Explaining the news with charts, maps, and photos.


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Women took to the streets across the county Saturday. But a year after the original #WomensMarch — one of the biggest demonstrations in US history — the event has become much more than a protest: today, it’s crucial hub for left-wing organizations, and a potent political force for 2018. Check the link in our bio for Anna North’s full story on where the movement stands.


In case you missed the news: North and South Korea announced plans to march under a united flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies AND compete together on their first joint Olympic team — a diplomatic breakthrough that suggests tensions between the two nations are thawing.

They’ll march under the Korean Unification flag (pictured above) which displays the entire peninsula in blue against a white backdrop. It’s a rare move, but not unprecedented: the two countries most recently displayed the flag at the 2006 winter games in Italy.

It’s a sign that talks between the two countries are going well. Check the link in our bio for more background. #Olympics #northkorea #southkorea


On the Senate floor Wednesday, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake compared President Trump’s treatment of the press to… Josef Stalin’s.
Flake explained the dark origins of the phrase “enemy of the people,” which Trump used to characterize the news media in a now-infamous February 2017 tweet. The phrase is so malicious, Flake said, “that even [Soviet leader] Nikita Khrushchev forbade” its use.
He went on to note that “when a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.” The full speech is worth a watch. Catch it in full via the link in our bio. #JeffFlake #Trump #politics #pressfreedom



What power does Trump’s Cabinet have to declare the president incapable of performing his duties?

The answer relies on an interpretation of the 25th Amendment, which was ratified after JFK’s assassination in 1963. It (attempted to) establish a process whereby the president could be removed or replaced in the event of death or incapacitation. One section notes that the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can declare the president unfit for office.
To understand how the amendment and if it can be plausibly invoked to remove Trump from office, we reached out to Jay Berman — one of its authors. Check the link in our bio to read the full conversation. #trump #politics #25thamendment


On this week's episode of our wonky policy podcast #TheWeeds, Vox’s German Lopez joins Matt Yglesias and Sarah Kliff to talk about Trump's "executive time" — AKA, the time built into his schedule to sit around and watch TV. Unsurprisingly, German is not a fan.

Listen to the full episode by searching “The Weeds” on Apple Podcasts.


You remember the tweet: Just a week into 2018, President Trump sent out a provocative message directed at the North Korean regime's leader, Kim Jong Un, claiming he had a “nuclear button” on his White House desk that was larger than Kim’s.
But, unsurprisingly, that is not how it works. While the US protocol for launching nuclear warheads is only a few steps — it’s designed to be fast — it’s certainly not done with a simple button. Check out our YouTube channel for the full explainer video. #northkorea #trump #nuclear



Republicans in Congress have said that extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — a cheap, successful program that provides coverage to 9 million low- and middle-income kids — is too costly. Yet they managed to pass a tax bill that will give about $1.5 trillion in tax breaks to corporations and the very wealthy. If you’re wondering how they paid for it, They didn’t. The cost is piled onto the deficit.
Since it began 20 years ago, CHIP has dramatically reduced the number of kids who go without health insurance and increased their access to medical services, all at a relatively low price. The cost of extending it would be a drop in the bucket when it comes to the federal budget, and it amounts to just 0.1% of the tax overhaul.
To let the program expire, writes Sarah Kliff, is a national disgrace. Read more via the link in our bio.
#taxbill #gop #CHIP #politics


A new study ranks 20 wealthy countries on childhood deaths. And the US comes in last.

The research, published in the journal Health Affairs, estimates that since 1961, America’s poor performance accounts for more than 600,000 excess child deaths — deaths that wouldn’t have happened if these kids were born into other wealthy countries. A few possible contributing factors: a fragmented health care system, a rise in childhood poverty, and startling gun violence statistics. And the study comes just three months after Congress allowed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — which provides insurance to nine million low-income kids — to expire.
Read a breakdown of the study via the link in our bio.


You read that right. At least 138 powerful people across industries have been accused of sexual misconduct or harassment since Bill O’Reilly was pushed out of Fox news. It’s elevated the #MeToo movement and, lately, #TimesUp — the movement started by Hollywood to put an end to sexual abuse in the workplace. (And was the reason behind all those black dresses you saw at last weekend’s #GoldenGlobes). We’ve built a database to track the scale and scope of this issue throughout 2018. One reason we think it’s important to track accusations, and not just people who have fallen due to allegations: Some power brokers only face consequences when multiple accusers come forward. Some never do.
Click the link in our bio for the full interactive. #TheReckoning



During her iconic acceptance speech at Sunday’s #GoldenGlobes, Oprah Winfrey reminded the audience not to forget the name Recy Taylor — an early civil rights hero who died just last month. In 1944, Taylor, at the time a young wife and mother, was abducted by 6 armed white men on her way home from church, raped, and left blindfolded on the road. “She lived, as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men,” Winfrey said. ”But their time is up.” Taylor’s story goes far beyond that event — and it’s one worth knowing. Check it out via the link in our bio. #RecyTaylor #Oprah


One reason Iranians give for the current uprising in their country might surprise you: it’s the price of eggs.

Since December 28th, demonstrators have taken to the streets of Iran daily. At least 20 have died and hundreds have been arrested as they clash with security forces. It all began in Mashad — Iran’s second largest city — and have since spread throughout the country. There are a number of causes at play here, but the biggest pain point that prompted the protests seems to be the country’s halting economy.
Visit our YouTube channel to watch the full explainer video on the protests. #Iran


On the latest episode of the Ezra Klein show, Pod Save America co-host and former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau joins to discuss the first year of the Trump White House (“a day-to-day shitshow”), the Democrats he’s watching for 2020, his concerns about the left (“we need to take the time to persuade other people of what we believe”), and the rot he sees in the Republican Party.

You can listen to the whole conversation by searching “Ezra Klein Show” on Apple Podcasts, or via the link in our bio. #politics



Behold: The #BombCyclone, from space.
This kind of storm occurs when a system's pressure drops very, very quickly. It's just one part of a cycle of unusually freezing temperatures in the mid-Atlantic and New England this week. It was one of the coldest holiday seasons on record, and even Florida is experiencing unusual cold and, in some places, snow.

But if any of your friends point to the cold as evidence that climate change isn't real, just remind them: weather and climate are two different things. (Weather is what we're experiencing right now. Climate is a broader trend.) So while it may be icy in some areas, temperatures around the world are much warmer than average. Check out the map behind the link in our bio that you can show people to help explain all of this.


No, President Trump doesn’t have a “nuclear button” on his desk. What he does have is the nuclear football, which is actually a 45-pound aluminum briefcase (pictured above) with instructions for the president on how to launch a nuclear attack. The “football” is always by the president’s side and is carried around by a member of the US military. The president also carries around what’s called the “biscuit,” a card with verification codes that can start the nuclear strike process.

That’s nearly all the president needs to set the process in motion. Far from a push of a button, but still fairly easy. Learn more via the link in our bio. #northkorea #trump


The iconic New Year’s Eve ball drop has an unusual history — and it all starts with sailing.
Where are you celebrating the start of 2018? #happynewyear



Amid a rapid, often depressing news cycle, late-night TV faced some unique challenges in 2017. That’s why, after watching and writing about their shows all year, we reached out to some of the people who make late-night shows happen to ask about how they dealt with this unprecedented year. Check the link in our bio to read what all five had to say. #comedy #politics


Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's brutal authoritarian leader, just got kicked off of Instagram and Facebook.

It matters more than you might think: This is the first time anyone has been publicly banned from the platforms because of U.S. sanctions, and it cuts off a key tool of political control for Kadyrov, who had nearly 3 million followers. He maintained an upbeat profile, carefully crafting public image that distracted from his sinister behavior. Visit our YouTube channel to watch the full video on this bizarre use of the social platform. #Kadyrov #Chechnya #Instagram


In 2017, the total solar eclipse transfixed the nation. The gene editing technology CRISPR became an even more precise tool to fix nature’s “mistakes.” Scientists got closer to finding another planet that can support life. And NASA crashed its Cassini spacecraft into Saturn, offering spectacular views of the planet.

In a year when the world seemed uncertain, grim, and illogical, science delivered the beauty and wonder we sorely needed. Check the link in our bio for more of the stories this year that made us stop and go “whoa, that’s awesome.” #2017inreview science #nasa #crispr #solareclipse



Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is one of the only Christmas songs written in the last 20 or so years that has reached the same popularity as the classics that came long before it. What makes it sound so amazing? Professor Adam Ragusea believes it’s all in the chords. Check out the full video on our YouTube channel. #MariahCarey #Christmas #music


The Star Wars Holiday Special, a 98-minute comedy variety show that aired only once on television in 1978, is — in a word — bad.
It’s so bad that it’s hard to imagine how this thing got made. But in a way, it’s a testament to how unpredictable Star Wars’ success really was: George Lucas was notoriously picky about maintaining control over his world, but he was convinced to approve the show in order to keep Star Wars on everyone’s minds until the second film. You have to see it to believe it. Watch more via the link in our bio. #starwars


Global politics in the early 21st century is being defined by two complementary extremisms: Islamist extremism and the far right.

That’s the argument that Julia Ebner, a research fellow at the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue, makes in her new book “The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far Right Extremism.” Vox’s Sean Illing spoke to Ebner about how these ideologies trap Americans in a spiral of mutually reinforcing hatreds — and why they need each other. Read the full, fascinating conversation via the link in our bio.


A majority of Americans don’t think too highly of the job Donald Trump is doing as president. It has propelled him to a singular accomplishment: the lowest approval rating of any modern president in December of his first year in office. According to Gallup, Trump currently polls at 35 percent.
The dismal rating does have some tangible consequences. As Matthew Glassman, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute, explained: “Such numbers sap Trump’s power to leverage popularity into persuasion. They also depress party loyalists concerned about 2018 and embolden potential primary challengers for 2020.”


At a rare emergency session Thursday, 128 countries —including some of the US’s most trusted and reliable allies — voted in favor of a United Nations resolution calling for a reversal of President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The vote came after Trump suggested during a recent Cabinet meeting that he would withhold billions of dollars in aid for countries that voted against the US, and after UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said she’d be “taking names” of those who did so.
And while the passage of the resolution isn’t binding — meaning the US doesn’t actually have to reverse its position — it’s a stark illustration of just how isolated the US is in its stance toward Israel. (Graphic: Christina Animashaun)


A real danger of the Trump presidency might have less to do with his own abnormality, and more to do with how “normal” he makes other Republicans look by comparison. In the latest episode of #Strikethrough, Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) defines the “Overton window,” which explains how our politics and media might be impacted long after the current administration is gone. Visit our YouTube channel to watch the full version. #trump #media #politics


The #MeToo moment has engulfed some of the most powerful men in politics, entertainment, and media. It has also forced a national reckoning with the reality of America’s sexual and workplace cultures — how often they permitted harassment and assault to flourish, how routinely they protected perpetrators and blamed victims. But why is it happening now? And will it continue or be swept away in backlash?

Ezra Klein sat down with writer Rebecca Traister — known for her chronicles of this moment — to discuss those questions. Visit the link in our bio to read the full conversation.


It’s easy to see why President Trump favors the GOP tax bill — because it contains provisions that would directly benefit him and other ultra wealthy business owners.
The bill contains a change in how “pass-through” businesses are taxed — AKA, businesses that can bypass corporate taxes and instead pay lower taxes like individuals. This designation was initially designed to benefit small business owners, but the Trump Organization, the 48th-largest private company in the US, qualifies as one.
Visit our YouTube channel to watch the full explainer video. #taxes #GOP #Trump #politics


House Republicans voted on Tuesday to approve their final tax package, handing it off to the Senate, which could pass it in a matter of hours and send the bill on President Trump’s desk as soon as Wednesday.

The bill is the most significant rewriting of the nation’s tax code in a generation. Contrary to many Republicans’ statements (including that of the president himself), most independent analyses project the bill would send the biggest benefits to the wealthy, increase the federal deficit by more than $1 trillion, and eventually raise taxes on a majority of Americans.

Read more via the link in our bio. #taxes #politics #Trump


Over the last 4.5 decades, America’s struggle with obesity has only grown. Increasingly, overweight adults and adolescents are turning to a controversial solution — bariatric surgery.

Senior health correspondent Julia Belluz spent a year following 18-year old Jewel Francis-Aburime before, during, and after Jewel’s weight-loss procedure. Though Belluz still believes the solution to the epidemic of childhood obesity is long-term prevention, Jewel’s story and recent studies have changed her mind about surgery as an option. Read the full feature and report via the link in our bio.


The Federal Communications Commission has voted to repeal net neutrality, despite overwhelming bipartisan and public support for it. The regulated required internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast to distribute internet access fairly and equally to everyone, regardless of how much they pay or where they’re located. Here’s a brief overview of how net neutrality currently works, and what might happen without it. Visit our Facebook page to watch the full explainer video. #NetNeutrality


Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore on Tuesday in the Alabama special election, marking the first time in two decades a Democrat has won the seat in the deep-red state — and vastly improving Democrats’ chances of retaking the Senate in 2018.
Exit polls from the Washington Post showed black voters had a huge impact: they comprised 29% of the Alabama electorate and supported Jones almost unanimously — by 92 points. For comparison: In 2012, black voters made up 28% of the electorate and Barack Obama won them by 91 points.
It’s a shocking upset victory, even if the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore made it an atypical race. Visit the link in our bio to read Jones’ full victory speech and more. #Alabama #DougJones #RoyMoore #politics