Worldly

Vox

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 momen

Introducing: Worldly. Foreign policy wonks, unite!
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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

Sep 17

57 min

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

Sep 10

48 min

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

Sep 3

45 min

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

Aug 27

45 min

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

Aug 20

42 min

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

Aug 13

39 min

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

Aug 6

45 min

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

Jul 30

42 min

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

Jul 23

46 min

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

Jul 16

50 min

Zack and Jenn talk about China's new national security law in Hong Kong, a ploy by Beijing to seize more control of the semi-autonomous city. They explain how the law vacates Hong Kong’s democratic freedoms and how Hongkongers have been responding. Then they zoom out to talk about what the world can do to address the increasingly horrific human rights abuses of Xi Jinping’s government — and why the integration of China into the global economy, while tremendously beneficial in many ways, makes this all so much harder. References: Here’s Jenn’s piece with Conor Murray on the Hong Kong national security law and the immediate aftermath, which includes the photo Jenn mentioned of a pro-democracy lawmaker being arrested by riot police. And Vox’s Jen Kirby’s bigger explainer on the law and what it means for Hong Kong’s future. You can read the official English translation of the law itself here.  This is the tweet from the Hong Kong Police Force announcing the first arrest under the new law. A good piece from the Atlantic detailing how the law was crafted in secrecy without the input of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam or Hong Kong’s legislature. The NPR report Jenn referenced that talks about the new “National Security Committee” established under the law that allows Beijing to oversee prosecutions of the law in Hong Kong.   Here’s a chapter from a book from the Peterson Institute for International Economics that looks at the question of whether and under what conditions economic sanctions work to compel countries to change their policies. This is a great video explainer on China’s secret internment camps for Uighur Muslims; Jen Kirby has a thorough written explainer on the subject here; and Vox’s Sigal Samuel, who spent months reporting on the Uighur situation, did a Reddit AMA on the subject, the highlights of which you can read 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

Jul 9

40 min

Zack and Jenn break down the growing scandal surrounding intelligence reports that Russia paid bounties to the Taliban to attack US troops in Afghanistan. They walk through the evidence so far that Russia did this and what Vladimir Putin’s motivations might have been. Then they talk about the evidence that Trump knew about it and did nothing — and how this points to a much bigger problem for American foreign policy in the Trump era. References: Zack has a really great explainer on the entire scandal  Here’s a collection of some of the key New York Times reports on the story: the first story they broke; the story about the data on financial transfers from a bank account linked to Russia’s GRU to a Taliban-linked account; and the story about the Afghan businessman alleged to have been the intermediary in the Russian scheme. Here’s Trump’s tweet calling this all a “Fake News Media Hoax” nearly a week after the news first broke This is the AP piece reporting that Trump’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton personally briefed Trump on the intelligence in March 2019 And this is the New York Times report in which an intelligence official says the information was specifically included in Trump’s February 27 President’s Daily Brief Here’s more about one of the attacks on US forces in Afghanistan, outside Bagram Air Base, that is reportedly being investigated in connection with the Russian bounty scheme  This is a New York Times piece from May 2020 about how hard it is to get Trump to pay attention to and absorb the information he’s being given in his intelligence briefings, based on interviews with 10 current and former intelligence officials And here’s a Politico report that talks about how White House officials particularly don’t enjoy having to brief Trump on Russia-related issues because of his negative reactions when they do:  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

Jul 2

44 min

Zack and Alex cope with Jenn’s absence by talking about one of their favorite topics: North Korea. In recent weeks, North Korea ramped up military tensions with South Korea and literally blew up the latter’s de facto embassy in the country. It seems that the US-led negotiating process with North Korea, ongoing since 2018, has conclusively failed. The team explains what happened, the deep strategic and political reasons behind the talks’ collapse, and then predict what might happen with North Korea if Biden wins the 2020 US election. References: The New York Times has a great write-up for North Korea’s hot and cold strategy. Zack wrote for Vox that the US should contain North Korea’s nuclear program, not seek to end it. Alex did an interview with Kim Jong Un biographer Anna Fifield about what makes him tick. If you want to learn more about North Korea, here are your main nine questions, answered. 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

Jun 25

42 min

Zack, Jenn, and Alex go through the published excerpts from and quotes of John Bolton’s new book — a tell-all about his time as Trump’s national security adviser. They talk about the most shocking moment in the text, Trump’s alleged support for China putting Uighur Muslims in concentration camps, and run through some of the other revealing moments in the book and what they tell us about the way US foreign policy works today. Then they zoom out to this context: How much should we trust John Bolton’s version of events, and how angry should we be about his book coming out now rather than during Trump’s impeachment? References: Here are the three main write-ups of Bolton’s book in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Washington Post. This is Bolton’s other book Alex mentioned. Vox’s Jen Kirby has a helpful explainer on the Uighur issue. Kirby also has a great piece on the seven most disturbing allegations in Bolton’s new book. 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

Jun 18

41 min

Zack, Jenn, and Alex continue last week’s conversation about the ongoing global reckoning surrounding race, this time focusing on the movement to remove controversial statues. In several Western countries — including the United States, Belgium, and the United Kingdom — people are demanding that statues of historically notable slave traders and imperialists be taken down. The Worldly team discusses the significance of these fights, and look to two other examples of countries that have dealt with issues of historical memory and atrocity: Germany and Japan. References: This is a good brief explainer on the Edward Colston statue coming down in the UK and his role in Bristol’s history: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/07/europe/edward-colston-statue-bristol/index.html Here’s the Museums of Bristol website describing Colston as “revered philanthropist / reviled slave trader”: https://museums.bristol.gov.uk/narratives.php?irn=2374 This is a good New York Times piece about the Leopold II statue in Antwerp, Belgium, coming down: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/09/world/europe/king-leopold-statue-antwerp.html The book King Leopold’s Ghost goes deep into King Leopold II’s brutal exploitation of the Congo. Jenn mentioned Sarah Wildman’s piece for Vox about how Germany has dealt with its past, which discusses the stolpersteine cobblestones and the Topography of Terror memorial: https://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/16/16152088/nazi-swastikas-germany-charlottesville Here’s a good piece about Belgium’s colonial-era human zoo and the museum where it once stood: https://www.npr.org/2018/09/26/649600217/where-human-zoos-once-stood-a-belgian-museum-now-faces-its-colonial-past This is a good look at the comfort women statues in South Korea and Japan’s reaction to them: https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/11/13/563838610/comfort-woman-memorial-statues-a-thorn-in-japans-side-now-sit-on-korean-buses And here’s Belgian soccer player Romelu Lukaku discussing his experience in his own words: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/romelu-lukaku-ive-got-some-things-to-say 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

Jun 11

37 min

Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the global impact of the anti-police violence protests in America. They talk about large solidarity protests across Europe, explaining why and how they’re such a big deal, and how police violence against foreign journalists is affecting relationships with key allies like Australia. They also talk about how hostile dictatorships, like China and Iran, are exploiting racial tensions to hurt America’s global image and deflect criticism from their own human rights abuses — a tactic with deep Cold War roots. CORRECTION: We misstated the Canadian city that saw a recent police crackdown against protesters. That occurred in Montreal. We regret the error. References: Here’s Vox’s story on the Lafayette Square attack by federal officials. Friend of the show Jen Kirby has a great piece on how the Floyd protests have gone global. The decolonization statistics Jenn cited come from the State Department. You can read more about the European cases Alex listed here. Alex wrote on the US-Australia rift over the attack on two Australian journalists. Here’s Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pausing for 21 seconds after fielding a question on events in the US. Time magazine had a good piece on US adversaries using the protests to criticize 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: 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

Jun 4

33 min

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

May 28

36 min

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

May 21

34 min

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

May 14

43 min

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

May 7

42 min

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

Apr 30

35 min

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

Apr 23

38 min

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

Apr 16

35 min

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

Apr 9

36 min

 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

Apr 2

39 min

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

Mar 26

47 min

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

Mar 19

42 min

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

Mar 12

36 min

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

Mar 5

41 min

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

Feb 27

43 min

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

Feb 20

45 min

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

Feb 13

42 min

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

Feb 6

42 min

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

Jan 30

46 min

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

Jan 23

43 min

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

Jan 16

44 min

Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the US killing of Qassem Suleimani — why it happened, what the Iranian response means, and what the long term consequences might be. Zack and Jenn get into a lengthy debate over whether killing Suleimani was wise, and Alex gets a behind-the-scenes look at the debate over reining in Trump’s Iran war powers in a Worldly exclusive interview with Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM). References: Here’s Alex’s piece with inside details on the disastrous Iran briefings for the House and Senate. Jenn and Zack offered the pro and con arguments for killing Qassem Soleimani. Vox has two interviews with experts making the cases for and against. Both Zack and Alex felt Trump’s Iran speech from the White House could’ve been better. And here’s Sen. Tom Udall announcing his support for the War Powers Resolution as well as his own Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2019. 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

Jan 9

51 min

Zack, Jenn, and Alex do a 2019 year in review — each one of them making a choice for biggest US foreign policy story of 2019, while the whole team debates just how important each of these events were. Then, after the break, they do the same for 2020 — making predictions about what the big stories will be. References: Here’s Alex’s great piece on how the Baghdadi raid went down:  Alex interviewed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó about his failed push to overthrow Nicolás Maduro  Vox's Umair Irfan explained Trump’s formal withdrawal from the Paris climate accords Here’s a phenomenal feature on what Afghans think about US-Taliban peace talks and the possible withdrawal of US troops Zeeshan Aleem explained the latest in the US-China trade war for Vox  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

Dec 2019

47 min

Zack and Alex are joined by Vox reporter Sigal Samuel to talk about two recent measures in India that, when combined, amount to a plan for stripping citizenship from hundreds of thousands of Muslims. They explain what the laws actually do, the scary Hindu supremacist ideology motivating Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the impact Modi’s premiership is having on Indian democracy. They then zoom out to put India in global context, comparing democratic backsliding there to what we’re seeing in the West and its persecution of Muslims to what you’ve seen in two other nearby countries (China and Myanmar). References: Sigal’s piece on the India laws is here. Read Dexter Filkins’ brilliant longread on India under Modi in the New Yorker. Zack’s piece on Hungary’s democratic backsliding is really worth your time. If you need a quick brush-up on the Kashmir crisis, Alex explains it for you in under 600 words. Netflix’s Hasan Minhaj talked about being barred from the “Howdy Modi” event, even though he was celebrated at it. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, 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

Dec 2019

40 min

Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about the viral video of world leaders making fun of Trump at the NATO summit — explaining how Trump’s antics threatened the meeting and, somewhat more surprisingly, why they didn’t derail it. They then zoom out to talk about NATO’s more fundamental existential crisis — whether it makes sense to be protecting post-Communist European states against Russia — and the problems facing the alliance down the line. Jenn talks about her recent visit to Poland and how NATO looks on the ground there, Zack confesses his love for khachapouri, and Alex falsely claims that he hates to bring up Spain. References: You can read about the “mocking Trump” video on Vox here. NATO’s website explains it policy of enlargement. Zack’s piece on Hungary’s democratic backsliding is really worth your time. Zack also has a piece on how Trump is killing US alliances. 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

Dec 2019

40 min

Spain's far-right party just won more than 50 seats in its parliament, reminding some of the country's fascist past. Yes, the party is called "VOX". Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 2019

28 min

It’s a very special Worldly today, as Zack hosts Sen. Michael Bennet — the first Democratic presidential candidate to appear on Worldly. Their conversation ranges from big picture conversations about the global threat to liberal democracy to policy details on America’s troubled alliances with Israel and Saudi Arabia to why Sen. Bennet thinks Facebook should be understood as a national security threat.  Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox References: Here’s Sen. Michael Bennet’s presidential campaign website. Watch Bennet’s speech at the Council on Foreign Relations this week. Bennet spoke about his Facebook concerns on a previous Vox podcast. 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

Nov 2019

39 min

Jenn, Alex, and special guests Ivan Rebolledo and Zeeshan Aleem talk about whether there was a coup in Bolivia or not. While the military asked President Evo Morales to step down, he had taken steps to maintain power after his term in office ended. It's a dangerous moment for the country, and it speaks volumes about new political dynamics sweeping Latin America. Hosts: 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

Nov 2019

39 min

Apple removed an app that had been used by pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. Turns out that has broad implications for democracy globally. If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to Reset for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app to get new episodes every week. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 2019

22 min

Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about the massive protests in Iraq and what connection, if any, they might have with similar uprisings in Lebanon and Egypt. While there are major differences, they all share one thing in common: people just want their own functioning government. 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

Nov 2019

43 min

Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about Trump’s new Syria policy — sending US troops to protect oil fields and potentially selling the oil to the highest bidder. It’s a really bad idea! 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

Oct 2019

40 min

Zack and Alex are joined by Vox Brexit expert Jen Kirby to talk the latest on what’s going on in London. Due to some parliamentary “shenanigans” (Jen’s word choice), Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s drive to crash out of the EU by October 31 looks like it’s going to fail. The Worldly team breaks down exactly what happened and what could happen next — ranging from long-lasting limbo to another fateful election. Alex analogizes Brexit to a divorce, and Zack gives a heartfelt goodbye to their producer Byrd Pinkerton — who makes a little cameo at the end! Links to resources discussed:  What to know about Boris’s new Brexit deal  Parliamentary shenanigans, part 1 and part 2 The EU’s expected Brexit extension decision On Boris Johnson’s decent election outlook -- and Jeremy Corbyn’s dismal one Zack referenced a tweet by Nick Cohen Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox Jen Kirby (@j_kirby1), foreign and 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

Oct 2019

22 min

This was the week of confessions. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted to a Trump administration quid quo pro with Ukraine, with cameras rolling. EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland confirmed that President Trump made Rudy Giuliani the hinge of America’s Ukraine policy. And then the administration announced that the location for the upcoming G7 summit: Trump’s own resort in Doral, Florida. We break down the three stories that mattered most in impeachment this week. And then we dig into the four words that will shape the entire impeachment fight: “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” What did they mean when they were added to the Constitution? How have they been interpreted through American history? And do Trump’s acts qualify? Welcome to Impeachment, Explained. If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to Impeachment, Explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app to get stay updated on this story every week. References: "Indispensable Remedy: The Broad Scope of the Constitution’s Impeachment Power" by Gene Healy "The case for normalizing impeachment" by Ezra Klein Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineers - Malachi Broadus & Jeremey Dalmas Theme music composed by Jon Natchez  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 2019

54 min

Worldly continues its series on progressive foreign policy with one of its leading proponents, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Murphy has strongly criticized the way both Republicans and Democrats have conducted world affairs for decades and proposes a completely new path. In his chat with Alex, Murphy also blasts Trump's Syria policy, but he notes that America's failures there extend far beyond the president himself. Oh, and a 1988 Ford Taurus comes up. Links to resources discussed:  A piece that provides more background on the Syrian situation Senator Murphy’s Atlantic article Senator Murphy speaking at CFR Guest: US Senator Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) Host: 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

Oct 2019

27 min

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), one of the leading minds advocating for a radical rethinking of US foreign policy, sits down with Jenn for a conversation about what a “progressive” foreign policy would look like and how it would actually be applied in tough conflicts from Yemen to Iran to China. Links to resources discussed: 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. Rep. Khanna referenced  Alexis De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History?John Quincy Adams’ Warning Against the Search for “Monsters to Destroy”Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments And the writings of Katrina vanden Heuvel Here are two pieces that provide more background on Yemen More on Kissinger and realpolitik The NYT op-ed by Masuda Sultan that Khanna referenced Guest: US Congressman Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna), representing Silicon Valley's CA17 Host:Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, 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

Oct 2019

28 min

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