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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.




Russian mercenaries, Israeli airstrikes, and the bloody future of the Syrian civil war

Yochi, Zack, and special guest Alexia Underwood talk about the evolution of Syria’s civil war and how a conflict that once pitted Syrian against Syrian has now drawn in at least six outside countries. Just this past week, Israel carried out waves of airstrikes inside Syria, US troops battled Russian mercenaries, and Iranian operatives in Syria sent a drone into Israeli airspace — all signs of how this deadly war could continue to escalate. On Elsewhere, they discuss a high-level conference...


Special episode: The Podium, from the Vox Media Podcast Network

Opening Ceremony co-host Katie Couric discusses what to expect from the broadcast (8:30 ET, NBC), the unified team of North and South Korea, and her interview with figure skating star Nathan Chen. We'll also take a look back at some pivotal moments in Olympic history and how the Winter Games have evolved from 1924 to today.


Polish Holocaust denial and the weaponization of history

Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about a controversial new law in Poland that makes it illegal to accuse the "Polish nation" of being complicit in the Holocaust, a change that has infuriated the US, Israel, and Jewish communities around the world. The anger comes from a simple fact: Poland suffered when it was occupied by the Nazis during World War II, but some Poles actively took part in the mass slaughter of their country's Jewish population, and the new law tries to erase that history. On...


Why America can’t quit Guantanamo Bay

Zack, Jenn, and returning guest Alex Ward discuss the controversial prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and President Trump’s announcement this week that he’s keeping it open and may send ISIS fighters there. On Elsewhere, the gang looks at a bizarre and hilarious story out of Spain involving a police chase, a car filled with thousands of oranges, and a decades-old battle between Spain and France over...fruit. Zack waxes poetic about one of his favorite essays on torture, Jenn shows off her...


Why Trump, who promised to keep America out of wars, keeps escalating them

Jenn, Zack, and special guest Alex Ward discuss President Trump’s decision to escalate America’s military involvement in Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and beyond — despite having campaigned on an “America First” agenda that promised to reduce US military intervention overseas. On Elsewhere, they look at a story out of Germany, where a member of a popular far-right, anti-Islam, anti-immigrant political party has converted to Islam and quit the party — after working with Muslim immigrants....


A Saudi-Iran proxy war has torn Yemen apart — and America is fanning the flames

Yochi, Jenn, and Zack discuss the horrific war in Yemen, which has become a battleground in a shadow war between Iran and Saudi Arabia — and where there are real reasons to worry that the US is complicit in war crimes. On Elsewhere, they look to a rare bit of potential good news from Korea, where athletes from North and South Korea plan to march under a united flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies and compete on a joint team for the first time. Zack has some tough talk for...


Why Mueller’s obstruction of justice investigation should really scare Trump

Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about the state of play in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe — and why obstruction of justice, not collusion, may pose the biggest legal and political threat to President Trump. On Elsewhere, they look at Israel’s “Strippergate” scandal, in which recordings of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son and several of his friends boasting about strippers and hinting at shady business dealings have shaken Israel’s political establishment. Yochi shows off his Hebrew...


How expensive eggs helped kick off the biggest Iranian protests in years

On the first Worldly of 2018, Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about what the massive protests in Iran say about the future of the country — and about its tense relationship with the US. The protests have demonstrated a remarkable degree of public anger at both the country’s moderate president and its conservative theocratic government, and could give President Trump a new justification for canceling the landmark Iran nuclear deal later this month. On Elsewhere, they look at a new law in Iceland...


“Speak loudly and carry a small stick:” Trump’s foreign policy year in review

Yochi, Jenn, and Zack bid a fond farewell to 2017 by looking at what Donald Trump's first year in office says about his approach to the presidency and how he's likely to handle Iran, North Korea, and China in the future. The biggest takeaway is that Trump's words often have little to do with his actions, and that his threats rarely lead to concrete action. The gulf between Trump's rhetoric and his actual policies has confused the leaders of both US allies and US adversaries, raising the...


The most political Olympics since the Cold War

In a special Olympics-themed episode of Worldly, Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at how global politics will shape next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea in a way that hasn’t been seen since the height of the Cold War. The International Olympic Committee has already banned Russia because of a massive doping scandal, and the nuclear standoff with North Korea could make some countries jittery about sending athletes to the games. Add it all together, and you have the potential for an Olympics...


Trump said Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Now what?

Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that breaks with decades of US foreign policy -- and that tells us a lot about how Trump makes decisions and how often his actions don't match his tough-guy rhetoric. When it came to the Jerusalem decision, Trump used the least-inflammatory language possible, paid lip service to restarting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and made clear that the US embassy...


Rex Tillerson's departure looks imminent as the North Korea crisis heats up

Yochi, Jenn, and special guest Alex Ward talk about President Trump’s apparent decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who will go down as arguably the worst secretary of state in American history. Tillerson will leave the department after cutting large numbers of senior diplomats, ignoring many of those who remained, and being part of an administration that has alienated close allies while cozying up to dictators. The question is whether Tillerson’s likely replacement, CIA...


The president of the world's biggest democracy doesn't seem to actually like democracy

Yochi, Zack, and special guest Loren DeJonge Schulman discuss President Trump's trip to Asia, where his warm feelings for foreign autocrats and refusal to discuss human rights abuses raise real questions about whether the leader of the world's biggest democracy actually cares much about democracy. Those concerns are magnified by Trump's ongoing calls for a criminal prosecution of Hillary Clinton, a move usually relegated to banana republics, not the US. On Elsewhere, they turn to one of...


Saudi Arabia's real-life Game of Thrones

Yochi, Jenn and Zack talk about the shocking purge in Saudi Arabia, where the country's young and ambitious crown prince has abruptly begun arresting his relatives and seizing billions of dollars of their money. The move is a clear sign that 32-year-old Mohammed bin Salman, the heir apparent to the Saudi throne, is consolidating power and eliminating possible rivals. Salman has made some relatively progressive moves, like allowing Saudi women to drive. The problem is that the prince has...


The New York attack reveals ISIS’s plan for survival

Jenn is back, and she joins Yochi and Zack to talk about what the terror attack in New York says about the true ISIS threat to the US. With ISIS on the run in Iraq and Syria, the sad reality is that the group will double down on its efforts to find would-be terrorists who live abroad and are willing to kill in its name. And that means more attacks on American and European cities are inevitable as militants like Sayfullo Saipov study ISIS propaganda and adopt the group's dark worldview. On...


What were American troops doing in Niger?

Yochi, Zack, and special guest Loren DeJonge Schulman of the great podcast Bombshell talk about the deaths of four US soldiers in Niger in October, a tragedy at the center of a nasty political fight between President Trump and a grieving military widow. They discuss what those troops were doing there, why no one in the military seems to understand how the mission went so wrong, and how America’s military presence in Africa is quietly growing in both size and risk without public debate or...


What the fight over Kirkuk means for Iraq's future

Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at why Washington's two biggest allies in the fight against ISIS are squaring off over the future of Kirkuk, an oil-rich city in northern Iraq. Kurdish militias had retaken the city from ISIS three years ago, and are in no hurry to give it up. The Iraqi central government says it's willing to use force to get the city back, and the situation could easily spiral out of control. On Elsewhere, they look at Sebastian Kurz, the 31-year-old Austrian politician who is...


Trump's risky, pointless plan to undermine the Iran deal without tearing it up

Jenn, Zack, and special guest Matt Yglesias talk about the Iran nuclear deal and the looming Sunday deadline for President Trump to recertify that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the deal. They discuss why, contrary to the advice of nearly all of his top advisers, Trump is probably not going to recertify, and what that means for the future of the landmark nuclear pact. On Elsewhere, the gang answers questions sent in by listeners on everything from the controversial independence...


Puerto Rico’s crisis and the curse of American colonialism

Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at how the Trump administration’s bungled response to the crisis in Puerto Rico reflects the longstanding challenges facing an island that is neither a full US state (with all the benefits that brings) nor a fully independent country (which can more easily ask for, and receive, financial aid). That leaves Puerto Rico in many cases getting the worst of both worlds, with its people paying a heavy price. On Elsewhere, they look at what happens if Secretary of State...


Angela Merkel won Germany’s election. So did the far-right.

Yochi, Jenn, and Zack look at Sunday’s landmark elections in Germany, which were simultaneously reassuring and deeply alarming. German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term, which means she’ll still have the power to let in refugees, challenge Vladimir Putin, and defend the international order in all the ways President Trump refuses to. At the same time, a far-right German political party known for its bigotry and Islamophobia surged at the polls, a jarring shift for a country with...


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