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.
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 also escalated Saudi Arabia's bloody war in Yemen and launched a diplomatic crisis with one of its neighbors that shows no signs of stopping.
On Elsewhere, they look at how far Chinese leaders have gone to flatter Trump while he visits Beijing, including cannons, dancing Chinese schoolchildren, and a private tour of the Forbidden City. Zack has a hot take about the rulers of Saudi Arabia (hint: he's not a fan), Jenn has business advice for a Saudi hotel, and Yochi nerds out on Game of Thrones.
Zack’s article on MBS’ false progressivism
Zeeshan’s piece on flattery from world leaders