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.

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Investigators are still trying to answer some key questions about the January 6 assault on the Capitol, like exactly who stormed the building that day? And what motivated them to be there? An NPR team has been analyzing the more than 200 cases the Justice Department has brought so far. The defendants include military men, extremists and hardcore Trump supporters. One thing they had in common - they were nearly all men. As Dina Temple-Raston of NPR's Investigations team explains, experts say gender likely played an outsized role in the way the day played out.

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

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Hollywood portrayals of the American Mafia often focus on major cities, but writer Russell Shorto says there have been active mob organizations in countless small and midsize cities in the United States.

Shorto knows this firsthand: His grandfather was a mob boss in the industrial town of Johnstown, Pa. Shorto says his grandfather's involvement with the Johnstown mob initially began as an offshoot of Prohibition, which opened doors for Italian Americans facing employment discrimination.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. You've probably heard our guest, actor Hank Azaria, more times than you realize. He's voiced dozens of characters for "The Simpsons," including Moe the bartender, Chief Wiggum and Dr. Nick. One character he no longer performs is Apu, which he'll explain a little later. He's appeared in many films, including "The Birdcage," "Shattered Glass," "Dodgeball," "Night At The Museum" and "Tuesdays With Morrie," as well as the TV series "Friends," "Mad About You," "Bordertown" and "Ray Donovan."

Now that former President Donald Trump has left office, the community of believers in the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory are left wondering what will happen next.

Washington Post national technology reporter Craig Timberg has written about QAnon and related subjects in recent months. He acknowledges that it can be hard to sum up exactly what QAnon is.

Your local police department may know more about you than you think. Journalist Jon Fasman says local police are frequently able to access very powerful surveillance tools — including publicly accessible CCTV cameras, automatic license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices — with little oversight.

Most of us take our voices for granted, but New Yorker writer John Colapinto got a scare several years ago when his failed him.

After working every day, mostly in silence, he damaged his vocal cords while singing with a rock band in the evenings after work.

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

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In the 1840s, Elizabeth Blackwell was admitted to a U.S. medical school — in part because the male students thought her application was part of an elaborate prank. She persisted and got her degree, becoming the first American woman to do so. A few years later, her younger sister Emily followed in her footsteps, earning her own medical degree from the institution that would become Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

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Security cameras and facial recognition technology are on the rise in China. In 2018, People's Daily, the media mouthpiece of China's ruling Communist Party, claimed on English-language Twitter that the country's facial recognition system was capable of scanning the faces of China's 1.4 billion citizens in just one second.

Photographer Bob Gruen spent decades capturing the lives and performances of rock stars of the '60s, '70s and '80s, including John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Tina Turner — and many more.

Gruen put in many hours backstage, in studios and on the road, sometimes doing drugs and drinking until dawn with his subjects.

"I carried a little flask of cognac in my camera case. It was part of my equipment. That's the way it was in the '70s," he says. "I don't know how I survived, because I crave peace and quiet — but I actually thrive in chaos."

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Hookworm is an intestinal parasite often associated with poor sewage treatment and the developing world. It was long thought to have been eradicated from the United States — until a 2017 study revealed otherwise.

According to the study, more than one in three people in Alabama's Lowndes County tested positive for hookworm infection.

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Eleven years ago, when she was 24, Katherine Standefer was working as a ski instructor and a climbing teacher in Jackson, Wyo., when she suddenly passed out in a parking lot. She later learned that she has long QT syndrome, a genetic heart condition in which the heart can suddenly quiver instead of rhythmically pumping blood.

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When COVID-19 forced New York City into lockdown in March, Harlem chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson had a choice: stay or go. Born in Ethiopia and raised by adoptive parents in Sweden, Samuelsson says leaving the city during the pandemic "would be the easier way out."

But he decided to stay.

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

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

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COVID-19 has disrupted life around the globe. Borders have closed between nations, businesses have shuttered, and school and social routines have been profoundly altered. Yet amid all this, CNN host and Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria sees possibility.

"This is an opportunity, if we take it, to really go ahead and make some of the big changes that we all know we need," he says.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Last week baseball lost one of its most memorable players.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Rumaan Alam's latest novel, Leave the World Behind, centers on a white family and an older Black couple who find themselves together in a beautiful vacation house on Long Island while a power outage — and possibly something much worse — grips much of the East Coast.

In October 1859, a white abolitionist named John Brown led a three-day siege on the U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va., hoping to spark a rebellion of enslaved people in the Southern states. Ultimately, the abolitionists were defeated by a company of U.S. Marines, and Brown was charged with treason and hanged. But the consequences of the raid were lasting.

"Harpers Ferry, to my mind and a lot of people's mind, is the first battle of the Civil War," actor Ethan Hawke says.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Our guest Jill Heinerth has one of the most fascinating and dangerous jobs on Earth. She's one of a rare breed of technical divers who explore underground waterways and submerged caves deep beneath the Earth's surface or sometimes, as you'll soon hear, inside an iceberg.

In the first presidential debate, President Trump was asked if he would refrain from declaring victory until the election has been independently certified. He refused to make that commitment.

Atlantic writer Barton Gellman was not surprised.

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