ by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

President Trump abruptly canceled on Thursday the highly anticipated summit meeting with Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, that was scheduled to take place on June 12. In a letter to Mr. Kim announcing his decision, Mr. Trump wrote, “The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace.”

On today’s episode:

• Mark Landler, who covers the White House for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• Mr. Trump announced his decision to call off the summit meeting in a strikingly personal letter that contained mixed messages, both raising the possibility of military action against the North and leaving the door open for a future diplomatic encounter between the two men.

• The announcement came hours after North Korea appeared to destroy its only known nuclear test site in a spectacle that was attended by foreign journalists and was meant to be a sign of good faith ahead of the meeting with Mr. Trump.

• North Korea responded in a carefully worded statement that it remained “willing to sit down with the United States any time, in any format, to resolve the problems.”

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Putting ‘Fake News’ on Trial | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Putting ‘Fake News’ on Trial by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The families of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012 are suing a conspiracy theorist who claims the massacre was a hoax. Their lawsuits are bringing the issue of “fake news” to the courts.

On today’s episode:

• Elizabeth Williamson, a reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times.

Background reading:

• The families of eight Sandy Hook victims, as well as an F.B.I. agent who responded to the massacre, are suing the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for defamation. Relatives of the victims have received death threats from those who embrace the falsehoods Mr. Jones has propagated on his website Infowars, which has an audience of millions.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: A Crossroads for the Democratic Party | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: A Crossroads for the Democratic Party by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

In Georgia, two women were locked in a close race for the Democratic nomination for governor. What does this primary tell us about the future of the Democratic Party?

On today’s episode:

• Jonathan Martin, a national political correspondent for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• Stacey Abrams, a former minority leader of the Georgia House, made history by becoming the first black woman to be a major party nominee for governor in the United States, defeating Stacey Evans in Georgia’s Democratic primary.

• The race between Ms. Abrams and Ms. Evans, two well-regarded candidates with starkly different campaign strategies, was viewed as a weather vane for the Democratic Party’s prospects in the midterm elections. Ms. Abrams banked on the support of young people, women, and African-American and Hispanic voters, while Ms. Evans reached out to moderate and conservative-leaning white voters.

• Here are the results for Tuesday’s primaries in ArkansasGeorgiaKentucky and Texas.

• Record numbers of women are running in the midterm elections, but the road to Capitol Hill is a hard one.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Rod Rosenstein’s Impossible Choice | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Rod Rosenstein’s Impossible Choice by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

President Trump has asked the Department of Justice to investigate whether the F.B.I. infiltrated his campaign in 2016 for political purposes. In response, the department granted the president’s team access to highly classified information from the special counsel’s Russia investigation. What’s behind this decision?

On today’s episode:

• Julie Hirschfeld Davis, who covers the White House for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• In a series of tweets on Sunday, President Trump demanded an investigation into whether an F.B.I. informant “infiltrated or surveilled” his campaign. The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to accommodate the president’s wishes by expanding an existing inquiry.

• The president’s tweets referred to a Times report about Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, examining whether countries other than Russia, including Saudi Arabia, had offered assistance to the Trump campaign.

• After a White House meeting on Monday, intelligence and law enforcement officials agreed to disclose some sensitive documents from the Russia investigation to Republican congressional leaders.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: North Korea’s Fear? Becoming Libya | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: North Korea’s Fear? Becoming Libya by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

John R. Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser, has said that negotiations with North Korea should follow “the Libya model.” Now, North Korea is threatening to call off the planned summit meeting with Mr. Trump. What risks does the Libya model hold for Kim Jong-un?

On today’s episode:

• Mark Landler, a White House correspondent for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• In a statement released on Wednesday, North Korea’s vice foreign minister threatened to cancel scheduled talks with President Trump if the United States continues to insist on complete nuclear abandonment.

• The statement repeatedly cites the example of Libya, whose former leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, agreed in 2003 to forfeit the country’s nuclear capability in the hope of economic integration with the West. Colonel Qaddafi was captured and killed by rebel forces after the United States and its allies launched airstrikes in Libya in 2011.

• According to administration and foreign officials, President Trump has been seeking advice from his aides and allies, including from President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, about whether he should proceed with the talks with Kim Jong-un at the risk of political embarrassment.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Does Mueller Have a Plan for Trump? | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Does Mueller Have a Plan for Trump? by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

White House lawyers have claimed that Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, will not indict the president, regardless of his findings. If that’s true, then what is the purpose of his inquiry?

On today’s episode:

• Michael S. Schmidt, a Washington correspondent who covers national security and federal investigations for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• According to President Trump’s lawyers, Mr. Mueller’s investigators said that they would abide by the Justice Department’s legal and historical precedent to refrain from prosecuting sitting presidents.

• Any discovery of wrongdoing by the president might instead be referred to Congress for a decision, as was done when Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton were under investigation.

• It has been one year since Mr. Mueller was appointed special counsel to look into a dizzying array of events that span years and continents. Here's a guide to what has happened.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: A Child of Gaza Becomes a Political Symbol | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: A Child of Gaza Becomes a Political Symbol by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The death of a Palestinian baby during the protests in Gaza became a rallying cry for critics of Israel. Within hours, the family’s story was being questioned.

On today’s episode:

• Declan Walsh, the Cairo bureau chief for The New York Times, who has been reporting from Gaza.

Background reading:

• Layla Ghandour, an 8-month-old Palestinian girl, inhaled tear gas during the protests at the Gaza border on Monday and died hours later. The tragedy became a focal point of outrage for critics of Israel’s use of force, while the Israeli military and its supporters questioned the narrative around her death as a political ploy by Hamas.

• The child was one of more than 60 Gazans killed during this week’s demonstrations, which were held to draw attention to the 11-year Israeli blockade of the territory. The violence gave way to mourning on Tuesday, the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or Catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands fled their homes upon the creation of the state of Israel.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: When Facebook Rumors Incite Real Violence | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: When Facebook Rumors Incite Real Violence by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

A series of damning posts on Facebook has stoked longstanding ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka, setting off a wave of violence largely directed at Muslims. How are false rumors on social media fueling real-world attacks?

On today’s episode:

• Max Fisher and Amanda Taub, who have reported on Sri Lanka for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• Fraudulent claims of a Muslim plot to wipe out Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority, widely circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp, have led to attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned homes and shops in the country.

• Facebook’s algorithm-driven news feed promotes whatever content draws the most engagement — which tend to be the posts that provoke negative, primal emotions like fear and anger. The platform has allowed misinformation to run rampant in countries with weak institutions and a history of deep social distrust.

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🎧 ‘The Daily’: Two Views of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Two Views of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

Many Israelis see the relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv as a historic milestone for the Jewish state. But for Palestinians, who hope to see the eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, it’s a betrayal.

On today’s episode:

• David M. Halbfinger, the Jerusalem bureau chief for The New York Times.

• Declan Walsh, The Times’s Cairo bureau chief, who has been reporting from Gaza this week.

Background reading:

• At least 58 Palestinians were killed and 2,700 injured on Monday as demonstrators clashed with Israeli forces along the Gaza border fence.

• Meanwhile, an hour’s drive away, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel celebrated the new American embassy in Jerusalem at a ceremony attended by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

• Here are images of the two contrasting scenes, which illustrate the widening chasm between Israelis and Palestinians after 70 years of conflict.

While listening I forgot about the opener and thought the first half was too chipper and upbeat. I was ready to get upset at the break thinking that they were doing their usual commercial and closing. I had a sigh of relief that it continued. The second half made for a far more balanced picture.

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