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.
The Transformation of Ralph Northam
In 2019, it seemed to many that Gov. Ralph Northam’s career was over.
That year, the Democratic governor of Virginia became embroiled in a highly publicized blackface scandal centered on a racist picture in his medical-school yearbook. There were widespread calls for his resignation.
Two years later, Mr. Northam has emerged as the most racially progressive leader in the state’s history. How did it happen?
Guest: Astead W. Herndon, a national political reporter for The New York Times.
The War in Tigray
This episode contains descriptions of sexual violence.
Just a few years ago, Ethiopia’s leader was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Now, the nation is in the grips of a civil war, with widespread reports of massacres and human rights abuses, and a looming famine that could strike millions in the northern region of Tigray.
How did Ethiopia get here?
Guest: Declan Walsh, the chief Africa correspondent for The New York Times.
Why Billionaires Pay So Little Tax
Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Elon Musk and George Soros are household names. They are among the wealthiest people in the United States.
But a recent report by ProPublica has found another thing that separates them from regular Americans citizens: They have paid almost nothing in taxes.
Why does the U.S. tax system let that happen?
Guest: Jonathan Weisman, a congressional correspondent for The New York Times.
Apple’s Bet on China
Apple built the world’s most valuable business by figuring out how to make China work for Apple.
A New York Times investigation has found that the dynamic has now changed. China has figured out how to make Apple work for China.
Guest: Jack Nicas, who covers technology from San Francisco for The New York Times. He is one of the reporters behind the investigation into Apple’s compromises in China.
From The Sunday Read Archives: ‘My Mustache, My Self’
During months of pandemic isolation, Wesley Morris, a critic at large for The New York Times, decided to grow a mustache.
The reviews were mixed and predictable. He heard it described as “porny” and “creepy,” as well as “rugged” and “extra gay.”
It was a comment on a group call, however, that gave him pause. Someone noted that his mustache made him look like a lawyer for the N.A.A.C.P.’s legal defense fund.
“It was said as a winking correction and an earnest clarification — Y’all, this is what it is,” Wesley said. “The call moved on, but I didn’t. That is what it is: one of the sweetest, truest things anybody had said about me in a long time.”
On today’s episode of The Sunday Read, Wesley Morris’s story about Blackness and the symbolic power of the mustache.
Day X, Part 3: Blind Spot 2.0
Franco A. is not the only far-right extremist in Germany discovered by chance. For over a decade, 10 murders in the country, including nine victims who were immigrants, went unsolved. The neo-Nazi group responsible was discovered only when a bank robbery went wrong.
In this episode, we ask: Why has a country that spent decades atoning for its Nazi past so often failed to confront far-right extremism?