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The Sunday Read: ‘Why Was Joshua Held for More Than Two Years for Someone Else’s Crimes?’

The more he insisted that his name was Joshua, the more delusional he came to be seen. Journalist Robert Kolker tells us the remarkable story of Joshua Spriestersbach, a homeless man who wound up serving more than two years in a Honolulu jail for crimes committed by someone else. It was a case of mistaken…

Vacationing in the Time of Covid

Charles Falls Jr., known as Chillie, loves to take cruises. But Covid, as it has done for so many, left him marooned at home in Virginia. As he told Cristal Duhaime, a producer at the Times podcast First Person, as soon as restrictions eased, he eagerly planned a return to the waves. But for Chillie,…

How to Interpret the Kansas Referendum on Abortion

This episode contains mention of sexual assault.  Kansas this week became the first U.S. state since the fall of Roe v. Wade to put the question of abortion directly to the electorate. The result was resounding. Voters chose overwhelmingly to preserve abortion rights, an outcome that could have important political reverberations for the rest of…

Why Are Democrats Bankrolling Far-Right Candidates?

Democrats are meddling in Republican primaries this year to an unusual degree, attempting to elevate extremist candidates who they think will be easy to defeat in midterms in the fall. Nowhere has that strategy been more divisive than in the election for a House seat in Michigan. Guest: Jonathan Weisman, a congressional correspondent for The…

The Killing of bin Laden’s Successor

On Monday, President Biden announced that the United States had killed Ayman al-Zawahri in a drone strike in Afghanistan.  Al-Zawahri was the leader of Al Qaeda. A long time number two to Osama bin Laden and the intellectual spine of the terrorist group, he assumed power after bin Laden was killed by U.S. in 2011. …

How Monkeypox Went From Containable to Crisis

In mid-June, cases of monkeypox were in the double digits in the United States. There were drug treatments and vaccines against it. There didn’t seem to be any reason for alarm. But in the weeks since, the virus has spread rapidly across the country, with some local and state officials declaring public health emergencies. Guest:…

The Sunday Read: ‘Inside the Push to Diversify the Book Business’

For generations, America’s major publishers focused almost entirely on white readers. Now a new cadre of executives is trying to open up the industry. The journalist Marcela Valdes spent a year reporting on what she described as “the problematic history of diversity in book publishing and the ways it has affected editors, authors and what…

The Rise of the Conservative Latina

For decades, Republicans have sought to make gains with a critical voting block: Latinos. Last month, when Mayra Flores was elected to Congress from Texas, she finally showed them a way to gain that support. Today, we explore what her campaign tells us about the future of the Latino vote. Guest: Jennifer Medina, a national…

How Expecting Inflation Can Actually Create More Inflation

To fight historic levels of inflation, the Federal Reserve this week, once again, raised interest rates, its most powerful weapon against rising prices. The move was intended to slow demand, but there was also a psychological factor: If consumers become convinced that inflation is a permanent feature of the economy, that might become a self-fulfilling…

The Case Against Deshaun Watson

This episode contains details of alleged sexual assault.  In the past year, more than 20 different women have accused the star N.F.L. quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct. Despite the allegations, Watson has signed one of the most lucrative contracts in the history of football, with the Cleveland Browns, and will take the field today…