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Worldly

Author: Vox

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We live in a confusing time, bombarded every day with news from around the world that can be hard to follow, or fully understand. Let Worldly be your guide. Every Thursday, senior writer Zack Beauchamp, senior foreign editor Jennifer Williams, and staff defense writer Alex Ward give you the history and context you need to make sense of the moment and navigate the world around you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

180 Episodes
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Beijing’s bad tweet

Beijing’s bad tweet

2020-12-0333:08

Jenn, Alex, and Jen talk about the diplomatic spat between China and Australia that erupted this week after a Chinese official tweeted a fake image of an Australian soldier threatening a young Afghan child with a knife. Though the image was fake, it highlighted real war crimes allegedly committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. The crew explains why China, a notorious human rights abuser itself, is trolling Australia on Twitter about this issue, and how it fits into China's broader geopolitical strategy to bully countries into keeping quiet about its own failings. References: The Australia-China diplomatic spat, explained An inquiry found Australian special forces committed possible war crimes in Afghanistan The potential costs of a trade war between Australia and China How Australia’s allies are responding to its feud with China The US government also did some trolling of its own A look at China’s “wolf warrior” diplomacy Hosts: Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox Jen Kirby (@j_kirby1), foreign reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Alex and Jen discuss President Trump’s decision to draw down the number of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. They explain the slapdash announcement and rushed plan, and the inherent tensions between wanting to end a long war and America’s responsibility to the people of the countries it has invaded. The gang also turns to what Trump’s Pentagon shake-up really means, and what President-elect Joe Biden should prepare to inherit in January. References: The US is drawing down troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Trump has promised to bring troops home by Christmas. He didn’t quite get that, even with a new Pentagon chief. The big question: Will these withdrawals box Biden in on foreign policy? Trump has also appointed a lot of loyalists to the Pentagon recently. Shake-ups could reshape foreign policy in the last months of Trump’s term. And maybe remake the federal bureaucracy. Here’s Trump Inc.’s investigation. Hosts: Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox Jen Kirby (@j_kirby1), foreign reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lost in Transition

Lost in Transition

2020-11-1241:291

Jenn, Alex, and Jen talk about the stalled transition process from President Trump to President-elect Biden. They discuss the possible national security implications and what Trump’s refusal to accept the election results says — and doesn’t say — about American exceptionalism. They conclude with how the world has reacted to the results, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “ear to ear” smile during a congratulatory phone call with Biden. References: Why a smooth presidential transition isn’t happening right now.  The stalled transition process is raising national security concerns.  Trump is trying to overturn a clear election result. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also undermining US democracy. The rest of the world is moving on as allies and foreign leaders congratulate Biden. Still, the world’s strongmen have been slow to recognize Biden as the new president. But look how happy Justin is! Hosts: Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox Jen Kirby (@j_kirby1), foreign and national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
If Joe wins

If Joe wins

2020-11-0545:47

Jenn, Alex, and guest host Jen Kirby — who will be filling in for Zack while he’s on paternity leave — talk about what a Joe Biden victory would mean for the world. At the moment of taping, Biden is on the cusp of winning the presidency and Republicans look likely to hold on to their Senate majority. Both results, if they pan out, would impact US foreign policy and how the world views America. The sleep-deprived Worldly gang lays it all out. References: Here’s the current state of the presidential race.  Alex’s deep dive on what a Biden foreign policy might look like. The frontrunners for Biden’s foreign policy team.  Mitch McConnell has already signaled he may make Senate confirmation tough.  Biden wants to tell the world that “America’s back.” But a reminder that, whatever happens, Biden will inherit a very different world. Hosts: Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox Jen Kirby (@@j_kirby1), foreign and national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jenn and Alex discuss the recent terror attacks in France that have occurred amid a national and international uproar about cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed and President Emmanuel Macron’s stance toward Islam in the country. They discuss what Macron’s push for an “Islam of France” really means, the complexities for Muslims to fully integrate into French society, and the ongoing debate about freedom of expression vs. respect for religion. They end by discussing the global response to what’s happening in France, especially the hypocrisy of certain Muslim leaders who are using a contentious issue to benefit themselves. References: Alex has two pieces about the situation in France. A McGill study shows the challenges Muslims have faced to fully integrate in France. A smart opinion piece in Politico argues Macron isn’t a hardliner against Islam. Marine Le Pen, Macron’s far-right challenger, is already calling what’s happening a “war.” Turkey’s leader is using this situation to distract from his economic problems at home. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex put the upcoming American elections in global context. They explain why long polling lines and gerrymandered districts are very much not the norm among advanced democracies and how other countries avoid them. Then they dissect the latest news about Russian, Iranian, and other foreign interference in the 2020 election — and debate whether it even matters anymore. References: Here’s Alex’s piece for Vox on how other countries do elections better. And Jen Kirby wrote for Vox on what US intelligence leaders said yesterday about Russia’s and Iran’s interference efforts. BBC News explains why it can be hard to vote in America. NBC News reported on how China is adopting interference techniques the Russians have been using. In August, a top US intelligence official said China, Russia, and Iran were interfering in the 2020 election for differing reasons. CyberScoop reported that North Korea, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia also aim to sway the vote. The US Justice Department charged Russians with interfering in the elections this week. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about two huge ongoing protest movements: demonstrations against police violence in Nigeria and against monarchical privilege in Thailand. The team breaks down the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the violent police unit at the heart of the Nigerian protests, and talk about the problems with policing in that country in general and in international context. Then they discuss the student-led protests in Thailand — kicked off by authoritarian repression in the name of Thailand’s very strange king — and put it context of the general struggle for democracy in the Southeast Asian country. References: Deutsche Welle has a great video on Nigeria’s protests. One of the big problems with SARS is that its officers don’t get paid much. Multiple academic studies point to the lack of community policing as a major problem in Nigeria. The Conversation has a smart piece on why ending SARS won’t lead to much better policing in Nigeria. Here’s that Charles Tilley study Zack mentioned. Amnesty International has a report detailing alleged human rights abuses by SARS. New Mandala explains the 10 demands Thai protesters have of their government. Vox profiles Thailand’s playboy king. The BBC has helpful information on how the protests got started. A Thai professor explains to Bloomberg what makes these Thai protests so different. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex explain the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh — a contested region inside Azerbaijani borders but populated largely by ethnic Armenians. They break down the Soviet-era origins of the conflict, discuss why the fighting has flared up in a particularly scary way this summer and fall, and then zoom out to the role that major powers like Russia and Turkey play. References: Alex wrote an explainer for Vox on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Also check out Politico’s explainer on the issue. The Guardian reported on how half of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population has already been displaced. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs plan to meet to discuss an end to the fighting. Meduza has some helpful history that clears up why this conflict has lasted for so long. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about Amnesty International’s decision to suspend operations in India — the only other country in which the human rights watchdog has done so besides Russia. They explain the pressure campaign from the Indian government, centering on an obscure anti-money laundering law, that forced Amnesty into this move and talk about the broader context of democratic decline under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Then they zoom out to put this in global context, connecting India’s war on NGOs to developments in other backsliding democracies (or fully backslid ones) like Israel, Hungary, and the United States. References: Here’s the Indian government’s statement on the whole issue, and here’s Amnesty’s. This is Amnesty’s report on the Delhi riots. India’s Print has a great explainer on the FCRA and what it means for NGOs. The UN condemned the FCRA in 2016. Amnesty’s Rajat Khosla explained why Amnesty’s work is important for India in the Guardian. As Jenn mentioned, Russia has also targeted NGOs. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the “peace deals” between Israel and two Gulf states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. They explain what’s in the agreements, how they happened, and why Trump is using the agreements to sell himself as a peacemaker. Then they zoom out and explain what the agreements tell us about Middle Eastern geopolitics — and whether they’re likely to make things better or worse in the region. References: You can read the official documents of both normalization deals here. Vox has articles on the Israel normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley write in Politico their hope that the deals lead to a better Middle East future. These articles in Tablet Magazine and the Washington Post tackle, from different angles, how the normalization deals show that previous assumptions about Middle East politics were wrong. Roger Cohen of the New York Times thinks the normalization process is a “mirage.” Palestine quit its leading role in the Arab League over the Israel deals. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   Survey: We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex are joined by a special guest — eminent energy politics expert Daniel Yergin — to talk about the way that the shale revolution and rise of renewables are changing global politics. In the first half, the hosts discuss the big picture: America’s shift from a net importer to a net exporter of energy, among other things, has made the Middle Eastern oil cartel far less central to global politics than it once was. In the second half, Alex talks with Yergin about his new book on this subject, The New Map, and drills down (pun intended) on what all of this means for 21st-century geopolitics. References: You find Daniel Yergin’s book The New Map here, and his essay version of the book at the Wall Street Journal.  NPR has a good primer on America’s energy boom. The Washington Post explains why Joe Biden pledged not to ban fracking. You can find all of Vox’s climate change coverage here. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   Survey: We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Trumped-up intelligence

Trumped-up intelligence

2020-09-1047:262

Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss a striking new whistleblower complaint about US intelligence under Trump from DHS official Brian Murphy. They run through a series of examples of twisting intelligence, including at least one potentially criminal offense, on topics ranging from immigration to Russian election interference to white nationalist terrorism — and zoom out to discuss how credible these complaints are and why, if true, they paint such a damning picture of US foreign policy under Trump. References: Here is the whistleblower complaint. Jenn referenced a Center for Public Integrity report on Guatemala. She also mentioned that former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, accused of perjury in the whistleblower complaint, lied about the administration’s family separation policy before.  Alex wrote on the US intelligence community’s findings in 2019 that contradict Trump’s worldview. Zack referenced how some top Department of Homeland Security officials mentioned in the whistleblower complaint are in their roles illegally. This is the statement by top US intelligence official Bill Evanina on election interference, which mentions China’s efforts before Russia’s. Zack has a great Vox explainer on what antifa actually is, and isn’t. Alex reported the comments from the senior White House official implicating National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Twitter. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   Survey: We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about the second Covid-19 wave hitting Spain — and to a lesser extent, Europe in general. They break down the specifics of what happened in Spain: how too-fast reopenings and a decentralized political system helped the virus come roaring back. Then they analyze a strange fact about the European second wave: Though cases are increasing, the death rate remains low (for now). References: The New York Times has a great story on Spain’s second wave which the gang cited a few times. Alex wrote about Spain’s first outbreak. Spain’s El País has many stories in English detailing what’s going on with the country’s newest outbreak. Spain has again banned nightclubs and closed bars over coronavirus concerns. The Washington Post explains why there are many coronavirus cases but few deaths in Europe. Euronews has handy charts tracking the newest surges across the continent. If you find yourself in Barcelona, Alex wants you to try out his favorite bar with the “no singing” sign. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Survey: We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex move from Biden’s foreign policy to Trump’s — examining the record the incumbent president has racked up in his first term and what might happen if he wins a second. They debate what accomplishments the president can claim (if any) and discuss the ways his reelection could transform the world. Come for the foreign policy analysis, stay for the monologue about Jean Baudrillard. References: The Council on Foreign Relations has a good overview of Trump’s first-term foreign policy moments. Alex wrote a story about how Trump could plausibly tout some foreign policy successes during the campaign. Jenn mentioned how Trump ordered the killing of Qassem Soleimani. Zack cited the book The Gulf War Did Not Take Place by Jean Baudrillard. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex take the Democratic National Convention as an opportunity to talk about Joe Biden’s foreign policy. They go deep into his long and seemingly contradictory record as a policymaker, discuss what he’s said he’s going to do if elected, and contrast his worldview with the views of Trump and Obama. Ultimately, it seems like Biden wants to take the world back to the way that it was before Trump was elected — but has a very personal way of trying to get there. References: Here’s Alex’s feature on what Joe Biden’s foreign policy would look like And this is Alex and Tara Golshan’s story on Joe Biden’s complicated Iraq war history Jenn mentioned this Politico story, which noted Biden’s lack of preparation for meetings And she referenced Biden’s detailed answers to foreign policy questions in this New York Times interview  The Council on Foreign Relations has a useful guide on where the two presidential and two VP candidates stand on foreign policy Joe Biden’s foreign policy speech during the Democratic primary last year is definitely worth a read The New York Times has a great story on Biden’s personal touch to foreign policy and his use of “strategic empathy” Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily news podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Vaccine nationalism

Vaccine nationalism

2020-08-1338:512

Alex and returning guest Jen Kirby talk about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Moscow has developed a coronavirus vaccine. They discuss how Russia skipped several safety steps and how the announcement highlights the troubling problem of “vaccine nationalism.” Basically, it’s every country for itself when creating a Covid-19 vaccine instead of working together — which could make it harder for the world to stop the pandemic. References: Here’s Jen Kirby’s excellent “vaccine nationalism” explainer Science Magazine explains why Russia’s vaccine announcement isn’t as impressive as it seems Harvard Business Review details why vaccine nationalism is so dangerous Yes, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he wanted to take the Russian-made vaccine, but has since walked back his boast Vox’s Umair Irfan outlined why Covid-19 trials show promise, but are still rife with complications Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily news podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
To mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about an alarming series of recent US withdrawals from nuclear arms control agreements. They explain the history of nuclear arms control, why the US has turned against them (especially in the Trump era), and why this makes the small but still very scary risk of nuclear war go up. They also talk about some other scary nuclear news — China’s recently uncovered support for Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program — and how progress could be made on saving the international arms control regime. References: Here’s Alex’s long feature on “the end of arms control as we know it.” He also wrote about how a nuclear war kills you. The Wall Street Journal broke the story on Saudi Arabia’s secret nuclear facility. Ernest Moniz, the energy secretary in the Obama administration, thinks the risk of nuclear weapons use is at its highest point since the Cuban missile crisis. The US military just showed off its new hypersonic missile. Vox has a story on the Soviet colonel who stopped a nuclear crisis from escalating. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily news podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
No troops for you

No troops for you

2020-07-3042:391

Jenn and Alex discuss the Trump administration’s controversial decision, formally announced this week, to move forward with a plan to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany. Critics from both parties say it’s a gift to Russia, while the Pentagon argues it’s a necessary repositioning of forces to better deter Russia in Eastern Europe. President Trump, though, says he’s doing it because Germany isn’t paying its fair share in NATO (a misleading claim at best). Alex and Jenn talk through the merits of the different arguments and examine what the troop reduction could mean for the future of Europe. References: You can find the official Pentagon statements on the decision here and here NATO has a bunch of defense spending charts Deutsche Welle has what you need to know about the troop withdrawal decision here and here Members of Trump’s team seem to really like the idea That time when Merkel rebuffed Trump’s G7 summit invitation, kicking this whole drama off Find Trump’s comments for the decision here The Biden campaign sent Alex a statement on the troop withdrawal issue And here’s that Twitter question Alex asked that got a major conversation going about the “gift” to Putin charge Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily news podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about the Chinese government's systematic detention of tens of thousands of Uighur Muslims in concentration camps, where many are subjected to torture, brainwashing, and other human rights abuses. They get into the disturbing details of what China is actually doing in these camps, what’s motivating the Chinese leadership to engage in such atrocities, and why the US and international community aren't doing enough to stop it. They conclude by discussing what we can all do to try to change that. References: Vox’s Jen Kirby has a 2018 explainer on China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims. China is forcing the sterilization of Uighur Muslims, and is using Uighur labor to make coronavirus-related PPE. You can find How China Sees the World: Han-Centrism and the Balance of Power in International Politics, the book Alex read from, here. The New York Times reported on about 400 leaked papers from the Chinese government detailing its plan to harshly treat Uighur Muslims. Axios reports how the Chinese government has struggled to explain reports and images of Uighurs put into concentration camps. The BBC reports how companies like Apple and Nike are facing pressure to cut ties with suppliers that use forced Uighur labor. Vice has a stunning documentary on “China’s Vanishing Muslims,” and PBS’s Frontline went “undercover” to see what’s really happening in Xinjiang. There are many groups accepting donations if you want to try to help Uighur Muslims in China.  Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily news podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the stalled Israeli plan to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank. The deeply controversial move was supposed to take place on July 1, but at the last minute Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided not to go through with it — for now, at least. The Worldly crew looks at what factors may have led to his sudden reversal and what might happen next. In the second half of the show, the gang examines how the politics in the Democratic Party around the US-Israel relationship are shifting and what all of this means for the future of the two-state solution. References: Here’s Jen Kirby’s piece on the annexation plan. Alex wrote about what Trump’s peace plan actually said. This New York magazine story talked about the Bowman-Engel race and how Israel played a part in it. You can find Peter Beinart’s essay that Zack mentioned in Jewish Currents, and here’s Ilan Goldenberg’s op-ed in the Washington Post. Back in 2016, Zack wrote about how Bernie Sanders broke the Israel taboo. Polls show most Americans support Palestinian statehood, while another poll shows Americans — but not liberal Democrats — are mainly pro-Israel. Vox’s Conor Murray wrote about how Israel’s second coronavirus wave is a problem for Netanyahu.  Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily news podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (19)

asocality

About 23% of this episode is just "you know."

Oct 8th
Reply

Mark H.

Ummm... to address one of Jenn's points- I don't think our troops stationed in Germany are just "done" and suddenly jobless because they are pulled from Germany 😂😂 there are other things they do in the military than just "troop around" as she implies. Her argument kind of falls backwards on itself. Am I wrong? The hosts have a great sense of humor but Jenn also takes forever to get her point out. It's like spit it out already.

Aug 1st
Reply (1)

Mark H.

Alex, watch documentary "Unacknowledged" on Netflix.

May 13th
Reply

Nicolas Brylle

the EU should do more. But the reason why they haven't until recently is because healthcare is a national concern. It is not regulated on a European level. Vox commentators should know this before telling disinformation.

Mar 20th
Reply

Jaylani Adam

Thank you guys for critiquing Tulsi Gabbard's foreign policy. I am a skeptic of hers. As a matter of fact, I don't trust her.

Feb 24th
Reply

shekhu verma

How stupid you have to be call this bill assault on muslim rights when it has nothing to do with Muslims of India. Read the bill and debate on facts but stop your propaganda. Totally biased podcast, i am unsubscribing your podcast and all other vox podcasts because you guys are liars whi dont do research and spread propaganda.

Jan 3rd
Reply

TruthSeeker

This is a biased podcast. Why don't you do a podcast on the treatment of minorities in Muslim majority countries? Too scared?

Dec 14th
Reply

Alexander Hetherington

sounds level is far too low for this episode and same for the ads recently they've been really quiet.

Nov 8th
Reply (3)

Forrest Elliott

These people sound, like, idiots, like, totally

Aug 24th
Reply

Fee Leakey

Wow, I usually love the duality of perspectives on your show but today... seemed so one sided and without the usual amount of research? You guys are awesome, but today was less than your greatest feat...

May 30th
Reply

Subedi Sudip

Hi Vox Wordly, can you please do a little explainer on Sri Lanka crisis on one of your future shows? Thanks in advance.

Dec 16th
Reply

Sherry Martin

Mr Mueller she wrote

Sep 20th
Reply

Daryl Sande

Jenn, Try doing a podcast without saying "Right?" or "like" once. thanks

Jun 12th
Reply (1)

Monu Rajan

your explanation of the India-Pak dispute is a very simplistic rendition of a very complex issue.

Jun 4th
Reply
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