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.

News
Daily News
Politics
401
A step past impeachment
Impeachment won’t stop the United States’ slide towards authoritarianism. Voter reform might.
22 min
402
Deplatforming Donald
First he lost his Facebook. Then he lost his Twitter. As of today, President Trump had been limited or booted by more than a dozen platforms. Casey Newton, editor of Platformer, explains the historic shift on social media.
26 min
403
The flamethrowers and the fire extinguishers
Infighting among Republican lawmakers reached a breaking point this week. The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins explains why and the tough road ahead for the GOP.
33 min
404
How security at the Capitol failed
Washington Post national security reporter Dan Lamothe explains how a number of agencies and politicians put together a historically bad security plan for Congress on Wednesday.
25 min
405
The breach, explained by Rep. Maloney (locked i...
Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York explains what it was like to live through today’s violent transfer of power.
11 min
406
The virus gets more contagious
Viruses mutate, but this time it’s different.
18 min
407
All eyes on Georgia
Tuesday’s election will decide who controls the Senate, but the president is still hung up on the election he already lost.
25 min
408
The year in revue
It’s been a year.
6 min
409
How 2020 changed us
In the final episode of our five-part series, “You, Me, and Covid-19,” people look back on a very long year.
26 min
410
Animals catch Covid-19, too
In the fourth of our five-part series, “You, Me, and Covid-19,” a reminder that we’re not the only animals who got Covid-19 this year. Science writer David Quammen explains why our health and theirs are intertwined.
20 min
411
Dr. Fauci’s nightmare before Christmas
In the third of our five-part series, “You, Me, and Covid-19,” Dr. Anthony Fauci reflects back on his pandemic year, what he’s learned, and what he’d do differently.
21 min
412
The year live music died
In the second of our five-part series, “You, Me, and Covid-19,” musicians explain how they got creative when live shows and tours were canceled.
26 min
413
Moving home
In the first of our five-part series, “You, Me, and Covid-19,” millennials are moving back in with their parents (again), but they are discovering multigenerational living has its perks.
18 min
414
A climate change of address
An estimated 143 million people will relocate to escape climate change in the next three decades. Quartz’s Amanda Shendruk explains how cities can transform themselves into climate havens.
19 min
415
How Netscape created our tech world
In this episode of the Go for Broke podcast, host Julia Furlan travels back to the mid-’90s to explain how a bygone web browser set the stage for modern tech.
29 min
416
Pornhub just deleted 80% of its videos
One of the most popular porn sites on the internet just purged more than 10 million videos. Vice’s Samantha Cole explains why.
18 min
417
Your vaccine questions, answered
The Covid-19 vaccine is being distributed in the United States, and you have questions. Vox’s Umair Irfan has answers.
29 min
418
India’s farmers strike
The world’s biggest democracy is contending with what might be the world’s biggest labor stoppage.
21 min
419
How movie theaters might survive
On this episode of the Decoder podcast, host Nilay Patel speaks with Shelli Taylor, the CEO of Alamo Drafthouse.
41 min
420
The vaccine, explained by Martin (who got it)
Martin Kenyon was one of the first people to get the Covid-19 vaccine this week. He talks about his experience, and an epidemiologist explains how to talk to the “vaccine hesitant” people in your life.
21 min
421
No coup for you!
Joe won. And won. And won. Rudy can fail. And fail. And fail.
22 min
422
How Melbourne eradicated Covid-19
Melbourne, Australia, had a first wave. Then it had a second wave. Then it decided it was done with Covid-19.
18 min
423
It’s beginning to look a lot like stimulus
In an end-of-year plot twist, Congress is working on a fresh bipartisan stimulus bill.
22 min
424
A woman’s work is never done
Millions of women left the workforce as Covid-19 forced school closures, but that doesn’t mean they have less on their plates. Is government-funded child care the answer?
20 min
425
God-given right?
The Supreme Court ruled that New York State can’t limit how many people gather in church, even during a pandemic. Vox’s Ian Millhiser explains why this is one of the most significant religious liberty cases in the last 30 years.
21 min
426
America Offline
Low-income students are dropping out of college because many don’t have a reliable way to get online. Vox’s Emily Stewart says the solution is simple: Give everybody the internet.
18 min
427
The key to the Cabinet
President-elect Biden has started announcing his Cabinet nominees, but Matthew Yglesias says the most important positions aren’t the ones you’d think.
20 min
428
What if developing a vaccine was the easy part?
Covid-19 vaccines are coming out faster than many thought possible. But distributing the vaccines could be an even tougher challenge.
15 min
429
Unexplainable
Scientists all over the world are searching for dark matter: an invisible, untouchable substance that holds our universe together. But they haven’t found it. Are they chasing a ghost?
31 min
430
Withdrawing won’t end the war
With two months left in the Trump presidency, the US is reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan in an attempt to end America's longest war. But Biden will still inherit the conflict.
19 min
431
All the mall things
Retail was struggling. Then came the virus. Recode’s Jason Del Rey explains how the American mall will never be the same, and how the machines might save retail.
20 min
432
The peacemaker’s civil war
An ethnic conflict in Ethiopia has thrown the Horn of Africa into disarray and could upset order on the continent.
18 min
433
Badlands
Covid-19 is surging across the United States, just in time for cold weather and major holidays. North Dakota is doing particularly badly. Vermont may offer hope.
19 min
434
America said yes to drugs
Oregon decriminalized all drugs. Red states and blue states are doing the same with weed. It’s the culmination of a failed drug war.
23 min
435
MAGAlomaniac
A weekend of protests, violence, and enmity in DC revealed what Donald Trump has planned post-presidency.
20 min
436
(Home)school is cool
Covid-19 is surging (again). Schools are closing (again). Kids are learning online (again). And more American parents than ever are turning to homeschool (for the very first time).
23 min
437
They fought the Lyft and the Lyft won
California tried to strengthen labor rights for gig workers. Uber, Lyft, and their food-delivering cohorts responded with a $200 million propaganda offensive
19 min
438
Fox & Frenemies
After a fraught Election Week, cable news is finally cutting away from President Trump’s falsehoods.
18 min
439
No concession!
The 45th president of the United States has thus far refused to acknowledge the 46th.
21 min
440
Biden’s coronavirus plan
And some big vaccine news, too.
24 min
441
Joe Biden wins
And Kamala Harris, too.
29 min
442
What happened to Congress?
Vox’s Ella Nilsen explains why Democrats are waving goodbye to the blue wave.
19 min
443
President Biden?
Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains the latest election math, and Ezra Klein argues that, despite record-setting turnout, it wasn’t a great night for American democracy.
27 min
444
Today (should be a holiday), Explained
This Election Day, voter turnout is projected to break records in the United States, but it won’t get anywhere close to Australia’s. Professor Lisa Hill explains what happens when you make voting mandatory.
19 min
445
What to expect when you’re electing
Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains how Joe Biden — or President Trump — could win 270 electoral votes.
25 min
446
The Trump Years: State of our union
In the final episode of our five-part series, New York Magazine’s Rebecca Traister and Vox’s Ezra Klein explain how four years of the Trump presidency have changed the American people and their politics.
29 min
447
The Trump Years: Health of the nation
In the fourth of our five-part series, Vox’s Dylan Scott explains how a president with no plan on health care evolved into a president with no plan for the pandemic.
31 min
448
The Voters
Election turnout is on track to be the highest in a century. Farmers, essential workers, prisoners, and two ladies named Ruth explain their 2020 presidential pick.
23 min
449
The Supreme Court may disenfranchise you now
Pandemic or not, the highest court in the land won’t extend Wisconsin’s deadline for mailed ballots. Good thing it’s not a swing state. Oh, wait ...
16 min
450
#EndSARS
Alexis Akwagyiram, bureau chief for Reuters in Nigeria, explains how a protest to reform the country’s police made its way around the world.
22 min
451
The Trump Years: Win at all costs
In the third of our five-part series, Vox’s Andrew Prokop says there’s one key takeaway from the Mueller investigation and impeachment: Trump will do anything to win an election.
29 min
452
“Hey Google,” the United States is suing you
Bill Barr and Elizabeth Warren have found a common enemy.
18 min
453
Will Covid-19 cancel the holidays?
Last Christmas, I gave you my health.
18 min
454
Block the vote?
The 2020 election is well underway, as are efforts to prevent people from voting.
19 min
455
The parody-proof president
Live from New York, impressions are trite! Vox critic-at-large Emily VanDerWerff explains why late-night TV struggles to satirize President Trump, and argues the internet is doing a much better job.
25 min
456
The Trump Years: America First
In the second of our five-part series, Vox’s Nicole Narea and Jenn Williams explain how President Trump has fundamentally changed the perception of the United States at home and abroad.
26 min
457
Do you believe in magic?
A Los Angeles magician struck gold with a glorified Zoom meeting. Some are asking if he’s figured out how to save theater.
19 min
458
Amy Coney Barrett’s originalism
The judge isn’t saying much in her confirmation hearing, but Vox’s Ian Millhiser explains how her legal theory will guide her on the Supreme Court.
23 min
459
The case for ending the filibuster
Even if Democrats win the White House, take the Senate, and hold the House, most of their legislation could be doomed because of the filibuster. Vox’s Ezra Klein says it’s filibusted.
21 min
460
The Trump Years: Deregulator in chief
In the first of our five-part series, Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explains why President Donald Trump seldom boasts about his biggest accomplishment.
21 min
461
Did anyone defund the police?
In June, nine members of the Minneapolis City Council stood onstage at a community rally and pledged to dismantle the police. Council member Alondra Cano returns to explain why it’s taking so long.
23 min
462
1600 Coronavirus Avenue
After months of downplaying the risks, the White House has come down with Covid-19. Vox’s Aaron Rupar gives the updates, and Future Perfect’s Sigal Samuel sifts through the moral complexities in the gleeful reactions.
19 min
463
Who are the Proud Boys?
President Trump told a fringe group of misogynistic racists to “stand back and stand by” at the first presidential debate. Vox’s Jane Coaston explains.
17 min
464
It’s time to talk about Mike Pence
President Trump is battling Covid-19 and the vice-presidential debate is days away. McKay Coppins from the Atlantic explains the man waiting in the wings.
27 min
465
Contact tracing President Trump
The president had a very busy week, then tested positive for the coronavirus. Vox’s Aaron Rupar traces his steps and Ella Nilsen explores the possible scenarios.
18 min
466
Missing Chapter
A forgotten protest movement in a seaside Florida town helped end legal segregation in the United States. Vox’s Ranjani Chakraborty explains.
33 min
467
Joe Versus the Volcano
While it might feel as though nothing could be worse than last night’s presidential debate, Vox’s Ezra Klein explains what could happen if President Trump loses the election and refuses to leave office.
24 min
468
Amy Coney Barrett
President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee first garnered attention after being questioned about her Catholic faith. Vox’s Ian Millhiser says that attention likely motivated her nomination.
20 min
469
$750
That's how much "billionaire" President Trump paid in federal income taxes his first year in office, according to reporting from the New York Times.
20 min
470
Justice For Breonna Taylor (Part II)
One of the three officers who shot at Breonna Taylor’s apartment was indicted ... for endangering her neighbors. Tessa Duvall from the Louisville Courier-Journal explains. And Vox’s Fabiola Cineas says the ruling isn’t surprising.
21 min
471
Dr. Fauci on pandemic politics
With mounting concerns over the politicization of federal health agencies, Dr. Anthony Fauci explains why Americans should still trust the vaccine approval process.
24 min
472
Working from work
What do a bus driver, a teacher, a McDonald’s employee, and a project manager with a conference on her calendar all have in common?
21 min
473
RBG’s seat
Republicans appear ready to fill the seat left vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the end of the year. Vox’s Ian Millhiser explains Democrats’ last defense.
19 min
474
Supreme
The fight over Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat has already begun, but let’s not forget to celebrate her legendary life.
28 min
475
Class of Covid-19
Colleges reopened. Outbreaks followed. Robert J. Jones, chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, explains why he still thinks bringing students back was the right decision.
24 min
476
ICE and involuntary hysterectomies
A whistleblower complaint alleges immigrants being detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in Georgia have been subjected to involuntary procedures — including hysterectomies. Vox’s Nicole Narea explains.
18 min
477
A firefighter on battling wildfires
After 16 seasons of wildfires, Glen Haydon has figured out how to cope. For everyone else, there’s an app for that.
21 min
478
This is the future Joe Biden wants
Trillions spent on the environment, caregiving, manufacturing, and the racial wealth gap: Vox’s Dylan Matthews explains how Biden wants to “Build Back Better.”
22 min
479
Can the Democrats take the Senate?
Vox’s Ella Nilsen says the implausible is now looking possible.
22 min
480
Cupid-19
The pandemic hasn’t stopped Americans from dating, hooking up, or tying the knot. In fact, lockdown has been helping people get down.
21 min
481
What was Putin the tea?
A chief political rival of Vladimir Putin has been poisoned in what Foreign Policy’s Amy MacKinnon says is a watershed moment for Russia.
18 min
482
The truth about herd immunity
Some people think it’s the only way out of the pandemic. Those people are very wrong.
17 min
483
A Fake News Survival Guide
As the election draws near, of fake news you must steer clear. For you (and your uncle), this episode is here.
20 min
484
The movies are back*
*But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should go see one.
25 min
485
Is the stock market bull?
Vox’s Emily Stewart clears up the mystery of the market, and Ella Nilsen offers an update on the stimulus that has collapsed into stalemate.
18 min
486
Let’s talk about ventilation
Ventilation is key to reopening office buildings safely. But The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson says many workers aren’t going back, even when it’s safer.
22 min
487
Is Facebook ready for the election?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company made an “operational mistake” in its handling of Kenosha militia groups. The Verge’s Casey Newton explains whether that has implications for November’s election.
21 min
488
Wakanda forever
The actor Chadwick Boseman died of cancer on Friday, but because of Black Panther he’ll live forever.
17 min
489
The Island of Explained: A Summer of Protest
All summer long, we have been explaining complex news stories to kids. In our final summer camp journey to the Island of Explained, we tackle the fight for racial justice in the United States.
24 min
490
Unconventional (Part II)
The GOP proved that laws were made to be broken at its 2020 convention.
24 min
491
Kenosha
Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times by police and the protests escalated all the way to the NBA. Gina Barton, investigative reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, explains.
19 min
492
Optimism in 2020
Being an optimist can seem ridiculous right now, but in the inaugural episode of The Cut podcast, host Avery Trufelman is searching for some well-grounded positivity. She finds it in conversation with Cheer’s La’Darius Marshall.
29 min
493
Plasmania
Covid’s hottest new treatment is plasma. Vox’s Umair Irfan explains why, and where the world stands on a vaccine.
19 min
494
What is QAnon?
As the Republican National Convention gets underway, a bonkers (and dangerous) conspiracy theory is gaining a foothold inside the GOP. President Trump appears to be okay with it.
19 min
495
Unconventional
The Democrats proved a virtual convention doesn't have to be a downer. Especially when Rhode Island brings calamari.
21 min
496
Who polices the police?
ProPublica's Eric Umansky explains how the New York Police Department's Civilian Complaint Review Board has struggled for decades to hold the NYPD to account.
26 min
497
Class is in quarantine
Schools in the US are reopening even though kids play a key role in community transmission of Covid-19. Georgia Public Broadcasting reporter Ellen Eldridge explains how going back to school in her state became a national controversy.
23 min
498
A woman’s place is at the polls
The 19th Amendment’s centenary is today, but the fight for universal suffrage in the United States continues.
22 min
499
The mail, man
The House of Representatives is cutting its vacation short to block changes at the United States Postal Service that could affect the integrity and outcome of the election. Rep. Gerry Connolly explains why he's going a step further and calling for the postmaster general to resign.
20 min
500
The Island of Explained: Escape from Boredom
After hearing from kids around the world who are grappling with serious boredom, Noam Hassenfeld and Byrd Pinkerton venture deep into the belly of a whale to learn how to have fun in quarantine.
20 min