Speaker McCarthy and the Impeachment Inquiry

Since becoming Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy has faced the constant threat that members of the right wing of his own Republican Party could move to oust him from power.

And now, many view his launch of an impeachment inquiry into President Biden as a political move to protect his flank.

Host Scott Detrow speaks with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich about McCarthy’s political dilemma and with NPR’s Congressional Correspondent Deirdre Walsh.

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Rotten Tomatoes Changed The Role Of Film Critics. But Is That A Good Thing?

If you’re over a certain age and you love movies, when you think “movie critic”, you probably picture Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert and their popular TV shows. Their iconic “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” move made it clear what each of them thought about a film.

In some ways, the movie review website Rotten Tomatoes is the opposite of Siskel and Ebert. Their viewers depended on the insights of two individuals that they trusted, and felt they knew.

Rotten Tomatoes aggregates and averages reviews from lots of critics to assign a movie a number ranking, and declare it “fresh” or “rotten”.

Since its launch 25 years ago, it’s become the the go to site for lots of potential movie goers, offering everything they need to decide whether or not a movie is worth seeing.

But for a while now, there have been complaints about the way the site ranks films. And concerns that those rankings unfairly influence whether a movie succeeds or bombs.

Host Scott Detrow talks to Lane Brown, who took the site to task in a recent article on Vulture, and film critic Jamie Broadnax, editor-in-chief of the culture site, Black Girl Nerds.

Without Expanded Child Tax Credit, Families Are Sliding Back Into Poverty

It can be hard to see how big government policies have a direct effect on an individual’s experience. But it was easy to measure the difference made by the expanded child tax credit.

Giving more money to low-income families with children had a big impact. After the expanded child tax credit took effect, child poverty hit a record low of 5.2% a year ago.

But less than a year later, Congress let it expire. New census data shows that child poverty has more than doubled.

Host Ari Shapiro speaks with pediatrician and researcher Megan Sandel, who has seen the health consequences for kids play out in real time.

How Concerns Over EVs are Driving the UAW Towards a Strike

Up to 150,000 auto workers could walk out this week in a strike against Detroit’s Big Three automakers.

In addition to concerns over pay, workers are worried about what electric vehicles mean for their future.

NPR’s Camila Domonoske reports on how the transition to electric vehicles has many autoworkers concerned about their job security.

And Senior White House Correspondent Tamara Keith reports on why the UAW hasn’t endorsed President Biden for re-election in 2024.

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New Shots and a New Era for COVID

Right now it seems like people all around us are testing positive for COVID. But for the most part, they are not getting seriously ill.

The Food and Drug Administration just approved a new booster.

And on Tuesday advisers to the CDC recommended it for everyone six months and older.

With a new variant and a new booster, how should we think about the pandemic in this moment?

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What Putin And Kim Jong Un Stand To Gain By Meeting

When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2019, both countries were in a different position. Russia had yet to invade Ukraine.

Four years later, Russia is trying to secure weapons from North Korea. The two leaders are expected to meet this month to discuss a deal.

NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with Jean Lee, the former Pyongyang bureau chief for the Associated Press, and Georgetown University’s Angela Stent, about the upcoming meeting between Kim Jong Un and Putin — and what North Korea might get out of it.

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Sports Betting And The NFL Are Profitable Partners, But Controversies Continue

The National Football League’s regular season is finally underway. And for loyal fans who have been devouring all the news of their favorite teams, it couldn’t have come soon enough.

But even if you’re just a casual viewer of football, or really any network television program, you’ve probably seen the star-studded ads for a related business: sports betting.

The league’s partnership with major sports betting sites continues to draw criticism. Ten NFL players have been suspended for gambling violations since April, leaving critics and fans wondering if the relationship between football and gambling will harm the integrity of the game.

Host Nathan Rott speaks with David Purdum who covers the gambling industry for ESPN.

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Climate Change is Making It Difficult to Protect Endangered Species

The Endangered Species Act turns 50 this year.

The landmark law has been successful for decades at stopping extinctions of several plants and animals.

Recovering endangered or threatened species to the point where they no longer need federal protection has been more difficult because of climate change.

NPR’s Nathan Rott speaks with Martha Williams, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the agency’s plans to mitigate threats of extinction caused by climate change.

When Big Oil Gets In The Carbon Removal Game, Who Wins?

Giant machines sucking carbon dioxide out of the air to fight climate change sounds like science fiction, but it’s close to becoming a reality, with billions of dollars of support from the U.S. government.

And a key player in this growing industry is a U.S. oil company, Occidental Petroleum.

With a major petroleum company deploying this technology, it begs the question, is it meant to save the planet or the oil industry?

NPR’s Camila Domonoske reports.

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