Dave Davies | WAMC

Dave Davies

Dave Davies is a guest host for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

In addition to his role at Fresh Air, Davies is a senior reporter for WHYY in Philadelphia. Prior to WHYY, he spent 19 years as a reporter and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, covering government and politics.

Before joining the Daily News in 1990, Davies was city hall bureau chief for KYW News Radio, Philadelphia's commercial all-news station. From 1982 to 1986, Davies was a reporter for WHYY covering local issues and filing reports for NPR. He also edited a community newspaper in Philadelphia and has worked as a teacher, a cab driver and a welder.

Davies is a graduate of the University of Texas.

When wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in 2006 following an investigation into his sexual activities with teenage girls, the case ended in a lenient plea bargain in which Epstein served 13 months in a county jail.

Eleven years later, Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown decided to revisit the case, which she calls "a horrendous miscarriage of justice."

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in today for Terry Gross.

The new novel Falling takes place aboard a flight from Los Angeles to New York, during which the pilot learns a terrorist plans to kill his family unless he crashes the plane. Author T.J. Newman, who spent 10 years as a flight attendant, says inspiration for the story came to her while she was at work.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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The United Nations estimates that 4.2 billion people — more than half of the world's population — live without any access to safely managed sanitation. No septic systems. No waste treatment plants.

"Some people don't have any toilets at all. They practice what's known as open defecation," science writer Chelsea Wald says. "Other people — many, many people in the world — use pit latrines. And those pit latrines might be nice and functional or they might be in really bad shape."

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross.

Remember the Alamo? According to Texas lore, it's the site in San Antonio where, in 1836, about 180 Texan rebels died defending the state during Texas' war for independence from Mexico.

The siege of the Alamo was memorably depicted in a Walt Disney series and in a 1960 movie starring John Wayne. But three writers, all Texans, say the common narrative of the Texas revolt overlooks the fact that it was waged in part to ensure slavery would be preserved.

On the morning of Feb. 20, 1962, about 100,000 spectators gathered in Cape Canaveral, Fla., to witness the launch of the Friendship 7, the United States' first mission to put an astronaut in orbit around the Earth.

It was early in the space race, and the tension was palpable. Historian Jeff Shesol says there was real fear that astronaut John Glenn wouldn't survive the day.

Do Black people have full Second Amendment rights?

That's the question historian Carol Anderson set out to answer after Minnesota police killed Philando Castile, a Black man with a license to carry a gun, during a 2016 traffic stop.

Every time the president of the United States travels, he's accompanied by a cadre of Secret Service agents. Sometimes seen wearing crisp suits, sunglasses and ear pieces, the agents charged with protecting the president present a striking visual.

But Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post investigative reporter Carol Leonnig says the Secret Service itself is something of a mess.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Trees are "social creatures" that communicate with each other in cooperative ways that hold lessons for humans, too, ecologist Suzanne Simard says.

Simard grew up in Canadian forests as a descendant of loggers before becoming a forestry ecologist. She's now a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia.

If you're someone who has turned to snacking on junk food more in the pandemic, you're not alone. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Michael Moss says processed food is engineered to be "craveable," not unlike a cigarette or a hit of cocaine.

His 2013 book, Salt Sugar Fat, explored food companies' aggressive marketing of those products and their impact on our health. In his new book, Hooked, Moss updates the food giants' efforts to keep us eating what they serve — and how they're responding to complaints from consumers and health advocates.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Our guest today is author Louise Erdrich. In a career going back to the 1970s, she's published 17 novels and more than 30 books in all, including children's literature, poetry and nonfiction. She won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction twice.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Ballots are being counted this week in what could be a watershed election in Bessemer, Ala.

The vote will determine whether nearly 6,000 employees of the Amazon warehouse there will be represented by a union, something the company has forcefully resisted in its workplaces across the country.

Journalist Alec MacGillis says the stakes of the vote are "enormous."

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Are robots coming for your job? New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose says companies and governments are increasingly using automation and artificial intelligence to cut costs, transform workplaces and eliminate jobs — and more changes are coming.

"We need to prepare for the possibility that a lot of people are going to fall through the cracks of this technological transformation," Roose says. "It's happened during every technological transformation we've ever had, and it's going to happen this time. And in fact, it already is happening."

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. The American South in the post-Reconstruction era was a land of broken promises and brutal oppression for African Americans, as white leaders stripped former slaves of many of the civil and voting rights they'd won after the Civil War. But in the 1890s, the port city of Wilmington, N.C., was an exception. It had a thriving Black middle class, a large Black electorate and a local government that included Black aldermen, police officers and magistrates.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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The sleight-of-hand master explores themes of identity, honesty and the emotional cost of keeping secrets in the memoir, AMORALMAN. DelGaudio's one-man show In & Of Itself is now available on Hulu.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

DAVIES: The protests for racial justice that swept through the country last year found support among many Americans. And they also reignited old debates about how militant activists should be and how far they should go in seeking social change. Are peaceful marches the best approach or is mass civil disobedience, even violence, called for? Do demands like defunding the police turn off potential allies and undermine prospects for reform?

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