Embedded Embedded - an NPR Original longform podcast - journeys alongside the world's biggest headlines, exploring how and why things happen the way they do. From the stories behind police shootings caught on video, to visiting a town ravaged by the opioid epidemic; from the class-and-race dialogues buried inside the World Cup to living alongside NRA evangelists, we take a topic and inhabit it to explore what's been sealed off, undisclosed, or never brought to life - and return with a deeply-reported portrait of why these stories matter.

In The Last Cup, our latest season, we face Lionel Messi - one of the world's most prominent soccer stars. The 2022 World Cup marks his last chance secure the coveted trophy – and a last chance for glory in his home country of Argentina. Hosted by Argentine journalist Jasmine Garsd, The Last Cup is much more than a sports story. It's a tale of immigration and race, of capitalism and class, of belonging and identity. A story for anyone who's ever felt like an outsider in their own home.

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Embedded - an NPR Original longform podcast - journeys alongside the world's biggest headlines, exploring how and why things happen the way they do. From the stories behind police shootings caught on video, to visiting a town ravaged by the opioid epidemic; from the class-and-race dialogues buried inside the World Cup to living alongside NRA evangelists, we take a topic and inhabit it to explore what's been sealed off, undisclosed, or never brought to life - and return with a deeply-reported portrait of why these stories matter.

In The Last Cup, our latest season, we face Lionel Messi - one of the world's most prominent soccer stars. The 2022 World Cup marks his last chance secure the coveted trophy – and a last chance for glory in his home country of Argentina. Hosted by Argentine journalist Jasmine Garsd, The Last Cup is much more than a sports story. It's a tale of immigration and race, of capitalism and class, of belonging and identity. A story for anyone who's ever felt like an outsider in their own home.

Most Recent Episodes

Jesse Brown/NPR

The Last Cup: Part 4

With the disappointment of the 2010 World Cup behind them, Argentines are hopeful that Lionel Messi might break their losing streak at the 2011 Copa America, the largest tournament in South America. Messi is prepared to give his all, looking for a way to deliver a victory for his home country. Meanwhile, host Jasmine Garsd makes the long journey back to Argentina after many years away and faces an unexpected tragedy.

The Last Cup: Part 4

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María Jesús Contreras for NPR

The Last Cup: Part 3

Lionel Messi finally gets a chance to put on Argentina's national jersey, but something is off. His time abroad has fundamentally changed the way he plays. Things get even more complicated when the Argentine soccer legend, Diego Maradona, becomes coach of Messi's 2010 World Cup team. With Messi under increasing scrutiny, the hometown crowd begins to question if he can ever get out from under Maradona's shadow.

The Last Cup: Part 3

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Teen Lionel Messi plays soccer in front of a younger version of himself getting on a plane to leave Argentina. María Jesús Contreras for NPR hide caption

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María Jesús Contreras for NPR

The Last Cup: Part 2

From his earliest goals on the soccer fields of his hometown in Argentina to his arrival in Spain's Barça Football Club, host Jasmine Garsd follows the journey of a gifted kid who would go on to become one of the best. In Argentina, where the national sport is a fierce obsession, Lionel Messi was the one that got away.

The Last Cup: Part 2

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María Jesús Contreras for NPR

The Last Cup: Part 1

NPR and Futuro Studios present The Last Cup, a podcast series about soccer and the immigrant experience.

The Last Cup: Part 1

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Former Police Commissioner of the Yonkers Police Department John Mueller and former head of the Yonkers' NAACP Karen Edmonson. José A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR hide caption

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José A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR

Changing the Police: The Walk-Out

The series concludes: we check back in with John Mueller after his resignation as head of the Yonkers Police Department. And we consider what his departure means for police reform efforts in the city at a time when tensions between police and some members of the community remain high.

Changing the Police: The Walk-Out

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Social worker with the FDNY, Morgan Nevins, goes out on a mental health call. Cities across the country are trying alternatives to the police to respond to mental health crises. José A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR hide caption

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José A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR

Changing the Police: To Police or Not To Police

In Yonkers, as in the rest of the country, a substantial number of police calls involve situations where someone is having a mental health crisis. But are cops the right people to answer those calls? A growing number of cities across the country think the answer might be "No." Some have launched crisis response programs that offer alternatives to the police for non-violent mental health emergencies. But in Yonkers, for now, the police still handle these calls. In this episode, Embedded, along with its series partner, The Marshall Project, looks at what happens when the police are the only option people have. And we ask: when it comes to how much the police "police," is less more?

Changing the Police: To Police or Not To Police

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Lieutenant Charles Walker has worked for years to recruit more black officers into the Yonkers Police Department José A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR hide caption

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José A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR

Changing the Police: Charlie Walker's Plan

Every four years, the Yonkers Police Department starts the process of hiring new officers. This time, the department is specifically recruiting people of color through a program known as "Be The Change." Of course in Yonkers, there are plenty of Black people who don't feel it's up to them to "change" a department that has a long history of misconduct. But there's also a strong community of Black officers who question whether reform is possible until the Yonkers Police more accurately reflect the community they serves. In this episode, Embedded, in partnership with the Marshall Project, explores why there are so few officers of color on the Yonkers police force and why even those who've made it onto the force often feel the odds are stacked against them.

Changing the Police: Charlie Walker's Plan

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Karen Edmonson, the former head of the Yonker's NAACP, gathered complaints of police misconduct in Yonkers. Her efforts led to a federal Department of Justice investigation José A. Alvarado Jr./José A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR hide caption

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José A. Alvarado Jr./José A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR

Changing the Police: Reckoning with the Past

For a long time, the police department in Yonkers, New York had a reputation as overly aggressive, especially when it came to policing the poorer parts of the city. There were lots of stories of "bad apples"-police officers who allegedly roughed people up or planted drugs during random stops and arrests. Eventually, the U.S. Department of Justice stepped in to investigate. Now the Yonkers Police Department says it is transforming. With the help of a progressive police chief, it has adopted new policies and procedures to minimize force and make the police more accountable to the public. As Embedded, in partnership with The Marshall Project, continues its look at police reform in one American city, we confront a question many of those who say they were mistreated by the police have raised: is it enough? For some alleged victims the answer is clear: there can never be real reform until the police have fully accounted for the wrongs of the past.

Changing the Police: Reckoning with the Past

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José A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR

Changing the Police: The John Mueller Show

Episode 1 takes listeners to Yonkers, New York, a city with a long and ugly history of bad policing. The Justice Department has demanded an overhaul of the department and has been monitoring it for more than a decade. The commissioner in Yonkers has promised to do what the feds want and more. He has promised to "reform" policing in Yonkers and turn his officers into guardians of the community, accountable to its citizens. Can it be done and what does this kind of reform even look like?

Changing the Police: The John Mueller Show

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Embedded podcast tile. Kelly Manno/Kelly Manno hide caption

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Kelly Manno/Kelly Manno

Coming Soon: Changing The Police

In a new multi-part series, Embedded listeners will get to know the Yonkers Police Department, located just outside New York City. For over a decade, the department has been monitored by the federal government because of its history of misconduct. A new generation of leaders say they are fixing what's been broken in Yonkers and will soon finish the reform process. But what does this really mean and how will it change things?

Coming Soon: Changing The Police

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