Rank #1: The Capital
El Salvador is the murder capital of the world, by many estimates. It has the highest homicide rate anywhere outside of war zones. The reason? Violent street gangs, exported from the U.S. We spend 24 hours in the capital city, San Salvador, when the gangs try to flex their muscle like never before. Follow Kelly McEvers on Twitter @kellymcevers. Email us at email@example.com.
Rank #2: Trump Stories: Scott Pruitt
As Donald Trump's EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt is popular with conservatives for his aggressive rollback of Obama-era environmental regulations. He has also been strongly criticized for alleged ethics violations. But there's another side of Pruitt that's less well known. Pruitt is a Southern Baptist, and for years, his politics focused on faith-based issues like abortion and religious freedom. Pruitt has publicly said he doubts the science behind the theory of evolution. In this episode, we examine how Pruitt's faith informs his views on the environment, and how he handled a major pollution case in Oklahoma. Follow us on Twitter @NPREmbedded and @kellymcevers, and follow the reporters for this episode: @TomDreisbach and @JoeWertz. (Supreme Court audio in this episode comes from Oyez.)
Rank #3: The School
It's happening all across the country, for complicated reasons: Schools are closing. And this is disproportionately affecting poor, black students. Shereen Marisol Meraji and Chris Benderev go to Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania to ask kids, parents, and teachers what it's like when the neighborhood school that's been there for more than a century is about to shut down. Follow Kelly McEvers @KellyMcEvers, Shereen Marisol Meraji @RadioMirage, and Chris Benderev @cbndrv. Email us at Embedded@npr.org.
Rank #4: Trump Stories: The Apprentice
13 years ago, one TV show changed how the world saw Donald Trump. Today, the story of how it became a hit, why it may have helped his eventual election and how the people involved feel about it now. Follow Kelly McEvers @kellymcevers and producers @TomDreisbach and @cbndrv. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rank #5: Trump Stories: The Golf Course
When Donald Trump came to Rancho Palos Verdes in Southern California in 2002, he was greeted as a "white knight." Trump was buying a golf club that had gone into bankruptcy when the 18th hole had literally fallen into the ocean. But what followed was a decade of public insults, lawsuits, and broken rules. Follow Kelly McEvers on Twitter @kellymcevers, Sonari Glinton @Sonari, and Embedded producers Tom Dreisbach @TomDreisbach and Chris Benderev @cbndrv. Email us at email@example.com and find us on Twitter @nprembedded.
Rank #6: The Police
On Skid Row in Los Angeles, where thousands of poor, homeless people live — many of them black — questions of how police should use force and interact with people come up all the time. We embed with both the police and the locals after the police shot and killed an unarmed black man. And we see what police tactics, from glad-handing to tough love, look like up close. Follow Kelly McEvers on Twitter @kellymcevers and Tom Dreisbach @TomDreisbach. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rank #7: Trump Stories: Collusion
Embedded tells the story of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. What contacts did people in Trump campaign have with Russia? What financial and business ties has President Trump had with Russia over the years? And what more can we expect from the investigation? Through new interviews, archival research, and a look at key moments — from Miss Universe in Moscow, to hacked emails and promises of "dirt" — Embedded pieces together the story that defined the first year of the Trump White House.
Rank #8: Trump Stories: Kushner
Jared Kushner has taken on a lot of responsibilities in the Trump White House, from tackling the opioid crisis to negotiating Middle East peace. But like many members of the administration, he has no previous government experience. In this episode, we examine Kushner's business dealings and his family's history to better understand how he might handle his government work. Follow Kelly McEvers on Twitter @kellymcevers, Chris Benderev @cbndrv, Tom Dreisbach @TomDreisbach, and the show @nprembedded. Email us at email@example.com
Rank #9: Trump Stories: Bannon
Now that Steve Bannon has left the Trump Administration, he says he is waging #war against the Republican establishment in the name of populist nationalism. But before he got involved in politics, Bannon spent decades in Hollywood, and his time there can tell us a lot about the origins of his beliefs. Follow Kelly McEvers on Twitter @kellymcevers, Tom Dreisbach @TomDreisbach, and Chris Benderev @cbndrv. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and find us on Twitter @nprembedded.
Rank #10: The Arctic
Reporter Rebecca Hersher spent three months in Greenland trying to understand why that country has the highest suicide rate in the world. And then, the story came to her. Follow Kelly McEvers on Twitter @KellyMcEvers and Rebecca Hersher @rhersher. Email us at Embedded@npr.org.
Rank #11: Trump Stories: Obstruction
Embedded tells the story of another part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation--the question of whether President Trump may have obstructed justice by attempting to thwart the Russia investigation. It's a crime that could have been committed regardless of whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election.
Rank #12: Trump Stories: Trump SoHo
As a businessman, President Trump was known for his towering buildings. Today we tell the story of one of those skyscrapers and what it says about how and with whom Trump does business. Follow Kelly McEvers on Twitter @kellymcevers, Alina Selyukh @alinaselyukh, @JimZarroli, Chris Benderev @cbndrv, Tom Dreisbach @TomDreisbach, and the show @nprembedded. Email us at email@example.com
Rank #13: The Immigrant
On its face, the immigration system can look a lot like the criminal justice system: prisons, courts, judges, prosecutors. But the rules are different and the details are often hard to access. Today we go inside an immigration courtroom to follow the story of one man and his family. Follow Kelly McEvers @KellyMcEvers. Follow Caitlin Dickerson @itscaitlinhd. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rank #14: The Hospital
Medicins Sans Frontieres is also known as MSF, or Doctors Without Borders. They are the first ones to arrive when there's a war, an earthquake, an outbreak, or a famine. And increasingly, they are coming under attack. We spend a week inside one MSF hospital in South Sudan to find out what life is like for the people who do this work. Follow Kelly McEvers on Twitter @KellyMcEvers and Jason Beaubien @jasonbnpr. Email us at email@example.com.
Rank #15: We Found Joy
We go back to Austin, Indiana to see how Joy, the nurse from our first episode, is dealing with her addiction to a painkiller called Opana. Follow Kelly McEvers on Twitter @KellyMcEvers. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.