Worldly

Worldly

Vox
Mar 26, 2020 45 min

The other global coronavirus epidemic: Denial

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 19, 2020 41 min

The US-China coronavirus blame game

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 12, 2020 36 min

Every country for itself

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 05, 2020 43 min

Trump and the Taliban make a deal

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
Feb 27, 2020 44 min

One of the worst crises of Syria’s civil war

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 20, 2020 46 min

The debate didn’t cover foreign policy. So we did.

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 13, 2020 42 min

Could coronavirus collapse Chinese communism?

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 06, 2020 44 min

Mini. Nuclear. Weapons.

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
Jan 30, 2020 45 min

The dark logic of Trump’s Israel-Palestine “peace plan”

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 23, 2020 43 min

Hacking Jeff Bezos

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
Worldly
Creators
Jennifer Williams (host)
Zack Beauchamp (host)
Alex Ward (host)
Yochi Dreazen (host)
Genre
Politics
Episodes
145
Frequency
Weekly podcast
Prediction
Next episode Thursday, April 2
Ratings
(2)
Website
vox.com/worldly
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