Ailsa Chang

Episode 807: Anatomy of a Hustle

Nov 24, 2017

Before serving as Donald Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, spent years as a lobbyist for foreign leaders in some dicey countries. It was a very profitable business. One of his best clients was Viktor Yanukovych, of Ukraine. But, according to Robert Mueller's indictment, Manafort hid the millions he made from Yanukovych, and sneaked them into the United States.

In the winter of 2010, there was a robbery in Detroit. Two men rush into a Radio Shack on Jefferson Avenue carrying a handgun, and demand smartphones, enough smartphones to fill laundry bags. Then they flee. A few days later, they do it again at a T-Mobile store. And a few months after that, another robbery. They are criminals that need to be stopped.

Police try to gather every bit of evidence they can use to catch the robbers and make the case stick.

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Next week the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether state lawmakers in Wisconsin went too far in preserving their political power. The case could be the first time the justices set limits on what's known as partisan gerrymandering. That's when the party in power deliberately redraws district lines to keep control of the legislature.

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Meredith and Martha Holley-Miers live in a brick row house in Washington, D.C. with their two kids and a big rainbow flag in front. The couple has been legally married for seven years — and together for 14 years.

When they decided to have a baby, they "went through a lot of time and a lot of money and a lot of heartache trying to get pregnant," Martha says. They used an anonymous sperm donor, and it took them many months. When Martha gave birth to daughter Janey — now a bubbly 8-year-old — in 2009, they knew that they'd need to put forth yet more time, money, and heartache.

Gucci Mane has an extensive resume. As a founding father of trap music, Mane's been carving out the rap genre since 2001 when he put out his first underground release: Str8 Drop Records Presents Gucci Mane La Flare. Since then, he has amassed a long list of musical achievements: dozens of mixtapes, singles, collaborations and eight studio albums.

Long after the floodwaters recede and the debris is cleared, the mental health impacts of disasters like hurricanes can linger.

Psychologist Jean Rhodes of the University of Massachusetts-Boston has spent more than a decade studying what happens to people years after a natural disaster — in this case, Hurricane Katrina.

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It looks like more fallout here for President Trump after his response to that violence in Charlottesville.

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Madison Holleran ran track at the University of Pennsylvania. She was popular and beautiful — and raised in a big, supportive family in a New Jersey suburb. "By all accounts, Madison in high school was this young, happy, vibrant, wildly successful human being, who was destined — according to everyone around her — to do amazing things with her life," says sportswriter Kate Fagan.

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In 1996, Bill Browder went to Russia to try to make a fortune. He made his money, but he also found himself in a fight with Russian oligarchs over money and power. And he lost. It cost him not just his companies, but the life of friend.

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Susan Collins has broken both of her ankles. She broke her left one when she was running in high heels to the Senate chamber because she so desperately refused to miss a vote. The Maine Republican has the second-longest voting streak in the Senate, by the way, after fellow Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

"He has a longer streak, but I'm the only one who's never missed a single vote," said Collins in a recent interview in her office, referring to Grassley missing votes early in his Senate career.

Not that she's keeping track.

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President Trump has made his pick to fill the ninth seat on the Supreme Court.

So now what?

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Some Donald Trump super fans packed right in front of the Capitol today to see the new president take his oath. To those Americans who are dreading a Trump presidency, these supporters say hold tight and have faith. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports.

At about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, Republicans moved one step closer to repealing a law they have railed against since the moment it was passed nearly seven years ago.

By a final vote of 51-48, the Senate approved a budget resolution that sets the stage for broad swaths of the Affordable Care Act to be repealed through a process known as budget reconciliation. The resolution now goes to the House, where leaders are hoping to approve it by the end of the week.

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Much has been said about the physical and psychological injuries of war, like traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. But what we talk about less is how these conditions affect the sexual relationships of service members after they return from combat.

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TIM WATTERS: (Imitating Bill Clinton) My name is Bill Clinton. I was the 42nd president of the United States, and I am married to my lovely wife and fantastic woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton, for 41 years now.

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Donald Trump's extensive business dealings around the globe have focused attention on an obscure provision of the Constitution most law professors barely look at — the Emoluments Clause. Now, one of the hottest legal debates around is whether the president-elect is going to violate the Constitution if he continues doing business with companies controlled by foreign governments.

Who even used the word "emolument" in an actual sentence before November 2016?

The possibility that Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, could fill a senior position in the White House raises thorny legal questions – one of which is whether it would run afoul of a federal anti-nepotism statute. Kushner was a close adviser to Trump throughout his campaign, but to officially employ Kushner in the White House would mean navigating the ambiguities surrounding the five-decades-old law.

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To no one's surprise, Paul Ryan has been chosen by House Republicans to serve as speaker again. It was a unanimous vote. With expansive support from his caucus, Ryan will breeze through the formal election before the full House in January.

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