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
Many unhappy returns
Your aunt mailed you a sweater for Christmas that’s three sizes too small. Armed with a gift receipt, you set out to return it. The Atlantic’s Amanda Mull enters the returniverse to find out what happens next.
23 min
Will Trump be on your ballot?
As states decide whether Donald Trump is eligible to be on their primary ballots based on his actions on January 6, 2021, the Supreme Court is facing its most consequential elections decision since Bush v. Gore.
23 min
Israel’s next move
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces trouble at home and abroad. AP correspondent Tia Goldenberg and scholar Hussein Ibish explain the significance of a high-profile killing in Lebanon.
23 min
When solar power leaves you feeling burned
The potential of rooftop solar is being squandered. Time’s economic correspondent Alana Semuels reports a cautionary tale, and writer Andrew Moseman explains why the country isn’t ready for a solar revolution.
22 min
Dry January
The start of a new year is increasingly a time when people choose to abstain from drinking for a month. We’re using the moment as an opportunity to revisit an episode from last year, about new health guidelines in Canada that raise questions about whether there’s any safe amount of alcohol to consume.
24 min
The Joshua Generation grows up
A group of evangelical Christians raised their children to become influential in the White House, on Capitol Hill, and in the Supreme Court. We’re revisiting an episode from earlier this year in which now-adult members of the “Joshua generation” reckon with their upbringing.
24 min
Let’s process food
Doctor and journalist Chris van Tulleken wanted to know how ultra-processed foods affect us, so for a month he ate almost nothing but UPFs. His book Ultra-Processed People examines how the food we eat today is dramatically changing our bodies and minds.
23 min
Shein wants to go public
The Chinese apparel company Shein, a favorite of Gen Z shoppers and the latest frontier in US-China tensions, has indicated it plans to go public in 2024. In an episode we first released earlier this year, Vogue Business editor Hilary Milnes explains all the drama surrounding the ecommerce giant.
23 min
The stretched-too-thin blue line
FBI data shows police departments have been solving fewer violent crimes since 2020. Data analyst Jeff Asher explains where policing is failing, and Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia talks about what cops say they need.
23 min
How Barnes & Noble survived
The bookseller has gone from big-box villain to company on the brink of bankruptcy to bright spot in the mostly dismal retail space. The Verge’s Nilay Patel and prosecutor Brendan Ballou explain the unlikely story of its apparent turnaround.
23 min
EU vs. AI
The EU has advanced first-of-its-kind AI regulation. The Verge’s Jess Weatherbed tells us whether it will make a difference, and Columbia University’s Anu Bradford explains the Brussels effect.
23 min
Why millennials dread motherhood
American policy failures and bad PR have made millennials dread motherhood. Vox’s Rachel Cohen and Momfluenced author Sara Petersen explain.
23 min
An oily climate deal
Semafor’s Tim McDonnell says what made COP28 successful was the same thing that made climate activists skeptical about the conference: its host was an oil executive.
23 min
Long live your dog
A drug that aims to increase life expectancy for dogs is getting closer to market. But pet ethicists aren’t sure it’s great news for man’s best friend.
23 min
The fight over campus antisemitism
Three elite university presidents walk into Congress for a hearing on antisemitism. Only two still have their jobs. New York magazine reporter Nia Prater tells us what happened, and a Harvard professor of Jewish history explains why he thinks resignations won’t make campuses safer.
23 min
A concrete solution to climate change
Concrete is one of the world’s biggest sources of carbon emissions. Tech companies, including a startup co-founded by former NBA star Rick Fox, are looking to change that.
23 min
Are movies too long now?
No, movies aren’t getting longer. Even though, yes, it definitely does feel like they are. Slate’s Sam Adams makes it make sense.
23 min
Get the lead out
The Biden administration wants all lead pipes ripped up. It’ll take billions of dollars and rarely seen cooperation among government agencies. We ask UC Berkeley’s David Sedlak and American University’s Karen Baehler whether the plan is a pipe dream.
23 min
Still hot and bothered
Earlier this year the FDA approved a game-changing drug to treat hot flashes, a symptom of menopause. But menopause is much more than just hot flashes, as health writer Jancee Dunn explains. We talked to her in May about why a transition that happens to half the world’s population still feels like a mystery.
23 min
They paved paradise
In our quest to accommodate parked cars, we’ve paved over downtowns, polluted the planet, and made it damn near impossible to get anywhere without driving. In May we talked to Slate’s Henry Grabar, who explained Big Parking — and how electric cars might offer an opportunity to finally try something new.
23 min
How Palestine went global
People with no direct connection to the Middle East have taken to seeing the Palestinian cause as an anti-colonial struggle connected to their own experience. Columbia historian Rashid Khalidi explains why “decolonization” is resonating worldwide.
23 min
The Golden Bachelor was actually good
72-year-old Gerry Turner has handed out his final rose on ABC’s The Golden Bachelor. In a season full of gendered tropes about love and marriage (like most of the Bachelor franchise), it also brought the audience a new and earnest appreciation for love after 60.
23 min
Kissinger’s long goodbye
Noted American diplomat and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is revered by few, reviled by many, and now he’s dead. Vox’s Jonathan Guyer explains why the world was fixated on him for decades after he left the White House.
23 min
The American politics of Israel
The Israel-Hamas war is dividing the previously united Democrats and uniting the recently fractured Republican party. Semafor’s David Weigel explains what that means going into 2024.
23 min
Taking Tuesday
Package theft is on the rise, and it affects everyone, from the retailer, to shippers, to consumers. So maybe it’s time to take a cue from Gen Z and go back to the mall.
23 min