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.
What Really Caused the Baby Formula Shortage
A dire lack of baby formula in the United States in the past few weeks has been blamed on production deficiencies such as the small number of manufacturers and an inflexible supply chain.
But Christina Jewett, an investigative reporter at The Times, has traced it back further, to deadly bacteria whose detection set off a chain of events that ultimately led to the shortage.
Guest: Christina Jewett, an investigative reporter who covers the Food and Drug Administration for The New York Times.
The Big Lie and The Midterms
In Pennsylvania, a candidate falsely claiming election fraud in 2020 prevailed in a crowded Republican primary for governor. But in Georgia, two incumbents — the governor and the secretary of state — beat back challenges from “stop the steal” opponents.
Is re-litigating the 2020 election a vote winner for Republicans? Or is it increasingly becoming a losing issue?
Guest: Reid J. Epstein, a politics reporter for The New York Times who covers campaigns and elections.
Another Elementary School Massacre
This episode covers incidents of mass violence.
At least 21 people, including 19 children, were killed when a gunman opened fire at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday morning.
It was the deadliest school shooting in the United States since the 2012 attack on the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
For some of the Sandy Hook parents, news of yet another school massacre provoked a chilling sense of numbness.
Guest: Elizabeth Williamson, a feature writer for The New York Times and the author of a book on the aftermath of Sandy Hook.
Is the U.S. Changing Its Stance on Taiwan?
For decades, the U.S. has walked a careful line when it comes to Taiwan — vowing to protect the island from China, without saying exactly how far it would go to do that.
On Monday, that appeared to change.
Guest: David E. Sanger, a White House and national security correspondent for The New York Times.
A Tactical Disaster for Russia’s Military
Three months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the biggest surprises has been the inability of the Russian military to achieve some of its basic goals. One clear example: A failed attempt to cross the Donets river in eastern Ukraine earlier this month left hundreds of Russian soldiers dead. Its aftermath is raising doubts in Russia, even among the military’s most ardent supporters.
Guest: Anton Troianovski, the Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times.
The Sunday Read: ‘Can Virtual Reality Help Ease Chronic Pain?’
Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of long-term disability in the world. By some measures, 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, in part because the power of medicine to relieve it remains inadequate.
Helen Ouyang, a physician and contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, explores the potentially groundbreaking use of virtual reality in the alleviation of acute pain, as well as anxiety and depression, and meets the doctors and entrepreneurs who believe this “nonpharmacological therapy” is a good alternative to prescription drugs.
A lush forest, a snow-capped mountain, a desert at sunset — could these virtual experiences really be the answer for managing chronic pain?
Twenty minutes too short. 35 minutes would’ve been perfect.