Today, Explained

Today, Explained
News comes at you fast. Join us at the end of your day to understand it. Monday to Friday. All killer, no filler. Hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Featuring the finest explainers from Vox and more. Produced by Vox and Stitcher, and part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Sep 13 • 26 min
After Vox’s Tara Golshan reviews the third Democratic debate, Matthew Yglesias explains how Joe Biden wins even when he loses.
The president’s hit list
Sep 12 • 25 min
“I’d be happy to slaughter them,” President Rodrigo Duterte said about three million drug users in the Philippines. It appears he is following through.
Like, bye
Sep 11 • 24 min
Facebook and Instagram are thinking about ditching the thumbs and hearts. What would life be like without “Likes”?
John Boltin’
Sep 10 • 18 min
John Bolton is out. Vox’s Alex Ward explains why he was at odds with his boss from Day 1.
Am I gonna die from vaping?
Sep 9 • 21 min
Gerry with the bad maps
Sep 6 • 18 min
A historic court decision erased some of the most gerrymandered maps in the country this week. North Carolina now has two weeks to redraw them.
CNN’s climate marathon in 20 minutes
Sep 5 • 21 min
We watched seven straight hours of Democrats discussing climate policy so you wouldn’t have to.
Sep 4 • 24 min
Rapper Meek Mill was arrested on drug and weapons charges as a teen in 2007, but the case didn’t close until last week. NPR’s Bobby Allyn explains how a police officer and a judge helped keep Meek Mill in the criminal justice system for over a decade.
Missing history
Sep 3 • 25 min
Kids in school don’t learn much about American slavery. Professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries says students deserve the real story.
Still not safe to drink
Aug 30 • 19 min
First it was Flint, now it’s Newark. Why do American cities keep contaminating their water?
Death of a Koch brother
Aug 29 • 21 min
David Koch was one of the biggest and most influential donors in American politics. Mother Jones’ Daniel Schulman explains his complicated legacy.
Don’t try CRISPR at home
Aug 28 • 22 min
Biohackers treat their bodies like a science project. But should they be allowed to edit their own DNA at home?
Biofuel duel
Aug 27 • 23 min
An EPA decision has left Iowan corn growers feeling betrayed by President Trump. Democrats are watching.
Alaska’s missing police force
Aug 26 • 22 min
A third of Alaskan communities don’t have cops. Kyle Hopkins, investigative reporter at the Anchorage Daily News, explains Alaska’s public safety emergency.
When killing is “necessary”
Aug 23 • 21 min
This week California passed what some call the toughest law on police use of deadly force in the country. It hinges on one word: necessary.
Hope for Hong Kong
Aug 22 • 22 min
Hong Kong ramped up its protests and China ramped up its propaganda machine. But the conflict may have finally reached a turning point.
Coal’s last stand
Aug 21 • 25 min
There’s a train full of coal sitting on the tracks in eastern Kentucky. It’s being blocked by a group of laid-off miners who want what they’re owed.
Ending the endless war
Aug 20 • 21 min
This weekend in Afghanistan was one of the deadliest this year. Vox’s Jenn Williams explains whether America can end its longest war.
Do sanctions work?
Aug 19 • 26 min
The Trump administration is ramping up sanctions on Venezuela, but it may end up hurting the people they’re meant to help.
The warehouse of forgotten evidence
Aug 16 • 22 min
Reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty set out to investigate why police across the country often fail to catch serial rapists.
What’s up with the yield curve?
Aug 15 • 14 min
Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explains why everyone’s whispering about a recession.
(Don’t) give me your poor
Aug 14 • 15 min
The Trump administration is about to make it a lot harder for poor people to get a green card.
Death behind bars
Aug 13 • 21 min
Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide is unexpectedly shining a light on the conditions in America’s jails.
Deep fried podcast
Aug 12 • 21 min
Vox’s Tara Golshan spent the weekend at the Iowa State Fair trying to figure out what eating deep fried Oreos has to do with running the country.
Latinos after El Paso
Aug 9 • 26 min
In the wake of Saturday’s shooting, Latinos across the United States are questioning their safety.
Six rivers, three countries, one Kashmir
Aug 8 • 23 min
India is escalating its 70-year fight for Kashmir. The winner gets the water.
Amazon Crime
Aug 7 • 24 min
What started as a push to increase mining in the rainforest led to a murder. Ernesto Londoño, Brazil bureau chief for The New York Times, explains how President Jair Bolsonaro is speeding the destruction of the Amazon.
Disown your kid to pay for college
Aug 6 • 21 min
This summer’s hottest college admissions scam is parents disowning their children. The Wall Street Journal’s Doug Belkin explains.
A Green New Deal, but for guns
Aug 5 • 22 min
Vox’s German Lopez explains why Democrats need a bold new plan for gun control.
Reviving death
Aug 2 • 20 min
After 16 years, the Trump administration is bringing back the federal death penalty. Reverend Sharon Risher, who lost her mother, two cousins, and a childhood friend in the Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, explains how she feels…
Dem Debates 2: Election Boogaloo
Aug 1 • 23 min
Bernie yelled at Ryan. Biden defended Obama. Warren destroyed Delaney. Vox’s Tara Golshan explains the “fight for the heart of the party” and Ezra Klein says the frontrunners missed the mark.
Life’s a breach
Jul 31 • 16 min
Capital One got hacked. Equifax is trying to make up for its hack. And The Verge’s Russell Brandom explains why you should definitely prepare yourself for more hacks.
Coats checks out
Jul 30 • 19 min
Dan Coats is resigning, leaving a vacancy at the top of US intelligence. The Washington Post’s Shane Harris explains how his replacement may be a Trump loyalist who believes in a “deep state” conspiracy against the president.
Where we’re going, we still need roads
Jul 29 • 22 min
Four of the world’s biggest carmakers have secretly negotiated an emissions deal with California, circumventing the Trump administration.
No such thing as free lunch
Jul 26 • 23 min
A school district in Pennsylvania apologized this week for saying students with unpaid lunch debt might end up in foster care. The scandal is part of a nationwide crisis that has resulted in low-income students cleaning cafeterias or missing graduation…
Jul 25 • 23 min
Boris Johnson wanted a Brexit and now he’ll have to figure out how to make it happen. The Atlantic’s Tom McTague explains how a self-proclaimed “blithering idiot” became prime minister.
Mueller reports
Jul 24 • 19 min
At long last, former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress today.
Jul 23 • 23 min
Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans are demanding Governor Ricardo Roselló resign. David Begnaud from CBS News reports from San Juan.
Five years after Eric Garner
Jul 22 • 19 min
After five years, a decision on the death of Eric Garner, who was put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer, creates further questions. The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery tries to answer them.
Holy shit
Jul 19 • 23 min
On the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, Vox’s Brian Resnick says astronauts left something up there that could unlock the origins of life itself.
“Send her back”
Jul 18 • 23 min
An ugly, racist week in America came to a head last night with a chant at a Trump rally. The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer says this is a defining moment for American democracy.
How to solve the asylum crisis
Jul 17 • 23 min
On Tuesday, the Trump administration dramatically changed the rules governing asylum. A scholar who has helped shape US immigration policy since the 1980s explains why the rule change won’t solve the crisis.
The Prince of Blackwater
Jul 16 • 27 min
Betsy DeVos’s baby brother made a name for himself running one of America’s top mercenary companies. The Intercept’s Matthew Cole explains how Blackwater founder Erik Prince has reinvented himself since falling out of favor with the US government.
What raids?
Jul 15 • 22 min
Immigrant communities across the United States spent the weekend on edge awaiting so-called “ICE raids.” Reporter Tal Kopan explains what happened and immigration attorney Claudia Cubas describes the detention process.
Don’t stop, make it pop
Jul 12 • 25 min
Your favorite young person’s favorite app is TikTok. Vox’s Rebecca Jennings has been spending too much time trying to understand it.
The government will sleep in your bed
Jul 11 • 23 min
This week, 22 UN ambassadors condemned China for detaining at least a million ethnic Uighurs in “reeducation camps.” After Gulchehra Hoja, a Uighur journalist, started reporting on the camps, over twenty of her relatives were imprisoned.
A preexisting debate
Jul 10 • 22 min
Obamacare is back in court. Vox’s Li Zhou explains how the healthcare bill might finally meet its maker and Ezra Klein explains why that might be great news for Democrats in 2020.
The renegade general
Jul 9 • 21 min
Libya’s ongoing civil war has escalated into one of its bloodiest moments yet—the bombing of a migrant detention center in Tripoli. Analyst Anas El Gomati explains why the likeliest culprit is a rogue Libyan general who worked with the CIA and once…
Switch to Mitch
Jul 8 • 28 min
In the first Democratic debates, candidates seemed to be running against a powerful Republican who arrived long before Trump and will likely outlast him. NPR’s Kelly McEvers explains the secret to Senator Mitch McConnell’s dominance.
Know your enemy (Part II)
Jul 5 • 19 min
When people see Deeyah Khan’s documentary about white supremacists they tell her, “The real problem is jihad. You should spend time with jihadists.” She says, “I did.”
Know your enemy (Part I)
Jul 3 • 24 min
Documentary filmmaker Deeyah Khan grew tired of receiving death threats from white supremacists so she traveled to a Detroit motel to meet up with one.
Equal pay is the goooooaaaaaallllllllll!
Jul 2 • 24 min
Team USA is having quite the World Cup, but the women made headlines even before the tournament started by suing the United States Soccer Federation.
40 acres and a bill
Jul 1 • 23 min
Slavery reparations were once an untouchable idea in American politics, but now presidential candidates openly support it. And for the first time ever, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has Congress considering it.
Two days, Explained
Jun 28 • 21 min
Twenty Democratic candidates. Two debates. Some awkward Spanish. Vox’s Ella Nilsen hits the highlights and Ezra Klein explains why Democrats should be worried.
Supreme Count
Jun 27 • 20 min
The Supreme Court dropped two doozies today. NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang details a ruling on the 2020 census before Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains how the Court finally weighed in on partisan gerrymandering.
“Safe and sanitary”
Jun 26 • 17 min
The Senate passed $4.6 billion in emergency aid for the crisis at the southwestern border today. Last night, the House passed its own version. Aid will help, but for lasting change Congress will have to deal with Flores.
Republicans on the run
Jun 25 • 21 min
A landmark cap-and-trade bill in Oregon is on life support after Republicans fled the state to avoid voting on it.
The rise and fall of R. Kelly
Jun 24 • 33 min
R. Kelly is facing new criminal charges, as well as investigations that involve the IRS, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security. Jim DeRogatis went from reviewing his music to documenting his alleged misdeeds against minors.
Never forget
Jun 21 • 25 min
The 9/11 first responders and Jon Stewart are fighting Congress for what they hope is the last time.
Drone down
Jun 20 • 21 min
Iran kicked off the day by blowing up a very expensive US surveillance drone. Vox’s Alex Ward explains why tensions keep getting more tense.
I see fake people
Jun 19 • 21 min
Doctored videos of Nancy Pelosi and Mark Zuckerberg have Congress worried about the nation’s grasp on reality. Drew Harwell from the Washington Post explains how “deepfakes” might corrupt upcoming elections.
Change for a 20?
Jun 18 • 20 min
As Washington gears up for the 2020 elections, it’s fighting over who should be on the $20 bill.
After the ouster
Jun 17 • 24 min
Sudanese protesters pulled off the impossible: ousting dictator Omar al-Bashir. Now, the protestors face a new adversary: al-Bashir’s military. Reem Abbas reports on the latest from Khartoum.
Little pink houses for nobody
Jun 14 • 19 min
California is the most populous state in the country, but people increasingly can’t afford to live there. Single family zoning is partly to blame, but state legislators haven’t been able to dump the housing policy. Minneapolis has.
Hong Kong in the streets
Jun 13 • 26 min
Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting in Hong Kong. CNN’s Matt Rivers is on the scene and the BBC’s Helier Cheung explains how British colonialism complicated everything.
Guatemala’s corruption conundrum
Jun 12 • 22 min
There are nearly twenty candidates vying to be president of Guatemala. Some are being investigated for corruption by the country’s watchdog court, the CICIG. But corruption isn’t the only problem facing Guatemala right now.
Planting dreams
Jun 11 • 24 min
Erica Alfaro just got her master’s degree. But underneath the cap and gown is the story of migrant farm workers, a teen pregnancy, and domestic abuse. Wil Del Pilar explains why it’s time for colleges to do more to cater to first-generation college…
Mushroom magic
Jun 10 • 25 min
Denver and Oakland have become the first US cities to effectively decriminalize magic mushrooms. Michael Pollan, author of “How to Change Your Mind,” explains how taking a trip could help treat depression.
My Brexit brings all the boys to the yard
Jun 7 • 19 min
Right-wing politicians in the UK are under attack. Delicious, sticky attack.
Crisis of faith
Jun 5 • 23 min
Iraq’s Christian population has been fleeing the country en masse. The United States wants to help, so long as they don’t come here. (Transcript here.)
The new secession
Jun 4 • 21 min
Wealthy white residents are trying to secede from East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. The Atlantic’s Adam Harris says they’re part of a growing trend of school resegregation. (Transcript here.)
It’s hard to ratify U-S-M-C-A
Jun 3 • 20 min
President Trump wants his NAFTA replacement deal ratified. But President Trump appears to be standing in the way. (Transcript here.)
Sex and branding
May 31 • 24 min
Nxivm: sounds like a drug, looks like a cult. (Transcript here.)
Agent Assange?
May 30 • 22 min
Julian Assange was already in heaps of trouble when the United States indicted him under the Espionage Act last week. Now he (and journalism) might be put on trial. (Transcript here.)
Mueller speaks
May 29 • 17 min
Special counsel Robert Mueller made his first public statement about his investigation today. No questions. (Transcript here.)
Hack to the Future
May 28 • 21 min
Baltimore is under attack. Hackers have hijacked the city’s online services and are demanding $100,000 worth of bitcoin. ProPublica’s Renee Dudley explains how ransomware is threatening cities across the country.
How to save a life
May 24 • 24 min
Dylan Matthews, host of Vox’s Future Perfect podcast, gave away his kidney because it felt like the right thing to do.
“Keep our honor clean”
May 23 • 22 min
President Trump is reportedly considering issuing a series of pardons for alleged war crimes in time for Memorial Day. Some see parallels to Nixon’s handling of the My Lai massacre.
Tissue issues
May 22 • 19 min
Stem cell clinics are popping up all over the United States. They’re profitable and full of promises, but almost totally unregulated. ProPublica’s Caroline Chen explores the shadier side of a booming business.
The mother of all elections
May 21 • 23 min
When you have 900 million eligible voters, elections take a little longer. After 39 days of polling, India’s will be over this week. Journalist Ashish Malhotra explains what’s at stake from New Delhi.
How to kill a gram
May 20 • 22 min
Today, a new definition of the kilogram officially takes effect. But it’s just one piece in the massively complicated history of weight.
All shows must die
May 17 • 24 min
What do we say to the God of Death? Not today. Explained.
The race to ban abortion
May 16 • 23 min
The governor of Alabama signed the nation’s strictest anti-abortion bill into law. Vox’s Anna North explains what the legislation means and Sean Rameswaram speaks with Eric Johnston, the man who helped write it.
Make America Trade Again
May 15 • 19 min
President Trump’s trade war with China just got a lot worse. Can you feel it? Vox’s Matthew Yglesias says most Americans won’t, but it’s still bad for America.
The fight for your face
May 14 • 17 min
Today San Francisco could become the first American city to ban government agencies from using facial recognition technology. Vox’s Sigal Samuel explains how a cool sci-fi feature might now wreak havoc on civil liberties.
Life sentence, no trial
May 13 • 24 min
Terry Allen has been in prison for over 30 years without a conviction because of a little-known rule that was meant to reform the criminal justice system.
Missile in a bottle
May 10 • 22 min
After a long hiatus, Kim Jong-un is back to launching missiles. A lot of people are up in arms, but Vox’s Alex Ward says North Korea’s Supreme Leader is only interested in one of them.
Uber but for strikes
May 9 • 23 min
Uber drivers want some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And it might actually be as easy as A-B-C.
Who framed Mayor Pete?
May 8 • 20 min
Two right-wing operatives tried to frame Mayor Pete Buttigieg for sexual assault. It didn’t go as planned.
“Awwww, Shucky Ducky!”
May 7 • 23 min
President Trump has tried and failed to install two controversial candidates onto the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias argues that while failing the president might also be succeeding.
Sarah Kliff vs. Zuckerberg General
May 6 • 23 min
Vox’s Sarah Kliff has been writing about surprise ER bills for a year, but the practices at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital were unlike anything she had seen before. Her reporting changed them.
A Mueller walks into a Barr
May 3 • 22 min
This week in Mueller report aftermath: An incendiary letter leaks; the attorney general spars with senators and then cancels a date with the House. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick reflects on what might be a constitutional crisis.
Track and Female
May 2 • 24 min
The track and field world is trying to figure out what it means to be female. South African Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya’s future is caught in the balance.
Bovine intervention
May 1 • 23 min
Burger King announced it’s going nationwide with a meatless Whopper that tastes like the real thing. Is this the end for Big Meat?
After the smoke clears
Apr 30 • 24 min
Sri Lanka is both returning to normalcy and struggling with last week’s Easter attacks. Roel Raymond provides an update from Colombo and Amarnath Amarasingam explains how nations can battle extremism without violating human rights.
Standoff at the NRA
Apr 29 • 17 min
Things are so bad at the NRA that President Trump told the organization to get its act together today. Infighting, self-dealing, and lavish spending have led to a state investigation and turmoil at the top.
Subpoena season
Apr 26 • 21 min
Post-Mueller, President Trump is navigating a sea of subpoenas. He says he doesn’t want his aides to testify, setting the stage for a showdown with the House. Vox’s Dylan Scott explains.
Tuition: Impossible
Apr 25 • 22 min
Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to cancel your college debt. To pay for it, she wants to tax the ultra-rich and take more than just their income.
Follow the drugs
Apr 24 • 21 min
For the first time, federal prosecutors have brought drug trafficking charges against pharmaceutical executives. It’s one way to fight the opioid crisis. Vox’s German Lopez went to Vermont in search of another.
Martin Sheen 2020?
Apr 23 • 22 min
Ukraine elected a new president on Sunday and his only meaningful preparation for the position was playing the president on TV.
Sri Lanka’s Easter attacks
Apr 22 • 23 min
Almost 300 people were killed in a string of bombings on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. Roel Raymond reports from Colombo and Amarnath Amarasingam explains how this attack was both familiar and unprecedented.
Apr 19 • 22 min
Maybe you’ve heard about the pig brains that were resuscitated by Yale researchers? But did you hear about the human brain genes that were inserted into monkey embryos in China? Vox’s Brian Resnick and Sigal Samuel explain some scary science.
It’s Robert Time!
Apr 18 • 21 min
Attorney General William Barr released Robert Mueller’s report today. Vox’s Andrew Prokop reads between the redactions and Ezra Klein explains what it all means.
The Jeffrey Epstein scandal isn’t over
Apr 17 • 24 min
A Florida millionaire created a system to sexually abuse around 80 young girls. The sitting Secretary of Labor who let him off easy might now be held accountable.
My lovely lady pumps
Apr 16 • 20 min
Check it out!
It’s a great time to cheat on your taxes
Apr 15 • 20 min
The IRS is in a bit of a crisis. ProPublica’s Paul Kiel explains how a profitable government agency succumbed to politics and ended up losing tens of billions in revenue.
Maximum Pressure
Apr 12 • 21 min
Earlier this week, President Trump designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. It is the first time the United States has ever given such a designation to a part of another nation’s government.
They called it (a revolution)
Apr 11 • 21 min
After 30 years in power, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the authoritarian leader of Sudan, has been ousted. Reporter Reem Abbas explains how the Sudanese people reclaimed power.
Medicare Bears
Apr 10 • 25 min
Senator Bernie Sanders rolled out a new Medicare-for-all bill today. Vox’s Sarah Kliff explains how such a huge overhaul of the healthcare system went from fringe to mainstream.
Achy Breaky Charts
Apr 9 • 25 min
“Old Town Road” officially became the most popular song in America today. But it’s also the most controversial. Vox’s Allegra Frank chronicles Lil Nas X’s challenges with the charts and Charlie Harding, co-host of the “Switched on Pop” podcast, attempts…
A brutal new law in Brunei
Apr 8 • 19 min
Sex between men will now get you stoned to death in Brunei. It’s a strict reading of Sharia by a sultan who seems to have little regard for it.
The Art of the Green New Deal
Apr 5 • 23 min
It’s the hottest resolution since sliced bread. But is it just empty calories?
Banned: Aid
Apr 4 • 19 min
After months of threats, President Donald Trump has officially taken steps to cut off aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Vox’s Dara Lind explains what this might mean for the current unprecedented wave of family migration to the United States.
Apr 3 • 20 min
New York City wants to charge drivers a congestion fee to slim down traffic. We travel the world to see if it’s a good idea.
What women really want
Apr 2 • 20 min
To mark Equal Pay Day 2019, Vox’s Sarah Kliff reveals the very simple reason women earn less than men.
The right to refuse
Apr 1 • 23 min
The Texas Senate is debating a bill that would give state-licensed professionals the freedom to deny services based on religious beliefs. Lauren McGaughy from the Dallas Morning News says the state’s LGBT community feels directly threatened.
Once, twice, three times a Brexit
Mar 29 • 24 min
Theresa May staked her prime ministership on her Brexit deal and, for the third time, the British Parliament rejected it. Vox’s Jen Kirby explains a very bad day for Theresa May.
Mar 28 • 19 min
Unsettling details continue to arise about Boeing’s 737 Max and now Congress is pressing the FAA and America’s largest manufacturing exporter for answers.
I got 5G on it
Mar 27 • 24 min
You’ve heard about the trade war, but how about the phone war? Politico’s Steven Overly explains why the US and China are fighting over Huawei and 5G.
The Golan Heights
Mar 26 • 19 min
President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, breaking with decades of United States policy. The move could alter the Middle East forever.
The report on the report
Mar 25 • 23 min
Robert Mueller’s investigation has ended and Attorney General William Barr has furnished a four-page summary. Vox’s Andrew Prokop says this is far from over.
Mar 22 • 25 min
The terrorist attacks in New Zealand have thrust Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern into the spotlight. Radio New Zealand’s Jane Patterson explains the 38-year-old’s improbable rise.
Electoral College dropout
Mar 21 • 20 min
Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are calling to abolish the Electoral College and a dozen states have signed on to a plan that would subvert it.
Tried six times for the same crime
Mar 20 • 23 min
Today the Supreme Court hears oral arguments about Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times for the same crime: a quadruple homicide at a furniture store in Mississippi. Madeleine Baran, host of the “In the Dark” podcast, explains how this case…
Mar 19 • 22 min
CBD is winding up in your lattes, your gummies, and your massages, but what exactly is it? And is anyone regulating it?
American hate
Mar 18 • 25 min
The Christchurch shooting took place thousands of miles from the United States, but for Muslims in America, the threat of white supremacy remains very real.
A mass shooting, live-streamed
Mar 15 • 16 min
A terrorist attacked two mosques in New Zealand during Friday prayer, killing at least 49 people.
Boeing 737 Max
Mar 14 • 23 min
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed on Sunday killing all 157 aboard. The response was unprecedented.
Becky with the bad grades
Mar 13 • 21 min
Remember Aunt Becky from Full House? She might be heading to the big house. Fifty grown-ups, including Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, are facing federal charges over college admissions.
For all eyes only
Mar 12 • 17 min
Can’t pass an FBI background check? Not a problem. That’s the Trump administration’s approach to top secret security clearances for some White House officials. Now Democrats are launching an investigation. Vox’s Ella Nilsen explains.
Sailing a boat on an alien sea
Mar 11 • 24 min
SpaceX and Blue Origin have been driving much of the excitement around space travel for the past several years, but NASA got back in the game today. Dr. Ellen Stofan, the agency’s former chief scientist, explains what’s next for us, Mars, infinity and…
Trump’s money man
Mar 8 • 24 min
Michael Cohen mentioned one name multiple times during his Congressional testimony: accountant Allen Weisselberg. We peel back the curtain on the keeper of Trump’s fiercely guarded secrets.
The Title X factor
Mar 7 • 18 min
The Trump administration got a lot closer to defunding Planned Parenthood this week — 21 states are fighting back with a sweeping new lawsuit.
Uh-oh, Trudeau!
Mar 6 • 22 min
Canada’s prime minister is accused of pressuring his attorney general to go easy on a wealthy corporation, and two cabinet officials resigned in protest. With an election mere months away, can Justin Trudeau survive?
Mar 5 • 23 min
The United States officially eliminated measles in 2000. But the deadly disease is making a comeback, and the anti-vaccine movement is largely to thank.
Michael Jackson, allegedly
Mar 4 • 27 min
Two men accuse Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them as children in a new HBO documentary. Sean Rameswaram speaks with the film’s director and a lawyer representing the estate of Michael Jackson.
Friends without benefits
Mar 1 • 25 min
Facebook moderators watch suicides, decapitations, and drone attacks so you don’t have to—and they’re paid just a fraction of what the average Facebook employee makes. The Verge’s Casey Newton got a rare glimpse inside “the Trauma Floor.”
Terrorism, airstrikes, tea
Feb 28 • 24 min
The long-simmering feud between nuclear powers India and Pakistan is boiling over. Ankit Panda from The Diplomat explains why.
Michael Cohen LIVE
Feb 27 • 22 min
After weeks of delays and drama, President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testified before Congress today. Vox’s Andrew Prokop says his statements amount to much more than blockbuster political theater.
Your money is under arrest
Feb 26 • 22 min
Police can seize your property without ever charging you with a crime. And you probably won’t get it back.
Aiding chaos
Feb 25 • 17 min
Venezuela’s whole “two presidents” thing has turned lethal. Emiliana Duarte spent the weekend at Venezuela’s border with Colombia where security forces faced off against protesters.
Jussie Smollett’s worst enemy
Feb 22 • 25 min
Jussie Smollett was the victim of a racist, homophobic hate crime last month. Or at least that’s what he’d have you believe. The Advocate’s Zach Stafford tells the Smollett saga from its shocking start to its outrageous end.
Train takes a bullet
Feb 21 • 20 min
Californians were promised high-speed rail. Eleven years and billions of dollars later, all they have is a fight with President Trump. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias laments a train in vain.
Feb 20 • 24 min
Amazon decided on two headquarters: one in New York and the other in Arlington, Virginia. One deal fell apart, the other just might work out perfectly. Today, Explained’s Noam Hassenfeld finds out why. ************** Clarification: We noted that New York…
A little privacy, please
Feb 19 • 20 min
The Verge’s Casey Newton says a California privacy law to protect your online data might finally push federal legislators to come up with one set of rules for the entire country. Recode’s Kara Swisher says it’s high time big tech gets its act together.
2020 vision
Feb 18 • 20 min
Nearly a dozen candidates have announced their run for the presidency and 2019 has only just begun. John Dickerson of Slate’s Political Gabfest explains the endless American tradition.
Emergency podcast!
Feb 15 • 22 min
President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency today. It’s the latest installment in his controversial “Build the wall!” series.
The 400% interest rate
Feb 14 • 19 min
Remember the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? It’s not doing so well. Enforcement is down by 75 percent, employees are leaving in droves, and now regulations are being rolled back.
Race runs through it
Feb 13 • 18 min
Virginia: birthplace of American democracy and American slavery, first state to elect a black governor and maybe the first to have a governor with a KKK costume on his yearbook page. Christy Coleman from the American Civil War Museum in Richmond explains…
Killing Sears
Feb 12 • 21 min
Sears was on its way to the graveyard of American icons when its former CEO, a reclusive billionaire named Eddie Lampert, stepped in to buy it. Unfortunately, he’s the same CEO who led the company into bankruptcy.
Virginia is for scandals
Feb 11 • 22 min
First it was blackface. And maybe the KKK? Then there was an accusation of sexual assault. Then more blackface. Then another sexual assault. Welcome to Virginia 2019.
Alexa, disable camera
Feb 8 • 21 min
Jeff Bezos. Donald Trump. The Washington Post. The National Enquirer. This dick pic is not like the others.
Inauguration investigation
Feb 7 • 20 min
President Trump’s inaugural committee this week received a sweeping subpoena. Federal prosecutors in New York want to know where a record-breaking amount of money came from and where exactly it went.
Pushing opioids over lunch
Feb 6 • 20 min
Let’s do lunch! And talk Oxy! A new study suggests a correlation between aggressive marketing and opioid overdoses. The timing isn’t great for Purdue Pharma.
The State of the World
Feb 5 • 19 min
President Trump delivers his second State of the Union tonight, but how’s the world doing? Believe it or not, Vox’s Dylan Matthews says things are getting much, much better.
The Shadow Rulers
Feb 4 • 22 min
Big changes are afoot at the second-biggest federal agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs. ProPublica’s Isaac Arnsdorf explains how a trio of President Trump’s friends has been leading the charge from outside the VA.
Written in blood
Feb 1 • 24 min
For 31 years, Joe Bryan has been in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit. He was convicted based on bloodstain-pattern analysis, but ProPublica’s Pamela Colloff says it’s way less scientific than you might think.
They’re calling it a revolution
Jan 31 • 20 min
Historic protests threaten to topple Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. Reporter Reem Abbas speaks to Sean Rameswaram after being tear gassed in Khartoum.
All your data for $20
Jan 30 • 18 min
Facebook has been paying 13- to 35-year-olds $20 in exchange for access to their phones and Apple isn’t happy about it. The Verge’s Casey Newton explains what happens when your hardware gets mad at your software.
Peace with the Taliban
Jan 29 • 18 min
The US and the Taliban are working out a deal to end America’s longest war. Afghanistan is nervous. Vox’s Jennifer Williams explains.
Grounding the shutdown
Jan 28 • 19 min
Air traffic controllers aren’t allowed to strike, but they may have found another way to end the government shutdown on Friday. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias determines whether the country learned anything from its pointless and painful political exercise.
The Man with the Nixon Tattoo
Jan 25 • 25 min
It’s been quite a day for Roger Stone. Arrested before dawn. Released on $250,000 bond. Called Alex Jones. Gave a circus of a press conference. Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains the latest development in the Mueller investigation.
Venezuela’s two presidents
Jan 24 • 19 min
In one corner, there’s Nicolás Maduro, the incumbent presiding over a failing economy. In the other, you have Juan Guaidó, a 35-year-old lawmaker who just declared himself president, backed by the United States and most of Latin America. Journalist…
Ebola is back
Jan 23 • 19 min
The second-largest Ebola outbreak in history is spreading toward a major city. Vox’s Julia Belluz explains whether you should panic now, later, or maybe never.
Jan 22 • 18 min
President Donald Trump would very much like a deal to end his shutdown. The Republican-controlled Senate is with him. Vox’s Dara Lind explains why the road ahead remains long.
28 Days Later
Jan 18 • 21 min
The partial government shutdown is now officially a record-breaking, trip-cancelling, State of the Union-postponing, Cardi B-angering hot mess.
When your power company is a felon
Jan 17 • 23 min
What if your utility were a felon filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy? You would be one of 16 million in California. KQED’s Marisa Lagos lays out Pacific Gas and Electric’s woes and Vox’s Umair Irfan says this is just the beginning of our power problems.
The Roberts Court
Jan 16 • 21 min
The Supreme Court is back in session and Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick says Chief Justice John Roberts is ready to take a swing at balancing an increasingly partisan bench.
The $600 EpiPen
Jan 15 • 23 min
If there’s one thing pretty much everyone in the government can agree on, it’s this: prescription drug prices are too damn high. But how to fix them? Vox’s Dylan Scott showcases seven solutions floating around Congress.…
Chapo Big House
Jan 14 • 28 min
Brooklyn really does have everything: a basketball team, a laundromat-pinball bar, and now the drug lord trial of the century. Keegan Hamilton, host of the “Chapo” podcast from Vice News, explains what it’s like to stare deep into the eyes of former…
The shutdown gets very, very real
Jan 11 • 23 min
Come midnight, the government shutdown will be the longest in US history. Vox’s Li Zhou runs through the consequences for federal workers and the rest of America.
What can the president do during a national emergency?
Jan 10 • 23 min
This morning, the president doubled down on his threat to declare a national emergency to build a border wall. Such a declaration could also allow him to send in the troops, freeze your bank account, and shut down the internet.
Let’s talk about tax, baby. Let’s talk about AOC.
Jan 9 • 22 min
Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has floated a marginal tax rate of 70% for top earners in America. A lot of people are upset, and even more have no idea how it works. *********************************** Check out this easy video on how tax…
The troop withdrawal withdrawal
Jan 8 • 22 min
National security advisor John Bolton traveled to Turkey to meet with President Erdogan, who cancelled today. It’s the latest development in a very messy troop withdrawal President Trump announced in late December. Vox’s Jennifer Williams explains what…
The nine lives of Obamacare
Jan 7 • 23 min
Obamacare’s back in the crosshairs. Vox’s Sarah Kliff breaks down a lawsuit that’s pitting states’ attorneys general against each other, and how the new House will defend the landmark legislation.
You should not throw away your shot
Jan 4 • 21 min
Around 80,000 people died of the flu last season. Despite that, Sean doesn’t want to get the flu shot. Luckily, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health is here to hit him with some hard and fast facts. And history.
Who is Paul Whelan and why does Russia think he’s a spy?
Jan 3 • 18 min
Paul Whelan went to Moscow for a wedding. The Russians arrested him, and today charged him with espionage. Amie Ferris-Rotman, Moscow correspondent for the Washington Post, explains how Russia might be using him as leverage to win back one of its own.
Jan 2 • 17 min
It’s Day 12 of the government shutdown. Vox’s Li Zhou explains what that means for the country and Matthew Yglesias argues that the core issue of the wall is fundamentally dumb.
Let’s Explain “Today, Explained”
Jan 1 • 1 min
If you like this trailer, then you’re going to love this show.
All my friends are robocalls
Dec 28, 2018 • 22 min
Why even answer the phone anymore? All your questions about all those pesky automated phone calls are answered in this holiday rebroadcast.
The Stanford Prison Correction
Dec 27, 2018 • 23 min
In 1971, a professor locked a bunch of young men in a basement to understand evil. The results were explosive. This summer, it all came crashing down. Vox’s Brian Resnick explains what’s going on with the Stanford Prison Experiment in this holiday…
Black Panther is (still) the most important movie of 2018
Dec 26, 2018 • 17 min
We called it! Sean Rameswaram attends a “Black Panther”-themed engagement party and speaks to Evan Narcisse, writer of the “Rise of the Black Panther” comic books, in this holiday rebroadcast.
“A horrible miscarriage of justice”
Dec 21, 2018 • 23 min
A Florida millionaire created a system to rape or abuse at least 80 young girls for years. The current Secretary of Labor may have helped him get away with it.
The most powerful woman in the world
Dec 20, 2018 • 22 min
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is officially planning her exit from politics. The Guardian’s Kate Connolly explains how an awkward scientist became the most powerful woman in the world and defined a global immigration crisis.
Take a penny, take a penny
Dec 19, 2018 • 25 min
The Trump Foundation is shutting down. The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold shares a series of increasingly unbelievable stories about the charity’s shenanigans.
The World in 2018
Dec 18, 2018 • 22 min
The North Korea summit. Brexit chaos. The brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The hosts of Vox’s Worldly podcast look back on the biggest international stories of the year.
Tumblr’s war on sex
Dec 17, 2018 • 18 min
Tumblr is removing adult content from its platform today. Vox’s Aja Romano says it’s about much more than banning “female-presenting nipples”.
This episode is unrated
Dec 14, 2018 • 22 min
“The House That Jack Built” opens in select theaters across the country today, but it’s not the version director Lars von Trier wanted you to see. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) put the kibosh on the director’s cut. Some say it’s…
Paul Ryan vs. himself
Dec 13, 2018 • 20 min
After 20 years, Speaker Paul Ryan is set to leave the House of Representatives in early January. Ezra Klein says Paul Ryan’s legacy would be a big let down to… Paul Ryan.
Fraud, actually
Dec 12, 2018 • 18 min
One man in North Carolina may have swung an election by defrauding voters. But North Carolina is interested in stopping a different type of voter fraud.
The Replacements
Dec 11, 2018 • 22 min
President Trump is looking to fill some key positions. One pick is a former attorney general, another comes from “Fox & Friends”.
“Totally clears the President. Thank you!”
Dec 10, 2018 • 19 min
Except it doesn’t. Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains why the latest pieces of Robert Mueller’s puzzle are bad news for President Trump.
Wait, why did Canada arrest a Chinese CFO?
Dec 7, 2018 • 17 min
Canada arrested a Chinese executive at the request of the United States this week. It may set off a whole new Cold War.
Don Jr.
Dec 6, 2018 • 22 min
There used to be one Trump Tower controversy. Now there are two. Donald Trump Jr. is in the middle of both of them. The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold explains what Don Jr. has been up to.
Power, stripped
Dec 5, 2018 • 18 min
Wisconsin Republicans are scrambling to pass last-minute measures that would strip the incoming Democratic governor of a lot of his powers.
Is it time to delete Facebook?
Dec 4, 2018 • 18 min
The Verge’s Casey Newton explains the pros and cons of staying on Facebook after the latest scandal.
One-term wonder
Dec 3, 2018 • 20 min
George H. W. Bush went from a record-breaking 89 percent approval rating after the Gulf War to losing his re-election bid to an upstart from Arkansas.
Humans 2.0
Nov 30, 2018 • 24 min
A Chinese scientist says he has genetically engineered two human babies, with another on the way. Is this the beginning of the end?
Madam Speaker
Nov 29, 2018 • 25 min
Nancy Pelosi is now officially the nominee for Speaker of the House. Time’s Molly Ball explains who’s happy and who’s mad about it.
Mandatory minimums
Nov 28, 2018 • 25 min
President Trump and both parties actually agree on something: mandatory minimum sentences are too harsh. Can they fix them?
Battleship: Russia vs. Ukraine
Nov 27, 2018 • 20 min
Russia rammed one of its ships into a Ukrainian tug boat, further straining an already strung-out relationship. Vox’s Alex Ward takes us on a voyage to the Black Sea.
From bad to worse at the border
Nov 26, 2018 • 18 min
U.S. Border Patrol tear-gassed asylum seekers who rushed the border yesterday. Maya Averbuch was there reporting for the New York Times. Vox’s Dara Lind explains how the Trump administration might deal with its asylum problem.
When dogs fly
Nov 21, 2018 • 20 min
Airlines are getting tough on emotional support animals. Some people think they’re a scam. Science isn’t sure. An expert weighs in, as does an emotional support dog.
Those weird Cuban attacks
Nov 20, 2018 • 21 min
The Trump administration is punishing Cuba in response to mysterious attacks on U.S. diplomats in Havana. ProPublica’s Sebastian Rotella explains what we know and what we don’t.
Still burning
Nov 19, 2018 • 18 min
The Camp Fire is the most destructive fire in California history, surpassing a record set just a few months ago. Vox’s Umair Irfan heads to Paradise.
Do it for the gram
Nov 16, 2018 • 25 min
Massive news: Scientists in France voted to officially redefine the kilogram today. They’ve been weighing their options for centuries.
The simplest way to fix our gun laws
Nov 15, 2018 • 21 min
California has the strictest gun laws in the country, but they didn’t prevent last week’s mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. Vox’s German Lopez explains the flaws in California’s laws, and points to a far-away state doing a better job.
The citizenship question
Nov 14, 2018 • 20 min
The Trump administration would very much like to know if you’re a citizen come the 2020 census. NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang explains how that might break the census.
Sit in a circle. Save your baby’s life.
Nov 13, 2018 • 24 min
South Carolina used to be one of the most dangerous places in America to have a baby. But now, it’s reducing infant mortality with an unconventional approach: having pregnant women talk to each other. Listen and subscribe to The Impact: Apple Podcasts |…
Total Recount
Nov 12, 2018 • 22 min
Almost a week after the midterm elections, several key races remain undecided and recounts are coming. The president calls shenanigans.
Could one man’s death change the conflict in Yemen?
Nov 9, 2018 • 22 min
The journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has put the spotlight on an unlikely place: Yemen.
thank u, next (Attorney General remix)
Nov 8, 2018 • 22 min
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is out. His replacement has criticized the Mueller probe. Is the investigation safe? Vox’s Andrew Prokop isn’t so sure.
What now?
Nov 7, 2018 • 22 min
The results are in! Vox’s Libby Nelson provides a rundown. Matthew Yglesias predicts the future.
Why is voting optional?
Nov 6, 2018 • 22 min
For answers, we head to Australia where it isn’t. Turnout surpasses 90% and elections are celebrated with democracy sausages on the barbie.
Everything you need to know about tomorrow’s midterms
Nov 5, 2018 • 25 min
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the midterm elections are tomorrow. A pair of Vox’s congressional reporters take a tour of key races before Ezra Klein takes a deep breath and talks stakes.
Can I hack it? (Yes, you can.)
Nov 2, 2018 • 21 min
Hacking our elections is so easy, a 7-year-old can do it. (Really.) How we got here and why the best solution is one you might not expect.
Nov 1, 2018 • 21 min
What if the government just gave everyone money? No strings attached. Crazier things have happened. Nixon even tried to implement such a program once. The Atlantic’s Annie Lowrey explains how universal basic income could work.
What the frack is up with Colorado
Oct 31, 2018 • 23 min
Colorado’s Proposition 112 is dividing the state. The ballot measure could severely limit oil and gas production, including fracking. Sean Rameswaram speaks with Cody Doane, who’s Team Fracking, even though there was a lethal natural gas explosion near…
One week to midterms, 5000 troops to border
Oct 30, 2018 • 22 min
THE CARAVAN IS COMING! DISEASE! MUSLIMS! DANGER! LOCK THE BORDER! Or maybe just listen to this episode in which Vox’s Dara Lind separates truth from fiction about the migrant caravan heading to the U.S.
Tree of Life
Oct 29, 2018 • 24 min
A mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue has confirmed what many believed to be true: Anti-Semitism is on the rise in America, and it’s fueling white nationalism.
The Purge
Oct 26, 2018 • 23 min
More than 50,000 voters in Georgia have found themselves on a “pending list.” One candidate for governor is responsible for it. The other is fighting it. The outcome could turn Georgia purple and make Stacey Abrams the first black woman to run an American…
Bombs in the mail
Oct 25, 2018 • 17 min
America’s favorite Democrats are getting pipe bombs in the mail. Who even mails bombs anymore?
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Kill the Treaty
Oct 24, 2018 • 22 min
The Trump administration announced it’s throwing out a decades-old arms treaty with Russia. Arms control specialist Alexandra Bell explains why this news pairs well with a stiff drink.
What the transgender memo means
Oct 23, 2018 • 20 min
A leaked Health and Human Services memo has left transgender Americans feeling like the Trump administration wants to define them out of existence. Dominic Holden from BuzzFeed News says the whole situation is much more complicated.
We’re gonna need a bigger vote
Oct 22, 2018 • 19 min
A ballot initiative on November 6 might re-enfranchise over a million Floridians. Demetrius Jifunza explains what it would mean to regain the right to vote.
Oct 19, 2018 • 17 min
Metabolism is one of the greatest mysteries of the human body. Vox’s Julia Belluz spends a day in a metabolic chamber and emerges with some answers.
Oct 18, 2018 • 21 min
It is now almost certain that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered at the hands of the Saudi government. As more and more gruesome details emerge, things get worse and worse for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Affirmative reaction
Oct 17, 2018 • 21 min
Harvard is on trial. A group of Asian Americans is facing off against the college in court, where it might dismantle the very affirmative action law that was meant to help minorities.
Beto and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Oct 16, 2018 • 20 min
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including a Senate race that feels more like a presidential one. Texas Monthly’s Eric Benson explains how Beto O’Rourke might break the Democrats’ dry spell in the Lone Star State on the eve of the second O’Rourke-Cruz debate.
Remember, remember the 6th of November
Oct 15, 2018 • 24 min
Midterm elections are three weeks and a day away. Vox’s Dylan Scott says if you think the country’s polarized, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
The $629 Band-Aid
Oct 12, 2018 • 23 min
Imagine a world where a Band-Aid costs $629. Bad news: you live in that world. Vox’s Sarah Kliff explains how American hospitals tack on “facility fees” to cover their expansive costs, and a new solution that’s getting bipartisan support.
Oct 11, 2018 • 21 min
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week, but he never left. Now, Turkish officials claim he was killed and then dismembered with a bone saw. Saudi dissident Ghanem al-Masarir al-Dosari explains how speaking out…
Earth is cancelled due to weather
Oct 10, 2018 • 20 min
The United Nations now says the planet has 12 years to avoid catastrophic climate change. Vox’s Umair Irfan explores the options humanity has left. ******************************************** Vox crunched 3.1T of data so you can see how much and how fast…
Nikki out
Oct 9, 2018 • 11 min
Surprise! Nikki Haley, President Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, has resigned. Vox’s Alex Ward explains why one of the most popular members of the Trump cabinet would want to leave.
The death penalty and the gopher frog
Oct 8, 2018 • 22 min
Brett Kavanaugh starts his new job tomorrow. The Washington Post’s Robert Barnes previews the Supreme Court’s new term and Vox’s Matthew Yglesias says his first day cements a shift 25 years in the making.
All my friends are robocalls
Oct 5, 2018 • 23 min
Why even answer the phone anymore?
The Kavanaugh report is here and no, you can’t see it
Oct 4, 2018 • 17 min
The FBI has finished its investigation of Brett Kavanaugh. Today, senators entered a highly secured room to review it.
How to run for president from a hospital bed
Oct 3, 2018 • 22 min
One candidate was stabbed. Another is sitting in jail. His replacement was slapped with corruption charges. Just your friendly neighborhood candidates for president in Brazil. *********** Correction: This episode mistakenly notes that a leading…
Good news for Canadians who like milk
Oct 2, 2018 • 23 min
The United States, Mexico, and Canada have a new trade deal. It’s called USMCA, or “the new NAFTA.” Vox’s Jen Kirby breaks it down before political scientist Ian Bremmer determines who’s really going to benefit.
Internet fist fight
Oct 1, 2018 • 21 min
California passed the strongest net neutrality law the country’s ever seen this weekend. The Department of Justice immediately sued. Who’s gonna win this broadband spat? ******************************** Tap here to find out more about Vox Media’s new…
“Somebody’s gotta explain this to Trump”
Sep 28, 2018 • 19 min
After tense words and a walkout, the Republicans got their man and the Democrats got their FBI investigation. Vox’s Ezra Klein explains how both sides sorta won.
Testimony (Part 2 of 2)
Sep 27, 2018 • 13 min
Today, Brett Kavanaugh responded to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony that he tried to rape her in high school. (An episode on Ford’s testimony was released earlier today.)
Testimony (Part 1 of 2)
Sep 27, 2018 • 17 min
Today, Christine Blasey Ford publicly testified about her allegations that Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her in high school. (Expect an additional episode about Kavanaugh’s testimony in a few hours.)
The ghost of Florence
Sep 26, 2018 • 23 min
Dozens died, millions of animals drowned, billions of dollars worth in damage done, and Hurricane Florence isn’t even over yet. Before rebuilding begins, the government offers a way out. ******************************** Tap here to find out more about Vox…
Red light, green card
Sep 25, 2018 • 19 min
The Trump administration wants to make it a whole lot harder to get a green card. Vox’s Dara Lind explains the newest proposal to rein in legal immigration.
Accusers, plural
Sep 24, 2018 • 20 min
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is facing more accusations of sexual misconduct.
Chicago on trial
Sep 21, 2018 • 23 min
Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald 16 times. His murder trial began this week, four years after Laquan was killed. WBEZ’s Shannon Heffernan explains how this shooting has changed Chicago.
elon r u ok
Sep 20, 2018 • 28 min
Elon Musk is having a bit of a week, a month, a year. Now the Department of Justice is investigating him, as is Today, Explained.
China’s concentration camps
Sep 19, 2018 • 24 min
China has a secret that’s slowly slipping out: roughly a million Uighurs are being held in “reeducation camps”. Gulchehra Hoja, a Uighur journalist, explains how reporting on China’s human rights abuses against Muslims led to the disappearance of 23 of…
Now’s a great time to commit some white-collar crime
Sep 18, 2018 • 23 min
The Mueller investigation has revealed how easy it is to get away with white-collar crime in the United States. ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger explains how we got here.
What the letter said
Sep 17, 2018 • 21 min
Christine Blasey Ford has come forward to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Vox’s Li Zhou recounts the alleged assault and Emily Bazelon from the New York Times Magazine explains what might come next.
Back to Juul
Sep 14, 2018 • 22 min
The FDA announced this week it’s cracking down on e-cigarettes, demanding that manufacturers like Juul prove within 60 days they aren’t harmful to youth. Vox’s Julia Belluz explains why kids love vaping and why they shouldn’t.
Have you talked to God about this?
Sep 13, 2018 • 24 min
Today, Pope Francis met with American bishops at the Vatican to discuss the fallout from a report on decades of abuse by priests. A religion reporter explains the widening crisis within the Church, before a Jesuit priest and a few everyday Catholics…
Sep 12, 2018 • 20 min
Meteorologist Angela Fritz forecasts the catastrophic storm that’s about to slam the Carolinas.
Sep 11, 2018 • 20 min
Three transgender women of color have been murdered in the past two weeks. ProPublica’s Lucas Waldron explains why so many murders of trans people remain unsolved, and why a lot of it boils down to something called a “deadname.”…
Game, Upset, Match
Sep 10, 2018 • 29 min
Naomi Osaka defeated her lifelong hero Serena Williams to win the US Open on Saturday. The match might be remembered for the wrong reasons.
Arrested for reporting a massacre
Sep 7, 2018 • 23 min
Two Reuters reporters have been sentenced to seven years in prison for calling attention to a recent massacre in Myanmar. The United Nations says it’s part of a larger genocide to wipe Rohingya from the country.
But his emails!
Sep 6, 2018 • 20 min
Brett Kavanaugh’s emails are spilling out and they’re causing waves on Capitol Hill.
Bad blood
Sep 5, 2018 • 21 min
The scandal-plagued blood-testing startup Theranos is shutting down. The Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou chronicles the rise and fall of a $10 billion business built on lies.
Confirmation screamings
Sep 4, 2018 • 21 min
Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings for the United States Supreme Court began today. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick say they were unlike any she’d seen before.
America’s worst defense attorney
Aug 31, 2018 • 20 min
Who is Robert Mueller?
Don’t call it a comeback
Aug 30, 2018 • 21 min
Louis CK surprised New York City’s Comedy Cellar with a fresh set of jokes Sunday night. Some were not amused. Vox’s Constance Grady explains how to apologize.
Take a penny, take a penny
Aug 29, 2018 • 26 min
New York investigators are turning up the heat on the Trump Foundation this summer. The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold shares a series of increasingly unbelievable stories about the organization’s shenanigans.
False profit
Aug 28, 2018 • 22 min
The top student loan officer in the country kicked off the school year by quitting. He says the Trump administration “turned its back on young people and their financial futures.” Vox’s Libby Nelson explains one contentious call: Education Secretary Betsy…
The empty seat in Arizona
Aug 27, 2018 • 26 min
Love him, hate him, or both, Senator John McCain will be remembered as a towering figure of American politics.
Kill me maybe
Aug 24, 2018 • 19 min
The EPA is rolling back Obama-era regulations on coal-fired plants. It says its decision will kill 1400 Americans per year by 2030.
Insecurity complex
Aug 23, 2018 • 22 min
The president has threatened to revoke the national security clearances for current and former government officials. The Washington Post’s Shane Harris explains why this is a bad idea for basically everyone.
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty?
Aug 22, 2018 • 21 min
In an unprecedented one-two punch Donald Trump’s personal lawyer pleaded guilty to and his campaign manager was found guilty of serious crimes yesterday evening. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explores the implications.
19 cents per hour
Aug 21, 2018 • 19 min
Inmates nationwide go on strike today to protest conditions they call “modern-day slavery”: incarcerated Americans are paid pennies on the dollar for cooking food, making license plates, even fighting fires. The Marshall Project’s Nicole Lewis explains.
No fair, ride share
Aug 20, 2018 • 20 min
New York City has approved the first cap in the U.S. on Uber and Lyft vehicles. WIRED’s Aarian Marshall explains who’ll be impacted the most, and whether this is scooters’ big chance to zip ahead.
Never tweet
Aug 17, 2018 • 22 min
Twitter temporarily banned Alex Jones and Infowars this week. Why’d it take so long?
Saw something, said nothing
Aug 16, 2018 • 23 min
A Pennsylvania grand jury has released a 1300-page report on child sex abuses within the state’s Catholic Church. Jack Jenkins from Religion News Service peels back the curtain on 70 years of heinous assaults.
Crazy. Rich. And finally seen.
Aug 15, 2018 • 21 min
Crazy Rich Asians hits theaters today. Los Angeles Times film critic Jen Yamato says it’s been 25 years in the making.
Democracy Dies in Daylight
Aug 14, 2018 • 21 min
Democracies can fall many ways: military coups, assassinations, mass protests. But what does it look like when a democracy quietly backslides into autocracy? Vox’s Zack Beauchamp went on a trip to Hungary to explore (with support from the Pulitzer Center…
NASA shoots a billion dollars at the sun
Aug 13, 2018 • 19 min
You might have missed it this weekend, but NASA shot a spaceship at the sun. Once it gets there, the Parker Solar Probe might find the secret to keeping our big hot star from destroying us.
“These bastards tried to kill me”
Aug 10, 2018 • 20 min
Aubtin Heydari tells the story of how he was almost murdered by a white supremacist at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last year.
This too shall MoviePass
Aug 9, 2018 • 21 min
MoviePass is changing the way we see movies, but it’s going to have to get its act together. Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson explains.
When a season lasts a year
Aug 8, 2018 • 19 min
California’s Mendocino Complex Fire is now the biggest in the state’s recorded history, surpassing a record set… last year. Vox’s Umair Irfan says the worst is yet to come.
Wrestling with Ohio State
Aug 7, 2018 • 20 min
Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan wants to be the next Speaker of the House, but a pack of wrestlers could be blocking his path. Corky Siemaszko broke the story for NBC.
Aug 6, 2018 • 22 min
Amazon will soon announce which city will land its second headquarters along with 50,000 new jobs. There’s a lot to win and maybe just as much to lose.
Is the economy great again?
Aug 3, 2018 • 20 min
The US economy is booming, unemployment keeps dropping, and the country is in the midst of one of the longest economic expansions in our history. Guest host Ezra Klein talks with economist Betsey Stevenson about what’s driving this growth — and whether…
You must sign here
Aug 2, 2018 • 19 min
An immigration lawyer at the border says ICE agents are pressuring parents into being deported with their children. Vox’s Dara Lind broke the story.
Ready, print, fire
Aug 1, 2018 • 20 min
Today was supposed to be a big day for people who wanted to make their own guns with 3D printers. But last night, a federal judge in Seattle temporarily banned a man named Cody Wilson from sharing blueprints for his weapons online. WIRED’s Andy Greenberg…
How to solve the opioid crisis
Jul 31, 2018 • 23 min
Vox’s German Lopez explains America’s opioid crisis and goes looking for a solution.
Manafort, day in court
Jul 30, 2018 • 20 min
The first trial of the Mueller investigation begins tomorrow. Vox’s Andrew Prokop runs through the many, many charges Paul Manafort is facing.
Delete your account
Jul 27, 2018 • 22 min
Dan Harmon quit Twitter. James Gunn was fired by Disney. Sarah Silverman defended a nine-year-old joke about molestation. Vox’s Aja Romano explains why internet mobs are digging up celebrities’ old social media posts.
Jul 26, 2018 • 20 min
A thrice-married, nightclub-loving cricket star just won Pakistan’s election. Mehreen Zahra-Malik explains why the military backed Imran Khan and Brookings’ Madiha Afzal explains why democracy in Pakistan never seems to last long.
Soy Story
Jul 25, 2018 • 17 min
The Trump administration stirred up a flurry of trade disputes that threatened to put farmers in the red. Then it threw out a lifesaver: $12 billion in emergency relief. A farmer in Minnesota tells us what she really thinks.
Graduating Marjory Stoneman Douglas High
Jul 24, 2018 • 18 min
What’s up with the Parkland teens? Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School inspired over a million people to march for gun control a few months ago, but it’s been relatively quiet since. Turns out they’ve been busier than ever. David Hogg…
The Endangered Endangered Species Act
Jul 23, 2018 • 22 min
The White House has proposed stripping the Endangered Species Act of key provisions - the same legislation that helped save the grizzly bear, bald eagle and humpback whale. But Congressional Republicans say protecting some critters is hurting farmers and…
Mr. Trump’s wild week
Jul 20, 2018 • 20 min
What a week. President Trump sided with President Putin, then he didn’t, then he did, then he didn’t again. Vox’s Alex Ward tries to keep up.
The Stanford Prison Correction
Jul 19, 2018 • 25 min
In 1971, a professor locked a bunch of young men in a basement to understand evil. The results were explosive. This summer, it all came crashing down. Vox’s Brian Resnick explains what’s going on with the Stanford Prison Experiment. (Transcript here.)
Open casket, reopened case
Jul 18, 2018 • 21 min
One of the most brutal murder cases in American history has been reopened. The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery explains how Emmett Till’s family might finally find justice.
Does America need Sacha Baron Cohen?
Jul 17, 2018 • 18 min
Bernie Sanders, Sarah Palin, and Dick Cheney walk into an interview. Sacha Baron Cohen is waiting for them. Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff explains.
Vladimir’s best day ever
Jul 16, 2018 • 21 min
Vladimir Putin flatly denied Russian interference in the United States’s 2016 elections and President Trump refused to call him out. Former ambassador Nicholas Burns says it’s a sad day for America. Then Vox’s Andrew Prokop digs into the fresh indictments.
What are Democrats doing even?
Jul 13, 2018 • 22 min
Republicans control the White House, Congress and most state legislatures. Pod Save America’s Dan Pfeiffer explains how Democrats can dig themselves out of this hole. ************************************************************* CORRECTION: In this…
I can’t believe it’s not breastmilk
Jul 12, 2018 • 21 min
Breastmilk. Research says it’s the best, so why did the U.S. threaten to shut down a breastfeeding proposal at the World Health Assembly? Vox’s Julia Belluz says it all boils down to baby formula, the $70 billion industry lurking in the shadows.…
Brexiting is hard to do
Jul 11, 2018 • 19 min
British Prime Minister Theresa May is losing cabinet members left and right. She can’t figure out how to Brexit. BBC’s Rob Watson says the UK’s breakup with the European Union is turning into its biggest political crisis since the Second World War.
The New Justice
Jul 10, 2018 • 18 min
Brett Kavanaugh is President Trump’s pick to replace Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court. The New York Times Magazine’s Emily Bazelon says the nomination was decades in the making.
Roe v. Wade v. Trump
Jul 9, 2018 • 28 min
Tonight the president announces who might replace Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court. During his campaign, he promised he would choose pro-life justices to dismantle the abortion case Roe v. Wade. Mary Ziegler, author of “After Roe”,…
Say goodbye to Pruitt
Jul 6, 2018 • 19 min
It’s official: Scott Pruitt will no longer lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Vox’s Umair Irfan explains why it doesn’t really matter who replaces him.
Tonight. Midnight. Trade war.
Jul 5, 2018 • 18 min
When the clock strikes twelve tonight, the US government plans to hit Chinese goods with $34 billion in tariffs. China plans to lash back. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explains who this trade war will hurt the most.
Abolish ICE?
Jul 3, 2018 • 23 min
#AbolishICE has gone from an online murmur to a national movement, but a lot of Americans are confused about what exactly Immigration and Customs Enforcement does. Vox’s Dara Lind explains the short history of the controversial agency and what it might…
They call him AMLO
Jul 2, 2018 • 21 min
Meet Mexico’s next president: Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Call him AMLO. He’s a leftist, a populist, and wasn’t shy about calling Donald Trump a “neo-fascist”. Professor Carlos Bravo Regidor explains how AMLO went from losing the presidency twice to…
We need to talk about Yemen
Jun 29, 2018 • 21 min
The Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s travel ban this week, making it all but impossible for the citizens of seven countries to enter the United States. One of those countries is Yemen, which the United Nations says is undergoing the worst…
Born to run
Jun 28, 2018 • 17 min
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is set to become the youngest woman to ever serve in Congress this November. The 28-year-old Democratic Socialist defeated ten-term Representative Joe Crowley in a massive upset for the Democratic Party. Vox’s Kay Steiger explains…
The most powerful man in America retires
Jun 27, 2018 • 20 min
After 30 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement today. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick explains what the departure of the swing vote means for the Court and the country.
Yes we ban
Jun 26, 2018 • 16 min
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s travel ban. Emily Bazelon from The New York Times Magazine explains the opinion, a fiery dissent, and how the justices used this case to undo one of the Court’s most racist decisions.
Controversy for controversy’s sake
Jun 25, 2018 • 19 min
A 32-year-old from Santa Monica, California, helped President Trump conceive of the most divisive immigration policy in decades. The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins explains how Stephen Miller went from high school troll to West Wing advisor.
Redesigning life on Earth
Jun 22, 2018 • 20 min
Bill and Melinda Gates are messing with nature. But they’re doing it to save the world. This week, their foundation gave away millions to make malaria-carrying mosquitoes extinct before long. On the way, they’ll have to tweak some DNA. Vox’s Joss Fong…
What the executive order doesn’t fix
Jun 21, 2018 • 22 min
President Trump signed an executive order which aims to end his own policy of family separation at the border. Yeah… it’s confusing. Martha Mendoza from the Associated Press tries to parse it out, and immigration lawyer Anne Chandler explains the chaos…
UNHRC ya later
Jun 20, 2018 • 19 min
The United States has been threatening to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council for some time, but President Trump and Ambassador Nikki Haley made it official last night. The announcement comes just one day after the council called the act…
Happy Juneteenth!
Jun 19, 2018 • 19 min
It’s Juneteenth! What is this holiday that hardly anyone fully understands? UCLA’s Brenda Stevenson explains the history, and argues that the celebration of emancipation is more important now than ever.
Jun 18, 2018 • 19 min
That’s how many kids have been separated from their parents at border crossings over a six-week span since the Trump administration’s new zero tolerance policy took effect in April. CBS’s David Begnaud tours a holding facility in Texas. Then Vox’s Dara…
Little summer vampires
Jun 15, 2018 • 20 min
Tiny blood-sucking Lyme-disease-carrying ticks are out to ruin your summer. Since 1991, Lyme disease has doubled in the United States due to a variety of factors, including global warming and suburbanization. Vox’s Julia Belluz explains how to avoid ticks…
Mo Salah will make you care about soccer
Jun 14, 2018 • 21 min
The World Cup kicks off today. Looking for a country to cheer for? Consider Egypt. The team might not be the most storied or stacked, but it’s got Mohamed Salah. The New York Times’ chief soccer correspondent Rory Smith explains how the Muslim player who…
The Sessions Doctrine
Jun 13, 2018 • 18 min
On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions made it harder for Central Americans fleeing gang violence or women escaping domestic violence to gain asylum in the United States. This comes after the Trump administration made a practice of separating families…
How do you solve a problem like Korea?
Jun 12, 2018 • 24 min
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un made history today. Or did they? NPR’s Elise Hu was there. She explains what happened and what didn’t. Plus, The New Yorker’s Robin Wright recounts United States summit history. She says there are two keys to a successful…
Will work for healthcare
Jun 11, 2018 • 20 min
Good news for poor Americans: Medicaid is expanding in several states. Bad news for poor Americans: Medicaid is expanding in several states with work requirements. How do poor people who can’t find work prove that they’re working to qualify for Medicaid?…
Riding in cars without boys
Jun 8, 2018 • 21 min
This week, the Saudi government issued driver’s licenses to women for the first time in the country’s history. But London School of Economics professor Madawi al Rasheed says Saudi women are hardly even people under the law. She explains what life is like…
You’re tariffing us apart
Jun 7, 2018 • 22 min
North America isn’t getting along anymore. Canada’s Prime Minister is having testy phone calls with President Trump about the War of 1812. Mexico has slapped the United States with a $3 billion dollar tax bill. It all comes down to steel. Today, U.S.…
Pardon me
Jun 6, 2018 • 23 min
Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Scooter Libby. Dinesh D’Souza. So far, none of President Donald Trump’s pardons have had anything to do with his administration, but many believe he is flexing this particular muscle for an audience of one: Robert Mueller. Vox’s Andrew…
When your president acts like a dictator
Jun 5, 2018 • 18 min
Nicaragua is spiraling into a state of national catastrophe, as clashes between police and student protesters over the past two months have left more than 100 dead. Reuters’ Delphine Schrank explains why much of that anger is aimed towards President…
You can’t have your cake
Jun 4, 2018 • 18 min
Today the Supreme Court issued a decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, or as it’s colloquially known, the “gay cake” case. The 7-2 ruling sided with a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay…
2 Big 2 Fail
Jun 1, 2018 • 23 min
Congress is rolling back the bank regulations implemented after the 2008 financial crisis. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explains why, and what it means for the country’s financial future.
Why does everyone hate George Soros?
May 31, 2018 • 18 min
There are three things you need to know about George Soros: 1) You’re pronouncing his name wrong. 2) He’s richer than rich. 3) He’s one of the most hated people in the world. Roseanne tweeted that the Holocaust survivor was a Nazi on Tuesday, and Hungary…
Roseanne gets canned
May 30, 2018 • 18 min
ABC canceled the popular reboot of Roseanne after its star likened President Obama’s former advisor, an African-American woman, to an ape on Twitter. Today, Roseanne Barr blamed her tweets on Ambien. The manufacturer responded that “racism is not a known…
We’ve updated our privacy policy
May 29, 2018 • 16 min
You know those privacy policy emails flooding your inbox lately? Turns out those are thanks to the European Union’s crackdown on websites that collect your personal data. The Verge’s Russell Brandom explains the regulation known as the GDPR and why Europe…
The poorest rich country in the world
May 25, 2018 • 21 min
Venezuela has been crippled by poverty, starvation, five-figure inflation, and on Sunday, an election that many countries didn’t recognize as legit. Bloomberg’s Patricia Laya shares reactions to Nicolás Maduro’s new term from her base in Caracas before…
We’ll never have Singapore
May 24, 2018 • 16 min
President Trump cancelled his historic Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un today. The announcement comes after a North Korean official called Vice President Pence “ignorant and stupid” for likening their country to Libya, which crumbled…
May 23, 2018 • 17 min
Today the National Football League released a statement saying players will be fined if they kneel during the national anthem. It’s the ultimate response to a protest that began with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016, and…
Arbitration Nation
May 22, 2018 • 19 min
The Supreme Court may have taken away your ability to file a class action lawsuit against your employer. In a 5-4 decision yesterday, the Court decided that workers who signed contracts with arbitration clauses aren’t allowed to band together and sue…
Ireland’s great divide
May 21, 2018 • 22 min
This Friday, Ireland holds a historic vote that could overturn one of the strictest abortion policies in the world. The race is razor-tight: Facebook and Google have banned foreign political ads, U2 has weighed in, and there’s been a massive uptick in…
A cynic’s guide to the royal wedding
May 18, 2018 • 22 min
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you might have heard that there’s a royal wedding happening this Saturday. (Even Sean’s mom is tuning in!) England’s Prince Harry is set to wed American actress Meghan Markle with great fanfare, to the ballpark cost…
Go ahead. Legalize it.
May 17, 2018 • 20 min
This week, the Supreme Court of the United States fundamentally changed… sports. It struck down a 1992 law that prevented states from legalizing sports gambling. Now, New Jersey is at the head of a long line of states looking to allow their citizens to…
Hawaii versus the volcano
May 16, 2018 • 18 min
Explosions are ramping up on Hawaii’s Big Island this week, as the Kilauea volcano continues to spew lava and blow a 12,000-foot plume of ash into the air. The volcanic gas and lava have already destroyed 25 homes and prompted the evacuation of nearly…
What you need to know about Gaza
May 15, 2018 • 21 min
Sixty Palestinians were killed at the Israel-Gaza border yesterday, the day the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem. Vox’s Yochi Dreazen breaks down the conflict, the history, and whether there’s a way forward.
Jordan Peterson explains himself
May 14, 2018 • 25 min
Jordan Peterson has gone from being an obscure Canadian academic to a kind of political rock star for the right. Overnight. Vox’s Zack Beauchamp unpacks Peterson’s controversial ideology and explains how the clinical psychologist gained a following of…
#MeToo’s big betrayal
May 11, 2018 • 21 min
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned Monday after four women accused him of physical assault. The news was a rough blow to the #MeToo movement, where Schneiderman was aiding an investigation into Harvey Weinstein. Today news broke that…
Dial C for Cohen
May 10, 2018 • 16 min
Stormy D, AT&T, and nine Fabergé eggs. The investigation into the president’s personal lawyer keeps getting more colorful. This week, it was confirmed that a shell company set up by Michael Cohen received payments from AT&T as well as a company linked to…
No deal!
May 9, 2018 • 17 min
President Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Everyone else - including France, Russia, China, even Iran - has insisted on staying in. Vox’s Yochi Dreazen explains the implications of Trump’s move, from a spike in…
“We tortured some folks”
May 8, 2018 • 20 min
Tomorrow is the Senate confirmation hearing for Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the C.I.A. The 33-year veteran of the organization would be its first female director, but standing in her way are reports of her involvement in torture…
This is America
May 7, 2018 • 20 min
The NRA announced a new president today: Fox News contributor and Iran-Contra alum Oliver North. The news caps a big weekend for the organization. Tens of thousands of Americans (including President Trump) descended on Dallas for the National Rifle…
The $5,751 ice pack
May 4, 2018 • 23 min
Imagine a world where a Band-Aid costs $629. Bad news: you live in that world. Vox’s Sarah Kliff explains how American hospitals tack on “facility fees” to cover their expansive costs. Then, a Kentucky doctor gives us his perspective on those costs from…
Too Juul for school
May 3, 2018 • 25 min
On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to 13 companies that appear to market their vaping products directly to kids. E-cigarettes are a gangbuster business but one device, the sleekly-designed Juul, has really captured the…
Nowhere to go
May 2, 2018 • 21 min
Forty-nine Central Americans seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border were granted entry today. They’re part of a caravan of around 200 migrants who arrived Sunday and camped in the rain, after traveling 2,000 miles and fleeing gang violence and other…
Golden State Killer opens Pandora’s box
May 1, 2018 • 19 min
After 40 years, police say they have finally caught the Golden State Killer, a man responsible for at least 12 murders, 50 rapes, and 100 break-ins in the 1970’s and ’80s. They found him using a genealogy site — a relative uploaded DNA and unwittingly…
There’s something about Sean
Apr 30, 2018 • 24 min
Sean Hannity is curiously close to President Donald Trump — so close that some say he may as well have a desk in the Oval Office. In recent weeks, the Fox News host has gone from covering the news to being in the headlines. Nicole Hemmer, author of…
Just call us “Korea”
Apr 27, 2018 • 18 min
For the first time in history, the leader of North Korea took a trip to South Korea today. Kim Jong Un met with President Moon Jae-in to talk unification and denuclearization over some cold noodles. NPR’s Elise Hu was there. She tells Sean Rameswaram what…
Apr 26, 2018 • 21 min
Next up on the chopping block? Food stamps or SNAP as it’s now known. A new farm bill, fresh out of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, could force over two million people off the program. Vox’s Tara Golshan explains why Republicans want to put SNAP…
Don’t drink the water
Apr 25, 2018 • 23 min
Four years ago today, Flint, Michigan switched water supplies to save a few million dollars. To date, that decision has cost over $400 million. Governor Rick Snyder says Flint’s water is finally safe again, but residents remain skeptical — they’re…
Apr 24, 2018 • 20 min
The Supreme Court wraps up its term with a bang tomorrow: Trump v. Hawaii, the travel ban case. The Court will hear arguments on whether the ban exceeds the president’s powers under federal immigration law, and whether it violates the establishment clause…
Too little, too latte?
Apr 23, 2018 • 19 min
On May 29th, Starbucks will shut 8,000 locations and lose millions of dollars to provide racial bias training for employees. The training comes after the arrest of two black men, who were waiting in the store for a business meeting, prompted nationwide…
Yes we cannabis
Apr 20, 2018 • 21 min
Today Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a plan to decriminalize marijuana federally. But the debate over legalization rages on at the local level. Sean Rameswaram speaks with a Massachusetts mayor who wants marijuana to fund schools, and a…
“I don’t get confused”
Apr 19, 2018 • 19 min
Nikki Haley has had a rough week. On Sunday, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations announced sanctions against Russia. On Monday, the White House said there would be no sanctions. Then, the president’s economic advisor said Haley was simply…
Congress just broke the Internet
Apr 18, 2018 • 18 min
Donald Trump signed FOSTA into law a week ago today. The “Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” looks good on paper, but Vox’s Aja Romano says it alters fundamental freedoms online. Plus Alex Levy, a Notre Dame Law School professor, says it won’t do much to…
The $43,000 phone booth
Apr 17, 2018 • 23 min
Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is facing a host of new scandals: a $43,000 soundproof phone booth, a security detail to Disneyland, and even using a siren on his car to get to a restaurant faster. But Vox’s Umair…
Why did the U.S. just bomb Syria?
Apr 16, 2018 • 20 min
President Trump and United States allies bombed chemical weapons facilities in Syria on Friday. The attacks came in response to President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons on his own people. Vox’s Alex Ward explains why the United States escalated…
Mile-high mutiny
Apr 13, 2018 • 24 min
When its corporate owner introduced new budget cuts and layoffs, journalists at The Denver Post decided to fight back. They ran a front-page editorial calling the owners “vulture capitalists”. Chuck Plunkett led the secret revolt, and tells Sean…
He said, she said, she said, she said….
Apr 12, 2018 • 17 min
Today is Day 4 of Bill Cosby’s retrial. The first trial ended in a hung jury, but this time things are different. Five new women are testifying, accusing Cosby of sexual assault. Vox’s Jen Kirby offers the latest, and Vox’s Laura McGann explains why…
The raid
Apr 11, 2018 • 23 min
President Trump today called the raid on the office of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen “unthinkable.” Vox’s Zachary Fryer-Biggs explains what the FBI was looking for, and Vox’s Andrew Prokop reveals Cohen’s complicated past.
What’s my wage again?
Apr 10, 2018 • 21 min
Today is Equal Pay Day. Vox’s Sarah Kliff reveals the real reason why working women earn about 82% as much as men. Then Valerie Wilson of the Economic Policy Institute explains why things get a lot more complicated when race comes into play.
1, 2, 3, 4… I declare a trade war
Apr 9, 2018 • 19 min
President Trump said he would “always be friends” with China’s leader, but the two countries have been acting anything but these past few days. First, the U.S. slapped China with $50 billion in tariffs. Then, China retaliated with $50 billion in tariffs…
It’s never too late to understand the war in Syria
Apr 6, 2018 • 22 min
President Trump announced this week he wants to withdraw US troops from Syria over the next six months. The country’s civil war has killed an estimated 400,000 people and displaced around 13 million. Vox’s Zack Beauchamp explains how an uprising led to…
They’re not gonna take it
Apr 5, 2018 • 20 min
The West Virginia teacher strike has ended, but walkouts are just getting started in Kentucky and Oklahoma, where lawmakers are scrambling to pass bills that would supplement school funding. Vox’s Alexia Fernández Campbell explains why public school…
20 shots and a cell phone
Apr 4, 2018 • 25 min
289. That’s the number of people who have been shot and killed by police in 2018 alone. One of them was Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old black man from Sacramento. His death sparked a wave of protests and renewed scrutiny of the police. But less than one…
Mark Zuckerberg Explains Himself
Apr 3, 2018 • 22 min
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seldom gives interviews, but in the wake of the massive Cambridge Analytica privacy breach, he made an exception to speak with Vox’s Ezra Klein. Mark tells Ezra why he’s hopeful about Facebook’s future before privacy advocate…
Gerrymandering 101
Apr 2, 2018 • 23 min
The Supreme Court is currently deliberating two cases that could reshape the entire country’s political maps. At issue is partisan gerrymandering—the practice of drawing districts that benefit one party over another. Dave Daley, author of “Ratf**ked: Why…
Quitting the Border Patrol
Mar 30, 2018 • 19 min
Mexican-American Francisco Cantú never expected to become a U.S. Border Patrol Agent. But for nearly four years, Cantú both detained and rescued migrants stranded in the desert. He tells Sean Rameswaram about his experiences policing a border his own…
Chief Wahoo Strikes Out
Mar 29, 2018 • 18 min
It’s Opening Day — peanuts, cracker jack, and for some, racism. Sundance, a Native American activist, has been protesting the Cleveland Indians mascot, Chief Wahoo, for years. The team recently announced it would be removing the caricature from its…
The New Abortion Wars
Mar 28, 2018 • 18 min
Kentucky just joined a wave of states attempting to severely limit when a woman can terminate her pregnancy. Vox’s Anna North surveys the growing restrictions on women’s reproduction under the Trump administration, and explains why the landmark abortion…
Bolton’s Back
Mar 27, 2018 • 17 min
President Trump announced John Bolton will be his new National Security Advisor just as the White House prepares for historic talks with North Korea. Just last month, Bolton called for pre-emptive strikes on North Korea. In 2015, he endorsed war with…
The Survivors
Mar 26, 2018 • 25 min
Dantrell Blake traveled from Chicago to Washington, D.C., to join hundreds of thousands for the March of Our Lives on Saturday. Sean Rameswaram spent the day with the survivor of gun violence to find out why he needed to see the march for himself. Also, a…
Flagrant Foul
Mar 23, 2018 • 20 min
The FBI is investigating over twenty colleges for paying athletes under the table, reigniting the age-old debate: Should college athletes be formally paid? Sean Rameswaram talks to former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon and The Nation’s Dave Zirin, who…
Me Too, Mr. Trump
Mar 22, 2018 • 19 min
A judge gave the green light this week for a woman to sue President Trump for defamation. Summer Zervos claims Donald Trump sexually assaulted her; he called her a liar. Vox’s Laura McGann explains why this might change the game for other Trump accusers,…
Cambridge Analytica
Mar 21, 2018 • 20 min
Today Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted the social media giant “made mistakes” in the Cambridge Analytica scandal and vowed to fix them. The UK-based company improperly acquired the data of some 50 million Facebook users, and revealed how easily our…
It’s Been Six Months
Mar 20, 2018 • 17 min
Today is the six-month anniversary of Hurricane Maria, one of the worst natural disasters in American history. But Puerto Rico remains without fully-restored power or an exact idea of how many people died because of the storm. Latino USA’s Julio Ricardo…
One Man vs. InfoWars
Mar 19, 2018 • 19 min
The white nationalist rally in Charlottesville sparked outrage when a driver barreled through the crowd, killing one woman and injuring more than 30. Brennan Gilmore filmed it, and everyone saw his video. Then came the conspiracies, backlash, and death…
Lady and the Trump
Mar 16, 2018 • 19 min
A president. A porn star. A lawyer with a $130,000 payoff. The allegation is Donald Trump had an affair with Stormy Daniels and his lawyer paid her to keep quiet. Now, she’s suing so she can talk freely and just today, Daniels’ attorney says someone…
The Colder War
Mar 15, 2018 • 19 min
There’s a new Cold War being fought in the North Pole between the United States and Russia (but also China, Finland, Norway, Canada, Greenland and more). Fueling the battle is the melting Arctic, which just had its warmest winter in recorded history.…
Default in Our Loans
Mar 14, 2018 • 21 min
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told states to back off regulating the nine private companies that lend money to students last week. That could mean more student debt and more student defaults when both are already at record highs. Vox’s Libby Nelson…
Mar 13, 2018 • 21 min
Twitter. That’s how Secretary of State Rex Tillerson found out he was fired today. The news came on the heels of Tillerson calling Russia “an irresponsible force of instability”. He hands over the reins to CIA director Mike Pompeo - who is now in charge…
The United States vs. California
Mar 12, 2018 • 16 min
Donald Trump takes his first trip to California as president tomorrow. Making matters awkward, his administration sued the Golden State last week over SB 54, a law that limits how much the state helps federal immigration agents. KQED reporter Marisa Lagos…
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Mar 9, 2018 • 16 min
After months of name calling and test missiles, Donald Trump will be the first sitting United States president to meet with a North Korean leader. Vox’s Yochi Dreazen lays out what to expect from the historic meeting. Plus, he shares some negotiation tips…
The Disability Belt
Mar 8, 2018 • 19 min
Out of the ten counties with the most adults on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), nine voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. But in the president’s new budget, he’s calling for $72 billion in cuts to the program over the next ten years. It’s a…
That’ll Teach ‘Em
Mar 7, 2018 • 18 min
An historic walkout in West Virginia ended yesterday. Teachers managed to shut down every single public school in the state for nine days to demand higher pay. Oklahoma, Arizona and Kentucky may be next. Sean Rameswaram speaks with West Virginia Public…
What’s the Deal with Steel?
Mar 6, 2018 • 20 min
President Trump announced that he’s okay with a trade war late last week and he’s got the tariff proposals to prove it: 25% for steel, 10% for aluminum. It’s another campaign promise fulfilled, but the decision flies in the face of Republicans in Congress…
Inclusion Riders, Explained
Mar 5, 2018 • 3 min
Quick bonus episode! Frances McDormand won the Academy Award for Best Actress last night for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” In her memorable acceptance speech, she asked all the nominated women to stand up and left them…
President for Life
Mar 5, 2018 • 19 min
China’s National People’s Congress opened its annual two-week meeting today. The country’s parliament is expected to change China’s constitution to allow President Xi Jinping to abolish term limits. Sean Rameswaram speaks to Fordham professor Carl Minzner…
The Gun Problem No One Wants to Talk About
Mar 2, 2018 • 19 min
It was a week of whiplash in the national fight over gun control. First, major retailers like Dick’s and Walmart raised the gun-buying age from 18 to 21, and companies like Delta dropped their NRA discounts. But then pro-gun rights legislatures pushed…
The Deep Fake
Mar 1, 2018 • 19 min
There’s a new kind of algorithm that allows you to take a video of one person and map the face of another person onto his or her body. Not surprisingly, it’s being used to map celebrities’ faces onto the bodies of porn stars having sex. Vox’s Aja Romano…
The Quiet War on Obamacare
Feb 28, 2018 • 17 min
A coalition of 20 states filed a lawsuit claiming Obamacare is unconstitutional yesterday. Vox’s Sarah Kliff says that’s just the latest pushback on the Affordable Care Act. Idaho has been quietly allowing insurance plans that don’t comply with…
Mueller 101
Feb 27, 2018 • 19 min
Today, special counsel Robert Mueller dropped over 20 criminal counts against former Trump campaign official Rick Gates, just days after Gates agreed to a plea deal. Mueller’s Russia probe has a lot of people and moving parts, so how do we keep them all…
Give Us Your No One
Feb 26, 2018 • 17 min
Today, the United States Supreme Court denied a request from the Trump administration to expedite a decision on DACA. This keeps the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on life support for a few more months, but also keeps its 690,000…
This Time Could Be Different
Feb 23, 2018 • 24 min
Something changed this week. Teenagers managed to break the deadlock over gun control. Marches, walkouts, and serious policy debates are on the way. To understand what’s different about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Sean…
Countdown to Day Zero
Feb 22, 2018 • 20 min
Cape Town is just a few months away from being the first major city to shut off its taps in the history of the modern world. Day Zero - the day Capetonians in South Africa will need to line up at water distribution points for daily water rations - is…
Breaking the Ice with North Korea
Feb 21, 2018 • 17 min
North and South Korea are on opposite sides of a demilitarized zone, separated by barbed wire, tank traps, and guard towers. But in the 2018 Winter Olympics, they came together on the rink. Is hockey the key to peace with North Korea?
Black Panther Is the Most Important Movie of 2018
Feb 20, 2018 • 16 min
“Black Panther” is the biggest movie in the world, but what makes this comic book adaptation more important than the nearly 20 Marvel movies that came before it? Sean Rameswaram attends a “Black Panther”-themed engagement party and speaks to Evan…
Six Easy Steps to Nuclear War
Feb 19, 2018 • 21 min
Today we launch our show, but it turns out it’s a lot easier to launch a nuclear weapon. Vox’s Alex Ward walks us through the six easy steps and tells Sean Rameswaram about the time we accidentally dropped a nuke on North Carolina. Twice.