Photo: White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner listens during President Donald Trump's joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House in Washington, March 17, 2017. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)
FROM THIS EPISODE
News recently broke that Jared Kushner tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. The idea was to skirt established diplomatic channels of communication and the U.S. intelligence agencies that monitor them. The president’s son-in-law is now a focus of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
John F. Kennedy and his brother had regular, secret communication with Russia. Historian Timothy Naftali writes, “The Kennedy brothers’ Russian conspiracy was designed not for personal benefit, and at personal risk, to test the limits of Soviet desire in avoiding the mutual annihilation that seemed so plausible at the time.”
Chef René Redzepi of Noma fame brought his latest pop-up experience to Tulum, Mexico. Reservations were coveted at Noma Mexico, where for $600 you could try the Russian caviar with coconut cream, green tomato mezcal, and ant larvae tostadas. But the price tag was out of reach for most Tulum locals, where the average income is in the bottom third of the country. New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells explains why he decided not to review Noma Mexico.
Luxury developer Mohamed Hadid has spent years building a mansion in Bel Air. But it turns out that multiple parts are not built to code, like the IMAX theater hidden under the driveway. Hadid never got permission to build the estate, and now he faces criminal charges that could land him in jail.
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
The decline of American manufacturing During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump called out a steel manufacturer for closing a plant in Indiana and moving it to Mexico. The plant still closed and jobs were lost. We speak with a reporter who spent a year documenting the closing of the plant, and tells the story of one woman who worked her way up to supervisor and then had to train her Mexican replacement.
Why is it so hard to publish stories critical of powerful men? One of the main reasons the Harvey Weinstein stories didn’t get out sooner was that the Hollywood press couldn’t -- or wouldn’t -- publish them. KCRW’s Kim Masters has a story about another big executive: Amazon’s Roy Price.
Can Kevin de Leon unseat Sen. Dianne Feinstein? California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon announced his challenge to Senator Dianne Feinstein. He is capitalizing on a fury in the state against the president, and painting Feinstein as too accommodating of Trump.
NorCal fires: Melted motorcycles, raining embers The Northern Californian wildfires are some of the worst in the state’s history. They’ve killed more than 30 people and many are still missing. More than 160 acres have been scorched. Winds are spreading the flames, and air quality in the Bay Area is as bad as Beijing’s.
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