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Worldly

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.
154 Episodes
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A Very British Scandal

A Very British Scandal

2020-05-2836:061

Alex and Jenn are joined by returning guest Jen Kirby to discuss the political scandal roiling the UK, in which a top political adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, got caught taking a 260-mile road trip while the rest of the country was on lockdown due to the coronavirus. The Worldly crew discusses why a seemingly trivial violation has become a huge political firestorm, and what it says about the US that something like this wouldn’t even register as a blip on the radar screen of Trump administration scandals. References: The BBC has a great timeline of the Cummings scandal. There’s a smart, short explainer of the whole ordeal at Slate. You can watch the whole interview with the Scottish woman here. Vox’s Jen Kirby has an excellent profile of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Yes, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner really did skirt coronavirus guidelines to drive to New Jersey. Vox also has a thorough explainer on Trump accusing Joe Scarborough of murder. Hosts: 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 global spread of the idea that hydroxychloroquine can treat coronavirus. Americans know it as Trump’s favorite drug, but the idea actually started with a famous contrarian doctor in France — and its most fervent acolyte in politics is the Brazilian president, not the American one. They talk about how faith in the drug spread globally, despite a lack of evidence and considerable reason to worry about its side effects, and how it exemplifies a style of politics that academics have termed “medical populism.” References: The Guardian has a great story on the origins of how hydroxychloroquine became a global phenomenon. Here’s that study on “medical populism” we talked about so much. Populists around the world are turning to hydroxychloroquine, reports the Washington Post. The New York Times has a thorough profile of French doctor Didier Raoult. You can find the video of Brazilians singing about the drug to President Bolsonaro 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   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
A new “cold war”?

A new “cold war”?

2020-05-1443:344

Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about the idea of a US-China “cold war” — a notion that’s been around for a while, but has become super popular since the coronavirus has turned into a blame game between the world’s two leading powers. They discuss what it would mean for the countries to be in such a conflict, compare it to the actual Cold War, debate whether the term really applies to the US, and wrap up by talking about how or whether tensions between Washington and Beijing could successfully be dialed down. There are references to Blink-182, The Office, and thumb war. References: Alex wrote about how China is exploiting the coronavirus crisis to achieve its goals faster. Here’s Vice President Mike Pence’s China speech at the Hudson Institute. There really are a lot of stories — see here, here, and here — on the US-China “cold war.” Everything you wanted to know about the Thucydides trap. And here’s that Chinese rap video Jenn mentioned. 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
Worst. Invasion. Ever.

Worst. Invasion. Ever.

2020-05-0741:101

Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the bonkers story of a botched invasion attempt of Venezuela, reportedly led by a group of US-based mercenaries. They explain the truly bizarre backstory of the head merc, former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau; discuss how a slapdash plan to topple President Nicolás Maduro reportedly came together in partial coordination with the Venezuelan opposition; and zoom out to look at what this fiasco says about Venezuelan politics and the role of private military contractors in world affairs. There is, of course, a lengthy discussion of Machiavelli. References: There are a lot of good reports on what happened, but this one by the Washington Post is comprehensive and easy to understand. Here’s the video of Jordan Goudreau announcing the raid. Now you can dig around Silvercorp USA’s Instagram page just like Jenn. This story from the Sun-Sentinel details Goudreau’s Puerto Rico trip to make money. Here’s a tweet featuring images of the IDs of the two captured Americans. The New York Post has a video of the moment the mercenaries were detained. New York magazine details some of the sillier moments. 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
Otherworldly

Otherworldly

2020-04-3034:581

The Worldly team takes a break from the coronavirus doom and gloom to talk about some other big news: the Pentagon’s confirmation this week that it has, in fact, filmed at least three instances of unidentified flying objects (UFOs). They break down the footage, debate what the videos might actually show, talk about the Cold War history of US government investigations into UFOs, and explore how UFOs play into international relations and deeper concepts about religion and humanity. There’s also a surprise guest appearance at the very end! Oh, and LOTS of X-Files jokes. References: It’s true: The Pentagon officially released three videos showing three aerial objects it could not explain. Alex has two stories on Area 51. Popular Mechanics has a smart longread on the Pentagon’s secret UFO program. Here’s a video debunking the claim that images in the Pentagon’s release show alien spacecraft. Jenn noted all the now-declassified history of the US government’s digging into UFOs. Here’s stuff from the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, and the 1968 Condon Report.    Check out renowned international relations theorist Alexander Wendt’s UFO’s paper. Zack mentioned an article in the Conversation about why UFOs deserve scientific study. Byrd recommends this book about our “alien oceans.” Here’s Byrd’s conversation with the Vatican’s chief astronomer. Vox’s interview with a religion scholar on UFOs is worth your time. 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 coronavirus situation in sub-Saharan Africa and South America, two regions that have so far been mostly spared the worst of the virus. They explain why experts say there could soon be major outbreaks on both continents, and discuss the structural reasons why the social distancing policies that have helped slow the spread of the disease in Asia, Europe, and the US may not be feasible in Africa and South America. References: Alex has stories on how the coronavirus will affect sub-Saharan Africa and South America. It’s worth understanding the crisis in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Richer countries are outbidding poorer ones on resources to combat the coronavirus, the New York Times reports. Politico notes that African countries want debt relief so they can focus on public health programs. The Guardian has an important story on the tough choices facing poor families in Latin America. 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: Your financial contribution will make vital explanatory journalism possible at a time when clear, concise information is needed more than ever. Thank you for supporting Vox.   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
W.H.O. is to blame?

W.H.O. is to blame?

2020-04-1634:403

Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about Trump’s plan to freeze US funding for the World Health Organization (WHO), ostensibly in retaliation for its failures in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. The team discusses the very real problems with the organization’s response and why cutting global health funding during a pandemic is both dangerous and geopolitically shortsighted. References: Vox has a story explaining how Trump’s poor coronavirus response isn’t the WHO’s fault. Here’s that disastrous WHO tweet Zack cited. Vox also has a piece on how China obfuscated early information on the coronavirus outbreak. Time has a story on what critics are saying about Trump’s WHO decision. In February, the Council on Foreign Relations had a blog post on the WHO’s missteps. The New York Times explains why Trump’s WHO play is just a way to shift blame. Here’s the clip of the WHO official hanging up on a reporter after questions about Taiwan. Vox’s explainer on the coronavirus has a lot of important information about the pandemic. 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: Your financial contribution will make vital explanatory journalism possible at a time when clear, concise information is needed more than ever. Thank you for supporting Vox.   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
The Worldly team looks at efforts at reopening in East Asia, including Wuhan, China, and argues that the early data suggests this might be premature — that Singapore and Hong Kong are experiencing a rough second wave of coronavirus infections, indicating that social distancing didn’t end the disease but merely put its spread on pause. They then take a look at two countries that were slow to impose restrictions in the first place — Sweden and Japan — where the situations are now looking grim. References: The New York Times has a great piece about the reopening of Wuhan. CNN explains how there might be a second wave of coronavirus cases in Hong Kong. Alex has a piece for Vox on Sweden’s risky coronavirus strategy. The New York Times asks if it’s too late for Japan to declare a state of emergency. Here’s the Guardian article Zack mentioned. Vox’s explainer on the coronavirus has a lot of important information about the pandemic. 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: Your financial contribution will make vital explanatory journalism possible at a time when clear, concise information is needed more than ever. Thank you for supporting Vox.   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 explain how coronavirus is causing a global crisis for democracy — starting with Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán assumed dictatorial powers thanks to a legislature controlled by his party, effectively suspending democracy for an indefinite period of time. They explain the background necessary to understand what happened in Hungary and the implications for the country and Europe — and, then, in the second half, zoom out to talk about several other countries facing rising authoritarianism in a Covid-19 world, and why a pandemic is so dangerous for democracy in general. References: Zack has a phenomenal long read on how democracy died in Hungary  Zack also wrote about how authoritarian states aren’t better at dealing with coronavirus Here’s the New York Times piece we referenced in the second half Al-Monitor notes how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using coronavirus to subvert democracy in Israel Glenn Greenwald’s comments saying digital surveillance could be “warranted” because of the coronavirus threat are in this BuzzFeed News story Politico reported on the emergency powers the Department of Justice sought during the coronavirus crisis Wired has a great piece on post-9/11 surveillance in the US Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   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 a striking pattern in countries around the world — their leadership’s denial about the threat posed by coronavirus. They show how denial helped the disease spread out of China and contributed to serious outbreaks in places like Iran and the United States, and note that — despite everything that happened — denial is still happening in places like Mexico and Brazil. They conclude by trying to explain why, in such different countries with such different political systems, denial seems to remain a huge problem. References: Vox has stories on Brazil, Spain, Italy, Mexico, and India, and many more are coming — so stay tuned.    Here’s the Reuters article Jenn cited on the show about Japan. Iranian leaders prioritized politics over health. Saudi Arabia announced its second death from coronavirus so far. The Post piece comparing the United States and Brazil that Zack mentioned. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   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 Trump’s offensive insistence on calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” — why it’s both an attempt to deflect domestic political blame and part of a much broader geopolitical war with the Chinese government over who should be held responsible for the pandemic. They then run through the competition for global leadership between Washington and Beijing during the crisis — and explain why China, perhaps implausibly, may actually be winning. References: Make sure to follow Vox’s coronavirus reading guide. Our colleague Jen Kirby wrote a great story on how Italy is dealing with the coronavirus. Our other colleague Dylan Scott wrote on why the term we discuss is racist. Check out Vox’s video about why diseases keep popping up in China. Here’s the Washington Post article Zack mentioned about how “the system” isn’t working this time. And here’s Alex’s piece on the US-China trade war that Jenn mentioned. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   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
Every country for itself

Every country for itself

2020-03-1235:332

Zack, Jenn, and Alex record an episode on coronavirus from their respective homes, under self-isolation. They talk about the politics of Trump’s ban on European travel to the US and explore why the European Union seems to be neglecting to help Italy in its time of need. They also explain how the virus has led to a massive drop in oil prices — and why, at this particular time, this could seriously destabilize political systems around the world. References: Vox’s Jen Kirby wrote a story on Trump’s Europe travel ban. Alex wrote about the Saudi-Russia oil price war. Italy criticized the EU for its slow response to help it deal with coronavirus. You can read about German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech here. Some Americans are paying up to $20,000 for a return flight from Europe. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   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 historic US-Taliban peace agreement that was just signed as a first step toward ending the war in Afghanistan. They discuss the terms of the deal, the serious obstacles that remain to actually achieving peace in the country, and why, even if it is shaky and possibly already unraveling, the deal is still a really big achievement. Zack gets serious about the costs of war, Jenn geeks out on terrorism (again), and Alex talks about texting with the Taliban. References: You can read the text of the peace agreement here. Here’s an Afghan official saying the US is negotiating the terms of its “surrender.” This is a really great analysis of some of the major flaws in the peace agreement.  Here’s the video of Gen. Mark Milley explaining that the peace agreement calls for a reduction in violence, not zero violence.  We mentioned that the Taliban controls a village on the outskirts of Kabul. Here’s a great piece about that village and what it tells us about the US failure in Afghanistan. Here’s the photo of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shaking hands with the top Taliban negotiator at the deal’s signing ceremony.  President Donald Trump said he had a “good conversation” on the phone with the Taliban’s top political leader. Alex mentioned a piece from the Council on Foreign Relations about the peace deal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about perhaps the single worst humanitarian crisis in Syria’s civil war — the ongoing situation in Idlib, where 3 million people are trapped in a province under assault by Bashar al-Assad and his allies. They explain how we got to this point, why the situation is so dangerous, and what could happen next. References: Our colleague Jen Kirby wrote a great explainer on the conflict in Idlib. Jen mentioned the book Assad, or We Burn the Country, which you can find here. Alex reported on Assad’s “siege, starve, and surrender” strategy as his forces overtook Eastern Ghouta. Turkey does want to send Syrian refugees to a “safe zone” in northern Syria. Turkey invaded northern Syria to fight US-allied Kurds near its border. Charity Navigator has a guide on the best places to donate support to people in Syria. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox 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 break down the 2020 Democratic field’s positions on foreign policy — which were weirdly under-discussed in the most recent debate. They set up a spectrum, with Bloomberg on the (far) right flank and Bernie on the left, situate the other candidates along this line, and discuss the things that distinguish each candidate on the issues. Zack comes out as a free trader, Jenn heaps love on Biden’s detailed foreign policy answers, and Alex gets feisty. References: Alex wrote about the foreign policy splits among the frontrunners, as well as Buttigieg dodging questions. Here are the Council on Foreign Relations and New York Times foreign policy surveys. Alex conducted foreign policy interviews with Tom Steyer and Julián Castro. Biden has some explaining to do on his Iraq War stance, as does Bloomberg. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox 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 and Alex talk about the politics of the coronavirus outbreak in China — why the Chinese government botched the initial response, why Chinese citizens are so angry about it, and the reasons why the problems with this response are inherent to the current Chinese governance model. They then debate the claim from many analysts that this is the most serious crisis for China’s regime since the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising — and the (low) probability that this could trigger another revolution-minded uprising. References: Our colleague Julia Belluz has you covered on the coronavirus. Read her work here, here, and here. Read the nice things Chinese people have said about the late Li Wenliang after his death. Here’s the full clip of Bill Bishop speaking on coronavirus’ impact on China. Zack read an academic paper on the show on “symbolic legitimacy” and China.  This piece in the Guardian titled “If China valued free speech, there would be no coronavirus crisis” is worth your time. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox 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
Mini. Nuclear. Weapons.

Mini. Nuclear. Weapons.

2020-02-0644:263

Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the Trump administration’s decision to put a mini nuclear weapon on a US submarine for the first time. They explain what a mini-nuke actually is, the reasons for this decision, the cases for and against doing it, and how to think about the future of nuclear weapons policy in a world of renewed great power politics and weakening arms control agreements. Zack confesses his fascination with pre-modern warfare, Jenn coins a Ringo Starr theory of nuclear policy, and Alex describes himself as an “end of the world enthusiast.” References: This is a really great summary of the debate on putting mini-nukes on submarines. Here’s a link to the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review. Zack talked about Vipin Narang’s War on the Rocks piece on the discrimination problem when using low-yield nukes. Alex discussed Russia’s “escalate to de-escalate” strategy. Jenn mentioned the idea of a “nuclear taboo” and also referenced the book Thinking about the Unthinkable.  Here’s a link to the “mineshaft gap” scene in Dr. Strangelove. Alex broke the story about the Trump administration’s new landmine policy, and also wrote a great (and terrifying) feature on how nuclear war could kill us all. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox 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 are joined by the Middle East Institute’s Khaled Elgindy to discuss the Trump administration’s new Israel-Palestine peace plan. They break down what’s actually in the proposal, the ways in which its provisions are profoundly skewed toward the Israeli side, and how it could change the reality for both sides even if its provisions are never implemented. References: Here’s a link to our special guest Khaled Elgindy’s excellent book Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump. You can read Alex’s explainer on the peace plan and his Q&A on what the Palestinians are likely to do now. Here’s Zack’s piece arguing the peace deal is a con. This is the Washington Post op-ed Zack read from in the episode. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior correspondent, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox 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
Hacking Jeff Bezos

Hacking Jeff Bezos

2020-01-2342:582

Zack and Alex are joined by Weeds cohost Matt Yglesias to talk about the Saudi crown prince’s seemingly brazen hack of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — by personally texting him a video that cybersecurity experts think contained advanced spyware. They explain the evidence that the Saudis are responsible (despite their denials), try to explore why Mohammed bin Salman would do something so obviously inflammatory, and suss out the implications for the future of the US-Saudi alliance. References: Here’s the UN report on the Bezos hack and FTI Consulting’s technical analysis of Bezos’s phone. Vox’s Sara Morrison notes that the Bezos hack could happen to anyone. Vox’s Jen Kirby also wrote up the Bezos news when it broke. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior correspondent, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox 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 recent resignation of Russia’s entire government — yes, you read that right. Guest Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a Russia expert at the Center for a New American Security, helps the team get a hold on what Putin’s play is: how he’s reorganizing the government to prepare for his own departure from the presidency, and what this means in the big picture for Russia’s future. They also talk about one of Zack’s weird dreams and the proper way to cook brussels sprouts. References: Check out our special guest Andrea Kendall-Taylor’s podcast “Brussels Sprouts,” her piece for Foreign Affairs titled “The New Dictators,” and her book “Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes.” Jen Kirby’s Vox writeup on the Russia shake-up is here. Reid Standish, the Moscow-based reporter Alex mentioned, wrote a great piece on Putin’s decision for Foreign Policy (and quotes Andrea). Zack wrote a piece in 2018 about the problems personalist authoritarian regimes have, linking it to Putin’s election that year. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox 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 (16)

Mark Harrington

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
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Sherry Martin

Mr Mueller she wrote

Sep 20th
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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
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