This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.
Germany, and Europe, After Merkel
After 16 years in power, Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, is walking out of office one of the most popular politicians in the country.
In those years, Ms. Merkel has not only served as the leader of Germany, but also as a leader of Europe, facing down huge challenges — such as the eurozone and the refugee crises — all while providing a sense of stability.
As Germans head to the polls this weekend, the question is: who can lead Germany and Europe at a time when the world faces no fewer crises?
Guest: Katrin Bennhold, the Berlin bureau chief for The New York Times.
Redrawing the Map in New York
New York, like many other states, is enmeshed in the process of redrawing legislative districts.
The outcome of the reconfiguring could be crucial in determining which party takes control of the House of Representatives next year.
Clearly aware of the stakes, New York Democrats are considering a tactic that is usually a preserve of the Republican Party: gerrymandering.
Guest: Nicholas Fandos, a political correspondent for The New York Times.
Submarines and Shifting Allegiances
The recent U.S.-British deal to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines might look relatively inconsequential. But it signifies a close alliance between the three countries to face off against China.
It is also notable for another reason: It has greatly angered the French. Why?
Guest: Mark Landler, the London bureau chief for The New York Times.
A ‘Righteous Strike’
When he visited the site of an American drone strike in Kabul, Matthieu Aikins, a Times journalist, knew something wasn’t adding up. He uncovered a story that was quite different from the one offered up by the United States military.
We follow The Times’s investigation and how it forced the military to acknowledge that the drone attack was a mistake.
Guest: Matthieu Aikins, a writer based in Afghanistan for The New York Times.
One Family’s Fight Against the Dixie Fire
Annie Correal, a reporter for The Times, has family in Indian Valley, in Northern California, roots which extend back to the 1950s.
This summer, as wildfires closed in on the area, she reported from her family’s property as they sought to fend off the flames — and investigated the divided opinions about what had caused the devastating blazes.
Guest: Annie Correal, a reporter covering New York City for The New York Times.
The Sunday Read: ‘The Composer at the Frontier of Movie Music’
You have almost certainly heard Nicholas Britell’s music, even if you don’t know his name. More than any other contemporary composer, he appears to have the whole of music history at his command, shifting easily between vocabularies, often in the same film.
His most arresting scores tend to fuse both ends of his musical education. “Succession” is 18th-century court music married to heart-pounding beats; “Moonlight” chops and screws a classical piano-and-violin duet as if it’s a Three 6 Mafia track.
Britell’s C.V. reads like the setup for a comedy flick: a Harvard-educated, world-class pianist who studied psychology and once played in a moderately successful hip-hop band, who wound up managing portfolios on Wall Street.
That is until he started scoring movies, and quickly acquired Academy Award nominations.
“What I’ve found in the past,” said Jon Burlingame, a film-music historian, “is that people have found it impossible to incorporate such modern musical forms as hip-hop into dramatic underscore for films. When Nick did it in ‘Moonlight,’ I was frankly stunned. I didn’t think it was possible.”