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
A call from Gaza
People are desperately trying to escape Gaza as the siege on the strip continues. Mohammed Ghalaieny, a Palestinian British man, tells us why he is choosing to stay, even as other foreign nationals escape through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.
23 min
China’s soft (and fluffy) power
Panda diplomacy couldn’t fix the US and China’s tense relationship. Perhaps a meeting between Presidents Biden and Xi can bring back that fuzzy feeling. Ian Johnson of the Council on Foreign Relations and Panda Nation author E. Elena Songster explain.
23 min
A scam cost me $31k and a pool
Writer Devin Friedman has wanted a pool since he was a kid. As an adult, he saved tens of thousands of dollars to install one, but nothing went as planned. He hopes you can learn something from his story.
23 min
Adjust the tip
Tipping’s getting even more complicated thanks to a DoorDash change that will prioritize diners who tip over diners who don’t. The Verge’s Andrew Hawkins and Cornell professor Michael Lynn explain tipping’s tipping point.
22 min
Protesters, politicians, and the pope are calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, but the US and Israeli governments remain opposed. Vox’s Jonathan Guyer and Jon B. Alterman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies explain what happens next.
23 min
There’s Something About Romney
On his way out of the United States Senate, Mitt Romney gave one reporter unprecedented access to his emails, texts, and journals. McKay Coppins, author of Romney: A Reckoning, explains why.
26 min
Should domestic abusers lose gun rights?
The Supreme Court will decide if Zackey Rahimi, a man accused of domestic violence and involved in at least five shootings, still has a constitutional right to bear arms. KERA reporter Caroline Love and law professor Eric Ruben explain.
23 min
The lawyer behind the Supreme Court case that overturned affirmative action in university admissions has a new target: a small venture capital firm that gives money to Black women founders. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Mirtha Donastorg and TechCrunch’s Dominic-Madori Davis explain how it’s part of a broader backlash to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
23 min
The view from Israel
Israelis overwhelmingly disapprove of their government’s handling of the October 7 attacks, but their desire for unity keeps Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power. Michael Koplow of the Israel Policy Forum explains what Israel’s government should do next, and Professor Noah Efron of Bar-Ilan University describes the mood among Israelis.
24 min
The law that broke immigration
Supporters of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act pledged it wouldn’t radically change immigration. David Leonhardt, author of Ours Was the Shining Future, explains how it instead led to what might be the largest wave of immigration in human history.
23 min
Pope friction
The Pope, his bishops, and some women walk into the Vatican. The National Catholic Reporter’s Joshua McElwee explains what happens next.
23 min
Gaza’s humanitarian crisis
Cut off from water and power and recovering from a communications blackout, Gaza is plunged deeper into crisis. It’s not just a humanitarian problem, says leading human rights attorney Kenneth Roth — it’s a violation of international law.
25 min
The Dollar General will see you now
The primary care physician shortage is ruining health care in America. Dollar General, Best Buy, and Walmart are trying to fill the void. Vox’s Dylan Scott explains.
23 min
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