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FROM THIS EPISODE

An alleged network of Russians posing as ordinary Americans sounds like the parody of a spy novel or a Hollywood satire. We hear about invisible ink, buried money and something called "steganography." Also, President Obama's call for immigration reform, and the first day of free agency in the National Basketball Association. Will some middling franchise be transformed into an instant contender?

Banner image: New York newspapers are on display featuring personal photos of suspected Russian spies Anna Chapman (L) and Richard and Cynthia Murphy at a news stand in New York, June 30, 2010. Photo:Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

The Shadow Factory

James Bamford

Producers:
Julia Flucht
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal

Making News Obama's Call for Immigration Reform: Policy or Politics? 7 MIN, 41 SEC

At American University in Washington today, President Obama made his latest pitch for comprehensive immigration reform. He said again that it's time to be honest and get past the debate that divides the country rather than bringing it together. The President pointed to what, for him, is a familiar obstacle, the lack of bipartisan support. Linda Feldmann is staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor.

Guests:
Linda Feldmann, Christian Science Monitor (@linda_feldmann)

Main Topic Russian Spies in American Suburbs: Shades of the Cold War? 36 MIN, 50 SEC

Ten Russians posing as ordinary Americans, including parents with children, have been arrested as "deep cover" spies after seven years of investigation by the FBI. Their alleged paymaster was picked up in Cyprus. US officials reportedly were astonished when Christopher Metsos was released on bail in the first place. Both countries say the incident won't damage relations, but a lot of questions remain. What were the agents doing here decades after the Cold War? Why have they been arrested now?  If they posed a danger to national security, why don't they face more serious charges? Does the US have its own spy rings in Russia? We hear from a former CIA agent, a Russian scholar and others.

Guests:
Jerry Markon, National Reporter, Washington Post
Robert Baer, CIA (formerly)
Viktor Kremenyuk, Institute of the USA and Canada
James Bamford, journalist and author (@WashAuthor)

Reporter's Notebook Bell Rings for LeBron James and Bonanza Free Agency Market 6 MIN, 11 SEC

The NBA Championship has barely been decided, but it's already time for free agency, the time when players can, or sometimes must, negotiate with different teams. This year's group of free agents is being called "the deepest ever." Will LeBron James leave the Cleveland Cavaliers?  Will Dwyane Wade stay with the Miami Heat? What about Chris Bosh? Will they end up together? Gary Washburn is national NBA writer for the Boston Globe.

Guests:
Gary Washburn, National NBA Writer, Boston Globe

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