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We’re living in a confusing and scary time, bombarded everyday with stories from around the world and here at home that are hard to even follow, let alone fully understand. Worldly will be your guide to the story behind the stories and to the one thing you need to understand each week to make sense of the world around you.

We’re living in a confusing and scary time, bombarded everyday with stories from around the world and here at home that are hard to even follow, let alone fully understand. Worldly will be your guide to the story behind the stories and to the one thing you need to understand each week to make sense of the world around you.
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We’re living in a confusing and scary time, bombarded everyday with stories from around the world and here at home that are hard to even follow, let alone fully understand. Worldly will be your guide to the story behind the stories and to the one thing you need to understand each week to make sense of the world around you.




It was China, in the Marriott database, with the hack

Zack and Jenn discuss the massive hack of Marriott, in which the information of as many as 500 million people was stolen. China appears to be the culprit — part of a broader cyber assault on US institutions that amounts to a massive Chinese intelligence coup against America. On Elsewhere, they discuss British Prime Minister Theresa May’s uncomfortably close victory in a vote challenging her leadership of the Conservative Party, and what that means for the future of Brexit. Zack adopts some...


2 French 2 Furious

Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the protests currently raging in France. They began as a reaction to President Emmanuel Macron’s gas tax hike, but have evolved into a much wider rebuke of his allegedly elitist, out-of-touch presidency. For Elsewhere, they break down the late President George H.W. Bush’s hugely consequential foreign policy legacy — both for good and for ill. Zack advises Macron not to act like a god, Jenn nerds out on Middle East history, and Alex tries his hand at...


A trio of unlikely senators work to stop the Yemen war

Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the Senate’s historic War Powers vote on Wednesday, the first step toward reining in US participation in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. The US has been supporting Saudi Arabia with weapons and intelligence for years, but the Senate just took a major — unprecedented, in fact — step toward stopping it. On Elsewhere, they run through the UK’s deal with the EU on the terms of Brexit and why Parliament might end up rejecting the deal in December. Zack does a terrible...


The case for (and against) open borders

On Future Perfect, Vox’s Dylan Matthews tackles provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world – ideas like opening up our borders. One of the most reliable, best-documented ways to lift someone in a poor country out of poverty is to let them come to the US (or another rich country). That’s the argument made by Fabio Rojas, a self-described advocate of open borders. "Open borders" is often used as a punching bag by immigration opponents, but Rojas argues it could...


China’s “concentration camps” for Muslims

Zack and Alex are joined by James Palmer, an editor at Foreign Policy magazine, to discuss a terrible and under-discussed humanitarian crisis: China’s repression of its Uighur Muslim minority. In Xinjiang province, where most Uighurs live, China has set up a series of concentration camps designed to brainwash Uighurs and stamp out their culture and religion. As many as 1 million people are currently in those camps. The Worldly team breaks down how this is happening, what it says about modern...


Jeff Sessions is out. Is Robert Mueller next?

Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the implications of President Donald Trump firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, both for the Russia investigation and for the rule of law. On Elsewhere, they discuss how the Democratic takeover of the House could result in some much-needed scrutiny over America’s role in Saudi Arabia’s vicious war in Yemen. Zack says most dictators are men, Jenn points out that women can also be power-hungry queens, and Alex explains that House Democrats are Democrats … in...


Why fringe groups are winning around the world

Jenn, Alex, and returning special guest Alina Polyakova discuss what a presidential election in Brazil and a stunning political announcement in Germany have in common: the collapse of centrist leadership worldwide. The center-left and center-right have broadly governed world affairs since World War II, but a mix of economic problems and growing immigration have led fringe groups to gain power around the globe. It’s a potentially dangerous development that threatens to upend how the world has...


Duck and cover

Zack, Jenn, and Alex address one of the world’s biggest threats: nuclear war. There’s a small but still very real chance that nuclear weapons will be used in our lifetimes; the gang discusses how that could happen — and what it would look like if the bomb actually went off. For Elsewhere, they end the episode on a “high” note: discussing the impact of Canada’s recent legalization of marijuana. Zack comes up with a new nuclear Pokémon, Jenn complains about “dirty hippies,” and Alex finds a...


Introducing Future Perfect

A sneak peek at Vox’s newest show, about provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. Host Dylan Matthews tackles big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, reform prisons, fight global warming, and end world poverty, from decisions in Congress to choices in our everyday lives. Find Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | ART19


A murder and an outbreak

On a special episode of Worldly with two main segments, Zack talks with Alex about the latest in the Jamal Khashoggi saga and then interviews Vox health writer Julia Belluz on the worrying Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Zack and Alex examine how the US political system is responding to the mounting evidence of Saudi guilt, and Julia explains why this looks like one of the worst Ebola outbreaks in history. This is a pretty dark episode, so not a lot of jokes — sorry...


Where is Jamal Khashoggi?

Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi dissident-in-exile and Washington Post columnist. Khashoggi went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get some paperwork, and then never came out; it’s looking like the increasingly repressive Saudi government either kidnapped or killed him, and is now having to face the consequences. On Elsewhere, they discuss a recent attempt to ban same-sex marriage in Romania that backfired spectacularly. Jenn teaches...


International Court of Screw You

On this week’s Worldly, Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss a recent International Court of Justice ruling ordering that the US needs to relax its sanctions on Iran — and the Trump administration’s volcanic response. They put this in context of America’s broader foreign policy history, and debate just how hostile the United States is to constraints on its actions. On Elsewhere, they discuss Melania Trump’s first solo trip abroad to several African countries, and what it tells us about the Trump...


The looming Brexit catastrophe

Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the state of Brexit: The United Kingdom’s ongoing negotiation over the terms of its departure from the European Union. The process has involved months of turmoil between UK Prime Minister Theresa May and hardline members of her party, and the UK and EU are still far apart — and if there’s no resolution, things could get bad for the UK pretty soon. On Elsewhere, they discuss an ironic situation in China: The ruling Communist Party has cracked down on a Marxist...


Trump’s plan to tank the Chinese economy

Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss President Trump’s massive new escalation in his trade war with China — new tariffs that mean half of all imports from China are now being taxed. They break down how these tariffs will actually affect Americans, Trump’s overall strategy of hurting the Chinese economy, and why this isn’t likely to end well for anyone. On Elsewhere, they chat about the Polish president’s bold new gambit to build a US military base on his soil — and name it Fort Trump. Zack does a...


Did al-Qaeda win?

Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down the debate over the legacy of the 9/11 attacks: Did al-Qaeda get what it wanted? On Elsewhere, we look at Russia’s latest bizarre attempt to deflect blame for the UK spy poisoning by posting a questionable interview with the supposed suspects. Zack makes an epistemology joke, Alex negs Salisbury, and Jenn labels Russians a “tropical people.” References: The Foreign Policy article that kicked off this conversation. During the conversation about torture in...


A looming disaster in Syria

Zack, Jenn, and Alex dissect the looming crisis in Idlib, the last big rebel stronghold in Syria, which will soon be the target of a vicious Assad regime offensive. The roughly three million people in the region, many of whom were displaced from previous rounds of fighting, are in dire straits — and it’s not clear what the United States, or the rest of the world, plans to do about any of this. On Elsewhere, they examine former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's improbably woke Twitter...


Deal or no deal

Zack and Alex are joined by a special guest — Weeds host Dara Lind — to discuss the way President Trump makes deals with foreign countries. They break down the big news of the week on nuclear negotiations with North Korea and NAFTA talks with Mexico and Canada, and point to a common thread: Trump announces an agreement that doesn’t actually solve the problem it’s supposed to, and might not even work, forcing his aides to scramble and clean up the mess. Zack channels Jenn while she’s on...


The Trump-Fox News-white nationalist feedback loop

Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about Trump’s late-night tweet about the alleged persecution of white South African farmers. They explain what’s actually happening in South Africa, how Trump’s take on the situation has its roots in an international white nationalist movement, and how Fox News is helping turn these extreme ideas into actual US foreign policy. On Elsewhere, they discuss the recent revelation that Iran has been engaging in a Russia-style disinformation campaign on social media — and...


Talking Turkey (and its economic crisis)

Zack, Jenn, and special guest Matt Yglesias discuss the economic crisis crippling Turkey — and how its feud with the Trump administration over a detained American pastor is making things even worse. On Elsewhere, Jenn and Zack examine the very real and very disturbing pirates of the Caribbean. Zack demonstrates his thorough mastery of Turkish acronyms, Matt challenges Turkey’s right to the biggest airport, and Jenn reveals the lengths she’d go to protect her dog. References: For some...


Saudi Arabia picked a fight with...Canada?

Zack, Jenn, and Alex explore the utterly bizarre diplomatic fight between Saudi Arabia and Canada — and why it has everything to do with the ruthless ambition of Saudi’s young new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. On Elsewhere, they discuss a big scoop Alex got on what the US is asking from North Korea in their nuclear arms negotiations — and what that tells us about how those negotiations are going (spoiler: not very well). Zack finally grants his Canadian fiancée’s wish to do a Canada...