Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. Photo credit: wikimediacommons.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong is buying the LA Times for $500 million. He made his fortune by selling a cancer drug. Soon-Shiong owns a minority stake in the Lakers, and has schmoozed with politicians like Joe Biden and Donald Trump. But ethics watchdogs have pointed out red flags in his financial dealings. He’s been sued by his own brothers and other investors.
You’ve probably seen the signs around LA -- usually stapled to telephone poles -- that say “Emma Buys Houses” or “Joe Buys Houses.” All cash. There are usually a few dollar signs and a phone number too. We find out who puts up those signs, and who calls the numbers listed.
Photo credit: Anna Scott
Blue Bottle Coffee charges $16 for a cup of its limited-release brew. It’s been rated the best in the world. The beans come from war-torn Yemen and were brought to the U.S. thanks to Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a Yemeni-American who grew up in San Francisco. Alkhanshali faced Saudi airstrikes and threats from Al Qaeda before finally escaping in the middle of the night on a fishing boat. His journey is the subject of Dave Eggers’ latest book “The Monk of Mokha.”
Mokhtar Alkhanshali, CEO and founder of Port of Mokha coffee, subject of “The Monk of Mokha”
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
How bees play a crucial role in our food chain Much of the food we eat -- fruit, vegetables, nuts -- are all pollinated by bees. But bees are dying, and their hives are disappearing. Bees now have to be sent around the country to pollinate crops. We learn more about the nature of bees, and what’s at stake if their numbers continue to plummet.
Are short-term rentals taking over LA? When you think of short-term rentals like Airbnb, you might picture someone renting out a back house or a spare room. However, some LA property owners are turning entire apartment buildings into de facto hotels. That’s an issue for a city struggling with a housing shortage.
The fracturing of the far-right, one year after Charlottesville On Sunday, white nationalists plan to march on Washington -- one year after the rally in Charlottesville. We talk with a reporter who’s been tracking neo-Nazi groups behind that action, and investigating why law enforcement failed to intervene in the violence.
Crazy Rich Asians director: Win or lose, I'm supposed to do this movie Director Jon M. Chu talks about why “Crazy Rich Asians” is so personal for him and the actors. And why he wants people to look back 10 years from now and not even remember that Crazy Rich Asians was a thing. It’s the first major Hollywood studio film with an all-Asian cast in 25 years -- based on Kevin Kwan’s international best-selling novel.
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