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.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. "Downton Abbey," the feature film based on the Masterpiece series that ran on PBS for six seasons, opens today in theaters. Much of the cast returns in the movie for a plot set in motion by the visit of King George the V to Downton. In this scene, conflicts emerge as servants at Downton are talking about preparations from the royals with the king's page, who's part of the royals advance team.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "DOWNTOWN ABBEY")

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.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. You might not recognize the name of our guest Stephen Root, but chances are awfully good you've seen his work. He's a character actor who's appeared in nearly 800 TV episodes and a hundred movies and sometimes brief appearances, like one as a bank manager on "Seinfeld" or his short but memorable scenes as the sad sack office worker Milton in the film "Office Space." He's had several recurring roles in TV series over the years, including "The West Wing," "NewsRadio" and "Justified."

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. Americans are talking a lot about race these days and whether immigrants from certain regions should be welcomed into the country. Our guest, Charles King, writes about a time a little more than 100 years ago when he says educated people in the U.S. believed it was established science that there is a natural hierarchy of cultures, with Western civilization at the top, and that people's abilities and potential were defined by their race and gender.

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."

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. When a young staffer for the Democratic National Committee was murdered in Washington, D.C., in 2016, it appeared to be a street robbery gone wrong. But the death of Seth Rich became the subject of wild conspiracy theories, some planted by Russian intelligence operatives and promoted by allies of President Trump and covered on Fox News. The theories assert that Seth Rich was the person who gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks, which were then released to damage Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

We tend to think of being asleep or awake as an either-or prospect: If you're not asleep, then you must be awake. But sleep disorder specialist and neurologist Guy Leschziner says it's not that simple.

"If one looks at the brain during sleep, we now know that actually sleep is not a static state," Leschziner says. "There are a number of different brain states that occur while we sleep."

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

And if that enthusiastic review got you interested in the novel, stick around because we're going to hear from the author. FRESH AIR's Dave Davies just recorded this interview with Colson Whitehead.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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."

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