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Ailsa Chang

Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who covers criminal justice, terrorism and the courts for WNYC. She found her way into public radio after practicing law for five years, and can definitely say that walking the streets of New York City with a microphone is a lot more fun than being holed up in the office writing letters to opposing counsel.

Since joining WNYC in 2009, Chang has earned national recognition for her investigative reporting.  In 2012, she was honored with the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, one of the highest awards in broadcast journalism, for her two-part investigative series on allegations of illegal searches and unlawful marijuana arrests by the New York City Police Department.  The reports also earned an honor from Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Chang has investigated how Detroit's broken public defender system leaves the poor with lawyers who are often too underpaid and overworked to provide adequate defense.  For that story, Chang won the 2010 Daniel Schorr Journalism Award, a National Headliner Award and an honor from Investigative Reporters and Editors.  

In 2011, the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association named Chang as the winner of the Art Athens Award for General Excellence in Individual Reporting for radio.  She has also appeared as a guest on PBS NewsHour and other television programs for her legal reporting.

Chang received her bachelor's degree in public policy from Stanford University, her law degree from Stanford Law School, a Masters degree in journalism from Columbia University and a Masters degree in media law from Oxford University where she was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar.

She was also a law clerk to Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Before her arrival at WNYC, Chang was a Kroc Fellow for National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. and a reporter for KQED public radio in San Francisco.  She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ailsa Chang appears in the following:

Senators Endure Vote-A-Rama With Coping Mechanisms

Friday, March 27, 2015

As they do every time the Senate takes up a budget resolution, senators spend hours voting on proposals they want to add to the document, which isn't technically a budget but a vision statement.

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Budget Reconciliation Explained Through Chutes And Ladders

Friday, March 20, 2015

The president's proposed budget sets the stage for Republicans to use a tool they've lacked until now: reconciliation. But they're not likely to win the game.

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Senate Snags Lynch's Confirmation

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The confirmation vote for U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General is tied up in a partisan battle in the Senate. NPR's Ailsa Chang explains.

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Abortion Provision In Human Trafficking Bill Delays Lynch Vote

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Senate remains deadlocked on what appeared to be a bipartisan bill which creates a fund for victims of human trafficking. Democrats object to language that would ban using the fund for abortions.

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Missed Abortion Language Tangles Senate's Trafficking Bill

Monday, March 16, 2015

A bill cracking down on human trafficking was supposed to be an easy one to pass, but that was before Democrats discovered the bill also contained language restricting abortion rights.

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Who Is Tom Cotton, The Man Behind The Iran Letter?

Friday, March 13, 2015

How a freshman senator from Arkansas and military veteran, not seen as a likely future politician, was able to grab the spotlight with a letter to Iran — and got 46 other Republicans to sign on.

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Tom Cotton: The Freshman Senator Behind The Iran Letter

Friday, March 13, 2015

Freshman Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who has been in office barely two months, penned an open letter to Iranian leaders this week that 47 Republican senators signed.

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Congressional Approval For Military Fight Against ISIS Faces Uphill Battle

Thursday, March 12, 2015

President Obama has asked Congress to give him a new resolution authorizing military force so the U.S. can fight the self-described Islamic State, also known as ISIS, across the Middle East.

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GOP Senators Remind Iran That Nuclear Deal Needs Their Backing

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The letter from 47 Republican senators is addressed to Iranian leaders and tells them that any deal with the Obama administration must be ratified by Congress to outlive his term, which ends in 2017.

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House Passes No-Strings-Attached Bill To Fund Homeland Security

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

An effort by some congressional Republicans to block President Obama's executive actions on immigration by tying it to a Homeland Security spending bill officially failed on Tuesday.

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House Not Quite Ready To 'Suck It Up' Over Homeland Security Funding

Friday, February 27, 2015

For a few days now, most Senate Republicans have come to terms with how this story would end. But the House has a new plan to fund the Department of Homeland Security for just three weeks.

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Tables Have Turned As Senate Barrels Toward Homeland Security Deadline

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In many ways, nothing has changed from past funding deadlines. Except this time it's the Republicans howling at the Democrats for being the obstructionists.

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Republicans Hope To Use Homeland Security Budget As Leverage On Immigration

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Congress has a Friday midnight deadline to pass a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security. But even though Republicans are now in charge of both chambers, the challenge of getting legislation through remains.

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Maybe Another Shutdown?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The DHS will run out of funding on Friday if the Senate doesn't come to an agreement over the agency's budget. NPR's Ailsa Chang explains what that would mean for national security.

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For TSA Officers, Congress' Inaction On Funding Could Hit Home

Monday, February 23, 2015

If Congress doesn't fund the Department of Homeland Security this week, most DHS employees will likely be ordered to stay on the job — and make do without a paycheck until funding is restored.

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Grassley Leads Senate Judiciary Panel As Loretta Lynch Hearings Begin

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Iowa Republican Charles Grassley, the first non-lawyer to head the committee, gets his turn in the spotlight as he leads the hearing on President Obama's choice for attorney general Loretta Lynch.

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Keystone Supporters Hope Amendments Will Soften Pipeline Opposition

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to make the Keystone XL pipeline the first order of business in the new term. One week in, however, the bill is still a long way from passing.

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Mitch McConnell Begins Dream Job As Senate Majority Leader

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The Kentucky Republican never really thought about running for president while growing up. Instead, he dreamed of being Senate majority leader. That dream came true on Tuesday.

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Republican Majority Makes Boehner's Job Easier — And Harder

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Republicans formally took full control of Congress for the first time during Barack Obama's presidency on Tuesday. Republicans took over the Senate and added to their majority in the House.

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Republican Leaders Vow New Congress Will Get Things Done

Monday, January 05, 2015

It's the first time since the 2006 election that both chambers will be controlled by Republicans. They pledge an end to gridlock, but they still have to work with the same Democratic president.

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