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
Taliban 2.0
The Taliban last controlled Afghanistan 20 years ago. They may be more pragmatic now, but their ideology hasn’t changed.
25 min
Who counts as white on the census?
Some recent analysis of America’s changing demographics is inaccurate and dangerous. NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang makes sense of the 2020 census.
21 min
Back-to-back crises in Haiti
An assassination followed by an earthquake followed by a tropical storm strike a country where aid organizations often have more influence than Haitians.
20 min
How the Taliban took back Afghanistan
And did it faster than the US ever imagined.
21 min
Delta in the Delta
Covid-19 is surging so high in several states, you’d think we didn’t have a vaccine. A Mississippi nurse who was initially skeptical explains her path to getting the shot.
18 min
The allies left behind
While the US withdraws from Afghanistan, the Taliban is surging, which is a likely death sentence for the thousands of Afghans who helped the US military. An interpreter who escaped explains.
22 min
“Code red for humanity”
A new UN report says humans are “unequivocally” causing climate change. Rich countries are to blame, but poorer ones, like Madagascar, are paying the price with an unprecedented climate-induced famine.
19 min
Oye Cuomo va
People said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would never resign. Then he did. New York magazine contributing writer David Freedlander explains.
18 min
Were the Olympics worth it?
The pandemic Olympics have come to an end. NPR’s Tom Goldman provides a highlight reel and an evaluation from Tokyo.
22 min
An MVP for the world
Giannis Antetokounmpo went from hawking watches and DVDs on the streets of Greece to winning an NBA championship for the Milwaukee Bucks. The Ringer’s Mirin Fader tells the story of his improbable rise.
32 min
The fight to ban evictions
Democrats this week scrambled to extend a federal evictions moratorium amid the government's failure to deliver tens of billions of dollars to renters in need. Vox’s Ian Millhiser and Jerusalem Demsas explain.
20 min
Who owns Amanda Knox?
The new Matt Damon movie, Stillwater, is based on Amanda Knox’s story. She wishes someone had asked her to tell it.
29 min
Collect $5 billion. Do not pay taxes.
The Roth IRA was invented by Congress to incentivize middle-class retirement savings. ProPublica’s Justin Elliott explains how venture capitalist Peter Thiel ended up with $5 billion in his.
25 min
The Provincetown cluster
Vox’s Dylan Scott explains what an outbreak in a mostly vaccinated beach town taught the CDC about the delta variant.
18 min
The spike in gun violence (Part II)
A Philadelphia election tested progressive ideas on how to reduce shootings in America. ProPublica’s Alec MacGillis explains.
24 min
The spike in gun violence (Part I)
The nation’s murder rate rose by almost 25 percent last year — the largest increase in at least 60 years. This year might be even worse. ProPublica’s Alec MacGillis reports on “The Great Regression.”
25 min
The Capitol police speak
Capitol police officers testified on Tuesday in the building they defended on January 6. Seamus Hughes, a former congressional investigator, explains whether their testimony will make a difference.
22 min
The Covid Olympics
The 2020 Games were mired in scandal before they even started. Vox’s Jen Kirby explains how things are going now that the Olympics have finally begun.
18 min
Panic! At The Delta
Vox’s Umair Irfan explains why the United States is seeing another Covid-19 surge. Dr. Rhea Boyd says the country is getting unvaccinated people all wrong.
22 min
Infrastructure Pete
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg explains what he and his boss are calling a once-in-a-generation spending plan.
18 min
Human infrastructure
President Biden wants infrastructure spending to include child care, elder care, food assistance, even community college. Vox’s Anna North explains how he might convince Republicans in Congress.
21 min
Our No. 2 problem
America’s sewage system is total crap, but there’s a new plumber in town.
23 min
Why we can’t have nice trains
And how it got so dam expensive to build things in America.
25 min
Hot infrastructure summer
It’s a big week for President Biden’s infrastructure plans. Vox’s Li Zhou explains the obstacles in his way, and a historian says one of them is our collective memory.
22 min
#FreeBritney was right
Britney Spears returned to conservatorship court this week. Vox’s Constance Grady explains how Spears has rapidly become the face of a legal reform movement.
24 min