Post Reports

The call that sparked the whistleblower complaint

Shane Harris and Lisa Rein share what another day of public impeachment hearings revealed. Mary Beth Sheridan connects the political crises unfolding across Latin America. And Lena Sun describes the growing threat posed by superbugs.
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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the premier daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Every weekday afternoon.

In this episode

Partisan tensions on display during public impeachment hearings
On Tuesday, the House Intelligence Committee heard from four more officials during public hearings in the Trump impeachment inquiry, starting with Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, European-affairs director at the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, a national security aide to Vice President Pence.

“Here we had two firsthand witnesses to what was said, who then shared their reactions to the exchange between the two presidents,” intelligence reporter Shane Harris says.

During the hearing, Vindman told lawmakers that he spoke to an intelligence official about President Trump’s July 25 request that Ukraine investigate his political opponents. He declined to name the official when pressed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the Intelligence Committee’s ranking Republican.

In previous closed-door testimony, he told investigators that he was “concerned by the call” and “did not think it was proper” for Trump to seek a Ukrainian investigation of a U.S. citizen. 

Many of those who have testified are career diplomats — not political appointees — whose years of service could be undone by their participation in the hearings, government reporter Lisa Rein says. 

“They are not whistleblowers,” Rein says. “They were subpoenaed. They were told by their supervisors at the State Department not to come testify. They have enormous potential for retaliation.”

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After years of growth and democracy, governments across Latin America face political crises
South America is no stranger to political unrest. But from the Caribbean coast to Patagonia, popular uprisings are challenging governments, in the region’s most widespread turmoil in decades.

In Ecuador, a government besieged by protesters has been forced out of the capital. In Chile, thousands have been injured and at least 20 killed over weeks of unrest. In Bolivia, police stations and the homes of politicians have been torched as Latin America’s longest-serving president has been driven into exile. 

“It’s a really remarkable moment,” reporter Mary Beth Sheridan says. “It’s been decades since we saw this level of social unrest. And it’s really everywhere, from Haiti — the poorest country in the hemisphere — to Chile, which has been a symbol of economic success in recent decades for Latin America.”

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The bad news about superbugs
Bacteria, fungi and other germs that have developed a resistance to antibiotics and other drugs pose one of the gravest public health challenges in modern medicine. 

That’s according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, which catalogues many of the troubling trends that scientists, doctors and public health officials have warned about for decades. 

“It’s actually worse than they previously thought,” health reporter Lena Sun says. “2013 was the first time they did a snapshot and said, ‘Oh, look. Two million people get sick, 23,000 die per year from pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics.’ ”

The real totals for 2013 were actually about double those initial estimates, according to the report.

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the premier daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Every weekday afternoon.