Today, Explained

Today, Explained is Vox's daily news explainer podcast. Hosts Sean Rameswaram and Noel King will guide you through the most important stories of the day.

Part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Daily News
The Adderall shortage
There is a nationwide shortage of medications to treat ADHD. One culprit: the DEA. Vox’s Dylan Scott explains.
23 min
Cocaine hippos (and the case against pets)
The descendants of Pablo Escobar’s pet hippopotami are wreaking havoc in Colombia. They can teach us non-druglords a thing or two about pet ownership.
23 min
Make it rain
The Colorado River is disappearing and the government is now spending millions on one wild idea to ease the pain: seeding clouds to make it rain.
23 min
What does the Fox pay?
$787.5 million. (To Dominion Voting Systems, averting a defamation trial that could have been disastrous for the network. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple explains.)
23 min
Hollywood writers are ready to strike
TV and film writers just voted to authorize a strike, which could leave studios without fresh scripts as soon as May 1. Bloomberg business reporter Lucas Shaw explains.
23 min
The forever chemicals in your blood
The Biden administration has new plans to reduce the amount of PFAS or “forever chemicals” in America’s drinking water. Barbara Moran, WBUR’s climate and environmental correspondent, explains why that will only get us so far.
23 min
The Discord leaks
Federal officials have charged a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard with posting a trove of classified documents online. Politico’s Erin Banco explains.
23 min
Phantom ghosts Broadway
The chandelier crashes for a final time as Broadway’s longest-running musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s extremely ’80s Phantom of the Opera, closes after 35 years and nearly 14,000 performances. Vulture’s Andrea Long Chu assesses its cultural staying power.
23 min
Why stuff isn’t getting cheaper
The traditional explanation of inflation is simple: too much money chasing too few goods. But some experts are now wondering if companies’ aggressive pursuit of profit is driving up inflation as well.
23 min
The new fight over abortion pills
A federal judge in Texas invalidated the FDA’s decades-old approval of the abortion drug mifepristone. Vox’s Anna North explains the battle over a drug that’s been legal since 2000.
23 min
Why Russia arrested an American reporter
Evan Gershkovich’s detention is a callback to the last time a US journalist was accused of espionage in Russia — and to a Soviet-era tactic for manipulating the West.
23 min
Table for 10 billion, please
Feeding the world’s growing population is an increasingly difficult challenge, and climate change won’t make it any easier. Vox’s Kenny Torrella visited the Netherlands, a small country with big ideas about the future of food, to find out more about how the country is approaching the problem.
26 min
Uncle Sam really wants you
The US military faces its worst recruiting crisis since the draft ended in 1973. Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth — aware of the military’s reputation of forever wars, veteran suicide, and sexual assault — is working to convince a new generation to enlist anyway.
23 min
Should you carry Narcan?
The drug that brings people overdosing on opioids back from the brink of death in minutes just got approved for over-the-counter use. The Wall Street Journal’s Julie Wernau explains why she carries it with her everywhere she goes.
23 min
City Limits: Blame the mayor
Chicagoans feel unsafe, and many blame Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The two Democrats on the ballot to replace her have starkly different views on what the city should do next. WBEZ’s Patrick Smith and Mariah Woelfel explain.
23 min
City Limits: Crime vibes
Americans aren’t going downtown like they used to, and a lot of them say it’s because they don’t feel safe there. Today, Explained got the data to untangle crime facts from crime feelings.
23 min
Florida man indicted
Donald Trump is the first US president to be indicted. Now what? Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains.
23 min
The fake nation of Kailasa
Newark officials rescinded a sister city agreement with the United States of Kailasa after finding out it wasn’t actually a real place. Reporter Sushmita Pathak explains how a fugitive cult leader from India created a fake nation that conned everyday people, government officials, and the UN.
23 min
How an AI pope pic fooled us
An AI-generated image of Cool Pope in immaculate drip went viral over the weekend and most everyone thought it was real. The Verge’s James Vincent explains how we should navigate our new internet reality.
23 min
The Israeli-Israeli conflict
Far-right judicial reforms have inspired what might be the largest protests in the history of Israel. If adopted, the reforms could spell the end of democracy in the world’s only majority-Jewish country.
23 min
New Mexico low-key fixes child care
The US has a child care crisis. But New Mexico just figured out a way to fix it (hint: they’re paying for it).
23 min
City Limits: Should public transit be free?
Transit agencies nationwide are facing an existential crisis. Washington, DC’s city council has a paradoxical solution: make subways and buses free.
23 min
Rep. Frost and David Hogg on what Gen Z wants
Five years after March for Our Lives, one of the historic protest’s organizers and his historic friend explain why it’s easy to forget how much progress has been made. Plus, Rep. Frost breaks some news about his first proper piece of legislation.
23 min
A tents standoff at the VA
When the Veterans Administration failed to build the homes it promised, unhoused vets built a tent city across the street — in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. KCRW’s Anna Scott tells their story in “City of Tents: Veterans Row.”
23 min
The US is obsessed with China
There’s rare bipartisan consensus in Washington: China is a threat to be countered. Cornell professor Jessica Chen Weiss says the American approach could lock both countries into an escalatory spiral.
23 min