On Point

On Point

By WBUR

Let's make sense of the world – together. From the economy and health care to politics and the environment – and so much more – On Point host Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with newsmakers and real people about the issues that matter most.

Episodes

Israel's decisionmakers

The politics and dynamics influencing Israel's top leaders, and how that could shape the course of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
25/10/23·47m 8s

Roundtable: Palestinian Americans share their perspectives on conflict in Gaza

The health ministry in Gaza reports at least 3,700 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes since October 7. How are Palestinian Americans processing the ongoing conflict? Leila Farsakh, Philip Farah and Laila El-Haddad join Meghna Chakrabarti.
24/10/23·47m 20s

The risk that the Israel-Hamas conflict becomes a wider war

Tensions are high not only in Israel and Gaza, but across the region, as fear of the conflict spilling over grows.
23/10/23·47m 2s

100 is the new 65: The new world of super-aging

Half of 5-year-olds in America today can expect to live to age 100. So how can we age well and live with purpose well into retirement? William Kole joins Meghna Chakrabarti;
20/10/23·47m 2s

'Pathologize': Jack Beatty on psychiatric name-calling in the 2024 campaign

On Point news analyst Jack Beatty tells us that accusing presidential candidates of being mentally unfit for office has a dubious history in American politics.
20/10/23·37m 8s

Roundtable: Jewish Americans share their perspectives on conflict in Gaza

As war continues to devastate Israel and Gaza, 7.5 million American Jews are sharing their own struggles. We hear their stories and differing perspectives on the ongoing tragedy.
19/10/23·47m 17s

The adventures and complications of a child-free life in Maria Coffey's 'Instead'

More Americans are saying they don't want to have children. But what does life without children really look like? Maria Coffey joins Meghna Chakrabarti.
18/10/23·47m 20s

How elites captured the social justice movement

After the death of George Floyd, there were mass protests, corporate pledges and swelling public support for Black Lives Matter. But what came out of it?
17/10/23·47m 18s

Hamas: A history lesson

Hamas is an Islamist militant group, designated by the U.S. and EU as a terrorist organization. It's now delivered the biggest blow ever to Israeli security. What are Hamas's origins?
16/10/23·47m 28s

Differ we must: Steve Inskeep on Lincoln's success in a divided America

In this podcast extra episode recorded before a live audience at WBUR's CitySpace, Meghna speaks with NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep about his new book exploring how President Lincoln worked to unite a divided America. Plus, the state of democracy and journalism, today.
14/10/23·1h 6m

Nobel prize winner Claudia Goldin on women, the work force and the pandemic

Earlier this week, Harvard professor Claudia Goldin won the Nobel Prize in economics, only the third woman in history to do so. In this conversation with Goldin from last year, we hear how her focus on women in the workforce has led to great discoveries. Claudia Goldin joins Meghna Chakrabarti.
13/10/23·47m 22s

Kakistocracy: Jack Beatty on government by the worst

On Point news analyst Jack Beatty tells us how a second Trump administration could drastically weaken federal agencies and increase the power of the president.
13/10/23·29m 0s

What Israelis are thinking and feeling since the Hamas attack

The U.S. is warning Hezbollah, and the United Arab Emirates are warning Syria, not to enter Israel-Hamas conflict. Could the war spill over into a regional tragedy?
12/10/23·47m 32s

California has new ideas about how to teach math, but critics argue it won't work

California public schools have a new way of teaching math, to achieve more equitable outcomes. Critics say the math guidelines are flawed to the core.
11/10/23·47m 33s

Guyana's oil boom: The world's newest petrostate plans to combat climate change with oil revenues

An oil boom has arrived in the South American nation of Guyana. Is it a contradiction that a country threatened by climate change could get rich selling fossil fuels? Amy Westervelt and Melinda Janki join Meghna Chakrabarti.
10/10/23·47m 1s

A new approach to science rooted in Indigenous tradition

The National Science Foundation has funded its first ever research hub focused on Indigenous knowledge. This $30 million investment will fund projects from ancient clam-farming to mapping climate change on tribal lands.
09/10/23·47m 22s

Unraveling the secrets of the human Y chromosome

For the first time ever, scientists have fully decoded the Y chromosome. Long thought to be the stubby counterpart to the X chromosome, turns out there's far more to the Y than meets the eye.
06/10/23·47m 36s

'I voted my district': Jack Beatty on who the McCarthy ousters represent

On Point news analyst Jack Beatty tells us what stands to him out about the districts of the eight representatives who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House. Also, listeners respond to last week's episode about 'The line' — the feeling many working-class Americans have about being left behind.
06/10/23·28m 6s

Is Donald Trump normalizing political violence in America?

When Donald Trump suggested that General Mark Milley should be executed, it was the latest in a long line of violent rhetoric from the former president.
05/10/23·47m 31s

U.S. v. Google: Will Washington's antitrust push change the web?

The Justice Department is suing Google for allegedly using its power to stifle other search engines. It's the first major tech antitrust trial in decades. Tim Wu, Leah Nylen and Matt Schruers join Meghna Chakrabarti.
04/10/23·47m 7s

Disability rights enforcement could be weakened in latest SCOTUS case

The Supreme Court is hearing a case this week that could hamper federal enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case may also change the way the government enforces civil rights laws across the board.
03/10/23·47m 23s

What the rise of ultra-processed foods means for our health and society

Ultra-processed foods now make up the majority of calories in the typical American diet. Studies show the health effects are about as bad as smoking. What would it take to get back to eating real food? Dr. Chris van Tulleken joins Meghna Chakrabarti.
02/10/23·47m 28s

Defining American antitrust law, from Bork to Khan

The Federal Trade commission sued Amazon this past week, accusing it of monopolistic practices. This episode from our archive explores the history of federal antitrust regulation and how FTC chair Lina Khan has championed new thinking about monopolistic power in the U.S. (Originally published 2/17/22)
01/10/23·47m 34s

How the Amazon marketplace shapes how we shop

The Federal Trade commission sued Amazon this week, accusing it of monopolistic practices. This episode from our archive investigates how the Amazon Marketplace operates, who wins and who loses. James Thomson and Stacy Mitchell join Meghna Chakrabarti. (Originally published 6/7/21)
30/09/23·47m 16s

What is Amazon?

The Federal Trade commission sued Amazon this week, accusing it of monopolistic practices. This episode from our archive explores how Amazon operates and what power it has. Brad Stone and Stacy Mitchell join Meghna Chakrabarti. (Originally published 4/26/21)
30/09/23·47m 27s

Historian Heather Cox Richardson's notes on the state of America

Historian Heather Cox Richardson is one of the most important public intellectuals in the country. She says her understanding of American history gives her hope for America's future, in this special conversation recorded before a live audience at WBUR's CitySpace.
29/09/23·46m 33s

The Line: Jack Beatty on the sources of white working-class anxiety

On Point News analyst Jack Beatty explores Donald Trump's appeal to voters who see their dignity affronted daily. Plus, a searing message for Democrats and President Biden from one Black voter who polls indicate is far from alone.
29/09/23·23m 47s

PEPFAR: The anti-AIDS program that changed the world now under threat

For 20 years, President George W. Bush's emergency AIDS relief plan for Africa has saved millions of lives. Now, a small group in Congress wants to kill the plan.
28/09/23·47m 2s

Do electric vehicles mean the end of the U.S. auto industry as we know it?

Electric vehicles are the elephants in the room as the United Auto Workers strike for better pay and benefits. In an electric future, can unionized auto industry jobs survive? Jack Ewing, Stephen Silvia and Jason Walsh join Meghna Chakrabarti.
27/09/23·47m 4s

Lessons from California on how to adapt to sea level rise

By the end of this century the Pacific Ocean could rise more than 6 feet, threatening 1,200 miles of California coastline and the communities on it. We hear lessons from California on what must change for everyone living on the edge of rising water. Rosanna Xia and A.R. Siders join Meghna Chakrabarti.
26/09/23·47m 10s

Who owns the moon owns the future

Ice and minerals on the Moon could help humanity travel to space's distant planets and asteroids. But which countries, which companies should get the right to extract those resources? Michelle Hanlon joins Meghna Chakrabarti.
25/09/23·47m 7s

Introducing 'The Gun Machine', a podcast about how America was forged by the gun industry

Produced by WBUR, Boston's NPR, in partnership with The Trace, The Gun Machine looks into the past to bring you a story that most Americans never learned in history class: how early partnerships between mad scientist gunsmiths and a fledgling U.S. government created the gun industry in the Northeast, and how that industry has been partners with the government ever since. Host Alain Stephens examines how this 250-year relationship underpins all Americans' interactions with guns — including our failures in dealing with the fallout of gun violence. The Gun Machine debuts on Oct. 4, 2023. Listen and follow on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
25/09/23·2m 43s

Saudi-Israel normalization: What's at stake?

There's growing momentum for what could be a historic Israel-Saudi Arabia peace deal. But why now?
22/09/23·47m 18s

Captured: Jack Beatty on the fall in Black and Hispanic working-class support for Democrats

Jack Beatty offers his unique perspective and insight on aspects of current political life in the U.S. In this episode, what's behind a raft of polls showing a deterioration in support for a key voting block from President Biden in 2024. Plus, listeners tell us why they turned away from causes that were once part of their identity.
22/09/23·31m 5s

Should medical debt be bought and sold in America?

More than 100 million people in America have medical debt. Some of those trying to help have to resort to debt buying companies. We learn how the debt buying industry works, and who wins and who loses. Noam Levey joins Meghna Chakrabarti.
21/09/23·47m 10s

Rebroadcast: A record cull of Yellowstone bison intensifies debate into how to best manage them

This year more than a third of Yellowstone's bison have been removed from the herd – most of them shot – after they wandered out of the national park in search of food. That's intensified the debate into how to best manage the iconic animal. Rick Wallen joins Meghna Chakrabarti.
20/09/23·47m 28s

Tales from the world of cryptocurrency and casino capitalism

2021 was a good year to invest in cryptocurrency. But then came 2022 and the trillion-dollar crypto wipeout. We hear tales from the world of cryptocurrency and casino capitalism. Zeke Faux joins Deborah Becker.
19/09/23·47m 8s

Rebroadcast: Psychedelics and who should be able to use them

In the '60s, some advocates wanted everyone to have access to psychedelics. Not everyone agreed. Now, with psychedelics growing in popularity, the tensions between access, money, and research are back.
18/09/23·45m 58s

Why are cancer rates rising among young people?

There's a troubling trend in medicine — increasing cancer diagnoses in people younger than 50. But why? Dr. Kimmie Ng and Dr. Tim Rebbeck join Meghna Chakrabarti.
15/09/23·47m 4s

Sacrifice: Jack Beatty on the sunk moral cost of the Trump supporter

In this weekly podcast, Jack Beatty offers his unique perspective and insight on aspects of current political life in the U.S. In this episode, the tenacity of Donald Trump's most ardent followers.
15/09/23·18m 16s

How HGTV is transforming our homes — and us

HGTV is a channel for dramatic remodels and dreamy properties. But is HGTV popularizing cookie cutter design over regional character across America?
14/09/23·47m 6s

How to save child care in the face of a massive funding loss

$24 billion of pandemic-era child care funding expires at the end of this month. What can providers and families do? Julie Kashen joins Meghna Chakrabarti.
13/09/23·47m 7s

Is the rise of AI the best argument for universal basic income?

Some estimates say artificial intelligence could replace hundreds of millions of jobs in the not-too-distant future. If that happens, how will people make ends meet? Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, Erik Brynjolfsson and Scott Santens join Meghna Chakrabarti.
12/09/23·47m 21s

'The Expanse' authors on 'the importance of complicating people'

Award-winning sci-fi writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck talk with Meghna Chakrabarti about the world they created in "The Expanse" and what they're working on next.
11/09/23·47m 29s

How the 14th Amendment could block Donald Trump from becoming president

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution bars from office any public official involved in an insurrection. Can legal reasoning withstand political reality when it comes to Donald Trump? Gerard Magliocca and Michael McConnell join Meghna Chakrabarti.
11/09/23·46m 46s

Can the Korean Armistice Agreement serve as a model for peace in Ukraine?

Observers are asking whether the conflict in Ukraine has reached a stalemate. Could the Korean Armistice agreement, signed 70 years ago, serve as a model for Ukraine and Russia now? Carter Malkasian and Jong Eun Lee join Meghna Chakrabarti.
08/09/23·47m 29s

'Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?': Jack Beatty on the 2024 election

In this new weekly special podcast, On Point's news analyst Jack Beatty offers his unique perspective and insight on aspects of current political life in the U.S. Today, the leading presidential candidates. Jack Beatty joins Meghna Chakrabarti.
08/09/23·26m 26s

Is it time to rethink how the farm bill works?

Congress is gearing up for another fight over the farm bill — a massive piece of legislation that could hit $1 trillion for the first time ever. Where's that money going? Congressman Earl Blumenauer joins Meghna Chakrabarti.
07/09/23·47m 18s

The health and geopolitical impacts of Japan's Fukushima wastewater release

12 years after a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, Japan pours treated wastewater from the site into the ocean. Is the plan safe? Jim Smith and Naoko Aoki join Meghna Chakrabarti.
06/09/23·47m 2s

Why Americans feel pessimistic about their economic future

Even though the economy is doing better, few Americans say they're better off financially this year than they were last year. So what's behind the pessimism Americans have about their own financial lives?
05/09/23·47m 30s
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