Today, Explained

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.

Daily News
After the Green Rush
Adelanto, California, was broke. Could legalizing marijuana cultivation offer a fix? Reporter David Weinberg’s podcast Dreamtown details how the path to salvation was marred by scandal, debt, and corruption.
24 min
The San Francisco Standard’s Liz Lindqwister reports from San Francisco, where people are flipping her off for hailing rides in robotaxis. The Verge’s Andrew Hawkins explains how long before one pulls up in front of you.
23 min
Florida man indicted (again) (again) (again)
Oft-indicted former President Donald Trump is at it again. Stephen Fowler, host of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Battleground: Ballot Box podcast, explains the paradox of the Fulton County charges.
23 min
Why Maui burned
Hawaii’s landscape has been rapidly changing for the last 200 years thanks to plantations, tourism, and climate change. A reporter and climatologist explain how those factors fueled one of the worst wildfires in US history.
23 min
A postpartum pill
The FDA’s approval of a new pill that treats postpartum depression could be yet another signal that we are living in a golden age of medicine.
23 min
Suing big food
Tostitos chips without real lime. Root beer made with fake vanilla. Instant mac and cheese that isn’t so instant. These products are among the hundreds targeted by lawyer Spencer Sheehan. We talked to him last year about why he wants Big Food to stop misrepresenting its products.
23 min
The Rikers takeover
Today a federal judge hears arguments on whether New York City Mayor Eric Adams should be stripped of control of the jails on Rikers Island. Gothamist’s Matt Katz explains.
23 min
Shein trouble
The Chinese apparel company Shein is a favorite of Gen Z shoppers and the latest frontier in US-China tensions. Vogue Business editor Hilary Milnes explains why Congress, designers, and worker advocates are all determined to take down the global fast fashion juggernaut.
23 min
Disney CEO Bob Iger says the company is looking for a “strategic partner” to invest in the massive sports network, which has been struggling in an era of cord-cutting. Peter Kafka explains what it could mean for fans.
23 min
Hot topic
When it comes to climate policy, President Biden has accomplished more than any of his predecessors. But activists want more: They want him to declare a climate emergency.
23 min
The air-istocracy
Private jets aren’t what they used to be. AOC is calling out Hollywood executives for having too many, and European nations are trying to ban them. People are even saying Taylor Swift’s the problem. But wait until you hear who’s really paying for them.
23 min
Semiconductors are used in just about every piece of technology. The US wants to limit what China can do with them. Alex W. Palmer explains the latest front in the fight for tech dominance.
23 min
Florida man indicted (again) (again)
The latest unprecedented is about January 6, but does the American public still care about January 6?
23 min
Where did the recession go?
A much-dreaded recession doesn’t actually seem to be materializing. We called up some experts — economics reporters Tracy Alloway and Greg Ip, plus our boss, Vox CEO Jim Bankoff — to figure out what’s going on.
23 min
Will “parental rights” mobilize Muslims?
Some Muslim parents wanted their kids to opt out of reading schoolbooks with LGBTQ characters and themes. Today, Explained reporter Haleema Shah explains what happened when their fight went national.
23 min
Music’s nostalgia-industrial complex
A lot of our new hit music sounds just like our parents’ old hit music. Pitchfork’s Jayson Greene says you should blame publishing companies.
23 min
Sound of Freedom
The Wall Street Journal’s John Jurgensen explains how Sound of Freedom, an action-drama about fighting child sex trafficking, beat Tom Cruise and Indiana Jones at the box office. Writer Meg Conley explains the murky truth behind the movie.
30 min
A third nuclear superpower
For decades, a delicate strategy of deterrence kept Russia and the US from nuclear war. With China upping its nuclear ambitions, things are about to get a lot more complicated.
23 min
Inside the AI factory
We are used to thinking of artificial intelligence as knowledge generated by machines. The Verge’s Josh Dzieza pulls back the curtain on the vast network of human labor that powers AI.
23 min
I want you! (to fight the culture war)
The defense bill is the latest piece of legislation to be weaponized by the far-right Freedom Caucus. It’s also the latest test for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
23 min
Barbie Dreampodcast
Is Barbie a toy commercial doubling as the first installment of an inevitable Mattel Cinematic Universe? Or does it have something important to say? Barbie’s multitudes, explained.
23 min
A lot of Americans are still feeling iffy about the economy, but Joe Biden’s so proud of how things are going that he’s stuck his name on it. The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein explains “Bidenomics.”
23 min
Is ethical investing a sham?
Republican presidential candidates have a bone to pick with ESG investments. So does James Surowiecki, contributing writer at The Atlantic.
23 min
Inside the Actors Strike
The actors are officially on strike. Vox senior correspondent and critic Alissa Wilkinson breaks down what SAG-AFTRA is afta, and the New Yorker’s Michael Schulman explains how one of Netflix’s first original shows was an early warning sign.
23 min
Vacation ... all I ever wanted?
🎵 Now that I’m away, I wish I had stayed. 🎵 Vox’s Allie Volpe explains why travel feels like such a mess right now (and how to make it a bit better). And the New Yorker’s Agnes Callard makes the case against travel altogether.
23 min