Today, Explained

Today, Explained

News comes at you fast. Join us at the end of your day to understand it. Today, Explained is your all killer, no filler, Monday to Friday news explainer co-hosted by Sean Rameswaram and Noel King. Every episode features the finest reporters from the Vox Media Podcast Network and beyond.

Episodes

August 16, 2022 27 min

A meme that mocks President Biden has been transformed by supporters to celebrate his recent wins. But questions about whether he should run for reelection remain. The Washington Post's Matt Viser explains.

This episode was produced by Miles Bryan and Jon Ehrens, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Robert Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained 

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Russia is paying teachers big bucks to teach a pro-Kremlin curriculum in Ukraine. It’s part of a campaign to formally annex occupied Ukraine into the Russian Federation.

This episode was produced by Haleema Shah, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard and Victoria Dominguez, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Noel King.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained

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August 13, 2022 21 min

Kiarra and Izii are having an argument when they are unexpectedly transported to the Island of Explained. There, they meet an Engin-Ear and a magical unicorn who teach them how hearing works and why actively listening with empathy is key to resolving arguments between friends. 

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August 12, 2022 27 min

The Wyoming Republican will likely lose her primary, but she’s winning over a lot of Democrats in the process.

This episode was produced by Amanda Lewellyn, edited by Amina Al-Sadi and Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Noel King.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained

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August 11, 2022 27 min

From politicians to podcasters, one man’s money unites the New Right. Bloomberg’s Max Chafkin explains how Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel is shaping the fledgling conservative movement in his own image.

This episode was produced by Miles Bryan, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey and Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Noel King.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained

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August 10, 2022 27 min

The newest conservative dissidents want to radically reshape the Republican party and American democracy. Journalist James Pogue explains the confounding movement, which includes Senate candidates Blake Masters and J.D. Vance.

This episode was produced by Miles Bryan, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Noel King.Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained

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August 9, 2022 28 min

Florida man's beach house searched by FBI.

This episode was produced by Haleema Shah and Avishay Artsy with help from Hady Mawajdeh, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard with help from Amina Al-Sadi and Victoria Dominguez, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained  

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Viktor Bout might be the most successful arms dealer in history. The US could let him go free if Russia releases the WNBA star, who was just sentenced to nine years in prison. Bout’s biographer, Douglas Farah, explains.

This episode was produced by Hady Mawajdeh, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained  

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August 5, 2022 25 min

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán traveled to Texas for CPAC this week. Back home, he’s trying to fight population decline by paying some citizens to have more kids. But a real solution involves one weird trick Hungary — and US conservatives — hates.

This episode was reported and produced by Miles Bryan, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard with help from Amanda Lewellyn and Hady Mawajdeh, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and h...

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August 4, 2022 27 min

Gay men, queer people, and their partners represent an overwhelming majority of monkeypox cases. But even though the WHO just declared the disease a global health emergency, resources like vaccines, testing, and treatment remain largely out of reach. Health reporter Keren Landman and virologist Joseph Osmundson explain.

This episode was produced by Victoria Dominguez, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineere...

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August 3, 2022 27 min

Probably not, but he did finally compromise on the Inflation Reduction Act (née Build Back Better), which could be the most significant climate spending bill in US history. Vox’s Li Zhou and Rebecca Leber explain.

This episode was produced by Victoria Chamberlin and Hady Mawajdeh, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained  

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August 2, 2022 27 min

China didn’t want Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan. Neither did the White House. Politico’s Alex Ward explains why she went anyway.

This episode was produced by Miles Bryan and Jon Ehrens, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard with help from Amanda Lewellyn, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Noel King.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained

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August 1, 2022 27 min

The US froze billions in Afghanistan’s central bank reserves when the Taliban took control. Now it’s wrestling with how to trust the Taliban with the Afghan people’s money.

This episode was produced by Victoria Chamberlin with help from Amanda Lewellyn, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Victoria Dominguez and Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained  

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An invitation to a vegan party sends producers Kiarra and Izii to the Island of Explained, where a giant who once ate people explains why he switched to a plant-based diet — and why that diet might be beneficial for humans, too. 

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July 29, 2022 27 min

Climate change has driven some environmental activists to extremes. We talk about overcoming despair with Terry Kaelber, whose husband David Buckel took his life to protest inaction, and Tim DeChristopher, who was imprisoned for his activism.

This episode was produced by Hady Mawajdeh, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey with help from Christian Ayala, and hosted by Noel King.

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July 28, 2022 27 min

The US economy has shrunk for two consecutive quarters. That’s technically a recession. But economists aren’t so sure we’re actually in one. Madeleine Ngo and Jacob Goldstein explain.

This episode was produced by Avishay Artsy and Miles Bryan, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Noel King.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained

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July 27, 2022 27 min

The data is in on autonomous cars: They are crashing, but they're still doing a lot better than regular cars driven by humans. The Verge’s Andrew Hawkins and Vox’s Marin Cogan take the wheel.

This episode was produced by Jon Ehrens, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained  

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July 26, 2022 27 min

Britain’s Conservative party is spending the summer choosing its next prime minister. The Atlantic’s Tom McTague introduces the candidates vying to replace him.

This episode was produced by Miles Bryan with help from Victoria Dominguez, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Sean Rameswaram.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained  

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July 25, 2022 27 min

The 1990 opening of a McDonald's in Russia heralded not just burgers and fries but, get this, a new era of peace and prosperity. The Economist’s Patrick Foulis explains how the promises of globalization never entirely materialized.

This episode was produced by Avishay Artsy, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard with help from Victoria Dominguez, engineered by Paul Mounsey, and hosted by Noel King.

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July 22, 2022 25 min

The CEO who turned World Wrestling Entertainment into a global brand has retired after nearly 40 years, amid allegations of sexual assault and infidelity. Journalist Abe Riesman explains the rise and fall of Vince McMahon.

This episode was produced by Hady Mawajdeh, edited by Matt Collette, fact-checked by Laura Bullard, engineered by Efim Shapiro, and hosted by Noel King.

Transcript at vox.com/todayexplained

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