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
We don’t know how AI works…
The researchers who create and study tech like ChatGPT don’t understand exactly how it’s doing what it does. This is the first episode of “The Black Box,” a two-part series from Unexplainable.
23 min
#SeAcabo: Spain’s World Cup reckoning
Saying “it’s over,” Spain’s World Cup-winning women are using an unwelcome kiss to try to end sexism in sports.
23 min
The Real Housewives of Today, Explained
Taking cues from striking actors and writers, reality TV stars are lobbying for better treatment from networks like Bravo and Netflix.
23 min
Why top Republicans want to bomb Mexico
Long-shot presidential candidate Ron DeSantis said he would send US forces into Mexico “on day one.” Longer-shot presidential candidate Will Hurd explains why that’s a bad idea.
23 min
China’s young and restless
China’s ambitious youth planned to cash in on their country’s meteoric rise on the world stage. Instead, many of these 20-somethings are disillusioned and “lying flat.” Economist Nancy Qian explains why.
23 min
America is so Messi
With Lionel Messi, footy may have finally arrived in the United States. The Athletic’s Tom Bogert and Men in Blazers founder Roger Bennett explain how the Argentine superstar is transforming American soccer.
23 min
Death of a Hot Dog Salesman
Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, the caterer-turned-warlord who recently attempted to overthrow Russia’s government, has apparently died in a plane crash. Puck's Julia Ioffe explains why it’s reasonable to suspect foul play.
23 min
The other eight debate
Fox News desperately wants you to watch tonight’s Republican presidential debate. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple explains why, and Vox’s Christian Paz has a primer.
23 min
Back to school loans
President Biden can’t stop, won’t stop trying to forgive student debt, even as borrowers are shortly expected to resume payments. The Washington Post’s Danielle Douglas-Gabriel explains.
23 min
Why Russians still support the war
As Russians begin to experience Putin’s war firsthand, they are not reacting the way Westerners might expect. Journalist Masha Gessen and researcher Jade McGlynn explain why not.
23 min
After the Green Rush
Adelanto, California, was broke. Could legalizing marijuana cultivation offer a fix? Reporter David Weinberg’s podcast Dreamtown details how the path to salvation was marred by scandal, debt, and corruption.
24 min
The San Francisco Standard’s Liz Lindqwister reports from San Francisco, where people are flipping her off for hailing rides in robotaxis. The Verge’s Andrew Hawkins explains how long before one pulls up in front of you.
23 min
Florida man indicted (again) (again) (again)
Oft-indicted former President Donald Trump is at it again. Stephen Fowler, host of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Battleground: Ballot Box podcast, explains the paradox of the Fulton County charges.
23 min
Why Maui burned
Hawaii’s landscape has been rapidly changing for the last 200 years thanks to plantations, tourism, and climate change. A reporter and climatologist explain how those factors fueled one of the worst wildfires in US history.
23 min
A postpartum pill
The FDA’s approval of a new pill that treats postpartum depression could be yet another signal that we are living in a golden age of medicine.
23 min
Suing big food
Tostitos chips without real lime. Root beer made with fake vanilla. Instant mac and cheese that isn’t so instant. These products are among the hundreds targeted by lawyer Spencer Sheehan. We talked to him last year about why he wants Big Food to stop misrepresenting its products.
23 min
The Rikers takeover
Today a federal judge hears arguments on whether New York City Mayor Eric Adams should be stripped of control of the jails on Rikers Island. Gothamist’s Matt Katz explains.
23 min
Shein trouble
The Chinese apparel company Shein is a favorite of Gen Z shoppers and the latest frontier in US-China tensions. Vogue Business editor Hilary Milnes explains why Congress, designers, and worker advocates are all determined to take down the global fast fashion juggernaut.
23 min
Disney CEO Bob Iger says the company is looking for a “strategic partner” to invest in the massive sports network, which has been struggling in an era of cord-cutting. Peter Kafka explains what it could mean for fans.
23 min
Hot topic
When it comes to climate policy, President Biden has accomplished more than any of his predecessors. But activists want more: They want him to declare a climate emergency.
23 min
The air-istocracy
Private jets aren’t what they used to be. AOC is calling out Hollywood executives for having too many, and European nations are trying to ban them. People are even saying Taylor Swift’s the problem. But wait until you hear who’s really paying for them.
23 min
Semiconductors are used in just about every piece of technology. The US wants to limit what China can do with them. Alex W. Palmer explains the latest front in the fight for tech dominance.
23 min
Florida man indicted (again) (again)
The latest unprecedented is about January 6, but does the American public still care about January 6?
23 min
Where did the recession go?
A much-dreaded recession doesn’t actually seem to be materializing. We called up some experts — economics reporters Tracy Alloway and Greg Ip, plus our boss, Vox CEO Jim Bankoff — to figure out what’s going on.
23 min
Will “parental rights” mobilize Muslims?
Some Muslim parents wanted their kids to opt out of reading schoolbooks with LGBTQ characters and themes. Today, Explained reporter Haleema Shah explains what happened when their fight went national.
23 min