Worldly

Worldly

www.vox.com/worldly
Your weekly guide to the world.


Rep. Ro Khanna’s vision for a new, “progressive” foreign policy
Oct 10 • 28 min
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), one of the leading minds advocating for a radical rethinking of US foreign policy, sits down with Jenn for a conversation about what a “progressive” foreign policy would look like and how it would actually be applied in tough…
How Italy, Australia, and Britain got dragged into the Ukraine scandal
Oct 3 • 31 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the latest news in the Trump-Ukraine scandal — the emergence of related allegations about inappropriate administration requests to the governments of Britain, Italy, and Australia. They explain what happened in each case,…
The whistleblower complaint: a close read
Sep 26 • 21 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex dive into the just-released whistleblower report about Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They explain what exactly it alleges about Trump and his administration — and the wider coverup operation it reveals.…
War for Oil
Sep 19 • 26 min
Zack and Jenn are joined by Matt Yglesias to talk about the worrying fallout of an attack on Saudi oil facilities this weekend. The United States has blamed Iran for the attack, and President Trump tweeted that America is “locked and loaded” to retaliate…
Why the US can’t win in Afghanistan
Sep 12 • 23 min
Zack and Alex are joined by Ben Pauker, Vox’s managing editor for news and a longtime foreign correspondent, to talk about the war in Afghanistan — and why the US can’t seem to win it. They discuss the reasons that Afghanistan is fertile ground for an…
The case for foreign policy restraint
Sep 5 • 60 min
In this special crossover episode, Weeds host Matt Yglesias talks to Emma Ashford, Research Fellow in Defense and Foreign Policy at the Cato Institute. It’s a wide ranging discussion covering everything from China to the middle east, our relationship with…
Boris’s Great British Brexit-Off
Aug 29 • 19 min
Zack and Jenn are joined by Vox foreign writer Jen Kirby to talk about UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to “prorogue” Parliament — meaning suspend it for five weeks — during the runup to the October 31st Brexit deadline. They explain how this is…
The Amazon is on fire
Aug 22 • 23 min
In Jenn’s and Alex’s absence, Zack is joined by Umair Irfan, a climate change reporter at Vox, to talk about the wildfires raging in Siberia, Greenland, and — most worryingly — the Amazon rainforest. They explain why preserving the health of the massive…
INF’d
Aug 15 • 22 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the recently deceased Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty — a Cold War-era agreement that was supposed to stop the US and Russia from putting destabilizing missiles too close to each other. They explain where the treaty…
India’s power grab in Kashmir
Aug 8 • 21 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about India’s decision to revoke Article 370 of its constitution, the provision giving special status to the majority-Muslim state of Jammu and Kashmir, a decision that has sparked a political crisis with Pakistan. The Worldly…
Are the US and Turkey heading for a divorce?
Aug 1 • 25 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the tension between the US and one of its major NATO allies, Turkey. The most recent fight is over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile system, but that’s emblematic of a much deeper rift relating to the Turkish…
Introducing Land of the Giants
Jul 31 • 13 min
Land of the Giants is a new podcast from Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network about the five major technology companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google – or “FAANG”) that have reshaped our world. Each season focuses on one of the giants…
Boris and Brexit
Jul 25 • 23 min
Zack and Jenn are joined by Jen Kirby, Vox’s chief Brexit correspondent, to discuss the UK’s new prime minister: Boris Johnson. They trace his rise to power, his political persona that is both funny and troubling, and his distinct lack of political…
Meet the Space Force
Jul 18 • 46 min
Alex Ward joins The Weeds’ Jane Coaston and Matt Yglesias to explain Trump’s more-tedious-than-it-sounds plan for military domination of the final frontier.Recommended reading:“Trump really, really wants troops in space” by Alex Ward“Trump wants a ‘Space…
A very special relationship episode
Jul 11 • 25 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the saga of Kim Darroch, the recently-resigned UK Ambassador to the US. Some of Darroch’s private cables back home, where he referred to President Trump as “inept” (among other things), were leaked and published in a British…
Under pressure (Live!)
Jul 4 • 29 min
The long-awaited Worldly live episode is here! In a taping at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Zack, Alex, and Jenn discuss the notion of “maximum pressure” — a phrase coined to describe Trump’s North Korea policy that has turned out to…
The Democratic (foreign policy) debate
Jun 27 • 23 min
It’s a Democratic debate special! Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the big foreign policy issue dividing the candidates: whether the liberal international order the United States set up after World War II is working, and what reforms are necessary if it…
How close are we to war with Iran?
Jun 20 • 22 min
Zack and Alex break down the past few weeks of worrying news about Iran. They discuss (what seem to be) Iranian attacks on oil tankers, Iran announcing that it was thinking about breaking the terms of the nuclear deal, and the US sending more troops to…
The fight to save Hong Kong
Jun 13 • 19 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the huge protests in Hong Kong that erupted over a controversial amendment to the city’s extradition law — and why the fight is really about protecting the city’s freedoms from Beijing’s attempts to repress them. They play…
Jamestown: Utopian for Whom?
Jun 12 • 11 min
Nice Try! is a new podcast from Curbed and the Vox Media Podcast Network that explores stories of people who have tried to design a better world, and what happens when those designs don’t go according to plan. Season one, Utopian, follows Avery Trufelman…
Bloodshed in Sudan
Jun 5 • 17 min
Jenn and Alex explain how months-long protests to oust a brutal dictator in Sudan, once so hopeful, have fallen victim to a bloody repression campaign. After initial peaceful talks, a government-linked paramilitary group decided to attack demonstrators,…
European Dis-union
May 30 • 19 min
Jenn, Alex, and special guest Jen Kirby (who goes by Kirby in our shows) explain the shocking results of the European parliamentary elections. The world’s second-largest exercise in democracy produced big wins for Europe’s left-wing Green Party, some…
Collusion in Austria
May 23 • 23 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down how a six-hour video of a far-right party leader drinking in Ibiza brought down Austria’s government. The story involves a fake Russian oligarch’s niece, a far-right party founded by former Nazis, and a plot to subvert the…
The art of trade war
May 16 • 23 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex examine Trump’s trade war with China, which appears to be back on after negotiations failed to produce a deal. They run through how we got here, what’s happened so far in terms of escalating tit-for-tat tariffs, and what the costs of…
Slouching towards an Iran war
May 9 • 23 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about a scary rise in tensions between the US and Iran in the past week — a (possibly inflated) Iranian plot against American troops in the Middle East, and an Iranian announcement of plans to stop abiding by the terms of the…
Venezuela’s phantom coup
May 2 • 22 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the strange non-coup in Venezuela this week. Juan Guaidó, the parliament leader the US considers the country’s legitimate president, claimed the military was about to overthrow actual President Nicolás Maduro in a Tuesday…
Trump is stoking a civil war in Libya
Apr 25 • 17 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about the recent violence in Libya — where a militia led by strongman Khalifa Haftar is threatening to topple the internationally recognized government. They explain how we got to this point, and the depressing role President…
Maybe collusion, probably obstruction [Special Crossover Edition]
Apr 18 • 39 min
Ezra Klein joins Zack, Jenn, and Alex in a crossover episode with The Weeds on Robert Mueller’s just-released report. They explain the special counsel’s main findings on collusion with Russian election interference and on obstruction of justice and why…
The end of the two-state solution?
Apr 11 • 19 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the results of Tuesday’s election in Israel, which are set to give incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a fifth term in office. They explain why his end-of-campaign promise to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank…
Brunei just made gay sex punishable by death
Apr 4 • 22 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the wealthy authoritarian nation of Brunei’s horrific new criminal code, in which men who have sex with men can be executed by stoning. They delve into the possible reasons Brunei’s sultan is adopting this code, explain how…
The latest Israel Gaza flare-up
Mar 28 • 24 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the latest round of fighting between Israel and militants based in the Gaza Strip. They run through how it started, the reasons why it may or may not escalate, and what it tells us about the perpetual state of instability…
Understanding the New Zealand attack
Mar 21 • 26 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex delve into the dark far-right echo chamber that seemingly motivated the New Zealand mosque shooter. They talk about the French origins of apocalyptic theories about nonwhites and Muslims overrunning the West, how those ideas went…
Introducing Switched on Pop
Mar 15 • 13 min
Vox takes culture seriously. Our coverage seeks to understand how our cultural touchstones work — and what they reveal about who we are.That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to Switched on Pop. It’s a podcast that digs into the cultural context and…
Algeria’s election, UK’s rejection
Mar 14 • 27 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the big-deal political developments in Algeria — where longtime ruler Abdelaziz Bouteflika has decided not to run for a fifth presidential term. The decision was a big victory for a protest movement in the authoritarian…
D’oh Canada
Mar 7 • 25 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about the major political scandal rocking Canada in which top officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, may have pressured the attorney general to rule in favor of a powerful Canadian company facing criminal charges.…
Four countries, two nuclear crises
Feb 28 • 26 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the week’s big nuclear news — the US-North Korea summit in Vietnam and the recent round of hostilities between India and Pakistan. They go over the nitty-gritty of Trump’s somewhat surprising failure to strike a deal with…
Four songs that help explain the world
Feb 21 • 23 min
This week’s show takes all four of our popular Elsewhere music segments and puts them together in one special episode! Zack, Jenn, and Alex take you through a range of different acts: pioneering K-pop artists, a dissident Turkish Marxist band, one of…
Brexit’s biggest hurdle: Ireland
Feb 14 • 26 min
Zack and Jenn are joined by Jen Kirby, one of Vox’s foreign affairs reporters, to discuss what has emerged as the biggest hurdle to the Brexit process: the border between the Republic of Ireland and British-controlled Northern Ireland. They go back in…
How America’s longest war might finally end
Feb 7 • 22 min
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Trump’s intelligence failure
Jan 31 • 22 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down a new intelligence report that directly contradicts President Trump’s views on key policy issues from ISIS to climate change. The report caused Trump to blast his own spies on Twitter, writing that “Perhaps Intelligence…
Venezuela has two presidents
Jan 24 • 25 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the political crisis in Venezuela — a country in economic free fall where two men are each claiming to be the sole legitimate president. They run through 20 years of Venezuelan history, explaining how a unique…
Bollocks to Brexit
Jan 17 • 22 min
This week, Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the UK parliament’s very big, very bizarre week of voting. On Tuesday, Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal by a huge margin; on Wednesday, they voted to keep May in office despite having…
One of the world’s worst dictators is facing an uprising
Jan 10 • 22 min
This week, Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the burgeoning protest movement against Sudan’s longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir. Bashir, who was responsible for the Darfur genocide and once sheltered Osama bin Laden, did not face a major uprising during the 2011…
Trump’s surprise troop withdrawal
Jan 3 • 21 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss what President Donald Trump’s surprise decision to withdraw US troops from Syria means for that country, ISIS, and Iran. After all, nobody — including leading US officials and America’s allies — really wants Trump to do this.…
One refugee’s story in Hungary
Dec 27, 2018 • 16 min
In this re-run Jenn, Zack, and Alex Ward discuss Europe’s political meltdown over migration, which Zack got a firsthand look at during a trip to Hungary last week funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. They start by airing Zack’s interview…
Hindsight is 2018
Dec 20, 2018 • 27 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex wrap up 2018 by looking back at three of the most dramatic foreign policy decisions President Trump made in 2018 — and whether, in retrospect, they turned out to be as dramatic as we’d initially thought. For Elsewhere, Zack pushes…
It was China, in the Marriott database, with the hack
Dec 13, 2018 • 16 min
Zack and Jenn discuss the massive hack of Marriott, in which the information of as many as 500 million people was stolen. China appears to be the culprit — part of a broader cyber assault on US institutions that amounts to a massive Chinese intelligence…
2 French 2 Furious
Dec 6, 2018 • 22 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the protests currently raging in France. They began as a reaction to President Emmanuel Macron’s gas tax hike, but have evolved into a much wider rebuke of his allegedly elitist, out-of-touch presidency. For Elsewhere, they…
A trio of unlikely senators work to stop the Yemen war
Nov 29, 2018 • 24 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the Senate’s historic War Powers vote on Wednesday, the first step toward reining in US participation in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. The US has been supporting Saudi Arabia with weapons and intelligence for years, but the…
The case for (and against) open borders
Nov 22, 2018 • 23 min
On Future Perfect, Vox’s Dylan Matthews tackles provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world – ideas like opening up our borders. One of the most reliable, best-documented ways to lift someone in a poor country out of poverty is to…
China’s “concentration camps” for Muslims
Nov 15, 2018 • 25 min
Zack and Alex are joined by James Palmer, an editor at Foreign Policy magazine, to discuss a terrible and under-discussed humanitarian crisis: China’s repression of its Uighur Muslim minority. In Xinjiang province, where most Uighurs live, China has set…
Jeff Sessions is out. Is Robert Mueller next?
Nov 8, 2018 • 21 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the implications of President Donald Trump firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, both for the Russia investigation and for the rule of law. On Elsewhere, they discuss how the Democratic takeover of the House could result…
Why fringe groups are winning around the world
Nov 1, 2018 • 26 min
Jenn, Alex, and returning special guest Alina Polyakova discuss what a presidential election in Brazil and a stunning political announcement in Germany have in common: the collapse of centrist leadership worldwide. The center-left and center-right have…
Duck and cover
Oct 25, 2018 • 27 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex address one of the world’s biggest threats: nuclear war. There’s a small but still very real chance that nuclear weapons will be used in our lifetimes; the gang discusses how that could happen — and what it would look like if the bomb…
A murder and an outbreak
Oct 18, 2018 • 20 min
On a special episode of Worldly with two main segments, Zack talks with Alex about the latest in the Jamal Khashoggi saga and then interviews Vox health writer Julia Belluz on the worrying Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Zack and Alex…
Where is Jamal Khashoggi?
Oct 11, 2018 • 21 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi dissident-in-exile and Washington Post columnist. Khashoggi went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get some paperwork, and then never came out; it’s looking like…
The looming Brexit catastrophe
Sep 27, 2018 • 23 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the state of Brexit: The United Kingdom’s ongoing negotiation over the terms of its departure from the European Union. The process has involved months of turmoil between UK Prime Minister Theresa May and hardline members of…
Trump’s plan to tank the Chinese economy
Sep 20, 2018 • 22 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss President Trump’s massive new escalation in his trade war with China — new tariffs that mean half of all imports from China are now being taxed. They break down how these tariffs will actually affect Americans, Trump’s overall…
Did al-Qaeda win?
Sep 13, 2018 • 29 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the debate over the legacy of the 9/11 attacks: Did al-Qaeda get what it wanted? On Elsewhere, we look at Russia’s latest bizarre attempt to deflect blame for the UK spy poisoning by posting a questionable interview with…
A looming disaster in Syria
Sep 6, 2018 • 25 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex dissect the looming crisis in Idlib, the last big rebel stronghold in Syria, which will soon be the target of a vicious Assad regime offensive. The roughly three million people in the region, many of whom were displaced from previous…
Deal or no deal
Aug 30, 2018 • 28 min
Zack and Alex are joined by a special guest — Weeds host Dara Lind — to discuss the way President Trump makes deals with foreign countries. They break down the big news of the week on nuclear negotiations with North Korea and NAFTA talks with Mexico and…
The Trump-Fox News-white nationalist feedback loop
Aug 23, 2018 • 22 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about Trump’s late-night tweet about the alleged persecution of white South African farmers. They explain what’s actually happening in South Africa, how Trump’s take on the situation has its roots in an international white…
Talking Turkey (and its economic crisis)
Aug 16, 2018 • 27 min
Zack, Jenn, and special guest Matt Yglesias discuss the economic crisis crippling Turkey — and how its feud with the Trump administration over a detained American pastor is making things even worse. On Elsewhere, Jenn and Zack examine the very real and…
Saudi Arabia picked a fight with…Canada?
Aug 9, 2018 • 23 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex explore the utterly bizarre diplomatic fight between Saudi Arabia and Canada — and why it has everything to do with the ruthless ambition of Saudi’s young new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. On Elsewhere, they discuss a big scoop…
A man, a plan, Iran
Aug 2, 2018 • 25 min
On this week’s episode, Zack, Jenn, and Alex look at the economics behind Trump’s offer to sit down with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The Iranian economy is in trouble after the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, due to the impending threat of…
It’s gettin hot in here, so get really concerned about global stability
Jul 26, 2018 • 32 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex dig into the heat wave wreaking havoc across the Northern Hemisphere, spreading a wildfire in Greece so hot that cars are melting on city streets. They get special science guest Umair Irfan to explain the connection between this heat…
From Russia, with love (and hacking)
Jul 19, 2018 • 24 min
Zack, Jenn, and Alex examine the evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 election — and how much of it President Donald Trump had already been shown before his meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. They dig into the Justice…
Has Trump actually been good for NATO?
Jul 12, 2018 • 23 min
Jenn, official new Worldly co-host Alex Ward, and special guest Dr. Alina Polyakova discuss President Trump’s big NATO summit this week and his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump has openly criticized the NATO military alliance…
Why Europe turned its back on migrants
Jul 5, 2018 • 25 min
Jenn, Zack, and recurring guest Alex Ward discuss Europe’s political meltdown over migration, which Zack got a firsthand look at during a trip to Hungary last week funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. They start by airing Zack’s interview…
The military’s biggest challenge? Trump.
Jun 28, 2018 • 29 min
Jenn sits down with returning guest Alex Ward and special guest Loren DeJonge Schulman, a defense expert at the Center for a New American Security, to talk about why the hell the Pentagon keeps getting caught off guard by big decisions coming from the…
Blame China?
Jun 21, 2018 • 26 min
On a special goodbye Worldly — it’s Yochi’s final episode, sadly — he, Jenn, and Zack talk about President Donald Trump’s looming trade war with China, which could soon make it more expensive to buy everything from an iPhone to an air conditioner. The US…
The Art of the Deal, by Kim Jong Un
Jun 14, 2018 • 34 min
On an all-summit episode of Worldly, Zack and Jenn are joined by actual North Korea expert Jeffrey Lewis (host of the Arms Control Wonk podcast) for an in-depth analysis of how the Trump-Kim meeting actually went. They talk about how the US didn’t get…
Trump and Kim, sitting in a hotel, T-A-L-K-I-N-G
Jun 7, 2018 • 24 min
Zack, Jenn, and returning guest Alex Ward talk about the possibilities — and perils — of President Trump’s upcoming nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12. On Elsewhere, they discuss the wild story of how Iceland’s…
The nuclear standoff nobody’s talking about
May 31, 2018 • 27 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack dive into the nuclear standoff between India and Pakistan, one of the most dangerous but least known military conflicts in the world. On Elsewhere, they look at the mysterious case of a Russian journalist who was reportedly murdered…
Trump’s breakup note to Kim Jong-un, explained
May 24, 2018 • 23 min
On a special all-North Korea episode of Worldly, Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about President Trump’s surprise cancellation of his planned summit with Kim Jong Un — a decision Trump announced literally as the Worldly crew was sitting down to record the…
The Arab world has abandoned Gaza
May 17, 2018 • 24 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack discuss Israel’s killings of dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza and why many Arab countries seem willing to give Israel a pass and instead focus on what they see as a growing threat from Iran. On Elsewhere, they look at…
America is out of the Iran deal. Now what?
May 10, 2018 • 27 min
On a special episode of Worldly, Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about President Trump’s historic and dangerous decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, a move that angered America’s closest allies and potentially set the stage for a new Mideast war.…
A war between Israel and Iran could really happen
May 3, 2018 • 34 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s over-the-top media blitz designed to sway President Trump to nix the Iran nuclear deal and about how Israel’s shadow conflict with Iran is threatening to explode into a new…
The ideology behind the Toronto terror attack, explained
Apr 26, 2018 • 32 min
Yochi, Zack, and special guest Dara Lind discuss Monday’s bloody terror attack in Toronto, which was carried out by a member of a fringe anti-woman movement called “incel,” short for “involuntary celibate.” On Elsewhere, they talk about how French…
The promise and peril of Trump’s North Korea meeting
Apr 19, 2018 • 26 min
On a special all-North Korea episode, Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s secret meeting with Kim Jong Un, the clearest sign yet that the Trump administration is serious about setting aside the belligerent rhetoric and having a…
Trump has no Syria strategy. Obama didn’t either.
Apr 12, 2018 • 30 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about President Trump’s threats to bomb Syria after a brutal chemical weapons attack there — and why a US military strike won’t have much impact on the country’s civil war. On Elsewhere, they talk about Hungarian Prime Minister…
A clear guide to the Israel-Gaza crisis
Apr 5, 2018 • 28 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about the growing crisis on the Gaza-Israel border, where Israeli troops killed 19 Palestinians during violent clashes with protesters, sparking fears of all-out war. On Elsewhere, they turn to Malaysia, which just passed the…
The rise of Trump’s war cabinet (Weeds crossover!)
Mar 29, 2018 • 33 min
It’s Part 1 of a special crossover with Vox’s The Weeds. On this week’s Worldly, Yochi, Zack, and Weeds host Dara Lind discuss Trump’s national security cabinet reshuffle — and whether the appointment of incoming National Security Adviser John Bolton…
Trump’s Russia policy? What Russia policy?
Mar 22, 2018 • 31 min
Yochi, Zack, and special guest Alexia Underwood talk about why President Trump’s top aides begged him not to congratulate Vladimir Putin for winning this week’s sham Russian election — and why Trump ignored them and did so anyway. On Elsewhere, they talk…
Putin’s poisonings
Mar 15, 2018 • 27 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK with a deadly nerve agent. The British government says Russia was behind the startling attack, but it’s not clear how far they — or the Trump administration — are willing to…
Rexit special!
Mar 13, 2018 • 16 min
On a special bonus episode of Worldly, Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about President Trump finally firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after publicly and privately mocking him for months. The good news: world leaders will know that Tillerson’s…
Make Italy Great Again
Mar 8, 2018 • 27 min
Yochi, Jenn and Zack talk about how Italy’s elections may have paved the way for a far-right prime minister who sees Vladimir Putin as a role model, wants to close mosques, and openly talks about deporting 500,000 migrants. On Elsewhere, they talk about…
Why Xi Jinping’s power grab is dangerous for China — and the world
Mar 1, 2018 • 32 min
Yochi, Zack and Jenn talk about China’s decision to allow President Xi Jinping to rule the country indefinitely, a move that means the world’s biggest country will likely grow even more repressive at home and aggressive abroad. On Elsewhere, they discuss…
Russian mercenaries, Israeli airstrikes, and the bloody future of the Syrian civil war
Feb 15, 2018 • 33 min
Yochi, Zack, and special guest Alexia Underwood talk about the evolution of Syria’s civil war and how a conflict that once pitted Syrian against Syrian has now drawn in at least six outside countries. Just this past week, Israel carried out waves of…
Polish Holocaust denial and the weaponization of history
Feb 8, 2018 • 33 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about a controversial new law in Poland that makes it illegal to accuse the “Polish nation” of being complicit in the Holocaust, a change that has infuriated the US, Israel, and Jewish communities around the world. The anger…
Why America can’t quit Guantanamo Bay
Feb 1, 2018 • 30 min
Zack, Jenn, and returning guest Alex Ward discuss the controversial prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and President Trump’s announcement this week that he’s keeping it open and may send ISIS fighters there. On Elsewhere, the gang looks at a bizarre and…
Why Trump, who promised to keep America out of wars, keeps escalating them
Jan 25, 2018 • 37 min
Jenn, Zack, and special guest Alex Ward discuss President Trump’s decision to escalate America’s military involvement in Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and beyond — despite having campaigned on an “America First” agenda that promised to reduce US military…
A Saudi-Iran proxy war has torn Yemen apart — and America is fanning the flames
Jan 18, 2018 • 29 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack discuss the horrific war in Yemen, which has become a battleground in a shadow war between Iran and Saudi Arabia — and where there are real reasons to worry that the US is complicit in war crimes. On Elsewhere, they look to a rare…
Why Mueller’s obstruction of justice investigation should really scare Trump
Jan 11, 2018 • 35 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about the state of play in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe — and why obstruction of justice, not collusion, may pose the biggest legal and political threat to President Trump. On Elsewhere, they look at Israel’s “Strippergate”…
How expensive eggs helped kick off the biggest Iranian protests in years
Jan 4, 2018 • 29 min
On the first Worldly of 2018, Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about what the massive protests in Iran say about the future of the country — and about its tense relationship with the US. The protests have demonstrated a remarkable degree of public anger at both…
“Speak loudly and carry a small stick:” Trump’s foreign policy year in review
Dec 21, 2017 • 40 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack bid a fond farewell to 2017 by looking at what Donald Trump’s first year in office says about his approach to the presidency and how he’s likely to handle Iran, North Korea, and China in the future. The biggest takeaway is that…
The most political Olympics since the Cold War
Dec 14, 2017 • 27 min
In a special Olympics-themed episode of Worldly, Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at how global politics will shape next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea in a way that hasn’t been seen since the height of the Cold War. The International Olympic Committee…
Trump said Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Now what?
Dec 7, 2017 • 49 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that breaks with decades of US foreign policy — and that tells us a lot about how Trump makes decisions and how often his actions don’t match…
Rex Tillerson’s departure looks imminent as the North Korea crisis heats up
Nov 30, 2017 • 54 min
Yochi, Jenn, and special guest Alex Ward talk about President Trump’s apparent decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who will go down as arguably the worst secretary of state in American history. Tillerson will leave the department after…
The president of the world’s most powerful democracy doesn’t seem to actually like democracy
Nov 16, 2017 • 54 min
Yochi, Zack, and special guest Loren DeJonge Schulman discuss President Trump’s trip to Asia, where his warm feelings for foreign autocrats and refusal to discuss human rights abuses raise real questions about whether the leader of the world’s biggest…
Saudi Arabia’s real-life Game of Thrones
Nov 9, 2017 • 42 min
Yochi, Jenn and Zack talk about the shocking purge in Saudi Arabia, where the country’s young and ambitious crown prince has abruptly begun arresting his relatives and seizing billions of dollars of their money. The move is a clear sign that 32-year-old…
The New York attack reveals ISIS’s plan for survival
Nov 2, 2017 • 52 min
Jenn is back, and she joins Yochi and Zack to talk about what the terror attack in New York says about the true ISIS threat to the US. With ISIS on the run in Iraq and Syria, the sad reality is that the group will double down on its efforts to find…
What were American troops doing in Niger?
Oct 26, 2017 • 45 min
Yochi, Zack, and special guest Loren DeJonge Schulman of the great podcast Bombshell talk about the deaths of four US soldiers in Niger in October, a tragedy at the center of a nasty political fight between President Trump and a grieving military widow.…
What the fight over Kirkuk means for Iraq’s future
Oct 19, 2017 • 48 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at why Washington’s two biggest allies in the fight against ISIS are squaring off over the future of Kirkuk, an oil-rich city in northern Iraq. Kurdish fighters took control of Kirkuk three years ago and have held it ever since…
Trump’s risky, pointless plan to undermine the Iran deal without tearing it up
Oct 12, 2017 • 46 min
Jenn, Zack, and special guest Matt Yglesias talk about the Iran nuclear deal and the looming Sunday deadline for President Trump to recertify that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the deal. They discuss why, contrary to the advice of nearly all of…
Puerto Rico’s crisis and the curse of American colonialism
Oct 4, 2017 • 51 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at how the Trump administration’s bungled response to the crisis in Puerto Rico reflects the longstanding challenges facing an island that is neither a full US state (with all the benefits that brings) nor a fully independent…
Angela Merkel won Germany’s election. So did the far-right.
Sep 28, 2017 • 48 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at Sunday’s landmark elections in Germany, which were simultaneously reassuring and deeply alarming. German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term, which means she’ll still have the power to let in refugees, challenge…
Trump took his America First act to the UN
Sep 20, 2017 • 38 min
On a special episode of Worldly, Yochi, Jenn, and Vox defense reporter Alex Ward look at Donald Trump’s big first speech to the UN, where the president said the US would “totally destroy” North Korea if war breaks out and hinted that he’d rip up…
Burma was a democratic success story. Now it’s the site of ethnic cleansing.
Sep 14, 2017 • 56 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at the growing human rights catastrophe in Myanmar, where Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi is doing nothing to stop her country’s military from mounting a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against its Muslim minority.…
Why more sanctions won’t convince North Korea to give up its nukes
Sep 7, 2017 • 62 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at why decades of US economic sanctions haven’t stopped North Korea’s nuclear program — and why the Trump administration’s new ones probably won’t, either. They examine how such a devastatingly poor country has managed to…
Why a Mideast peace deal seems further away than ever
Aug 31, 2017 • 62 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack ease out of the summer with a look at the one of the most complicated, explosive, and genuinely fascinating issues in the world: the decades-long fight between Israel and the Palestinians. They look at Israel’s promise this week to…
Why Trump doubled down on America’s forever war
Aug 24, 2017 • 55 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at Trump’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan despite spending years calling for a US withdrawal, why it’s impossible to truly defeat the Taliban, and the sad reality that America’s longest war will now continue well…
The Philippines’s popular president is murdering thousands of his own citizens
Aug 17, 2017 • 48 min
Zack and Jenn are joined by Worldly’s first guest host, Vox senior reporter Dara Lind, to discuss President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines — an abrasive populist leader whose year-long war on drugs has already killed over 7,000 people. They explore…
Is Kim Jong Un more rational than Donald Trump?
Aug 10, 2017 • 48 min
Yochi, Jenn, and Zack discuss whether Kim Jong Un is more rational and easier to predict than Donald Trump, the dangers of having senior administration officials openly contradicting each other on whether the US would actually use force against North…
How scared should we be of North Korea’s nukes?
Aug 3, 2017 • 54 min
On the newest episode of Worldly, Vox.com’s foreign policy podcast, Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about how worried we should be about North Korea’s nukes, what it means that one of the most reclusive countries on earth has a missile that can hit the US, and…
We’re finding out what happens when no one runs US foreign policy
Jul 27, 2017 • 52 min
On the newest episode of Worldly, Vox.com’s foreign policy podcast, Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about why President Trump is at war with his own attorney general and national security adviser, what it means when the people that are supposed to keep Trump’s…
Why Trump has stuck with the Iran deal he hates
Jul 20, 2017 • 48 min
On this episode of Worldly, Vox.com’s new foreign policy podcast, Yochi Dreazen, Jennifer Williams, and Zack Beauchamp talk about why President Trump won’t rip up the Iran nuclear deal that candidate Trump spent months attacking, what Trump gets right…
ISIS’s caliphate is falling. Now what?
Jul 13, 2017 • 53 min
On the fourth episode of Worldly, Vox.com’s new foreign policy podcast, Yochi Dreazen, Jennifer Williams, and Zack Beauchamp focus on the fight against ISIS, what will happen now that it’s losing its last strongholds in Iraq and Syria, and whether we…
What could go wrong when Trump meets Putin? A lot.
Jul 6, 2017 • 50 min
On the third episode of Worldly, Vox.com’s new foreign policy podcast, Yochi Dreazen, Jennifer Williams, and Zack Beauchamp dig into the high stakes and high risks surrounding President Trump’s historic first meeting with Vladimir Putin, what each leader…
Why North Korea is scary, comical, and horrifying — all at the same time
Jun 29, 2017 • 48 min
On the second episode of Worldly, Vox.com’s new foreign policy podcast, Yochi Dreazen, Jennifer Williams, and Zack Beauchamp dig into the tragic case of Otto Warmbier, the US citizen who died after being detained for 17 months in North Korea, and why it’s…
The US is getting scarily close to a shooting war with Russia in Syria
Jun 22, 2017 • 58 min
On the first episode of Worldly, Vox.com’s new foreign policy podcast, Yochi Dreazen, Jennifer Williams, and Zack Beauchamp dive into the potential for a US-Russia conflict in Syria, the dangers of giving too much power to the Pentagon, and how Trump’s…
Introducing: Worldly. Foreign policy wonks, unite!
Jun 15, 2017 • 1 min
We live in a confusing time, bombarded every day with news stories from around the world that can be hard to follow, or fully understand. Let Worldly be your guide. Every Thursday, senior writer Zack Beauchamp, senior foreign editor Jennifer Williams, and…