Post Reports

'Operation Varsity Blues': A college entrance bribery scheme

An elaborate college entrance bribery scheme. When veterans take their lives in the very places they sought help. Plus, a space name odyssey.
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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.

In this episode

The extraordinary details of a college admissions bribery scheme
The Justice Department on Tuesday announced the end of a year-long investigation into a college entrance bribery scheme. It charged 50 people — including two actresses — with being part of a long-running bribery scheme to get privileged kids with lackluster grades into big-name colleges and universities.

Matt Zapotosky covers the Justice Department for The Washington Post. He says their crimes include cheating on entrance exams, as well as bribing college officials.

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“You return home, and it’s almost like you’re on another planet.”
Reporter Emily Wax-Thibodeaux had been covering veterans for years when she got a disturbing tip: A number of veterans had taken their own lives on the grounds of VA hospitals. She wanted to figure out why.

Millions of people depend on VA’s vast hospital network for care, but navigating its bureaucracy to get help for PTSD and other mental-health issues can be extremely frustrating, Emily says.

“VA becomes a symbol of the war that they fought the government that can't seem to help them,” she adds. “So when they leave a note saying I did this because the VA system failed me, they want people to fix it.”

After her story was published, Emily received emails from hundreds of veterans and their families who had similar frustrations with the system, and ideas for how to improve it.

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2019: A space name odyssey
As the discovery of Jupiter’s 12 new moons spurs a search for names, science reporter Sarah Kaplan explains the complicated rules for naming space objects.

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.