The poorest rich country in the worldToday, Explained add
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.
We'll never have SingaporeToday, Explained add
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.
KneecappedToday, Explained add
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.
Arbitration NationToday, Explained add
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.
Ireland's great divideToday, Explained add
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.
A cynic's guide to the royal weddingToday, Explained add
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 here: https://youtu.be/jNTyQPUoFHs
Go ahead. Legalize it.Today, Explained add
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.
Hawaii versus the volcanoToday, Explained add
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.
Jordan Peterson explains himselfToday, Explained add
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.
#MeToo's big betrayalToday, Explained add
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 later said, “I realized… [Cohen] may want to use that information against his adversary.” Vox’s Anna North take us inside the story of Eric Schneiderman and its impact on #MeToo.
Dial C for CohenToday, Explained add
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.
No deal!Today, Explained add
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-mwFoev3OQ
"We tortured some folks"Today, Explained add
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.
This is AmericaToday, Explained add
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.
The $5,751 ice packToday, Explained add
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.
Too Juul for schoolToday, Explained add
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.
Nowhere to goToday, Explained add
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 company acquired data from millions of Facebook profiles with the hope of manipulating voting behavior in our March 21 episode:
Golden State Killer opens Pandora's boxToday, Explained add
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.
New steel tariffs were supposed to go into effect overnight, but the White House extended them by another 30 days. For more on the tariffs and why they won’t make the United States any more popular in Canada, Mexico and Europe, check out our March 6th episode “What’s the Deal with Steel” here:
There's something about SeanToday, Explained add
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.