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1A from WAMU and NPR is a new show for a changing America. Every day, host Joshua Johnson convenes a conversation about the most important issues of our time.

The show takes a deep and unflinching look at America, bringing context and insight to stories unfolding across the country and the world.

With a name inspired by the 1st amendment, 1A explores important issues such as policy, politics, technology, and what connects us across the fissures that divide the country. The program also delves into pop culture, sports, and humor.

1A’s goal is to act as a national mirror—taking time to help America look at itself and to ask what it wants to be. 1A is produced at WAMU 88.5, and distributed by NPR.

the1a.org: Find out more about what you heard on a recent program here.

Biggie and Tupac. Tupac and Biggie. It’s nearly impossible to find a list of the best rappers of all time without one or both of their names near the top.

When they were murdered within a few months of each other in 1996 and 1997, Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. weren’t just two of the biggest rappers in the world, they were two of the most famous musicians, period. So how could it be that their murders remain unsolved, nearly 20 years later?

V. Important Updates For The Supreme Court

Feb 27, 2018

Can a warrant for emails from a U.S. law enforcement agency be executed if the emails are stored on a server in another country?

Should government workers who aren’t union members, but who benefit from the union’s negotiations, be compelled to pay union fees?

Do a credit card’s rules for merchants stifle competition?

Kay Coles James worked for several Republican Presidential administrations and for former Virginia Governor George Allen. Now, she’s the first black woman to lead the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. We spoke with her at CPAC about her vision for the Heritage Foundation and also about being black and conservative.


Kay Coles James, President, The Heritage Foundation; @KayColesJames

The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X

Feb 26, 2018

“History is best qualified to reward all research, and we don’t have any historic example where we have found that [white people] have, collectively, as a people, done good.”

“The Hate That Hate Produced” was a documentary that first aired on New York’s WNTA-TV in 1959. In its introduction, narrator and producer Mike Wallace speaks of a new separatist group called the Nation of Islam, made up of African-American Muslims who tout Black Nationalism.

China’s Communist Party is planning to end term limits on the presidency, which could lead to Xi Jinping staying in power indefinitely.

The New York Times says the move “is the boldest yet by Mr. Xi as he seeks to strengthen the party’s control over a modernizing society and restore China to what he considers its rightful place as a global power — an agenda that his allies have suggested requires his personal leadership.”

The Citizens United decision, which ruled that the First Amendment allows corporations, unions and certain nonprofits to spend freely in support of political causes (though they can’t give directly to campaigns), has been called everything from a victory for free speech to a giveaway to multimillionaires. But whatever it was, it was the result of a long history of expanding corporate rights.

Friday News Roundup - International

Feb 23, 2018

A few highlights from headlines around the world this week:

North Korea nixes plans to secretly meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Venezuela’s struggle to hold on to its real currency forces it to launch a digital one.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Feb 23, 2018

The debate over how to bring an end to mass shootings in America dominated the national conversation this week. Youth and survivors of gun violence raised their voices to the forefront of the discussion. And, after a lot of listening, the president weighed in, too.

Catastrophic wildfires. Devastating hurricanes. Extreme temperatures. Sea levels that are too high. Ice levels that are too low.

Needless to say, planet Earth (and by extension, humanity) is going through a lot right now.

Could our future be in the stars?

After a national outcry over gun violence in Florida last week, there are the early signs of compromise in Washington: President Donald Trump has endorsed a bipartisan proposal to strengthen gun background checks.

But what is this legislation, and could it have helped prevent last week’s bloodshed?