The Intelligence

The Intelligence

By The Economist

Get a daily burst of global illumination from The Economist’s worldwide network of correspondents as they dig past the headlines to get to the stories beneath—and to stories that aren’t making headlines, but should be.

Episodes

An epidemic of hunger: covid-19 and poverty

The pandemic is driving up the number of impoverished people for the first time in more than two decades. Lockdown-policy calculations are simply different in the poor world. The ill effects of China’s hydropower boom are trickling down to the tens of millions who depend on the Mekong River. And a meditation on the merits of reading others’ diaries. Additional audio from 'caquet' at Freesound.org. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/06/2019m 53s

The flames spread: protests in America

Demonstrations against police violence have only amplified. We ask why George Floyd’s death touched a nerve, and why these events keep happening in America. A look at the country’s cyber-defences reveals considerable weaknesses—what are states to do as electronic attacks outpace the conventional kind? And what museums are doing now to document the history unfolding around them.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/06/2022m 5s

Crying foul, again: Black Lives Matter

Protests have broken out in Minneapolis and far beyond, following another black man’s death at the hands of a white policeman. Can the once-mighty Black Lives Matter make itself heard? The pandemic may threaten London’s place as Britain’s undisputed centre of gravity. And a researcher spooks spooks by revealing a decades-old spy pact. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/05/2021m 41s

Checking their privilege: Beijing’s threat to Hong Kong

China’s parliament voted today to draft legislation that would utterly undermine the territory’s independence. What now for protesters, for Western powers, for the region’s foreign firms? The pandemic has quashed some crimes but has also created new nefarious opportunities. And it may be closing time for the golden age of the booze business.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/05/2021m 18s

Leading nowhere: assessing Trump’s covid-19 response

President Donald Trump’s failures of leadership have compounded the crisis. But America’s health-care and preparedness systems have problems that predate him. South Korea marks the 40th anniversary of a massacre that remains politically divisive even now. And, today’s space-launch plan in America blazes a trail for a new, commercial space industry. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/05/2022m 42s

Shot chasers: big pharma’s covid-19 boost

The pandemic has caused a shift in how drug firms are viewed: their capacity for big-money innovation will give them immunity in the crisis. Widespread homeworking will have broad consequences, from commercial-property values to urban demographics. And a seemingly innocuous Hong Kong history exam is a window into the territory’s increasingly fraught politics. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/05/2020m 46s

Clear skies with a chance: covid-19’s green opportunity

Emissions have plummeted as the pandemic slowed the world. It could be a mere blip—but it is an unprecedented opportunity for a greener, more sustainable economy. Serving in America’s armed forces is a long-established path to citizenship, but that path is narrowing. And we ask how sport will emerge from the pandemic, even if the stands stay empty. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/05/2022m 16s

Systemic concerns: China’s party congress

Legislation signalled at the annual meeting undermines the “one country, two systems” approach to Hong Kong’s rule—and may inflame rather than quell protests. Argentina finds itself at the doorstep of default once again; the pandemic is sharpening the hardship ahead. And remembering the woman who expanded Irish poetry with the gloriously quotidian. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/05/2023m 6s

Swimming against the currency: Turkey

A central bank struggling for independence, dwindling foreign reserves to prop up the currency and a president who just hates rates: Turkey’s economy looked shaky even before covid-19. Online dating carries on apace amid lockdowns, and it seems people are forging more emotionally intimate bonds. And the risk that humans might pass the coronavirus to their primate cousins.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/05/2018m 46s

Politics trumps co-operation: the WHO’s annual meeting

Rhetoric and posturing at the World Health Organisation’s annual assembly reveal an agency under geopolitical stresses just when global co-operation is needed most. Illegal logging has become an existential threat for the Amazon; under the cover of covid-19, a new bill in Brazil could hasten its decline. And reflections on the vast musical legacy of Kraftwerk’s Florian Schneider.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/05/2022m 35s

Extreme measures: America’s far right

Extremists are cropping up at protests and expanding their reach online. They see the pandemic as proof of their worldview, and as an opportunity to spread their messages. After systematically ignoring mental-health concerns for decades, China’s authorities are at last tackling the issue—somewhat. And lockdowns prove that Britain is a nation of gardeners. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/05/2021m 10s

Carriers and the disease: the airlines set for hard landings

Which firms will fly above the covid-19 clouds? Big, low-cost carriers with strong finances seem likeliest, but either way consolidation is inevitable. The Indian state of Kerala seems to be handling its outbreak far better than others; blame an unassuming but wildly popular health minister. And whether New York’s beloved Irish pubs will craic on past the pandemic.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/05/2021m 30s

Continental divides: covid-19 strains the EU

What started as a public-health crisis is developing into an existential one. The most fundamental question to be addressed is: what is the European Union for? Hopes of helpful change by El Salvador’s millennial president are dimming as he becomes increasingly dictatorial. And why so many Indonesians are draping themselves in the sun.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/05/2021m 2s

Bibi steps: Israel’s long-awaited government

After three elections and 16 months, the unity government between sworn rivals Binyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz gets to work tonight. Can it withstand the coming political storms? Frenetic research into the coronavirus is upending some long-established ways of disseminating science, perhaps for good. And we examine the merits of outlawing an awkward job interview question. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radioofferEditor's note: After publication, the swearing in of Israel's new government was postponed until Sunday.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/05/2020m 39s

Fool Britannia? A covid-19 response under scrutiny

After a series of government missteps, people in Britain—and, increasingly, outside it—are lambasting the covid-19 response. That has great reputational costs. In a story suited to a television drama, a Filipino network popular with the people but critical of the president has been forced off the air. And our columnist finds surprising modern resonance in a 1950s Argentinian novel. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/05/2020m 29s

Moveable feast: a global food system adapts

The vast network moving food from farm to fork has shifted gears mightily in response to covid-19. But some will still go hungry; governments must resist the urge to crimp exports. Inflation statistics are often tallied in store aisles and at restaurant tables; how to gather those data now? And why being a warm-up act is cold comfort for many bands. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/05/2021m 55s

Back to the furore: protests set to reignite

The pandemic overshadowed a striking spate of uprisings around the world. In Lebanon economic conditions have only worsened since—and the protesters are back. A look at urban architecture reveals how past diseases have shaped the world’s cities; we ask how much covid-19 will leave its mark. And, can Corona beer, Latin America’s first global brand, escape its associations with the coronavirus?  For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/05/2021m 15s

Rises and false: markets v the economy

How can stockmarkets be so healthy when many businesses are so unwell? We look at the many risks that are clearly not priced in. China’s documentary-makers are having to find clever ways to get past censors—which is why one famed filmmaker is just giving his work away online. And remembering a legendary rock-climber who always wanted to find a new way up.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/05/2022m 0s

Hitting a Vlad patch: 20 years of Putin

As Russia’s leader marks two decades in power, he faces almighty headwinds—not only covid-19 but also cut-price oil and an increasingly leery citizenry. The pandemic is hitting different tech firms in different ways but on balance it seems to be further consolidating the power of the big ones. And the surprisingly upbeat music that comes about during downturns.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/05/2020m 2s

Disarming revelation: a chance at a global ceasefire

Many were shocked when armed groups heeded a call for a global ceasefire; given a squabble at the UN it would now be shocking if those pockets of peace continue to hold. We examine a century-old technique as a possible treatment for covid-19. And a family feud involving Britain’s most-reclusive octogenarians heads to court. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/05/2021m 53s

Degrees of separation: universities and covid-19

Many universities were on thin ice financially before the pandemic. Now, with foreign travel slumping and distancing measures the norm, a global reckoning is coming. In many Asian countries, Ramadan seems largely untouched by pandemic-protection measures; we ask why. And the vexing question of how many people live in North Macedonia.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/05/2020m 26s

Lives v livelihoods: Africa’s covid-19 tradeoffs

As Nigeria tentatively lifts its lockdown today, we examine the decisions African leaders face: pandemic policies may do more harm than the pandemic itself. There’s a curious dearth of smokers among covid-19’s most severe cases; that may point to a treatment. And on its 150th anniversary, a reflection on the history and the mission of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/05/2020m 58s

Nature, or nurtured? A politicised virus-origin hunt

Scientists may soon understand how the new coronavirus got its start; that could help head off future outbreaks. In the meantime, politicians are clouding the discussion. America and Europe are taking different approaches to keeping small businesses afloat, but it’s a struggle on both sides of the Atlantic. And tuning in to the global boom in community radio stations. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/05/2022m 29s

Submerging markets: developing economies and covid-19

The pandemic is hitting emerging markets particularly hard, and the crisis is likely to widen the gap between the strongest and the weakest among them. Physical distancing is making life even harder for people with dementia, and their carers. And a few tips on learning a new language in lockdown.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/04/2020m 49s

Those who can, teach! The case for reopening schools

The world’s students are falling behind and lockdown is only exacerbating prior disparities in their progress; we examine a compelling back-to-school argument. America’s Environmental Protection Agency is rolling back yet more pollution protections, but who stands to gain is unclear. And why so many urban Kenyans understate their salaries to the villagers back home.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/04/2020m 56s

First, pass the post: Ohio’s vote-by-mail experiment

The state’s all-postal primaries vote could be seen as a trial run for November’s presidential election. Might voting by mail be the least-bad option? The BBC’s canny response to covid-19 has quietened its critics, but bigger problems await after the pandemic. And how a few once-feuding families are pushing Bolivian wine onto the world stage. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/04/2022m 52s

End transmission: covid-19 in New Zealand

The country is aiming for complete elimination of the coronavirus; so far, so good. But renewed freedom within its borders requires that virtually no one cross them. Restrictions in Europe on movement of agricultural labour could leave crops to rot in the fields. And why cologne is the hand-sanitiser of choice in Turkey.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/04/2020m 51s

Unsteady states: America’s piecemeal reopening

Some governors are co-ordinating mutual lockdown plans, others are already reopening their states. That haphazardness bodes ill in the absence of widespread testing and tracing. The pandemic is kicking an industry that was already down: newspapers’ readerships are up, but profits are through the floor. And, reflecting on the life of a saintly obstetric surgeon in Ethiopia. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/04/2022m 38s

Rakhine and ruin: insurgency in Myanmar

The Rohingya genocide was just one of many sectarian flashpoints in Rakhine state; now a slick separatist insurgency is getting the better of Myanmar’s army. America is floundering in its bid to win the 5G mobile-technology race; we ask what options it has. And denying locked-down Sri Lankans booze has driven them to home-brewing. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/04/2022m 59s

Held in cheque: corporate payouts and covid-19

Even before the pandemic, companies were accused of returning too much money to shareholders. As a recession looms, dividends and share buy-backs should be cut—but not everywhere. Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef is more widespread than ever, and each event makes a full recovery less likely. And the animals are out to play as humans are locked away.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/04/2021m 0s

Symbols’ status: arrests in Hong Kong

Authorities have re-ignited tensions by arresting some of the democracy movement’s most prominent figures—and Beijing seems to be piling more pressure on. Shortages of protective equipment are not just about supply; we look at the global scramble for kit. And Brazil’s universally beloved “telenovelas” are on hold; how will they eventually deal with covid-19? For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/04/2021m 27s

Restarting Europe’s engine: Germany’s lockdown lightens

Non-essential businesses are opening; schools soon will be, too. The country’s fortunes are down to a mix of science-minded leadership, functional federalism and a bit of luck. Saudi Arabia has halted its brutal air campaign in Yemen, ostensibly for humanitarian reasons; there is more to it than that. And a look at the wave of female avengers in drama. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/04/2021m 46s

Gross domestic plummet: China’s historic contraction

The covid-19 pandemic has caused the country’s first GDP dip in more than four decades. What struggles still lie ahead for the world’s second-largest economy? Decisive action to help the homeless amid the crisis offers hope for what comes after it. And a look back at the life of Joseph Lowery, a firebrand preacher and rhyming civil-rights activist. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/04/2023m 22s

This sequestered isle: Britain’s covid-19 response

The prime minister is still convalescing; Parliament is still finding ways to meet virtually. Meanwhile questions are growing about how the government has handled the pandemic. In China authorities are promoting unproven traditional remedies to treat covid-19—treatments they would love to export. And the role that animals play in making wildfires worse, and in preventing them. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/04/2022m 58s

The gloves are on: South Koreans vote

Today’s legislative elections in South Korea are the world’s first to take place amid the covid-19 crisis. How have masked campaigners managed, and how are masked voters likely to respond? “Contact tracing” is crucial in following the coronavirus’s progression; we look into nascent technological approaches to the task. And a look at whether the pandemic will give way to a baby boom.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/04/2019m 46s

Dis-Kurti-ous: intrigues in Kosovo

We speak to Albin Kurti, a reformist prime minister, after his ouster—and ask how American officials may have played a role in his downfall. Gloomy forecasts will dominate this week’s virtual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, with more countries than ever begging for financial help. And the connection between Instagram, Indonesian lovers and conservative Islam.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/04/2023m 39s

Opening arguments: Europe’s cautious restart

This week, some European countries are beginning to switch their economies back on, but leaders face a grim trade-off between economic health and public health. Meanwhile, bids to finance Europe’s fiscal-stimulus programmes re-ignite old debates on financial interdependence. And why a bad-boy Belgian is making chocolate in Congo.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/04/2022m 7s

The fascists and the furious: remembering the 43 Group

Many have forgotten that, even after the second world war, a fascist movement held sway in Britain. Our culture editor recounts the tale of the group that quashed it. Leonora Carrington was an adventurous and pioneering Surrealist artist; our correspondent explores deepest Mexico to discover what inspired her. And the wizard industry that is casting a spell over Myanmar. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/04/2026m 6s

What Viktor’s spoiled: ten years of Orban

Under Hungary’s shape-shifting prime minister the country has essentially become a dictatorship—and it seems there is little the European Union can do about it. We examine the serious mental-health effects the covid-19 crisis is having—and will have in the future. And Japan’s #KuToo movement aims to reform some seriously sexist dress codes at work. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/04/2022m 50s

Movement at the epicentre: Wuhan’s lockdown lifts

People are spilling from the Chinese metropolis where the global outbreak took hold. But controls actually remain tight, and authorities’ attempts to spin pandemic into propaganda are not quite working. Mozambique’s rising violence threatens what could be Africa’s largest-ever energy project, in a region that has until now escaped widespread jihadism. And “geomythologists” may have uncovered humans’ oldest tale yet. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/04/2023m 53s

States’ evidence: Brazil’s messy covid-19 response

President Jair Bolsonaro still dismisses the disease as “just the sniffles”, so state and local authorities—and the country’s vast slums—have taken matters into their own hands. The physical and mental needs of the world’s locked-down populations are driving a boom in online wellness. And we look back on the life of the French chef who revolutionised English fine dining.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/04/2023m 0s

An app for that: covid surveillance

To keep track of the spread of covid-19, some governments are turning to digital surveillance, using mobile-phone apps and data networks. We ask whether this will work—and examine the threat to privacy posed by a digital panopticon. Britain’s Labour Party has a new leader. We ask in which direction Sir Keir Starmer will lead the opposition. And we report on the northern hemisphere’s winter that wasn’t. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/04/2024m 4s

Trough to peak: how high will American unemployment go?

The coronavirus pandemic has sent America’s mighty jobs machine into screeching reverse. How bad might the labour market get? Covid-19 is just one reason why Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, is finding 2020 to be a much harder year than he’d hoped. And we report on the fight to save a 44,000-year-old cave painting.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/04/2022m 26s

No port of call: coronavirus may sink the cruise industry

Cruise ships had been enjoying a golden era—until covid-19 came along. The pandemic has been a catastrophe for the industry. Stranded passengers have taken ill and even died, ships have been banned from ports, and revenue has collapsed. But lawmakers are unlikely to bail it out. In Sweden, daily life has been pretty normal, despite the coronavirus, but can that continue? And we report on Dutch disease—the language’s unusual affinity for poxy swear words.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/04/2021m 43s

Wishful thinking: America’s offer to Venezuela

The Trump administration makes Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro an offer he seems sure to refuse: an end to sanctions in return for power-sharing and elections. The coronavirus pandemic has crushed oil prices at the same time a price war is raging: the industry has never seen anything like it. And as videoconferencing brings your workmates into your home, we suggest how to create the right impression. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/04/2022m 52s

In need of Comfort: New York's covid-19 crisis

New York is at the centre of America’s—and the world’s—coronavirus crisis. The metropolis has also been caught in a damaging three-way political division, involving three of its native sons. In the Middle East and north Africa, governments have imposed unusually harsh covid-19 crackdowns, but will the authoritarians let up afterwards? And we report on a golden age for African art.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31/03/2023m 31s

Containment or complacency? Covid-19 in Japan

Japan has reported a relatively low number of coronavirus cases. But concern is growing. The Olympics have at last been postponed and infections are on the rise. Uganda’s president faces a challenge from a pop star—and has his own backing group. And turtles have a deadly appetite for plastic. To them, it may smell like lunch. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/03/2022m 22s

Life sentences? Prisons and covid-19

Outbreaks among inmates are all but inevitable. Efforts at prison reform that were already under way will get a boost, because now they will save lives. We examine the international variation in what are considered “essential industries” and “key workers”. And, what our editors and correspondents are doing to pass the time in lockdown. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/03/2022m 49s

Going to townships: covid-19 threatens Africa

Governments across the continent have had a head start, but that will not address some worrying systemic problems many of them share. Ventilators are now a bottleneck in critical covid-19 care; we ask how many there are, and whether many more would help matters. And voting closes for the enthusiasts nominating a national lichen for Canada. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/03/2022m 21s

Fiscal firepower: governments’ covid-19 aid

As American lawmakers reach a deal on the country’s largest-ever rescue package, we examine how planners are balancing the health of their citizens and that of their economies. China’s lockdown came in the midst of the spring planting season; what can other countries learn about how to keep food flowing? And the increasingly perilous lives of crocodile hunters in the Congo River basin. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/03/2022m 36s

Trial, trial again: the race for covid-19 treatments

The world’s scientists are swiftly identifying drugs that may help with the pandemic, and setting out on the long road toward a vaccine. Ethiopia’s prime minister has been hailed as a peacemaker—so why is a violent crackdown plaguing the country’s most populous state? And a look at the epidemiology hidden in Instagram posts. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/03/2023m 26s

Continental shift: covid-19 grips Europe

The novel coronavirus is spreading around the world, but its grip on Europe is curiously tight; we ask why, and what to expect next. We pay a visit to Colombia, which is suffering a refugee crisis it did not create and fighting a drug war it cannot win. And all those cancelled sporting events are costly in more than just monetary terms. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/03/2023m 33s

Lessons unplanned: school shutdowns spread

Schools are closing down as covid-19 measures take hold; we look into the social, economic and educational costs for a world thrust into distance learning and homeschooling. Wild market swings have regulators worldwide wondering whether to shut down stock exchanges altogether. And remembering the backgammon genius known only as Falafel. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/03/2022m 54s

Pandemic, meet politics: the US-China spat

Prior tensions have blunted the chances for a co-ordinated response to covid-19—and both countries are fighting a grand ideological battle alongside an epidemiological one. India has so far reported few covid-19 cases; we explore the systemic concerns that would make a large outbreak there staggeringly deadly. And, a failed attempt to tame the notorious traffic of Lagos. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/03/2021m 37s

Drawbridges up: lockdowns and covid-19

Borders are closing; suggestions to stay home are becoming mandates. We examine how the national responses to covid-19 have varied, and how they may be converging. In America, Joe Biden cemented his lead in the race for Democrats’ presidential contender. But the bigger question is how the pandemic will affect elections. And Japan’s government fights to protect the country’s famed Wagyu beef. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/03/2022m 58s

Same old song, and Gantz: fresh coalition talks in Israel

He has four weeks to form a government, but Binyamin Netanyahu’s rival Benny Gantz is likely to find that the battle lines from three inconclusive elections haven’t moved. As Western factories shift gears to help in the coronavirus response, we ask what they could learn from China’s distillers. And a look back on the economic upheavals wrought by past pandemics. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/03/2022m 5s

Flight risk: airlines and covid-19

Travel restrictions that are proliferating worldwide may represent an existential threat to many airlines. How long the pandemic lasts will determine how much the aviation industry is reshaped by it. We ask why the Philippines’ politics is so much more socially conservative than its populace. And the self-defence measures being developed for delivery drones. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/03/2020m 59s

Coming two terms with it: Putin’s power grab

A resetting of the clock on the Russian leader’s tenure will almost certainly pass into law. That sets up a standoff with a public swiftly losing faith in him. The incentives around sick days are all wrong; a change in attitudes could keep everyone safer. And why it is that, for many contestants on “The Price is Right”, the price is wrong. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/03/2020m 25s

Stimulating discussion: policy responses to covid-19

Britain’s central bank made an emergency cut and released a budget with a whopping £30bn ($38bn) stimulus; we discuss what countries are doing, or should be, to cushion economies against the pandemic. After decades of false starts, laser-based weapons will soon shine on the battlefield. And a look at the legacy and philosophy of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” as it turns 42.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/03/2021m 12s

Hollywood moment: Harvey Weinstein’s sentencing

The disgraced producer’s conviction may seem a clear-cut win for the #MeToo movement, but it’s as yet uncertain just how much will change outside the media spotlight. Today’s verdict on Guyana’s election result will be crucial in determining how a coming flood of oil wealth will be managed. And “anti-terror architecture” is proliferating—but must it all be ugly? For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/03/2020m 40s

When in Rome...stay put: Italy on lockdown

The unexpected expansion of quarantine measures are a look into the near future of many countries, each facing different social and epidemiological tradeoffs. Slovakia is on the cusp of forming a government with anti-corruption as the new foundational principle—but will it be able to get anything else done? And a look at the social and cognitive benefits of speaking two languages.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/03/2022m 43s

A day without women: a vast strike in Mexico

Millions of women will stay home today, protesting against rising levels of violence against them. In the Netherlands, a criminal trial begins in the case of flight MH17, downed over Ukraine in 2014—but none of the defendants will be there. And a repeat of The Mayflower’s journey from 400 years ago, this time with no captain or crew. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/03/2022m 28s

Nevertheless, she persisted: the futility of restricting abortion

America’s Supreme Court is again tussling with the age-old question of abortion rights. Internationally the picture is very different; abortions are becoming easier, safer and more legally protected. We look back on the life of Katherine Johnson, a pioneering black woman who helped put men on the moon. And our annual glass-ceiling index ranks countries on workplace equality for women.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/03/2022m 58s

Testing times: the world responds to covid-19

Our journalists explore the variance in both policy and preparedness among different countries and regions that are dealing with coronavirus outbreaks—or that soon will. American graduates are saddled with crippling student debts; we examine the systemic problems behind the crisis. And a look at Scotland’s landmark period-products bill. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/03/2022m 32s

Joe through a rough patch: Biden’s super Tuesday

The former vice-president stormed a raft of primaries yesterday, setting up a two-horse race to the Democratic nomination. What happens next, though, doesn’t depend entirely on those two. A new study examines subtleties in the “bamboo ceiling” that holds back Asian-American workers. And why wealth divides in English football reveal societal divides, too. Additional audio by stinkhorn at freesound.org. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/03/2022m 54s

Caught in the middle: Idlib’s humanitarian disaster

Turkey sees the fall of Idlib as an existential threat; Russian-backed Syrian forces see the province as the last redoubt of troublesome rebels. Millions are trapped in the crossfire. Loans are hard to come by in Venezuela, so one plucky rum company has boldly made a share offering. And why it’s so hard to deliver the mail in Congo. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/03/2022m 17s

EU’ve heard this one before: Brexit trade talks

Once again, Britain’s negotiators are talking tough, threatening a no-deal scenario as a long series of trade talks begins in Brussels. They’ve got a hard job ahead. Many aircraft engines have computer-based “digital twins” to keep them healthy and efficient—now that idea is being used to monitor human hearts. And a descendant of Vienna’s Rothschild family fights to regain a family foundation. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/03/2021m 20s

Playing with fire: Democrats may get Bern

Bernie Sanders's rise in the Democratic primaries has echoes of Donald Trump’s road to the Republican nomination. He has already changed the tone of the race; can he win it? We take a look at the shadowy history of spies running front companies. And a look back on the life of “Mad Mike” Hoare, an accountant-turned-mercenary. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/02/2023m 30s

Delhi melee: India’s citizenship protests

Violence in the country’s capital is the worst in decades. The unrest pits the ruling party’s Hindu-nationalist agenda against citizens proud of India’s secular history. Both technology and society are outpacing the laws on free speech; we examine the battle lines. And we turn a data set outlining Europe’s economic history into sound. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/02/2021m 6s

Clash pipe: Canada’s widening protests

Successive governments have overlooked the concerns of indigenous peoples, and that has elevated a small gas-pipeline protest into a national conflagration. We look back on the life and legacy of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s longest-serving ruler. And the violent turf war in Sri Lanka—between people and elephants.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/02/2022m 51s

Mitigating circumstances: coronavirus spreads

Global markets tanked yesterday as governments reported startling rises in covid-19 cases. Our correspondents around the world assess countries' differing policies, and the prospects for overcoming the outbreak. There’s chaos and intrigue in Malaysia, where persistent ethnic divides continue to dominate the country’s politics. And why Saturday bus services in Israel are a potent election issue.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/02/2022m 48s

Peace-meal: ceasefire in Afghanistan

For now, a “reduction in violence” is holding, and a long-awaited agreement hangs in the balance. But can the Taliban and the country’s government engineer a lasting peace? Brazil’s surfers dominate the sport, but perhaps not for long. And the mismatch between teens’ job desires and their prospects.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/02/2022m 20s

Clerical era: Iran’s elections

In a bid to unite a fractious populace, hardliners barred half of the parliamentary candidates; by silencing moderates, the plan will suppress turnout and deepen the disquiet. We take a look at the rise, fall and this week’s pardon of the “junk-bond king” Michael Milken. And why so few Japanese people use their widely welcomed passports.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/02/2021m 56s

Uncut emerald: Ireland’s unification prospects

Spurred on by demographic shifts, Brexit and the success of the Sinn Fein party in this month’s election, the once-unthinkable idea of Irish reunification is gaining ground. The IMF is in Lebanon to discuss restructuring the country’s crippling debts; we examine the roots of the economic crisis. And visiting a frigid festival where even the instruments are made from ice.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/02/2022m 39s

Many hands light of work: China’s 170m migrant workers

Strict controls meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus are affecting many of the country’s villages. Our correspondent visits migrant workers who are trapped and draining their savings. We look into why Boeing’s space-and-defence division, which used to prop up the commercial-aircraft side, is itself losing altitude. And why American politicians’ heights matter so much to their prospects.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/02/2022m 13s

A friend of mines: America’s explosive policy turn

The Trump administration’s stance on anti-personnel landmines worries many—but also speaks to a future in which the rules of war are uncertain. Britain’s universities are coming to grips with how much the slave trade built them. And why the ads on televised sport aren’t always what they seem.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/02/2022m 6s

The snails of justice: the International Criminal Court

Sudan’s transitional government has pledged to hand over the country’s brutal former leader to the ICC—could justice for the court’s most-wanted man at last give it credibility? Even with a world-beating renewables push, Norway’s wealth depends on oil; how can it navigate the shifting economics of energy? And the bid to make Los Angeles just a bit less car-dependent.  For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/02/2020m 44s

Another man’s Treasury: Britain’s cabinet upheaval

The dramatic departure of the head of the Treasury reveals Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s desire—and that of his wily chief aide—to take firm hold of the country’s purse strings. A new book finds that a landmark study in psychiatry was not at all what it seemed. And the thumping changes going on in Berlin’s club scene. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radioofferAdditional audio “Dustbin Acid (Super Rhythm Trax)” courtesy Jerome Hill  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/02/2023m 55s

Defence on the defensive: NATO under scrutiny

It’s not just President Donald Trump piling pressure on the alliance. As defence ministers meet in Brussels, we examine one of the longest-lasting defence treaties in history. Despite mounting public unease, Japan’s government is pressing ahead with plans to bring in a wave of casinos. And the man who’s bringing agave spirit to India—just don’t call it tequila. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/02/2021m 0s

Bern turn: New Hampshire’s primary

Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg led the pack in New Hampshire. Two candidates have exited the race, and a potential spoiler is yet to compete. Argentina’s administration is at risk of defaulting on its gargantuan debt to the International Monetary Fund; both will be hoping to end the standoff today. And the environmentally conscious quest for artificial shrimp. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/02/2023m 6s

Christian Democratic disunion: Germany’s political upheaval

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hand-picked successor is out of the running. The ruling CDU party must now pick a new leader and a path in dealing with the rising far right. Legislation in the works in America shows how gender dysphoria among children has become a battlefront in the culture wars. And, a musical analysis of the winter blues. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/02/2022m 28s

Trust the process? China’s coronavirus response

The Communist Party is exuding an aura of complete control over the outbreak, but our correspondent finds an undercurrent of distrust. International health experts are racing to understand just how deadly the virus is, and whether it can ultimately be contained. And the rise of ratings—it seems employees in many industries will eventually be angling for a five-star review. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/02/2021m 28s

From out of left field: Ireland’s election

After the adulation, the discontent. Voters are abandoning the party of the young, progressive leader Leo Varadkar, with many supporting Sinn Fein, a party with a violent history. Our obituaries editor looks back on the life of Homero Gómez, a renowned logger-turned-butterfly-activist. And the coyotes invading America’s cities. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/02/2023m 25s

Imperfect call: Trump’s exoneration

A predictable outcome in President Donald Trump’s Senate trial will have unpredictable effects on executive power and congressional oversight—but probably not on November’s elections. A staggering map of neural connections opens a new frontier in brain science. And the entirely preventable plague of locusts munching through east Africa. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/02/2022m 8s

Address change: the State of the Union

President Donald Trump seemed to be going out of his way to rankle Democrats while he pitched his tenure as a change from American decline to American rejuvenation. In the developing world mobile phones have given millions access to financial services—as well as exposing them to exploitation. And what fashion houses do with their piles of unsold, high-end stock. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/02/2022m 43s

An app-polling delay: Iowa’s caucus chaos

Technical glitches and “inconsistencies” threw America’s first Democratic caucuses into disarray. That will have political consequences, irrespective of the eventual winner. So-called bio-bots—tiny machines made from the stem cells of a frog—blur the line between the biological and the mechanical. And the children competing in Thailand’s elbows-and-all Muay Thai boxing. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/02/2021m 40s

Economic contagion: Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s GDP report released today reflects the squeeze that enormous protests at home and economic headwinds on the mainland have put on the territory—and that was before the coronavirus outbreak. Inequality in Brazil is bad and getting worse; we ask why the government is chipping away at a much-praised social safety-net. And a look at the self-help craze gripping Ethiopia. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/02/2021m 53s

When one door closes: Brexit day

The costs of leaving the European Union are likely to outweigh the benefits. But as Britain re-aligns itself in the world, those benefits should be seized. The outcome of America’s impeachment proceedings is all but assured, and that is an insight into the Senate, the presidency and impeachment itself. And why pregnancy was absent for so long in British art.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31/01/2023m 50s

Viral hit: the costs of China’s lockdown

Our correspondent travels to the border of the locked-down Hubei province, finding among the people a mixture of resignation, fear and distrust. Was the draconian response appropriate? Big oil firms have just the kind of expertise needed to make a vast transition to renewables; in order to survive, they should put it to use. And why Mongolia’s winters are growing deadlier. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/01/2023m 23s

They went that Huawei: Britain’s crucial 5G call

Facing pressure from both China and America on allowing Huawei into its next-generation network, Britain opted to fully appease neither—and that will test relationships in the post-Brexit era. Collecting tax in Africa is a fairly fraught business, but it’s too much potential revenue to ignore. And the sociology that suggests the ideal size for a team. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/01/2022m 2s

Showpiece in the Middle East: Trump’s “ultimate deal”

Palestinian leaders have already rejected the American administration’s peace plan. But the proposal is nevertheless politically useful, both for Binyamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump. Our correspondent Nicolas Pelham recounts being detained in Iran last year. He was given a surprising amount of freedom—and made the most of it. And the shrinking American states paying people to move in. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/01/2023m 58s

Spread bet: China’s coronavirus quarantine

In Hubei province and increasingly across China, new-year celebrations are muted. Authorities are trying to contain the outbreak with an unprecedented lockdown. Homelessness is rising in the rich world, with Finland as a notable exception; we examine the merits of the country’s “housing first” policy. And how to identify someone by reading their heartbeat at 200 paces. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/01/2022m 55s

Ill-judged: Poland’s rule-of-law crisis

Poland's government has been trying to nobble the courts for years. Now the European Union is intervening, and the outcome could undermine the union itself. Our obituaries editor looks back on the life of Nell Gifford, whose small, tight-knit circus brought a sense of community into the big top. And modern sensitivities reveal why gender is so tricky in German. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/01/2021m 22s

On the right track: a trend in diplomacy

When conflict-resolution efforts falter in official channels, there are unofficial ones. We ask why “Track 2”—allowing well-meaning third parties to mediate—is on the rise. The prime minister of Lesotho has pledged to resign and his wife is on the run; we examine the high drama playing out in the African country. And some surprising truths about lie-detector tests. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/01/2022m 59s

Justin time, again: Trudeau’s second term

Canada’s prime minister now leads a minority government, and has lost support in the country’s west. We ask what he must do, and how, with his weakened mandate. Our correspondent travels across Ireland to discover how it swiftly switched from socially conservative to proudly progressive. And a look at the worrying numbers in our annual Democracy Index. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/01/2023m 36s

Can I get a witness? Impeachment

The rules are set, battle lines drawn and the outcome is all but assured. We ask why the Senate trial of President Donald Trump seems so sewn up. A decade after a devastating earthquake, Haiti is still a mess—and now a constitutional crisis is compounding the misery. And why gay women are more likely to divorce than gay men. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/01/2023m 55s

Tripoli crown: the battle for Libya

This weekend’s peace talks in Berlin were a good start, but the situation is still ripe for a longer, messier proxy war. More than a million people die each year on the world’s roads; solutions to the crisis are plain to see, if only governments would seize them. And how curators and conservators are bracing for climate change. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/01/2020m 32s

Address the problem: the global housing blunder

Badly run housing markets are linked to broader ills, from financial crises to the rise of populism. The first problem? The conviction that home ownership is an unambiguously good thing. While China clamps down on most religions, it encourages others; we meet the followers of a tenth-century sea goddess. And the decline of drinking a century after Prohibition began. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/01/2023m 47s

Set for life? Putin’s power-grab

After Russia’s president proposed vast constitutional change, the whole government resigned. It seems to be another convoluted power-grab by Vladimir Putin—and it seems likely to work. Our correspondent finds that the tired stereotypes European Union countries have about their neighbours are pervasive even at the heart of the European integration. And the surprising and nefarious world of sand-smuggling.  For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/01/2019m 59s

Going through a phase: US-China trade deal

Negotiators will sign a “phase one” pact today—but the trickiest issues remain unresolved, and plenty of tariffs will stay in place. Will the deal repair trading relations? As more young people head online, “cyberbullying” is on the rise, too. But why are some kids bullying themselves on social media? And why quirky Las Vegas weddings are on the wane. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/01/2020m 36s

A Biden by their decision? Democrats debate

The race for the Democratic nomination looks much like it did a year ago—but previous contests prove that once voting starts, momentum can reshuffle the pack. Iran has been roiling with protests following the accidental downing of an airliner; what should Iranians and the wider world expect now? And we examine how Bogotá’s once-adored public-transport system went so wrong. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/01/2023m 7s

Tsai of the times: Taiwan’s defiant election

China has been getting more aggressive in its claims over the island, but voters have made it clear just how much they favour democracy. The relentless slipping of interest rates around the world isn’t recent: new research suggests it’s been going on since the Middle Ages. And why the language of scientific papers disfavours female authors.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/01/2021m 10s

Scorched-earth policies: Australia and climate change

Evacuations are expanding as fast as the flames, and worse may yet be to come. We visit the fiery extremes that climate change is making more likely. At a museum dedicated to disgust, our correspondent tries some repugnant stuff, learning that the reaction is about far more than food. And why Japan’s new, surname-first rule reveals a big shift in attitudes. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/01/2023m 13s

Will you still feed me when I’m 62? Macron’s pension fight

He won a landslide victory campaigning on it, but like French presidents before him Emmanuel Macron is struggling to push through his grand pension reform; we ask why. The belief in guardian spirits in Myanmar is being cracked down on by increasingly intolerant monks. And the Canadian town of Asbestos considers a name-change. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/01/2022m 6s

Return fire: Iran’s missile attacks

Attacks on bases that house American troops seem a dramatic retaliation to the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Suleimani—yet both sides seem to be tuning their tactics toward de-escalation. After nearly a year without one, Spain has a government. But amid fragmented politics, it may not get much done. And how darts is moving from British-pub pastime to American prime time. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/01/2022m 45s

Two heads aren’t better than one: Venezuela

After chaotic scenes in the National Assembly, it seems the country’s legislature has two leaders. Has Juan Guaidó’s chance at regime change run out of steam? Allegations against Harvey Weinstein sparked the #MeToo movement; as he stands trial in New York we examine how the movement is progressing. And unpicking the weird theories for Sudan’s nasty traffic. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/01/2022m 54s

The general and specific threats: Iran

Killing Iran’s top military commander does not seem likely to further America’s aims for the region. What should America and its allies expect now? Biologists have long struggled to explain why homosexual behaviour is so widespread in nature, but a new theory simply asks: why not? And the global comeback of dubbing in foreign films. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/01/2023m 58s

Negative feedback: reversing carbon emissions

It is increasingly clear that putting less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will not be enough to combat climate change; we take a look at the effort to actively remove the stuff from the air. Our correspondent takes a ride on Chicago’s Red Line, whose length represents a shocking level of inequality. And why a push to go organic in Turkey isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/01/2023m 11s

Made (entirely) in China: a tech behemoth rises

No longer content just to assemble devices, Chinese firms want to design them and the infrastructure around them—and in some sectors they look set to succeed. Our correspondent visits indigenous communities along the icy sliver of water between Russia and America. And why North Korean students get illegal tutoring. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/01/2023m 56s

Lifesaver: meet a death-row detective

Death sentences are occasionally overturned in America; we meet a private detective responsible for saving many of those lives. We scour our foreign department taking nominations for The Economist’s country of the year. And our correspondent joins a shipment of Congolese beer for its long river journey from brewery to bars. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/12/1923m 20s

Lying in states: fibbing politicians

Lies and politics have always come as a pair, but the untruths keep getting bigger and more frequent; our correspondent digs into why. We speak with an adventurer who fought off the murderous boredom of a whole Antarctic winter with little more than books. And, the benefits and risks of home genetic-testing kits. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/12/1921m 16s

Old China hands: ageing in the Middle Kingdom

Next year, China’s median age will surpass America’s, but with just a quarter the median income; the government is nervous that China will get old before it gets rich. This weekend’s elections in Uzbekistan are another sign of astonishing change in the country—but plenty of political reform is still needed. And a sidelong glance at the tradition of the boss’s end-of-year memo. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/12/1922m 45s

Exclusionary rule: India’s citizenship law

The Hindu nationalist government’s latest move pointedly excludes Muslims from immigration reform. Protesters reckon that is an attack on the country’s cherished secularism. Tuberculosis is still among the world’s biggest killers; we look at emerging new tools to fight an old disease. And a deep dive on the sex lives of eels. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/12/1921m 4s

Marching orders: impeachment around the world

America’s impeachment battle falls along unhelpfully partisan lines—but the process has other shortcomings. We take some lessons from how the rest of the world does it. Cuba has long run an official two-currency economy; now, the once-banned American dollar is establishing itself as a third. And another take on American partisanship: our analysis shows intriguing divides in the country’s music tastes. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/12/1923m 9s

Majority rules: Britain’s new Parliament sits

Now that the prime minister has a thumping parliamentary majority, Brexit is assured—but on what terms? And what other legislative shake-ups are in the works? President Donald Trump has relied heavily on financial sanctions, often in place of old-fashioned diplomacy. We ask whether that is an effective avenue of foreign policy. And an attempt to peek into Asia’s illegal tiger farms.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/12/1921m 47s

COP out: the UN climate talks

Again, the annual COP conference ran long and ended with disappointment. Why can’t countries agree on what so clearly must be done? One big contributor to the changing climate is meat-eating, and China looks ever more carnivorous. And a new, push-button system to land planes whose pilots are incapacitated. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/12/1921m 49s

Bolt from the blue: Britain’s Conservatives triumph

A thumping win for Boris Johnson’s Tory party is more complex than it seems; the returns cast a light on changes bubbling under the surface of the country’s politics. A renewed push for land restitution in Kenya is making life hard for foreign firms. And the hardcore safety training that Chinese students think they need before heading to the West. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/12/1923m 50s

Defending the indefensible: Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar’s de facto leader appeared before the International Court of Justice to answer allegations of war crimes. We look at the stark turnaround of an icon of democracy. Storing renewable energy remains a powerful problem, but engineers are getting more creative. And a look at Americans’ obsession with dogs. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/12/1923m 23s

Articles of faith: charges laid against Trump

House Democrats have issued their narrowly focused articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. We look back on the history of impeachments and ask whether the process is working as first intended. Killings of French women by their partners account for a tenth of the country’s murders; at last, the problem is being addressed. And what climate change is doing to the wine industry.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/12/1921m 42s

Running into debt: Argentina’s new president

For the first time in decades, a non-Peronist president will peacefully hand over power. But the new president—and his deputy, former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner—have their work cut out for them. There’s a resurgence in radical-left ideas brewing; our correspondent picks through the manifestos. And an American mega-mall attempts to beat the rise of e-commerce with thrills.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/12/1920m 38s

Oil be going: Canada’s separatist west

Long-simmering tensions in the oil-rich west of the country have boiled over, and now there’s an increasingly credible push for secession. Investors are gobbling up startups that turn reams of climate data into better climate-risk predictions. And the lessons to be drawn from Sweden’s vast crop of billionaires. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/12/1920m 10s

Writing on the Wall: a revealing British-election hike

Our correspondent walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall, in northern England, finding shifting party alliances and surprising views on Brexit. We take a look at the phenomenon of Japan’s hikikomori, who shut themselves in for years on end. And why a plague of rats in California is likely to get even worse. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/12/1922m 16s

Not shy about retiring: strikes in France

A massive, rolling, national strike begins today, in protest against proposed reforms of the sprawling pension system. But details of the changes haven’t even been published yet. Our correspondent visits the conflict-ravaged Darfur region, and sees a historic opportunity for peace. And a look at how best to let entrepreneurial immigrants get back in business. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/12/1922m 6s

Inquiring minds: impeachment’s next stage

The House Judiciary Committee will now take up the inquiry into President Donald Trump. But will any of it matter to uninterested voters? The probe into the mysterious death of an investigative journalist is now haunting Malta’s halls of power. And a look back on the life of a beloved athlete who never quite won cycling’s biggest prize. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/12/1922m 47s

With allies like these: NATO’s bickering leaders hold a summit

It will be all smiles at the NATO summit today in London--but many of them will be forced. Behind the scenes, the alliance’s leaders are arguing about what its purpose should be. We also look at the disputed data behind the idea that inequality has been rising inexorably in recent years. And how a novel way to reduce cow and sheep burps could help in the fight against climate change. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/12/1922m 27s

Terrorist on parole: A jihadist killer fools Britain’s justice system

The Islamic militant who killed two people in London last week was supposedly being monitored by the authorities. That revelation has prompted a fierce debate about what went wrong. We take a look at the state of the global AIDS epidemic. And as their country goes to wrack and ruin, Venezuelans have been turning to video games, but not for the reasons you might think. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 38s

AMLO and behold: Mexico’s president tries to tackle corruption

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s president, is wildly popular, in part because of his determination to wipe out corruption. But is his crusade against graft everything it’s cracked up to be? We also look at the debate around randomised control trials, a popular but controversial tool in economics. In Congo, caterpillars are considered a delicacy. We explain why they deserve to be the next superfood. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 51s

Presidential SEAL: Donald Trump puts his stamp on military discipline

Donald Trump used to lionise generals, but this week he had a falling out with the top brass. Are the armed forces becoming as politicised as America’s other institutions? We also take a look at the emergence of a new narco-state in West Africa, Guinea-Bissau. And Silicon Valley has been trying to shed a reputation for sexism, but many of its products remain ill-suited to women. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 30s

Global warning: The UN sounds the alarm on climate change

The UN has just released its annual report on how well the fight to slow climate change is going. It finds that efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions are going from bad to worse. We also look at a surprising new lease on life for China’s regional dialects. And while people debate about the merits of Uber, one thing is clear -- it drives people to drink -- or so new research suggests. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 58s

Start spreading the cash: Michael Bloomberg runs for president

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, has announced he is running for president. But he is late to join the race and not very popular with Democratic primary voters. We also look at TikTok, a wildly successful video-sharing app, that some see as a threat to security in the Western world. And much of Switzerland is up in arms--about the reliability of the country’s coffee supply. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 27s

Protest vote: Hong Kongers send a message to Beijing

After almost six months of protests and street battles, Hong Kongers have had a chance to vote in local elections. They sent a clear message of support to those agitating for greater democracy. We look at how the impeachment hearings in Washington are undermining the fight against corruption in Eastern Europe. And deep below Jerusalem, a high-tech cemetery is under construction. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 14s

Bibi in the corner: Binyamin Netanyahu’s indictment

After years of investigations, Israel’s prime minister has been indicted. A fraught legal case will complicate the already messy business of cobbling together a government. We examine the work of a pioneering sociologist to understand the causes and consequences of eviction in America. And Leonardo da Vinci’s vineyard has been faithfully recreated, and his wine is enjoying its own renaissance.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 52s

Fuel to the fire: growing unrest in Iran

After petrol subsidies were slashed, protests of surprising ferocity have flared up across the country—and neither the government nor the demonstrators seem to be backing down. The illicit trade in rhinoceros horn threatens the animals’ survival, but scientists have come up with a convincing fake that could collapse the market. And the surprisingly subtle choices to balance meat-eating and environmentalism. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 6s

Settling in: Israel-Palestine policy

The American administration’s shifting position on Israeli settlements in the West Bank will have little immediate effect—but may end up sharply crimping hopes for a Palestinian state. The first debate ahead of Britain’s general election didn’t leave much room for the two main candidates to get past canned talking points. And how high-end gin is displacing the rot-gut variety in India.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 8s

Bits in pieces: a fragmenting internet

The early vision for a borderless, unregulated internet has not panned out as its pioneers hoped. How to handle the “splinternet”? Doug Jones is Alabama’s first Democratic senator in a quarter of a century; in his moderate ways our correspondent finds broader lessons for the Democratic Party. And air pollution is a threat the world over—most of all to the well-being of children.Additional audio courtesy of Department of RecordsFor full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 8s

Head for the Hill: this week’s impeachment hearings

Democrats have a hard task as the hearings’ public stage proceeds: not uncovering new evidence, but building a robust public case for impeachment. The online-grocery business is tough—but that isn’t stopping e-commerce players big and small from trying to crack it. And it’s getting harder for artists to hang around on the album charts; new talent is coming in, and heading out, ever faster. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 21s

Better the devil they know? Sri Lanka’s election

After multiple suicide bombings in April, much campaigning has been about security. Will Sri Lankans vote tomorrow for the authoritarian-but-effective candidate, or the more untested peacemaker? We examine the growing nostalgia for Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted as Egypt’s president as part of the Arab Spring. And a trawl through historical records shows how long it took for William Shakespeare to reach real fame.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 29s

Language barrier: Cameroon’s forgotten conflict

There is widespread terror in the largely Francophone country’s English-speaking region. Both hardline separatists and the army target civilians with shocking brutality. In a Central Asian valley, a tangle of borders and exclaves that stretch back to Soviet times is making travel difficult—and sometimes deadly. And an experiment in Estonia to punish lead-footed drivers not with a fine, but with a time-out.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 14s

Umbrellas to firebombs: Hong Kong’s escalating protests

Molotov cocktails are flying and live rounds have been fired. Once-peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations are transforming into violent confrontations—and neither side seems willing to back down. The agricultural revolution that has swept much of the world has still not reached much of Africa; we look into the seeds of the problem. And why Colombia has a growing difficulty with a druglord’s hippos.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 43s

The American Dreamer: DACA in the Supreme Court

The Trump administration has long wanted to scrap the “Dreamers” scheme, which allowed illegal immigrants who came as youths to stay in America. The question is whether the programme’s founding was legal. An emissions debate has infuriated Dutch farmers, and the debacle may threaten Holland’s long history of calm negotiation. And we ask why Disney wants to enter the cut-throat business of video-on-demand. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 10s

Unpresidented: Bolivia’s leader resigns

After weeks of protests following a disputed election, Evo Morales has stood down. Who is in charge, and how can the country escape its gridlock? On a visit to a military hospital our correspondent wonders why Americans seem so disengaged from their veterans. And the campaign to clear Bangladeshi streets of a beloved mode of transport. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 25s

Persistence of division: after the Berlin Wall

This weekend marks three decades since the wall fell, yet stark divides remain between East and West. We revisit that moment of hope that remains unfulfilled. Ethiopia’s Somali state was until recently the country’s most repressive; a visit to one of its prisons reveals a tremendous transformation for the better. And China’s effort to boost its national football team: naturalising foreign talents. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 55s

Allez, Europe! Macron’s diplomatic push

This week our correspondent joined Emmanuel Macron on his visit to China. The French president is stretching his diplomatic wings, and has some striking views about Europe’s place in the world. The state of Texas has been reliably Republican for decades, but its demographics are changing; could it at last turn blue? And how Japan is dealing with its epidemic of public-transport groping.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 20s

Demonstrative: a global wave of protest

Today’s public-sector demonstrations in Zimbabwe are just the latest in a wave of protests around the world. We look into why there are so many, and what might be driving them. It’s not all sound and fury, though; in Lebanon, an Instagram-driven push is helping demonstrators find love in the crowds. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 49s

Stone unturned? Trump’s adviser on trial

Today Roger Stone, a colourful associate of President Donald Trump for 40 years, goes on trial facing seven charges; he denies them. Could his testimony worry the Trump camp? In the international race to mass-market driverless cars, China’s 5G network may provide a critical edge. And why you shouldn’t worry too much about eerily apposite computer-generated text.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1924m 1s

Facebooklets: breaking up Big Tech

Few politicians are as ambitious about dismantling the tech behemoths as Elizabeth Warren, one of America’s Democratic presidential contenders. What she is proposing, though, would be neither easy nor quick. We dive into the myriad threats faced by corals, and by the millions of people whose livelihoods depend on them. And a new book considers the likes of Genghis Khan as manager material.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 38s

Impeach-y keen: Trump investigation goes public

America’s House of Representatives took its first vote on how to proceed with impeachment proceedings against the president. Republicans will now struggle to defend him. Uighurs, China’s Muslim minority, are not just at risk of internment and “re-education” at home; even Uighur exiles abroad face intimidation. And a look at the remarkable artist behind the first-known “Last Supper” painted by a woman. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 34s

Iraq in a hard place: deadly protests continue

Demonstrations have been growing for a month and show no signs of abating. But would the reforms that the protesters are demanding actually work? We examine a pioneering bit of Lithuanian software that excels at fake-news detection. And why Germans are resistant to calls for speed limits on the Autobahn. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 55s

May as well: Boris Johnson’s electoral bet

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has at last secured a general election. Just as with his predecessor Theresa May, that may not result in easier Brexit arithmetic. We speak to Amy Klobuchar, a Democratic-nomination contender; she is behind in polls, but might be a better bet for a party bent on ousting President Trump. And, the campaign to reduce alcohol consumption that’s funded by the alcohol industry. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 55s

Not fare enough: Chile’s protests

The ongoing unrest is no longer about a rise in metro fares; Chileans have risen up to demand that the prosperity of their country be distributed more evenly. The “Visegrad Four” economies of central Europe have been a post-communism success story—but as flows of people and money shift, they’re looking more precarious. And, a bid to measure just how useful managers really are. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 19s

State of disarray: the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The man who brought Islamic State to the world stage with visions of a brutal “caliphate” has been killed. But the jihadist movement, while weakened, lives on. Argentines voted their reformist president out and protectionist, big-state Peronists back in. Can the hobbled economy cope? And America’s push to start school later could boost grades and the economy, and even save lives.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 20s

Poll dance: Boris Johnson’s election ploy

Britain’s prime minister is making a risky move by calling for a general election in December. Will it succeed any more than it did for his predecessor? In Japan, both the government and the people take a dim view of soft-drug use; we ask why. And tourists make a dangerous and defiant last-minute dash up Uluru, Australia’s most famous rock. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 6s

Calls to action: Lebanon’s continued protests

What began as protests against a tax on WhatsApp calls has blossomed into surprisingly united and peaceful demands for wholesale government overhaul. Today’s disinterment and reburial of Francisco Franco, Spain’s dictator for four decades, speaks volumes about how the country views its bloody history. And how radio DJs are helping with Thailand’s teen-pregnancy problem. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 23s

Putin, he’s back into it: Russia’s growing influence

Vladimir Putin’s diplomacy regarding northern Syria is just one example of the Russian president’s widening influence. British Airways was once known as the world’s favourite airline, we ask why its popularity has fallen far faster than its profits. And why voters should be wary of politicians claiming to speak for “the people”.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 12s

The course of Trudeau love: Canada’s election

Justin Trudeau will remain prime minister, but will lead a minority government. He will probably be able to continue with his progressive push, but his halo is a bit tarnished. It’s ten years this month since Greece’s financial implosion; we look back on a decade spent balancing the books. And, the surprising success of fun stock-ticker symbols. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 25s

Going through the motion: more Brexit contortions

It might have been a clarifying vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit motion; instead, more legislation and frustration. We dig through the parliamentary procedure to try to map out what happens next. Sports fans’ easy access to the world’s games poses a threat to some sports, and is even changing the nature of others. And, Indonesia’s curious push for halal pianos.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 28s

Irish ayes? A new Brexit deal

Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson has a newly struck European Union divorce deal in hand. He has defied the expectations of many, but he still faces a tricky vote in Britain’s parliament. Turkey’s pummelling of the Syrian border area will pause for five days, but the decline of America’s role and image in the region has not been halted. And the burgeoning business of therapeutic psychedelics.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 52s

Antsy about ANC: reform in South Africa

Our journalists interview Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, about his efforts to clean up his country and his African National Congress party. He’s the right man for the job, but the clock is ticking. The markets are rife with funds run by computers, but handing decisions to the machines comes with plenty of risk. And how political polarisation is driving a new dictionary of discourtesy.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 46s

Back to Square one? Tiananmen veterans in Hong Kong

Amid the growing disquiet in Hong Kong are a few survivors of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. These once-moderate voices are changing their minds about whether the protesters should keep provoking the Chinese government. Even as a currency crisis unfolds, Lebanon’s central bank is keeping things stable—so far. The bank has a solid history, in part because of one man who guarded a pile of Ottoman gold. And an effort to wrangle the dialects of the Canadian Arctic.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1924m 19s

Then there were 12: the Democrats’ fourth debate

Twelve candidates take to the stage again tonight, with two clear front-runners. We ask how the winnowing field reflects the mood of the party. We also examine an unlikely candidate in a lesser-watched race: that for the Republican nomination. And, why the shattering of the two-hour-marathon mark has much to do with snazzy footwear.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 44s

The enemy of their enemy: the Kurds ally with Syria

Turkey’s violent strikes on north-eastern Syria came as swiftly as America’s withdrawal. The overwhelmed Kurds, once America’s staunch allies against Islamic State, now want protection from Syria’s Russian-backed forces. “Microfinance” experiments are intended to alleviate poverty, but in Sri Lanka one trial has gone badly wrong. And, why China’s 30m truckers aren’t the folk heroes they might be elsewhere.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 26s

PiS prize: Poland’s crucial election

It is at once a story of post-communist success and of populist threats to the rule of law by the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party. What direction will Poles choose for their country? Gay rights are few and far between in China, but couples have found protection in a little loophole in guardianship law. And, how Elvis Presley’s last flash in Las Vegas changed the city forever.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 49s

Uncomfortable president: Trump’s stonewalling

The White House is stonewalling the impeachment inquiry. Could that hinder the Democrats’ ability to build a strong public case? We look at this year’s crop of Nobel prizes in the sciences and ask why, once again, all the winners are men. And, Japan’s government-led efforts to match lonely urbanites with rural folk.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 57s

Sorry state: Kashmir on lockdown

Two months after India’s Hindu-nationalist government stripped the state of Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy, 7m people are still in limbo. How will it end? Could America’s angrily partisan politics be explained by a rise in loneliness? We visit the Midwest to find out. And, companies are going big on “financial wellness” initiatives for their employees.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 41s

Just a Kurd to him: Trump’s Syria withdrawal

The president’s sudden talk of departure from a contested strip of the Turkey-Syria border betrays the Kurds who helped beat back Islamic State—and risks throwing the region into chaos. A look at the cashew industry in Mozambique reveals the tricky trade-offs between agriculture and development. And, an unusual opera outlining the life and letters of birth-control pioneer Marie Stopes.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 49s

Trade disunion: America’s tariff wars

Chinese and American trade negotiators will again be trying to avoid more eye-watering tariffs this week; meanwhile a years-long dispute with the European Union has sparked yet more levies. Where does it all end? We describe the recent “quantum supremacy” result, and what it realistically means for computing’s future. And, the coming submersion of 12,000 years of human history in Turkey.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 34s

Duty call: how Ukraine sees the Trump scandal

A phone call between the presidents has sparked an impeachment inquiry in America. But how do the people of Ukraine view the kerfuffle? Massive student protests put Indonesia’s president in a bind, balancing his programme of reforms and growth against uncomfortable social pressures. And, a revealing read through the Democratic presidential contenders’ autobiographies.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 48s

Immunisation shot? The case against Binyamin Netanyahu

Political deadlock in Israel is now inextricably intertwined with a case against the prime minister. An eventual coalition could provide him with immunity, or could seal his political fate. The signature social reform of Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, faces furious opposition—but it might be even more risky for him not to pursue it. And, South Korea’s beauty industry has gone global, even as its biggest cosmetics retailer struggles.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 4s

Reform over function: Peru’s political crisis

A long-running dispute between the president and the opposition-controlled Congress has spun out of control—and it’s not clear who will end up leading the country. A visit to a protest camp in coal-country Kentucky is a revealing look into several of America’s divides. And, why India has ended up with a 7m-tonne pile of sugar.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 21s

Party like it’s 1949: China’s National Day

As at the founding of the People’s Republic, the 70th anniversary featured a tightly controlled parade bristling with the country’s latest military kit. That marks a sharp contrast to the growing chaos in Hong Kong, where a protest spirit has sparked new art, and an impromptu anthem. And, we ask if hot-desking costs employees more than companies are saving.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 24s

Out-of-office messaging: Britain’s Tory conference

Lawmakers are back in Parliament while the ruling party is elsewhere, laying out its legislative mission. The Tories are divided, more scandals are arising and the only consistent message is “Get Brexit done”. We meet a Georgian film-maker whose love story challenges the country’s socially conservative mores. And, how young people’s blood may hold secrets that can halt ageing.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 27s

Spoiled ballot: Afghanistan’s election

The country is set for another violent and disputed election. But the fact that Afghans will head to the polls anyway is an encouraging story. Insurance could mitigate the risks that climate change presents to lives and livelihoods—if it weren’t threatening the insurance industry, too. And, a look back at the life of Jan Ruff O’Herne, a courageous war-rape survivor.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 12s

Call to account: Trump-Ukraine intrigues

President Donald Trump’s call to his Ukrainian counterpart is under ever-greater scrutiny. An unexpected impeachment inquiry has started; how will it end? For the world’s small-island states, climate change is literally an existential concern. So they’ve banded together to become a potent negotiating force. And, why India’s science funding features so much mysticism and cow dung.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 25s

And the law won: Boris Johnson’s latest defeat

Once again, Britain’s prime minister has been thwarted, this time for trying to stymie Parliament as the European departure looms. How will Boris proceed, and how will Brexit progress? We take a look at economists’ rise to policy prominence, and what they did wrong when they got there. And, a surprisingly cheery Congolese doomsday sect.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 45s

Aid for abetting? Trump’s Ukraine call

President Donald Trump’s critics say a telephone call with his Ukrainian counterpart would reveal his most egregious offence yet. But it’s hard to say what would tip lawmakers into pursuing impeachment. Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel agency has folded—but that’s not to say package holidays are passé. And, what the reviews of a propaganda film reveal about China’s international infrastructure efforts.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 40s

Madurable: impasse in Venezuela

International sanctions have crimped the regime, and the country’s people. Yet President Nicolás Maduro is still in charge. The only way out is for him to share power, not relinquish it. The “internet of things” will eventually comprise perhaps a trillion connected devices—each a tempting target for hackers. And, how cities came to be, and why they’ve been such a draw through the millennia.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 26s

To all, concern: a climate-change special

As the Global Climate Strike gets under way, we look at all matters climatic. History shows that fervent debate—and self-interested misinformation—go back to the mid-20th century. Uncertainties in scientists’ climate models are swamped by uncertainties about what people will do. And, plenty of people are already adapting to climate change, but that presents its own risks. Finally, climate-minded artists add their voices to the debates.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 21s

I can do that, Dave: AI and warfare

Artificial intelligence is making its way into every aspect of life, including military conflict. We look at the thorny legal and ethical issues that the newest arms race raises. Three executives from Fukushima’s melted-down nuclear-power plant were cleared of negligence today, but the disaster’s aftermath is far from over. And, what a swish new Chinese restaurant in Havana says about China-Cuba relations.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 23s

Ursa minor: Russia-China relations

In the 20th century Russia was the more powerful partner. Take a look at the flows of money and influence today, though, and it’s clear the situation has reversed. Part-time work first took hold because it offered flexibility to women just entering the labour market—but it costs them both in terms of pay and prospects. And, a look at the burgeoning sports-betting market in Ethiopia.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 14s

Always be my Bibi? Israel back at the polls

The country has never had two elections in a year, and the second looks to be as close-run as the first. Could that at last spell the end of the Binyamin Netanyahu era? A mysterious illness linked to e-cigarettes has now killed seven Americans—but vaping is still less dangerous smoking. Also, we consider the lobster roll, and a wider truth it reveals about lunch economics.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 4s

Pipe down: attacks on Saudi oil

Strikes on the world’s largest refinery are bad news for the state oil firm ahead of a record-breaking stock listing—and worse news for the proxy war between Iran and America. Another coming listing is that of WeWork; we consider whether the office-rental firm can prove its critics wrong. And, how the Spanish Inquisition is affecting some Europhile British Jews.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 31s

To Viktor, more spoils: Hungary’s autocracy

He was once a liberal reformer, but now no institution is safe from Viktor Orban’s iron grip. His transformation into an autocrat is a troubling lesson about the decline of liberal democracies. Afghanistan’s drug trade has for decades mostly meant opium and heroin; thanks to a native bush, now methamphetamines are on the rise. And, a look at the resurgent musical genre called yacht rock. Additional audio: Soundsnap  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 29s

Trust issues: Huawei’s radical plan

The tech giant finds itself enmeshed in a broad battle between China and America. But Huawei’s boss has an idea that might extricate it: selling off its 5G crown jewels. The battle isn’t only in technology; the documentary “American Factory” examines what happens when a Chinese company comes to Ohio. And, the surprising ease of shutting down an airport using drones.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 13s

Scapegoating: xenophobia in South Africa

Migrants have become a convenient scapegoat for South Africans frustrated by a slumping economy and rampant unemployment—and for the politicians who might otherwise take the blame. We take a look at the ever-sharper divisions in America’s abortion debate. And, why the improbably complex business of getting cabs in Beirut is preferred over disrupters like Uber. Additional audio courtesy of Soweton  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 34s

Things fall apart: Britain’s fading centre-right

Parliament is suspended for weeks. The Conservative party has been hollowed out. The prime minister’s hopes for an election have been dashed, twice. What does all this portend for the Tory party? And a special election in a solidly Republican district in North Carolina may shed light on President Donald Trump’s re-election chances. Also, a look at the unsung human superpower of language.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 31s

Tali-banned: Trump calls off Afghan peace talks

President Trump has abruptly cancelled talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, raising fears of renewed internal strife. Wales dabbles in nationalism, and it could follow the Scottish push for separatism. Finally, could a deal finally be on the horizon in the US-China trade war? Our correspondent searches for answers in the well-stuffed secrets of Chinese upholstery.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 44s

Disunited Russia party? Moscow’s elections

This weekend’s vote will fill some fairly inconsequential city positions. But how it plays out will indicate the strength of a rapidly broadening, national movement against the ruling United Russia party. China has long been repressing the Muslim-minority Uighurs; worryingly, it’s now starting to squeeze the Huis, more dispersed followers of Islam. And, a well-intentioned anti-knife-crime push in Britain draws ire after targeting fried-chicken shops.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 12s

Age-old problem: reforming France

President Emmanuel Macron embarks on a serious policy challenge today over pensions. Will his efforts at reform re-ignite the protests that have dogged his presidency? And, a look at the legacies of two opposing figures of environmentalism: David Koch, a billionaire industrialist who undermined the science of climate change, and Steve Sawyer, an activist who elevated Greenpeace to a formidable global movement.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 14s

This is revolting: Britain’s parliament rebels

Boris Johnson has lost his parliamentary majority. Conservative party rebels will now help push for a bill precluding a no-deal Brexit, making an early election look even more likely. Violence in Afghanistan continues, even as America’s negotiations with the Taliban wrap up; we ask where America’s longest war went wrong. And, unreadably long terms and conditions lead to more than consumer confusion—they break some basic economic principles.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 39s

No safety in numbers: America’s immigration raids

Workplace raids catch many undocumented migrants in one place. But they do nothing to tackle the criminal element that the Trump administration has so vilified. Many of the 2,000 Turkish citizens that fought alongside jihadists in Syria now want to return; the whole region is struggling with its expat extremists. And, a “culinary balance of trade” reveals which cuisine has most conquered the world’s menus.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 57s

Until blue in the face: Hong Kong’s protests

The territory’s authorities have used live rounds, pepper spray and water cannon with blue dye to mark participants in ever-growing protests. What else might they resort to? The Baltic states, worried about Russian expansionism, are countering the old-school spycraft of the Kremlin’s agents. And, drag acts sashay into the mainstream.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 8s

Out to launch: American nuclear policy

There is a push in America to subscribe to a “no first use” policy on nukes, in a bid to reduce risks and anxiety. But could that actually make things less stable? We tour through South Asia, where the annual monsoon is increasingly disrupted by climate change. How will the region cope? And, a look at Taylor Swift’s off-again, on-again “Love Story” with streaming services.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 14s

Suspend, disbelief: Parliament and Brexit

Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, sparked widespread outrage by suspending Parliament in the run-up to Brexit. What recourse do lawmakers still have? Taiwan’s deal to buy American fighter jets reveals wide political support for tooling up against Chinese aggression. And, the exceptional efforts to save New Zealand’s chubby parrot, the kakapo.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 17s

Ex-Seoul-mate: Japan-South Korea spat escalates

Century-old discord is never far from the surface for the two countries, but the latest flare-up risks disrupting stability in the region. We estimate how much the grounded Boeing 737 MAX plane is costing airlines, suppliers and the planemaker itself: about $4bn a quarter. In other no-fly news, Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate activist, arrives in New York by boat. We examine data showing that she’s not the only Scandinavian with “flight shame”.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1918m 50s

Emmanuel transmission: outcomes of the G7

The weekend summit hosted by France’s President Emmanuel Macron resulted in few concrete actions; mostly the diplomatic dance was intended to keep President Donald Trump on side. Such meetings may not always go smoothly, but they’re still worth having. We ask why Uzbekistan is at last closing Jaslyk, its notorious gulag. And, the emerging science of investigating planets in other solar systems. Additional sounds by Soundsnap.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 19s

A friend of mines: Asia’s coal habit

The region accounts for three-quarters of the world’s coal consumption—even as giants such as China and India consider its environmental effects and opportunities in renewables. For a while, international aid and attention were showered on Liberia; now they’re gone, things aren’t going well. And, a look at cruise lines’ new wheeze in the Caribbean: real travel it ain’t.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 52s

Fight or flight: Cathay Pacific

China’s central government has made an example of the huge, Hong Kong-based carrier. Will the ploy work to quell protests in the territory, or just further rattle the nerves of its international firms? We examine the spectacular rise of Pentecostalism in Ethiopia, and its effects on the country’s politics. And, the plight of the puffin in the Faroe Islands.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 11s

Pull out all the backstops: Boris Johnson in Europe

Britain’s prime minister is on the continent ahead of this weekend’s G7 meeting. We ask whether he’ll be able to ditch the Irish “backstop” that has become Brexit’s stickiest sticking point. We take a look at FedEx, its old-school disrupter founder and how it is itself being disrupted in the age of Amazon. And, economists tease out the long-suspected link between marijuana and the munchies.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 51s

League of its own? Italian politics

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has pulled the rug from under the country’s government, betting that his charismatic right-wingery might win him more-complete rule. Will it work? We take a look at Latin America’s state energy giants—and find the shared ills of mismanagement, politicisation and sticky fingers. And, a curious film-making boom in Siberia.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 47s

Power rationing: Sudan in transition

After months of unceasing protests, military leaders have struck a deal to share power with civilians, while Omar al-Bashir, the country’s deposed dictator, is in court. But can Sudan break out of its cycle of violence? We examine the curious notion that the shapes of parliamentary chambers shape the debates within them. And, politics meets choral music at Estonia’s Laulupidu festival.Additional audio of the International Criminal Court courtesy of ICC-CPI.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 45s

Scarcely surviving: Zimbabwe

Electricity, food, water: everything is in short supply in the country, including faith in the government’s ability to recover from Robert Mugabe’s kleptocracy. China produced a record 8.3m university graduates this year; we take a look at the changing labour market they’re entering. And, experiments in the Netherlands to house the young with the old are going remarkably well, in part because both parties benefit.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 43s

Yield signs: the global economy

Investors are piling into safe assets as markets whipsaw: what’s driving the global economy these days is anxiety. Is all the worry justified? Nestled among the conflicts and suffering in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a vast national park that is trying to make the most of its stunning natural beauty. And, why are some languages so damnably hard to learn? Additional audio by ‘sctang’ from Freesound.org.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 27s

Poll reposition: Macri fights back

President Mauricio Macri’s thumping presidential-primary loss in Argentina left the markets fearing a left-wing resurgence. To win over voters, he’s announced a relaxation of some austerity measures. Will it be enough? In the Arctic, wildfires are rampant—and they’ll amplify the very temperature rises that caused them. And, a look at the unlikely rise of Gulf-state book fairs.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 24s

Let’s not make a deal: Brexit

Talk grows ever-louder of Britain exiting the European Union without a divorce agreement. Most parliamentarians would rather avoid that—but can they do anything to stop it? We join a Ukrainian military exercise as the country seeks to beef up defences that were nearly wiped out by Russia’s annexation of Crimea. And, China’s tech companies train their sights on the tech-savvy elderly. Additional audio: "English Dawn Chorus, Rural, late spring" by odilonmarcenaro at Freesound.org and “Puzzle Pieces” by Lee Rosevere.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 38s

Sex cells: the modern fertility business

Companies are rushing to fill new niches for would-be parents: in vitro fertilisation extras, swish egg-harvesting “studios” and apps to track reproductive health. But some companies promise more than science can deliver. The worrying flare-up of piracy off west Africa presents new challenges and unmitigated risks to sailors. And, lessons learned from a shooting simulator for police.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 16s

Raid in Aden: Yemen’s fragmented conflict

Over the weekend, armed rebels overran Aden, the seat of Yemen’s internationally recognised government. They had defected from a loose, Saudi-backed coalition that looks increasingly shaky. The gaming business is huge, but isn’t yet part of the streaming revolution seen in films and music; who will become the Netflix of gaming? And, an update to a 1970s book on sexuality reveals much about modern female desire, and how it’s perceived.Additional music by Rymdkraft and Kuesa.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 1s

Withdrawal symptoms: America-Taliban talks

America’s envoy claimed “excellent progress” in negotiations ahead of the country’s planned exit from Afghanistan. But stickier talks await, between the Islamist militia and the Afghan government. A promising new vaccine may at last tackle typhoid fever, which claims 160,000 lives every year. And, we travel to Scotland and hop on the world’s shortest scheduled flight.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 5s

Clear-cut risks: the Amazon degrades

Deforestation is on the rise and Brazil’s government is all but encouraging it. Beyond a certain threshold, the world’s largest rainforest will dry out into a savanna—with dire consequences. We ask why Malaysia’s reformist coalition isn’t doing much reforming of the country’s illiberal laws. And, Norway’s growing scourge of fish-smuggling.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 26s

State of alarm: India moves on Kashmir

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has gutted the autonomy of the restive and disputed Jammu & Kashmir. India’s only majority-Muslim state is locked down and fearful of a vast demographic reshuffle. We meet the deep-sea divers of the oil industry, finding that their work is as dangerous as it is dependent on oil prices. And, what is a “deepfake”, how are they made and what risks do they pose?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 4s

PLA a part? Hong Kong’s growing unrest

China’s central government held another press conference to address increasingly chaotic unrest in Hong Kong. A close listen reveals language that may be presaging a military intervention. There’s much to be said for employee share ownership—but a push from left-leaning politicians to mandate its availability is creating controversy. And, the dirty secret behind the exorbitant costs of music-gig tickets.Additional audio courtesy of cgeffex from Freesound.org.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 11s

Sticking to their guns: violence in America

Two mass shootings over the weekend add to the unrelenting stream of gun violence in America. We look at the political and social forces that ensure it will continue. The collapse of Venezuela’s infrastructure has left its people desperate for medical care. We meet some of the women crossing into Colombia to seek help. And, the politics behind the ever-shifting travel advice dispensed in the Middle East.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 26s

A farewell to arms control: the INF treaty dies

As America abandons the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty we examine the future of arms control. New weapons abound and new countries are using them, but new treaties will be hard to come by. With Baltimore in the news as President Donald Trump’s latest point of provocation, we ask how the city’s crime rates got so high, and what can be done. And, the surprising rise of rosé wine in France.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 15s

Disbelief, dysfunction, disaster: Congo’s Ebola outbreak

As aid workers battle the second-worst outbreak in history, they face violence and disbelief. A history of conflict, suspicion of the rich world and wild conspiracy theories make fighting a difficult battle far harder. Architects are tackling the dark, loud, violent nature of jails to make them more about rehabilitation than retribution. And, the increasingly absurd language of job adverts.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 18s

Apply liberally: Trudeau’s re-election bid

Canada’s prime minister may not have an easy campaign ahead; we sit down with Justin Trudeau to discuss his tenure so far. The country’s role as a liberal bastion seems safe, for now. Bayer is now reckoning with the problems presented by its latest acquisition, Monsanto—and it may emerge stronger. And, we meet a Mongolian band on a heavy-metal mission. Track “Remember Your Thunder” courtesy of SnakeBiteSmile  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 36s

Primary culler: Democrats’ second debates

The fields of American presidential candidates just keep getting bigger, and party rules incentivise extreme views and dark-horse entrants. That might not be what’s best for either party. The fast-shipping arms race sparked by Amazon is radically reshaping how stuff gets around the world. And, on a visit to Shanghai’s flagship Lego store, we ask what makes the bricks so popular in China.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 1s

One country, one system: Hong Kong’s protests

Authorities in Beijing held a rare press conference addressing unrest in Hong Kong. That gives lie to the region’s “one country, two systems” governance; fears of a vicious crackdown are growing. Beneath what might seem to be advancements of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia is a mess of contradictions. And, why youngsters are turning away from Facebook—but toward the social-media giant’s other platforms.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 53s

A plight in Tunisia: the president passes

Beji Caid Essebsi promised to fix the economy, re-establish security and consolidate Tunisia’s democracy—but all of that remains unresolved as the country begins its search for a new leader. Pet ownership is surging around the world, as are ways to pamper pets. Who owns whom here? And, homeopathy gets diluted as France removes its state subsidy for the pseudoscience.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 20s

Nothing new to report: Robert Mueller testifies

As promised, the special counsel revealed no more than appeared in his report into Russian election-meddling and obstruction of justice. The story hasn’t moved on, but Democrats would be wise to. Economists are returning to an old idea: that cultural forces should figure into their theories. And, a look at the blindingly fast hands—and feet, and robots—of Rubik’s Cube competitions.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 2s

Ricky situation: Puerto Rico’s protests

Rolling protests have rocked the island after leaked texts revealed the governor’s insults. But Puerto Rico’s problems are far greater than almost 900 pages of tasteless jokes. We consider the merits of challenging Latin America’s amnesties; justice might be served, but unearthing the past comes with its own perils. And, why women are so well represented among eastern Europe’s scientists.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 49s

You, May, be excused: Boris Johnson ascends

Britain has a new prime minister—who will inherit all the same problems his predecessor had. Good luck guiding a divided nation through Brexit with a paper-thin majority in parliament. Europe’s steel industry is getting hammered by tariffs and gluts, but one tucked-away mill in Austria has steeled itself for tumult. And, what single characteristic do Americans least want in their roommates?Additional audio "Fly" by Benboncan at Freesound.org.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 45s

Get one thing strait: Iran’s tanker stand-off

The seizure of a British-flagged tanker in the Gulf may seem counter to Iran’s international objectives. But at home, hardliners are in the ascendancy—for them, it’s a public-relations coup. The rise of populism, particularly in Europe, suggests voters are angry. But polls suggest otherwise; we dive into this “happiness paradox”. And, the curious rise in borrowing against high-end art.Additional music "Puzzle Pieces" by Lee Rosevere.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 53s

Servant’s entrance: Ukraine’s elections

Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party looks set to make big gains in Ukraine’s parliament this weekend. It must, if it wants to weaken oligarchs’ hold over the country. If space exploration and exploitation is to really take off, there’s one big thing missing: the laws to regulate it. And, we remember João Gilberto, the father of bossa nova, whose rise coincided with an all-too-brief cultural renaissance in Brazil.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 32s

Unmoving movement: Venezuela’s bloody stalemate

The opposition’s momentum has faded; many protesters are too tired to go on. Nicolás Maduro, the illegitimate president, is showing his grip on power with shows of force. Global shipping is in a slump—but a visit to the Port of Rotterdam reveals that the industry itself got the message late. And, assessing whether the internet is as ruinous to language as many assume.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 5s

In like a Leyen: the European Commission’s new president

Ursula von der Leyen has a tough task ahead, pressing a broad agenda in a fragmented European Parliament. We take a look at the vast international collaboration that is weather prediction, where it’s heading and how climate change could make it harder. And, why the villages of Japan are where to head if you love getting close to bears.Additional sound by Solostud at Freesound.org.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 11s

At stake, chips: Japan-South Korea trade spat

A dispute about industrial chemicals reveals tensions that have remained unresolved since the second world war—and threatens the global electronics market. In the Indian state of Assam, a trumped-up rule on citizenship singles out Muslims for detention and deportation. And, a look at why American and European working hours have diverged so much.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 27s

Tip of the ICE work: the immigration raids that weren’t

There was little evidence this weekend of the widespread immigration raids long promised by President Donald Trump. But his campaign of sowing fear seems to be working. Many of China’s infrastructure projects in Africa have been costly flops, and China is tightening its purse strings. Also, Colombia’s centuries-old ceremonies under the influence of a hallucinogenic brew are bringing in tourists and new problems.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 39s

Tsai hopes: Taiwan’s president on tour

The delicate diplomatic dance that America is performing during Tsai Ing-Wen’s visit hints at the island’s strategic importance. Two of the deadly blazes of Australia’s “Black Saturday” were deliberately set; we ask what makes someone start fires. And, the hunt for a cheap holiday read in France: by law books must be sold at full price, but sellers are finding ways around that.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 32s

Unspeakable truths: Britain’s US ambassador

The “special relationship” has been strained this week, following the leak of frank diplomatic cables. The conditions of Sir Kim Darroch’s departure are a window into both Britain’s current politics and its future. International development projects don’t always work, and often the problem is scale: what works for a few may not work for many. And, why, in a country with a riot of regional accents, do almost all British politicians sound the same?   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 36s

From Russia with launch codes: Turkey’s new hardware

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces increasing pressures at home and abroad, and he’s adding to them—most of all by acquiring Russian missile defences that make Turkey’s NATO allies nervous. As Colombia emerges from a half-century of conflict with FARC rebels, a government push aims to stem cocaine production; so far, it’s not going well. And, we examine the retirement homes for elderly LGBT people that are cropping up. Music courtesy of Lee Rosevere - "Introducing the Pre-roll"  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 51s

Late to the parting: Deutsche Bank shrinks

For years, management at Germany’s largest bank knew the firm was in serious trouble. Why didn’t they do more? The massive cuts announced this week may be too little, too late. We consider Texas and California as political and social laboratories: which one looks like the America of the future? And, a bit of monkey archaeology shows our distant cousins have been honing their tools far longer than previously thought.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 23s

In the after-Ba’ath: Syria’s rising Kurds

For years, Syria’s Kurdish people were largely invisible: their language, flag and festivals were all suppressed. Now, in much of the country’s north and east, they rule over the Arabs who once ruled over them. A brutal murder in a sleepy German village sparks angst about a resurgent far right. And, the surprising trend of American-style debate in China.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 23s

New Democracy in an old one: Greece’s election

Kyriakos Mitsotakis looks likely to lead his New Democracy party to victory in this weekend’s snap election. But can he deliver on all the promises of his big-tent campaign? We examine the controversy and the politics surrounding the detention of migrants at America’s southern border. And, it’s clear that the quality of women’s football is rocketing—we’ve got the data to prove it.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 34s

Putin on a show: Russia’s resurgence

Russia’s president is glad-handing in Italy, where his anti-liberal roadshow resonates. But Mr Putin’s is a twisted vision of liberalism, and at home many of his compatriots see through the ruse. We examine the “Swedish model” of prostitution laws, and how the approach endangers sex workers. And, the push to make robots that can handle environments like the melted-down Fukushima Daiichi power plant.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 15s

Growth anatomy: America’s expansive decade

What’s behind the record-breaking economic boom and how much longer can it last? Does America’s central bank have the tools it needs to handle the inevitable downturn? The racial gap in Americans’ life expectancy is as small as it’s ever been; we examine what’s been making black lives longer. And, why spoilers are so prominent in entertainment, and how that can spoil the craft.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 4s

Break a LegCo: Hong Kong’s protests boil over

Protesters are in a defiant mood—a hard core of them has smashed up Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. But demonstrations aren’t going to make the territory any more free. The state-owned investment vehicles known as sovereign-wealth funds are usually cautious; those of the Gulf region are proving much more adventurous and less transparent. And, a look at the future of New York’s island of the dead  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 24s

Armoured Khartoum: Sudan’s bloody transition

Protesters returned to the streets of Khartoum this weekend, again with deadly consequences. We look back to last month’s violent crackdown, and consider Sudan’s troubled push for democracy. China’s swine-flu outbreaks threaten hundreds of millions of pigs—but might spark long-overdue reforms in the country’s pork industry. And, we examine San Francisco’s e-cigarette ban: if vaping is safer than smoking, should it be stubbed out?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 11s

Census and sensibility: landmark SCOTUS rulings

America’s highest court has handed down decisions that will shape voter representation for years to come. The rulings make clear the court’s reluctance to become politicised. As China’s and America’s leaders meet on the sidelines of the G20 gathering, we examine the likelihood that a trade war could turn into the shooting kind. And, a view from Silicon Valley, where surrogacy has become a trendy life hack.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 9s

Fight if you Haftar: the struggle for Libya

Life in Libya’s capital seems calm, even as a warlord backed by ragtag forces bids to take the city. Meanwhile the putative government can muster little political power—or electric power. We examine a miracle in Moldova: after years as a swamp of post-Soviet corruption, an anti-graft campaigner has become prime minister. And, historical data reveal the overlooked power of primary debates.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 2s

Rights on Q: same-sex marriage in Japan

A bill to recognise same-sex marriage has failed in Japan’s parliament, exposing a widening divide between the views of its politicians and the values of its people. For some officials, Burundi’s election tax is an excuse for extortion; for some citizens, a reason to flee the country. And, why you should be circumspect about that next promotion opportunity.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 44s

Money in the West Bank: Kushner’s peace plan

Tensions between Iran and America are distracting from Jared Kushner’s long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. It’s got plenty of dollar signs, but no sign yet of a political solution. We ask why Argentina’s former president is now running for vice-president, and whether Argentines will want more of her populism. And, be careful what you tweet if you’re heading to America; more and more, border officials are watching.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 6s

Lover or Leaver? How Brexit divided Britons

Exactly three years after the referendum result, it’s clear: Brexit has driven Britain a bit batty. We look into the grand societal divides that the vote exposed. In Istanbul, a repeat mayoral election reaches the same result: the ruling party lost. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan no longer seems so invincible. And, in Kenya, an “Uber for ambulances” saves time and lives.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 15s

Blonde ambition: Boris’s bid for power

Charming buffoon or cunning chameleon? Welcoming liberal or snarling Brexiteer? We ask why, despite having no guiding philosophy, Boris Johnson is so likely to become Britain’s prime minister. Our obituaries editor remembers the socialite Claus von Bülow, his sensational attempted-murder trials in America and the enduring question of whether he did it. And, despite appearances, China’s and America’s film markets are growing further apart.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 6s

Hawks, stocks and peril: Iran-America brinkmanship

Iran’s downing of an American drone today is just the latest source of tension between the countries. Where does it end? As facial-recognition technology improves, rising privacy concerns are hampering its adoption. And in Britain, advertisements that play to gender stereotypes are under more scrutiny from regulators and consumers.Additional music by Lee Rosevere "Puzzle Pieces".  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 53s

Moving stories: the UN’s refugee report

The worldwide count of people forced from their homelands has increased sharply, again. What’s driving these movements, and what are governments doing about incoming refugees? The Democratic Republic of Congo is suffering the world’s second-largest outbreak of Ebola—we ask why it hasn’t been declared an international emergency. And, why Thailand is getting into the weed business.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 31s

Florida Man: Trump’s re-election campaign

America’s president heads back to the Sunshine State today to announce his candidacy. What to expect this time around? Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, has died in court. We look back on his troubled leadership and ignominious end. And, this year’s Women’s World Cup is drawing much more attention than past tournaments, in part because of a long-overdue reckoning about money in the sport.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 28s

Lam to the slaughter: Hong Kong’s shocking U-turn

Calls for the resignation of Carrie Lam, the territory’s leader, are intensifying. Hong Kongers may have put a recent freedom-crimping bill on ice, but more challenges to their independence await. We speak to the mother of a child genius who reveals the private agony of being an exceedingly clever kid. And, a new podcast in Latin gets our columnist thinking about language evolution and resurrection.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 17s

What’s yours has mines: the Gulf of Oman attack

America has blamed Iran for yesterday’s tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman. If that’s true, Iran is playing a dangerous game that involves the whole of the region. The violent militias that control much of Rio de Janeiro might be easy to beat if they weren’t so well-connected. And, a breakaway hit reveals the racial fault lines in country music.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 32s

Vlad the un-jailer: the Ivan Golunov case

An investigative journalist’s release may look like a press-freedom win in Russia—but it represents much more than that. Democratic presidential hopefuls have no shortage of transformative ideas, yet Senate arithmetic ensures there’s little hope of realising them. And, we visit a place where malaria rages while a cure literally grows on trees.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 17s

Once more, with felines: half the world gets online

Half of humanity is now online. What will the second half do when it logs on? The same as the first: friendly chat, personal expression and a lot of cat videos. Despite appearances, racism in America is actually going down; the problem is that America’s politics is increasingly fractured along racial lines. And, why is it that screams are so prevalent in popular culture?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 3s

Independence say: Hong Kong’s ongoing protests

A proposed change to the judicial system is just the latest sign that mainland China is exerting pressure on Hong Kong’s autonomy. Authorities seem ready to quell further demonstrations. Although solitary confinement is widely condemned, it’s still common in America; we speak with an inmate who’s spent half a lifetime in solitary. And, the sheikhs of Iraq who help resolve disputes—and are available for hire.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 40s

No way to tweet a friend: Trump’s Mexico tariffs

In the end, President Donald Trump’s tariff threat did what he had hoped: Mexico has pledged to tighten immigration flows. But such weaponisation of tariffs bodes ill for the future. China’s “green Great Wall” of trees—a bid to halt desertification—may be doing more harm than good. And, we meet some of the Filipino sailors who keep the global shipping industry afloat.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 56s

Tory story: Britain’s next prime minister

Today Theresa May stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party, and would-be replacements are already lining up. There’s little hope that any would be able to arrange an elegant exit from Europe. Also, we take a look at the astonishing range of ailments that could be treated by magic mushrooms.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 2s

Basta! The EU challenges Italy’s finances

European officials have threatened a substantial fine if Italy doesn’t shrink its debt and budget deficit. Whether or not it follows through, markets are already punishing the country. Tens of thousands of refugees have snuck into Canada from America, but as an election looms, the government is rethinking its openness. And, the plague of “presenteeism”: when your work is done, just go home.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 37s

Same as the old boss? Crackdown in Sudan

Nearly two months after staging a coup, military leaders have brutally cracked down on protesters in Sudan. Talks with the opposition have fallen apart—as have hopes for a resurgent Sudanese democracy. We examine the rise in gun violence in Latin America and how much of it can be pinned on American-made weapons. And, a look at the striking effects of a striker: how one footballer’s image is reducing Islamophobia in Liverpool.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 42s

Thirty years of forgetting: Tiananmen

On the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square tragedy, our correspondents reflect on a dark and confusing day—and the Chinese government’s efforts to suppress the memory of it. Could such widespread dissent flare up in today’s China? Also, why laws requiring immigrants to speak host-nations’ languages are counter-productive.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 36s

Get pomped up: Trump’s British visit

President Donald Trump kicks off his state visit to Britain with some opening shots at London's mayor Sadiq Khan. But larger issues will take center stage. Amid Brexit, a leadership contest and simmering security tensions, we discuss the strains to the “special relationship”. We consider how regulators and the tech giants can tackle the wilds of the internet to make browsing safe for children. And, a Ramadan drama in Saudi Arabia that reveals how the crown prince wants his kingdom to be perceived.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 46s

Protectionist racket: trade-war rhetoric

As President Donald Trump threatens new tariffs on Mexican goods, retaliatory ones between China and America are starting to bite. That puts China’s party leaders—and their hardening nationalist message—in a tricky spot. We examine how the global grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX planes might change air-safety regulation. And a visit to Venice’s Biennale, where immigration and climate change are taking centre stage.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 13s

Likudn’t: Israel’s political crisis

For the first time since Israel’s founding, efforts to form a government have failed. What will the resulting snap election mean for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu? Alleged meddling in the Czech judiciary has sparked protests; it seems that challenges to the rule of law are proliferating in eastern Europe. And, we visit Crimea’s winemakers, who are struggling after annexation by Russia.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 48s

Baba Go Slow: Nigeria’s President gets another term

Muhammadu Buhari earned the nickname “Baba Go Slow” for a lackadaisical approach to reform as Nigeria’s president. He mismanaged the economy, failed to tackle corruption and has been unable to restrain the terrorist group Boko Haram. Will he be more effective in his second term? Also, why so many climbers are perishing on the slopes of Everest. And for the first time in football history, clubs from just one nation compete in Europe’s top tournaments. How England’s Premier League teams have outperformed expectations.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1918m 48s

Continental breakfast: European elections

Europe’s voters have shown they are not happy with traditional parties. But even as the Brexit Party surged in Britain, populists across the continent found elections to the European Parliament tougher than expected, while the Green Party made a strong showing, buoyed by climate concerns. Despite being "asset-light", some tech companies need property to keep expanding. That’s good news for real-estate investment trusts. And quinoa is the grain getting a new lease of life.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 58s

This May hurt: British politics

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May has at last revealed the date she will step down. She had the unenviable task of trying to deliver Brexit, which she failed to, and her successor may not fare any better. President Donald Trump has lost crucial legal battles over his financial records, and more defeats are likely if the cases head to the Supreme Court. And, why is it that some music can give you chills? Additional music: “Try Again” by Posthuman, “Blackwall” by Snakebitesmile.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 44s

Repeat performance: India’s election

Narendra Modi’s BJP appears to have won a convincing re-election victory. What will that mean for India and the region? We look back on the life of Bob Hawke, a former Australian prime minister who convinced the world that his country deserved a place in global politics. And, why Silicon Valley’s latest obsession is optimising sleepy time.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 51s

Ibiza remix: Austria and the European fringe

As a scandal involving Austria’s hard-right Freedom party causes the government to unravel, we examine the fringe parties of Europe and their chances in this week’s European election. As tech billionaires continue to indulge their obsession with space travel, we look at the sketchy economics of moving off-world. And, a stark warning for lovers of avocados: supply concerns make it a volatile brunch choice.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 10s

In a heartbeat: abortion in America

The strict anti-abortion bills cropping up in multiple American states aren’t expected to become the law of the land—but proponents want them to chip away at Roe v Wade, which is. Attacks on albinos have risen ahead of Malawi’s presidential election; we discuss the superstitions driving the violence. And, why young Americans are having so little sex.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 37s

Battle for legitimacy: Afghanistan v the Taliban

After 18 years and almost a trillion dollars to fight the Taliban, Afghanistan’s government still struggles for legitimacy; we ask why. A list of the world’s ultra-rich reveals a disproportionate number of self-made female billionaires from China—but the trend isn’t set to continue. And we examine why presidential libraries are so controversial, and why Barack Obama’s is no exception.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 18s

Private iniquity? The Abraaj case

Not long ago, Abraaj was one of the world’s highest-profile private-equity firms. We take a look at its spectacular downfall, and the fate of its charismatic boss, Arif Naqvi. This weekend Australian voters will elect a new parliament. How can politicians win back a disillusioned electorate? And why do sausages figure so strongly on voting day?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 5s

May, EU live in interesting times: Brexit

As party leaders grill Britain’s prime minister—and with a looming European election the country was due to avoid—we examine how the Brexit mess is dissolving party allegiances. Turkey was once seen as a success story in dealing with Syrians fleeing conflict, but as war has dragged on their welcome is wearing thin. And, kinky and camp meet fraught politics in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.Additional music "Thoughtful" and "Under Suspicion" by Lee Rosevere.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 16s

Don’t spend it all at once: Pakistan and the IMF

The International Monetary Fund has struck another deal to bail out Pakistan—its 22nd. But how did the country’s economy end up in such a mess? Never mind rising numbers of vegetarians: the world is eating more meat, and in a way, that’s a good thing. And, how French names reveal social trends that census data cannot.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 47s

Supply demands: Yemen peace talks

UN negotiators are trying to salvage a ceasefire agreement surrounding the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. The Arab world’s poorest country is suffering mightily, but the patchwork of actors makes a successful deal ever more difficult. In Latin America, democracy has stalled as economies have stagnated. Yet for democracy to succeed elsewhere, its Latin American shoots must be preserved. And, a splashy apartment building in Bulgaria that’s become emblematic of graft.Additional music "Chez Space" by The Freeharmonic Orchestra.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 30s

Spare the Rodrigo: Philippine elections

Personalities, not policies, will determine votes in today’s poll in the Philippines to fill some 18,000 government jobs. Loyalists of the firebrand president Rodrigo Duterte—including his daughter—will do well. Also, why is it that amid a growing need for new antibiotics, the incentives to produce them are fewer? And, a trip to the tiny Greek island of Delos, for an unusual meeting of modern art and protected antiquity.Runtime: 21min  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 49s

Unbalance of trade: China-America talks

Negotiations to end the trade war have been ruffled as the Trump administration again ramped up tariffs. But even if a deal is struck, that won’t address serious systemic troubles in the countries’ relationship. Many diets rely on simply counting calories, but the truth is that the scientific-sounding measure is mightily misleading. And, as Uber goes public, we take an instructive ride through historic disruptions of the taxi industry.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 44s

Generals’ election: Thai politics

The military junta that runs Thailand almost completely sewed up a momentous vote—almost. After further electoral meddling the generals will now lead a weak government, with a surging youth-led party nipping at their heels. As Russia intensifies bombings in Idlib, the last stronghold of Syrian rebels, we examine how Russia’s involvement in Syria has expanded its role in the Middle East. And, a visit with the soldier-poets of Guinea-Bissau.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 52s

Nuclear diffusion: Iran

Exactly a year after President Donald Trump pulled America out of the Iran nuclear deal—and days after America moved warships into the Persian Gulf—Iran has announced it will break the terms of the deal. Is it more than just sabre-rattling? We examine an impressive new effort to get inside the minds of those unable to speak. And, why is it that British food gets such a bad rap? The answer stretches back to the Industrial Revolution.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 28s

Mayor may not: Turkey’s election re-run

Turkey’s ruling AK party never conceded defeat in Istanbul’s mayoral election in March. Now the result has been annulled, worrying the opposition and international observers. A China-America trade deal has been thrown into doubt thanks to a presidential tweet, but one senator is warning of a grave danger that transcends tit-for-tat tariffs. And, why there’s a growing feminist contingent in a genre of Brazilian music known for its misogyny.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 40s

Everything in moderation: YouTube

Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s chief executive, tells our correspondent that moderating the streaming giant’s content is her biggest challenge. No wonder: every minute, 500 hours-worth of it is added. Also, how West African research is being used to address gun violence in Chicago. And a look at the declining number of royal families, and why some that have survived will stick around.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 34s

Barr, none: the White House’s defiance

The no-show of America’s attorney-general in Congress is just the latest example of the White House’s broad stonewalling policy; we look at the constitutional crisis that may be brewing. Facebook’s blocking of extremists yesterday is just one front the social-media behemoth is fighting. Mark Zuckerberg’s bid to remake the platform will probably ape its Chinese rival, WeChat. And, we check into the Czech Republic and Poland, finding one immigrant group being embraced in a notoriously anti-migrant region.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 22s

Buy the bullet: global defence spending

Governments the world over are beefing up defence spending—chief among them America’s and China’s. But some aggressive countries’ budgets are actually shrinking. May Day protests in France took a violent turn this year, and that complicates President Macron’s efforts to calm an already protest-prone populace. And, academics have been trying to determine which English-speaking country produces the most bullshit.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 56s

Putsch comes to shove: Venezuela

Juan Guaidó, the opposition figure widely viewed as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, has made a dramatic attempt to seize power from President Nicolás Maduro. But the effort appears stalled; how did he go wrong? We look more widely at coups around the world, why they succeed or fail and even how to predict them. And, a dramatic embassy raid reveals why it’s so tough to be a North Korean dissident.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 5s

Inflationary pressure: Argentina’s strikes

Patience runs thin amid rampant inflation and a devaluing currency; Argentines are taking to the streets for two days of strikes and protests. Taiwan’s richest man has joined the presidential race, but lots of his business is based in China. He will struggle to shake perceptions of a conflict of interest. And, America’s Supreme Court is deciding whether to ensure trademark protection for businesses with some pretty racy names.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 51s

Crossing the “t”s: China-America trade talks

American negotiators will be in Beijing this week, for what appears to be the final stages of striking a trade deal. What’s left to be agreed, and what are the sticking points? Also, America’s shale boom has given it leverage in international oil markets—the trick will be using that newfound power effectively. And, we have a sniff of a pungent Egyptian holiday treat that has the potential to kill.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 44s

The strain in Spain: an election looms

Ahead of this weekend’s general election, we examine Spain’s fractured political landscape. A much-needed bastion of stability in Europe looks set for a long fight to form a government. We also take a look at two lingering effects of Japan’s post-war policies: first, we speak to one of the victims of decades of forced sterilisation, for which the government apologised this week. And, given the country’s notorious culture of work—itself a consequence of post-war reconstruction—not everyone relishes extra time off to celebrate the new emperor’s ascension.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 34s

Five Eyes and 5G: the Huawei debate

Leaked discussions reveal that Britain is going against the grain of its “Five Eyes” security partners by letting Huawei supply kit for coming 5G networks. What are the risks—to security and to the alliance? Now that Robert Mueller’s report is in the hands of Congress, what should happen, and will American democracy be the better for it? And, after years of considering how office interiors affect workers, the focus has shifted outside.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 12s

Troubling: a death in Northern Ireland

A young journalist will be buried today, after being accidentally shot by dissident republicans in Northern Ireland. The killing is a worrying reminder of bygone decades of violence that fraught Brexit negotiations may be rekindling. We take a look at South Africa’s job market, and the push to get more young people into work. And, why is there a spate of politicians who speak multiple languages?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 35s

Worrying new threat: tragedy in Sri Lanka

After co-ordinated bomb attacks that killed hundreds, Sri Lanka is reeling. But if the government was so consumed by internal struggles as to miss warnings, how can it respond to the devastation? We take a look at global efforts to contain corruption, drawing lessons from Brazil’s sprawling Lava Jato investigation. And, a visit to what will be the precise geographic centre of the European Union—if and when Britain leaves.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 35s

Early to wed: child marriage in Africa

Marrying too young has lifelong effects: on a girl’s body as much as on her education and career. We explore what is behind a sharp decline in child marriage in parts of Ethiopia. There’s an ancient-clothing trend in China that is mostly goofy fun. But its ethnic overtones may soon worry the Communist Party. And, a chat—as well as a hard-fought match—with Africa’s first World Scrabble Champion.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 45s

Planes, trains and automobiles: the travails of travel

Easter weekend is a busy travel time for the many people who celebrate it. If you’re lucky, it means some time off work. But you might be unlucky, and travel through a terrible airport (we talk about the world’s worst). Or perhaps you’ll splash out and take one of the many sleeper train services that are cropping up (we discuss why train travel is such a draw, particularly for artists). Or you might get stuck in traffic (we visit the places where traffic jams are seen as opportunity rather than nuisance). Safe travels!  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 30s

[Redacted]: the Mueller report

Today the report by Robert Mueller, the special counsel who investigated Russian links to the Trump administration, will be released—mostly. What lies behind the redactions, and what investigations are still to play out? Politicians have dabbled in comedy for decades, but comedians who take up politics are an increasingly potent force. And, why Pakistani citizens don’t much mind that their local doctor might be a total quack.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 37s

Roads to success: Indonesia’s election

Joko Widodo, the incumbent president, is expected to win today’s vote, after a people-pleasing term tackling the country’s infrastructure. But there are worrying signs about how Jokowi would continue to rule. As a herd of “unicorns” stampedes toward stockmarkets, their business models don’t look so sure-footed. And, a battle is heating up as hotpot, a spicy Chinese dish, spreads globally.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 22s

And then, silence: a Paris icon burns

Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, was already battling the flames of national protest when fire broke out at the Notre Dame cathedral. Will the tragedy, and Mr Macron’s leadership, bring the country together? America’s armed forces often don’t know how many civilians are killed in its air-strike campaigns—but that’s changing, thanks to help from some of the Pentagon’s loudest critics. And, the Trump administration’s cancellation of a deal for Cuban baseball players won’t stop them making their way, perilously, to the big leagues.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 34s

Modi’s operandi: India’s enormous election

The world’s largest democratic exercise is under way. Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks likely to win on a divisive platform about Hindu nationalism and Pakistani aggression—even if those aren’t voters’ biggest concerns. Social-media companies are increasingly under the microscope of regulators; we take a look at the seemingly intractable problem of policing online content. And, pole-dancing is trying to shed its seedy image. But can it also develop into a global sport?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 33s

Bashir and present danger: Sudan’s coup

A protest movement that began in December at last brought Sudan’s military brass on board. The country’s cycle of dictatorship and democracy may be repeating itself. Bitcoin just turned ten, but it’s still far from fulfilling its promise to upend the financial system—we examine its fundamental shortcomings. And, the human family tree got bigger this week, but as new data flood in the murkier the human-evolution story seems to get.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 5s

Brussels’ doubts: another Brexit delay

Britain now has a new Brexit deadline: the end of October. But those negotiations magnified divisions within the European Union that Brexit is revealing—and causing. We visit one of the Chinese towns whose governments are running social experiments, rating people and businesses on their trustworthiness. And, a chat with Dame Stephanie Shirley, a pioneering programmer since before it was a male-dominated field.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 34s

Bibi got back: Israel’s election

Binyamin Netanyahu looks set to win a fifth term as prime minister. How will his policies affect negotiations about some of the most contested land on Earth? Meanwhile in space, Israel’s Beresheet probe is set to land on the Moon—but the recent spate of lunar landings is more about national flag-planting than it is about science. And, how will economies adjust as the old increasingly outnumber the young?Additional audio courtesy of NASA. Additional music "Fanfare" courtesy of Kevin MacLeod.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 28s

The new mediocre: the world economy

The International Monetary Fund releases its global-growth forecast today. Expect news of a downgrade, but not recession: low growth has become the status quo. We join international forces in Burkina Faso, where African troops are being trained to contain a growing risk of jihadism. And, why is it that concern about climate-change comes and goes?   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 23s

Tripoli threat: a warlord’s bid to take Libya

As rebel forces advance on Tripoli and American troops withdraw, we look at the Libyan general leading the march, and at the country’s fractured politics. There’s evidence that Facebook’s advertisement algorithms discriminate on the basis of race and gender. But who’s to blame, and how to fix it? And, the tricky business of making slot machines appeal to a generation of gamers.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 58s

Theresa looks left: Brexit negotiations

Having seemingly exhausted options within her own party, Prime Minister Theresa May is now trying to strike an EU divorce deal with Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the opposition. We profile the hard-left Labour leader. This weekend marks 25 years since one of history’s most horrifying campaigns of slaughter; our correspondent reflects on Rwanda, then and now. And, a prominent scientist seeks a molecule that confers all of the fun of alcohol, but none of the risks.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 26s

Resigned to it: Algeria’s president

After two decades as president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has resigned. But the cabal that’s been running the country doesn’t want to give up power and the opposition is disorganised. Will anything change? Medical professionals staged protests in Canada this week, calling for stricter gun laws; the country’s debate over gun ownership is intensifying. And, the gender pay gap in many countries is exacerbated by parenthood—you can hear it in the data.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 34s

Fund while it lasted: the 1MDB scandal

Today Malaysia’s former prime minister faces his first of several trials, for alleged involvement in the disappearance of billions of dollars from 1MDB, a state-run fund. Businesses also endure their share of scandals, too—the latest one surrounding the maker of OxyContin, a maligned opioid drug. But why are so many recent corporate scandals coming out of America? And, a fabulously popular Chinese soap challenges deeply held notions of filial duty.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 38s

Vote with pride: LGBT politicians

Chicago votes for a new mayor today. Either way it will become the largest American city run by an African-American woman, but it may also get another openly gay mayor. We examine America’s proliferation of LGBT candidates. Mark Zuckerberg’s open letter calling for more regulation of Facebook should come as no surprise; social-media giants are reckoning with hard truths about where technology meets society. And, Korean pop music’s dark underbelly is revealed.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 33s

AK, not quite OK: Turkey’s elections

Turkey’s ruling AK party made historic losses in local elections. Voters, it seems, are fed up with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic mismanagement—but his party remains firmly in control. We visit Mozambique to take stock of the damage wrought by Cyclone Idai. And, as Europe comes onto Daylight Savings Time, a look into the past and the doubtful future of the practice.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 55s

Comic’s relief? Ukraine’s presidential race

A television show’s everyman character winds up as president: and now the actor who plays him leads the polls ahead of Ukraine’s election. Many museums house artefacts that were looted from their homelands; we examine why the calls for returning such objects are getting louder. And, why the humble baguette is falling out of favour in France (plus, the secret to making them crispy).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 6s

Another dance ‘round the May poll: Brexit

Britain’s prime minister has promised to step down if Parliament passes her deal with the European Union. That has sparked a leadership contest that seems likely only to complicate the mess. As an American county declares a state of emergency over its measles outbreak, we discuss anti-vaccine misinformation and examine its grave consequences. And, your formal grammar knowledge has little to do with your grammar skills; it’s time to change how the subject is taught.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 13s

Seeing the Lighthizer: China trade talks

Another week, another round of negotiations between China and America. But as domestic and economic pressures on both sides have lifted, the path to resolution seems ever more unclear. Apple’s entry into the film-and-television business is just the latest move in a reshuffling of the entire entertainment industry. And, why Kim Jong Un has appeared a bit more approachable recently—and why not to be fooled.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 56s

Loan behold: a global-economy danger

The world has only just recovered from the last global financial shock. But a new trend has economists worried: the rising debt on companies’ balance-sheets. Methamphetamine use is skyrocketing in East Asia; we look into the causes and the effects. And, the surprising rise of “Slovakia’s Erin Brockovich” ahead of the country’s presidential election  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 17s

Collusion elusion: the Mueller report

Robert Mueller, the special counsel, has at last delivered his report on President Donald Trump’s campaign. Will it have disappointed or empowered the Democrats in Congress who are still bent on investigating the president? And, four years ago the hard-left Syriza party stormed to power in Greece. But it has broken many of its campaign promises. As an early election looms, we take a look at Syriza’s slow slide.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 36s

The never-ending saga: Brexit delayed

European leaders nixed Theresa May’s request to postpone Brexit for three months, but have given her a short-term reprieve - delaying it by a few weeks and possibly longer. Thailand is about to hold its first election since the military seized power five years ago. The only hitch is that the generals are trying to influence the outcome, and anyone who criticises the ruling royal family can be thrown in prison. And how do you make a whisky age more quickly? The answer lies in dance music. We take a sip. Additional music, "Grangtham (Drowning Dub)" by Hanover.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 51s

Not now, Theresa: Postponing Britain’s EU goodbye

With just eight days to go before Brexit, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May wants to extend the leaving date. As an EU summit gathers, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, insists she needs to get her twice-rejected deal through Parliament first. Also, are stronger strains of cannabis causing psychosis among users? And why Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump should have eaten “family-style” to help pull off a nuclear deal.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 24s

Alpha Beto: O’Rourke’s appeal

Beto O’Rourke launched his bid for America’s presidency. Despite his relative lack of experience, he’s already been raking in donations. We look at the source of his appeal. And palm oil is ubiquitous in many consumer goods used today, but it comes at a high environmental cost. Also, does the field of economics have a culture that is off-putting to women?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 35s

War and pestilence: Ebola makes a comeback

Five years ago Ebola spread across West Africa, killing more than 10,000 people. In August a fresh outbreak hit the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. We look at why the response this time around has been so ineffective. NATO is about to turn 70. It will not be a happy birthday. And Rodrigo Duterte wants to rename the Philippines.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 59s

Replacement anxiety: White supremacist terrorism

The terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, has left 50 people dead and a lot of unanswered questions. How big a threat are violent white supremacists? We take a look at a network of museums in China trying to commemorate that country’s murderous experience in the 20th century without offending the Communist Party. And our San Francisco correspondent goes in pursuit of free stuff - a lot of it-in the Bay Area.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 43s

Can't deal with it: Brexit

It’s been another brutal week for Britain’s prime minister as her deal to leave Europe was swatted down comprehensively—again. As a delay to Brexit looks likely, we ask what all the chaos reveals about how Brexit will ultimately play out. Ahead of global climate protests by schoolchildren, we examine how a proposal regarding geoengineering—radically reversing the effects of climate change—reflects coming squabbles over regulating the approaches. And, why is it so difficult to open an Irish pub in Ireland? Additional music, "Kesh Jig, Leitrim Fancy", by Sláinte, licensed under a Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 2s

Lights out: Venezuela’s blackout

Power cuts in Caracas have endangered lives and deepened the misery of Venezuelans. It’s another sign of the corruption that pervades the Maduro regime. Also, how do you make a 10,000 ton ship disappear? And the Hebrew bible - otherwise known as the old testament - gets a fresh new translation. Music courtesy of Ethan James McCollum  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 45s

Losing the plot: Brexit

The second defeat of British Prime Minister’s plan for withdrawal from the EU has weakened her. But what does it mean for the risk of a no-deal outcome? The chances of a Brexit delay are rising by the day. Competition between major powers for influence in Africa is intensifying, as Russia, China, Europe and America all see potential in the continent. And more gender-inclusive language is proving a headache for grammarians.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 25s

Flying stop: Boeing

Following a second fatal crash of Boeing’s 737-MAX, China was quick to ground its fleet of the newish airliner. What does this mean for the world’s largest planemaker? In Russia, protests have broken out against President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to isolate and control the country’s internet. His bid to regain Russians’ full attention may come too late. And, we look at why so many women are getting divorced in Bangladesh. Additional audio from Anton Scherbakov  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 43s

The sensitive month: Tibet

China’s party leaders get nervous in March—a month full of anniversaries that Tibetans hold dear. As the 60th anniversary of Tibet’s uprising approaches, security is tighter than usual. Corporate-risk managers are rotten at assessing their exposure to a changing climate; we examine the dangers that many are ignoring. And, a look back at André Previn—and a life of far more than just show tunes and showmanship. Additional audio courtesy of Twitter users @ngagya95 and @TibetPeople  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 51s

Fifth time unlucky: Algeria’s protests

Widespread protests will continue today against the re-election run of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who hasn’t been heard from since a stroke in 2013. Algerians have had enough of their country’s proxy rule and misrule. We also ask if countries can sometimes be better run when their leaders are out of action. And, knife crime is on the rise in Britain, but the causes—and the solutions—are a matter of uncomfortable debate.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 49s

Guilt and association: Paul Manafort

President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager can expect to have the book thrown at him at his sentencing today—the first for crimes revealed by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Mr Trump’s campaign. Following a tense stand-off with Pakistan, we look at how Hindu nationalism has shaped Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s time in office, and will shape his re-election campaign. And, how North Korean refugees ship money home illicitly.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 21s

Trudeau in trouble: a sunny leader in stormy times

Canada’s fresh-faced leader has been a icon for embattled liberals. But now he faces damaging accusations of meddling in a judicial process. Will Justin Trudeau be contrite or fight? And free money sounds like a grand idea. Here’s how universal basic income is being tested in practice. Also, young men in Pakistan grow some very fancy beards.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 2s

Xi’ll meet again: China’s People’s Congress opens

The National People's Congress of China gathers today for ten days of deliberations. Tensions with the West over the trade war and disagreement about the role of technology giant Huawei will be in the background. Bosses are not always the most reliable narrators for an investor seeking to gain insight into a company. But there are new data sources that are making it harder for executives to mislead them. And an attic in France has yielded a find some claim to have been painted by the 17th century master Caravaggio. But how do we assess whether an unsigned, orphaned work is the real, very expensive deal?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 47s

A thirsty world: the future of water

Fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce, as climate change and population growth puts greater pressure on resources. But the problem is one of mismanagement, rather than supply. When Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as Brazil’s president in January, he spoke of a national effort to fix the country’s economy and to tackle crime and corruption. Can he deliver on those promises? And how a big-budget Chinese film reflects the philosophy of the country’s leader.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 13s

Bibi one more time? Binyamin Netanyahu

Israel’s prime minister has been indicted, pending a hearing, just weeks before an election. We look at the charges he faces, and how he has already transformed the country’s politics. Huawei, a Chinese technology giant, has drawn global scrutiny of its tactics and perceived relationship with the Chinese state. But a greater concern is going unmentioned. And, why autonomous-vehicle firms are taking their wares to retirement communities.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 40s

Line of control: India-Pakistan

Air strikes by India and Pakistan this week represent a worrying flare-up of tensions that have simmered for years. We examine the forces and politics at play between the nuclear-armed powers. What’s causing the chill in the global manufacturing sector, and how to escape it? And, under the threat of a potentially costly infectious disease, Denmark is building a border wall.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 11s

Chaos and calculation: Brexit

Grand fissures have opened in Britain’s politics; the two main parties’ leaders are struggling to keep control. What does it all mean for Brexit, just a month away? As pharmaceutical companies defend their prices this week, we look at the push to use cheap, existing drugs in new ways. And, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the desire to adequately mourn the dead opens a market opportunity for paid wailers.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 43s

Two for the show: Trump meets Kim

As Kim Jong Un arrives in Vietnam ahead of a second summit with President Donald Trump, we ask about the real prospects for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. Chicago votes for a new mayor today; we speak with Rahm Emanuel, the outspoken incumbent, about what he has—and hasn’t—done for the city. And, we examine Hungary’s curious effort to stem its population slide.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 41s

It’s bean difficult: the China-America trade war

As President Donald Trump delays further tariffs on $200bn-worth of Chinese goods, there are hints of an end to the trade war. We assess the damage already done by looking at the global soyabean market. Countries around the world are struggling with the ethics and security concerns around re-admitting their citizens who have fought with Islamic State. And, there’s a rising favourite among wine investors—but it could represent a bubble.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1923m 22s

Alms held up: Venezuela

Venezuela is in dire need of humanitarian aid, and Juan Guaidó, the interim president, has pledged to deliver it tomorrow. Will Nicolás Maduro, the dictatorial leader still formally in power, let him? Ahead of Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders, we look back on a half-century’s-worth of wisdom from the “Sage of Omaha”. And in Japan, longer lives are leading to more books by and for the elderly.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 15s

Sins of the fathers: the Vatican and child abuse

The Vatican is hosting a high-profile meeting on child abuse by the clergy. It’s a topic that has been woefully overlooked, and one that threatens to define the tenure of Pope Francis. We visit the world’s largest building, in the city of Chengdu. Inside there’s a giant wave pool, thirty thousand workers, free cats—and a glimpse of the state of China’s economy. And, an effort to resurrect the native language of Hawaii has brought unexpected benefits.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 25s

Prince on tour: Muhammad bin Salman

Muhammad bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, is on a tour of Asia, striking deals and trying to polish his image. What kind of influence will he have in the region? Every year as much as a quarter of the global corporate-tax bill is avoided—legally. We take a look at where all that money is going. And we speak to Nadine Labaki, the first female Arab film-maker nominated for an Oscar.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 42s

Labour’s love lost: British politics

Seven parliamentarians have split from Britain’s opposition Labour party. That could change the calculus of Brexit, and just might be the nucleus of a new movement. There’s a little-noticed shift in the relationship between Islam and the West; a new generation is lighting the way. And our Russia editor has a bit of a hobby—one that puts him at the nexus of language, drama and truth.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 48s

State of the unionising: Amazon

We examine the aftermath of the online behemoth’s withdrawal of its New York expansion plans, and speak with its Midwestern workers about growing talk of unionising. President Emmanuel Macron hopes to quell protests across France with a series of “town halls”; we drop into one. And mezcal is on the rise, but can tequila’s more-traditional cousin survive if the whole world wants a shot?Music credit: "Chez Space" by The Freeharmonic Orchestra (CC-BY)  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 8s

Emergency measures: America’s border deal

President Donald Trump is expected to declare a national emergency today, to fund his southern-border wall. We ask why that would be an uncomfortable constitutional precedent. Nigeria’s general election this weekend will be a nail-biter, and allegations of electoral fraud are already flying; the only certainty is that the result will be contested. And, we bid farewell to Opportunity, a Mars rover that vastly exceeded what was expected of it.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 1s

IS this the end? Islamic State’s last stand

In Syria the few remaining Islamic State fighters are hemmed in. The caliphate’s territory may be diminished, but the idea will live on. A Valentine’s Day look at the digital dating market reveals the protocols and pitfalls of online matchmaking. And the derailment of an attempt by India’s railway minister to tout a new high-speed line.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 13s

It’s not easy: the Green New Deal

As America’s Senate majority leader pledges a vote on the Green New Deal, a sweeping set of policies around climate and much more, we examine just what the legislation does—and doesn’t—lay out. Following Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address, we explore the challenges South Africa’s president faces as an election looms. And our language columnist declares war on misused metaphors. Additional audio courtesy of Sunrise Movement & FDR Presidential Library.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 46s

Independents’ day: Catalans on trial

Today 12 leaders of Spain’s Catalonia region go on trial, accused of rebellion. The proceedings will lay bare long-running tensions about democracy and unity. As Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota senator, joins America’s presidential race, we ask whether her centrist tendencies are an advantage or a handicap. And a retrospective of the photographer Don McCullin’s work reveals extremes of human experience and suffering.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 23s

You say you want: Revisiting Iran’s revolution

We examine how the echoes of Iran’s revolution, 40 years ago, still influence how the Islamic Republic deals with the West today. Harley Davidson has become entangled in the Trump administration’s trade war just as changing demographics have put the brakes on the motorcycle-maker. And, we tackle an old ethics conundrum and its relevance to future autonomous vehicles.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1924m 27s

Princess unbridled: Thai politics

A Thai princess enters the running for prime minister—a development that reshuffles the country’s centres of power completely. Our obituaries editor chronicles the heartbreak of an Iraqi archaeologist. And Chinese scientists have come up with a smarter way for Earthlings to try contacting aliens—but what kinds of messages is humanity sending them?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 8s

The Intelligence: Weapons redrawn

After America and Russia pull out out of a cold war-era weapons treaty, we examine the picture of global stability without it. Our China columnist visits with members of the Hui, a repressed Muslim minority spread throughout the country. And Europe launches a system to combat fake-medicines—an expansive and expensive project that few think is necessary.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1919m 2s

The Intelligence: Credible, but critical

Today the Trump administration is expected to announce its nomination for head of the World Bank today. He’s a Treasury official with a sharply critical view of the institution and, to a degree, he’s right. A troubled region of the Philippines heads to the polls, as a Muslim minority calls for greater autonomy. The result might help calm centuries of violence. Finally, we take a trip to the shiny centre of China’s gold industry, just as golden-gift-giving spikes around the lunar new year.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 9s

The Intelligence: Don’t despair, America

Tonight President Trump will deliver his State of the Union address; we ask what he’ll be saying, and what the state of the union really is. Yesterday the jury began its deliberations in the trial of “El Chapo”, an alleged Mexican drug lord. What impact has his capture and trial had on the drugs trade? Finally, Japanese schools and businesses have some onerous grooming rules, stipulating even sock colour—but things seem to be changing.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1920m 8s

The Intelligence: A despot’s calculation

Internal and international pressure on President Nicolás Maduro brings Venezuela to the brink of change. As Facebook turns 15, it’s lurching from crisis to crisis—and still making money hand over fist. We ask whether it has, on balance, been good for the world. Finally, there’s an Iranian pop star who was once a darling of the regime. What’s changed?  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1918m 55s

The Intelligence: Be careful on the way out

As progress appears to have been made in peace talks between America and the Taliban, the Senate urges the Trump administration not to rush for the door in Afghanistan. Origami might be pretty, but it hides great scientific potential; it’s starting to show up in all kinds of new technologies. And, our obituaries editor discusses the career of master accordionist Marcel Azzola, and how lives can be celebrated in writing.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1922m 26s

The Intelligence: Down and out in “iPhone City”

As trade talks with China continue in Washington, our correspondent takes a trip to China’s “iPhone City” to see how the country’s slowdown is affecting workers. In El Salvador, a social-media darling leads the polls ahead of Sunday’s presidential election—but his policy plans remain unclear. And, a big diamond up for auction in Angola today is a crystal-clear sign of change for the country.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1918m 24s

The Intelligence: This is not a coup

International pressure is mounting on the dictatorial regime of Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro. As he hints at negotiations with a resurgent opposition, we ask how the country’s citizens make ends meet amid the misery. A striking American indictment will make the China trade talks that start today even more tense than last time. And, why is it getting easier to get good-quality Indian food in the truck stops of America?Additional music: Cylinder Five by Chris Zabriskie.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1927m 17s

The Intelligence: Deal, delay or dither?

It’s another crucial vote in the Brexit saga as Prime Minister Theresa May learns whether her leaving plan will be derailed or delayed. Autonomous weapons are coming along just as fast as autonomous vehicles are. But who’s tackling the ethics of killer robots? And, the surprising number of uses that Cubans have found for condoms.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/1921m 55s

The Intelligence: Trailer

The Intelligence is a new current-affairs podcast, published every weekday by Economist Radio, that provides a unique perspective on the events shaping your world. Drawing on the expertise of The Economist’s global network of correspondents, each episode digs past the headlines to get to the stories beneath—and to stories that aren’t making headlines, but should be. For a daily burst of global illumination, you need more than just the facts. You need The Intelligence.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/192m 56s
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