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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.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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In 2013, Edward Snowden was an IT systems expert working under contract for the National Security Agency when he traveled to Hong Kong to provide three journalists with thousands of top-secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance of American citizens.

More than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, and a growing number of those deaths are attributed to the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. Journalist Ben Westhoff says the drug, while an important painkiller and anesthesia medicine in hospitals, is now killing more Americans annually as a street drug than any other in U.S. history.

Nearly 2,000 cities, towns and counties across America are currently participating in a massive multidistrict civil lawsuit against the opioid industry for damages related to the abuse of prescription pain medication. The defendants in the suit include drug manufacturers like Mallinckrodt, wholesale distributors McKesson and Cardinal Health, and pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens.

Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth has explored unmapped, underwater caves deep in the earth, as well as the submerged crevices of an iceberg. She has seen hidden creatures and life forms that have never been exposed to the light of day.

"Since I was the smallest child, I always wanted to be an explorer — to have an opportunity to go someplace where nobody has ever been before," she says. "As an artist with my camera, it's an incredible opportunity to document these places and bring back images to share with others."

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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

You might know our guest Keith Hernandez as a big-league ballplayer or as a memorable guest on two episodes of "Seinfeld." And if you're a New York Mets fan, you'll know him as a color analyst for the team's TV broadcasts. In 17 seasons in the big leagues, Hernandez was known for hitting wicked blind drives and for dazzling defensive plays at first base. He won Gold Glove Awards, a batting title, a Most Valuable Player Award and two World Series rings.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Although President Trump was forced by the courts a year ago to end his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, recent reports from the border have described hundreds of children, teens and toddlers being held in squalid conditions at a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. In the days following the 1986 explosion in the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, a military officer working to manage the response from an abandoned hotel nearby noticed a mysterious black carpet in the empty dining hall. When he got closer, he realized it was not a carpet; it was thousands of flies, alive but immobilized by the radiation in the air. That's one of the details you'll find in the book "Midnight In Chernobyl" by our guest, journalist Adam Higginbotham.

In the 1980s, Tracy Edwards dreamed of racing a sailboat around the world. But at the time, open ocean sailboat racing was a male-dominated sport. She was only able to sign on as a cook for an all-male team in the 1985-86 Whitbread Round the World Race, a grueling 33,000 mile endeavor.

Afterward, when she still wasn't able to crew, she decided to take matters into her own hands: "My mom always told me, 'If you don't like the way the world looks, change it,'" she says. "So I thought, OK, I will."

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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In 1961, when President John F. Kennedy announced a goal of "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth" before the end of the decade, the mission seemed all but impossible.

"[The U.S.] didn't have a spaceship that could fly to the moon," journalist Charles Fishman notes. "We didn't have a rocket that could launch to the moon. We didn't have a computer small enough or powerful enough to do the navigation necessary to get people to the moon. We didn't have space food."

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. In the early morning darkness of June 17, 2017, the Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship in the South China Sea. The much larger cargo vessel ripped a huge hole in the Fitzgerald, killing seven sailors. Two months later, another destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, collided with another cargo ship leaving 10 more sailors dead.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. The Pulitzer Prize for History was awarded this week to historian David Blight for his book about 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass is probably best known for his compelling autobiographies in which he described his experiences as a slave and his escape to freedom.

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This is FRESH AIR. On the last hole of the Masters Golf Tournament Sunday, Tiger Woods made sports history when he stood over a two-foot putt on the 18th green.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JIM NANTZ: Many doubted we'd ever see it, but here it is.

(CHEERING)

NANTZ: The return to glory.

(CHEERING)

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Robert Caro has spent decades researching and chronicling the lives of notable men.

Venezuelans have been suffering one calamity after the next, but in recent weeks, much of Venezuela has had to go long stretches without electricity.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. American presidents like to describe the United States as a force for freedom and independence in the world. Our guest, historian Daniel Immerwahr, says there are also plenty of times in our history when we've subjugated and ruled foreign lands - sometimes with bloody conquests. Today, roughly 4 million people live in the American territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Our guest James Balog is an award-winning photographer, whose work explores the relationship between humans and nature. It's a subject that's taken on increased urgency, he believes, with growing evidence of the impact of climate change. He was last on our show to talk about climate change and the melting of Arctic glacial ice, which he documented through time-lapse photography. That led to his project the Extreme Ice Survey and his film "Chasing Ice."

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Growing up, actor John C. Reilly remembers watching the comedy of slapstick duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy and feeling very touched. It wasn't just that the two made him laugh, Reilly says, there was something more.

"The brilliant thing about their work when you watch it, it seems so nonchalant," he says. "It seems like they're doing it for the first time."

Then Reilly got a role playing Oliver Hardy in the new film Stan & Ollie and he realized just how much planning and precision went into those seemingly effortless physical comedy routines.

When Joshua Mezrich was a medical student on the first day of surgical rotation, he was called into the operating room to witness a kidney transplant.

What he saw that day changed him.

After the donor kidney came out of ice and the clamps on it were released, he says, "it turned pink and literally, in front of my eyes, this urine just started squirting out onto the field."

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Alan Rusbridger knows a thing or two about high-stakes journalism.

During his 20-year tenure running the British newspaper The Guardian, he collaborated with NSA contractor Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on blockbuster stories drawn from secret government documents. Though Rusbridger left The Guardian in 2015, he remembers the stress vividly.

"We were publishing every minute of the day around the world," he says. "It's a matter of deadlines and never enough information and people trying to sue you and generally harass you."

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Last year, the NCAA college basketball tournament known as March Madness was seen by 97 million TV viewers.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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