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 and Sabrina Tavernise. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.
Listen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, our new iOS app for news subscribers. Download now at nytimes.com/audioapp
The Sunday Read: ‘The Art of Telling Forbidden Stories in China’
As China strove for a larger role on the international stage at the turn of the century, the arrival of the internet and a relatively relaxed political environment spurred a boom in self-expression. Many writers tested the boundaries of Chinese literary culture, experimenting with subjects that were quotidian but taboo on the page: corruption, sexual desire and evolving gender roles.
In today’s China, though, the pursuit of free expression requires writers to operate under the ever-watchful eye of a complex state surveillance system. This can resemble a high-stakes game of Whac-a-Mole in which writers, editors and online publishers try to outmaneuver the Chinese Communist Party’s apparatus, using any opportunity and resource at their disposal to chronicle life as they see it.
Why the Government is About to Shut Down
A showdown between House Republicans and their leader, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, is heading toward a government shutdown.
Carl Hulse, chief Washington correspondent for The Times, explains the causes and consequences of the looming crisis.
Guest: Carl Hulse, is chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times.
The Presidential Politics of the Autoworkers’ Strike
Although one major strike, against Hollywood studios, was finally resolved this past week, another, against U.S. vehicle makers, is expanding. The plight of the autoworkers has now become a major point of contention in the presidential race.
Jonathan Weisman, a political correspondent for The Times, explains why the strike could be an essential test along the road to the White House.
Guest: Jonathan Weisman, a political correspondent for The New York Times.
Did Hollywood Writers Get Their Happy Ending?
After 148 days on strike, writers of movies and television are returning to work on Wednesday
with an agreement in hand that amounts to a major win for organized labor in Hollywood.
John Koblin, a media reporter for The Times, explains why the studios acquiesced to writers’ demands and what the deal means for the future of American entertainment.
Guest: John Koblin, a media reporter for The New York Times.
Gold Bars, Wads of Cash and a Senator’s Indictment
In one of the most serious political corruption cases in recent history, federal prosecutors have accused a senior U.S. senator of trading the power of his position for cash, gifts and gold.
Tracey Tully, who covers New Jersey for The Times, tells the story behind the charges against the senator, Robert Menendez, and his wife, Nadine, and describes the role played by Wael Hana, an Egyptian American businessman at the center of the allegations.
Guest: Tracey Tully covers New Jersey for The New York Times.
An Unexpected Battle Over Banning Caste Discrimination
California is poised to become the first state to outlaw discrimination based on a person’s caste. The system of social stratification, which dates back thousands of years, has been outlawed in India and Nepal for decades.
Amy Qin, a correspondent who covers Asian American communities for The Times, explains why so many believe a prejudice that originated on the other side of the globe now requires legal protection in the U.S. — and why so many are equally convinced that it would be a bad idea.
Guest: Amy Qin, a national correspondent covering Asian American communities for The New York Times.