Post Reports

Trump: ‘Iran appears to be standing down’

Ishaan Tharoor unpacks the White House response to attacks from Iran. Paul Kane reports from the chambers of the least deliberative Senate in modern history. And Abha Bhattarai on a new approach to thank-you cards.
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Post Reports is the premier daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Every weekday afternoon.

In this episode

How the White House is responding to the Iranian missile strike in Iraq
Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing American military personnel on Tuesday, in response to the U.S. killing last week of Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani. 

President Trump issued his initial response on Twitter, saying “All is well!” and striking a less bellicose tone than in past statements that had threatened the destruction of Iranian cultural sites and the enacting of sanctions on Iraq if U.S. troops are forced out of the country.

“Some of us anticipated Trump feeling forced to respond in kind,” foreign affairs reporter Ishaan Tharoor says. “And yet, he signaled pretty clearly that he’s taking the off-ramp in this particular moment of crisis.”

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Why the Senate has atrophied over the past two decades
The Senate tasked with holding President Trump’s impeachment trial would be unrecognizable to most of its predecessors, logging almost 230 fewer hours of floor time last year than it did 20 years ago. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “talked a big game about, ‘When I’m in charge, we’re going to have free-flowing debate and committee chairmen are going to be powerful and there’s going to be lots of amendments and votes on legislation,’ ” congressional correspondent Paul Kane says. But, Kane says, that hasn’t been the case. 

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Pen-wielding machines mimic the intimacy of the human hand
Digitization is reaching deeper into people’s lives: Family photos are in the cloud. Mom’s recipes are indexed in an app. Breakups can arrive overnight, via text. 

Now, technology is being deployed to try to replicate the human touch in greeting cards, as a growing number of consumers turn over their sentiments to robots that can mimic the loops and patterns of their handwriting.

“We’re all looking for convenience, but we’re also craving a way to bring back some of that personal touch,” retail reporter Abha Bhattarai says. “We want to be thoughtful, but we want to have a shortcut.”

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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.