National

Lots of news this week.

from Left, Right & Center

Turkey’s invasion into northern Syria escalated significantly on Thursday. Dozens of Kurdish fighters were killed, and tens of thousands fled the region.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

On Thursday, nine Democratic candidates took part in an LGBTQ forum in Southern California. One of the three front-runners, Bernie Sanders, was absent.

What Biden's questionable performance at LGBTQ town hall says about his campaign

On Thursday, nine Democratic candidates took part in an LGBTQ forum in Southern California. One of the three front-runners, Bernie Sanders, was absent.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

You can learn a lot from a paper trail, and what the U.S. Supreme Court leaves behind is often more interesting and revelatory than what you might glean from oral arguments.

Naughty, funny, surprising: notes between Supreme Court justices

You can learn a lot from a paper trail, and what the U.S. Supreme Court leaves behind is often more interesting and revelatory than what you might glean from oral arguments.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

Despite mounting evidence, Republicans in the House and the Senate are defending President Trump or keeping their heads down.  Veteran GOP conservatives accuse them of sacrificing morality for short-term political gain. Meantime the Trump Administration calls the impeachment inquiry “unconstitutional,” while legal scholars point out that it’s part of Article II.  And how did Ukraine, an obscure former Soviet republic, become so important? Money.

Why Republicans stand by their man

Despite mounting evidence, Republicans in the House and the Senate are defending President Trump or keeping their heads down. Veteran GOP conservatives accuse them of sacrificing morality for short-term political gain. Meantime the Trump Administration calls the impeachment inquiry “unconstitutional,” while legal scholars point out that it’s part of Article II. And how did Ukraine, an obscure former Soviet republic, become so important? Money.

from To the Point

Let’s talk about this letter from the White House, calling the “impeachment inquiry” illegitimate.

Recognize the legitimacy of this podcast

Let’s talk about this letter from the White House, calling the “impeachment inquiry” illegitimate.

STD rates increased for the fifth year in a row in 2018. There’s also been a 7 percent increase in cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia in the United States since 2014.

STD numbers rise for the fifth year in a row, despite young people having less sex

STD rates increased for the fifth year in a row in 2018. There’s also been a 7 percent increase in cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia in the United States since 2014.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

If you’ve never heard of Fat Bear Week, you’re in for a treat.

Fat Bear Week crowns a queen and educates ursine health

If you’ve never heard of Fat Bear Week, you’re in for a treat.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

An eight-page letter from the White House to House leaders heightens the political and legal standoff between the two branches of government.

Trump administration says it won't comply with impeachment inquiry

An eight-page letter from the White House to House leaders heightens the political and legal standoff between the two branches of government.

from NPR

Reviving ideas that were argued over in the 1990s, Trump's new order on Medicare could have some unintended consequences, depending how it's implemented.

Some parts of Trump's executive order on Medicare could lead to higher costs

Reviving ideas that were argued over in the 1990s, Trump's new order on Medicare could have some unintended consequences, depending how it's implemented.

from NPR

66 million years ago, an asteroid caused Earth’s Fifth Extinction, destroying the dinosaurs and most other life forms. Now Earth is facing another extinction, as fish, plants and animals vanish forever. But this time, it’s not the asteroid, it’s us. 

This week, hundreds of people, both young and old, took to the streets in cities all over the world to begin weeks of protest called the Extinction Rebellion. 

In the natural course of evolution, the decline and disappearance of a life form takes thousands of years. In the course of a human lifetime, not even one species might disappear. But now, some 28,000 species are vanishing all of a sudden.  

Elizabeth Kolbert of the New Yorker magazine has written a book called “The Sixth Extinction.”  She says, “Extinction rates are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times higher than what is known as the background extinction rate that has pertained over most of geological history.” 

In her words, “You should not be able to see all sorts of mammals -- to name just one group -- either going extinct or on the verge of extinction. And that is a tipoff that something very, very unusual, and I would add, very dangerous, is going on.” 

“We’re running geological history backwards. Fossil fuels that were created over the course of hundreds of millions of years buried a lot of carbon underground. We’re now combusting it, putting that carbon back into the atmosphere over a matter of centuries.  So we’re taking a process that hundreds of millions of years to run in one direction and then, in a matter of centuries, running it in another direction.”

We’ll hear what that means now and for the future of life as we know it.

Human activity: as damaging as an asteroid

66 million years ago, an asteroid caused Earth’s Fifth Extinction, destroying the dinosaurs and most other life forms. Now Earth is facing another extinction, as fish, plants and animals vanish forever. But this time, it’s not the asteroid, it’s us. This week, hundreds of people, both young and old, took to the streets in cities all over the world to begin weeks of protest called the Extinction Rebellion. In the natural course of evolution, the decline and disappearance of a life form takes thousands of years. In the course of a human lifetime, not even one species might disappear. But now, some 28,000 species are vanishing all of a sudden. Elizabeth Kolbert of the New Yorker magazine has written a book called “The Sixth Extinction.” She says, “Extinction rates are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times higher than what is known as the background extinction rate that has pertained over most of geological history.” In her words, “You should not be able to see all sorts of mammals -- to name just one group -- either going extinct or on the verge of extinction. And that is a tipoff that something very, very unusual, and I would add, very dangerous, is going on.” “We’re running geological history backwards. Fossil fuels that were created over the course of hundreds of millions of years buried a lot of carbon underground. We’re now combusting it, putting that carbon back into the atmosphere over a matter of centuries. So we’re taking a process that hundreds of millions of years to run in one direction and then, in a matter of centuries, running it in another direction.” We’ll hear what that means now and for the future of life as we know it.

from To the Point

The Supreme Court kicks off what’s expected to be another landmark term today, one that could mark the court’s most significant conservative shift in decades.  
  On Tuesday, the…

How the Supreme Court will approach LGBTQ rights and abortion

The Supreme Court kicks off what’s expected to be another landmark term today, one that could mark the court’s most significant conservative shift in decades.  On Tuesday, the…

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

These are some interesting texts.

It’s looking pretty quid pro quo-y

These are some interesting texts.

from Left, Right & Center

There’s another whistleblower complaint in Washington. This time, from an IRS official.

Whistleblower claims interference in audits of tax returns from Trump and Pence

There’s another whistleblower complaint in Washington. This time, from an IRS official.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

The Trump-Ukraine saga continues as former Ukraine Special Envoy Kurt Volker released text messages on Thursday showing the administration considered withholding aid and canceling a…

Presidential hopeful Cory Booker on impeachment, and why he’s not worried about lagging in polls

The Trump-Ukraine saga continues as former Ukraine Special Envoy Kurt Volker released text messages on Thursday showing the administration considered withholding aid and canceling a…

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

Speaking with reporters today, President Trump said Congress does have the votes to impeach him, but predicted he would win in a trial in the senate.

Text messages about Ukraine by White House officials: Do they show quid pro quo?

Speaking with reporters today, President Trump said Congress does have the votes to impeach him, but predicted he would win in a trial in the senate.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

“The Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, opens on Friday.

‘The Joker’ raises concerns about mass shootings

“The Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, opens on Friday.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

At a Press conference this morning, President Trump said China (and Ukraine) should investigate the business ties of Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and their dealings in Ukraine.

What’s the role of Kurt Volker in Trump-Ukraine saga?

At a Press conference this morning, President Trump said China (and Ukraine) should investigate the business ties of Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and their dealings in Ukraine.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

Uber was rolling in billions of venture capital dollars in 2015. Some short years later, it became one of the most popular apps in the world.

The uncertain future of Uber

Uber was rolling in billions of venture capital dollars in 2015. Some short years later, it became one of the most popular apps in the world.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

In a Dallas courtroom on Wednesday, Brandt Jean embraced Amber Guyger, the woman who killed his brother last year.

Brandt Jean, Amber Guyger, and forgiveness

In a Dallas courtroom on Wednesday, Brandt Jean embraced Amber Guyger, the woman who killed his brother last year.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand