The Intelligence from The Economist

The Intelligence from The Economist

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

Rishi, you were here: Boris Johnson’s woes

Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, Britain’s finance and health ministers respectively, resigned yesterday; other officials soon followed suit. Once again, questions about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s political survival are swirling. A ride on London’s sparkling but quiet new railway line hints at the complexities of post-pandemic public transport. And how off-the-shelf drones are making a difference in Ukraine’s war. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/07/2221m 46s

Pressure gauged: the road to recessions

Hints are turning to hard data: economic slowdowns are coming. We ask about the threat of recessions in different regions and about the effects they may have. The reckless behaviour of China’s fighter pilots is just one reflection of the country’s distrust of the West. And a haircut gone wrong leads to a lesson that challenges textbook economics. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/07/2222m 29s

Southern strategy: the coming bid to retake Kherson

The city remains Ukraine’s only provincial capital to be taken by Russian forces—can Ukraine overcome its shortages of manpower and firepower to retake the province? Mexico’s official missing-persons list has topped 100,000; our correspondent describes the skyrocketing total and piecemeal efforts to slow its rise. And research suggests that people choose their friends at least in part by smell. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/07/2222m 42s

Power strip: SCOTUS’s environmental ruling

America’s Supreme Court has essentially shorn the Environmental Protection Agency of its agency in making national policy. We ask what that means for the climate-change fight. Hong Kong is marking 25 years since its handover from Britain to China; the promised “one country, two systems” approach is all but gone already. And why moustaches are back in Iraq.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/07/2227m 9s

Son rise: the Philippines’ next President Marcos

It is a remarkable turnaround for a notorious family: the late dictator’s son just took the reins. But how will he govern? Scotland’s separatist party is again pushing for an independence referendum. That will probably fail—and empower the very prime minister that many Scots love to hate. And, why pilots in Ukraine are using an outdated, inaccurate missile-delivery technique. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/06/2222m 21s

Uprising tide: the coming inflation-driven unrest

In a global period of belt-tightening, popular anger will spill over. Our correspondent visits places where powderkegs seem closest to being lit; our predictive model suggests where might be next. China’s spies have a deserved reputation for hacking and harassing—but fall surprisingly short on other spooky skills. And why America is suffering a shortfall of lifeguards. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/06/2221m 58s

A force awakens: NATO’s new game plan

War in Ukraine has stiffened the alliance’s spine; leaders meeting this week will refashion troop-deployment plans reflecting a vastly changed security situation. The property sector makes a staggering contribution to carbon emissions, but our correspondent says it is not cleaning up nearly as fast as other industries are. And reflecting on the life of Roman Ratushny, a steely Ukrainian activist.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/06/2224m 50s

Comings to term: America’s abortion-rights rollback

The Supreme Court ruling has convulsed the country; passing the question of abortion rights to the states will divide America yet further. We ask what it means for the court to go so plainly against public opinion, examine the woeful effects the changing scenario will have on women and speak to one woman whose life was saved by a now-threatened procedure. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/06/2224m 42s

Shooting from the hip: The Supreme Court expands gun rights

Yesterday, America’s Supreme Court issued its most important Second Amendment ruling in more than a decade, striking down a New York law that tightly regulated concealed carrying of guns. The ruling means cities will probably see a lot more armed people. Our correspondent caught up with Ukraine’s First Lady. And new research into the origins of the Black Death. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/06/2225m 59s

Pride and prejudice: China’s LGBT crackdown

In much of the world, things are improving for sexual minorities. The opposite is true in China, where authorities are cracking down on the LGBT community. Bangladesh is suffering its worst flooding in living memory, but with a surprisingly low death toll (so far). And which city topped the EIU’s annual Liveability Index. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/06/2222m 12s

Eastern encroaches: Ukraine’s losses in Donbas

Russia is making steady, piecemeal gains in the region; Ukrainian forces are simply outgunned. That disparity defines the war’s progression—for now. More than 20 countries have radio stations run by and for prisoners, giving those inside a voice. And why a cannabis derivative is proving popular among Japan’s elderly. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/06/2226m 35s

Estranged bedfellows: Israel’s government collapses

A motley collection of parliamentarians, now without its whisper-thin majority, has crumbled. That will force the country back to the ballot box—and back to familiar political turmoil. Increasing numbers of American cities are enticing people with cash incentives, but do such policies work? And why drumming helps people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.  For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/06/2223m 5s

Stuck in the middle with few: Macron’s parliamentary pasting

resident Emmanuel Macron has lost his majority in France’s National Assembly as voters flooded both to the far right and far left. A second term filled with confrontation and compromise awaits him. The shadowy world of corporate spying is broadening to far more than just cola or fried-chicken recipes. And when scare-tactic road-death statistics lead to more deaths, not fewer. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/06/2223m 25s

Menace to democracy: The January 6th hearings

In its third public hearing yesterday, the committee investigating the January 6th Capitol insurrection detailed the pressure put on Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election—as well as the continuing threat to American democracy posed by Donald Trump. Can artificial intelligence become sentient, and if it did, how would we know? And why internet shutdowns are a costly and ineffective way to stop students from cheating. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/06/2224m 19s

Powell to the people: The Fed raises rates

America’s central bank raised rates by .75% yesterday—the biggest increase in almost 30 years. Whether that will help tame rising prices without triggering a recession is unclear. The poor performance of Russian tanks in Ukraine has led some to wonder whether the tank itself is obsolete. And the rousing, darkly humorous defiance of Ukrainian war anthems. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/06/2224m 31s

Planes have changed: Britain’s controversial asylum policy

The European Court of Human rights foiled Britain’s plans to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda yesterday by holding that British courts must first find the policy legal. The Taliban have proven surprisingly adept tax collectors, though they will spend much of the funds on defence rather than improving the lives of struggling Afghans. And the world is buying too few electric vehicles to meaningfully reduce carbon emissions.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/06/2223m 5s

No magic bullet: a Congressional agreement on guns

Mass shootings in Buffalo, Tulsa and Uvalde appear to have broken a longstanding impasse over federal gun laws. A bipartisan group of senators has laid out a legislative framework—but whether that turns into an actual bill remains unclear. Scientists are rethinking what might constitute the building blocks of extraterrestrial life. And why people seem to love boring video games.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/06/2222m 57s

Nyet effects: Russia’s resilient economy

Western sanctions are intended to starve Russia’s economy and hinder its ability to wage war in Ukraine. And while the long-term outlook remains grim, so far oil and gas earnings have kept its economy humming. Why Latin America’s commercial capital isn’t even in Latin America: it’s Miami. And why France is building bridges over motorways for wildlife. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/06/2221m 24s

Revolting: The January 6th committee’s public hearings

The committee investigating the Capitol attacks of January 6th 2021 held the first of several public hearings last night, having gathered evidence for the past year. The hearings may not break Donald Trump’s hold on the Republicans, but they are creating a vital record of an attempted coup. As wolf populations grow, humans are learning to live with them. And why the corporate world has taken an interest in psychedelic drugs.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/06/2226m 13s

Second time’s the charm? Somalia’s new president

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is Somalia’s first-ever reelected president. In an interview with our correspondent, he lays out his second-term ambitions for beating back jihadist insurgents and repairing relations with his neighbours. Why adapting to climate change is harder for people with less education. And why the film industry has high hopes for this summer’s blockbusters. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/06/2225m 45s

The wrath of Khan: Pakistan’s turbulent spring

Pakistan’s government faces an unpleasant choice between doing what’s popular and what is economically necessary, as Imran Khan, the former prime minister, exploits widespread discontent for his own ends. Russia’s invasion is threatening Ukraine’s unique seed bank. And why so many languages have such a rich variety of words to describe family members and relationships. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/06/2220m 57s

After the party, the hangover: Boris survives, barely

Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, narrowly survived a no-confidence vote last night. As he limps on, the informal contest to succeed him will intensify, as will questions about the Conservative Party’s direction. San Francisco’s progressive district attorney faces a recall election today, in a vote with broader implications for the future of criminal-justice reform in America. And why Ukraine’s army relies on century-old machineguns. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/06/2225m 7s

A farewell to arms control? Ukraine and nuclear weapons

For almost 80 years, the world has refrained from using or, for the most part, even seriously pondering the use of nuclear weapons. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has eroded that taboo. Avian flu is spreading around the world, threatening birds’ health and contributing to rising egg and poultry prices. And Sun Ra’s huge, weird and wonderful Arkestra is back on the road. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/06/2221m 41s

Hide, park: Russian money in London

Britain’s capital is packed with foreign capital, in particular the Russian kind. We ask what it is about London that attracts—and protects—the oligarchs. We check in again with Lusya Shtein of the anti-Putin punk-rock group Pussy Riot about her daring escape from Russia. And amid celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year tenure, we reflect on royal jubilees through history.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/06/2222m 51s

Press clipping: Ethiopia’s media crackdown

The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has expelled our correspondent. Abiy’s proxies at home and abroad are helping a propaganda push that is silencing criticism. California’s legal-marijuana market is enormous, but its growers are floundering under taxes and regulations; the industry is getting stubbed out. And a look at how companies that have withdrawn from Russia are faring.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/06/2222m 31s

The diet is cast: a coming food catastrophe

War and blockades in Ukraine are the largest but far from the only problems squeezing the global food system—and with prices already way up, a catastrophe of hunger looms. The prospect of whole-genome screening for newborns opens up many opportunities to avoid or treat disease, and many ethical debates. And more than just sordid history at Bangkok’s red-light-district museum.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/06/2226m 4s

Bear traps: Russia’s push in eastern Ukraine

Russian forces are having some successes in eastern Ukraine; our defence editor discusses the situation on the ground and what may tip the balance in the grinding war. We examine a contentious American law that reveals the country’s broken immigration system. And why independent Chinese bookshops are becoming so social-media-friendly.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31/05/2224m 13s

Base motives? China in the Pacific

The country has just one foreign military base, but there are fears it wants to dot the Pacific region with more—and that is, so far, proving tricky. With ties between Western and Russian scientists severed, decades of research in the Arctic, particularly on climate change, are at risk. And a new series further unpicks the mythology of punk music. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/05/2222m 19s

Take the first left? Colombia’s election

POLLS SUGGEST // Polls suggest the country might get its first-ever leftist leader. Whatever the outcome, a fresh outbreak of violent protest may await. Africa’s increasingly crippling fuel shortages can be blamed on more than just higher prices. And reflecting on the life of Lawrence MacEwen, laird of a tiny Scottish island whose austere simplicity he fought to preserve. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/05/2223m 4s

Let’s get the parties charted: the Partygate report

A long-awaited inquiry into lockdown gatherings on Boris Johnson’s watch reveals lurid details of brash bashes. Yet the prime minister will be able, once again, to brush off the controversy. We ask why Switzerland is such a powerhouse in business and finance despite its modest resources. And how Russia’s war propaganda is winning over plenty of Twitter users. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/05/2225m 55s

Active shooters, inactive politics: America’s latest school massacre

After 19 children and two adults were gunned down in Texas, we ask why gun laws are actually loosening in many states and why even moderate gun controls do not get passed. The rapid spread of monkeypox has rattled a covid-weary world; how much cause for concern is there? And why teams of professional writers are getting involved in games development. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/05/2223m 30s

The city that never slips: Beijing and covid

China’s Communist Party leaders have painted themselves into a corner: they cannot be seen to put the capital into lockdown, but permitting covid to spread could be catastrophic. We look into the myriad reasons behind America’s sharp shortages of baby formula, and how to solve them. And why it is illegal for women to get a manicure in Turkmenistan.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/05/2225m 3s

Labor’s day: Australia’s election

Anthony Albanese, the first Labor prime minister in a decade, has pledged to do far more on climate change. His party’s slim win shows how Australian politics is changing. Bosses are increasingly turning to surveillance software to monitor employees (so be careful if listening to this show during work hours). And why the fortune-telling tradition of shell-throwing thrives in Brazil.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/05/2222m 1s

Straight out of Orwell: Russia’s propaganda machine

The Kremlin’s propaganda machine ensures that Russians have a much different view of the war in Ukraine than the rest of the world. Our correspondent spent a day immersed in Russian media, to learn what people there see—and what they don’t. The spectre of hyperinflation is once again stalking Zimbabwe. And our obituaries editor remembers a man who refused to let Japan forget its painful past.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/05/2226m 25s

Pestilent peninsula: covid in North Korea

North Korea’s zero-covid strategy appears to have failed. The country has officially acknowledged 162 cases; the true number is probably orders of magnitude more. The country’s health-care system is inadequate, and pre-existing conditions such as tuberculosis and malnutrition are rampant. With elections impending in Turkey, politicians have begun competing with each other to scapegoat refugees. And why girls outperform boys in the Arab world’s schools.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/05/2224m 13s

It’s his party: American primaries

Five American states held primary elections yesterday. The most important were in Pennsylvania, where a Trump-backed candidate won the Republican gubernatorial primary. The Republican senate race remains too close to call. Wide-area motion imaging is a surveillance technique developed by the military in Iraq but now creeping into the civilian world. And why war in Ukraine is raising the price of berries in Britain. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/05/2224m 31s

Luna landing: Crypto chaos

Stablecoins are essential to the financial plumbing of the cryptocurrency world. They’re pegged to a real-world asset, usually the dollar. But when that peg breaks, things can turn ugly in a hurry. Much of India is suffering through a particularly blistering and costly heatwave. And Indonesians’ love of songbirds is threatening wild bird populations within and beyond Indonesia itself. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/05/2224m 7s

Not stuck in neutral: Sweden, Finland and NATO

Neither Finland nor Sweden ever joined NATO, the Western military alliance formed in 1949: Finland for pragmatic reasons and Sweden for ideological ones. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted both to change course. Facebook’s appeal is waning – to both users and investors. And for the first time, a telescope has captured images of the black hole at the centre of our galaxy. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/05/2222m 50s

Arm Scandi: Britain’s mutual-defence pact

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s collective-defence deal with Swedish and Finnish leaders represents a shift in the European order—and Britain’s post-Brexit place in it. Our correspondent visits Great Zimbabwe, a long-overlooked archaeological site of stunning proportions whose secrets are only now being revealed. And a look at the weird sensory thrill of ASMR through a new exhibition. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/05/2227m 44s

Entrenched: stalemate in Ukraine’s east

Russia’s bid to conquer the eastern region of Donbas is proceeding at a snail’s pace. All over Ukraine resistance continues and a grinding, prolonged conflict looms. Police reform remains controversial in America even two years after George Floyd’s murder. We visit two alternative-policing efforts to see how things might change. And examining the cultural chronicle tucked within Britain’s rules-of-the-road handbook. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/05/2225m 24s

It’s a family affair: Sri Lanka’s protests turn deadly

Demonstrations that eventually ousted the prime minister have cost lives, but the protest mood is not fading: many want every member of the storied Rajapaksa family out of government. We examine an effort to develop undersea GPS and learn why a watery sat-nav would be so useful. And why 1972 was such a formative year for music in Brazil.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/05/2223m 27s

Out like a Lam: Hong Kong’s new leader

John Lee, the successor to Chief Executive Carrie Lam, won by a predictable landslide: he is just the sort of law-and-order type party leaders in Beijing wanted. As the rich world emerges from the pandemic, surges in activity abound—particularly the opening of new businesses. And ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals, we hear about this year’s entrants from Ukraine.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/05/2221m 2s

Under-armed sweat: America’s “arsenal of democracy”

America accounts for the lion’s share of weaponry sent to Ukraine. But that may leave it short of arms in onward conflicts; boosting production is not as easy as it may seem. The widespread cost-of-living crunch is particularly acute in Britain; we visit a food bank to see how people are coping. And the surprising demographic trends shaping contemporary California.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/05/2222m 36s

The son shines: elections in the Philippines

Voters in the Philippines choose a new president on Monday. The likely winner is a scion of one of the country’s most controversial families. Exxon struck oil off the coast of Guyana a few years back. How will becoming a petrostate change this small country on South America’s northern coast? And koalas are adorable but imperilled—by development, stray dogs and now, a quickly spreading bacterial infection.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/05/2226m 19s

Powell’s points presentation: the Fed raises rates

Prices in America are rising faster than at any time in the past 40 years. In response, the Federal Reserve has made its steepest interest-rate hike in 20 years. Will it be enough to tame inflation while not tipping America into recession? Shanghai’s residents are growing restive after a long lockdown. And Nelson Mandela’s name and legacy are being used to sell a growing range of consumer goods.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/05/2221m 54s

Stormont weather: elections in Northern Ireland

Voters in the UK head to the polls for local elections tomorrow. In Northern Ireland, a party that does not want the country to exist appears poised to win the largest number of seats. Why a Nebraskan company’s annual general meeting has become known as “the Woodstock of capitalism.” And how the art of cattle trading is getting a 21st century makeover.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/05/2224m 59s

Roe-ing away: Abortion rights in America

A leaked draft opinion shows America’s Supreme Court is ready to let states outlaw abortion. We explore the implications for American politics, and the rights of millions of American women. Around 85% of the world’s population lives in countries, often democracies at peace, where press freedom has declined over the past five years. And remembering the typist of Oskar Schindler’s list.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/05/2227m 22s

ROC and a hard place: Taiwan’s lessons from Ukraine

Much like Ukraine, Taiwan has a well-armed neighbour that does not think it exists as a state: China. We ask what both sides are learning from Russia’s invasion. A heavy-handed string of arrests following a flare-up of gang violence in El Salvador is unlikely to change matters. And an analysis reveals the connection between weather and whether voters support climate-change legislation. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/05/2222m 25s

General disarray: Russia’s military failures

Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s armed forces were believed to be lean, modern and fighting fit. We ask why they have performed so poorly. A life sentence for a Turkish activist portends heightened repression as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan heads for a tough election. And celebrating master harmonica player Toots Thielemans on the centenary of his birth. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/04/2222m 13s

Pipe down: Russia cuts gas to Poland and Bulgaria

By shutting off gas to Poland and Bulgaria, Russia has made an aggressive move that may draw yet more European sanctions. How might the escalation end? The popularity of Singapore’s ruling party has slipped, a bit, so it has selected a kinder, gentler leader ahead of elections in 2025. And why the delayed Art Biennale in Venice was worth the wait. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/04/2222m 51s

Strong suits: climate litigation

Activists are tired of waiting for governments and companies to act on climate change. So increasingly they’re taking the matter to court—with success. Egypt’s leaders claim the country is open for business, but the army has a growing stranglehold on the private sector. And even the trails up Mount Everest are being affected by the war in Ukraine.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/04/2223m 32s

A bird in the hand: Elon Musk buys Twitter

The world’s richest man now has the keys to one of the most influential social-media platforms. Can it be the free-speech wonderland he is aiming for? Should it? In America marriages involving those under the age of consent remain surprisingly common; we examine why reform remains distant. And a look at the push to redesign outdated, clunky spacesuits. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/04/2223m 36s

Le Pen pusher: Macron wins again

Emmanuel Macron’s re-election is historic and, for many, a relief. But, as we discuss in the final instalment of our French-election series, the campaign revealed divisions that will trouble his second term, and that he must now try to heal. A staggering flow of foreign weaponry has been a significant factor in Ukraine’s resistance; we examine the geopolitical implications of all that hardware. And the pricey phenomenon of Britain’s personalised licence plates.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/04/2227m 28s

Rwanda-on-Thames: Britain’s asylum proposal

BRITAIN’S GOVERNMENT has proposed sending asylum-seekers to Rwanda. The plan has been widely criticised as expensive and ineffective—but the greater danger is that the plan works. New research suggests that diversification, rather than boosting domestic production, may keep supply chains resilient. And our correspondent considers the legacy of Charles Mingus, an American composer and bassist born 100 years ago today.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/04/2223m 51s

Knocking on hell’s Dvornikov: the battle for Donbas

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has entered a new phase, and its forces in Ukraine have a new commander—one with a history of targeting civilians. The next few weeks are likely to see huge, bloody battles for control of the eastern Donbas region. As Sunday’s presidential run-off vote approaches our French-election series profiles the incumbent, Emmanuel Macron. And why smell preferences vary little across cultures.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/04/2225m 37s

Sana’a sunrise: A ceasefire in Yemen

In Yemen, fighting between Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. Recently, a ceasefire has taken hold — but whether it presages the war’s end or further fighting remains unclear. A new film about Kashmir has proven popular among Indian politicians, largely because it supports their Hindu-nationalist narrative. And why cricket is taking off in Brazil.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/04/2223m 2s

In neither camp: Neutrality and war

ONE-THIRD of the world’s population lives in countries backing neither Russia nor Ukraine. The Biden administration has tried to persuade them off the fence, without much success. In Egypt, social mores make it tricky for women to live alone—so they have devised clever tactics to avoid unwelcome attention. And why residents of New Jersey are banned from pumping their own petrol—for now.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/04/2222m 20s

Running for cover: our Ukraine-refugees special

The war in Ukraine has created the greatest flux of refugees in Europe since the second world war. We visit Poland, where the response has been remarkably smooth, and a New York neighbourhood that is no stranger to émigrés from the region. And we consider the displaced who are largely overlooked: why are so many Russians exiling themselves in Turkey?For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/04/2227m 13s

Girls interrupted: Afghanistan

When the Taliban resumed power, there were hopes that women might not be as excluded, repressed and abused as they were previously. Those hopes have faded. As smartphone sales plateau, tech giants are furiously searching for new platforms to conquer. Augmented and virtual reality are the new battlefields. And the rise of giga-everything: how the scale of science drives linguistic innovation. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/04/2223m 47s

Food haul: aid trickles into Tigray

A ceasefire agreed weeks ago should have mitigated the suffering of starving Ethiopians caught up in war; we ask why so little aid has got through. Rebuilding Ukraine’s infrastructure and economy will require staggering sums—and a vast, international plan of action. And South Africa’s lockdown-era alcohol bans had a curious knock-on effect: crippling shortages of a beloved yeasty goo.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/04/2221m 56s

Just fine: Boris Johnson and “partygate”

Police have served Britain’s prime minister, among others, with a fine for breaching the lockdown rules he instituted. He may yet again emerge unscathed, but Britain’s politics is damaged nonetheless. Florida’s natural environment has made it one of America’s fastest-growing states, yet environmental challenges represent its biggest long-term challenge. And Ukraine’s most famous rock star joins the war effort.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/04/2223m 38s

A stretch and a run: Brazil’s ex-president returns

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva left office with a sky-high approval rating, having raised millions from poverty—but was then convicted of corruption. Now he wants his old job back. Forced labour in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields, once widespread, is swiftly vanishing. And an old hypothesis confirmed: birds get more colourful the closer they live to the equator.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/04/2222m 20s

Le Pen is mightier than before: France’s election

President Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen of the nationalist-populist National Rally party will advance to a run-off; in the continuation of our series, we ask what to expect in an unexpectedly tight race. Russian military communications have proven easy to intercept, leading to poor co-ordination and heavy battlefield losses. And South Korea’s millennials are frantically hunting for Pokémon-themed snacks.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/04/2225m 9s

Laïcité, extrémité, fragilité: our French-election series in full

The first round of the presidential election is on Sunday and our first-ever series has been following the race closely. This compendium of the first six dispatches looks at the candidates, their platforms and the sharply shifting political landscape in France. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/04/2254m 42s

Gota the trouble: Sri Lanka’s crises

Through ineptitude and bad timing, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa—known as Gota—has driven his country toward ruin. Its people want him out. Russian forces have occupied Kherson since early March. We hear a report from the ground about life under foreign occupation. And tasting awamori, a Japanese spirit that distillers may lift from the doldrums simply by watering it down. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/04/2224m 0s

Nasty, brutish and long? The war’s next stage

Russian troops have withdrawn from suburban Kyiv to focus on the eastern Donbas region. With Western weapons for Ukraine flowing in, a grinding war of attrition looms. For our French-election series we meet members of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, which has found success by shifting the focus away from its extremist image. And why a bid to rename Turkey will be so fraught. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/04/2226m 21s

Zero's intolerance: Shanghai’s messy lockdown

China’s zero-covid policy is being stretched to breaking point as the virus makes its way through the city. Supplies are low, residents are angry and there is no end in sight. The debate about air conditioning in America’s sweltering prisons will only heat up further. And how a dispute about time from exactly a century ago remains timely today. Additional audio provided courtesy of Matthew Florianz. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/04/2222m 33s

Bodies in the streets: Russian atrocities

Our correspondent reports from towns around Kyiv, where Russian forces appear to have committed war crimes, including summary executions and random murders. The last instalment of a once-in-a-decade climate report suggests that meeting the more ambitious temperature goals set in Paris requires a “handbrake turn” on global emissions. And why Britain’s car washes are a rare example of “re-automation”. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/04/2223m 22s

No-confidence interval: Pakistan’s embattled PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan seems to be trying everything to avoid an ouster. The powerful military brass may simply want a new leader who is less hostile to the West. Calls for tough sanctions on Russian oil are multiplying. But demand for it has already plummeted—and China and India sniff a bargain. And the earthworm invasion beneath North America’s soil. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/04/2221m 9s

All opposed, say nothing: Hungary’s election

Viktor Orban’s eight-year assault on the country’s institutions will help his bid for re-election. But the poll is far bigger than Hungary: it is a verdict on autocracies everywhere. Britain welcomes the fees from its staggering number of Chinese university students; we examine the risks that dependence poses. And a prescient Ukrainian war film gets a new lease on life.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/04/2222m 47s

Oil and vodka: Russia’s resilient economy

After Russia invaded Ukraine, Western businesses pulled out and governments imposed punishing sanctions. But Russia’s economy is proving surprisingly resilient. In the instalment of our French election series, we travel to Provence to better understand the campaign of the hard-right candidate Eric Zemmour, who has tapped into and stoked anti-Muslim sentiment. And why Lebanon’s plastic surgeons are thriving amid an economic mess.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31/03/2222m 43s

Capital outflow: Russia changes tack

It appears that Russian forces are withdrawing from Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, to focus on the eastern region of Donbas. We examine what the shifting tactics signify. A court in Singapore has refused to strike a colonial-era anti-gay law from its books, despite the fact it is never enforced; we ask why. And what’s behind Bolivia’s preponderance of contraband Japanese cars.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/03/2225m 26s

Talk in Turkey: Russia-Ukraine peace negotiations

Negotiators are again meeting face-to-face, this time in Istanbul. There is little hope of reaching an agreement at this stage—and even less that it would be adhered to. The metal cages appearing atop Russian tanks are intended to counteract anti-tank munitions; in practice their biggest effects seem to be psychological. And the extraordinary heatwave hitting the Antarctic.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/03/2220m 37s

In the war room: our exclusive visit to Zelensky’s “fortress”

Our editors traverse layers of security to reach the situation room where Ukraine’s president is so often seen addressing the world. They ask about his decision to stay in Kyiv, which countries are proving most helpful and whether he always had all those green clothes. They find a man who speaks of determination and honesty, and whose sense of humour remains remarkably undimmed.Find an edited transcript of the interview here. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/03/2225m 7s

Under fire: Life in Kharkiv

For the past month, one of our editors has spoken daily with a young man in Kharkiv. Today he discusses his family's decision to leave their hometown for somewhere safer. Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court, faced questioning this week from a Senate Committee. And we look back at Oscars hosts gone by.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/03/2226m 42s

What little remains: The destruction of Mariupol

For weeks, Russian forces have besieged the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. Up to 90% of its structures have been destroyed, and while thousands have fled, plenty remain--without food, water, medicine or electricity. Najib Razak, once Malaysia’s prime minister, left office embroiled in scandal. Now he’s back on the campaign trail. And Oman has set strict sartorial standards around the dishdasha, its national dress.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/03/2221m 42s

Vlad the in-jailer: Alexei Navalny sentenced

Alexei Navalny returned to Russia after being poisoned in an assassination attempt that many believe came from the Kremlin. He was immediately arrested, and yesterday his prison sentence was extended for nine years. But if Vladimir Putin hopes that ends his influence, he may be mistaken. The world has turned against Russian artists. And a new exhibition explores African-American contributions to the American table.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/03/2223m 2s

Russian to judgment: Putin accused of war crimes

Joe Biden, among others, has called Vladimir Putin “a war criminal.” International tribunals have tried and convicted war criminals from Rwanda and Serbia: will Russia’s president suffer the same fate? The war in Ukraine will disrupt the world’s wheat market, with potentially grave political consequences in the Middle East. And three public-works projects in Mexico are stirring controversy.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/03/2223m 48s

Blood will out: Russian mercenaries

Russian forces advancing on Kyiv have stalled. Ukraine has refused the demand to surrender Mariupol. But it’s not just Russian regular troops fighting: we look at Russia’s use of mercenaries. Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius, and is now facing the wrath of China. And included in the exodus of Ukrainians are plenty of four-legged companions. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/03/2222m 10s

Mention the war: Germany awakes

For decades, Germany was doctrinally pacifist: a legacy left over from the second world war. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed that, seemingly overnight. As Russia’s military advance has stalled, it has turned its firepower against civilian targets, resulting in widespread death, but also in the destruction of Ukraine’s cultural legacy. And remembering one of the many brave, ordinary Ukrainians, fallen in defence of their country.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/03/2226m 2s

Shock and war: global prices rise

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed global prices, which were already climbing, even higher. As America’s central bank raises its target interest rate for the first time in four years, we break down the challenges facing central bankers. In the fourth instalment of our French election series, we look at how the conflict has changed the race. And Russia’s seizure of the Chernobyl nuclear plant ends three decades of scientific research.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/03/2224m 9s

Bear hug? China’s take on Ukraine

China appears content to let the carnage continue in Ukraine, anticipating a win for Vladimir Putin. Its real concern is avoiding an apparent win for America and the West. Never mind fears that cryptocurrencies might help Russia dodge sanctions: they are far better at helping to finance Ukraine’s efforts. And the cyborg cockroaches that may one day aid search-and-rescue operations.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/03/2224m 22s

Capital accounts: on the ground in Kyiv

Our correspondent finds Ukraine's capital already accustomed to an eerie war footing. People are getting married and playing music, even as medicine runs out and a new volunteer army braces for fighting. Australia’s barely fathomable floods show freakish weather is becoming increasingly common there. And the case for reforming how grammar is taught.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/03/2224m 39s

Abject lesson: the siege of Mariupol

To the west, strikes near Poland have rattled NATO partners. But look to the south-east to see what Russia intends for the Ukrainian cities it encircles. Chile’s new president Gabriel Boric is just the latest leftist to take office in the region; we examine the “pink tide” that is coming in. And why British retail workers are sporting body cameras. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/03/2223m 31s

Defog of war: your questions answered

We tackle some of the many questions on the war in Ukraine that listeners sent in this week—why no-fly zones are a perilous idea, how weapons are making their way into Ukraine, why mud is a growing tactical concern, the implications of oil-and-gas embargoes and much more. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/03/2228m 34s

A non-member states: Finland’s ex-PM on NATO

Perched at Russia’s north-western corner, the country has plenty of history dealing with neighbourly aggression. We speak with Alexander Stubb, a former prime minister, about his views on European security. After a nasty campaign season, South Korea has a new president, Yoon Suk-Yeol. We examine the myriad challenges he faces. And how to spot Parkinson’s disease early—with an electronic nose.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/03/2222m 57s

Strikes, fear: an update from Kharkiv

After failing to take Ukraine’s second city, Russian forces continue to pummel it with air, artillery and missile strikes. We speak again with an increasingly despondent Kharkiv native. Many schoolyard games have deep histories, conveying culture down the generations; these days they are adapting to the pandemic era. And the revival of Mexico’s murals with a purpose. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/03/2226m 40s

War stories: the view from Russia

With the propaganda machine at fever pitch, not everyone in Russia agrees on—much less agrees with—what is going on in Ukraine. Dissent is being met with increasing repression. A wave of jihadism is crashing across the states of West Africa and the battle lines are moving south. And reasons for both hope and concern in our annual glass-ceiling index.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/03/2224m 4s

Bear trapped: the sanctions on Russia

The West’s co-ordinated financial weaponry is starting to bite, opening a new age of economic conflict; once-unthinkable oil embargoes seem now to be on the table. Taiwan is another democratic country with a big, bullying neighbour; we examine how the war has sparked introspection. And celebrating Pier Paolo Pasolini, a polymathic auteur unjustly known only for his most controversial film.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/03/2225m 36s

Rushing from Russians: Ukraine’s refugees

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered a refugee crisis in Europe. More than a million people have left; millions more could follow. Turkey’s reasonably stable relationship with Russia may not survive the war. And remembering a champion of Yaghan language and culture, at South America’s southernmost tip. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/03/2224m 54s

Climate of fear: the IPCC’s new report

A new report shows that climate change is already causing widespread, tangible damage, and argues that adaptation is now as important as mitigation. A once-promising candidate for the French presidency sees her campaign sputter. And why America needs to shore up the postal service’s finances. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/03/2224m 53s

All that Xi wants: China’s Ukraine dilemma

After backing Russia’s grievances against NATO, China now finds itself treading a very fine line on Ukraine. There are often reasons to be suspicious of a country’s covid-death tally; we examine research showing how fraud can be spotted mathematically. And why women are less likely than men to be corrupt. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/03/2220m 44s

Square in their sights: Kharkiv under siege

The levelling of Freedom Square in Ukraine’s second city is powerfully symbolic. One resident has been speaking to us daily since the invasion began. In the American West, minerals crucial to a clean-energy transition abound. We examine the opposition to a looming new mining boom. And a revealing meal with our food columnist: we have big news about “The Intelligence”.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/03/2225m 56s

The battlefield broadens: Ukraine resists

On the ground, Ukrainian resistance is holding—so far—and Vladimir Putin’s nuclear posturing reveals a crumbling of his plans. Meanwhile the international response grows more serious and more united. We examine President Joe Biden’s savvy Supreme Court pick, Ketanji Brown Jackson. And how to get around the fact that eyewitness testimony can be fuzzy or change over time. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/02/2224m 24s

Capital offence: the battle for Ukraine

As promised, Ukraine’s forces are fighting back tenaciously against a Russian invasion on multiple fronts—but Kyiv, the capital, is now squarely in the invaders’ sights. In England, the last covid restrictions were lifted entirely this week; we consider the calculations many leaders are making in this phase of the pandemic. And an assessment of romantic comedies as a cultural force.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/02/2225m 23s

It begins: Russia invades Ukraine

Ukrainians woke to the sound of sirens. Volleys of cruise missiles, artillery, widespread reports of explosions: a large-scale invasion appears to be under way. Our correspondent in Kyiv reports on the mood and on what is known so far. And we examine the sharp rise in carjackings in America, asking why so many young people end up behind the wheel. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/02/2221m 18s

Given choice: Colombia’s abortion-law change

In little more than a year, three of Latin America’s four most populous countries have expanded access to abortion. We ask what is driving that change in the region. Austin is the destination for many fleeing Silicon Valley; our correspondent examines the risks posed to the hot new tech spot. And the sugarloaf pineapple: the lucrative fruit of Benin’s branding labours. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/02/2222m 5s

Putting his first boot forward: Russian troops move

President Vladimir Putin has declared the independence of the two Ukrainian provinces of Donbas—and sent in "peacekeepers". We ask what is next. The African Union was founded two decades ago this year; its early integration and diplomatic successes have since sharply faded. And our deep, interactive dive into Spotify reveals the slipping global dominance of English-language lyrics.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/02/2223m 2s

Trial run: genocide claims against Myanmar

The Gambia’s first-of-its-kind case at the International Court of Justice might bring a rebuke and shine light on Myanmar’s brutal tactics. It might not, alas, bring succour for the Rohingyas. Our correspondent considers a grand geopolitical gamble from exactly 50 years ago, seeking lessons for today from Richard Nixon’s visit to China. And research reveals that noise stresses plants out. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/02/2224m 4s

On the brinkmanship: a special episode on Ukraine and Russia

We unpick the week’s torrent of headlines; an invasion may yet come but either way President Vladimir Putin has already harmed Russia. The country’s digital self-isolation project is quietly forging ahead; we examine its home-grown “tech stack” with everything from chips up to apps. And we hear from a Ukrainian woman whose life has been upended by the conflict’s uncertainties.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/02/2226m 30s

Sharpest tools, in a box: miniature vaccine factories

BioNTech, the German firm behind the first licensed coronavirus jab, reveals its attempts to stuff its technology into shipping containers—to be used where they are most needed. In the second instalment of our French-election series, we ask what is left of the country’s left. And, as the Olympics wrap up, putting numbers to judges' biases that favour their compatriots. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/02/2222m 23s

Judge, jury and executive: another power-grab in Tunisia

Last summer President Kais Saied nobbled the legislature; now he has abolished the judiciary. We ask where the country is headed, and why there is so little protest. Brazil’s modern-art scene, born a century ago this week, flourished despite rocky politics—but the current president has a chokehold on it. And the Thai army’s quixotic mission to evict Bangkok’s legendary street-food hawkers. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/02/2221m 54s

Yen here before: Japan’s “new capitalism”

Today’s figures showing the first annual economic growth in three years may seem promising. But the grand plans of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio resemble past policies that have not worked. The finely tuned government of Bosnia is under grave threat from some of the same forces that caused its brutal war. And why roadkill is now on the menu in Wyoming.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/02/2220m 41s

Not trucking around: Canada’s protests spread

It has become much more than a fight against proof-of-vaccination strictures. The anti-government mood has spread in Canada and abroad. What happens next? Haiti has received billions upon billions in foreign assistance but its situation remains dire; we ask why all that aid has not aided much. And Reader’s Digest, a surprisingly influential American snappy-excerpts magazine, turns 100.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/02/2222m 25s

Withdrawal symptoms: Afghanistan goes hungry

Since American forces left, pessimism has skyrocketed—and with good reason. Starvation is driving Afghans to sell their organs and even their children in order to eat. The artificial snow of this year’s winter Olympics is unsustainable and environmentally troubling; we meet a “snow consultant” pioneering a better way. And remembering Lata Mangeshkar, who gave voice to a newly liberated India.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/02/2223m 51s

Which way UP: India’s bellwether election

The state-legislature poll in Uttar Pradesh is in effect a vote on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s increasingly stringent Hindu-national agenda—and will hint at his party’s chances in 2024. Oil majors are getting points for selling off their dirtiest oil-and-gas operations; we ask who is buying them. And which countries are up and which are down in our annual Democracy Index. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/02/2223m 12s

The quiet man of Europe: Olaf Scholz

So far Germany’s new chancellor has been all but invisible at home and on the international stage. We examine the motives behind his reticence—and his abilities during a European crisis. As space becomes a battleground and satellites become targets, new research aims to bring nuclear power to bear. And visiting a red-hot art exhibition in three ways at once. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/02/2224m 13s

FAANGer danger: big tech takes a beating

 For years, the big tech firms Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google were seen as a collective good bet; investors will soon judge them each on their merits—or demerits. After Israel’s creation, Jews were shunned in the Arab world; that now seems to be changing, and quickly. And, on the frozen ground at Ukraine’s border, there will be mud.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/02/2222m 49s

Fission creep: Iran nuclear talks resume

After protracted negotiations, at last a conclusion appears nigh—but depending on whom you ask, a breakthrough is as likely as a breakdown. The regime in Bangladesh has been growing more brutal, yet some American sanctions seem to have had a swift and surprising effect. And Japan focuses on healthier, happier sunset years.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/02/2222m 48s

Skin in the Games: Beijing’s nervy Olympics

Our correspondent describes the fraught effort to attend the opening ceremony. It is a pageant highlighting a divided world, with party leaders aiming for zero covid, zero mistakes and zero dissent. An investigation reveals the brutal treatment meted out by Libya’s coast guard dealing with Europe-bound migrants—an outfit bankrolled by the European Union itself. And America’s gun-owners become surprisingly diverse.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/02/2225m 32s

A model result: our French-election series begins

In the first instalment of the series, we unveil our forecast model and visit one of the quiet suburbs where the vote’s outcome will probably be decided. Debt has soared as borrowing costs stayed low; we examine who will foot the enormous interest bills as rates rise. And the one place where marriages increased in the pandemic era. You can find all of our ongoing coverage of the French election at https://www.economist.com/french-election-2022 For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/02/2224m 19s

Action pact: NATO’s Ukraine role

Our correspondent speaks with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general, who says the alliance’s involvement in de-escalating Russia tensions is a sign of its resurgent relevance. After tortuous votes, Italy’s lawmakers elected a president: the incumbent who did not want the job. No posts have changed, but the political balance surely has. And we meet the nuns racking up followers on TikTok. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/02/2223m 20s

Do as I say, except at my dos: Boris Johnson’s parties

A long-awaited report confirms rumours that have consumed Boris Johnson’s premiership. He may be weakened, but early signs suggest he will not fall. One year after Myanmar’s military coup, the protest mood has not faded; the murderous junta is failing to rule and the country is falling apart. And the pain of losing one’s native tongue in a foreign land.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/02/2223m 10s

Sunshine statement: Ron DeSantis’s Florida

Talk of a presidential run for the governor is growing. We examine the state’s rightward lurch as a bellwether of his intent and his political strength. Our correspondent finds that divorce is getting easier, cheaper and a little less adversarial across the rich world. And the wider ecosystem risks posed by the looming extinction of the Sumatran rhino.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31/01/2224m 4s

Insecurities in securities: why markets are sliding

Huge swings and downward trends: markets are forward-looking, and it is clear they do not see much to look forward to in 2022. Warnings about infectious bugs resistant to antibiotics have long been around; to see the effects just look to South Asia. And our data journalists reveal another benefit of widespread veganism: huge tracts of habitable land. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/01/2222m 47s

On the edge of his seat: Stephen Breyer

The departure of one of America’s Supreme Court justices is an opportunity for President Joe Biden to choose a replacement, but the clock is ticking. We ask who might be in the running. West Africa’s latest coup, in Burkina Faso, bodes ill for an already stumbling campaign against jihadism in the region. And why countries change their capitals. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/01/2222m 42s

Twist of faith: religious hatred in India

As the country celebrates its secular constitution, we examine the rising bigotry of Hindu nationalists—at best tolerated and at worst encouraged by the ruling party. China’s propagandists are onto something: after years of dull jingoism, the entertainment they put out now is glossy, big-budget and ever more watchable. And why South-East Asia’s obsession with otters poses a threat to them.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/01/2222m 45s

What’s it good for? Putin’s Ukraine calculus

More Russian troops piling in. Embassy staff pulling out. American forces on alert and sober diplomacy still on the docket. We examine Vladimir Putin's ways, means and motivations. The Omicron variant is making its mark in Mexico, a place that our correspondent says never really shut down. And considering the merits and the risks of work-related drinks. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/01/2222m 36s

Prime mover? Mario Draghi and the Italian presidency

This week’s secretive votes will determine the next president and the current prime minister looks to be a favourite. But that move would be bad for Italy. Many African countries that are rife with resources remain persistently underdeveloped; we dig into the reasons. And we meet the chefs bringing unsung Native American cuisine to the table.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/01/2221m 36s

Unsustainable envelopment goals: China’s zero-covid fight

The Omicron variant is destined to test the limits of a policy that has already proved costly: consumption, growth and confidence are all flagging. The effects of Russia’s gulag did not stop when the labour camps closed: there appear to be long-term benefits for nearby areas. And why cycling in the Arab world is on the rise.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/01/2220m 4s

Heavyweight-price fight: how to beat global inflation

Shoppers across the developed world face sharply rising prices, and leaders are reaching for all manner of remedies—but that’s what central banks are for. Behind the story of Myanmar’s brutal military leadership is a slow stream of defectors; our correspondent meets the support network they rely on. And cover songs muddle the notion of who can call it their tune.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/01/2224m 27s

Drilling into the numbers: ExxonMobil

America’s biggest oil firm has long been recalcitrant on climate matters, so its new net-zero targets may seem surprising. We examine the substance of its pledges—and motivations. For an economist, tipping is an odd practice; whether you love it or hate it may be a question of control. And how unusual Novak Djokovic’s refusenik vaccine stance is among elite athletes. Additional audio courtesy of Tennis Australia. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/01/2222m 56s

Through deny of a needle: vaccine mandates

Austria is set to enact a bold policy of levying fines on the unvaccinated. We look at what is driving governments to such measures, and whether they will work. Japan’s shift in thinking about its growing elderly population holds lessons for countries set for a similar demographic shift. And why the Mormon church is struggling to retain its foreign converts.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/01/2222m 51s

But who’s counting? Voting rights in America

Democrats will spend the week battling for a tightening of laws on casting votes; that will overshadow Republicans’ worrying push into how those votes are counted and certified. Earthquakes remain damnably unpredictable, but new research suggests a route to early-warning systems. And why hammams, the declining bathhouses of the Arab world, will cling on despite even the challenge of covid-19. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/01/2223m 4s

His royal minus: Prince Andrew

The queen’s second son has been stripped of his titles—an apparent bid to insulate the crown from his legal troubles. But dangers to the prince and to the monarchy remain. A blockade of Mali, intended to force a return to democratic order, may worsen security and entrench foreign influences. And the genre of “eco-horror” evolves alongside environment-driven anxieties.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/01/2223m 20s

In vino, veritas: Boris Johnson under fire

While Britons followed covid strictures, the prime minister’s residence hosted boozy gatherings; widespread fury hints that his prevarications this time may be his last as leader. Religious institutions struggled during the pandemic, as all businesses did—so they are selling assets and courting new customers in innovative ways. And road rage is common, but in America it is getting decidedly deadlier. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/01/2222m 47s

Not in the same class: America and schools

The country’s children have missed more in-person learning than those in most of the rich world—to their cost. We ask why battles about schooling rage on. Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, came to power on big promises; few were fulfilled. We ask about the skimpy legacy he leaves behind. And a look at the metaverse’s red-hot property market.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/01/2222m 9s

Talking out his asks: Putin’s NATO demands

This week’s flurry of diplomacy aims to address what Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, says he wants. He cannot get it. Does an invasion of Ukraine hang in the balance? At an annual jamboree of economists our correspondent finds an unusual focus on the future—in particular the future of home working. And why Cuba has an enormous trade in grey-market garlic.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/01/2221m 55s

Hope for the crest: an Omicron wave hits India

The country has the world’s worst estimated covid-death total—but as another variant takes hold there are reasons for optimism. Mexico’s president has some old-fashioned notions about energy, and his pet legislation would make it both dirtier and costlier. And the Orient Express was itself a murder victim, just one line in a continent-spanning rail network that may yet be revived.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/01/2221m 35s

Fuel to the flames: uprising in Kazakhstan

What started as a fuel-price skirmish has engulfed the entire country; now Russian-led troops have been summoned to help. How did things escalate so quickly? The spike in global house prices has several pandemic-related causes—but do not expect them to fall much when those factors fade. And our obituaries editor reflects on the life of Britain’s first transgender activist. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/01/2223m 13s

Capitol crimes: one year after America’s insurrection

The insurrection’s horrors might have marked a turning point for Donald Trump’s supporters and enablers. Not so; the people and the politics remain as divided as they were one year ago. We examine why, despite the rampant uncertainty that should lift it, gold had a terrible 2021. And London’s farcical attempt to draw consumers to a famed shopping district. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/01/2223m 37s

Stop the presses! Hong Kong’s media crackdown

The closure of two independent, Chinese-language media outlets all but completes the push to silence pro-democracy press; we ask what is next for the territory. Sudan’s military seems as uninterested in civilian help with governing as legions of protesters are in military leadership. What could end the standoff? And why sanctions on Iran are affecting the purity of saffron. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/01/2222m 11s

Holmes stretch: Theranos’s founder convicted

Elizabeth Holmes has been found guilty of fraud. We ask what lessons her downfall holds for Theranos’s high-profile backers—and for a startup culture of hype before science. As Apple crosses a $3trn valuation we examine the motives for its stop-start forays into the competitive streaming-video business. And what lies behind the curious resurgence of syphilis.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/01/2221m 34s

Separate weighs: Brexit, one year on

Trade is down, red tape is up, details of regulatory harmony are still being hammered out. Britain may be less divided about it, but the benefits of the divorce are still to be seized. For the clinically vulnerable, covid restrictions go beyond government mandates; our correspondent shares a personal view. And a visit to mainland Singapore’s last rural village.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/01/2222m 0s

All she wrote: our obituaries editor reflects on 2021

From Prince Philip to Desmond Tutu, from an anti-racism campaigner and member of the Auschwitz Girls’ Orchestra to a war surgeon focused on civilians to an impoverished Ethiopian whose school for the poor educated 120,000 students: our obituaries editor reflects on the famed and the lesser-known figures who died in 2021. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/12/2125m 0s

A few bright spots: our country of the year

Each year The Economist selects its country of the year: a place that has improved the most. Improvement, though, was damnably rare in 2021. We run through our nominations and the shortlist, and take a close look at why the winner won. And we examine what has gone on in South and South-East Asia, which offered no contenders whatsoever.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/12/2120m 10s

You bet your dollar-bottomed: Erdogan’s next gambit

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s idea for saving the lira by backing deposits with dollars means the Turkish taxpayer will end up bailing out the Turkish depositor. Our correspondent finds striking insights in 40 years’-worth of humdrum submissions to a unique sociology project. And Saudi Arabia’s multi-billion-dollar push into the cinema industry it outlawed for decades.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/12/2123m 20s

Beginning of the endemic? Omicron’s spread

The lightning-fast spread of a seemingly milder coronavirus variant may represent a shift from pandemic to endemic; we ask how that would change global responses. Concern about video-game addictiveness is as old as video games themselves—but the business models of modern gaming may be magnifying the problem. And newly publicised photographs shed light on Bangladesh’s brutal war for independence.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/12/2122m 20s

No safety in numbers: security in Haiti

The security situation is hopeless, following violent unrest and a presidential assassination—as one family’s epic and ultimately failed attempt to leave reveals. The sum total of the missing banknotes in the world is staggering, but what is worrying is that no one seems interested in finding it all. And meeting the man who unwittingly became Sherlock Holmes’s secretary.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/12/2124m 5s

Relocation, relocation, relocation: America’s internal migration

The flood of people out of cities is unlike anything since the suburbanisation of the 1950s; we examine the inevitable economic and political consequences. After years of reporting our correspondent concludes that the mutual disdain of a country’s northern and southern halves is a curious human universal. And a sojourn to fact-check Julius Caesar’s accounts of his triumphs in France.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/12/2124m 8s

All about that base: Japan’s security policy

In recent years the country has found itself in a sharply different geopolitical environment, responding by building bases and security-partner ties as never before. Our correspondent meets perhaps the last living offspring of an American slave, whose stories paint a picture of the civil-rights movement right up to today. And Thailand’s changing cannabis policy, best seen through its restaurants’ menus.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/12/2124m 25s

Back to the USSR: Russia and Ukraine

As border tensions continue to build, our Russia editor looks back to the fall of the Soviet Union to explain why Russia has never accepted Ukraine’s independence. Eating out has only become more expensive through the decades, yet the diners keep coming; we examine the long history and economics of restaurants. And our staff picks for 2021’s best books.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/12/2123m 54s

Centre of no attention: Chile’s presidential election

As the vote’s second round has neared, the candidates have shifted, a bit, from their positions at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Which radical vision for the country will win out? The transition to electric vehicles may well stall, unless the chicken-and-egg problem of public chargers can be cracked. And a soaring history of “birdmen”, successful and otherwise.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/12/2123m 20s

Money printer slow brrr: the Fed turns down the taps

America’s central bank plans to pinch off its massive bond-buying programme much faster in a bid to stall inflation; our correspondent says it is perhaps a late-arriving signal—but a promising one. Loneliness is a growing problem in the rich world but seems particularly acute among American men. And why aged artists are increasingly taking over the December music charts.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/12/2120m 40s

In full swing: Ethiopia’s shifting civil war

More than a year after a rebellion Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised to put down in weeks, the balance of power keeps swinging—and neighbouring states may soon be drawn in. To the chagrin of libertarian crypto types, regulators are weighing in on an industry now worth trillions. And the fed-up North Korean wives earning more than their husbands.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/12/2124m 17s

Twister of fate? Tornadoes and climate change

Many have been quick to link the tornado catastrophe in America’s Upland South to climate change; we ask why that is a tricky connection to draw. Citizenship of Gulf states has long been difficult to acquire, even for lifelong residents. That is slowly changing—for a slice of the elite. And the kerfuffle surrounding the repurposing of Britain’s red phone boxes.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/12/2123m 43s

Protein shake-up: getting to know Omicron

The latest “variant of concern” has spread far—and fast. We examine what has been learned about it at equally striking speed, and ask what to look out for next. South-East Asia has long had a methamphetamine problem; so-called compulsory treatment centres are only making matters worse. And the effort to make a minuscule lemur science’s next super-model. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/12/2120m 13s

Unsafe as houses? Evergrande and China’s big plans

The wildly indebted property firm has defaulted at last. That poses big risks as China’s leadership works to refashion financial markets and draw in foreign investors. We visit the world’s largest lithium reserves, asking why Bolivia has not yet made the most of them—and whether it still might. And the Chopin concert aimed at calming Poland’s refugee tensions.Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/12/2124m 7s

Ain’t no party: scandals hobble Britain’s government

At two years into Boris Johnson’s premiership, yet more scandal ensures attention will still stray from the sweeping agenda of change he promised. An archaeological find in the state of Tamil Nadu rewrites the timeline of civilisation in India—raising questions of identity in a charged political atmosphere. And the man listening intently to the staggering variety of Beijing’s birds.Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/12/2122m 6s

CDU later: Angela Merkel’s successor

For the first time in 16 years Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union is out of Germany’s government. We ask what to expect from Olaf Scholz, the new chancellor. China’s leadership wants to boost the birth rate but discriminates against single mothers; we examine a slow push for equality. And mental-health apps are booming, but the risks are many and the benefits uncertain. Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here. www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/12/2122m 55s

Off the warpath: America 80 years after Pearl Harbour

The Japanese attack set America on a course toward military hegemony; recent administrations have walked it back. We ask what the country would fight for now. A clash of priorities between national and city-level politicians the world over makes for fraught politics on car ownership. And our columnist envisages how the office will compete with home in a post-pandemic world.Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/12/2122m 48s

The first sentence of the story: Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar’s ousted leader has been sentenced to four years in prison; more guilty verdicts are expected soon. That will only fuel unrest that has not ceased since a coup in February. Scrutiny of Interpol’s new president adds to concerns that the supranational agency is in authoritarians’ pockets. And governments start to back the “seasteading” of libertarians’ dreams.Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/12/2122m 11s

Taiwan thing after another: the Solomon Islands

The archipelago’s diplomatic pivot to China has added an international dimension to the latest flare-up of domestic tensions. We ask how this tiny state figures into far larger geopolitics. British law permits medical cannabis for children with epilepsy—so why are so few able to get it? And a Formula 1 race may mark the end of Saudi Arabia’s alcohol ban.Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/12/2120m 44s

Roe blow? SCOTUS weighs abortion rights

The conservative supermajority on America’s Supreme Court looks likely to strip back rights enshrined since the Roe v Wade ruling in 1973. Beset by natural disasters, Puerto Rico did not seem ready for a pandemic—but our correspondent finds it has done better than the rest of America. And an intriguing new idea in the mystery of how Earth got its water. Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/12/2124m 2s

The house that Jack built: Twitter’s founder departs

Jack Dorsey’s departure from the social-media giant reflects the growing primacy of engineering talent, and the waning mythology of the big-tech founder. Ukraine’s military has become much better at battling Russian-backed separatists since the annexation of Crimea—but now a far graver kind of war looms. And the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest list of the world’s most expensive cities.Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/12/2119m 35s

Centrifugal forces: Iran nuclear talks resume

Things were all smiles after negotiations resumed—but it is difficult to see how a middle ground can be reached in Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Apple’s surprise move to permit repairs to its hardware reflects the growing “right to repair” movement, and a shift in the notion of tech ownership. And the “grab lists” that museum curators prefer not to talk about. Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/11/2122m 51s

Priority letter: the Omicron variant

Governments’ rapid responses to a new coronavirus strain were wise. But much is still to be learned about the Omicron variant before longer-term policies can be prescribed. Vietnam’s government wants to create internationally competitive firms, and a growing new class of billionaires suggests the plan is working. And research suggests that social distancing comes naturally to bees under pathogenic threat.Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/11/2121m 2s

A cut-rate theory: Turkey’s currency spiral

As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan keeps pushing his upside-down economic ideas, the currency plummets and an immiserated population grows restless. Sunday’s presidential election in Honduras will be a test of the country’s democracy; fears abound of the deadly protests that marred the last vote. And our obituaries editor reflects on the life of Rossana Banti, a storied, lifelong anti-fascist campaigner.Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/11/2122m 55s

You put your left side in: Germany’s shake-about

A three-way coalition has struck a deal to govern. We ask who’s who among top ministers and what’s what on the newly centre-left agenda. A shortage of lorry drivers has sharpened Britain’s supply-chain woes; our correspondent hitches a ride with one, finding why it is such a hard job to fill. And what Maine’s new “right to food” actually means. Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/11/2123m 0s

America’s sneezing: diagnosing global inflation

Prices are up all over, especially in America. But whether the world’s largest economy is part of the problem or just suffering the same symptoms will determine how to fix it. Autocratic leaders of middling-sized countries are having a field day as America has relinquished its world-policeman role. And what makes some languages fail to develop a word for blue?For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/11/2122m 18s

New bid on the bloc: Europe and vaccine mandates

A Delta wave is driving restrictions and restrictions are driving unrest. Vaccine mandates like that enacted by Austria may be the only way to end the cycle. We examine the dim prospects for Peng Shuai, a Chinese tennis star who accused a senior politician of sexual assault. And a broader view of modern art at the UAE’s new Guggenheim museum. Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/11/2122m 3s

Left, right and no centre: Chile’s elections

The presidential election will now go to a run-off—between candidates of political extremes. We ask how that polarisation will affect promised constitutional reform. Our correspondent visits Mali to witness the largest current Western push against jihadism, finding that governments and peacekeepers in the Sahel are losing the war. And women seek a more level playing field in competitive gaming.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/11/2121m 13s

State of profusion: governments just keep growing

Some factors that drive relentless growth in state spending are eternal; some are getting stronger. Our correspondent outlines a big-government future. We examine how MacKenzie Scott, an accidental billionaire, is revolutionising big-money philanthropy. And Moroccan hoteliers rail against a law that forbids beds for the unwed.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/11/2122m 5s

Georgia undermined: protests and a hunger strike

Mikheil Saakashvili, a former president, is seven weeks into a hunger strike and protests supporting him are proliferating. We ask where the country is headed. China’s state-sponsored industrial espionage is growing more overt and more organised—and little can be done to stop it. And how to figure out the past tense of verbs like “green-light” and “gaslight”.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/11/2122m 24s

Defrost setting: the Xi-Biden summit

The meeting between superpower presidents was cordial and careful, but it will take far more than a video call to smooth such frosty relations. Europe once had an enviable international rail network—one it must revive if the bloc is to meet its climate targets. And the costly and sometimes dangerous lengths South Koreans are going to for flattering photographs.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/11/2119m 52s

White flagged: Cuba’s muted protests

White roses, white sheets hung from homes, even white t-shirts: a movement’s symbolic colour was not much in evidence after officials quashed national protests. Part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to wean its economy off oil is to entice lots of tourists; we ask how likely that is to work. And gut bugs beget a bigger bounty of blackcurrant berries.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/11/2119m 31s

Peronists’ peril: Argentina’s elections

The ruling party got a pasting at the polls, owing in part to a reeling economy. We ask what the opposition’s gains mean for the country. The practice of assisted dying is being enshrined in law the world over; we examine the ethical dimensions of its spread. And why electric vehicles failed to keep their market dominance a century ago.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/11/2120m 2s

The heat is on: COP26’s final hours

The climate summit in Glasgow is in its last official day, but looks sure to overrun as negotiators thrash out an agreement. When the talking’s over, what will count as success? The rise of film franchises and streaming is taking the shine off Hollywood’s top stars. And we hatch a tale of unusual births among North America’s biggest birds.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/11/2120m 21s

Putin’s defiers: repression in Russia

As the economy has deteriorated and the internet has bypassed television, persecution of opponents has become the president’s main tool of political control. Even the pandemic has been harnessed to silence dissent. An Economist film reports on the young women standing up to Vladimir Putin. And in China, there’s a more subdued background to the Singles’ Day online shopping splurge. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/11/2119m 58s

Trouble at the border: Belarus and the EU

Around 2,000 people from the Middle East are at the European Union’s eastern frontier. Alexander Lukashenko, the autocratic Belarusian president, promised them passage to the EU. They are pawns in a long dispute and their plight is bleak. Tension is mounting in north Africa, between Algeria and Morocco. And who said words were cheap? The cost of newsprint is soaring. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/11/2121m 21s

Dream on: Biden and social mobility

Americans born at the bottom of the economic ladder find it harder than past generations—or their peers abroad—to climb to the top. The president has plans to change that. But he’s already having to scale them back. Concrete may be a super-spouter of carbon dioxide, but it can go green. And a new style of book review is flourishing on TikTok  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/11/2120m 44s

Control the past: rewriting Chinese history

Over four days in Beijing, the political and military elite are meeting to recast the past. The revised version will depict Xi Jinping as a giant of the stature of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping—and justify his continued rule. More Africans are migrating, mostly within their own continent. And Hollywood is examining its navel. It doesn’t like what it finds.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/11/2120m 6s

Tigrayans turn the tables: Ethiopia’s war

Few imagined when Ethiopia’s civil war began a year ago that the capital, Addis Ababa, would come under threat from Tigrayan rebels. We explain why the tide has turned. At this time of year, India’s deadliest environmental problem—its toxic air—is at its worst. And the Chinese Comminust Party is cracking down on burning gifts for the dead.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/11/2122m 26s

Covering the ground: trees and COP26

At the global climate summit, more than 100 countries have promised to end deforestation by 2030. Similar promises have been made before, but might this time be different? America’s Supreme Court dives into the thorny topics of abortion and gun rights. And we report on the peculiar economics of African cities where the UN has set up shop. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/11/2122m 54s

Power failure: South Africa’s ANC stumbles

For the first time since the end of white rule, South Africa’s governing African National Congress is set to win less than half the vote, albeit in local polls. We explain its slide in popularity. After a dreadful 2020, Italy has had a happier 2021; what’s prime minister Mario Draghi’s next move? And we check out the rhythm of Bangladesh’s underground club scene.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/11/2120m 37s

The Floyd factor: American police reform

More than a year after George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis policeman, the city votes on an overhaul of its force. We examine America’s shifting debate over police reform. Cryptocurrencies have taken off in Cuba; but the communist authorities want control. And light may be shed on the mystery of the reproductive habits—and extraordinary migration—of eels. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/11/2121m 26s

Cool heads needed: COP26 begins

World leaders are gathering in Glasgow for the UN climate summit. Can they agree on the path to meeting the goals set in Paris six years ago, to stabilise global temperatures? We weigh up the chances. Sex work is illegal almost everywhere in America; a growing movement wants that to change. And why Britain’s TV-production industry is booming.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/11/2120m 48s

Going critical: Iran’s nuclear programme

The Islamic Republic is closer than ever to a bomb’s worth of fissile material. Talks with America and other countries will resume next month, but hopes of an agreement are fading. Is war inevitable? Chinese media are not allowed to report on the #MeToo movement, but the Communist Party is taking up some feminist causes. We consider the paradox of women’s rights in modern China. And we look back at the life of Anne Saxelby, a pioneering American cheesemonger, who has died aged 40.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/10/2123m 8s

Competitive spirit: tech after the pandemic

After a year of breakneck growth, the big five tech companies—Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft—are coming back down to earth. We look at how the pandemic has changed the industry and spurred on smaller firms. Serbia’s military build-up is making its neighbours nervous. The country’s president tells us why he’s been amassing arms. And evolution usually unfolds over millions of years. But new research into Mozambique’s tuskless elephants suggests that it can be turbocharged by humans. Additional audio used with permission from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/10/2121m 53s

Winter is coming: Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis

Two months after the Taliban’s victory, civilians face a looming disaster. Will Western governments dig their heels in, or turn the aid taps back on? India’s government has increasingly turned to high-tech means for delivering government services. But its digital-first solutions are inaccessible to millions of citizens. And we look at the business of renting clothing, as Rent the Runway goes public with a sky-high valuation.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/10/2120m 48s

Trouble in Khartoum: Sudan’s coup

Just as the country was moving towards democracy, its generals have overthrown the civilians—again. We look at what sparked the unrest, and why coups in Africa are on the rise. Ecuador declared a state of emergency last week over a wave of violent crime. It’s just one of several headaches for Guillermo Lasso, the country’s president. And we explain why you have an accent in a foreign language.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/10/2122m 31s

You shall not pass: standardising vaccine passports

Covid certificates are a global mess, with countries operating a patchwork of incompatible systems. We look at why it’s so difficult to standardise digital health passes. When the results of Uzbekistan’s elections are published today, the only surprise will be the margin of victory for Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the country’s autocratic leader since 2016. The question is how far he can take his agenda of economic and political reform. And Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), a way of representing ownership of digital media, have taken the art world by storm. Why The Economist is getting in the game. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/10/2120m 22s

Flu into a rage: Brazil’s Bolsonaro inquiry

President Jair Bolsonaro’s early dismissal of the pandemic as “a little flu” presaged a calamitous handling of the crisis. We ask how a congressional investigation’s dramatic assessment of his non-actions may damage him. China’s test of a hypersonic, nuclear-capable glider may rattle the global weapons order. And our obituaries editor reflects on the life of level-headed American statesman Colin Powell.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/10/2121m 35s

States of emergency: Nigeria

Criminal gangs in north-western states, jihadists in the north-east, a rebellion in the south-east: kidnappers, warlords and cattle rustlers are making the country ungovernable. The new head of Samsung Electronics has a legacy to build—and aims to do so by breaking into the cut-throat business of processor chips. And the sci-fi classic “Dune” gets a good cinematic treatment at last.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/10/2123m 35s

Gas-trick distress: a visit to Ukraine

Russia continues to pile pressure on the country, and will soon have the power to cut off its natural gas. Our correspondent pays a visit to find how Ukrainians cope. The simplest solution to renewables’ intermittency is to move electricity around—but that requires vast new international networks of seriously beefy cables. And Canada’s version of American football is wasting away. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/10/2120m 26s

Meeting them where they are: a British MP’s murder

Sir David Amess was killed doing what he loved: speaking directly with voters. We examine the dangers inherent in the “constituency surgeries” that British politicians cherish. The fight against tuberculosis is made harder by mutations that confer drug resistance; we look at research that has traced nearly every one of them. And why Andy Warhol is big in Iran, again.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/10/2120m 46s

Chinese draggin’: growth slows

A paltry GDP rise is down to the pandemic, power and property. We ask what growing pains President Xi Jinping will endure in the name of economic reforms. Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, will probably end up in the second round of next year’s election; who will stand against him is ever more unpredictable. And fixing meeting inefficiency with an 850-year-old idea.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/10/2119m 49s

Port, and a storm: sectarian violence in Lebanon

The effort to investigate last year’s port explosion in Beirut has fired up political and religious tensions—resulting in Lebanon’s worst violence in years. We speak with Dmitry Muratov, a Russian journalist who shared this year’s Nobel peace prize, about what the award means to him, and to press freedom. And why autocratic regimes like to snap up English football clubs.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/10/2123m 22s

For watt it’s worth: energy markets’ squeeze

A fossil-fuel scramble reveals energy markets in desperate need of a redesign. We examine what must be done to secure a renewable future. Throngs of Hong Kong residents fleeing China’s tightening hand are settling in Britain; our correspondent finds an immigrant group unlike any that came before. And the boom in “femtech” entrepreneurs at last focusing on women’s health.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/10/2122m 52s

Keep your friends close: Pakistan’s shifting role

As the Taliban’s closest ally, the country bears a big responsibility for Afghanistan’s fate. We examine its diplomatic risks and opportunities. Mastercard is pressing porn purveyors this week; we look at how financial companies are reluctantly stepping up as the internet’s police. And a timely social-inequality take drives South Korea’s “Squid Game” to the top of Netflix's charts worldwide.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/10/2121m 1s

Exit Poles? A bold challenge to the EU

After a court ruling in Poland that is an affront to a core European Union principle, Poles hit the streets—fearing a “Pol-exit” they do not want. Who will back down? Hydrogen has been touted for decades as a fuel with green credentials. At last its time has come. And the herd of unicorns popping up in Mexico.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/10/2120m 1s

Zero-to-some game: Asia-Pacific covid-19 plans crack

Where governments enacted zero-tolerance coronavirus strategies, numbers indeed stayed low. That was before the Delta variant. We ask how countries can now wind back those policies. A shocking report of sexual abuse within France’s Catholic church further threatens the institution’s connection with society. And countering the notion that the “standard English” taught the world over is the only proper one. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/10/2121m 15s

Strait of tension: Chinese jets test Taiwan

China has sent more than 100 planes to probe Taiwan’s air-defence zone. We explain why Beijing has chosen this moment to send a message across the strait. The WHO has approved a vaccine against malaria—a turning-point in fighting a disease that kills 260,000 African children a year. And if you want a Nobel prize, it helps to be lauded by a laureate.    For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/10/2122m 5s

How to lose friends and alienate people: Ethiopia’s civil war

Abiy Ahmed is sworn in again as prime minister, even as continuing strife increases the country’s isolation. Our correspondent witnesses the gruesome aftermath of a telling battle. China once encouraged, even forced abortions. Now, as it frets about declining birth rates, it’s discouraging them. And we report on India’s “godmen” and “godwomen”, their moneyspinning schemes and their fanatical followers.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/10/2120m 0s

Ticker shock: London’s wheezing stockmarket

A global financial centre must move with the times, and—so far—London has not. Our correspondent lays out the causes of the malaise, and how to fix it. For many years compulsory military service was on the decline; we ask why so many countries are bringing it back. And why Europe is the destination for a growing class of digital nomads.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/10/2123m 34s

When it goes dark: Facebook’s terrible week

Yesterday’s global outage is not even the worst of it: today’s congressional testimony will examine a whistleblower’s allegations that the company knows its products cause widespread harm. The modern food-industrial complex is great for eaters but appalling for the planet; we examine technological fixes, and whether consumers will bite. And how Afghanistan's embassies abroad are—or aren’t—dealing with the Taliban.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/10/2121m 5s

Docket launch: a new term for America’s Supreme Court

The court will be tackling just about every judicial and social flashpoint in the country during the term that starts today; our correspondent lays out the considerable stakes. A vast and costly die-off of Britain’s trees could have been averted simply and cheaply: just let them stay put. And why hotels are such ideal backdrops for filmmakers and scriptwriters.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/10/2121m 54s

The courage of two convictions: Nicolas Sarkozy

The first conviction of France’s former president shocked the nation; the second confirms for citizens that, these days, politicians will be held to account. Our correspondent meets a Burmese hipster who, after this year’s military coup, has become a somewhat conflicted freedom fighter. And the record label whose name you may never have heard but whose music you certainly have. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/10/2121m 9s

Nobody’s fuel: Britain’s shortages

From chicken to petrol, Britons are facing long queues and bare shelves. We ask about the multifarious reasons behind the shortfalls, and how long they will last. Tunisia’s democracy has been looking shaky for months; we examine what may change with yesterday’s appointment of its first-ever female prime minister. And India’s beleaguered unmarried couples at last are getting some privacy.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/09/2123m 6s

Suga-free Diet: Japan’s next leader

The ruling party’s choice for its president—a shoo-in for prime minister—seems to overlook the people’s will. We ask how Kishida Fumio is likely to lead, and for how long. Some of Nigeria’s megachurches are larger than stadiums, and have considerable assets—as do many of their charismatic pastors. And keeping up with demand for vinyl records presents pressing problems. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/09/2119m 13s

A run for its money: funding crunches in Congress

America’s crash of deadlines carries risks for the government’s budget and just possibly its sovereign debt, and threatens Joe Biden’s presidency-defining social-spending reforms. We ask what happens next. South Korea’s government is ostensibly cracking down on fake news; in practice it may be hobbling real journalism. And the hopeful view provided by a French conceptual artist’s latest work.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/09/2121m 50s

Colour schemes: Germany’s coming coalition

The country heads for a three-party government after a nail-biting election. We cut through the flurry of letters and colours to ask what is likely to happen next. The technology swiftly deployed to combat the coronavirus may also crack a four-decade-old problem: vaccinating against HIV. And evidence that the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex may have liked a love bite.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/09/2119m 34s

Clubs seal: China’s view as alliances multiply

Leaders of “the Quad” are meeting in person for the first time; drama from the AUKUS alliance still simmers. Our Beijing bureau chief discusses how Chinese officials see all these club ties. As Chancellor Angela Merkel’s time in office wanes, we assess Germany’s many challenges she leaves behind. And the sweet, sweet history of baklava, a Middle Eastern treat gone global.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/09/2123m 19s

Same assembly, rewired: the United Nations meets

The annual United Nations General Assembly is more than just worthy pledges and fancy dinners; we ask where the tensions and the opportunities lie this time around. Last year’s fears of a crippling “twindemic” of covid-19 and influenza proved unfounded—and that provides more reason to worry this year. And why “like” is, like, really useful. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/09/2122m 14s

The homes stretch: Evergrande

China’s property behemoth has slammed up against new rules on its giant debt pile. We ask what wider risks it now poses as a cash crunch bites. Britain has begun a demographic trend unusual in the rich world: its share of young people is spiking—and will be for a decade. And what the pandemic has done for the future of office-wear.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/09/2119m 3s

Running to stand still: Canada’s election

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remains in power after Monday’s election, but he emerges without the majority he wanted, and with his soft power damaged. He now faces a fourth wave of the pandemic and an emboldened far-right from a weaker position. Child labour fell markedly in the 16 years after the turn of the millennium. Now it’s on the rise again. Efforts to prevent children from working can often exacerbate the problem. And we consider one of the more unusual ideas for combating climate change: potty-training cows.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/09/2120m 1s

Potemkin polls: Russia’s elections

The winner of Russia’s elections was not in doubt. Vladimir Putin’s party, United Russia, came out on top. But despite the ballot stuffing and repression, the opposition still managed to rattle the Kremlin. The Gates Foundation is America’s biggest charitable foundation by far and a powerhouse in the world of public health. But its money could be better spent. And we read the tea leaves to explain why bugs are important for your brew. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/09/2121m 10s

Sub plot: the AUKUS alliance

The alliance between America, Britain and Australia has enormous significance, most of all for its nuclear-submarine provisions. We look at the global realignment it represents. The container-shipping industry has had a wild year and its prices reflect the vast disarray; we ask whether things will, or should, get back to normal. And the growing trend of politicians’ media-production companies.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/09/2122m 44s

Shake, rattle the roles: Britain’s cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has re-allocated a number of key government posts. We ask how the changes reflect his political standing and what they mean for his agenda. A first-of-its-kind study that deliberately infected participants with the coronavirus is ending; we examine the many answers such research can provide. And the rural places aiming to capitalise on their dark skies.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/09/2121m 4s

Hunger gains: Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis

Economic collapse and halting international aid following the Taliban’s takeover have compounded shortages that were already deepening; we examine the unfolding disaster. The verdict in a blockbuster case against Apple might look like a win for the tech giant; a closer read reveals new battle lines. And the data that reveal how polluters behave when regulators are not watching.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/09/2120m 28s

Percent of the governed: California’s recall vote

Governor Gavin Newsom is fighting off a bid to remove him that puts the world’s fifth-largest economy and, possibly, control of the Senate in play for Republicans. Russia’s exercises in Belarus are the largest in 40 years—showcasing a chummy relationship and worrisome military might. And how Dante Alighieri’s masterwork “The Divine Comedy” still holds lessons, 700 years after his death.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/09/2123m 14s

Getting their vax up: America’s vaccine mandates

President Joe Biden’s requirements for employers to insist on vaccinations are a bold move amid flatlining inoculation rates. But will they work? For decades the world’s cities seemed invincible, but the pandemic has hastened and hardened a shift in urban demographics and economics. And an ancient Finnish burial site scrambles notions of gender roles in the distant past.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/09/2120m 54s

From the ground up: New York after 9/11

The horrors of 20 years ago spurred an ambitious transformation, not just at the site of the attacks but across the city’s five boroughs. We visit what has risen from the ashes. A growing body of academic work—and plenty of examples on the ground—suggest countries that most mistreat women are the most violent and fractious. And solving a flashy-hummingbird mystery.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/09/2122m 2s

Putsch back: Africa’s latest coup in Guinea

It is unclear whether better governance lies ahead after a military takeover; what is certain is that Africa’s unwelcome trend of defenestrations has returned. We ask why. Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, thought it a good time to shore up his party’s mandate; as election day nears that plan looks shaky. And the rise and fall of Georgia’s sex-selective abortions.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/09/2122m 7s

The call before the storm? Brazil’s protests

Tens of thousands of people aligned with President Jair Bolsonaro held protests—at his direction. Yet the numbers are increasingly aligned against him as he eyes next year’s elections. Conspiracy theories are nothing new, but politicians espousing them, and exploiting them to great effect, make them much more than harmless tales. And a listen to the disappearing sounds of old Beijing.Additional Beijing audio courtesy of Colin Chinnery.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/09/2121m 34s

Bitcoin of the realm: El Salvador’s experiment

President Nayib Bukele thinks obliging businesses to take the cryptocurrency will help with remittances, inclusion and foreign investment. So far, few are convinced. From after-school tutoring to endless extracurricular activities, education is an increasingly cut-throat affair; we examine the costs of these academic arms races. And Sally Rooney’s new novel and the question of what makes great contemporary fiction.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/09/2120m 52s

Heartbeat of the matter: Texas’s draconian abortion law

The Supreme Court’s surprise decision to let the country’s harshest “heartbeat bill” stand bodes ill for the landmark Roe v Wade decision; we ask what happens next. Brazil’s police kill six times as many people as America’s—and the numbers bear out a clear racial divide among the fallen. And how Lebanon is reviving its olive-oil industry, with global ambitions.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/09/2122m 25s

Taking the fifth: Venezuela’s talks

Four previous resolution meetings involving President Nicolás Maduro have changed little. This time international backing and aligned incentives might at last spur fair elections. Madagascar already had it hard, but the coronavirus and repeated, brutal droughts have conspired to push the country’s south to the brink of famine. And our obituaries editor reflects on war surgeon and hospital-builder Gino Strada.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/09/2123m 43s

Reeling and dealing: how to engage the Taliban

In some ways America has more leverage now that its forces have left; we ask how diplomatic and aid efforts should proceed in order to protect ordinary Afghans. A global pandemic has distracted from a troubling panzootic: a virus is still ravaging China’s pig farms, and officials’ fixes are not sustainable. And the first retrospective for activist artist Judy Chicago.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/09/2121m 29s

Out for blood: the Theranos trial

Elizabeth Holmes founded a big blood-testing startup; her claims were founded on very little. As her trial begins we ask how the company got so far before it all crumbled. Research on primates is increasingly frowned upon in the West, leaving a strategic opportunity in places such as China. And lessons in a lost novel by French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/09/2121m 17s

CDU later? Germany’s topsy-turvy election

The party of Angela Merkel, the outgoing chancellor, is flailing in polls. We ask why the race has been so unpredictable and what outcomes now seem probable. In America, obtaining a kit to make an untraceable firearm takes just a few clicks; we examine efforts to close a dangerous legal loophole. And as sensitivities change, so do some bands’ names. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31/08/2120m 5s

Banks note: the Jackson Hole meeting

The message for central bankers at the annual jamboree: relax a bit about inflation and be loud and clear about plans to stanch the cash being pumped into economies. The halt to an Albanian hydroelectric-dam project reflects a growing environmental lobby in the country, which sees better uses for its waterways. And following dinosaur tracks—but finding no bones—in Bolivia.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/08/2121m 14s

The terror of their ways: Kabul and global jihadism

The suicide-bombings that have killed scores of people signal how the Taliban will struggle to rule Afghanistan; meanwhile the rest of the world’s jihadist outfits are drawing lessons from the chaos. The swift reversal of an explicit-content ban by OnlyFans, a subscription platform, reveals a growing tension between pornography producers and payment processors. And the many merits of 3D-printed homes.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/08/2121m 52s

To all, appearances: Israel’s PM in Washington

Naftali Bennett’s first face-to-face meeting with President Joe Biden will look calm and co-operative. But in time, sharp differences will strain the “reset” they project today. Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency is being defanged; it was simply too good at routing the rot President Joko Widodo once promised to eradicate. And estimating the breathtaking global cost of vaccine inequality.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/08/2119m 20s

Delta‘s force: Australia’s covid plans crumble

For a while, closed borders and strict contact-tracing held the coronavirus at bay. What lessons to take now the Delta variant has broken through in the region? The European Union once had few prosecutorial powers to tackle rampant fraud by member states’ citizens; we examine a new office that can start cleaning house. And a look at Japan’s seasonal-sweet obsession.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/08/2120m 45s

How you like them: Apple’s decade under Tim Cook

The tech firm has ballooned under his leadership, but Mr Cook’s next ten years will not be as rosy as the first. We ask how he can maintain Apple’s shine. Activists, academics, journalists, now labour unions: Hong Kong’s authorities keep stifling democracy’s defenders wherever they turn. And why California may soon find it hard to bring home the bacon.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/08/2120m 44s

Annexed question, please: Ukraine’s summit on Crimea

President Volodymyr Zelensky wants to draw attention to Russia’s continued occupation of Crimea, and its failure to look after the region’s citizens. A new report attempts to put numbers to the “enforced disappearances” of Bangladesh’s opposition voices. And why so few astronauts have been women, and how that is changing. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/08/2119m 31s

Value-free investing: China and Afghanistan

The Taliban’s takeover is a boon for China’s propaganda machine: America is tired, its policies disastrous, its values a distraction. Meanwhile China has its own interests in the country. New research may explain rising covid-19 cases among the vaccinated: jabs’ effectiveness wanes with time, and “breakthrough” infections appear more contagious. And the case for working, a bit, while on holiday.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/08/2121m 45s

Fits and starts: SARS-CoV-2’s origin

In the end, the World Health Organisation’s report in March revealed little. We ask why the coronavirus origin story is so crucial, and whether China will ever let it be told. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson will struggle to square his current green promises with his past love—and his party’s—of cars. And the forgotten cooks in fried chicken’s history.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/08/2121m 30s

Stymie a river: the American West dries up

The first-ever water shortage declared for the Colorado River is just one sign of troubles to come; as the climate changes, century-old water habits and policies must change with it. Israel’s Pegasus spyware has raised concerns the world over, but the country is loath to curb its exports of hacking tools. And the resurgence of a beloved and funky Nigerian seasoning.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/08/2119m 14s

It rains, it pours: Haiti’s tragedy compounds

A president’s assassination, a cratered economy and now this: a tropical depression that will hamper rescue efforts after a massive earthquake. The country cannot catch a break. India and Pakistan parted ways 74 years ago this week; we discuss how the tensions that defined their division still resonate today. And why Indonesia is so good at badminton.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/08/2120m 3s

Nothing to break the fall: Afghanistan

The fall of Kabul, the capital, sealed the country’s fate: after 20 years, the Taliban are back in charge—a fearsome outcome for its people and for the Biden administration. As capital punishment fades, life sentences proliferate; that comes with its own costs and iniquities. And visiting an enclave in Uruguay that is in many ways more Russian than Russia.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/08/2121m 42s

Thicket and boarding pass: travel’s tangle of rules

Restrictions are opaque, fickle and often illiberal—and it is not even clear how much they help curb the coronavirus. Chinese officials want to boost the economy of the province of Xinjiang, but our correspondent says plans predicated on repressing the Uyghur minority are unlikely to work. And bidding farewell to our work-and-management columnist, who still hates useless meetings.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/08/2122m 47s

Bridges and divides: America’s infrastructure push

The Senate has passed the first part of President Joe Biden’s mammoth plan, which is now tied to a far more ambitious part two. We examine their prospects for passage. Zambia is undertaking a pivotal election—but it seems far from a fair fight to oust the incumbent. And our Germany-election tracker cuts through reams of data and tricky electoral politics.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/08/2121m 53s

Blazed and confused: Turkey’s raging fires

Across the Mediterranean and beyond, flames are consuming the landscape. Our correspondent says Turkey’s government helped make the country a tinderbox and was caught flat-footed by the blaze. State secrets, business intelligence, even conservation data: it’s all online, and freely available. We examine the pros and cons in an era of open-source intelligence. And the “murder hornet” threatening America’s north-west.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/08/2120m 23s

Shots or fired: America’s vaccine mandates

Inoculation or testing requirements are spreading nearly as fast as the Delta variant. But it is not clear they will actually drive more people to get vaccinated. A broad semiconductor shortage has hit plenty of industries; we examine supply-chain subtleties that have made it particularly bad for carmakers. And why Mumbai is suffering from a plague of snakes.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/08/2117m 42s

Hot prospects: a sobering IPCC report

The UN climate body’s latest doorstopper report is unequivocal: climate change is human-caused, and already here—and 1.5°C of warming is looking ever harder to avoid. In Bolivia, debate still rages as to whether a 2019 election was rigged, or a coup; the people want pandemic relief, not paralysed politics. And investigating the received wisdom of the “difficult second novel”.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/08/2121m 13s

Coming in harder: Iran’s new president

Ebrahim Raisi takes office as the country is blamed for multiple attacks in the region; a more mistrustful, hardline and aggressive regime awaits. Our correspondent meets a woman first trafficked into a sprawling Bangladeshi brothel at age 12 and who is now in charge of it. And the high-tech shoes that may be contributing to tumbling world records in Tokyo.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/08/2122m 9s

No consent of the governed: Andrew Cuomo on the brink

After a damning report into sexual-harassment allegations, support for New York’s governor has cratered. He is hanging on—for now. LinkedIn seems to do a brisk trade in China, without revealing how it keeps on the right side of the censors. So users increasingly censor themselves. And the mutual appreciation of Chechnya’s brutal dictator and a star mixed-martial-arts fighter.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/08/2120m 42s

No port, still a storm: Lebanon a year after the blast

The explosion at Beirut’s port was a symptom, not a cause, of the country’s malaise. We find more questions than answers about the blast and a political class unshaken by it. For half a century, one Beirut resident has, from the same apartment, witnessed a history pockmarked by unexpected disaster. And our Big Mac index reveals the depth of Lebanon’s economic crisis. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/08/2122m 24s

Block off the old chips? Nvidia’s fraught merger

The semiconductor giant wants to acquire ARM—a British firm that is more complement than competitor—but regulators may balk. We look at what’s at stake in chips. Something is changing in Americans’ spiritual lives: a drift away from organised religion. We examine the startling rise in the “nothing in particular” denomination. And how women are leading China’s growing surfing scene.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/08/2121m 46s

No-sanctuary cities: the Taliban’s latest surge

Sweeping rural gains made as American forces have slipped out are now giving way to bids for urban areas; an enormous, symbolic victory for the insurgents looms. Singapore has enjoyed relative racial harmony for decades, but shocking recent events have revealed persistent inequalities. And why chewing gum has lost its cool.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/08/2121m 15s

Neither borrower nor renter be: America’s coming foreclosures

America’s pandemic-driven measures granting relief on mortgages and rent arrears will soon expire, and millions of people are in danger of losing their homes. The Netherlands’ history of slavery is often overlooked; a new exhibition goes to great lengths to confront it. And how Marmite’s love-it-or-hate-it reputation represents an unlikely marketing coup.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/07/2122m 41s

Good news, ad news: Facebook’s big bucks and bets

The social-media behemoth revealed huge profits and stressed even bigger plans: to become an e-commerce giant and a hub for digital creators, and to pioneer something called the “metaverse”. After a bruising election, Peru has an inexperienced new president; matching policy to his hard-left platform will be a dangerous game. And the publisher trying to bring ethnic diversity to romance novels.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/07/2122m 46s

Borderline disorder: the UN’s refugee treaty at 70

An international convention devised after the second world war is ill-suited to the refugee crises of today—and countries are increasingly unwilling to meet their obligations. Vancouver’s proposed response to a spate of drug overdoses is a sweeping decriminalisation; we ask whether the plan would work. And the bid to save a vanishingly rare “click language” in Africa.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/07/2122m 47s

Alight in Tunisia: a democracy in crisis

The president has sacked the prime minister and suspended parliament. It is clear that the country needed a shake-up in its hidebound politics—but is this the right way? A sprawling trial starting today involving the most senior Catholic-church official ever indicted is sure to cast light on the Vatican’s murky finances. And how climate change is already changing winemaking.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/07/2121m 5s

The blonde leading: Britain’s two years under Boris Johnson

As the country tests a bold reopening strategy in the face of the Delta variant, our political editor charitably characterises the prime minister’s tenure as a mixed bag. Hong Kong’s national-security law has now come for its universities, sending shudders through the territory’s last bastion of pro-democracy fervour. And why the alcohol-free beer industry is fizzing. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/07/2122m 22s

A dangerous games? A muted start to the Olympics

Tokyo is under a state of emergency; covid-19 cases are piling up. But for Japan, a super-spreader event is just one of the potential costs of this year’s games. We ask why Britain’s government has essentially given amnesty to those involved in Northern Ireland’s decades of deadly violence. And our obituaries editor reflects on the life of an Auschwitz accordionist.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/07/2123m 14s

Three-degree burn: the warmer world that awaits

It seems ever more certain that global temperatures will sail past limits set in the Paris Agreement. We examine what a world warmed by 3°C would—or will—look like. Our correspondent speaks with Sudan’s three most powerful men; will they act in concert or in conflict on the way to democracy? And why Liverpool has been booted from UNESCO’s world-heritage list.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/07/2122m 37s

Changing horses mid-streaming? Netflix’s next act

On the face of it, the streaming giant’s quarterly results were lacklustre. But our media editor explains why its international growth looks promising, and how it is spreading its bets. A largely uncontested purge of LGBT accounts from China’s social-media platform WeChat reveals much about a growing Chinese-nationalist narrative online. And why researchers are cataloguing the microbes of big cities.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/07/2119m 42s

Joint pain: a rare rebuke of China’s hackers

The European Union, NATO and the “Five Eyes” intelligence partners have all joined America in accusing China’s government of involvement in hacking campaigns. Now what? Away from the spectacle of billionaires’ race to the heavens, many African countries are establishing space programmes—with serious innovation and investment opportunities on the ground. And why Australia is suffering from a plague of mice.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/07/2120m 10s

In a flash: floods devastate Europe

Disaster-recovery efforts continue, even as heavy rains continue in many places. The tragedy brings climate change to the fore, with political implications particularly in Germany. Syria’s oppressive regime is short of cash, so it has apparently turned to trafficking in an increasingly popular party drug. And why kelp farms are bobbing up along America’s New England coast.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/07/2120m 58s

A pounder of a quarter: American banks report

Bank bosses are jubilant: revenues were down but profits way up. We look at the pandemic-driven reasons behind the windfall, and ask how long their influence may last. A thicket of conflicting laws is complicating Jamaica’s plans to enter the wider medical-marijuana market. And our critic reports from a slimmed-down Cannes film festival.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/07/2122m 33s

Loot cause: South Africa’s unrest

Widespread looting and the worst violence since apartheid continue, exposing ethnic divisions and the persistent influence of Jacob Zuma, a former president. How to quell the tensions? As some countries administer third covid-19 “booster shots” we ask about the epidemiological and moral cases for and against them. And the bids to reverse the decline of America’s national pastime.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/07/2122m 1s

Texas hold-’em-up: a voting-rights standoff

The state’s Democratic lawmakers have fled to Washington, stymieing a voting-rights bill. We examine the growing state-level, bare-knuckle fights on voting rights across the country. Ransomware attacks just keep getting bolder, more disruptive, more sinister; what structural changes could protect industries and institutions from attack? And Britain’s efforts to bring back the eels that once filled its rivers.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceofferRuntime: 21min  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/07/2121m 21s

Flight attendance: airlines after the pandemic

Which carriers will thrive? Long-haulers or short-hoppers? The no-frills or the glitzy? The bailed-out or the muddled-through? Our industry editor scans the skies. Record numbers of Latin American migrants heading for America’s southern border mask another trend: many are stopping and making a home in Mexico. And Japan’s storied but declining public bathhouses get hipster makeovers. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/07/2119m 56s

Hasta la victoria, hambre: rare protests rock Cuba

Food shortages are nothing new. But it has been decades since shelves have been so empty—and since Cubans took to the streets in such numbers. Richard Branson’s space jaunt was intended to mark the start of a space-tourism industry; we examine its prospects. And why, despite last night’s disappointment, England’s football fans should be hopeful about their national side.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/07/2120m 53s

A decade decayed: South Sudan

The world’s youngest state was born amid boundless optimism. But poverty is still endemic and ethnic tensions still rule politics; what hope for its next decade? Mass graves found at Canada’s “residential schools” have sparked a reckoning about past abuses of indigenous peoples. And marking 50 years since the final album of Karen Dalton, the forgotten queen of folk.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceofferRuntime: 22min  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/07/2122m 54s

Assassins’ deed: Haiti’s president killed

Jovenel Moïse presided, in an increasingly authoritarian way, over a country slipping toward failed-state status. The unrest is likely to worsen following his assassination. The Democratic primary race for New York’s mayor has at last been decided, with lessons for Democrats elsewhere and for fans of ranked-choice voting. And the movement to revive Islam’s bygone relaxed attitudes to homosexuality. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/07/2121m 21s

Dropped shots: Russia’s third wave

Despite registering the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, the country is being lashed by covid-19. Mixed messages and a long-cultivated mistrust are to blame. DARPA, America’s agency that funds blue-sky tech research, has been so successful down the years that now other countries want to copy it. And remembering Kenneth Kaunda, an icon of African liberation.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceofferRuntime: 21min  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/07/2121m 48s

Taken for a ride: why China is leaning on Didi

Just after the ride-hailing giant made a splashy stockmarket debut, Chinese regulators came down hard. Why is the country crimping its tech champions? There is something missing at many American embassies around the world: American ambassadors. We ask why so few are in post, and what risk that poses. And the not-so-simple task of counting the Earth’s oceans.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/07/2120m 49s

Leave them in no peace: America’s Afghan exit

Passport queues are lengthening; ad-hoc civilian militias are strengthening. As foreign powers bow out, Taliban militants take district after district—and the fear of the people is palpable. The pandemic drove a boom in the attention economy, and media companies happily obliged. Now, it seems, an “attention recession” looms. And a look at the thoroughly inbred nature of thoroughbred horses.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceofferRuntime: 21min  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/07/2121m 32s

Repetitive strains: SARS-CoV-2 variants

The coronavirus’s Delta variant accounts for ever more infections; we ask about mutational surprises yet to emerge, and what can be done about them. The ousting of Ethiopia’s army from the Tigray region might precipitate far wider conflict—within the country and far beyond its borders. And ahead of the Fourth of July, we find no good films about the holiday. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/07/2123m 9s

Party piece: China’s Communists at 100

Pomp and rhetoric marked the centenary of what are arguably the world’s most successful authoritarians. We sit in on the celebrations, tinged with paranoia; we look back to 1921 and how the party came to be and came to power; and we listen to the party-approved hip-hop that represents a new propaganda push. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/07/2122m 53s

No day in court: Jacob Zuma’s jail sentence

South Africa’s embattled former leader will be imprisoned for failing to show up to trial—a sign that, for all the rot in South Africa, its Constitutional Court still has teeth. Our environment editor discusses the scope of heatwaves sweeping the northern hemisphere and cheap ways to lower their death tolls. And how a centuries-old rice dish has become politicised in India.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/06/2120m 23s

Bear necessities: learning to handle Russia

As both summitry and military near-misses proliferate, some want measured dialogue while others want markedly tougher talk. Our defence and Russia editors discuss world leaders’ diverging views on handling today’s Russia. South Korea’s new opposition leader is giving voice to many young men who rail against the country’s feminist values. And what lies behind professional footballers’ frequent, flashy haircuts.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceofferRuntime: 21min  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/06/2121m 34s

Third time’s the harm: Africa’s crippling covid-19 wave

Hopes that the continent had escaped the worst of the pandemic have proved too hasty; our correspondent describes a slow-rolling tragedy with little hope of respite. Reading scores in America are shockingly low; many blame how the skill is taught. We examine one state’s experiment with a method known to work better. And how smartphones are changing the film industry. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/06/2120m 35s

Iraq to its foundations: a chance to remake the state

With elections looming, there is an opportunity to remake a state ravaged by war and riven by power struggles. We ask how to take Iraq out of a hard place. Fires are raging again in the American West; a “megadrought” in the region may shape its future development. And the 175th anniversary of a foundational free-trade battle.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/06/2121m 46s

Bench marks: weighing recent SCOTUS rulings

The court’s term is not quite over, with contentious rulings still pending. We examine the latest decisions to gauge how its new conservative justices have affected its ideological bent. As a former Mauritanian president heads to jail we examine the country’s efforts to tackle corruption and bridge deep societal divides. And the long philosophical reach of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s only book.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/06/2122m 11s

Hunger strikes: North Korea’s food shortages

An admission that the country’s food situation is “tense” is a rare glimpse into the compounding effects of pandemic policies and crop failures. Adherents of wild conspiracy theories in America tend to be white, and often evangelical. But Hispanic Americans are getting conspiracy-curious too. And the moonshine that’s made from an Indian flower with a deep history.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/06/2119m 12s

Drop it when it’s hot: the Fed’s consequential hint

The merest mention of future interest-rate rises from America’s central bank sent markets into a tizzy. We consider the merits and the effects of signalling early and often. Europe’s drug use dipped when the pandemic began, but soon rebounded; we examine the rising potency of the continent’s drugs and drug syndicates. And data reveal what makes work-from-home productivity so low.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/06/2122m 20s

A vote with no confidence: Ethiopia’s untimely election

The northern region of Tigray, consumed by war and facing famine, will not vote today. It is all a far cry from what Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed once promised. Italy has piles of cash and a new ministry to guide it through a green revolution; we examine its plans and its challenges. And a rare conservation success off Australia’s coast.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/06/2121m 9s

Press to exit: Hong Kong’s media arrests

The raid of an outspoken pro-democracy newspaper, carried out under the city’s newish security law, has further spooked its media outlets. We ask what remains of press freedom. Our correspondent visits Europe’s and Africa’s largest slums to see how a grinding pandemic has affected their residents. And how Somaliland’s curious, silent camel-trading method is changing.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/06/2122m 42s

A hardline act to follow: Iran’s presidential election

The supreme leader is consolidating theocratic power and ensuring a hardline legacy. Voters know they have little meaningful choice; many will simply stay home. A trial shows the life-saving power of an antibody therapy for the most severe covid-19 cases—suggesting that seemingly failed earlier drugs need revisiting. And why a faded folk-music tradition in Norway is experiencing a revival. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/06/2121m 17s

Present, tense: Biden and Putin meet

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin have much to hammer out today—but don’t expect it to be genial. We examine what is on the table, and how each president will be judged. Competition in the cryptocurrency world is mushrooming; we ask whether any contender might knock bitcoin off its top slot. And France’s curious sell-now, die-later property scheme. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/06/2123m 0s

Patrons’ taint: Brazil’s pork-barrel politics

President Jair Bolsonaro campaigned on a promise to overturn the country’s political patronage, but as his popularity has slipped he has come to need it. The latest bids to return to commercial supersonic flight look promisingly quieter, cheaper and perhaps even more sustainable. And our correspondent reflects on the costs of having black hair in a white world. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/06/2121m 13s

Promises, promises: the G7’s fuzzy climate pledges

Where they are clear, the summit’s commitments do not add much to existing targets; mostly, though, they are woefully short on detail. We pick through the pledges. Germany is facing up to a colonial-era atrocity in modern-day Namibia, but a hard-won reparations deal will not quell controversy. And how Persian-music artists are upending the audio-streaming model. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/06/2122m 7s

Staying powers? The G7’s changing role

For the seven world leaders meeting in Britain the immediate crises are clear. But a broader question hangs over them: how can the G7 maintain its relevance? A ruling in Britain excites a debate that takes in free speech, trans rights and workplace policy. And “van life” keeps spreading but, as ever, not everything is as it seems on Instagram. Additional audio by Bryher's Boys, courtesy of Bryher’s Boys Publishing. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/06/2122m 41s

An exit wounds: America’s Afghanistan retreat

Air bases have been handed over; America’s remaining troops are shipping out and NATO forces are following suit. Can Afghanistan’s government forces hold off the Taliban? In parts of China, a playful wedding tradition goes a bit too far for Communist Party authorities’ taste. And a look at just how bad people are at coming up with accurate alibis. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/06/2121m 16s

You don’t say: Indonesia joins Asia’s digital censorship

As governments across South-East Asia crimp online freedoms, the region’s healthiest democracy might have been expected to resist the trend. Not so. President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua is using a new law to detain more of his potential adversaries in November’s election—and is coming under international pressure. And how Jordan’s gas-delivery-truck jingles jangle nerves. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/06/2118m 9s

Criminal proceedings: America’s spike in violence

Piecemeal criminal-justice reforms following last year’s protests are coming up against hard numbers: violent crime is up. We ask what can, and should, be done. The man who led a coup in Mali last year has done it again; our correspondent considers how the tumult affects the wider, regional fight against jihadism. And the global spread of Japan’s beloved anime. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/06/2123m 14s

Ballots and bullets: Mexico’s elections

The run-up to the country’s largest-ever election has been bloody; the aftermath will set the tone for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose record so far is woeful. Our analysis of listed green-technology firms reveals striking growth—but as with any tech-stock spike, it is worth asking whether it is all a bubble. And a look at two missions heading to Venus. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/06/2121m 52s

Peace out: from bad to worse in Yemen

The Saudi-backed government is hobbled; separatism is spreading; a humanitarian crisis grows by the day. A rebel advance on a once-safe city will only prolong a grinding war. We look at the scourge of doping in horse racing ahead of this weekend’s Belmont Stakes. And the last surviving foreign fighter in Spain’s civil war was a revolutionary to the end. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/06/2123m 44s

Catch-up mustered: Europe’s vaccination drive

The bloc seems at last to have a firm hand on inoculation and recovery—but efforts to engineer even progress among member states are not quite panning out. In recent years Bangladesh’s government has been cosy with a puritanical Islamist group; we ask why the relationship has grown complicated. And a genetic-engineering solution to the problem of mosquito-borne disease. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/06/2120m 24s

Swiping rights: Republicans’ vote-crimping bids

A walkout in the Texas legislature is just the most dramatic of broad efforts to restrict voting rights—in particular of minority voters. We examine the risks to America’s democracy. Changes in climate and populations are driving nomadic Nigerian herders into increasing conflict; how to preserve their way of life? And a new kind of space race aims for the silver screen. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/06/2119m 9s

Bibi, it’s cold outside: Israel’s improbable coalition

The only thing that unites the parties of a would-be government is the will to oust Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. What chance their coalition can secure political stability? A new report reveals where the gangsters of the Balkans are stashing their loot: in an increasingly distorted property market. And a look at the mysterious case of Canada’s hardened butter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/06/2120m 37s

From the head down: rot in South Africa

Jacob Zuma, a former president, at last answers to decades-old corruption allegations. But graft still permeates his ANC party and government at every level. The pandemic’s hit to parents—particularly women—is becoming clear, from mental-health matters to career progression to progress toward gender equality. And the super-slippery surface that ensures you get the most from your toothpaste tube.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31/05/2122m 29s

Caught in the activists: oil majors’ shake-ups

Activist investors installed green-minded board members at ExxonMobil; Chevron’s shareholders pushed a carbon-cutting plan; a Dutch court ruled Shell must cut emissions. We examine a tumultuous week for the supermajors. After years of scant attention, Scotland’s drug-death problem is at last being acknowledged and tackled. And the Peruvian pop star boosting the fortunes of a long-derided indigenous language.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/05/2119m 36s

On the origins and the specious: the SARS-CoV-2 lab-leak theory

The suggestion that the virus first emerged from a Chinese laboratory has proved stubbornly persistent; as calls mount for more investigation, it has become a potent epidemiological and political idea. Latin America’s strict lockdowns have had the expected calamitous economic effects. We look at the region’s prospects for recovery. And the tricky business of artificially inseminating a shark.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/05/2120m 43s

From out of thin air: Belarus dissidents' fates

The regime got its quarry—a widely read, dissident blogger and his girlfriend—but faces international condemnation for its piratical means. How to pressure what is increasingly a pariah state? Our correspondent in the Democratic Republic of Congo surveys the damage from a sudden volcanic eruption; another could come at any time. And why more music-copyright disputes are ending up in court.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/05/2121m 38s

To protect and serve: police reform one year after George Floyd

Protests have followed police killings in America with saddening regularity, but the scope of demonstrations following George Floyd’s murder may mark a turning point in how policing is monitored and regulated. We speak to Lee Merritt, an attorney for Mr Floyd’s family, and to our United States editor—asking how likely cultural and structural changes are to take hold. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/05/2119m 54s

From a tax to attacks: Colombia’s unrelenting unrest

Protests that began last month show no sign of abating; our correspondent speaks with Iván Duque, the country’s increasingly beleaguered president. Revelations about a blockbuster 1995 interview with Princess Diana cast a shadow over the BBC—when it already has plenty of fires to fight. And why it’s so hard to find an address in Costa Rica: there aren’t any. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/05/2121m 24s

The dust settles: ceasefire in Gaza

After 11 days of fierce fighting, Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire beginning in the early hours of Friday morning. But will the quiet last? In July, China’s Communist Party will celebrate its centenary. But that requires airbrushing much of its history. And, we look back at the life of Asfaw Yemiru, an Ethiopian educator who transformed the lives of more than 120,000 children. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/05/2123m 46s

Game on: the Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics are due to begin in just over two months. But with coronavirus cases climbing in recent months, 80% of Japanese people want the games to be cancelled. The navigation signals sent by satellites like America’s GPS constellation are surprisingly weak. What happens when they’re jammed—or tricked? And in America cicadas have emerged from their underground redoubts for the first time in 17 years, for a frenzied few weeks of mating. How do you study a species that emerges fewer than six times in a century? For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/05/2119m 4s

Populists poised: Italian politics

Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, has been cheered by the markets since taking on the job in February. But a coalition of right-wing populists are waiting in the wings should he falter. Mexico’s army hasn’t ruled the country since the 1940s. But the generals are now running everything from building sites to the border. And even during a pandemic, British medical students are struggling to get their hands on suitable corpses.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/05/2121m 28s

Hot air: emissions reduction

The International Energy Agency has published a report explaining what needs to happen if the world is to get to net zero emissions by 2050. It points to a transition away from fossil fuels on an epic scale. Today Somaliland celebrates its 30th anniversary. It has been a quiet success story in a sea of instability. But what it craves is international recognition as a state. And soaring share prices are normally cause for cheer—unless your computers can’t keep up. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/05/2121m 55s

Feast and famine: vaccine supply

Though over 10bn doses of covid-19 vaccine may be produced this year, much of the poor world will see little of them. The supply of vaccines is much tighter than it ought to be. Our correspondent in New Delhi offers a personal reflection on India’s spiraling epidemic. And even as British museums re-open today, their future is looking shaky. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/05/2120m 29s

Home front: Israel’s war within

As Israel's war with Hamas has intensified, mob violence between Arabs and Jews within the country has made a tricky situation even more difficult. Is the rising price of everything from airline tickets to used cars in America a transitory phenomenon or a sign of overheating? And is pineapple and ham on pizza an inspired combination—or a culinary war crime? For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/05/2123m 10s

Purged: Liz Cheney’s sacking

Liz Cheney had been a rising Republican star. Now the staunch conservative has been purged by her own party. Her removal shows that, even in defeat, Donald Trump retains an iron grip on the Republicans. Denmark has taken in thousands of Syrian refugees over the past decade, but its welcome has waned. The Danish government says that Damascus is safe enough for many to return. And, we explain why companies are paying more attention to the curves and curls of their fonts. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/05/2121m 9s

Baby bust: China’s census

China just unveiled the results of its first census in over a decade. The results are striking, if not surprising: the world’s largest country will soon stop growing. Yet if a greying population causes economic headwinds, Chinese officials also have reason for cheer. With digital currencies in vogue, central banks want to get in on the action. The rise of “govcoins” could transform monetary policy and expand access to bank accounts. But it could also destabilise private banking. And roadkill isn’t just an unsightly nuisance. It also offers a way of counting elusive species.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/05/2121m 50s

Rockets over Jerusalem: Israeli-Palestinian violence

Tension in the holy city of Jerusalem has been rising for weeks, amid the attempted eviction of Palestinians and a march by Jewish nationalists. Yesterday it erupted into the worst violence in years, as Hamas rockets fired at Israel from Gaza prompted retaliatory air strikes. A cyber-attack that shut down one of America’s largest fuel pipelines reflects the growing problem of ransomware. And in China, authorities are clamping down on a spurt of grave robbing. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/05/2122m 3s

North poll: Boris Johnson’s election victory

Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, is celebrating a wave of election victories for his Conservative Party in the north of England. But in Scotland, pro-independence parties continue to dominate. Judges in Germany have demanded that the government take a more radical approach to climate change; their ruling could shake up climate policy around the world. And if you’re bored of cardigans, why not knit yourself a road?For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/05/2121m 16s

Down to brash tax: Colombia’s protests grow

Demonstrations initially against tax reform have bloomed—and turned violent. The reforms have been shelved, but the protests now threaten President Iván Duque’s rule. The emissions contributions of the world’s armed forces are rarely reported and largely overlooked; we examine the efforts to make armies a bit greener. And an audio tour through popular music’s accidental innovators. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/05/2119m 51s

Who’s to say? Facebook, Trump and free speech

The social-media giant’s external-review body upheld a ban on former president Donald Trump—for now. We ask how a narrow ruling reflects on far broader questions of free speech and regulation. America’s young offenders are often handed long sentences and face disproportionate harms; we examine reforms that are slowly taking hold. And the Broadway mental-health musical that is a surprise hit in China.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/05/2121m 40s

Cache and carry: American states’ gun-law push

Today another state will enact a “permitless carry” law—no licence, checks or training required. We ask why states’ loosening of safeguards fails to reflect public sentiment. Brexit has supercharged Scottish nationalism, and this week’s elections may pave the way to another independence referendum. And a long-forgotten coffee species may weather the climate-change era.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/05/2121m 20s

Strait shooting? The growing peril to Taiwan

A decades-old policy of “strategic ambiguity” is breaking down; we ask about the risks and the stakes of a potential Chinese bid to take Taiwan by force. The number of diseases jumping from animals to humans is set to keep rising; we look at why, and how to make the jump rarer. And the misguided mission to understand canine communication. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/05/2121m 42s

The turn at a century: Northern Ireland’s anniversary

The province’s largest party aligned with Britain has lost its leader; in the 100 years since the island was split it has rarely seemed so close to reuniting. Diplomacy, as with so much else, had to go online during the pandemic—and emerged more efficient and inclusive than many expected. And how art-lovers are getting ever more fully immersed. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/05/2122m 27s

Illiberal-arts degrees: Hungary’s universities seized

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s proudly “illiberal democracy” has nobbled nearly every institution. Now that his ruling party will run the higher-education system, expect a propaganda blitz. We examine research that points toward a long-sought blood test for clinical depression—one that would identify targeted treatments. And remembering Native American historian and campaigner LaDonna Brave Bull Allard. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/04/2122m 26s

A word in edgewise: Turkey, Armenia and genocide

In calling the 1915 campaign against Armenians a genocide, President Joe Biden has rekindled tensions that never really faded—and has perhaps delayed a rapprochement. Chinese authorities fear religion, particularly when it is practised out of sight; we look at increasing repression of China’s tens of millions of Christians. And tracking the coronavirus’s spread by dipping into Britain’s sewers.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/04/2122m 59s

A great deal to be desired: Europe-Britain trade

Europe’s parliament has overwhelmingly voted to extend a stopgap trade agreement. But the rancour behind the vote, and the deal’s thin measures, say much about future relations. Female soldiers are entering armed forces in big numbers, but they still face barriers both in getting the job and in doing it. And China’s homegrown Oscar-winning director is scrubbed from its internet. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/04/2121m 56s

SPAClash: the buzz and the bust

Special-purpose acquisition companies offer a novel way for companies to list on stockmarkets. We look behind the buzz, and something of a recent bust, to discover why they are a useful innovation both for investors and markets. President Jair Bolsonaro wants every Brazilian citizen to have a gun—especially his supporters. And a visit to the world’s largest magazine archive.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/04/2120m 56s

Extremist prejudice: rebranding Navalny

Russian courts’ bid to designate opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s movement as a terrorist organisation is unsurprising: it fits a narrative of increasing repression at home and sabre-rattling at the borders. Africa’s vaccination drive is beset by shortcomings in both supply and demand; we examine the rising number of bottlenecks. And a forgotten African-American composer at last gets her due.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/04/2123m 12s

Carbon date: Biden’s climate summit

President Joe Biden laid out ambitious emissions targets yesterday, but in order to be taken seriously on climate change, America has some reputation rebuilding to do. Researchers are starting to understand why online meetings are so exhausting—and are pinpointing the up sides of work lives lived increasingly online. And the waning influence of awards shows such as this Sunday’s Oscars.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/04/2122m 40s

Growth negligence: India’s covid-19 failings

Mass gatherings and in-person voting continue, even as new case numbers smash records and fatalities spiral in public view. We ask how a seeming pandemic success has turned so suddenly tragic. Chad’s president of three decades has been killed; that has implications for regional violence far beyond the country’s borders. And a deep dive on the international sea-cucumber trade.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/04/2119m 48s

Insuperable: Europe’s football fiasco

A “Super League” plan wrong-footed fans, clubs, even governments. We examine what the failed bid says about the sport’s economics. We return to the George Floyd case and the landmark conviction of his murderer. The Kurds have long sought their own state in the Middle East; that now looks as unlikely as ever. And why spelling is so persistently counter-intuitive.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/04/2124m 7s

A case rests, a city does not: Derek Chauvin’s trial

The former police officer involved in George Floyd’s death awaits a verdict. What would conviction mean in a case emblematic of a far wider racial-justice movement? Internal migration has left a third of China’s young people separated from one or both parents—with serious costs and risks to those children. And the bid to make the art of tasting the province of engineering.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/04/2122m 13s

Lai of the land: Hong Kong’s democrats quashed

Some of the territory’s most outspoken activists—from media mogul Jimmy Lai to “father of democracy” Martin Lee—have been sentenced. We look at what’s left of Hong Kong’s protest spirit. Scientists have been making hybrid animal “chimeras” for decades, but newly developed human-monkey embryos raise serious ethical questions. And how the Arab world is changing channels as propaganda consumes Egyptian television.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/04/2121m 12s

The path of increased resistance: Myanmar

Protests against February’s military coup are only growing, even as the army becomes more murderous. The economy is paralysed. What can be done to put the country back together? In Cuba, the end of the Castro-family era is nigh; a new leader inherits a cratered economy and an ambitious vaccine-development effort. And some surprising road-fatality statistics from America. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/04/2121m 47s

Boots off the ground: America’s Afghanistan drawdown

Few believe President Joe Biden’s withdrawal plan is wise; it is already prompting allied forces to go. We ask about the risks of that untimely vacuum. Much climate-change angst focuses on carbon dioxide, but addressing sources of methane would be an easy way to slow warming—and even to save money. And Bhutan’s world-beating vaccination drive took just one week. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/04/2120m 56s

Arms’ reach: Russia flexes at Ukraine border

The troops and hardware piling up at the border are probably just posturing. But look closely: Russia’s military is swiftly getting better-equipped and better-trained. Outsized inflation numbers in America are partly a statistical quirk—but also a sign of the tricky balance pandemic-era policymakers must navigate. And why you may soon be getting a lift from a flying taxi. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/04/2122m 0s

Fission expedition: nuclear-site attack in Iran

An apparent act of sabotage at an Iranian nuclear site, blamed on Israel, has complicated the prospect of America returning to the 2015 nuclear deal; we ask what happens next. Many of Europe’s public-service broadcasters are being squeezed by populist movements and illiberal governments. How to keep them independent? And an effort to translate Latvia’s short but dense ancient poems.  For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/04/2121m 22s

Plagued by uncertainty: German politics

As the country wrestles with another covid-19 wave, the battle to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel is building. We look at the political and epidemiological races. Prince Philip was a loyal consort to Britain’s queen for seven decades; our correspondent recalls meeting him at a difficult time for the family. And why Kenyans are at last indulging in their own coffee.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/04/2121m 58s

Like a tonne of bricks: violence in Northern Ireland

The ostensible reason for continuing clashes relates to a well-attended funeral. But the terms of Brexit have raised tempers, inflaming centuries-old tensions; we ask what might calm them. Alexei Navalny’s condition is worsening in prison: does it really serve the Kremlin’s interests to let him perish? And “poetry slams” are a welcome release in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/04/2122m 36s

Clotting factors: the AstraZeneca vaccine

British and European regulators have addressed a possible link with blood clots. Expect more rare side-effects to emerge; what seems clear for now is that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh any risks. A new analysis shows that a racist American film from 1915 left a long legacy of racial violence. And a shady history of the function and fashion of sunglasses.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/04/2122m 50s

Deaths spiral: America’s spike in murders

Estimates suggest that last year’s rise in murder rates was the greatest in perhaps half a century, reversing a long decline; we ask what is behind it. Amid Europe’s woefully slow vaccine rollouts, Serbia stands out as an unlikely success story. And the pandemic’s natural experiment on the ideal number of working hours.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/04/2119m 30s

Crown and thorn: Jordan’s royal ruckus

Pressure on the king’s half-brother may represent a mere family feud, but Prince Hamzah’s complaints resonate with the country’s people. We ask what will happen next. Study the fast-growing list of India’s billionaires: who has joined it and who has left are signs of the country’s shifting economy. And an indigenous group’s tall order in Vancouver’s property market. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/04/2121m 13s

He said, Xi said: America-China ructions

The Biden administration’s early moves suggest no “reset” in relations; we recall a time when the game of ping-pong brought the countries back to the table. Although economics has transformed in the past quarter-century, the way it is taught has not; we examine efforts to rewrite the textbooks. And a forgotten album by British-Pakistani teenagers gets another lease of life. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/04/2122m 48s

He said, Xi said: America-China ructions

The Biden administration’s early moves suggest no “reset” in relations; we recall a time when the game of ping-pong brought the countries back to the table. Although economics has transformed in the past quarter-century, the way it is taught has not; we examine efforts to rewrite the textbooks. And a forgotten album by British-Pakistani teenagers gets another lease of life. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffe  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/04/2123m 17s

Battle acts: France beefs up its forces

After years of peacekeeping and counter-insurgency campaigns, the country is getting tooled up and trained up for serious military conflict. The “baby bust” brought on by the pandemic has changed global population predictions; we look into the down sides of a world with fewer people. And the Benin Bronzes have become a focal point for the art world’s restitution push. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/04/2121m 39s

Cresting: India’s second covid-19 wave

Case numbers are on the rise—at a more worrying rate even than the first wave. We ask why, and what is being done to slow the spread. As revenues at wildlife-tourism spots have dried up, so has security—and now poaching is even more rampant than before. And scientists’ increasingly audacious bids to see around corners. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/04/2121m 16s

Takeaway lessons: Deliveroo’s listing disappoints

The tepid debut of Britain’s dominant food-delivery app signals doubts not only about the gig economy but also about London’s ability to lure tech-firm listings. Chinese officials love to deploy “cloud seeding” to water the country’s parched lands, but even if it works, it distracts from better water-management policies. And why tweets so often come back to haunt their authors.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
31/03/2119m 14s

High threat-count: boycotts in China

Western fashion brands are in Chinese consumers’ crosshairs, the victims of political wranglings over sanctions and human-rights issues—a spat that may soon consume other industries. A striking number of people in the criminal-justice system have had traumatic brain injuries; our correspondent investigates how much that link has been overlooked. And why the audio app Clubhouse has stormed the Middle East.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/03/2123m 0s

The smell of gas: insurgency in Mozambique

In a province that is home to a massive natural-gas project, a long-simmering insurgency has burst into horrific violence; we ask why the government seems to have lost control. Our correspondent visits Minneapolis, where the police officer accused of murdering George Floyd goes on trial today. And the existential threat to a bird that has forgotten how to sing love songs.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/03/2121m 17s

Growth and stagnation: Bangladesh’s first 50 years

The country has empowered its women, established itself as a garment-industry powerhouse and vastly improved public health—but its politics remains troubled. The pandemic has not reduced average global happiness, but rather reshaped it: the old are more content and the young less so. And a look at the staggering costs of the Suez Canal blockage. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/03/2121m 14s

Export-control panel: the EU meets on vaccines

European leaders will address the thorny question of vaccine-export controls today. We look at the row with Britain and what it means for the broader relationship with the EU. Our correspondent visits Congo-Brazzaville as the president of nearly 37 years triumphs again—at a continuing cost to his people. And research suggests that Europe’s most inbred rulers were the least adept.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/03/2122m 27s

Can’t take a hike: more economic turmoil in Turkey

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan just does not like interest-rate rises. So he has again sacked a central-bank governor given to imposing them—again, to his own peril. America’s love of free markets extends also to the business of sperm donation; our correspondent discusses the risks that come with so little regulation. And the opera composer who is shaking up stereotypes.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/03/2121m 37s

Always be their Bibi? Israel votes, again

It’s the fourth poll in two years, but a stable government is still far from guaranteed. We examine the firm grip Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu still has on Israeli politics. In the Philippines, children have been cooped up at home for a year—but citizens seem to buy into the government’s rationale. And the real history of the chocolate chip cookie.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/03/2120m 35s

Not-purchasing power: boycotts in Myanmar

As demonstrations against February’s coup continue, many are trying a subtler form of resistance: starving army-owned businesses of revenue. We ask whether the ploy will work. Snippets of Neanderthal DNA survive in most humans—and they are a mixed blessing as regards the risks of covid-19. And, not for the first time, Britain’s census questions reveal the preoccupations of a nation.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/03/2120m 18s

Another race question: murder in Atlanta

A shooting in the city left eight dead, six of them women of East Asian descent. We examine the past and present of anti-Asian sentiment in America. Frontex, Europe’s border-enforcement agency, is rising in clout and requisitioning more kit; we look at the closest the bloc has come to having a standing army. And why managers should tackle nonsensical workplace rules.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/03/2119m 29s

Forces to be reckoned with: Afghan peace talks

Negotiations in Moscow may at last forge agreement between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents; that, in turn, would inform America’s long-promised drawdown. The International Criminal Court can investigate crimes against humans, but there is a push to make injury to the environment a high crime, too. And a look at Britney Spears’s conservatorship, a legal arrangement ripe for abuse. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/03/2122m 34s

Harms weigh: AstraZeneca vaccine fears

Scattered reports of blood clots have sparked curbs across Europe, even though the jab is almost certainly safe. We take a hard look at the risks in relative terms. After Canada arrested a Huawei executive in 2018, China detained two Canadians—we examine the hostage diplomacy still playing out. And how “non-fungible tokens” may benefit digital artists of all sorts. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/03/2122m 22s

Earning them: Stripe’s monster valuation

The firm got in early providing online-payment software to tech startups. Now it’s the most valuable Silicon Valley darling yet. We look at its future prospects. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo faces a raft of allegations and widespread calls to quit; our correspondent reckons he will not go anywhere without a fight. And the Kabul beauty trend that keeps growing.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/03/2120m 24s

Redrawing the map: a fragmented Syria

As the country marks ten years of civil war, the economy is crippled; it has broken up into statelets and ethnic enclaves that may never be reunified. Violence against women is sparking a global wave of protest. We examine why it is more widespread, and more damaging, in the poor world. And the creature that can shed its entire body. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/03/2122m 29s

Casting the net wider: remaking the welfare state

As the Biden administration fires a $1.9trn pandemic-relief bazooka, we consider how governments might rethink welfare: providing more-flexible benefits, investing in human capital and acting as an insurer against the gravest risks. The simple pleasure of human touch, so constrained of late, is not an emotional luxury—it’s a physical need. And why it’s so hard to coin a word.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/03/2122m 43s

Nuclear inaction: the legacy of Fukushima

The cleanup effort in and around the melted-down power plant is still progressing, but rebuilding communities—and, crucially, trust—is proving far more difficult. As Rupert Murdoch turns 90 we look at how his businesses are faring, and how they are likely to be run by his heirs. And the Victorian strongman who was arguably the world’s first fitness influencer. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/03/2122m 35s

Whither permitting? Vaccine passports

Formalising systems to divide the vaccinated from the unvaccinated is neither as risky nor as useful as many people think. In any case, vaccine passports are coming. On the anniversary of Tibet’s uprising, we examine how pressure on Tibetan Buddhism is rising, with dark parallels to Uyghur Muslims’ plight. And why it’s time to close the gate on duty-free shopping.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/03/2118m 51s

Reconciled to it: America’s stimulus bill

Thanks to a parliamentary contortion called reconciliation, the $1.9trn covid-relief plan is likely to sail through—we examine what is in it and what its passage portends for lawmaking in the Biden era. Unrest is unusual in Senegal, but citizens are out in force; we ask about the roots of the protest mood. And what ever happened to bespoke ringtones?For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/03/2121m 27s

Despair and disparities: covid-19 consumes Brazil

State and local pandemic responses are scattershot; a national effort is all but nonexistent. A creeping sense of fatalism makes for peril far beyond the country’s borders. Aggregate American jobs numbers are promising, but our correspondent digs deeper to find how much harder women have it in the labour force. And the interview set to widen Britain’s royal rift. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/03/2122m 50s

Rubber-stamping ground: China’s parliament meets

The National People’s Congress kicked off with two big signals of Beijing’s intentions: a return to economic-growth targets and a plan to eradicate Hong Kong’s vestiges of democracy. On the first-ever papal visit to Iraq, Pope Francis hopes to give succour to the country’s beleaguered Christians. And the continued tribulations of the nightclub scene.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/03/2121m 18s

Exit stages left: America and the Middle East

The Biden administration would like to pull back from the region; America’s strategic interests have changed, as have regional dynamics. We examine the careful exit that is possible. To evade censors China’s cinephiles often turn to pirated versions of foreign films, but the volunteers who subtitle them are under increasing pressure. And researchers make a connection with the dream world. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/03/2121m 24s

Owing to the pandemic: Britain’s budget

The finance minister has a plan that will keep many safeguards in place—for now. We ask how the country will then dig itself out of a financial hole. As countries aim for net-zero emissions, how to pick the policies that do the most good for the least cash? And why every fruit tree in Zanzibar has an owner. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/03/2122m 5s

A dark picture emerges: atrocities in Ethiopia

It is becoming more certain that war crimes are being committed in the northern region of Tigray. Yet, despite increasing international pressure, there is little hope the suffering will soon end. In China anti-capitalist sentiment is growing online; overworked youth have a decidedly Maoist view of the country’s biggest businesses and tycoons. And the uphill struggles of France’s skiing industry.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/03/2122m 15s

Coup fighters: Myanmar’s persistent protesters

The temperature keeps rising: as demonstrations continue to grow, the army is becoming more brutal. We ask how the country can escape the cycle of violence. In a pandemic, laws against misinformation have their merits—but are also easily put to work for censorious governments. And why British dependencies want to get growing in the medical-marijuana game.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/03/2120m 59s

Mutual-appreciation anxiety: Putin and Erdogan

The presidents of Turkey and Russia make an odd couple; their former empires have clashed over centuries. We look at the fragile—but nonetheless worrisome—alliance between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. India’s economy is recovering but a longstanding drag on growth persists: the overwhelming fraction of women absent from the labour force. And an unlikely protest anthem rattles Cuba’s regime. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/02/2120m 30s

Hell for Tether: a cryptocurrency crimped

The notionally dollar-pegged “stablecoin” quietly underpins many crypto-market moves. We ask what the currency issuer’s clash with New York authorities means for the wider crypto craze. In many African countries, parliamentarians are asked to fill public-service gaps—at great personal cost. We examine moves toward a fairer forking out of funds. And why physical-education exams are popping up in China.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/02/2122m 1s

Let the games be thin: Tokyo’s Olympic tussles

Planners are in a corner. Delaying or cancelling the summer tournament looks like defeat; pressing ahead looks like a danger. We take a look at the sporting chances. Britain has decarbonised faster than any other rich country, but getting to “net zero” will be a whole lot harder. And why South Koreans have such trouble with noisy neighbours.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
24/02/2121m 12s

Confirmation biases: Biden’s cabinet picks

President Joe Biden’s top posts are shaping up as Senate confirmation hearings continue—but some controversial nominations await a vote. We look at who is on the docket. Politics in the Democratic Republic of Congo has become messy, at the expense of some promised and much-needed reforms. And why the global rap scene is picking up a London accent. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/02/2120m 19s

Contrary to popular opinion: Mexico’s president

Andrés Manuel López Obrador roared into office with a grand “fourth transformation” agenda. Even after two years of policy failures and power-grabbing, he remains wildly popular. An eye-catching new report implores economists to take biodiversity into account—and puts some sobering limits on growth. And a chat through the state of the art in conversational computers.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/02/2119m 50s

Have I not news for you: Facebook’s Australian battle

A media code that would obligate tech giants to pay for linking to news stories looks set to pass. In response, Facebook pre-emptively took down those links—and a whole lot more. So-called honour killings persist in the Arab world; we examine the support for such murders and look at attempts to reform lax laws. And remembering the jazz-fusion giant Chick Corea.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/02/2121m 47s

Watts the problem: Texas’s energy failings

Crippling blackouts can be explained in part by the state’s unique energy market, but the disaster exposes wider failures that must be confronted amid a changing climate. Today’s landing of another Mars rover broadens the hunt for evidence of extraterrestrial life—an effort that is expanding faster and farther than ever before. And soft rock shakes off its milquetoast manner.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceofferListen and subscribe to “The Jab from Economist Radio”, our new weekly podcast at the sharp end of the global vaccination race.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/02/2123m 30s

The next of 1,000 cuts: Hong Kong activists on trial

It is not violent young protesters in the dock: the accused are the architects of the territory’s democracy. Our correspondent examines the city’s descent into authoritarian rule. In Colombia, activists are disappearing or being killed at a horrific rate. We ask why, and what can be done. And weighing up Oregon’s daring drug-decriminalisation experiment.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
17/02/2120m 27s

Desert stands: France in the Sahel

Terror groups and separatists run riot in the sprawling region, and France has had some success in keeping the peace. But how, and when, to draw down its troops? Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the World Trade Organisation’s history-making new leader, has quite the task ahead to rebuild trust in and among the institution’s members. And the worrying shifts in subsea soundscapes. Additional audio courtesy Jana Winderen. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
16/02/2122m 31s

No Capitol punishment: Trump’s acquittal

Donald Trump was all but certain to be cleared in his Senate trial, and so it went. But the few Republican votes to convict are telling. What next for the former president? A look into Swiss efforts to track down a missing $230m raises disturbing questions. And why women aren’t getting the laughs as stand-up comedy grows in China.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceofferListen and subscribe to “The Jab from Economist Radio”, our new weekly podcast at the sharp end of the global vaccination race.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/02/2124m 5s

Exit-stage plight: Brexit’s costs come due

Stock-trading is shifting to the continent; businesses are bound up in red tape; border issues are still simmering. There is far more than mere “teething problems” as Britain and Europe adjust to their new relationship. Our correspondent looks at the slippery nature of risk by speaking with wing-suited daredevils. And in Kenya the flower-industry bounce-back is blooming great news.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/02/2122m 35s

The coup is on the other foot: Myanmar

A power-grab by the army’s commander, Min Aung Hlaing, is not turning out to be easy: the greatest protest movement in a generation is gathering steam. Debates over trans rights are particularly fraught in criminal-justice systems. We examine the balancing act going on in America. And a historical tour of autocrats’ luxuriant bathrooms reveals there’s a lot to loos. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/02/2122m 46s

Like hell out of a bat: SARS-CoV-2’s origin

The World Health Organisation unveiled preliminary findings, suggesting the coronavirus probably jumped to humans via an intermediary animal and all but ruling out a laboratory leak. We examine the many remaining questions. Nefarious regimes find it ever easier to reach across borders, subjecting dissidents to repression and surveillance abroad. And why it’s so hard to buy a car in Algeria. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer“The Jab from Economist Radio” is our new weekly podcast at the sharp end of the global vaccination race. Listen to the trailer and subscribe now  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
10/02/2120m 59s

Very long covid: the lasting risks to Africa

So far it seems the continent has weathered the pandemic well. But current numbers mask a future reckoning that is likely to have dire human and economic costs. We look into the “predatory trading” that in part explains recent, frenzied action in stockmarkets. And a surprising discovery about the plastics that sink to the oceans’ depths. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
09/02/2121m 28s

The art of the done deal: Trump on trial, again

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump will make history, but its outcome is assured. We ask what the proceedings say about the Republican Party. China’s youth are making their own way, even as the Communist regime tries to win greater loyalty from them; we examine the country’s future leaders. And another, overlooked pandemic: that of loneliness at work. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/02/2122m 51s

Ballot bonanza: Latin America’s year of elections

Ecuador’s elections on Sunday kick off a packed year of polls in the region. Democracy’s foothold in South America looks assured; in Central America, less so. Engineers are vastly improving the core technologies in televisions. We preview the viewing pleasure to come. And remembering Nikolai Antoshkin, a Soviet general who faced unknowable danger to save untold lives.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/02/2121m 1s

Cheques notes: getting America’s stimulus right

Congress is on the cusp of pushing through a $1.9trn stimulus bill. But would it be money well spent? We examine the economics. Nearly half of India’s students attend cheap, efficient private schools that have been hit harder by the pandemic than the state-run kind. And the latest bid to clean up Earth’s celestial neighbourhood—and how to finance it.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/02/2121m 50s

Rise above the cloud: Amazon’s new chief executive

Jeff Bezos is relinquishing the reins—partly—of the firm he founded. We take a look at Andy Jassy, who will replace him as chief executive at a profitable but tricky time. Our annual Democracy Index isn’t brimming with great news; we examine how democratic norms are faring worldwide. And the capture of the biggest drug lord you’ve probably never heard of. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
03/02/2120m 11s

As a general rules: Myanmar’s coup

The army already had plenty of political power, but following a landslide election loss it dramatically seized more. After five years of democracy, will the country abide a return to military rule? The wind-power boom has driven a scramble for balsa wood—harming the Ecuadoreans who live where it grows. And a better way to test the language skills of would-be citizens. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
02/02/2120m 45s

More needles in the haystack: vaccine candidates proliferate

That a coronavirus vaccine could be developed in a year is astonishing—and promising candidates just keep coming. How will the virus’s variants change the dynamic? Palestine may at last hold elections, after 15 years of promises. But Mahmoud Abbas, the incumbent president, may end up as the only viable candidate. And the probable first big market for lab-grown meat.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
01/02/2122m 0s

Tug of warheads: the nuclear order

Successful arms-control diplomacy has kept proliferation at bay for decades. But many states now have nuclear ambitions; we look at an increasingly worrying shift. Rapid development in sub-Saharan Africa has led to a “double burden” of malnutrition: obesity is skyrocketing even as undernourishment continues. And the riches and the tensions to be found at a Greenland rare-earth-minerals mine. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/01/2121m 35s

Conte’s inferno: political crisis in Italy

The president is scrambling to pull together a workable government following Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s resignation—and the instability has big implications for Europe’s post-pandemic plans. We examine the staggering rise of shares in GameStop and the day traders trying to stick it to the hedge-funders. And the sport of back-country skiing gets a lift in America.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/01/2120m 57s

Vials and tribulations: the EU’s vaccine push

The European Union’s vaccine rollout was slow and fragmented even before pharma companies warned of supply shortfalls; we ask what’s gone wrong. Australia’s proposed law that would force tech titans to pay news providers is just one front in a battle that might upend a foundational principle of the internet. And the bawdy baked goods that have captured Egyptians’ attention. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
27/01/2119m 56s

Party down: Vietnam’s Communist leaders meet

At this week’s five-yearly congress there will be pride in the handling of the pandemic—but broader discontent and mounting protests should worry party bigwigs. We ask our education correspondent why so many American schools remain empty and what the long-run costs will be. And differentiating the difficult character of Patricia Highsmith from the litany of difficult characters she conjured.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
26/01/2121m 3s

Vlad tidings: demonstrations across Russia

The arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny—and an exposé he released alleging deep corruption—fuelled vast weekend protests, chipping away at President Vladimir Putin’s legitimacy. Having left the European Union Britain must find a new foreign-policy foothold in the world; we examine its options and its moves so far. And a shocking revelation about haggis ahead of Scotland’s Burns Night celebrations. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
25/01/2120m 34s

Biting the hands that would feed: Ethiopia

There are signs that the federal government is obstructing humanitarian aid to the war-torn region of Tigray, putting millions of civilians at risk of famine. We draw lessons from Israel’s vaccine rollout to predict what still lies ahead for many countries. And what can be learned by striking a deal with Bali’s larcenous monkeys. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/01/2118m 52s

Much to repair: Biden’s first day on the job

The watchword was unity as Joe Biden took office—he struck a calming tone and got immediately to work. We analyse the gargantuan tasks that lie ahead. Messaging services such as WhatsApp provide a needed online forum; as users flood to new apps we examine questions of privacy and security. And the Parisian street artist depicting brutal protests to unsettling effect.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/01/2122m 7s

Costly disbelief: covid-19 ravages Brazil again

Desperate scenes in the city of Manaus may foretell a dire wave throughout the country. A misguided sense of “herd immunity” has worsened matters, as has the president’s persistent scepticism. We examine history to see how lasers progressed from practical impossibility to utter ubiquity—and the scientific frontiers they are still illuminating. And how clams are protecting lives in Poland. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
20/01/2120m 29s

Hell no, we won’t grow: Indian farmers’ mass protests

Hundreds of thousands of farmers have participated in protests around Delhi, demonstrating against laws that they say threaten their livelihoods. We ask how the standoff will end. Today America will designate Yemen’s Houthi militants as terrorists, but that is likely only to harm a population already facing starvation. And what’s behind a boom in African comics. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
19/01/2121m 33s

Landed, in trouble: Alexei Navalny returns to Russia

The opposition leader was detained as soon as he arrived—but President Vladimir Putin has no good options for dealing with his most vocal opponent. Germany’s ruling CDU party has a new leader; we examine the challenges that lie ahead for him, his party and his country. And the kerfuffle behind an American-made film relegated to the Golden Globes’ foreign-language category. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/01/2120m 52s

Bold Wine in new battles: Uganda’s election

After a violent campaign in which the opposition candidate Bobi Wine was extensively intimidated, authorities imposed an internet blackout. President Yoweri Museveni will almost certainly cling to power—a worry for Uganda and the wider region. Wikipedia turns 20 today; we ask how, against long odds, it has survived and grown. And the video game that’s sparking a moral panic in Afghanistan.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
15/01/2119m 34s

Two-timer: Trump impeached, again

Some House Republicans broke ranks, joining Democrats to hand President Donald Trump an ignominious distinction. Our deputy editor lays out why the Senate should now convict and remove him. Under South Africa’s ruling ANC party a powerful black middle class bloomed, but the party’s fiscal mismanagement threatens their loyalty. And the boom in “spirits” with no booze but plenty of branding. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
14/01/2120m 35s

Trial ensnarer: human-rights law’s new tool

War criminals and their ilk often evade justice solely because of squabbling over who can be tried where. But a rise in “universal jurisdiction” trials is tightening the net. Recent lockdowns’ hits to global economies are not nearly as deep as they were the first time around; we explore why. And Cambodian rat-catchers reckon with boom and bust. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
13/01/2120m 20s

You don’t say: tech’s Trump bans

Moves to shutter the president’s accounts and to crimp corners of the internet given to right-wing extremism raise thorny questions, both about free speech and social-media firms’ business models. Our public-policy editor takes a broad look at girlhood: how women’s adolescence has changed for the better but is challenged mightily by covid-19. And science’s bid to save more snake-bite victims’ lives.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
12/01/2122m 12s

Wrest wing: the bid to oust Trump

Today Democratic lawmakers will begin attempts to remove President Donald Trump. It could fail, or be delayed—or Republicans could see a political opportunity. Even amid a global vaccination drive, the hunt for covid-19 treatments continues; we examine two existing arthritis drugs that appear to save lives. And the synthesiser that conquered music in the 1980s and then stuck around. Additional audio courtesy of Nate Mars and Daniel Reid. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
11/01/2121m 25s

The longer arm of the law: Hong Kong

A national-security law imposed by Beijing had not, until this week, bared its teeth; the arrests of dozens of pro-democracy figures reveals how much it can crimp opposition. At the American Economics Association’s annual shindig, a scholar implores economists to recalibrate just how self-interested they take people to be. And the inspiring life and untimely death of a beloved, goat-herding refugee. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
08/01/2123m 50s

Riot act: Biden confirmed amid chaos

After previously unthinkable scenes played out in Washington’s legislature, we ask what the violence will mean for the president, Republican lawmakers and American democracy. Argentina’s move to liberalise its abortion laws reflects slowly changing attitudes across Latin America, and may spur wider change. And examining the history of Ethio-jazz, a unique musical melting pot. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
07/01/2120m 50s

Run-off, their feat: Georgia’s Senate races

Democrats look set to win both the run-off elections that will determine control of the Senate—and how President-elect Joe Biden will be able to govern. Quantum computing is still nascent, its power yet to be truly tapped. But the finance sector is already looking to squeeze it for analytical advantage. And how Confucianism still influences society in South Korea.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
06/01/2122m 34s

Stresses of strains: emerging coronavirus variants

It is no surprise that more-transmissible coronavirus variants are cropping up. We ask how worrisome the strains found in Britain and South Africa are. American authorities have lodged a landmark case against Walmart for its role in the country’s worsening opioid crisis—a problem with clearly more than one cause. And dealing with the pile of unused vacation days from 2020.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
05/01/2118m 44s

Arms within reach: Israel's vaccination lead

Aggressive purchasing, solid logistics and a competitive health-care system have led to a world-beating rate of immunisation—but, as ever, politics is playing a role, too. Big oil had a terrible 2020, but the sector’s troubles pre-date the pandemic; we look at the supermajors’ varying approaches to an uncertain future. And how covid-19 is reshaping China’s clubbing scene.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
04/01/2123m 15s

Isle talk to EU later: a vote on a scant Brexit deal

Britain’s parliament will vote today on its last-gasp agreement with the European Union. But that will only mark the start of more negotiations for years to come. And we examine the shortlist from The Economist’s annual “country of the year” debate—New Zealand, Malawi and Taiwan—and unveil the winner. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
30/12/2020m 36s

Cheques, imbalances: America’s fraught stimulus

After months of deadlock, a covid-19 relief package has passed, but the battles continue. We ask how things got so dire and what President-elect Joe Biden will inherit. A deadly shootout in London more than a century ago still resonates today; we examine one of the world’s first breaking-news stories. And the colour black reaches new depths in art. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
29/12/2022m 20s

Going around the bloc: Europe’s vaccination push

The first inoculations are happening across the continent as part of a co-ordinated push—but levels of both supply and uptake remain uncertain. Our correspondent explores South Korea’s obsession with hiking and why it means different things to different climbers. And looking back on a troubling year for Britain’s royals.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
28/12/2022m 0s

Old acquaintance not forgot: the notable deaths of 2020

In a year marked by more than a million and a half deaths, mortality has rarely been so front of mind. Our obituary editor looks back through the notable figures she has memorialised, from George Floyd to Vera Lynn. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
23/12/2022m 26s

Bubbles in the market: Mexico’s Coca-Cola obsession

For decades, the country has been an almighty consumer of the fizzy drink. But amid a woeful covid-19 situation politicians are highlighting the health concerns it brings. In getting to know a sleepy French village, our correspondent finds a nuanced view of isolation in the pandemic age. And the lavish books providing a never-before-seen perspective on the Sistine Chapel’s frescoes.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
22/12/2021m 1s

Get the lead out: Zambia’s toxic mine

A site that closed more than a quarter-century ago is still slowly poisoning the residents of Kabwe with lead; a class-action lawsuit is at last seeking redress. Our correspondent visits the ancient monastery behind the international Shaolin brand, learning the subtle story of its abbot and chief executive. And flicking through The Economist’s staff picks for books of the year.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
21/12/2022m 36s

Rehousing project: Bangladesh’s Rohingya

The country’s refugee camps are packed and squalid, so the government is moving perhaps 100,000 Rohingya Muslims to a tiny island. Will life for them improve? Military tactics can be misleading; sometimes they are outright trickery. Our defence editor looks at the past and future of military deception. And why Christmas dinner involves such different fare around the world.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
18/12/2021m 26s
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