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
Twitter’s new Musk
Elon Musk and Twitter have reached a deal. Recode’s Peter Kafka and Shirin Ghaffary explain what it means for the business of Twitter, and for free speech on the platform.
23 min
The Senate’s age-old old age problem
Dianne Feinstein’s colleagues are concerned the 88-year-old senator is struggling with memory loss, reports Tal Kopan of the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s raising concerns about Feinstein’s ability to do her job and the aging of America's politicians.
23 min
ok groomer
Accounts like “Libs of TikTok” are fueling right-wing media to label people who speak openly about sexuality and gender as “groomers.” Vox’s Aja Romano and the Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz explain this age-old practice.
23 min
El Salvador’s bet on bitcoin
By making bitcoin a national currency, El Salvador tried to transform its economy. Rest of World’s Leo Schwartz explains why the bet hasn’t yet paid off.
23 min
A rough week for mask mandates
A Florida judge ended the federal government’s mass transit mask mandate this week. Vox’s Dylan Scott explains if mask mandates are over forever and Dr. Kavita Patel explores how much of a difference that would make.
23 min
Russia’s mercenary army
The Wagner Group, a superviolent (and supersecretive) team of Kremlin-aligned mercenaries, is doing Vladimir Putin’s dirty work in Ukraine and around the world.
23 min
Elon Musk says he wants to buy Twitter, but is also making 420 jokes. Kara Swisher (who knows him) and Liz Lopatto (who doesn’t) explain whether the world should take him seriously (or care).
23 min
How Dylan got inflation wrong
Last year, Vox correspondent Dylan Matthews didn’t think inflation would be a big deal. He wasn’t the only one to miss the mark.
23 min
The threat of Russian cyberwar
Russia is ramping up attacks on Ukraine’s digital infrastructure. The US could be next.
23 min
China’s grip on Hollywood
Warner Bros. is censoring the newest Fantastic Beasts movie for Chinese audiences. It’s the latest reminder that Hollywood’s reliance on China comes at a cost.
23 min
The end of January 6
The congressional committee investigating the Capitol insurrection has gathered an enormous amount of information. Now it must decide what to do with it. Politico’s Kyle Cheney explains five crucial decisions that remain.This episode was produced by Miles Bryan, edited by Matt Collette, engineered by Paul Mounsey, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram.
23 min
Let’s talk about Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden may not be the archcriminal that conservatives describe, but his actions present problems for his father (the president of the United States). Vox's Andrew Prokop explains.
23 min
Pakistan’s vote of no Khanfidence
Pakistan’s prime minister was ousted. He blames the US.
23 min
A grande victory for Starbucks workers
Starting a union can be a tall order, but many baristas have found it’s an effective way to venti their frustration with management.
23 min
Canceling Russian culture
Vladimir Putin says the West is trying to erase 1,000 years of culture. Arts organizations say they have an obligation to respond to the war in Ukraine.
23 min
Buffalo Billions
The Buffalo Bills are set to receive $850 million in public funds to build a new stadium — even though they’re owned by a fracking billionaire and weren’t threatening to leave. An economist explains whether publicly funded stadiums ever work out in the public’s favor.
23 min
Should Congress be able to trade stocks?
A 2012 law tried to limit lawmakers' ability to make money on Wall Street. It hasn’t worked.
23 min
The isolation of Vladimir Putin
The Russian president has come to rely on a skewed version of history and an increasingly small circle of advisers. Journalist Marvin Kalb explains what that means for the war in Ukraine.
23 min
Did we just invent telepathy?
A groundbreaking new study claims to have found a way for a fully paralyzed person to communicate entirely via thought. But the scientists behind it have a checkered past.
23 min
Umami Mama
For thousands of years, there have been four basic tastes recognized across cultures. But thanks to Kumiko Ninomiya (aka the Umami Mama), scientists finally accepted a fifth. As part of its Making Sense series, Vox’s Unexplainable podcast explores whether there could be even more.
34 min
Microdosing goes mainstream
There is growing support for psychedelics as performance enhancers, mood boosters, and a shortcut to therapy. The science is mixed.
19 min
Ukrainians (and Russians) meet US Border Patrol
The US southern border remains closed to asylum seekers on account of Covid-19, unless you happen to be Ukrainian.
22 min
The National Guard is tired
And in Texas, they’re trying to unionize.
21 min
“The greatest night in the history of television”
The Oscars were bordering on irrelevancy until Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage.
22 min
Is the war in Ukraine unwinnable?
One month in, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t going according to plan. Historian and retired Army colonel Andrew Bacevich explains how it might end.
22 min