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
Make the economy Trump’s again?
As president, Donald Trump presided over a good — sometimes great — economy. But his proposals are unnerving business leaders this time around. The Washington Post’s Heather Long and Economist columnist Henry Tricks on the Tariff Man’s Tariff Plans.
23 min
Iran and the Axis of Resistance
Iran-backed militias use drones, missiles, and even TikTok dances to antagonize the United States and Israel. The International Crisis Group’s Ali Vaez explains how the war in Gaza has energized the self-described Axis of Resistance.
22 min
Living in Zyn
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accidentally started a culture war over Zyn. Semafor’s Dave Weigel explains. And Vox health reporter Keren Landman, MD, compares the nicotine pouch to cigarettes and vapes.
23 min
Israel at the International Court of Justice
South Africa took Israel to court over claims of genocide. Courthouse News reporter Molly Quell and the International Crisis Group’s Robert Blecher explain what happened next.
23 min
Music’s Pitchfork in the road
Pitchfork’s parent company is folding the influential music site into GQ. Vulture’s Craig Jenkins explains how this is the end of an era. Bloomberg’s Ashley Carman says the robots are here to help.
23 min
Prostate of the union
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin drew flak after trying to keep his prostate cancer surgery a secret. Health journalist Howard Wolinsky explains that’s super common among men, who don’t like being probed about their prostates.
22 min
Is the Republican primary already over?
Nikki Haley pinned her presidential hopes on a powerful showing in New Hampshire but still wound up in second place. The Boston Globe’s James Pindell and the Dispatch’s Sarah Isgur examine whether there’s a path forward for anyone but Donald Trump.
22 min
Modi’s temple grandstanding
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a Hindu temple in the once-sleepy city of Ayodhya on Monday. The BBC’s Soutik Biswas and The Caravan’s Hartosh Singh Bal explain how it’s the culmination of his decades-long push to remake India as a Hindu state.
23 min
Frosty the Tesla
New electric vehicle owners have been finding out the hard way that extreme cold weather and their cars don’t mix very well. The Verge’s Andrew J. Hawkins explains why, and Simon Wright from the Economist says China could help.
23 min
Buy me to the moon
NASA has long relied on private companies to build its rockets, but now it’s turning to private companies to own and operate them too. Washington Post space reporter Christian Davenport explains the new commercial space race.
23 min
How the war in Gaza ends
Israel's war against Hamas has now been raging for over 100 days. According to Ian Lustick, professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, history tells us what it will take to end it.
22 min
Cocaine problems
Growing cocaine demand and booming coca leaf cultivation is fueling unrest in Ecuador. The Economist’s Ana Lankes and Will Freeman of the Council on Foreign Relations explain what’s happening in the place that until recently was Latin America’s safest country.
22 min
Iowa caucused
Trump won big. DeSantis came in second, but Vox’s Zack Beauchamp says that won’t be enough to keep his campaign alive.
23 min
Hollywood’s secret musicals
The studios promoting Mean Girls, Wonka, and The Color Purple are hiding something from you. The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh explains why.
24 min
Elections everywhere all at once
This weekend, Taiwan goes to the polls, kicking off the biggest election year in history. The Guardian’s Amy Hawkins brings us up to speed on the candidates, and Vox’s Bryan Walsh explains the stakes for democracy.
23 min
Nikki Haley, maybe?
Nikki Haley is gunning for second place in the Iowa Republican caucuses. In New Hampshire polls, she’s gaining on Donald Trump. Vox’s Andrew Prokop and Republican strategist Scott Jennings explain Haley’s rise.
22 min
Is the US ghosting Ukraine?
Last year’s counteroffensive failed and Ukraine needs American aid to win. Republicans in Congress won’t give it up without a fight.
24 min
Pirates of the Red Sea
The Houthis, a rebel group from Yemen, are seizing cargo ships in retaliation for the war in Gaza. Vox’s Joshua Keating explains how the pirates are expanding the Israel-Hamas war into the Red Sea — and your wallet.
23 min
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