Noted American diplomat and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is revered by few, reviled by many, and now he’s dead. Vox’s Jonathan Guyer explains why the world was fixated on him for decades after he left the White House.
The American politics of Israel
The Israel-Hamas war is dividing the previously united Democrats and uniting the recently fractured Republican party. Semafor’s David Weigel explains what that means going into 2024.
Package theft is on the rise, and it affects everyone, from the retailer, to shippers, to consumers. So maybe it’s time to take a cue from Gen Z and go back to the mall.
The hostage deal (brought to you by Qatar)
After 50 days of the Israel-Hamas war, both sides took a breather to save lives. And it couldn’t have happened without Qatar.
Chaos at OpenAI
It’s been a wild few days at OpenAI, whose board fired CEO Sam Altman on Friday only to rehire him late Tuesday. Vox reporter Sigal Samuel explains what happened at the company behind ChatGPT — and what it tells us about the future of AI.
How Cassie sued Diddy
Sean "Diddy" Combs is the latest high-profile figure to be accused of sexual assault under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, a law that expires this week.
Inside the occupied West Bank
With the world focused on Gaza, Israeli settlers and soldiers are increasing attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank. Writer Nathan Thrall and journalist Dalia Hatuqa explain the decades of tension that shape life in the West Bank.
F1: Gears and Loathing in Las Vegas
Formula 1 spent half a billion dollars to return to Las Vegas. Jalopnik’s Elizabeth Blackstock explains how a lackluster season and this weekend’s nothingburger race threaten F1's American dreams.
Speaker Johnson’s first test
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, infamous election denier, moved to the middle to make a budget deal with Democrats. But he promised the real fight is still to come.
Who can fix 150% inflation?
That’s what voters are trying to figure out as they prepare for this weekend’s runoff election between Peronist insider Sergio Massa and unorthodox economist Javier Milei. The Economist’s Ana Lankes previews Argentina’s unusual presidential contest.
A call from Gaza
People are desperately trying to escape Gaza as the siege on the strip continues. Mohammed Ghalaieny, a Palestinian British man, tells us why he is choosing to stay, even as other foreign nationals escape through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.
China’s soft (and fluffy) power
Panda diplomacy couldn’t fix the US and China’s tense relationship. Perhaps a meeting between Presidents Biden and Xi can bring back that fuzzy feeling. Ian Johnson of the Council on Foreign Relations and Panda Nation author E. Elena Songster explain.
A scam cost me $31k and a pool
Writer Devin Friedman has wanted a pool since he was a kid. As an adult, he saved tens of thousands of dollars to install one, but nothing went as planned. He hopes you can learn something from his story.
Adjust the tip
Tipping’s getting even more complicated thanks to a DoorDash change that will prioritize diners who tip over diners who don’t. The Verge’s Andrew Hawkins and Cornell professor Michael Lynn explain tipping’s tipping point.
Protesters, politicians, and the pope are calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, but the US and Israeli governments remain opposed. Vox’s Jonathan Guyer and Jon B. Alterman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies explain what happens next.
There’s Something About Romney
On his way out of the United States Senate, Mitt Romney gave one reporter unprecedented access to his emails, texts, and journals. McKay Coppins, author of Romney: A Reckoning, explains why.
Should domestic abusers lose gun rights?
The Supreme Court will decide if Zackey Rahimi, a man accused of domestic violence and involved in at least five shootings, still has a constitutional right to bear arms. KERA reporter Caroline Love and law professor Eric Ruben explain.
Is DEI DOA?
The lawyer behind the Supreme Court case that overturned affirmative action in university admissions has a new target: a small venture capital firm that gives money to Black women founders. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Mirtha Donastorg and TechCrunch’s Dominic-Madori Davis explain how it’s part of a broader backlash to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
The view from Israel
Israelis overwhelmingly disapprove of their government’s handling of the October 7 attacks, but their desire for unity keeps Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power. Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum explains what Israel’s government should do next, and Professor Noah Efron of Bar-Ilan University describes the mood among Israelis.
The law that broke immigration
Supporters of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act pledged it wouldn’t radically change immigration. David Leonhardt, author of Ours Was the Shining Future, explains how it instead led to what might be the largest wave of immigration in human history.
The Pope, his bishops, and some women walk into the Vatican. The National Catholic Reporter’s Joshua McElwee explains what happens next.
Gaza’s humanitarian crisis
Cut off from water and power and recovering from a communications blackout, Gaza is plunged deeper into crisis. It’s not just a humanitarian problem, says leading human rights attorney Kenneth Roth — it’s a violation of international law.
The Dollar General will see you now
The primary care physician shortage is ruining health care in America. Dollar General, Best Buy, and Walmart are trying to fill the void. Vox’s Dylan Scott explains.
New Dork City
Silicon Valley billionaires are battling local residents over plans to build a whole new city in California, part of a global trend of wealthy investors dreaming up cities from scratch. The San Francisco Chronicle’s J.K. Dineen and Sarah Moser from McGill’s New Cities Lab explain.
Why does the US always side with Israel?
This was the top question we got from Today, Explained listeners. Joel Beinin, Middle East history professor emeritus at Stanford, has answers.