After Vox's Tara Golshan reviews the third Democratic debate, Matthew Yglesias explains how Joe Biden wins even when he loses. (Transcript here.)
“I’d be happy to slaughter them,” President Rodrigo Duterte said about three million drug users in the Philippines. It appears he is following through. (Transcript here.)
Facebook and Instagram are thinking about ditching the thumbs and hearts. What would life be like without "Likes"? (Transcript here.)
John Bolton is out. Vox’s Alex Ward explains why he was at odds with his boss from Day 1. (Transcript here.)
Maybe. (Transcript here.)Did you learn something new in this episode? Text it to a friend so they can learn something too! Sharing with a friend is also the best way to help Today, Explained grow. So if you love our show, help us spread the word.
A historic court decision erased some of the most gerrymandered maps in the country this week. North Carolina now has two weeks to redraw them. (Transcript here.)Did you learn something new in this episode? Text it to a friend so they can learn something too! Sharing with a friend is also the best way to help Today, Explained grow. So if you love our show, help us spread the word.
We watched seven straight hours of Democrats discussing climate policy so you wouldn't have to. (Transcript here.)Did you learn something new in this episode? Text it to a friend so they can learn something too! Sharing with a friend is also the best way to help Today, Explained grow. So if you love our show, help us spread the word.
Rapper Meek Mill was arrested on drug and weapons charges as a teen in 2007, but the case didn't close until last week. NPR's Bobby Allyn explains how a police officer and a judge helped keep Meek Mill in the criminal justice system for over a decade. (Transcript here.)Did you learn something new in this episode? Text it to a friend so they can learn something too! Sharing with a friend is also the best way to help Today, Explained grow. So if you love our show, help us spread the word.
Kids in school don’t learn much about American slavery. Professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries says students deserve the real story. (Transcript here.)Did you learn something new in this episode? Text it to a friend so they can learn something too! Sharing with a friend is also the best way to help Today, Explained grow. So if you love our show, help us spread the word.
First it was Flint, now it's Newark. Why do American cities keep contaminating their water? (Transcript here.)Did you learn something new in this episode? Text it to a friend so they can learn something too! Sharing with a friend is also the best way to help Today, Explained grow. So if you love our show, help us spread the word.
David Koch was one of the biggest and most influential donors in American politics. Mother Jones' Daniel Schulman explains his complicated legacy. (Transcript here.)Did you learn something new in this episode? Text it to a friend so they can learn something too! Sharing with a friend is also the best way to help Today, Explained grow. So if you love our show, help us spread the word.
Biohackers treat their bodies like a science project. But should they be allowed to edit their own DNA at home? (Transcript here.)Did you learn something new in this episode? Text it to a friend so they can learn something too! Sharing with a friend is also the best way to help Today, Explained grow. So if you love our show, help us spread the word.
An EPA decision has left Iowan corn growers feeling betrayed by President Trump. Democrats are watching. (Transcript here.)Did you learn something new in this episode? Text it to a friend so they can learn something too! Sharing with a friend is also the best way to help Today, Explained grow. So if you love our show, help us spread the word.
A third of Alaskan communities don’t have cops. Kyle Hopkins, investigative reporter at the Anchorage Daily News, explains Alaska’s public safety emergency. (Transcript here.)Did you learn something new in this episode? Text it to a friend so they can learn something too! Sharing with a friend is also the best way to help Today, Explained grow. So if you love our show, help us spread the word.
This week California passed what some call the toughest law on police use of deadly force in the country. It hinges on one word: necessary. (Transcript here.)
Hong Kong ramped up its protests and China ramped up its propaganda machine. But the conflict may have finally reached a turning point. (Transcript here.)
There’s a train full of coal sitting on the tracks in eastern Kentucky. It’s being blocked by a group of laid-off miners who want what they're owed. (Transcript here.)
This weekend in Afghanistan was one of the deadliest this year. Vox’s Jenn Williams explains whether America can end its longest war. (Transcript here.)
The Trump administration is ramping up sanctions on Venezuela, but it may end up hurting the people they're meant to help. (Transcript here.)
Reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty set out to investigate why police across the country often fail to catch serial rapists. (Transcript here.)
Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explains why everyone's whispering about a recession. (Transcript here.)
The Trump administration is about to make it a lot harder for poor people to get a green card. (Transcript here.)
Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide is unexpectedly shining a light on the conditions in America’s jails. (Transcript here.)
Vox's Tara Golshan spent the weekend at the Iowa State Fair trying to figure out what eating deep fried Oreos has to do with running the country. (Transcript here.)
In the wake of Saturday’s shooting, Latinos across the United States are questioning their safety. (Transcript here.)
India is escalating its 70-year fight for Kashmir. The winner gets the water. (Transcript here.)
What started as a push to increase mining in the rainforest led to a murder. Ernesto Londoño, Brazil bureau chief for The New York Times, explains how President Jair Bolsonaro is speeding the destruction of the Amazon. (Transcript here.)
This summer’s hottest college admissions scam is parents disowning their children. The Wall Street Journal’s Doug Belkin explains. (Transcript here.)
Vox’s German Lopez explains why Democrats need a bold new plan for gun control. (Transcript here.)
After 16 years, the Trump administration is bringing back the federal death penalty. Reverend Sharon Risher, who lost her mother, two cousins, and a childhood friend in the Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina explains how she feels about the possibility of Dylann Roof being executed. (Transcript here.)
Bernie yelled at Ryan. Biden defended Obama. Warren destroyed Delaney. Vox's Tara Golshan explains the "fight for the heart of the party" and Ezra Klein says the frontrunners missed the mark. (Transcript here.)
Capital One got hacked. Equifax is trying to make up for its hack. And The Verge’s Russell Brandom explains why you should definitely prepare yourself for more hacks. (Transcript here.)
Dan Coats is resigning, leaving a vacancy at the top of US intelligence. The Washington Post’s Shane Harris explains how his replacement may be a Trump loyalist who believes in a “deep state” conspiracy against the president. (Transcript here.)
Four of the world’s biggest carmakers have secretly negotiated an emissions deal with California, circumventing the Trump administration. (Transcript here.)
A school district in Pennsylvania apologized this week for saying students with unpaid lunch debt might end up in foster care. The scandal is part of a nationwide crisis that has resulted in low-income students cleaning cafeterias or missing graduation ceremonies because of lunch debts. (Transcript here.)
Boris Johnson wanted a Brexit and now he’ll have to figure out how to make it happen. The Atlantic’s Tom McTague explains how a self-proclaimed “blithering idiot” became prime minister. (Transcript here.)
At long last, former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress today. (Transcript here.)
Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans are demanding Governor Ricardo Roselló resign. David Begnaud from CBS News reports from San Juan. (Transcript here.)
After five years, a decision on the death of Eric Garner, who was put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer, creates further questions. The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery tries to answer them. (Transcript here.)
On the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, Vox’s Brian Resnick says astronauts left something up there that could unlock the origins of life itself. (Transcript here.)
An ugly, racist week in America came to a head last night with a chant at a Trump rally. The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer says this is a defining moment for American democracy. (Transcript here.)
On Tuesday, the Trump administration dramatically changed the rules governing asylum. A scholar who has helped shape US immigration policy since the 1980s explains why the rule change won't solve the crisis. (Transcript here.)
Betsy DeVos’s baby brother made a name for himself running one of America's top mercenary companies. The Intercept's Matthew Cole explains how Blackwater founder Erik Prince has reinvented himself since falling out of favor with the US government. (Transcript here.)
Immigrant communities across the United States spent the weekend on edge awaiting so-called "ICE raids." Reporter Tal Kopan explains what happened and immigration attorney Claudia Cubas describes the detention process. (Transcript here.)
Your favorite young person’s favorite app is TikTok. Vox’s Rebecca Jennings has been spending too much time trying to understand it. You can find many of the TikToks from today's episode (and many, many more) in this great thread. (Transcript here.)
This week, 22 UN ambassadors condemned China for detaining at least a million ethnic Uighurs in “reeducation camps.” After Gulchehra Hoja, a Uighur journalist, started reporting on the camps, over twenty of her relatives were imprisoned. (Transcript here.)
Obamacare is back in court. Vox’s Li Zhou explains how the healthcare bill might finally meet its maker and Ezra Klein explains why that might be great news for Democrats in 2020. (Transcript here.)
Libya’s ongoing civil war has escalated into one of its bloodiest moments yet—the bombing of a migrant detention center in Tripoli. Analyst Anas El Gomati explains why the likeliest culprit is a rogue Libyan general who worked with the CIA and once launched a coup online. (Transcript here.)
In the first Democratic debates, candidates seemed to be running against a powerful Republican who arrived long before Trump and will likely outlast him. NPR's Kelly McEvers explains the secret to Senator Mitch McConnell's dominance. (Transcript here.)
When people see Deeyah Khan's documentary about white supremacists they tell her, "The real problem is jihad. You should spend time with jihadists." She says, "I did." (Transcript here.)
Documentary filmmaker Deeyah Khan grew tired of receiving death threats from white supremacists so she traveled to a Detroit motel to meet up with one. (Transcript here.)
Team USA is having quite the World Cup, but the women made headlines even before the tournament started by suing the United States Soccer Federation. (Transcript here.)
Slavery reparations was once an untouchable idea in American politics, but now presidential candidates openly support it. And for the first time ever, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has Congress considering it. (Transcript here.)
Twenty Democratic candidates. Two debates. Some awkward Spanish. Vox’s Ella Nilsen hits the highlights and Ezra Klein explains why Democrats should be worried. (Transcript here.)
The Supreme Court dropped two doozies today. NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang details a ruling on the 2020 census before Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains how the Court finally weighed in on partisan gerrymandering. (Transcript here.)
The Senate passed $4.6 billion in emergency aid for the crisis at the southwestern border today. Last night, the House passed its own version. Aid will help, but for lasting change Congress will have to deal with Flores. (Transcript here.)
A landmark cap-and-trade bill in Oregon is on life support after Republicans fled the state to avoid voting on it. (Transcript here.)
R. Kelly is facing new criminal charges, as well as investigations that involve the IRS, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security. Jim DeRogatis went from reviewing his music to documenting his alleged misdeeds against minors. (Transcript here.)
The 9/11 first responders and Jon Stewart are fighting Congress for what they hope is the last time. (Transcript here.)
Iran kicked off the day by blowing up a very expensive US surveillance drone. Vox's Alex Ward explains why tensions keep getting more tense. (Transcript here.)
Doctored videos of Nancy Pelosi and Mark Zuckerberg have Congress worried about the nation’s grasp on reality. Drew Harwell from the Washington Post explains how “deepfakes” might corrupt upcoming elections. (Transcript here.)
As Washington gears up for the 2020 elections, it's fighting over who should be on the $20 bill. (Transcript here.)
Sudanese protesters pulled off the impossible: ousting dictator Omar al-Bashir. Now, the protestors face a new adversary: al-Bashir's military. Reem Abbas reports on the latest from Khartoum. (Transcript here.)
California is the most populous state in the country, but people increasingly can’t afford to live there. Single family zoning is partly to blame, but state legislators haven’t been able to dump the housing policy. Minneapolis has. (Transcript here.)
Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting in Hong Kong. CNN’s Matt Rivers is on the scene and the BBC's Helier Cheung explains how British colonialism complicated everything. (Transcript here.)
There are nearly twenty candidates vying to be president of Guatemala. Some are being investigated for corruption by the country’s watchdog court, the CICIG. But corruption isn’t the only problem facing Guatemala right now. (Daniel Alarcón of Radio Ambulante guest hosts. Transcript here.)
Erica Alfaro just got her master’s degree. But underneath the cap and gown is the story of migrant farm workers, a teen pregnancy, and domestic abuse. Wil Del Pilar explains why it’s time for colleges to do more to cater to first-generation college students like Erica and himself. (Daniel Alarcón of Radio Ambulante guest hosts. Transcript here.)
Denver and Oakland have become the first US cities to effectively decriminalize magic mushrooms. Michael Pollan, author of “How to Change Your Mind,” explains how taking a trip could help treat depression. (Transcript here.)
Right-wing politicians in the UK are under attack. Delicious, sticky attack. (Transcript here.)
Iraq’s Christian population has been fleeing the country en masse. The United States wants to help, so long as they don’t come here. (Transcript here.)
Wealthy white residents are trying to secede from East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. The Atlantic’s Adam Harris says they’re part of a growing trend of school resegregation. (Transcript here.)
President Trump wants his NAFTA replacement deal ratified. But President Trump appears to be standing in the way. (Transcript here.)
Nxivm: sounds like a drug, looks like a cult. (Transcript here.)
Julian Assange was already in heaps of trouble when the United States indicted him under the Espionage Act last week. Now he (and journalism) might be put on trial. (Transcript here.)
Special counsel Robert Mueller made his first public statement about his investigation today. No questions. (Transcript here.)
Baltimore is under attack. Hackers have hijacked the city’s online services and are demanding $100,000 worth of bitcoin. ProPublica’s Renee Dudley explains how ransomware is threatening cities across the country. (Transcript here.)
Dylan Matthews, host of Vox's Future Perfect podcast, gave away his kidney because it felt like the right thing to do. (Transcript here.)
President Trump is reportedly considering issuing a series of pardons for alleged war crimes in time for Memorial Day. Some see parallels to Nixon’s handling of the My Lai massacre. (Transcript here.)
Stem cell clinics are popping up all over the United States. They're profitable and full of promises, but almost totally unregulated. ProPublica's Caroline Chen explores the shadier side of a booming business. (Transcript here.)
When you have 900 million eligible voters, elections take a little longer. After 39 days of polling, India’s will be over this week. Journalist Ashish Malhotra explains what’s at stake from New Delhi. (Transcript here.)
Today, a new definition of the kilogram officially takes effect. But it's just one piece in the massively complicated history of weight. (Transcript here.)
What do we say to the God of Death? Not today. Explained. (Transcript here.)
The governor of Alabama signed the nation’s strictest anti-abortion bill into law. Vox’s Anna North explains what the legislation means and Sean Rameswaram speaks with Eric Johnston, the man who helped write it. (Transcript here.)
President Trump's trade war with China just got a lot worse. Can you feel it? Vox's Matthew Yglesias says most Americans won't, but it's still bad for America. (Transcript here.)
Today San Francisco could become the first American city to ban government agencies from using facial recognition technology. Vox’s Sigal Samuel explains how a cool sci-fi feature might now wreak havoc on civil liberties. (Transcript here.)
Terry Allen has been in prison for over 30 years without a conviction because of a little-known rule that was meant to reform the criminal justice system. (Transcript here.)
After a long hiatus, Kim Jong-un is back to launching missiles. A lot of people are up in arms, but Vox's Alex Ward says North Korea's Supreme Leader is only interested in one of them. (Transcript here.)
Uber drivers want some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And it might actually be as easy as A-B-C. (Transcript here.)
Two right-wing operatives tried to frame Mayor Pete Buttigieg for sexual assault. It didn’t go as planned. (Transcript here.)
President Trump has tried and failed to install two controversial candidates onto the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias argues that while failing the president might also be succeeding. (Transcript here.)
Vox's Sarah Kliff has been writing about surprise ER bills for a year, but the practices at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital were unlike anything she had seen before. Her reporting changed them. (Transcript here.)
This week in Mueller report aftermath: An incendiary letter leaks; the attorney general spars with senators and then cancels a date with the House. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick reflects on what might be a constitutional crisis. (Transcript here.)
The track and field world is trying to figure out what it means to be female. South African Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya’s future is caught in the balance. (Transcript here.)
Burger King announced it's going nationwide with a meatless Whopper that tastes like the real thing. Is this the end for Big Meat? (Transcript here.)
Sri Lanka is both returning to normalcy and struggling with last week’s Easter attacks. Roel Raymond provides an update from Colombo and Amarnath Amarasingam explains how nations can battle extremism without violating human rights. (Transcript here.)
Things are so bad at the NRA that President Trump told the organization to get its act together today. Infighting, self-dealing, and lavish spending have led to a state investigation and turmoil at the top. (Transcript here.)
Post-Mueller, President Trump is navigating a sea of subpoenas. He says he doesn't want his aides to testify, setting the stage for a showdown with the House. Vox's Dylan Scott explains. (Transcript here.)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to cancel your college debt. To pay for it, she wants to tax the ultra-rich and take more than just their income. (Transcript here.)
For the first time, federal prosecutors have brought drug trafficking charges against pharmaceutical executives. It's one way to fight the opioid crisis. Vox's German Lopez went to Vermont in search of another. (Transcript here.)
Ukraine elected a new president on Sunday and his only meaningful preparation for the position was playing the president on TV. (Transcript here.)
Almost 300 people were killed in a string of bombings on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. Roel Raymond reports from Colombo and Amarnath Amarasingam explains how this attack was both familiar and unprecedented. (Transcript here.)
Maybe you've heard about the pig brains that were resuscitated by Yale researchers? But did you hear about the human brain genes that were inserted into monkey embryos in China? Vox's Brian Resnick and Sigal Samuel explain some scary science. (Transcript here.)
Attorney General William Barr released Robert Mueller’s report today. Vox’s Andrew Prokop reads between the redactions and Ezra Klein explains what it all means. (Transcript here.)
A Florida millionaire created a system to sexually abuse around 80 young girls. The sitting Secretary of Labor who let him off easy might now be held accountable. (Transcript here.)
Check it out!(Transcript here.)
The IRS is in a bit of a crisis. ProPublica’s Paul Kiel explains how a profitable government agency succumbed to politics and ended up losing tens of billions in revenue. (Transcript here.)
Earlier this week, President Trump designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. It is the first time the United States has ever given such a designation to a part of another nation’s government. (Transcript here.)
After 30 years in power, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the authoritarian leader of Sudan, has been ousted. Reporter Reem Abbas explains how the Sudanese people reclaimed power. (Transcript here.)
Senator Bernie Sanders rolled out a new Medicare-for-all bill today. Vox’s Sarah Kliff explains how such a huge overhaul of the healthcare system went from fringe to mainstream. (Transcript here.)
“Old Town Road” officially became the most popular song in America today. But it’s also the most controversial. Vox’s Allegra Frank chronicles Lil Nas X’s challenges with the charts and Charlie Harding, co-host of the “Switched on Pop” podcast, attempts to figure out what counts as country. (Transcript here.)*An earlier version of our episode misstated the origins of “country trap.” Lil Nas X calls Young Thug a pioneer in the genre.
Sex between men will now get you stoned to death in Brunei. It’s a strict reading of Sharia by a sultan who seems to have little regard for it.
It's the hottest resolution since sliced bread. But is it just empty calories? (Transcript here.)
After months of threats, President Donald Trump has officially taken steps to cut off aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Vox's Dara Lind explains what this might mean for the current unprecedented wave of family migration to the United States. (Transcript here.)
New York City wants to charge drivers a congestion fee to slim down traffic. We travel the world to see if it’s a good idea. (Transcript here.)
To mark Equal Pay Day 2019, Vox’s Sarah Kliff reveals the very simple reason women earn less than men. (Transcript here.)
The Texas Senate is debating a bill that would give state-licensed professionals the freedom to deny services based on religious beliefs. Lauren McGaughy from the Dallas Morning News says the state's LGBT community feels directly threatened. (Transcript here.)
Theresa May staked her prime ministership on her Brexit deal and, for the third time, the British Parliament rejected it. Vox's Jen Kirby explains a very bad day for Theresa May. (Transcript here.)
Unsettling details continue to arise about Boeing's 737 Max and now Congress is pressing the FAA and America's largest manufacturing exporter for answers. (Transcript here.)
You've heard about the trade war, but how about the phone war? Politico's Steven Overly explains why the US and China are fighting over Huawei and 5G. (Transcript here.)
President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, breaking with decades of United States policy. The move could alter the Middle East forever.
Robert Mueller's investigation has ended and Attorney General William Barr has furnished a four-page summary. Vox's Andrew Prokop says this is far from over. (Transcript here.)
The terrorist attacks in New Zealand have thrust Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern into the spotlight. Radio New Zealand’s Jane Patterson explains the 38-year-old's improbable rise. (Transcript here.)
Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are calling to abolish the Electoral College and a dozen states have signed on to a plan that would subvert it. (Transcript here.)
Today the Supreme Court hears oral arguments about Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times for the same crime: a quadruple homicide at a furniture store in Mississippi. Madeleine Baran, host of the “In the Dark” podcast, explains how this case represents a fundamental problem with jury selection in the United States. (Transcript here.)
CBD is winding up in your lattes, your gummies, and your massages, but what exactly is it? And is anyone regulating it? (Transcript here + Dan Nosowitz's article in The Goods here.)
The Christchurch shooting took place thousands of miles from the United States, but for Muslims in America, the threat of white supremacy remains very real. (Transcript here.)
A terrorist attacked two mosques in New Zealand during Friday prayer, killing at least 49 people. (Transcript here.)
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed on Sunday killing all 157 aboard. The response was unprecedented. (Transcript here.)
Remember Aunt Becky from Full House? She might be heading to the big house. Fifty grown-ups, including Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, are facing federal charges over college admissions. (Transcript here.)
Can't pass an FBI background check? Not a problem. That's the Trump administration's approach to top secret security clearances for some White House officials. Now Democrats are launching an investigation. Vox's Ella Nilsen explains. (Transcript here.)
SpaceX and Blue Origin have been driving much of the excitement around space travel for the past several years, but NASA got back in the game today. Dr. Ellen Stofan, the agency’s former chief scientist, explains what’s next for us, Mars, infinity and beyond. (Transcript here.)
Michael Cohen mentioned one name multiple times during his Congressional testimony: accountant Allen Weisselberg. We peel back the curtain on the keeper of Trump's fiercely guarded secrets. (Transcript here.)
The Trump administration got a lot closer to defunding Planned Parenthood this week — 21 states are fighting back with a sweeping new lawsuit. (Transcript here.)
Canada’s prime minister is accused of pressuring his attorney general to go easy on a wealthy corporation, and two cabinet officials resigned in protest. With an election mere months away, can Justin Trudeau survive? (Transcript here.)
The United States officially eliminated measles in 2000. But the deadly disease is making a comeback, and the anti-vaccine movement is largely to thank. (Transcript here.)
Two men accuse Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them as children in a new HBO documentary. Sean Rameswaram speaks with the film's director and a lawyer representing the estate of Michael Jackson. (Transcript here.)
Facebook moderators watch suicides, decapitations, and drone attacks so you don’t have to—and they’re paid just a fraction of what the average Facebook employee makes. The Verge’s Casey Newton got a rare glimpse inside “the Trauma Floor.”
The long-simmering feud between nuclear powers India and Pakistan is boiling over. Ankit Panda from The Diplomat explains why. (Transcript here.)
After weeks of delays and drama, President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testified before Congress today. Vox’s Andrew Prokop says his statements amount to much more than blockbuster political theater. (Transcript here.)
Police can seize your property without ever charging you with a crime. And you probably won’t get it back. (Transcript here.)
Venezuela's whole “two presidents” thing has turned lethal. Emiliana Duarte spent the weekend at Venezuela’s border with Colombia where security forces faced off against protesters. (Transcript here.)
Jussie Smollett was the victim of a racist, homophobic hate crime last month. Or at least that’s what he’d have you believe. The Advocate’s Zach Stafford tells the Smollett saga from its shocking start to its outrageous end. (Transcript here.)
Californians were promised high-speed rail. Eleven years and billions of dollars later, all they have is a fight with President Trump. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias laments a train in vain. (Transcript here.)
Amazon decided on two headquarters: one in New York and the other in Arlington, Virginia. One deal fell apart, the other just might work out perfectly. Today, Explained’s Noam Hassenfeld finds out why. (Transcript here.)************** Clarification: We noted that New York offered $3 billion in subsidies to Amazon. We have clarified that this was a mix of both cash grants and tax incentives.
The Verge's Casey Newton says a California privacy law to protect your online data might finally push federal legislators to come up with one set of rules for the entire country. Recode's Kara Swisher says it's high time big tech gets its act together. (Transcript here.)
Nearly a dozen candidates have announced their run for the presidency and 2019 has only just begun. John Dickerson of Slate’s Political Gabfest explains the endless American tradition. (Transcript here.)
President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency today. It’s the latest installment in his controversial “Build the wall!” series. (Transcript here.)
Remember the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? It’s not doing so well. Enforcement is down by 75 percent, employees are leaving in droves, and now regulations are being rolled back. (Transcript here.)
Virginia: birthplace of American democracy and American slavery, first state to elect a black governor and maybe the first to have a governor with a KKK costume on his yearbook page. Christy Coleman from the American Civil War Museum in Richmond explains the duality of Old Dominion. (Transcript here.)
Sears was on its way to the graveyard of American icons when its former CEO, a reclusive billionaire named Eddie Lampert, stepped in to buy it. Unfortunately, he’s the same CEO who led the company into bankruptcy. (Transcript here.)
First it was blackface. And maybe the KKK? Then there was an accusation of sexual assault. Then more blackface. Then another sexual assault. Welcome to Virginia 2019. (Transcript here.)
Jeff Bezos. Donald Trump. The Washington Post. The National Enquirer. This dick pic is not like the others. (Transcript here.)
President Trump’s inaugural committee this week received a sweeping subpoena. Federal prosecutors in New York want to know where a record-breaking amount of money came from and where exactly it went. (Transcript here.)
Let's do lunch! And talk Oxy! A new study suggests a correlation between aggressive marketing and opioid overdoses. The timing isn't great for Purdue Pharma. (Transcripts here.)
President Trump delivers his second State of the Union tonight, but how’s the world doing? Believe it or not, Vox’s Dylan Matthews says things are getting much, much better.(Transcript here.)
Big changes are afoot at the second-biggest federal agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs. ProPublica’s Isaac Arnsdorf explains how a trio of President Trump’s friends has been leading the charge from outside the VA. (Transcript here.)
For 31 years, Joe Bryan has been in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit. He was convicted based on bloodstain-pattern analysis, but ProPublica’s Pamela Colloff says it's way less scientific than you might think.
Historic protests threaten to topple Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. Reporter Reem Abbas speaks to Sean Rameswaram after being tear gassed in Khartoum. (Transcript here.)
Facebook has been paying 13- to 35-year-olds $20 in exchange for access to their phones and Apple isn't happy about it. The Verge’s Casey Newton explains what happens when your hardware gets mad at your software. (Transcript here.)
The US and the Taliban are working out a deal to end America’s longest war. Afghanistan is nervous. Vox’s Jennifer Williams explains.
Air traffic controllers aren’t allowed to strike, but they may have found another way to end the government shutdown on Friday. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias determines whether the country learned anything from its pointless and painful political exercise. (Transcript here.)
It’s been quite a day for Roger Stone. Arrested before dawn. Released on $250,000 bond. Called Alex Jones. Gave a circus of a press conference. Vox's Andrew Prokop explains the latest development in the Mueller investigation. (Transcript here.)
In one corner, there’s Nicolás Maduro, the incumbent presiding over a failing economy. In the other, you have Juan Guaidó, a 35-year-old lawmaker who just declared himself president, backed by the United States and most of Latin America. Journalist Mariana Zuniga explains the standoff from Caracas. (Transcript here.)
The second-largest Ebola outbreak in history is spreading toward a major city. Vox’s Julia Belluz explains whether you should panic now, later, or maybe never. (Transcript here.)
President Donald Trump would very much like a deal to end his shutdown. The Republican-controlled Senate is with him. Vox’s Dara Lind explains why the road ahead remains long. (Transcript here.)
The partial government shutdown is now officially a record-breaking, trip-cancelling, State of the Union-postponing, Cardi B-angering hot mess. (Transcript here.)
What if your utility were a felon filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy? You would be one of 16 million in California. KQED’s Marisa Lagos lays out Pacific Gas and Electric’s woes and Vox’s Umair Irfan says this is just the beginning of our power problems. (Transcript here.)
The Supreme Court is back in session and Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick says Chief Justice John Roberts is ready to take a swing at balancing an increasingly partisan bench. (Transcript here.)
If there’s one thing pretty much everyone in the government can agree on, it’s this: prescription drug prices are too damn high. But how to fix them? Vox’s Dylan Scott showcases seven solutions floating around Congress. (Transcript here.) ***************************************************************** Are you interested in more discussions around health care policy? Join Vox's Facebook community for conversation and updates. bit.ly/VoxCareFBgroup
Brooklyn really does have everything: a basketball team, a laundromat-pinball bar, and now the drug lord trial of the century. Keegan Hamilton, host of the “Chapo” podcast from Vice News, explains what it’s like to stare deep into the eyes of former Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, aka “El Chapo”. (Transcript here.)
Come midnight, the government shutdown will be the longest in US history. Vox’s Li Zhou runs through the consequences for federal workers and the rest of America. (Transcript here.)
This morning, the president doubled down on his threat to declare a national emergency to build a border wall. Such a declaration could also allow him to send in the troops, freeze your bank account, and shut down the internet. (Transcript here.)
Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has floated a marginal tax rate of 70% for top earners in America. A lot of people are upset, and even more have no idea how it works.********************************** Check out this easy video on how tax brackets work: https://youtu.be/VJhsjUPDulw
National security advisor John Bolton traveled to Turkey to meet with President Erdogan, who cancelled today. It's the latest development in a very messy troop withdrawal President Trump announced in late December. Vox's Jennifer Williams explains what the clusterf**k happened. (Transcript here.)
Obamacare’s back in the crosshairs. Vox’s Sarah Kliff breaks down a lawsuit that’s pitting states’ attorneys general against each other, and how the new House will defend the landmark legislation. (Transcript here.)
Around 80,000 people died of the flu last season. Despite that, Sean doesn’t want to get the flu shot. Luckily, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health is here to hit him with some hard and fast facts. And history. (Transcript here.)
Paul Whelan went to Moscow for a wedding. The Russians arrested him, and today charged him with espionage. Amie Ferris-Rotman, Moscow correspondent for the Washington Post, explains how Russia might be using him as leverage to win back one of its own. (Transcript here.)
It’s Day 12 of the government shutdown. Vox’s Li Zhou explains what that means for the country and Matthew Yglesias argues that the core issue of the wall is fundamentally dumb. (Transcript here.)
If you like this trailer, then you're going to love this show.
Why even answer the phone anymore? All your questions about all those pesky automated phone calls are answered in this holiday rebroadcast. (Transcript here.)
In 1971, a professor locked a bunch of young men in a basement to understand evil. The results were explosive. This summer, it all came crashing down. Vox’s Brian Resnick explains what’s going on with the Stanford Prison Experiment in this holiday rebroadcast. (Transcript here.)
We called it! Sean Rameswaram attends a "Black Panther"-themed engagement party and speaks to Evan Narcisse, writer of the "Rise of the Black Panther" comic books, in this holiday rebroadcast. (Transcript here.)
A Florida millionaire created a system to rape or abuse at least 80 young girls for years. The current Secretary of Labor may have helped him get away with it. (Transcript here.)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is officially planning her exit from politics. The Guardian’s Kate Connolly explains how an awkward scientist became the most powerful woman in the world and defined a global immigration crisis. (Transcript here.)
The Trump Foundation is shutting down. The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold shares a series of increasingly unbelievable stories about the charity's shenanigans. (Transcript here.)
The North Korea summit. Brexit chaos. The brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The hosts of Vox's Worldly podcast look back on the biggest international stories of the year.
Tumblr is removing adult content from its platform today. Vox’s Aja Romano says it's about much more than banning “female-presenting nipples".
"The House That Jack Built" opens in select theaters across the country today, but it’s not the version director Lars von Trier wanted you to see. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) put the kibosh on the director’s cut. Some say it’s censorship, but Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson explains how the MPAA is trying to save Hollywood from itself.
After 20 years, Speaker Paul Ryan is set to leave the House of Representatives in early January. Ezra Klein says Paul Ryan’s legacy would be a big let down to… Paul Ryan.
One man in North Carolina may have swung an election by defrauding voters. But North Carolina is interested in stopping a different type of voter fraud.
President Trump is looking to fill some key positions. One pick is a former attorney general, another comes from "Fox & Friends".
Except it doesn't. Vox's Andrew Prokop explains why the latest pieces of Robert Mueller's puzzle are bad news for President Trump.
Canada arrested a Chinese executive at the request of the United States this week. It may set off a whole new Cold War.
There used to be one Trump Tower controversy. Now there are two. Donald Trump Jr. is in the middle of both of them. The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold explains what Don Jr. has been up to.
Wisconsin Republicans are scrambling to pass last-minute measures that would strip the incoming Democratic governor of a lot of his powers. North Carolina knows how it goes.
Facebook has landed itself in another scandal. This time it involves COO Sheryl Sandberg, George Soros, and a PR firm with a penchant for fake news. The Verge’s Casey Newton explains the pros and cons of staying on the social network.
George H. W. Bush went from a record-breaking 89 percent approval rating after the Gulf War to losing his re-election bid to an upstart from Arkansas. Ken Rudin, who covered the 41st president for NPR, explains how.
A Chinese scientist says he has genetically engineered two human babies, with another on the way. Is this the beginning of the end?
Nancy Pelosi is now officially the nominee for Speaker of the House. Time's Molly Ball explains who's happy and who's mad about it.
President Trump and both parties actually agree on something: mandatory minimum sentences are too harsh. Can they fix them?
Russia rammed one of its ships into a Ukrainian tug boat, further straining an already strung-out relationship. Vox’s Alex Ward takes us on a voyage to the Black Sea.
U.S. Border Patrol tear-gassed asylum seekers who rushed the border yesterday. Maya Averbuch was there reporting for the New York Times. Vox’s Dara Lind explains how the Trump administration might deal with its asylum problem.
Airlines are getting tough on emotional support animals. Some people think they're a scam. Science isn’t sure. An expert weighs in, as does an emotional support dog.
The Trump administration is punishing Cuba in response to mysterious attacks on U.S. diplomats in Havana. ProPublica's Sebastian Rotella explains what we know and what we don't.
The Camp Fire is the most destructive fire in California history, surpassing a record set just a few months ago. Vox’s Umair Irfan heads to Paradise.
Massive news: Scientists in France voted to officially redefine the kilogram today. They’ve been weighing their options for centuries.
California has the strictest gun laws in the country, but they didn't prevent last week’s mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. Vox’s German Lopez explains the flaws in California’s laws, and points to a far-away state doing a better job.
The Trump administration would very much like to know if you’re a citizen come the 2020 census. NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang explains how that might break the census.
South Carolina used to be one of the most dangerous places in America to have a baby. But now, it’s reducing infant mortality with an unconventional approach: having pregnant women talk to each other.Listen and subscribe to The Impact:Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Overcast | Pocket Casts | RadioPublic
Almost a week after the midterm elections, several key races remain undecided and recounts are coming. The president calls shenanigans.
The journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has put the spotlight on an unlikely place: Yemen.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is out. His replacement has criticized the Mueller probe. Is the investigation safe? Vox’s Andrew Prokop isn’t so sure.
The results are in! Vox’s Libby Nelson provides a rundown. Matthew Yglesias predicts the future.
For answers, we head to Australia where it isn't. Turnout surpasses 90% and elections are celebrated with democracy sausages on the barbie.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the midterm elections are tomorrow. A pair of Vox’s congressional reporters take a tour of key races before Ezra Klein takes a deep breath and talks stakes.
Hacking our elections is so easy, a 7-year-old can do it. (Really.) How we got here and why the best solution is one you might not expect.
What if the government just gave everyone money? No strings attached. Crazier things have happened. Nixon even tried to implement such a program once. The Atlantic's Annie Lowrey explains how universal basic income could work.
Colorado's Proposition 112 is dividing the state. The ballot measure could severely limit oil and gas production, including fracking. Sean Rameswaram speaks with Cody Doane, who's Team Fracking, even though there was a lethal natural gas explosion near his kids' pre-school.
THE CARAVAN IS COMING! DISEASE! MUSLIMS! DANGER! LOCK THE BORDER! Or maybe just listen to this episode in which Vox’s Dara Lind separates truth from fiction about the migrant caravan heading to the U.S.
A mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue has confirmed what many believed to be true: Anti-Semitism is on the rise in America, and it's fueling white nationalism.
More than 50,000 voters in Georgia have found themselves on a “pending list.” One candidate for governor is responsible for it. The other is fighting it. The outcome could turn Georgia purple and make Stacey Abrams the first black woman to run an American state.
America’s favorite Democrats are getting pipe bombs in the mail. Who even mails bombs anymore?
The Trump administration announced it’s throwing out a decades-old arms treaty with Russia. Arms control specialist Alexandra Bell explains why this news pairs well with a stiff drink.
A leaked Health and Human Services memo has left transgender Americans feeling like the Trump administration wants to define them out of existence. Dominic Holden from BuzzFeed News says the whole situation is much more complicated.
A ballot initiative on November 6 might re-enfranchise over a million Floridians. Demetrius Jifunza explains what it would mean to regain the right to vote.
Metabolism is one of the greatest mysteries of the human body. Vox’s Julia Belluz spends a day in a metabolic chamber and emerges with some answers.
It is now almost certain that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered at the hands of the Saudi government. As more and more gruesome details emerge, things get worse and worse for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Harvard is on trial. A group of Asian Americans is facing off against the college in court, where it might dismantle the very affirmative action law that was meant to help minorities.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including a Senate race that feels more like a presidential one. Texas Monthly’s Eric Benson explains how Beto O’Rourke might break the Democrats’ dry spell in the Lone Star State on the eve of the second O’Rourke-Cruz debate.
Midterm elections are three weeks and a day away. Vox’s Dylan Scott says if you think the country's polarized, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Imagine a world where a Band-Aid costs $629. Bad news: you live in that world. Vox’s Sarah Kliff explains how American hospitals tack on “facility fees” to cover their expansive costs, and a new solution that's getting bipartisan support.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week, but he never left. Now, Turkish officials claim he was killed and then dismembered with a bone saw. Saudi dissident Ghanem al-Masarir al-Dosari explains how speaking out against the Saudi government became a matter of life or death.
The United Nations now says the planet has 12 years to avoid catastrophic climate change. Vox’s Umair Irfan explores the options humanity has left.********************************************Vox crunched 3.1T of data so you can see how much and how fast America is warming. You can see how fast your city is warming here: https://www.vox.com/a/weather-climate-change-us-cities-global-warming
Surprise! Nikki Haley, President Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, has resigned. Vox’s Alex Ward explains why one of the most popular members of the Trump cabinet would want to leave.
Brett Kavanaugh starts his new job tomorrow. The Washington Post’s Robert Barnes previews the Supreme Court’s new term and Vox’s Matthew Yglesias says his first day cements a shift 25 years in the making.
Why even answer the phone anymore?(Transcript here.)
The FBI has finished its investigation of Brett Kavanaugh. Today, senators entered a highly secured room to review it.
One candidate was stabbed. Another is sitting in jail. His replacement was slapped with corruption charges. Just your friendly neighborhood candidates for president in Brazil.*********** Correction: This episode mistakenly notes that a leading presidential candidate died in a helicopter crash in 2014. Eduardo Campos actually died in a plane crash. ***********
The United States, Mexico, and Canada have a new trade deal. It’s called USMCA, or “the new NAFTA.” Vox’s Jen Kirby breaks it down before political scientist Ian Bremmer determines who's really going to benefit.
California passed the strongest net neutrality law the country’s ever seen this weekend. The Department of Justice immediately sued. Who’s gonna win this broadband spat?********************************Tap here to find out more about Vox Media's new podcasts: https://www.voxmedia.com/about-vox-media/2018/9/24/17882894/vmpn-fall-2018-slate
After tense words and a walkout, the Republicans got their man and the Democrats got their FBI investigation. Vox's Ezra Klein explains how both sides sorta won.
Today, Brett Kavanaugh responded to Christine Blasey Ford's testimony that he tried to rape her in high school. (An episode on Ford's testimony was released earlier today.)
Today, Christine Blasey Ford publicly testified about her allegations that Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her in high school. (Expect an additional episode about Kavanaugh's testimony in a few hours.)
Dozens died, millions of animals drowned, billions of dollars worth in damage done, and Hurricane Florence isn’t even over yet. Before rebuilding begins, the government offers a way out.********************************Tap here to find out more about Vox Media's new podcasts: https://www.voxmedia.com/about-vox-media/2018/9/24/17882894/vmpn-fall-2018-slate
The Trump administration wants to make it a whole lot harder to get a green card. Vox's Dara Lind explains the newest proposal to rein in legal immigration.
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is facing more accusations of sexual misconduct.
Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald 16 times. His murder trial began this week, four years after Laquan was killed. WBEZ's Shannon Heffernan explains how this shooting has changed Chicago.
Elon Musk is having a bit of a week, a month, a year. Now the Department of Justice is investigating him, as is Today, Explained.
China has a secret that’s slowly slipping out: roughly a million Uighurs are being held in “reeducation camps”. Gulchehra Hoja, a Uighur journalist, explains how reporting on China’s human rights abuses against Muslims led to the disappearance of 23 of her relatives.
The Mueller investigation has revealed how easy it is to get away with white-collar crime in the United States. ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger explains how we got here.
Christine Blasey Ford has come forward to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Vox's Li Zhou recounts the alleged assault and Emily Bazelon from the New York Times Magazine explains what might come next.
The FDA announced this week it’s cracking down on e-cigarettes, demanding that manufacturers like Juul prove within 60 days they aren’t harmful to youth. Vox’s Julia Belluz explains why kids love vaping and why they shouldn't. (Transcript here.)
Today, Pope Francis met with American bishops at the Vatican to discuss the fallout from a report on decades of abuse by priests. A religion reporter explains the widening crisis within the Church, before a Jesuit priest and a few everyday Catholics struggle with how it affects their faith.
Meteorologist Angela Fritz forecasts the catastrophic storm that's about to slam the Carolinas.
Three transgender women of color have been murdered in the past two weeks. ProPublica’s Lucas Waldron explains why so many murders of trans people remain unsolved, and why a lot of it boils down to something called a “deadname.”******************************************Watch the Vox-ProPublica video on how ID laws can put trans people in danger: https://bit.ly/2MkETod
Naomi Osaka defeated her lifelong hero Serena Williams to win the US Open on Saturday. The match might be remembered for the wrong reasons.
Two Reuters reporters have been sentenced to seven years in prison for calling attention to a recent massacre in Myanmar. The United Nations says it's part of a larger genocide to wipe Rohingya from the country.
Brett Kavanaugh’s emails are spilling out and they’re causing waves on Capitol Hill.
The scandal-plagued blood-testing startup Theranos is shutting down. The Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou chronicles the rise and fall of a $10 billion business built on lies.
Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings for the United States Supreme Court began today. Slate's Dahlia Lithwick say they were unlike any she'd seen before.
Who is Robert Mueller?
Louis CK surprised New York City's Comedy Cellar with a fresh set of jokes Sunday night. Some were not amused. Vox's Constance Grady explains how to apologize.
New York investigators are turning up the heat on the Trump Foundation this summer. The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold shares a series of increasingly unbelievable stories about the organization’s shenanigans. (Transcript here.)
The top student loan officer in the country kicked off the school year by quitting. He says the Trump administration "turned its back on young people and their financial futures." Vox’s Libby Nelson explains one contentious call: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has rolled back Obama-era regulations on for-profit colleges.
Love him, hate him, or both, Senator John McCain will be remembered as a towering figure of American politics.
The EPA is rolling back Obama-era regulations on coal-fired plants. It says its decision will kill 1400 Americans per year by 2030.
The president has threatened to revoke the national security clearances for current and former government officials. The Washington Post's Shane Harris explains why this is a bad idea for basically everyone.
In an unprecedented one-two punch Donald Trump’s personal lawyer pleaded guilty to and his campaign manager was found guilty of serious crimes yesterday evening. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explores the implications.
Inmates nationwide go on strike today to protest conditions they call “modern-day slavery": incarcerated Americans are paid pennies on the dollar for cooking food, making license plates, even fighting fires. The Marshall Project’s Nicole Lewis explains.
New York City has approved the first cap in the U.S. on Uber and Lyft vehicles. WIRED’s Aarian Marshall explains who’ll be impacted the most, and whether this is scooters’ big chance to zip ahead.
Twitter temporarily banned Alex Jones and Infowars this week. Why'd it take so long?
A Pennsylvania grand jury has released a 1300-page report on child sex abuses within the state's Catholic Church. Jack Jenkins from Religion News Service peels back the curtain on 70 years of heinous assaults.
Crazy Rich Asians hits theaters today. Los Angeles Times film critic Jen Yamato says it's been 25 years in the making.
Democracies can fall many ways: military coups, assassinations, mass protests. But what does it look like when a democracy quietly backslides into autocracy? Vox’s Zack Beauchamp went on a trip to Hungary to explore (with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting).
You might have missed it this weekend, but NASA shot a spaceship at the sun. Once it gets there, the Parker Solar Probe might find the secret to keeping our big hot star from destroying us.
Aubtin Heydari tells the story of how he was almost murdered by a white supremacist at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last year.
MoviePass is changing the way we see movies, but it's going to have to get its act together. Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson explains.
California’s Mendocino Complex Fire is now the biggest in the state’s recorded history, surpassing a record set… last year. Vox’s Umair Irfan says the worst is yet to come.
Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan wants to be the next Speaker of the House, but a pack of wrestlers could be blocking his path. Corky Siemaszko broke the story for NBC.
Amazon will soon announce which city will land its second headquarters along with 50,000 new jobs. There’s a lot to win and maybe just as much to lose.
The US economy is booming, unemployment keeps dropping, and the country is in the midst of one of the longest economic expansions in our history. Guest host Ezra Klein talks with economist Betsey Stevenson about what's driving this growth — and whether President Trump deserves credit for it.
An immigration lawyer at the border says ICE agents are pressuring parents into being deported with their children. Vox’s Dara Lind broke the story.
Today was supposed to be a big day for people who wanted to make their own guns with 3D printers. But last night, a federal judge in Seattle temporarily banned a man named Cody Wilson from sharing blueprints for his weapons online. WIRED’s Andy Greenberg makes his own AR-15 and explains.
Vox's German Lopez explains America's opioid crisis and goes looking for a solution.
The first trial of the Mueller investigation begins tomorrow. Vox’s Andrew Prokop runs through the many, many charges Paul Manafort is facing.
Dan Harmon quit Twitter. James Gunn was fired by Disney. Sarah Silverman defended a nine-year-old joke about molestation. Vox’s Aja Romano explains why internet mobs are digging up celebrities’ old social media posts.
A thrice-married, nightclub-loving cricket star just won Pakistan’s election. Mehreen Zahra-Malik explains why the military backed Imran Khan and Brookings’ Madiha Afzal explains why democracy in Pakistan never seems to last long.
The Trump administration stirred up a flurry of trade disputes that threatened to put farmers in the red. Then it threw out a lifesaver: $12 billion in emergency relief. A farmer in Minnesota tells us what she really thinks.
What’s up with the Parkland teens? Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School inspired over a million people to march for gun control a few months ago, but it’s been relatively quiet since. Turns out they’ve been busier than ever. David Hogg speaks to Sean Rameswaram.
The White House has proposed stripping the Endangered Species Act of key provisions - the same legislation that helped save the grizzly bear, bald eagle and humpback whale. But Congressional Republicans say protecting some critters is hurting farmers and businesses in big ways. Vox’s Umair Irfan explains.
What a week. President Trump sided with President Putin, then he didn’t, then he did, then he didn’t again. Vox’s Alex Ward tries to keep up.
In 1971, a professor locked a bunch of young men in a basement to understand evil. The results were explosive. This summer, it all came crashing down. Vox’s Brian Resnick explains what’s going on with the Stanford Prison Experiment. (Transcript here.)
One of the most brutal murder cases in American history has been reopened. The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery explains how Emmett Till’s family might finally find justice.
Bernie Sanders, Sarah Palin, and Dick Cheney walk into an interview. Sacha Baron Cohen is waiting for them. Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff explains.
Vladimir Putin flatly denied Russian interference in the United States’s 2016 elections and President Trump refused to call him out. Former ambassador Nicholas Burns says it’s a sad day for America. Then Vox’s Andrew Prokop digs into the fresh indictments.
Republicans control the White House, Congress and most state legislatures. Pod Save America’s Dan Pfeiffer explains how Democrats can dig themselves out of this hole.*************************************************************CORRECTION: In this episode, we incorrectly state that the majority of white millennials voted for Donald Trump. Trump won the youngest white demographic (ages 18-29), but he won a plurality (47%) not a majority.
Breastmilk. Research says it’s the best, so why did the U.S. threaten to shut down a breastfeeding proposal at the World Health Assembly? Vox’s Julia Belluz says it all boils down to baby formula, the $70 billion industry lurking in the shadows.*******************************************Are you pregnant? Have you ever been? Vox wants to provide more explainers on women's health and would love your help. You can fill out the survey here: http://bit.ly/voxpregnancy
British Prime Minister Theresa May is losing cabinet members left and right. She can’t figure out how to Brexit. BBC's Rob Watson says the UK's breakup with the European Union is turning into its biggest political crisis since the Second World War.
Brett Kavanaugh is President Trump’s pick to replace Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court. The New York Times Magazine’s Emily Bazelon says the nomination was decades in the making.
Tonight the president announces who might replace Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court. During his campaign, he promised he would choose pro-life justices to dismantle the abortion case Roe v. Wade. Mary Ziegler, author of "After Roe", explains what the country might look like if the 1973 decision is overturned.
It’s official: Scott Pruitt will no longer lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Vox’s Umair Irfan explains why it doesn’t really matter who replaces him.
When the clock strikes twelve tonight, the US government plans to hit Chinese goods with $34 billion in tariffs. China plans to lash back. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explains who this trade war will hurt the most.
#AbolishICE has gone from an online murmur to a national movement, but a lot of Americans are confused about what exactly Immigration and Customs Enforcement does. Vox’s Dara Lind explains the short history of the controversial agency and what it might mean to see it dissolved.
Meet Mexico’s next president: Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Call him AMLO. He’s a leftist, a populist, and wasn’t shy about calling Donald Trump a “neo-fascist”. Professor Carlos Bravo Regidor explains how AMLO went from losing the presidency twice to winning it in a landslide.
The Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s travel ban this week, making it all but impossible for the citizens of seven countries to enter the United States. One of those countries is Yemen, which the United Nations says is undergoing the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet. International Crisis Group’s Joost Hiltermann explains how things got so bad, and why they could get a lot worse.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is set to become the youngest woman to ever serve in Congress this November. The 28-year-old Democratic Socialist defeated ten-term Representative Joe Crowley in a massive upset for the Democratic Party. Vox’s Kay Steiger explains whether socialism is the future of the left.
After 30 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement today. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick explains what the departure of the swing vote means for the Court and the country.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s travel ban. Emily Bazelon from The New York Times Magazine explains the opinion, a fiery dissent, and how the justices used this case to undo one of the Court’s most racist decisions.
A 32-year-old from Santa Monica, California, helped President Trump conceive of the most divisive immigration policy in decades. The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins explains how Stephen Miller went from high school troll to West Wing advisor.
Bill and Melinda Gates are messing with nature. But they’re doing it to save the world. This week, their foundation gave away millions to make malaria-carrying mosquitoes extinct before long. On the way, they’ll have to tweak some DNA. Vox’s Joss Fong explains.******************************************************Check out the Vox Video on the ethical debate over using genetically modified mosquitoes: https://bit.ly/2kBle83
President Trump signed an executive order which aims to end his own policy of family separation at the border. Yeah... it's confusing. Martha Mendoza from the Associated Press tries to parse it out, and immigration lawyer Anne Chandler explains the chaos families are still experiencing at the border.
The United States has been threatening to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council for some time, but President Trump and Ambassador Nikki Haley made it official last night. The announcement comes just one day after the council called the act of separating kids from their parents “unconscionable.” Foreign Policy’s Colum Lynch explains why the withdrawal is bad news for the world.
It's Juneteenth! What is this holiday that hardly anyone fully understands? UCLA's Brenda Stevenson explains the history, and argues that the celebration of emancipation is more important now than ever.
That’s how many kids have been separated from their parents at border crossings over a six-week span since the Trump administration’s new zero tolerance policy took effect in April. CBS’s David Begnaud tours a holding facility in Texas. Then Vox’s Dara Lind explains why some conservatives are denouncing Trump’s new policy.
Tiny blood-sucking Lyme-disease-carrying ticks are out to ruin your summer. Since 1991, Lyme disease has doubled in the United States due to a variety of factors, including global warming and suburbanization. Vox’s Julia Belluz explains how to avoid ticks and, if worse comes to worst, deal with Lyme disease.
The World Cup kicks off today. Looking for a country to cheer for? Consider Egypt. The team might not be the most storied or stacked, but it’s got Mohamed Salah. The New York Times’ chief soccer correspondent Rory Smith explains how the Muslim player who prays after every goal (and there are many) has the potential to transcend xenophobia, Islamophobia, and run-of-the-mill racism on the road to Russia.
On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions made it harder for Central Americans fleeing gang violence or women escaping domestic violence to gain asylum in the United States. This comes after the Trump administration made a practice of separating families who have entered the country illegally. Vox’s Dara Lind explains how U.S. immigration policy is dramatically shifting.
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un made history today. Or did they? NPR’s Elise Hu was there. She explains what happened and what didn’t. Plus, The New Yorker’s Robin Wright recounts United States summit history. She says there are two keys to a successful summit, and Singapore's meeting lacked both.
Good news for poor Americans: Medicaid is expanding in several states. Bad news for poor Americans: Medicaid is expanding in several states with work requirements. How do poor people who can’t find work prove that they’re working to qualify for Medicaid? Vox’s Sarah Kliff explains this is an experiment that’s never been tried before.
This week, the Saudi government issued driver’s licenses to women for the first time in the country’s history. But London School of Economics professor Madawi al Rasheed says Saudi women are hardly even people under the law. She explains what life is like for women in Saudi Arabia, and Vox’s Jenn Williams tells Sean Rameswaram about the Saudi prince who says he wants reform.
North America isn't getting along anymore. Canada's Prime Minister is having testy phone calls with President Trump about the War of 1812. Mexico has slapped the United States with a $3 billion dollar tax bill. It all comes down to steel. Today, U.S. senators from both aisles announced new attempts to curb the president's tariffs power. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explains how steel sparked a trade war.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Scooter Libby. Dinesh D'Souza. So far, none of President Donald Trump’s pardons have had anything to do with his administration, but many believe he is flexing this particular muscle for an audience of one: Robert Mueller. Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains why the president is dropping hints about pardoning himself and how American democracy may soon be tested.
Nicaragua is spiraling into a state of national catastrophe, as clashes between police and student protesters over the past two months have left more than 100 dead. Reuters' Delphine Schrank explains why much of that anger is aimed towards President Daniel Ortega, who critics say is acting more and more like the dictator he helped kick out.
Today the Supreme Court issued a decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, or as it’s colloquially known, the “gay cake” case. The 7-2 ruling sided with a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Most experts say the justices failed to make any rulings on same-sex rights versus religious freedoms, and The New York Times Magazine’s Emily Bazelon says that’s just the top layer.
Congress is rolling back the bank regulations implemented after the 2008 financial crisis. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explains why, and what it means for the country’s financial future.
There are three things you need to know about George Soros: 1) You’re pronouncing his name wrong. 2) He’s richer than rich. 3) He’s one of the most hated people in the world. Roseanne tweeted that the Holocaust survivor was a Nazi on Tuesday, and Hungary is currently trying to pass legislation that would ban him. Foreign Policy’s Emily Tamkin explains how the financier-philanthropist came to have so many haters even though he gives away his money to the poor.
ABC canceled the popular reboot of Roseanne after its star likened President Obama’s former advisor, an African-American woman, to an ape on Twitter. Today, Roseanne Barr blamed her tweets on Ambien. The manufacturer responded that “racism is not a known side effect.” Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff explores why the Trump-era reboot was so well received, and whether TV can bring opposite poles of the American political spectrum together. ******************************************** Big news: A Harvard st...more
Venezuela has been crippled by poverty, starvation, five-figure inflation, and on Sunday, an election that many countries didn’t recognize as legit. Bloomberg’s Patricia Laya shares reactions to Nicolás Maduro’s new term from her base in Caracas before NYU’s Alejandro Velasco explains how having the most oil in the world got Venezuela into all this trouble.
President Trump cancelled his historic Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un today. The announcement comes after a North Korean official called Vice President Pence “ignorant and stupid” for likening their country to Libya, which crumbled after it gave up its nuclear program. Vox’s Alex Ward explains what went wrong and why war is back on the table.
Today the National Football League released a statement saying players will be fined if they kneel during the national anthem. It’s the ultimate response to a protest that began with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016, and became a cause célèbre for President Trump. SB Nation’s Tyler Tynes explains the significance of this moment.
The Supreme Court may have taken away your ability to file a class action lawsuit against your employer. In a 5-4 decision yesterday, the Court decided that workers who signed contracts with arbitration clauses aren’t allowed to band together and sue their employers. Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern says the ruling is just the latest setback to tens of millions of American workers.
This Friday, Ireland holds a historic vote that could overturn one of the strictest abortion policies in the world. The race is razor-tight: Facebook and Google have banned foreign political ads, U2 has weighed in, and there's been a massive uptick in voter registration. Sarah Bardon from The Irish Times explains the history and the magnitude of this moment.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you might have heard that there’s a royal wedding happening this Saturday. (Even Sean’s mom is tuning in!) England’s Prince Harry is set to wed American actress Meghan Markle with great fanfare, to the ballpark cost of $43 million. Kristen Meinzer, co-host of the When Meghan met Harry podcast, tells Sean why he should care.**************************************************************For more info on how British royals plan a wedding, check out Vox Video h...more
This week, the Supreme Court of the United States fundamentally changed... sports. It struck down a 1992 law that prevented states from legalizing sports gambling. Now, New Jersey is at the head of a long line of states looking to allow their citizens to bet it all on the home team. New York Times Magazine writer Emily Bazelon takes us to Court and The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis explains how this might change professional sports.
Explosions are ramping up on Hawaii’s Big Island this week, as the Kilauea volcano continues to spew lava and blow a 12,000-foot plume of ash into the air. The volcanic gas and lava have already destroyed 25 homes and prompted the evacuation of nearly 2,000 residents. Vox’s Umair Irfan shares the latest news and explains why we choose to live next to exploding mountains.
Sixty Palestinians were killed at the Israel-Gaza border yesterday, the day the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem. Vox’s Yochi Dreazen breaks down the conflict, the history, and whether there’s a way forward.
Jordan Peterson has gone from being an obscure Canadian academic to a kind of political rock star for the right. Overnight. Vox’s Zack Beauchamp unpacks Peterson’s controversial ideology and explains how the clinical psychologist gained a following of millions. Then, Sean Rameswaram gives Peterson a call and asks him to explain himself.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned Monday after four women accused him of physical assault. The news was a rough blow to the #MeToo movement, where Schneiderman was aiding an investigation into Harvey Weinstein. Today news broke that President Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen were informed of the assault allegations years ago - around the time that Schneiderman and Trump were entangled in a legal battle over Trump University. The lawyer who told Cohen about the alleged abuse ...more
Stormy D, AT&T, and nine Fabergé eggs. The investigation into the president’s personal lawyer keeps getting more colorful. This week, it was confirmed that a shell company set up by Michael Cohen received payments from AT&T as well as a company linked to a Russian oligarch with a soft spot for jeweled eggs. Vox’s Andrew Prokop follows the money in a shade of Today, Explained noir.
President Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Everyone else - including France, Russia, China, even Iran - has insisted on staying in. Vox’s Yochi Dreazen explains the implications of Trump’s move, from a spike in your summer gas prices to nuclear war in the Middle East. ****************************************When Trump quit the Iran deal, he ended years of diplomacy in a few moments. Vox Video explains how we got here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-...more
Tomorrow is the Senate confirmation hearing for Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the C.I.A. The 33-year veteran of the organization would be its first female director, but standing in her way are reports of her involvement in torture programs and secret prisons after September 11. Vox’s Jenn Williams explains Haspel’s shadowy history, and why she almost backed out of her nomination.
The NRA announced a new president today: Fox News contributor and Iran-Contra alum Oliver North. The news caps a big weekend for the organization. Tens of thousands of Americans (including President Trump) descended on Dallas for the National Rifle Association’s 147th annual meeting. Vox’s German Lopez explains how our national gunfight has and hasn’t changed since the Parkland shooting, and a longtime gun owner explains why he sawed his AR-15 in half.
Imagine a world where a Band-Aid costs $629. Bad news: you live in that world. Vox’s Sarah Kliff explains how American hospitals tack on “facility fees” to cover their expansive costs. Then, a Kentucky doctor gives us his perspective on those costs from inside the ER.To find out more about Sarah Kliff’s reporting on ER bills (or how to submit your own bill), head to erbills.vox.com. You can check out her podcast The Impact here.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to 13 companies that appear to market their vaping products directly to kids. E-cigarettes are a gangbuster business but one device, the sleekly-designed Juul, has really captured the attention of underage teens. Vox’s Julia Belluz explains the hype, and what most teens don’t know about the Juul.
Forty-nine Central Americans seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border were granted entry today. They're part of a caravan of around 200 migrants who arrived Sunday and camped in the rain, after traveling 2,000 miles and fleeing gang violence and other dangers in their home countries. Vox’s Dara Lind explains the long road facing asylum seekers, who still might not be able to stay.**************************************Cambridge Analytica announced it was shutting down today. We explained how that...more
After 40 years, police say they have finally caught the Golden State Killer, a man responsible for at least 12 murders, 50 rapes, and 100 break-ins in the 1970’s and ’80s. They found him using a genealogy site -- a relative uploaded DNA and unwittingly provided the missing link. Vox’s Aja Romano narrates the killer’s grisly reign of terror across California, and lawyer Steven Mercer explains why the DNA methods police used set a dangerous precedent for the rest of us.****************************...more
Sean Hannity is curiously close to President Donald Trump — so close that some say he may as well have a desk in the Oval Office. In recent weeks, the Fox News host has gone from covering the news to being in the headlines. Nicole Hemmer, author of “Messengers of the Right,” explains how the man near the top of the conservative media’s totem pole might influence the president.
For the first time in history, the leader of North Korea took a trip to South Korea today. Kim Jong Un met with President Moon Jae-in to talk unification and denuclearization over some cold noodles. NPR’s Elise Hu was there. She tells Sean Rameswaram what transpired before Vox’s Alex Ward explains whether this truly means the end of a nearly 70-year conflict.********************************Watch the Vox Video of leaders Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un's joint statement committing to denuclearization...more
Next up on the chopping block? Food stamps or SNAP as it’s now known. A new farm bill, fresh out of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, could force over two million people off the program. Vox’s Tara Golshan explains why Republicans want to put SNAP recipients to work, and Stacy Dean from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities talks about the program’s bipartisan past.************************************Today (April 27), a jury found Bill Cosby guilty on all counts of drugging and moles...more
Four years ago today, Flint, Michigan switched water supplies to save a few million dollars. To date, that decision has cost over $400 million. Governor Rick Snyder says Flint’s water is finally safe again, but residents remain skeptical — they’re marching today in protest. Michigan Radio’s Lindsey Smith explains what exactly happened in Flint and whether the city will ever regain the trust of its residents.
The Supreme Court wraps up its term with a bang tomorrow: Trump v. Hawaii, the travel ban case. The Court will hear arguments on whether the ban exceeds the president’s powers under federal immigration law, and whether it violates the establishment clause (unfairly targeting Muslims). Also at issue, the president's tweets. The nine justices will consider whether Donald Trump's tweets and retweets reveal intentions different from what's on paper.
On May 29th, Starbucks will shut 8,000 locations and lose millions of dollars to provide racial bias training for employees. The training comes after the arrest of two black men, who were waiting in the store for a business meeting, prompted nationwide outrage. Alexis McGill Johnson runs trainings for Perception Institute. She schools Sean Rameswaram in how they work, how our brains are biased, and whether people can break these biases down.
Today Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a plan to decriminalize marijuana federally. But the debate over legalization rages on at the local level. Sean Rameswaram speaks with a Massachusetts mayor who wants marijuana to fund schools, and a D.C. pot entrepreneur who’s finding a way around the city’s ban on sales. Afterwards, a discussion about marijuana reparations.
Nikki Haley has had a rough week. On Sunday, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations announced sanctions against Russia. On Monday, the White House said there would be no sanctions. Then, the president’s economic advisor said Haley was simply “confused.” Vox’s Zack Beauchamp explains how Ambassador Haley punched back and why this isn’t the best look for the country.
Donald Trump signed FOSTA into law a week ago today. The “Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” looks good on paper, but Vox’s Aja Romano says it alters fundamental freedoms online. Plus Alex Levy, a Notre Dame Law School professor, says it won’t do much to curb sex trafficking, either.
Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is facing a host of new scandals: a $43,000 soundproof phone booth, a security detail to Disneyland, and even using a siren on his car to get to a restaurant faster. But Vox’s Umair Irfan says that behind these controversies, Pruitt’s EPA has been one of the most consequential government agencies in the Trump administration.
President Trump and United States allies bombed chemical weapons facilities in Syria on Friday. The attacks came in response to President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons on his own people. Vox’s Alex Ward explains why the United States escalated its involvement and why the world sees chemical weapons differently from conventional ones.***********************For an explainer on how Syria got here, check out our previous episode "It's never too late to understand the war in Syria": https...more
When its corporate owner introduced new budget cuts and layoffs, journalists at The Denver Post decided to fight back. They ran a front-page editorial calling the owners “vulture capitalists”. Chuck Plunkett led the secret revolt, and tells Sean Rameswaram why he picked a fight with the brass. Kate Knibbs of The Ringer then explains why hedge funds and billionaires are bad for local news.
Today is Day 4 of Bill Cosby’s retrial. The first trial ended in a hung jury, but this time things are different. Five new women are testifying, accusing Cosby of sexual assault. Vox’s Jen Kirby offers the latest, and Vox’s Laura McGann explains why Cosby’s retrial could be a game changer in the wake of #metoo.
President Trump today called the raid on the office of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen “unthinkable.” Vox’s Zachary Fryer-Biggs explains what the FBI was looking for, and Vox’s Andrew Prokop reveals Cohen’s complicated past.
Today is Equal Pay Day. Vox’s Sarah Kliff reveals the real reason why working women earn about 82% as much as men. Then Valerie Wilson of the Economic Policy Institute explains why things get a lot more complicated when race comes into play.
President Trump said he would “always be friends” with China’s leader, but the two countries have been acting anything but these past few days. First, the U.S. slapped China with $50 billion in tariffs. Then, China retaliated with $50 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods, like soybeans and airplanes. Now, the U.S. has replied with $100 billion more. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explains why this could escalate to a trade war, and really hurt Trump’s base.
President Trump announced this week he wants to withdraw US troops from Syria over the next six months. The country’s civil war has killed an estimated 400,000 people and displaced around 13 million. Vox’s Zack Beauchamp explains how an uprising led to what the United Nations calls “the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era.”
The West Virginia teacher strike has ended, but walkouts are just getting started in Kentucky and Oklahoma, where lawmakers are scrambling to pass bills that would supplement school funding. Vox’s Alexia Fernández Campbell explains why public school teachers are mad as hell.
289. That’s the number of people who have been shot and killed by police in 2018 alone. One of them was Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old black man from Sacramento. His death sparked a wave of protests and renewed scrutiny of the police. But less than one percent of those fatal police shootings result in charges. The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery explains why convictions are even fewer, and what it’s going to take to reduce fatal police shootings.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seldom gives interviews, but in the wake of the massive Cambridge Analytica privacy breach, he made an exception to speak with Vox’s Ezra Klein. Mark tells Ezra why he’s hopeful about Facebook’s future before privacy advocate Marc Rotenberg tells Sean Rameswaram why he’s not.
The Supreme Court is currently deliberating two cases that could reshape the entire country’s political maps. At issue is partisan gerrymandering—the practice of drawing districts that benefit one party over another. Dave Daley, author of "Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count," tells Sean Rameswaram why gerrymandering today is the worst it's ever been.
Mexican-American Francisco Cantú never expected to become a U.S. Border Patrol Agent. But for nearly four years, Cantú both detained and rescued migrants stranded in the desert. He tells Sean Rameswaram about his experiences policing a border his own grandfather illegally crossed.
It’s Opening Day — peanuts, cracker jack, and for some, racism. Sundance, a Native American activist, has been protesting the Cleveland Indians mascot, Chief Wahoo, for years. The team recently announced it would be removing the caricature from its uniforms, but Sundance tells Sean Rameswaram that his fight is long from over.
Kentucky just joined a wave of states attempting to severely limit when a woman can terminate her pregnancy. Vox’s Anna North surveys the growing restrictions on women’s reproduction under the Trump administration, and explains why the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade might once again be in jeopardy.
President Trump announced John Bolton will be his new National Security Advisor just as the White House prepares for historic talks with North Korea. Just last month, Bolton called for pre-emptive strikes on North Korea. In 2015, he endorsed war with Iran. Vox's Zack Beauchamp tells Sean Rameswaram about Bolton's controversial background and what it means to have a hawkish advisor seated next to the president.
Dantrell Blake traveled from Chicago to Washington, D.C., to join hundreds of thousands for the March of Our Lives on Saturday. Sean Rameswaram spent the day with the survivor of gun violence to find out why he needed to see the march for himself. Also, a Columbine survivor advises a Parkland survivor how to deal with life after a mass shooting.
The FBI is investigating over twenty colleges for paying athletes under the table, reigniting the age-old debate: Should college athletes be formally paid? Sean Rameswaram talks to former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon and The Nation’s Dave Zirin, who says a lot of this conversation comes down to race.
A judge gave the green light this week for a woman to sue President Trump for defamation. Summer Zervos claims Donald Trump sexually assaulted her; he called her a liar. Vox’s Laura McGann explains why this might change the game for other Trump accusers, and Jessica Leeds recalls sitting next to Trump on a plane.
Today Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted the social media giant “made mistakes” in the Cambridge Analytica scandal and vowed to fix them. The UK-based company improperly acquired the data of some 50 million Facebook users, and revealed how easily our info can be sold to third parties without our knowledge. Recode’s Kurt Wagner explains, then ProPublica’s Julia Angwin talks about the endgame: brainwashing the masses.
Today is the six-month anniversary of Hurricane Maria, one of the worst natural disasters in American history. But Puerto Rico remains without fully-restored power or an exact idea of how many people died because of the storm. Latino USA’s Julio Ricardo Varela looks at the recovery and explains the real reason it’s taking so long.
The white nationalist rally in Charlottesville sparked outrage when a driver barreled through the crowd, killing one woman and injuring more than 30. Brennan Gilmore filmed it, and everyone saw his video. Then came the conspiracies, backlash, and death threats. Now, Gilmore is fighting back. He’s taking InfoWars' Alex Jones to court. Can a victim of conspiracy theories take down the king of conspiracy theories? Sean Rameswaram speaks to Gilmore and Vox's Jane Coaston.
A president. A porn star. A lawyer with a $130,000 payoff. The allegation is Donald Trump had an affair with Stormy Daniels and his lawyer paid her to keep quiet. Now, she’s suing so she can talk freely and just today, Daniels' attorney says someone threatened to physically harm her. Vox's Laura McGann says this is much more than your run-of-the-mill political sex scandal.
There’s a new Cold War being fought in the North Pole between the United States and Russia (but also China, Finland, Norway, Canada, Greenland and more). Fueling the battle is the melting Arctic, which just had its warmest winter in recorded history. Vox’s Brian Resnick gives us the science before Yochi Dreazen takes us to the war.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told states to back off regulating the nine private companies that lend money to students last week. That could mean more student debt and more student defaults when both are already at record highs. Vox’s Libby Nelson tells Sean Rameswaram about the national crisis we never solved. And we say goodbye to Stephen Hawking.
Twitter. That’s how Secretary of State Rex Tillerson found out he was fired today. The news came on the heels of Tillerson calling Russia “an irresponsible force of instability”. He hands over the reins to CIA director Mike Pompeo - who is now in charge of planning a historic U.S.-North Korea meeting. Vox’s Zack Beauchamp describes Tillerson’s rocky relationship with Trump, and Ezra Klein reflects on this administration’s high turnover.
Donald Trump takes his first trip to California as president tomorrow. Making matters awkward, his administration sued the Golden State last week over SB 54, a law that limits how much the state helps federal immigration agents. KQED reporter Marisa Lagos explains the legal battle, and Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims talks about being stuck in the middle.
After months of name calling and test missiles, Donald Trump will be the first sitting United States president to meet with a North Korean leader. Vox’s Yochi Dreazen lays out what to expect from the historic meeting. Plus, he shares some negotiation tips for President Trump.
Out of the ten counties with the most adults on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), nine voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. But in the president’s new budget, he’s calling for $72 billion in cuts to the program over the next ten years. It's a “thin piece of duct tape that’s keeping everything together,” according to Vox’s Dylan Matthews, who traveled to Tennessee to talk to people on SSDI.
An historic walkout in West Virginia ended yesterday. Teachers managed to shut down every single public school in the state for nine days to demand higher pay. Oklahoma, Arizona and Kentucky may be next. Sean Rameswaram speaks with West Virginia Public Broadcasting reporter Dave Mistich and Harrison County math teacher Cathy Drummond Pizzino to find out exactly how the state’s educators pulled off their big win.
President Trump announced that he's okay with a trade war late last week and he's got the tariff proposals to prove it: 25% for steel, 10% for aluminum. It’s another campaign promise fulfilled, but the decision flies in the face of Republicans in Congress and most of Trump’s own advisors. (Economic advisor Gary Cohn even quit today.) Vox’s Matthew Yglesias explains the impact of these tariffs, and the chances they could spark a trade war with our allies. He also hums a little ditty about steel. ...more
Quick bonus episode! Frances McDormand won the Academy Award for Best Actress last night for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” In her memorable acceptance speech, she asked all the nominated women to stand up and left them with two words: “inclusion rider.” Vox’s Caroline Framke explains how inclusion riders could force Hollywood to change.
China's National People's Congress opened its annual two-week meeting today. The country’s parliament is expected to change China’s constitution to allow President Xi Jinping to abolish term limits. Sean Rameswaram speaks to Fordham professor Carl Minzner and The New Yorker’s Jiayang Fan to find out what it means that the leader of one fifth of the world's population just decided he’s never stepping down.
It was a week of whiplash in the national fight over gun control. First, major retailers like Dick’s and Walmart raised the gun-buying age from 18 to 21, and companies like Delta dropped their NRA discounts. But then pro-gun rights legislatures pushed back. Vox’s German Lopez walks Sean Rameswaram through the many debates. He says the reason the country is stalled is because we haven’t begun to have the right conversation about guns. Sean and Vox’s Dylan Matthews talk about the elephant in the r...more
There’s a new kind of algorithm that allows you to take a video of one person and map the face of another person onto his or her body. Not surprisingly, it’s being used to map celebrities’ faces onto the bodies of porn stars having sex. Vox’s Aja Romano tells Sean Rameswaram how “deepfakes” are spreading across the internet. Plus computer scientist Peter Eckersley explores how the same technology could tear our society apart in bigger ways.
A coalition of 20 states filed a lawsuit claiming Obamacare is unconstitutional yesterday. Vox’s Sarah Kliff says that’s just the latest pushback on the Affordable Care Act. Idaho has been quietly allowing insurance plans that don’t comply with Obamacare’s rules, and the Trump administration hasn’t been doing anything to stop it. Experts say if the federal government doesn’t intervene, other red states will likely follow in Idaho’s footsteps.
Today, special counsel Robert Mueller dropped over 20 criminal counts against former Trump campaign official Rick Gates, just days after Gates agreed to a plea deal. Mueller's Russia probe has a lot of people and moving parts, so how do we keep them all straight? Vox’s Zack Beauchamp tells Sean Rameswaram not to focus on all the names and places or it might start to sound like “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” We update the Billy Joel song to explain Mueller’s investigation.
Today, the United States Supreme Court denied a request from the Trump administration to expedite a decision on DACA. This keeps the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on life support for a few more months, but also keeps its 690,000 recipients in limbo: Do they stay or do they go? Congress still hasn’t been able to pass a vote on DACA. Vox’s Dara Lind and Matthew Yglesias say that’s because Trump has moved the conversation into unfamiliar territory: from illegal immigration to legal...more
Something changed this week. Teenagers managed to break the deadlock over gun control. Marches, walkouts, and serious policy debates are on the way. To understand what's different about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Sean Rameswaram speaks with Vox reporter German Lopez, Georgetown psychiatry professor Liza Gold, and Elizabeth Love, a Utah teenager who's a bit of a badass.
Cape Town is just a few months away from being the first major city to shut off its taps in the history of the modern world. Day Zero - the day Capetonians in South Africa will need to line up at water distribution points for daily water rations - is currently scheduled for July 9th. Reporter Kristen van Schie tells Sean Rameswaram how the three-year drought is drastically changing life for millions of Capetonians. Plus three tips to ward off a water crisis in your own city from hydrologist Pete...more
North and South Korea are on opposite sides of a demilitarized zone, separated by barbed wire, tank traps, and guard towers. But in the 2018 Winter Olympics, they came together on the rink. Is hockey the key to peace with North Korea?
"Black Panther" is the biggest movie in the world, but what makes this comic book adaptation more important than the nearly 20 Marvel movies that came before it? Sean Rameswaram attends a "Black Panther"-themed engagement party and speaks to Evan Narcisse, writer of the "Rise of the Black Panther" comic books, to find out. (No spoilers!) (Transcript here.)
Today we launch our show, but it turns out it's a lot easier to launch a nuclear weapon. Vox's Alex Ward walks us through the six easy steps and tells Sean Rameswaram about the time we accidentally dropped a nuke on North Carolina. Twice.