Post Reports

The fallout of a U.S. troop withdrawal from northern Syria

Ishaan Tharoor on what the withdrawal of troops from Syria means for the Kurds. Eli Rosenberg reports from the picket line of the United Auto Workers strike. And Caroline Kitchener on the stakes of a Supreme Court case focused on LGBT discrimination.
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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

Trump move seen as a green light for a Turkish invasion of Syria
The United States has begun withdrawing troops from the Syrian-Turkish border, after an announcement by President Trump that was criticized as an abandonment of U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters ahead of a long-threatened Turkish offensive into northern Syria. 

The move follows a Sunday phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government considers the main Syrian Kurdish faction that fought the Islamic State to be as much of a danger as the Islamist militants.

“We’re on the brink of potentially a seismic development in Syria,” says geopolitics reporter Ishaan Tharoor, who writes for the Today’s WorldViews newsletter, “one that could reset the tables regionally in many ways – perhaps even trigger a new refugee exodus into Iraq and create all sorts of new security challenges that we’ve yet to contemplate.”

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‘The general sense is that the workers have not been getting a fair slice of the pie’
More than three weeks into one of the longest and largest private employer strikes in half a century, mass picket lines of auto workers have halted production at 55 General Motors factories and parts centers. 

The workers – some 50,000 who have stopped working and lost out on weeks of paychecks – say they want to regain ground lost in contract negotiations during the recession, now that the company is back to near-record profitability. GM meanwhile says it needs to keep pace with foreign automakers in the United States, which are not unionized and pay workers less. 

“Labor unions have declined in numbers over the last decades, but there is this energy in the world right now,” says national reporter Eli Rosenberg. He sat on a picket line in Martinsburg, W.Va. “Employees are getting more willing to fight and speak out for things they want.”

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Does federal law protect LGBT workers from discrimination?
The gay rights movement won a huge victory in the Supreme Court in 2015, with the decision that affirmed a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. 

But LGBT rights leaders say “married on Sunday, fired on Monday” is a possibility in more than half of U.S. states where there are no specific protections for gay or transgender workers. A case the court heard Tuesday could make protections concrete – or unsettle them. 

“The Supreme Court is debating a pretty blockbuster question: Is it legal to fire someone for being gay or transgender,” reporter Caroline Kitchener says. 

Ahead of Tuesday’s hearing, she spoke with people hoping to get inside the Supreme Court building to hear oral arguments. “It is an opportunity to constantly be talking to people and answering questions throughout the entire day,” Kitchener says.

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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.