Weekdays 2-3 p.m.
  • Hosted by Joshua Johnson

1A is a show for a changing America.

Every day, host Joshua Johnson convenes a conversation about the most important issues of our time. The show takes a deep and unflinching look at America, bringing context and insight to stories unfolding across the country and the world.

With a name inspired by the First Amendment*, 1A explores important issues such as policy, politics, technology, and what connects us across the fissures that divide the country. The program also delves into pop culture, sports and humor. 1A’s goal is to act as a national mirror — taking time to help America look at itself and to ask what it wants to be.

The conversation isn’t just on air. 1A invites you to join in. We’ll regularly post questions and requests for feedback on this page. And you can talk to us on TwitterFacebook, or by texting 1A to 63735.

1A is produced by WAMU 88.5, and distributed by NPR.

Friday News Roundup - International

Sep 13, 2019

With guest host Todd Zwillich.

In the northern Bahamas, 2,500 people are still missing in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. The Catagory 5 storm left at least 50 people dead. The death toll is expected to rise.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Sep 13, 2019

With guest host Todd Zwillich.

We round up the week’s top news from around the country.

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford announced he will challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican primaries.

Between supporting charitable organizations, wrapping on a new sci-fi series for Hulu and criticizing the president, Sean Penn has found time to finish the follow-up to his debut novel, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.

A settlement between the Sacklers, its company — Purdue Pharma — and multiple state and local governments is in jeopardy after the family initially refused to give up $4.5 billion of their own wealth to settle opioid claims.

Does the state have a right to control a woman’s mind, her life and her body?

Those questions have been hotly debated as lawmakers consider new legislation on reproductive policy,, access to maternal health care on the federal and state levels.

Those conversations have been fueled by Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” widely considered to be a literary masterpiece.

The new president of the HRC has been involved in politics his whole life, whether he wanted to be or not.

One night when he was young, he awoke to the sounds of gunshots outside the front door of his family home in Liberia. To keep his children safe, David’s father threw him and his sisters out of a window. Soldiers entered the home and fired bullets into their beds.

The Staggering Weight Of Student Loan Debt

Sep 9, 2019

About 45 million Americans have student loan debt, according to a 2018 analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

And it all adds up to $1.6 trillion.

Friday News Roundup - International

Sep 6, 2019

It was another busy week of news around the globe.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Sep 6, 2019

Hurricane Dorian is moving up the eastern United States after devastating the Bahamas.

Democratic candidates’ climate change plans came under scrutiny during last night’s climate town hall.

Engineers Can Help Save The Earth

Sep 3, 2019

More than two decades ago, the CEO of BP, one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world – gave a speech to the 1997 graduating class at Stanford University.

In the speech, John Browne acknowledged for the first time the link between the fossil fuel industry and global warming.

Afterward, the American Petroleum Institute declared that Browne had “left the church.”

The Climate Crisis News Roundup

Sep 3, 2019

The Trump Administration continues its push to rollback environmental protections.

The president also skipped a climate discussion at the recent G-7 summit and reports indicate he plans to skip an upcoming United Nations climate conference.

From Labor Day barbecues to the chicken sandwich craze that swept the nation in recent weeks, Americans love chicken.

We each eat an average of 94 pounds of the bird per year, according to USDA data. That’s up from just 28 pounds in 1960.

Tapping Into Minnesota’s Craft Beer Boom

Aug 29, 2019

Would you try a jalapeño cream ale? Maybe a cotton candy milkshake IPA? If your answer is yes, you should head to Minnesota. The North Star State has a booming craft beer industry. But that wasn’t always the case.

Minnesota has something in common with the U.S. Congress. It has a split legislature. Republicans control the state Senate and Democrats have the House. It’s the only remaining state house like that in the country in the country.

So Democratic Gov. Tim Waltz has kind of a tricky job. He was elected in 2018 with 55 percent of the vote.

A full-time minimum-wage worker can’t afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in any American city, according to a recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

And a lack of affordable housing isn’t just a problem for low-income Americans. According to the same report, you’d have to make nearly $35 an hour to afford a modest home in California. In Kansas, you’d need to earn nearly $16 an hour to afford a standard two-bedroom home.

As President Donald Trump’s trade war with China continues to escalate, American agricultural exports to China are slowing down. But some farmers and their advocates say that if something isn’t done soon, the conflict could hasten the decline of the family farm.

Putting The Real New Orleans On The Map

Aug 27, 2019

You don’t have to actually go to a world-famous city to think you know something about it.

New York? The city that never sleeps. People are aggressive but there’s an energy to it you can’t find anywhere else. Los Angeles? Beautiful weather, beautiful people, but maybe a little superficial because of the entertainment industry. New Orleans? The French Quarter. Jazz music. Amazing food. Street musicians.

Rep. Ilhan Omar At Home: Minnesota

Aug 27, 2019

When President Donald Trump tweeted at U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D), and several other young Democrats of color, to “go back” — he was really telling Omar to go back to Minnesota.

She represents the 5th District in Minnesota — all of Minneapolis and some of the suburbs. Omar was born in Somalia, but is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Is America Near The End Of Its Longest War?

Aug 27, 2019

After eight rounds of talks, the Taliban and the United States appear to be close to a peace deal in Afghanistan.

It’s America’s longest war. “The conflict has stretched for nearly 18 years, taking the lives of tens of thousands of Afghans and more than 3,500 American and coalition forces, and costing hundreds of billions of dollars,” The New York Times reports

The ninth round of negotiations is ongoing in Doha, Qatar.

An Oklahoma judge decided Monday that drug giant Johnson & Johnson must pay the state $572 million for its part in contributing to Oklahoma’s opioid epidemic.

The case by Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter was the first of its kind to go to trial. The decision sets a precedent for the thousands of other cases that are being filed against opioid manufacturers and distributors by state and local governments.

Dr. Kenneth Davis is the president and CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York. Many credit him with its financial turnaround, setting the system on a new path to success.

Davis elaborated on the challenges he faced as the new head of the system in an interview with Advisory Board:

More than 5 billion classified ads, 24 years, and billions of dollars later, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is giving his money away.

The entrepreneur was a programmer at IBM for 17 years. He moved to San Francisco to work for Charles Schwab. It was on the west coast where Newmark was first introduced to the internet. He began developing what would become the online marketplace as what he referred to as an “internet commune” where people could share ideas. In 1995, the world was first introduced to Craigslist.

The 1619 Project

Aug 22, 2019

In August of 1619, a ship came to Point Comfort, in the English colony of Virginia. Over 20 enslaved African people, brought from what is now Angola, were on that ship. Once the ship landed, the colonists bought them as their property.

This sale ushered in an era of American slavery whose effects still endure today.

400 years later, the remnants of a once-formal system of racial hierarchy still play a defining role in the U.S.

A 15-year-old kid named Marques Brownlee posted a video to his YouTube channel reviewing a laptop remote on Jan. 1, 2009. Nine years later, Brownlee was interviewing Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk.

The YouTube star has come a long way.

Today, Brownlee’s tech reviews and other videos have over 9 million subscribers and 1.41 billion views on YouTube.

Reporting On The Real Rural America

Aug 21, 2019

Journalist Sarah Smarsh says “the trouble begins with language.”

Here’s what she means.

Elite pundits regularly misuse “working class” as shorthand for right-wing white guys wearing tool belts. My father, a white man and lifelong construction worker who labors alongside immigrants and people of color on job sites across the Midwest and South working for a Kansas-based general contractor owned by a woman, would never make such an error.

It’s in chocolate, cocktails, soap, gummies and bath bombs. These days, it seems like you can buy cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, mixed in with just about every product imaginable.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. It’s supposed to make a user feel calm while relieving aches and pains. And CBD products are everywhere.

President Donald Trump has called himself “the least racist person” in the world, while a 2018 poll found a majority of Americans consider him to be a racist.

Friday News Roundup - International

Aug 16, 2019

In the disputed territory of Kashmir, Pakistan’s army said three of its soldiers and five Indian soldiers are dead after an exchange of fire at the border.

Indian government officials denied the claim, saying that there were no Indian fatalities.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Aug 16, 2019

This week, the Trump administration announced new regulations that would significantly decrease the number of immigrants who can legally enter and remain in the U.S.

CNN reports:

For three decades, festival-goers from around the world have congregated in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for Burning Man. It’s a days-long celebration of artistic expression, human connection and ephemerality that culminates in the symbolic burning of a large wooden man.

Since its inception, the event’s ethos has been guided by 10 principles, from radical inclusion to civic responsibility. But as the festival grows and evolves, is its message holding up?