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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.

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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 Life and Legacy of Stephen Sondheim

    The Life and Legacy of Stephen Sondheim

    Stephen Sondheim died last week at his home in Roxbury, Conn. He was 91.

    For six decades, Mr. Sondheim, a composer-lyricist whose works include “Sweeney Todd” and “Into the Woods,” transformed musical theater into an art form as rich, complex and contradictory as life itself.

    “For me, the loss that we see pouring out of Twitter right now and everywhere you look as people write about their memories of Sondheim is for that person who says yes, devoting yourself to writing or to dancing or to singing or to composing — or whatever it is — is a worthwhile life,” Jesse Green, The Times’s chief theater critic, said in today’s episode. “And there really is no one who says that as strongly in his life and in his work as Sondheim does.”

    Today, we chart Mr. Sondheim’s career, influence and legacy.

    • 34 min
    The Supreme Court Considers the Future of Roe

    The Supreme Court Considers the Future of Roe

    On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard a case that was a frontal challenge to Roe v. Wade, the nearly 50-year-old decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

    The case in front of the justices was about a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

    For the state to win, the court, which now has a conservative majority, would have to do real damage to the central tenet of the Roe ruling.

    We explore the arguments presented in this case and how the justices on either side of the political spectrum responded to them.

    • 25 min
    Amazon and the Labor Shortage

    Amazon and the Labor Shortage

    Amazon is constantly hiring. Data has shown that the company has had a turnover rate of about 150 percent a year.

    For the founder, Jeff Bezos, worker retention was not important, and the company built systems that didn’t require skilled workers or extensive training — it could hire and lose people all of the time.

    Amazon has been able to replenish its work force, but the pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of this approach.

    We explore what the labor shortage has meant for Amazon and the people who work there.

    Guest: Karen Weise, a technology correspondent, based in Seattle for The New York Times.

    • 26 min
    What We Know About the Omicron Variant

    What We Know About the Omicron Variant

    The story of the Omicron variant began a week ago, when researchers in southern Africa detected a version of the coronavirus that carried 50 mutations.

    When scientists look at coronavirus mutations, they worry about three things: Is the new variant more contagious? Is it going to cause people to get sicker? And how will the vaccines work against it?

    We explore when we will get the answers to these three questions, and look at the discovery of the variant and the international response to it.

    Guest: Apoorva Mandavilli, a reporter covering science and global health for The New York Times.

    • 20 min
    A Prosecutor’s Winning Strategy in the Ahmaud Arbery Case

    A Prosecutor’s Winning Strategy in the Ahmaud Arbery Case

    This episode contains strong language.

    Heading into deliberations in the trial of the three white men in Georgia accused of chasing down and killing Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man, it was not clear which way the jurors were leaning.

    In the end, the mostly white jury found all three men guilty of murder. We look at the prosecution’s decision not to make race a central tenet of their case, and how the verdict was reached.

    Guest: Richard Fausset, a correspondent based in Atlanta.

    • 37 min
    The Farmers Revolt in India

    The Farmers Revolt in India

    After a landslide re-election in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s control over India seemed impossible to challenge.

    But a yearlong farmers’ protest against agricultural overhauls has done just that, forcing the Indian prime minister to back down.

    How did the protesters succeed?

    Guest: Emily Schmall, a South Asia correspondent for The New York Times.

    • 28 min

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