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
New Dork City
Silicon Valley billionaires are battling local residents over plans to build a whole new city in California, part of a global trend of wealthy investors dreaming up cities from scratch. The San Francisco Chronicle’s J.K. Dineen and Sarah Moser from McGill’s New Cities Lab explain.
23 min
Why does the US always side with Israel?
This was the top question we got from Today, Explained listeners. Joel Beinin, Middle East history professor emeritus at Stanford, has answers.
22 min
Trump, gagged
The most indicted president in history has judges grappling with how to balance the right to free speech against his history of targeting perceived enemies. Investigative journalist Andrea Bernstein and former Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann explain the gag orders against the leading Republican candidate for president.
23 min
Hearts, minds, and likes
False information about what is happening in Israel and Gaza is taking over social media faster than journalists like BBC Verify’s Shayan Sardarizadeh can check it. That’s exactly how digital propagandists want it, says professor and social media expert Marc Owen Jones.
23 min
To Airbnb, or not to Airbnb, that is the question. Wired’s Amanda Hoover and the Atlantic’s Kate Lindsay have the answers.
23 min
Republicans made history when they ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and they continue to make history in their inability to replace him. Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains.
23 min
Biden goes to Israel
It’s been 11 days since Hamas attacked Israel, killing civilians and taking hostages. Israel’s retaliation has killed hundreds of Palestinians and created a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment Aaron David Miller and Middle East analyst Michael Wahid Hanna explain what role diplomacy will play in the coming days.
24 min
So I unelected an authoritarian
The outcome of Poland’s election surprised the world. Vox's Jen Kirby explains what happened, and Anna Grzymała-Busse of Stanford University looks at what this hopeful turn means for all of Europe.
23 min
How Palestinians view Hamas
The US along with Israel and many of its allies have long considered Hamas a terrorist group. Khaled Al-Hroub, a professor at Northwestern University in Qatar, explains how its reputation is a lot murkier among Palestinians, who elected the group to political power in 2006.
23 min
America’s most successful downtown?
And the ecological crisis that threatens everything. Today, Explained’s Miles Bryan heads to Salt Lake City.
24 min
RFK goes rogue
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is ditching his family’s party. David Freedlander explains how the candidate might have just gone from being a problem for the current president to a problem for the former one.
23 min
Driver’s license to kill
Across the country, traffic deaths are spiking. Vox’s Marin Cogan tells the tragic story of one grisly crash in Washington, DC, and we ask whether changes to traffic policing could be partly to blame.
23 min
Israel, Hamas, and how we got here
This Israel-Hamas war is unlike the ones that came before it, says Haaretz’s Allison Kaplan Sommer. But it was years in the making, says Vox’s Zack Beauchamp.
23 min
Who shot ya, Tupac?
For 27 years there was no arrest in the shooting death of rapper Tupac Shakur. Slate’s Joel Anderson explains how that finally changed.
23 min
Caste away
A bill outlawing caste-based discrimination in California could become the first law of its kind in the US. Reporter Sonia Paul explains the backlash to the bill, and Georgetown University’s Ananya Chakravarti explains how India's ancient social hierarchy became a problem here.
23 min
We Need to Talk About Kevin
As House speaker, Kevin McCarthy worked with Democrats to keep the government open. Then Matt Gaetz worked with Democrats to get McCarthy fired. Semafor’s Jordan Weissmann returns to explain an unprecedented moment in American politics.
22 min
Crypto’s crown prince in court
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial begins today; a guilty verdict could represent the final nail in crypto’s coffin. Bloomberg’s Zeke Faux, who spent two years chronicling SBF’s downfall, explains.
23 min
The US government is open for business at the cost of Ukraine aid. Semafor’s Jordan Weissmann explains how we got here. And White House communications director Ben LaBolt explains how the Biden administration is justifying the compromise.
22 min
Hip-hop is 50 and it's having a midlife crisis
So much of the coverage of hip-hop’s 50th birthday has been congratulatory, in spite of its record of misogyny and anti-LGBTQ sentiment. In this episode of Into It, host Sam Sanders talks to journalist Kiana Fitzgerald about how the women of hip-hop are leading the way today, and he catches up with hip-hop scholar Jason England, who argues hip-hop's midlife crisis has left an empty shell of what the genre once was.
43 min
Blame Capitalism: Degrowing pains
Capitalism isn’t natural, was never inevitable, and endless growth is killing Earth. The final episode of “Blame Capitalism” examines the degrowth movement, whose proponents call to end capitalism as we know it.
23 min
Man’s best friend banned in UK
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says his government will ban a type of dog called the American Bully XL — a relative of the pit bull. Political editor Tom McTague and writer Bronwen Dickey explain the complex politics and charged history of an iconic dog.
23 min
Why the US is suing Amazon
The Federal Trade Commission has brought a landmark antitrust suit against Amazon. The Verge’s Makena Kelly and former FTC director Bill Baer explain how it’s part of chair Lina Khan’s effort to change the way the US regulates monopolies.
22 min
Should you blow up a pipeline?
Climate activists have tried marching and lobbying. Now, a growing flank of movement radicals want to take more extreme action. Author Dana Fisher tells us who they are, and sociologist Matthew Wolfe traces the history of radical environmentalism in the US.
23 min
Murder, Canada Wrote
Canada’s unprecedented decision to publicly accuse India of assassinating a Canadian citizen in Canada is upending the two countries' relationship.
23 min
Blame Capitalism: The 99%
Two wildly different political movements — Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party — emerged from the Great Recession. They forever changed the way Americans think about capitalism and democracy.
23 min