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FROM THIS EPISODE

The Supreme Court is back in session and two cases involving racial bias in criminal cases are on the docket. In one case, argued Wednesday, racial bias may have been a factor in sentencing a man to death. Then, election spending is cruising toward record highs in California and no one’s spending more than Big Pharma. Pharmaceutical companies have spent more than $85 million to defeat Proposition 61. Also, three years after the Snowden leaks, the FBI has arrested another NSA contractor. They’re investigating whether Harold T. Martin stole and leaked classified computer codes used to hack foreign governments. Next, if attractions like the Door to Hell and Galileo’s Middle Finger sound appealing, plan your next vacation with “Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to The World’s Hidden Wonders.” And finally, 4chan, the web message board sometimes called “the cesspool of the internet,” is broke. Should you care if it’s forced to shut down?

Supreme Court considers racial bias in two criminal cases 7 MIN, 20 SEC

The Supreme Court is back in session and two cases involving racial bias in criminal cases are on the docket. The justices heard arguments in a case on Wednesday where racial bias may have been a factor in sentencing a man to death. Duane Buck was convicted in 1996 of murdering two people and wounding another. His guilt is not being disputed, but his death sentence is. That’s because his own defense team hired an expert witness who testified that he was more likely to commit violent crimes in the future because he is black.

Guests:
Adam Liptak, New York Times (@adamliptak)

More:
Racial Bias Among Jurors at Heart of Supreme Court Case

Big Pharma has spent more than $85 million to defeat Prop 61 7 MIN, 19 SEC

Election spending is cruising toward record highs in California, and no one’s making it rain harder than Big Pharma. Pharmaceutical companies have spent more than $85 million to defeat Proposition 61. Prop 61 would peg the price the state pays for drugs to the same price the VA healthcare system pays. The initiative is sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, based in Los Angeles.

Guests:
Laurel Rosenhall, Cal Matters (@LaurelRosenhall)

More:
Would a California ballot measure cut drug costs? Nobody knows

NSA contractor accused of stealing top secret government info 10 MIN, 24 SEC

Three years after the Edward Snowden leaks, the FBI has arrested another National Security Agency contractor. They’re investigating whether 51-year-old Harold T. Martin stole and leaked classified computer codes used to hack foreign governments. It’s not clear what Martin might’ve done with the information or why he would’ve taken it, but this could be a big embarrassment to the NSA, and one that raises questions about the role of its contractors.

Guests:
Joe Becker, New York Times

More:
N.S.A. Contractor Arrested in Possible New Theft of Secrets

‘Atlas Obscura: A guide to the world’s strangest sights 5 MIN
'Atlas Obscura': A guide to the world's strangest sights 14 MIN, 1 SEC

Any old vacation might include visits to museums, cathedrals and palaces, but what about some more unusual attractions? Like the “Door to Hell,” the “Everlasting Lightning Storm,” or “Galileo’s Middle Finger.” Those strange sights can be found in the book “Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to The World’s Hidden Wonders,” along with descriptions and pictures of hundreds of other weird and wonderful sights all over the world.

Guests:
Dylan Thuras, Author

Atlas Obscura

Joshua Foer

4chan is broke. Should we care? 8 MIN, 12 SEC

The web message board sometimes called “the cesspool of the internet” is broke. 4chan was launched in 2003 and became the home of racist and sexist hate speech, inappropriate – if not illegal – pictures and memes like Pepe the Frog, now the mascot of the alt-right. To be fair, it has also featured some fun stuff, including lolcats and Rickrolling. So should we care if it’s forced to shut down?

Guests:
Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post (@caitlindewey)

More:
4chan is facing collapse, but not for the reasons you think

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