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FROM THIS EPISODE

The St. Louis Cardinals are being investigated for hacking into computers of the Houston Astros and stealing information about trades, statistics and more. What could the fallout be? Then, the Gap is closing a quarter of its stores. How badly is the brand doing, and what can it do to turn around? Next, Mayor Eric Garcetti is being criticized for not being more visible in the wake of two officer-involved shootings. We hear from a reporter who dug into Garcetti’s recent schedule to find out where he is spending his time. Then, writer Etgar Keret talks to Madeleine about his new book, The Seven Good Years: A Memoir. And finally, it’s wedding season; what is the Universal Life Church and how does it ordain so many people to become officiants?

Producers:
Jolie Myers
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Christian Bordal

Cardinals Investigated for Hacking 8 MIN, 45 SEC

Back in 2007, the New England Patriots got in trouble for stealing information from another team using video cameras. Now, we’re in the digital age. The St. Louis Cardinals are being accused of hacking into the computers of one of their rivals. According to the New York Times, the FBI and the Justice Department are looking into whether the Cardinals broke into computers of the Houston Astros. They may have stolen information about trades, statistics and scouting reports. What could the fallout be?

Guests:
Randy Sklar, comedian and sports commentator (@SklarBrothers)
Jason Sklar, comedian and sports commentator (@SklarBrothers)

Gap to Close 174 Stores in Search of Profits 6 MIN, 39 SEC

Nevermind the Cardinals; maybe the Gap should be stealing trade secrets from H&M and Forever 21. Gap says it’s closing 175 stores, a quarter of its retail outlets, in an attempt to become more profitable. The brand that defined preppy cool in the ‘80s and ‘90s has been struggling recently to compete with trendier, cheaper stores. Why can’t it keep up?

Guests:
Jane Hali, Jane Hali & Associates (@janeahali)

Mayor Garcetti Criticized for Low Profile on Shootings 7 MIN, 39 SEC

Mayor Eric Garcetti was confronted by Black Lives Matter activists through the window of his SUV last week as he tried to leave his home. The protesters blocked him as he tried to get to the airport to catch a flight to Washington D.C. Demonstrators were upset to learn that Garcetti was leaving town the day before an important hearing on the officer-involved killing of Ezell Ford. The mayor said he needed to go to the capitol to meet with the Obama administration about police shootings and to get “$15 million for homelessness.”  What he didn’t say was that he was also there to attend a fundraiser for his re-election. We hear from the reporter who discovered that.

Guests:
Peter Jamison, Los Angeles Times (@petejamison)

More:
Some criticize Garcetti's low-key approach to police shootings

Etgar Keret and 'The Seven Good Years' 13 MIN, 59 SEC

Israeli writer Etgar Keret’s son was born during a terrorist attack. In the opening pages of his new memoir, Keret describes most of the hospital staff disappearing to help the wounded. The book ends seven years later, with the family sitting Shiva after the death of Keret’s father. The time between those two events is the world of The Seven Good Years: A Memoir. It’s a book of short, funny, poignant vignettes of family life; short stories of the kind that we’ve come to know from Keret’s previous books and his appearances on This American Life. Etgar Keret speaks to Madeleine about his latest.

Guests:
Etgar Keret, author

What is the Universal Life Church? 10 MIN, 16 SEC

Wedding season is upon us. And if you’re going to be attending any happy betrothals this summer, you might find an officiant certified by the Universal Life Church. The church ordains anyone to conduct weddings. That means couples can ask their friends to sign up online, and voila -- no church or City Hall necessary to become legally wed. But what exactly is the Universal Life Church?

Guests:
Aaron Sankin, Dailydot.com (@asankin)

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