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
How to save a murderer
Should past trauma prevent a convicted killer from being executed? The Marshall Project’s Maurice Chammah reports on “mitigation specialists” who try to save the lives of death row inmates by investigating their histories.
23 min
The fight for affordable insulin
Insulin was the poster child of overpriced life saving drugs, but a manufacturer finally capped the cost at $35. Vox’s Dylan Scott explains how pharmaceutical companies for decades managed to overprice drugs Americans desperately needed.
23 min
The rockstar maestro
Gustavo Dudamel brought classical music to the masses in Los Angeles. Now he’s announced that he’s taking his talents to New York, which could revive classical music on one of its biggest stages.
23 min
Why newspapers fired Dilbert
Newspapers across the country pulled the long-running comic “Dilbert” after its creator uploaded a racist tirade about Rasmussen poll results. Journalist Chris Cillizza explains how providing the fodder for controversy is Rasmussen’s whole deal.
23 min
Block the sun, save the earth?
Solar geoengineering — the idea of cooling the planet by deflecting the sun’s rays — is so risky that scientists and policy experts can’t even agree on whether to research it.
23 min
Biden’s border orders
President Biden promised a more humane approach to immigration when he entered office.  After two years and a flurry of activity on asylum policies, the Washington Post’s Nick Miroff explains whether Biden has delivered.
23 min
The shadow war on Russian yachts
Bloomberg's Stephanie Baker and the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos explain the fight to seize (and maintain) billionaire boats.
23 min
Another phone call from Ukraine
On the morning Russia invaded Ukraine, we called Yulya and Kurii. A year later, we’re calling them back.
23 min
Pharrell Vuitton
Pharrell Williams was happy to be named the new head of Louis Vuitton’s menswear, but his appointment had fashion industry hopefuls feeling like they never get lucky. Nick Kostov and Jacob Gallagher from the Wall Street Journal explain their scoop.
23 min
Just how dangerous is the Ohio train crash?
The derailment of a train carrying toxic chemicals has residents of East Palestine, Ohio fearing for their health and safety. Two weeks after the incident, many feel like they have more questions than answers.
23 min
Ban TikTok?
Politicians across the United States are calling for an outright ban on the popular social media platform. Alex Heath, deputy editor at The Verge, explains how TikTok hopes to pre-empt one from ever passing.
23 min
Honey, they stole the bees
Humanity can’t survive without bees, which is why bees are big business for thieves. Today, Explained’s Haleema Shah heads to the capital of sting operations — California’s Central Valley — to find out who’s beehind these thefts and why they're happening.
32 min
Turkey's man-made catastrophe
Thousands of buildings collapsed after Turkey’s massive earthquakes. Now President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is facing a backlash for an amnesty program that gave developers retroactive approval for shoddy construction.
23 min
Nikki Haley kicks off a Republican mutiny
Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, is running for president. Vox’s Andrew Prokop says she’s likely the first of many prominent Republicans to challenge Trump.
23 min
Democratizing spying
“Zero-click spyware” is making it easier for governments to get their hands on individuals’ personal data. New York Times investigative reporter Mark Mazzetti says that when it comes to spyware, the United States is both an arsonist and a firefighter.
23 min
Pow pow power grid
Attacks on vulnerable electrical infrastructure are surging. The tactic — embraced by everyone from copper-seeking vandals to chaos-minded white nationalists — exposes a major vulnerability in the US power grid.
23 min
The great American cattle swindle
Cody Easterday was ranching royalty in Washington state until he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for swindling two companies out of $244 million. KUOW’s Anna King — host of the Ghost Herd podcast — explains.
23 min
Decisions after Dobbs
The Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade is reshaping the way a lot of Americans think about pregnancy and abortion. Vox’s Marin Cogan talks to patients and doctors about how reproductive health care has changed in the months since Dobbs.
23 min
One earthquake, two recoveries
Turkey is digging itself out from the devastating earthquake that has killed thousands across the country. Recovery efforts have been more difficult in northwest Syria, where civil war means there’s no unified response to the crisis.
23 min
The fight over AP African American Studies
The College Board piloted an AP course on African American Studies. Then, after conservative pushback, it debuted a revised curriculum. But the group insists it’s not caving to political pressure.
23 min
The balloon crisis is blown up. Politico’s Alex Ward deflates it for us.
23 min
Paying ex-gang members to stop shootings
Policymakers across the country are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on “violence interruptor” programs to try to stop shootings before they happen. WBEZ’s Patrick Smith spent a year with some Chicago-based interruptors for the podcast “Motive.”
23 min
Sickened chickens
Poultry farmers are in flock-down. The bird flu known as H5N1 is being called “the largest foreign animal disease outbreak in US history.” Vox’s Benji Jones and Johns Hopkins University researcher Tom Philpott say the virus underscores the poultry industry’s shortcomings.
23 min
Dry February?
New national health guidelines in Canada say any amount of alcohol consumption could lead to serious health risks. The guidance comes as more and more young people across Western nations are choosing Canada Dry.
23 min
The police killing of Tyre Nichols
Memphis braced for an explosive reaction to footage of the deadly police beating. It never came. Wendi Thomas, founder and publisher of the nonprofit newsroom MLK50, wasn’t surprised: “I know this city.”
23 min