136 episodes

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

Worldly Vox

    • Politics

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

    Hacking Jeff Bezos

    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.

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    • 43 min
    The entire Russian government just resigned

    The entire Russian government just resigned

    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

    • 43 min
    Did Trump get Iran right? (ft. Sen. Tom Udall)

    Did Trump get Iran right? (ft. Sen. Tom Udall)

    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

    • 51 min
    A very Worldly guide to 2019 — and 2020

    A very Worldly guide to 2019 — and 2020

    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

    • 46 min
    India's assault on Muslim rights — and democracy

    India's assault on Muslim rights — and democracy

    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

    • 41 min
    That awkward NATO moment

    That awkward NATO moment

    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

    • 38 min

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