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 does the war in Ukraine end?
The next Congress could be a whole lot less willing to keep spending billions on aid to Ukraine. It’s time to talk about how this war could end.
22 min
The teen’s gambit
The chess world is in chaos after its top player accused 19-year-old Hans Niemann of using AI to cheat. Niemann is responding with a $100 million lawsuit against his accuser and the chess website that says he likely cheated in scores of games.
23 min
A win for Lula (and democracy) in Brazil
Incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro vowed he wouldn’t accept the results of the Brazilian election if he lost. Then he lost. Samantha Pearson, Brazil correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, reports from a country on edge.
22 min
Our annual Halloween hysteria
This year’s fear of rainbow fentanyl in kids’ trick-or-treat bags is just the latest unfounded Halloween candy freakout. But the yearly panic has its roots in a very real crisis: the 1982 Tylenol murders.
31 min
Supermarket supermerger
Grocery story giants Kroger and Albertsons want to become one mega-company. The chains say merging will allow them to lower their prices, but antitrust researcher Ron Knox says we should be skeptical.
23 min
Teflon Ron
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has hit on a winning — if possibly unethical — campaign strategy: prosecuting people who accidentally committed voter fraud. The Tampa Bay Times’s Lawrence Mower explains.
22 min
A police sketch based on DNA
A police sketch based on DNAEarlier this month, police in Edmonton, Canada, released a sketch of a suspect. The issue is, no one knows what the suspect looks like.
23 min
Investigating women’s soccer
Allegations of misconduct have rocked US women’s soccer for the last year. The Athletic’s Steph Yang breaks down a new report on the degree to which league officials ignored complaints and protected abusers.
23 min
On with Kara Swisher (and Stacey Abrams)
Stacey Abrams is running for governor of Georgia, again … against Brian Kemp, again. The two last faced off in a heated contest in 2018, with Kemp’s win hanging on 54,723 votes. This time, he’s an incumbent and even further ahead in the polls. So, in this recent episode of her new podcast, On with Kara Swisher, Kara asks Abrams: what is different now?
31 min
Nikola (not Tesla)
The bombastic founder of an electric truck startup (no, not Elon) has been convicted for his role in his company’s “intricate fraud.” But even without the crimes, getting EVs to market has proven a lot harder than everyone thought.
23 min
Truss fall
Liz Truss accomplished at least one thing in her 45 days as prime minister: She set a record for the shortest term in office. The Atlantic’s Tom McTague explains her disastrous tenure.
23 min
The devil’s bargain on inflation
The Federal Reserve knows raising interest rates disproportionately hurts Black people. It just doesn’t have any better tools, says the Minneapolis Fed’s Neel Kashkari.
23 min
The Los Angeles city council meltdown
Leaked audio revealed elected officials, including City Council President Nury Martinez, making xenophobic, homophobic, and racist statements about their colleagues and constituents. The city has united in fury.
23 min
Legal weed’s half-baked promise
Pro-pot Californians said legalizing marijuana would end the state’s black market for reefer. Instead, says LA Times investigative reporter Paige St. John, the illegal market is bigger than ever.
23 min
Made in China
Chinese President Xi Jinping is a product of Mao Zedong’s revolution. On Sunday, he'll become the most powerful Chinese leader since the Communist Party’s founder — and maybe the most powerful person in the world.
23 min
A new law to “save the animals”
The Endangered Species Act was transformative in protecting animals from extinction. Vox’s Benji Jones says its proposed successor, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, would be the most significant conservation law in decades.
23 min
#MahsaAmini was just the beginning
The 22-year-old Iranian died in police custody after being arrested for wearing her hijab improperly. Her death has sparked a protest movement calling for the end of a regime that has for decades ruled Iran with an iron fist.
23 min
If Republicans win the midterms
They’ve got a few legislative ideas and a LOT of investigative ones. Vox’s Rachel Cohen and Ben Jacobs explain.
23 min
John Fetterman, the 6-foot-8, hoodie and cargo shorts-wearing Democratic candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania, may be the model for how progressives can win elections. He just needs to beat Dr. Oz.
24 min
Small nukes
Vladimir Putin keeps threatening to use smaller nuclear weapons to win his war. Author J. Peter Scoblic says “there’s no such thing as small nukes.”
23 min
Student loan forgiveMESS
President Biden’s plan to forgive billions of dollars in student debt is both historic and controversial. Now some red states are suing to block it. NPR’s Cory Turner explains.
23 min
Puerto Rico’s power crisis
Days after Ian, most Floridians now have their power back. Weeks after Fiona, more than 100,000 Puerto Rican households and businesses are still coping with blackouts and an outdated grid. The Washington Post’s Arelis Hernández explains.
23 min
The Supreme Court is back and “even more conseq...
According to Vox’s Ian Millhiser (and no, he hasn’t forgotten they just overturned Roe).
23 min
Brett Favre and the Mississippi welfare fraud
An extraordinary case of fraud is unfolding in Mississippi, where a chummy cadre of nonprofit leaders, elected officials, and professional athletes redirected tens of millions in welfare funds toward their own pet projects. Mississippi Today’s Anna Wolfe explains.
23 min
The ’90s throwback no one wants
Elvedin Pasic lived through the Bosnian genocide in the early 1990s. So why is one of Bosnia’s leaders saying it never happened? And what happens if that leader, Milorad Dodik, wins a national election this weekend?
23 min