Today, Explained

Vox

About

News comes at you fast. Join us at the end of your day to understand it. Today, Explained is your all killer, no filler, Monday to Friday news explainer co-hosted by Sean Rameswaram and Noel King. Every episode features the finest reporters from the Vox Media Podcast Network and beyond.

Available on

Community

1124 episodes

Brittney Griner for the Merchant of Death

Viktor Bout might be the most successful arms dealer in history. The US could let him go free if Russia releases the WNBA star, who was just sentenced to nine years in prison. Bout’s biographer, Douglas Farah, explains. This episode was produced by Hady Mawajdeh, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Aug 08
Authoritarianism, baby!

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán traveled to Texas for CPAC this week. Back home, he’s trying to fight population decline by paying some citizens to have more kids. But a real solution involves one weird trick Hungary — and US conservatives — hates. This episode was reported and produced by Miles Bryan, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard with help from Amanda Lewellyn and Hady Mawajdeh, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

25m
Aug 05
Monkeypox is a queer emergency

Gay men, queer people, and their partners represent an overwhelming majority of monkeypox cases. But even though the WHO just declared the disease a global health emergency, resources like vaccines, testing, and treatment remain largely out of reach. Health reporter Keren Landman and virologist Joseph Osmundson explain. This episode was produced by Victoria Dominguez, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Noel King. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Aug 04
Did Joe Manchin just save the planet?

Probably not, but he did finally compromise on the Inflation Reduction Act (née Build Back Better), which could be the most significant climate spending bill in US history. Vox’s Li Zhou and Rebecca Leber explain. This episode was produced by Victoria Chamberlin and Hady Mawajdeh, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Aug 03
Pelosi in Taiwan

China didn’t want Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan. Neither did the White House. Politico’s Alex Ward explains why she went anyway. This episode was produced by Miles Bryan and Jon Ehrens, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard with help from Amanda Lewellyn, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Noel King. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Aug 02
America has Afghanistan’s money

The US froze billions in Afghanistan’s central bank reserves when the Taliban took control. Now it’s wrestling with how to trust the Taliban with the Afghan people’s money. This episode was produced by Victoria Chamberlin with help from Amanda Lewellyn, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Victoria Dominguez and Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Aug 01
The Island of Explained: Plant-based party

An invitation to a vegan party sends producers Kiarra and Izii to the Island of Explained, where a giant who once ate people explains why he switched to a plant-based diet — and why that diet might be beneficial for humans, too.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

18m
Jul 30
Fighting climate despair

Climate change has driven some environmental activists to extremes. We talk about overcoming despair with Terry Kaelber, whose husband David Buckel took his life to protest inaction, and Tim DeChristopher, who was imprisoned for his activism. This episode was produced by Hady Mawajdeh, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey with help from Christian Ayala, and hosted by Noel King. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 29
Are we in a recession?

The US economy has shrunk for two consecutive quarters. That’s technically a recession. But economists aren’t so sure we’re actually in one. Madeleine Ngo and Jacob Goldstein explain. This episode was produced by Avishay Artsy and Miles Bryan, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Noel King. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 28
Riding in Cars with Robots

The data is in on autonomous cars: They are crashing, but they're still doing a lot better than regular cars driven by humans. The Verge’s Andrew Hawkins and Vox’s Marin Cogan take the wheel. This episode was produced by Jon Ehrens, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

23m
Jul 27
Replacing Boris Johnson

Britain’s Conservative party is spending the summer choosing its next prime minister. The Atlantic’s Tom McTague introduces the candidates vying to replace him. This episode was produced by Miles Bryan with help from Victoria Dominguez, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 26
McMoscow

The 1990 opening of a McDonald's in Russia heralded not just burgers and fries but, get this, a new era of peace and prosperity. The Economist’s Patrick Foulis explains how the promises of globalization never entirely materialized. This episode was produced by Avishay Artsy, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard with help from Victoria Dominguez, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Noel King. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 25
Wrestling with Vince McMahon

The CEO who turned World Wrestling Entertainment into a global brand has always courted controversy. But a resurfaced rape allegation and news of hush money paid to women, documented by journalist Abe Reisman, could be his undoing — if WWE fans decide they care. This episode was produced by Hady Mawajdeh, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Noel King. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

25m
Jul 22
Dry Hot American Summer

As the world heats up, the American West is dryer than at any period in the past 1,200 years. But don’t expect people to stop watering their lawns. This episode was produced by Avishay Artsy, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 21
FYI those telescope photos are kinda fake

But the images from the Webb Space Telescope still provide our best look yet at the formation of the universe. NASA astrophysicist Amber Straughn and science journalist Josh Sokol unpack humanity’s newest glimpse at the cosmos. This episode was produced by Victoria Chamberlin, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 20
BA.5 and DIY Covid

Surging cases, Paxlovid rebounds, and apathy everywhere. Vox’s Dr. Keren Landman explains how to navigate the do-it-yourself era of the pandemic. This episode was produced by Victoria Dominguez and Miles Bryan, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 19
What the January 6 committee has found (so far)

A congressional committee set out to offer the definitive story of the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Things got dramatic. This episode was produced by Hady Mawajdeh, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Noel King.Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 18
The case of the missing fireflies

Luz the firefly is missing, and producers Izii and Sara want to know why. They take a trip to the Island of Explained, where they learn why whole species are losing their habitats and what humans can do about it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

22m
Jul 16
“To [REDACTED] a Mockingbird”

Some conservative parents are trying to get books about race and sexuality banned from libraries and schools. Author Clint Smith says it’s dangerous to ban books to eliminate discomfort. This episode was produced by Avishay Artsy, edited by Amina Al-Sadi, fact-checked by Victoria Dominguez with help from Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Robert Mounsey, and hosted by Noel King. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 15
Shinzo Abe’s call to arms

The assassination of former prime minister Shinzo Abe may have given his agenda to militarize Japan new life. Abe biographer Tobias Harris explains. This episode was produced by Haleema Shah, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard with help from Victoria Dominguez, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 14
The case of the fake Basquiats

Art crime is booming and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s paintings (or at least some very realistic forgeries) are the loot du jour. Reporter Brett Sokol and a guy who used to forge Basquiats explain. This episode was produced by Avishay Artsy, fact-checked by Matt Collette, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram, who also edited. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 13
Joe Biden’s Saudi vacation

Candidate Biden said he would make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” on the world stage. Now President Biden is traveling there, asking for the kingdom’s help on gas prices. This episode was produced by Jon Ehrens and Victoria Chamberlin, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Victoria Dominguez and Amina Al-Sadi, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Noel King. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 12
Joe Biden’s tampon shortage

No, President Biden didn’t cause the tampon shortage — or any of the recent shortages. But that won’t stop him from taking the blame.  This episode was produced by Victoria Dominguez and Haleema Shah, edited by Amina Al-Sadi and Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard and Victoria Dominguez, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Noel King. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained   Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 11
UFOMG

Congress just had its first hearings on UFOs in over 50 years. We revisit a 2021 episode where the New Yorker’s Gideon Lewis-Kraus explained why the US government started taking sightings seriously. This episode was produced by Miles Bryan, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Efim Shapiro and Cristian Ayala, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

25m
Jul 08
What if you could talk without speaking?

A groundbreaking new study claims to have found a way for a fully paralyzed person to communicate entirely via thought. But as we learned in an episode earlier this year, the scientists behind it have a checkered past. This episode was produced by Miles Bryan, edited by Matt Collette, engineered by Efim Shapiro, fact-checked by Tori Dominguez and Laura Bullard, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 07
How the US learned to love sanctions

The US hoped sanctions would end Russia’s war in Ukraine quickly. We revisit our conversation with historian Nicholas Mulder who explains the surprising history of economic penalties as a weapon of war. This episode was produced by Amina Al-Sadi, edited by Matt Collette and Sean Rameswaram, engineered by Efim Shapiro, fact-checked by Laura Bullard and hosted by Noel King. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 06
Ask for Jane

Before Roe v. Wade, Eleanor Oliver was a Jane: a member of a group in Chicago that helped women get safe but illegal abortions. Sean Rameswaram sat down with her on the day Roe was overturned. This episode was edited and fact-checked by Matt Collette, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and produced by Victoria Chamberlin and host Sean Rameswaram. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jul 01
This country is a lot right now

The past week/month/year/pandemic has taken a toll on a lot of people’s mental health. And the US has proven woefully incapable of dealing with mental health for years. This episode was produced by Haleema Shah, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Tori Dominguez, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Matt Collette. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jun 30
Roe v. Wade v. God

A rabbi, a priest, and an imam walk into the abortion debate. The priest wins. This episode was produced by Victoria Dominguez and Haleema Shah, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Noel King. Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jun 29
Abortion pills

It’s safe and easy to end a pregnancy during the first trimester using a pair of FDA-approved pills. Accessing them is the latest abortion battleground. Vox's Rachel Cohen explains. This episode was produced by Miles Bryan, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram.Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained Support Today, Explained by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

27m
Jun 28