The Intelligence

By The Economist

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Subscribers: 3312
Reviews: 4


 Aug 2, 2020


 Jul 19, 2019

ryan
 Jul 6, 2019
the only episode I listened to was so full of lies and ridiculous conspiracies it's ridiculous. I'm too intelligent for that garbage.

From my phone
 Apr 23, 2019
it's more good than bad though I preferred the week ahead. This a less dry and more casual listening podcast with snippets of information from around the world

Description

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.


Episode Date
Press to exit: Hong Kong’s media arrests
00:22:42

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.

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Jun 18, 2021
A hardline act to follow: Iran’s presidential election
00:21:17

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

 

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Jun 17, 2021
Present, tense: Biden and Putin meet
00:23:00

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

 

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Jun 16, 2021
Patrons’ taint: Brazil’s pork-barrel politics
00:21:13

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

 

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Jun 15, 2021
Promises, promises: the G7’s fuzzy climate pledges
00:22:07

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

 

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Jun 14, 2021
Staying powers? The G7’s changing role
00:22:41

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 Polydor Records. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 11, 2021
An exit wounds: America’s Afghanistan retreat
00:21:16

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. 

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Jun 10, 2021
You don’t say: Indonesia joins Asia’s digital censorship
00:18:09

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

 

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Jun 09, 2021
Criminal proceedings: America’s spike in violence
00:23:14

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

 

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Jun 08, 2021
Ballots and bullets: Mexico’s elections
00:21:52

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

 

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Jun 07, 2021
Peace out: from bad to worse in Yemen
00:23:44

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

 

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Jun 04, 2021
Catch-up mustered: Europe’s vaccination drive
00:20:24

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

 

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Jun 03, 2021
Swiping rights: Republicans’ vote-crimping bids
00:19:09

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

 

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Jun 02, 2021
Bibi, it’s cold outside: Israel’s improbable coalition
00:20:37

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

 

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Jun 01, 2021
From the head down: rot in South Africa
00:22:29

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.

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May 31, 2021
Caught in the activists: oil majors’ shake-ups
00:19:36

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.

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May 28, 2021
On the origins and the specious: the SARS-CoV-2 lab-leak theory
00:20:43

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.

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May 27, 2021
From out of thin air: Belarus dissidents' fates
00:21:38

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.

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May 26, 2021
To protect and serve: police reform one year after George Floyd
00:19:54

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

 

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May 25, 2021
From a tax to attacks: Colombia’s unrelenting unrest
00:21:24

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

 

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May 24, 2021
The dust settles: ceasefire in Gaza
00:23:46

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

 

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May 21, 2021
Game on: the Tokyo Olympics
00:19:04

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

 

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May 20, 2021
Populists poised: Italian politics
00:21:28

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.

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May 19, 2021
Hot air: emissions reduction
00:21:55

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

 

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May 18, 2021
Feast and famine: vaccine supply
00:20:29

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

 

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May 17, 2021
Home front: Israel’s war within
00:23:10

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? 

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May 14, 2021
Purged: Liz Cheney’s sacking
00:21:09

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

 

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May 13, 2021
Baby bust: China’s census
00:21:50

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.

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May 12, 2021
Rockets over Jerusalem: Israeli-Palestinian violence
00:22:03

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

 

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May 11, 2021
North poll: Boris Johnson’s election victory
00:21:16

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?

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May 10, 2021
Down to brash tax: Colombia’s protests grow
00:19:51

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

 

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May 07, 2021
Who’s to say? Facebook, Trump and free speech
00:21:40

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.

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May 06, 2021
Cache and carry: American states’ gun-law push
00:21:20

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.

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May 05, 2021
Strait shooting? The growing peril to Taiwan
00:21:42

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

 

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May 04, 2021
The turn at a century: Northern Ireland’s anniversary
00:22:27

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

 

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May 03, 2021
Illiberal-arts degrees: Hungary’s universities seized
00:22:26

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

 

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Apr 30, 2021
A word in edgewise: Turkey, Armenia and genocide
00:22:59

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.

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Apr 29, 2021
A great deal to be desired: Europe-Britain trade
00:21:56

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

 

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Apr 28, 2021
SPAClash: the buzz and the bust
00:20:56

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.

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Apr 27, 2021
Extremist prejudice: rebranding Navalny
00:23:12

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.

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Apr 26, 2021
Carbon date: Biden’s climate summit
00:22:40

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.

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Apr 23, 2021
Growth negligence: India’s covid-19 failings
00:19:48

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.

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Apr 22, 2021
Insuperable: Europe’s football fiasco
00:24:07

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.

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Apr 21, 2021
A case rests, a city does not: Derek Chauvin’s trial
00:22:13

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.

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Apr 20, 2021
Lai of the land: Hong Kong’s democrats quashed
00:21:12

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.

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Apr 19, 2021
The path of increased resistance: Myanmar
00:21:47

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

 

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Apr 16, 2021
Boots off the ground: America’s Afghanistan drawdown
00:20:56

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

 

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Apr 15, 2021
Arms’ reach: Russia flexes at Ukraine border
00:22:00

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

 

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Apr 14, 2021
Fission expedition: nuclear-site attack in Iran
00:21:22

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

 

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Apr 13, 2021
Plagued by uncertainty: German politics
00:21:58

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.

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Apr 12, 2021
Like a tonne of bricks: violence in Northern Ireland
00:22:36

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. 

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Apr 09, 2021
Clotting factors: the AstraZeneca vaccine
00:22:50

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.

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Apr 08, 2021
Deaths spiral: America’s spike in murders
00:19:30

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.

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Apr 07, 2021
Crown and thorn: Jordan’s royal ruckus
00:21:13

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

 

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Apr 06, 2021
He said, Xi said: America-China ructions
00:23:17

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

 

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Apr 05, 2021
Battle acts: France beefs up its forces
00:21:39

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

 

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Apr 02, 2021
Cresting: India’s second covid-19 wave
00:21:16

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. 

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Apr 01, 2021
Takeaway lessons: Deliveroo’s listing disappoints
00:19:14

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.

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Mar 31, 2021
High threat-count: boycotts in China
00:23:00

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.

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Mar 30, 2021
The smell of gas: insurgency in Mozambique
00:21:17

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.

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Mar 29, 2021
Growth and stagnation: Bangladesh’s first 50 years
00:21:14

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

 

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Mar 26, 2021
Export-control panel: the EU meets on vaccines
00:22:27

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

 

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Mar 25, 2021
Can’t take a hike: more economic turmoil in Turkey
00:21:37

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.

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Mar 24, 2021
Always be their Bibi? Israel votes, again
00:20:35

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.

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Mar 23, 2021
Not-purchasing power: boycotts in Myanmar
00:20:18

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.

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Mar 22, 2021
Another race question: murder in Atlanta
00:19:29

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.

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Mar 19, 2021
Forces to be reckoned with: Afghan peace talks
00:22:34

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

 

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Mar 18, 2021
Harms weigh: AstraZeneca vaccine fears
00:22:22

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

 

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Mar 17, 2021
Earning them: Stripe’s monster valuation
00:20:24

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.

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Mar 16, 2021
Redrawing the map: a fragmented Syria
00:22:29

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

 

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Mar 15, 2021
Casting the net wider: remaking the welfare state
00:22:43

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.

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Mar 12, 2021
Nuclear inaction: the legacy of Fukushima
00:22:35

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

 

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Mar 11, 2021
Whither permitting? Vaccine passports
00:18:51

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.

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Mar 10, 2021
Reconciled to it: America’s stimulus bill
00:21:27

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?

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Mar 09, 2021
Despair and disparities: covid-19 consumes Brazil
00:22:50

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

 

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Mar 08, 2021
Rubber-stamping ground: China’s parliament meets
00:21:18

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.

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Mar 05, 2021
Exit stages left: America and the Middle East
00:21:24

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

 

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Mar 04, 2021
Owing to the pandemic: Britain’s budget
00:22:05

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

 

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Mar 03, 2021
A dark picture emerges: atrocities in Ethiopia
00:22:15

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.

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Mar 02, 2021
Coup fighters: Myanmar’s persistent protesters
00:20:59

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.

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Mar 01, 2021
Mutual-appreciation anxiety: Putin and Erdogan
00:20:30

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

 

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Feb 26, 2021
Hell for Tether: a cryptocurrency crimped
00:22:01

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.

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Feb 25, 2021
Let the games be thin: Tokyo’s Olympic tussles
00:21:12

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.

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Feb 24, 2021
Confirmation biases: Biden’s cabinet picks
00:20:19

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

 

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Feb 23, 2021
Contrary to popular opinion: Mexico’s president
00:19:50

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.

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Feb 22, 2021
Have I not news for you: Facebook’s Australian battle
00:21:47

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.

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Feb 19, 2021
Watts the problem: Texas’s energy failings
00:23:30

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.

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Feb 18, 2021
The next of 1,000 cuts: Hong Kong activists on trial
00:20:27

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.

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Feb 17, 2021
Desert stands: France in the Sahel
00:22:31

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

 

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Feb 16, 2021
No Capitol punishment: Trump’s acquittal
00:24:05

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.

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Feb 15, 2021
Exit-stage plight: Brexit’s costs come due
00:22:35

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

 

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Feb 12, 2021
The coup is on the other foot: Myanmar
00:22:46

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. 

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Feb 11, 2021
Like hell out of a bat: SARS-CoV-2’s origin
00:20:59

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. 

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Feb 10, 2021
Very long covid: the lasting risks to Africa
00:21:28

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

 

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Feb 09, 2021
The art of the done deal: Trump on trial, again
00:22:51

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

 

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Feb 08, 2021
Ballot bonanza: Latin America’s year of elections
00:21:01

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.

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Feb 05, 2021
Cheques notes: getting America’s stimulus right
00:21:50

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.

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Feb 04, 2021
Rise above the cloud: Amazon’s new chief executive
00:20:11

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. 

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Feb 03, 2021
As a general rules: Myanmar’s coup
00:20:45

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

 

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Feb 02, 2021
More needles in the haystack: vaccine candidates proliferate
00:22:00

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.

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Feb 01, 2021
Tug of warheads: the nuclear order
00:21:35

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

 

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Jan 29, 2021
Conte’s inferno: political crisis in Italy
00:20:57

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.

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Jan 28, 2021
Vials and tribulations: the EU’s vaccine push
00:19:56

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

 

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Jan 27, 2021
Party down: Vietnam’s Communist leaders meet
00:21:03

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.

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Jan 26, 2021
Vlad tidings: demonstrations across Russia
00:20:34

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

 

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Jan 25, 2021
Biting the hands that would feed: Ethiopia
00:18:52

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

 

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Jan 22, 2021
Much to repair: Biden’s first day on the job
00:22:07

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.

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Jan 21, 2021
Costly disbelief: covid-19 ravages Brazil again
00:20:29

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

 

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Jan 20, 2021
Hell no, we won’t grow: Indian farmers’ mass protests
00:21:33

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

 

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Jan 19, 2021
Landed, in trouble: Alexei Navalny returns to Russia
00:20:52

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. 

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Jan 18, 2021
Bold Wine in new battles: Uganda’s election
00:19:34

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.

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Jan 15, 2021
Two-timer: Trump impeached, again
00:20:35

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. 

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Jan 14, 2021
Trial ensnarer: human-rights law’s new tool
00:20:20

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

 

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Jan 13, 2021
You don’t say: tech’s Trump bans
00:22:12

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.

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Jan 12, 2021
Wrest wing: the bid to oust Trump
00:21:25

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

 

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Jan 11, 2021
The longer arm of the law: Hong Kong
00:23:50

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. 

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Jan 08, 2021
Riot act: Biden confirmed amid chaos
00:20:50

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

 

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Jan 07, 2021
Run-off, their feat: Georgia’s Senate races
00:22:34

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.

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Jan 06, 2021
Stresses of strains: emerging coronavirus variants
00:18:44

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.

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Jan 05, 2021
Arms within reach: Israel's vaccination lead
00:23:15

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.

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Jan 04, 2021
Isle talk to EU later: a vote on a scant Brexit deal
00:20:36

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

 

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Dec 30, 2020
Cheques, imbalances: America’s fraught stimulus
00:22:20

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. 

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Dec 29, 2020
Going around the bloc: Europe’s vaccination push
00:22:00

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.

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Dec 28, 2020
Old acquaintance not forgot: the notable deaths of 2020
00:22:26

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

 

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Dec 23, 2020
Bubbles in the market: Mexico’s Coca-Cola obsession
00:21:01

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.

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Dec 22, 2020
Get the lead out: Zambia’s toxic mine
00:22:36

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.

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Dec 21, 2020
Rehousing project: Bangladesh’s Rohingya
00:21:26

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.

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Dec 18, 2020
And then, winter: ten years after the Arab Spring
00:23:30

A revolutionary conflagration a decade ago has almost entirely flickered out. We ask what happened to all the optimism and why real change has been so hard to achieve. A widely watched lawsuit reveals the slow march of feminism in China, one case at a time. And a look back at Ludwig van Beethoven’s life and work, 250 years on. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Dec 17, 2020
This market went a little piggy: a capital-raising frenzy
00:22:39

Astonishingly, companies have raised more capital this year than ever before. We ask how capital markets shook free amid the pandemic—and what will happen with all that cash now. Our correspondent finds just how dependent the world’s waste-management industry is on informal workers, whose hard jobs have been made far harder this year. And the technology making megaphones much more mega.

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Dec 16, 2020
Joe, College: Biden’s victory affirmed
00:21:46

America’s by-the-book electoral-college vote calmed concerns about another Trump-camp bid to overturn the election—but that is not to say the ructions are over. On an unannounced visit to a suspected forced-labour camp in China’s Xinjiang province, our correspondent runs into trouble when witnessing evidence of a far wider social-engineering effort. And Cuba’s beloved sweet, milky treat gets a freshen-up. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Dec 15, 2020
So long, and we’re keeping all the fish: Brexit
00:18:49

Britain’s divorce from the European Union still hinges on sticky matters of fishing rights and the enforcement of fair competition, and time is rapidly running out to strike a deal. India’s fantastical “love jihadconspiracy theory is just another Muslim-marginalisation move—one that the government seemingly approves of. And a hermit-crab housing shortage in Thailand.

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Dec 14, 2020
Taking the temperature: a climate chat with the UN chief
00:20:33

Ahead of a weekend meeting to assess and bolster the Paris Agreement, our correspondent speaks with Antonio Guterres about his reasons for cautious optimism. The founder of an upstart far-right Dutch party has been consumed by scandals; we discuss a disastrous downfall. And following AirBnB’s stonking stockmarket debut, we examine the revealed preferences of pandemic-era bookers. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Dec 11, 2020
If you already joined ‘em, beat ‘em: Facebook gets sued
00:21:01

American regulators have put mergers that they approved years ago at the heart of antitrust lawsuits—a tricky bid to curb the social-media giant’s market power. We examine the surge of an artist-led protest movement in Cuba, where dissent on any scale is a dangerous proposition. And what a cross-border, ski-slope spat reveals about European co-operation. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Dec 10, 2020
Laïcité, égalité, fraternité? France’s secularism bill
00:19:40

President Emmanuel Macron’s draft bill walks a fine line balancing the country’s foundational secularism and worries about Islamist terrorism. Amid slumping economies everywhere, Taiwan’s looks surprisingly buoyant; we ask how that might continue after the pandemic. And how managers can best navigate the holiday-party season in a cheerless year.

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Dec 09, 2020
Granting immunity: America weighs vaccine approval
00:21:32

As Britons receive the first doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, authorities in America are meeting this week to authorise its emergency use. We examine the approaches on both sides of the pond. Despite pandemic prescriptions of social distancing, multigenerational living is on the rise. And how Advent calendars became so very extra.

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Dec 08, 2020
Fairly unusual: Ghana’s elections
00:22:24

In a region racked by dodgy polls, the country looks to continue a trend of uncontested handovers of power. That is not to say, however, that there aren’t sticking points. As tortuous Brexit negotiations drag on, we look at how British farming can and should change under a new regulatory regime. And the starving deer of a Japanese tourist hotspot.

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Dec 07, 2020
Intensive scare: covid-19 ravages America
00:23:19

Numbers of cases, hospitalisations and deaths are rocketing across the country. We examine the situation in the Midwest, as a microcosm of a wider unfolding tragedy. Venezuela’s ruling party will take over the National Assembly after Sunday’s vote, sidelining the self-proclaimed legitimate leader Juan Guaidó and cementing Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship. And the fruitful life and ignominious death of the Arecibo telescope.

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Dec 04, 2020
Your planet, or mines? Kicking the coal habit
00:21:37

In the West market forces are squeezing coal—even as its use rises in Asia. We examine how the world can wean itself off the dirtiest fossil fuel. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Belarus’s probable presidential-election winner, never expected to run for office. Our correspondent visits her in exile, asking about the country’s prospects for democracy. And how candy-floss machines may help make better face masks.

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Dec 03, 2020
Trans formative: a landmark children’s-rights ruling
00:21:46

Britain’s High Court has ruled that puberty blockers for children with gender dysphoria have been dispensed too readily, fuelling a debate that will be keenly watched abroad. A vote today on a law tightening accounting rules on American-listed Chinese companies has a political dimension—and implications for investors. And Poland’s populist leaders seize on the resurgence of “disco polo” music.

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Dec 02, 2020
Nuclear-war head: assassination in Iran
00:19:13

The killing of the country’s top nuclear scientist comes at a tricky time: violent retribution may threaten hoped-for diplomacy with the incoming American administration. An artificial-intelligence breakthrough may transform protein science, with implications for everything from industrial processes to tackling disease. And why Europe’s lighter-touch, second round of lockdowns have been so effective.

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Dec 01, 2020
No show of force: France’s controversial police-protection bill
00:21:42

Protesters are raging against a proposed bill that would outlaw posting videos of alleged police brutality—just as two videos expose more such violence. High-stakes exams for students have been delayed, modified, even cancelled during the pandemic; we look at how all those varying results stack up. And, South Africa’s growing trend of livestock theft—and rebranding.  

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Nov 30, 2020
One party to rule them all? India’s fraying democracy
00:20:03

Many of the country’s institutions are being slowly hobbled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government; we ask whether the world’s largest democracy is in peril. Sweden has a surprisingly entrenched problem with gang violence, revealing the social costs of its segregated populations. And how Black Friday is playing out in the pandemic era. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 27, 2020
At his majesty, displeasure: Thailand’s anti-monarchy push
00:23:04

A long string of pro-democracy protests are railing more and more against the king himself—and the protesters are younger and more fearless than ever before. The arrest of Bobi Wine, Uganda’s popular singer-turned-opposition-hero, has sparked deadly violence. He won’t win January’s election, but his movement isn’t going away. And a Thanksgiving Day look at the globe-trotting history of the turkey

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Nov 26, 2020
Tigray area: Ethiopia’s deadly standoff
00:21:46

The northern region’s surrounded forces are ignoring Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s deadline to disarm. More regions are being drawn in—and a conflagration across the Horn of Africa looms. Artificial-intelligence pilots have shown serious dogfighting skills, but for reasons both technical and ethical humans are still needed in the cockpit. And the rise of mixed martial arts on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Nov 25, 2020
What funds we’ll have: green venture capital
00:22:05

The boom-and-bust of environmental-technology investing has settled out, and money is flooding in—both individual and institutional. We examine the green fields that lie ahead. Many Arab countries have long been suffering an exodus of medical professionals—a problem only magnified by the pandemic. And a reflection on the life of Jonathan Sacks, a tirelessly unifying British rabbi. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer


 

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Nov 24, 2020
Playing his Trump cards: Biden’s China policy
00:22:18

The tone of America’s president-elect on China changed markedly through the campaign; his policies, at least at the outset, may differ little from those of his predecessor. We examine the stark racial disparities in covid-19 outcomes around the world. And the clever use of a waste product to make a better takeaway coffee cup.

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Nov 23, 2020
Undercut a deal: the threat to Afghan peace
00:20:05

Peace talks continue in Doha but on the ground the Taliban are consolidating control. America’s rush to withdraw its forces could undo the good work of getting them to the negotiating table. As DoorDash heads to a public listing, we look at the rapidly shifting fortunes of the food-delivery business. And why golf has a long-shot problem.

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Nov 20, 2020
Quit it cold, Turkey: policy tightens at last
00:21:15

Now that the economic reins have been taken back from the president’s son-in-law, the country is making the right policy noises—and just in time. China’s anti-poverty drive is not disinterested charity; it is about transforming citizens’ thoughts. And chronicling Pepe the Frog’s descent into alt-right memedom.

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Nov 19, 2020
Concession stand: Trump’s intransigence
00:21:13

America’s outgoing president is sticking with an insidious fiction, lashing out at those who deny it. That frustrates a stable handover of power—and will cost lives. Egypt has a long-standing problem with sexual harassment and abuse. A reckoning has begun this year, revealing some deeply conservative views among both men and women. And why streaming-era television programmes have got so long.

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Nov 18, 2020
Out on a LegCo: Hong Kong under pressure
00:22:00

Following a purge based on a harsh new security law, the territory’s Legislative Council lacks a single opposition voice. That will make the work of pro-Beijing lawmakers easier. As promising vaccines start to emerge, we examine the role of so-called T-cells in granting long-lasting immunity to the coronavirus. And why employers are relying more and more on psychometric tests.

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Nov 17, 2020
Disrupter, disrupted: Britain’s government
00:21:24

The chief aide to the prime minister had been a driving force in policy but a dividing force in government. What will happen now that he has stood down? We examine how Canada’s response to the pandemic has shielded its economy—so far. And lockdowns bring the market for pasta to a rolling boil. 

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Nov 16, 2020
Going to cede: Armenia and Azerbaijan
00:22:25

The longest-running conflict in the Caucasus could well be over. We examine a peace deal that benefits outside powers and chips away at regional identities. The hipster aesthetic long ago permeated rich countries; our correspondent finds it creeping even into impoverished and war-torn corners of the world. And reflecting on the life of James Randi, a tireless debunker of charlatans.

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Nov 13, 2020
Sahel of a mess: France’s impossible peacekeeping mission
00:23:01

Jihadism is growing in a continent-wide strip of Africa, and the riskiest operations to contain it fall to French troops. Our correspondent witnesses a fraught and seemingly endless mission. Peru has ousted yet another president, at a woeful time: the pandemic is raging, the economy cratering and politics fracturing. And the movement to water down Sweden’s state monopoly on booze. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 12, 2020
We’ll again have Paris: Biden’s ambitious climate plans
00:21:42

President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign had the environment front and centre. We analyse his pledges—and his prospects for implementing them. As the video-gaming industry releases its next round of consoles, it is eyeing a far larger prize: high-end gaming with no console at all. And the red poppy of Remembrance Day turns into something of an armistice race in Britain. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 11, 2020
Nine out of ten, doctors say: a promising coronavirus vaccine
00:20:27

A vaccine claimed to be 90% effective represents an enormous achievement. We discuss what questions remain and the regulatory and distribution challenges ahead. A string of recent African elections reveals strongmen bending democracy to stay in office; will upcoming polls break it altogether? And a moral crusade in India doesn’t fit the country’s chill relationship with weed. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 10, 2020
Brought to heal: Biden’s chance to unite America
00:22:37

President Donald Trump will go, but Trumpism will remain. Our editor-in-chief considers how President-elect Biden can repair the divided country he will inherit. Denmark aims to cull 17m mink that could represent a reservoir of a mutated coronavirus—why didn’t it do so when other countries did? And the old-timey Korean music that might just challenge K-pop.  

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Nov 09, 2020
Abiy damned: Ethiopia’s looming civil war
00:21:34

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has taken drastic steps to quieten a state stacked with trained militias. The conflict could draw in more states—or the whole of the Horn of Africa. China’s increasing push for self-reliance in a globalised economy has its complications—made clear by a vast influx of precision-bred super-chickens. And the macabre tale of books bound with human skin.

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Nov 06, 2020
The lawyers of diminishing returns: America’s election
00:20:00

As President Donald Trump’s re-election path slims, his pledges to fight the results in court are multiplying. We look at the cases that may eventually decide the election. Global crises tend to affect birth rates, and covid-19 is no different—but the effects are not evenly spread. And a suite alternative for business types tired of working from home. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 05, 2020
Tally forth: America’s elections
00:21:31

The outcome remains unclear as vote-counting continues. We look at some of the surprise results, ask what happens next and examine how The Economist’s election forecast has held up. And we tag along with our American correspondents for the thrill of election-night reporting.The latest results are here www.economist.com/us2020results; for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 04, 2020
Poles’ position: an abortion-law backlash
00:21:54

Poland already had some of the strictest laws on terminations, but the ruling party’s bid to tighten them further has sparked national outrage. We lay out what to expect on election night in America—the denouement will not be simple, and is unlikely to be quick. And a historical look at the films screened in the White House’s private cinema. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 03, 2020
Lock step: England to shut down, again
00:20:32

Prime Minister Boris Johnson all but ruled out a second lockdown, but his hand has been forced by England’s caseload. What are the political costs of his U-turn? Myanmar’s coming election will almost certainly be marred by disinformation on Facebook—principally because so many Burmese people get their only news there. And examining the current glut of political biographies.

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Nov 02, 2020
Net losses: plunder of the oceans
00:21:03

The staggering extent of illegal fishing, and its human and environmental costs, are only just becoming clear. We ask how to put a shadowy industry on a more even keel. The old guard likes to mock millennial investors, but they’re changing finance, possibly for the better. And as Berlin’s shiny new airport opens we ask: why is it nine years late? For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 30, 2020
What Xi said: China’s five-year plan
00:21:47

The party’s Fifth Plenum sets out a five-year vision; we mine the plan for clues about how China views itself in the world—and how long Xi Jinping intends to lead. The pandemic has the rich world thinking and talking about death in a way not seen since the second world war. And an uncertain future for Singapore’s famed street-food hawkers.

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Oct 29, 2020
Stumbling bloc: Europe’s second wave
00:19:21

Across the continent, covid-19 cases are rising steeply and containment measures are still divergent. We look at the challenges of finding policies that are efficacious and sustainable. Tanzania’s election today is all but zipped up; President John Magufuli has been trampling the country’s hard-won democratic traditions. And what the florid language of wine experts says about human perception.

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Oct 28, 2020
Chagrin, and Barrett: America’s Supreme Court
00:22:18

Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation marks the first time since the 1930s the court has leaned so conservative, and has stoked another partisan battle that may further reshape the court. Following the announcement of water on the Moon, we look at a looming, broader battle: who will own the water rights? And why Australia’s aboriginal flag is flying less and less. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 27, 2020
Coming write-up: Chile votes to overhaul its constitution
00:21:33

The country has roundly rejected its dictatorship-era charter and mapped out how to fashion a new one. What do Chileans stand to gain—and to lose? Rising populations of the elderly in the world’s prisons are creating deepening problems, both for jailers and the jailed. And we explore a theory that blames political chaos on too many would-be elites.

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Oct 26, 2020
Civil proceedings: America's presidential debate
00:20:54

America’s final presidential debate had less noise and more substance. But polls seem immovable and nearly 50m Americans have already voted; will the race change? South Korea’s population-boosting efforts have failed, so it is encouraging more women into the workforce—and that will redress some long-standing inequalities. And crunching 70 years’ worth of Formula 1 data to find the sport’s true greatest. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 23, 2020
Pandemic power-grabs: autocrats’ covid opportunism
00:20:35

As it has with so many other trends, the pandemic has hastened the decline of democracy and human rights; covid-19 provides autocrats with perfect cover. The plummeting price for the cobalt that powers electronics has upended lives and driven crime in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And how physicists found an upper bound for the speed of sound. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 22, 2020
Secular-stand nation: terror in France
00:22:26

The brutal murder of a schoolteacher comes amid warnings of mounting Islamism in the country. The attack will only harden resolve for a secular society. Alexei Navalny, Russia’s opposition leader, speaks with our correspondent about the attempt on his life; it signals, he says, a regime in decline. And data reveal how the arrival of mobile internet erodes faith in governments.

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Oct 21, 2020
The persecution of a people: China’s repression of the Uyghurs
00:21:41

Reporting by The Economist reveals deepening efforts by Chinese authorities not just to imprison the Muslim-minority people but also to reduce their number, to wipe out their culture and to hound them wherever in the world they may go. Yet a visit to Yunnan province reveals that the party’s hostility to ethnic minorities is not absolute.

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Oct 20, 2020
Loved Labour’s won: landslide in New Zealand
00:21:09

After a term spent steering the country through crises, Jacinda Ardern has led her Labour party to a thumping victory; what will they do with their historic majority? Far from taking on water as the pandemic progresses, the shipping industry is steaming ahead. And as museums sell off parts of their collections, we consider art’s value beyond the dollar signs. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 19, 2020
Más MAS? Bolivia’s election
00:21:43

After last year’s vote was marred by fraud allegations, the electorate is split ahead of Sunday’s poll: will the country return the socialist MAS party of exiled leader Evo Morales to power? A private tutor to the rich and anxious reveals the costs—to students and tutors—of heightened academic pressure. And a new book yields a cat’s-eye view of 18th-century London.

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Oct 16, 2020
A close-it call: Nigeria’s uprising
00:22:13

Angry protests following an alleged police killing continue, even after a hated police unit was shuttered. That exposes far-deeper discontent. Banks’ earnings this week show that belt-tightening earlier in the year has held them in good stead. What to do with the growing cash-pile? And misguided infrastructure plans have many Egyptians in a roads rage.

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Oct 15, 2020
Scared strait: Taiwan
00:23:21

Rhetoric and sabre-rattling from mainland China are rapidly ramping up; we examine the risk of an invasion that would have global consequences. A decision by World Rugby to ban trans women from the women’s game stokes a notoriously ill-tempered debate. And listening to an album built entirely from the songs of endangered British birds.

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Oct 14, 2020
Food chain broken: famine in Yemen
00:22:27

The country yet again faces widespread starvation as a civil war grinds on, and both sides are to blame for the misery visited upon civilians. With the stroke of a pen, Argentina recently doubled in size—setting a precedent with big diplomatic and resource-extraction implications. And remembering the man who set hundreds of thousands of Indians free from indentured servitude.

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Oct 13, 2020
In their own Swede time: pandemic pragmatism
00:23:48

By the numbers to date, Sweden's light-touch covid-19 measures may not seem successful. But its pragmatism takes an instructively long view of the pandemic. China’s high-level party machinery brooks no political dissent; among street-level functionaries, stories of disobedience and tolerance are far more nuanced. And a devilishly clever way to stem the poaching of endangered turtles’ eggs.

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Oct 12, 2020
Buy the way? Kyrgyzstan’s post-election chaos
00:21:36

Citizens are furious after a poll seemingly tainted by vote-buying; its annulment leaves a power vacuum that may yet draw in China and Russia. An author’s journey through the history of America’s racist militias, including the Ku Klux Klan, starts with his own family tree. And why not everyone is happy with Europe’s “golden passport” schemes. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 09, 2020
More-civil discourse: Pence and Harris debate
00:23:06

That a housefly could steal the show at America’s only vice-presidential debate is telling, but a discussion with more substance than bombast was a welcome respite. Cuba is experiencing its worst food crisis in decades, and that at last may spur changes to its confused and market-distorting dual-currency system. And geopolitics sticks its beak into an enormous annual bird migration.

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Oct 08, 2020
Clerical era: Iraq in a hard place
00:19:30

A pilgrimage that is sure to become a covid-19 hotspot is a sign of how much the country’s government is losing legitimacy to its clergymen and tribal leaders. Social-media giants’ efforts to scrub violent content from their platforms simultaneously hobbles efforts to bring war criminals to justice. And why south-west England may soon be reviving its long-lost mining industry. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 07, 2020
Sailing into the wind: Boris Johnson
00:22:18

Britain’s prime minister will outline big wind-energy plans at his party’s annual conference, even as the pandemic and Brexit blow his government off course. The sombre tone at a thanksgiving festival in Ethiopia reveals how the country’s largest ethnic group is not getting the reforms it was promised. And a carcinogenic nut that remains wildly popular in China.

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Oct 06, 2020
Ill-disposed: Trump’s hospital stay
00:21:58

Amid a flurry of conflicting information over the weekend, details of Donald Trump’s progress and prognosis remain worryingly unclear. How will this brush with the virus change the campaign, or the president? Asia’s migrant workers had difficult, precarious lives that the pandemic made even worse; only now are matters improving. And the perplexing preponderance of Albanian pop stars. 

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Oct 05, 2020
In Syria’s trouble: an embattled despot digs in
00:22:02

Unexpected defeats at rebels’ hands, a cratered economy, a hungry citizenry and a runaway covid-19 epidemic: can anything unseat Bashar al-Assad? When Germany reunified, many worried it would upset the balance of Europe; 30 years on and if anything the country must wield more of its power. And celebrating the centenary of Agatha Christie’s most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 02, 2020
Enclave on edge: Armenia and Azerbaijan
00:19:47

The region of Nagorno-Karabakh has been the subject of dispute and skirmishes for decades—but the current conflict threatens to draw in both Turkey and Russia. Rule changes accelerated by the pandemic have revealed a better way to handle early-stage abortions. And, unravelling the mystery of the funnel-web spider’s deadly bite. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 01, 2020
Shoutshow: Trump and Biden clash
00:23:41

America’s first presidential debate was unmitigated chaos, revealing little more than the rancour between the candidates. In Chicago a newish musical genre called drill has a strong relation to the city’s gang violence; we ask whether it is a causal one. And amid a global rise in hand-washing, we look at the fascinating, fragrant history of soap.

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Sep 30, 2020
No-tax-and-spend policy: Trump’s tax returns
00:21:57

Just ahead of the first presidential debate, a trove of tax documents suggests the president has some staggeringly loss-making businesses and a staggering amount of debt coming due. We examine China’s pledge to become carbon-neutral by 2060 and what it will have to do to get there. And why a Swiss referendum campaign involved a giant game of pick-up-sticks.

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Sep 29, 2020
Bench press: Trump’s Supreme Court pick
00:23:11

On gun rights, abortion policy and health care Amy Coney Barrett, the seemingly unstoppable successor to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, will shift the court’s balance for decades. In China, the visually impaired are usually shuffled off to the massage industry; we meet blind students with greater ambitions. And tracing the origins of the boring supermarket spud. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Sep 28, 2020
Another matter: the Breonna Taylor verdict
00:23:13

A grand jury’s decision has re-energised months-long protests. We ask how much another tragic death at the hands of police may spur meaningful reforms. A once-fringe movement to “re-wild” the Highlands of Scotland is gaining momentum. And how the promising German startup incubator Rocket Internet left shareholders on the launchpad.

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Sep 25, 2020
Winter is coming: covid-19’s next phase
00:24:13

Soon the pandemic will have claimed a million lives. We take a broad look at what has been learned—and the deadly mistakes still being made. Our correspondent visits Wuhan, site of the first known outbreak, to find a city that beneath the surface has much healing yet to do. And a close look at New York’s much-loved, much-derided accent.

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Sep 24, 2020
America’s next top chamber, modelled: the Senate battle
00:22:55

Congressional elections will decide the direction of America’s governance irrespective of the presidential pick; we reveal our statistical model of the Senate races. Tesla steals the headlines in the electric-vehicle stakes, but a vast, global industry is nipping at its heels. And remembering the astrophysicist who explained the celestial light show of the aurorae.

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Sep 23, 2020
Stumbling block: the battle over WeChat
00:22:11

The Trump administration’s bid to block the Chinese app has been stymied—for now. The tussle reflects a change in how America does business, and how the internet itself may evolve. Migration in the Mediterranean is picking up again; the pandemic is making it even more perilous and political. And Japan’s canned-coffee obsession steams ahead in foreign markets.

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Sep 22, 2020
Judge dread: the fight for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat
00:22:47

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a liberal icon. Her death last week opens a Supreme Court vacancy for Donald Trump to fill, which could tip the court further right ahead of what might be a legally fraught election. And there is nothing that Democrats can do about it. The majority of land in Africa is neither mapped nor documented. People who can’t prove that they own their land, cannot unlock its value. That is holding back the continent’s economies. And Japan may be famous for its slick and speedy bullet trains. But the country’s rural railways have reached the end of the line. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Sep 21, 2020
Uneasy lies the head: Thailand’s under-fire king
00:23:45

Thailand is bracing for a large anti-government protest, with some of the anger directed at the usually-revered monarchy. Some fear that the establishment’s patience will snap, with bloody results. Freemasonry has been one of the most contagious ideas of the modern age, spreading to every corner of the world. But the number of masons is shrinking. And in Britain, social distancing may have shut nightclubs. But many ravers don’t tech-no for an answer. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Sep 18, 2020
Conviction politics: Florida’s disenfranchised felons
00:22:33

More than a million former felons in Florida regained the right to vote in 2018. Last week, many of them lost it again. We look at the barriers to voting in America. Colombia’s militarised police force are khaki-klad, poorly paid and heavy-handed. A case of police brutality has now provoked big protests and calls for reform. And in the Netherlands, covid-carrying Minks have been spared the slaughterhouse. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Sep 17, 2020
Sanctuary in Sochi: Belarus’ dictator clings on
00:20:59

Belarus dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, has travelled to Sochi amid major protests at home to ask Vladimir Putin for help. We examine whether he will get it—and what the price might be. The possible discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus could be a tantalising hint of life beyond Earth. And K-Pop, marred by sexual abuse scandals, is shedding its misogynistic image. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Sep 16, 2020
After Abe: Japan’s new prime minister
00:21:12

Japan’s new prime minister will be Yoshihide Suga, the son of a strawberry farmer from the country’s rural north. We look at whether he can step into the shoes of Abe Shinzo and revive Japan’s troubled economy. America may be leaving the World Health Organisation, but the institution has handled the pandemic well. And the standing of dogs in Islam is hounding clerics. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Sep 15, 2020
Homework: the future of the office
00:21:31

The pandemic has been a giant experiment in working from home. We examine whether workers are happier and more productive using Zoom in their pyjamas than commuting in a suit. In the southern hemisphere, the seasonal flu seems to have faded, as a happy byproduct of lockdown and social distancing. And an obituary for one of Pol Pot’s murderous lieutenants. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Sep 14, 2020
Great walls of fire: America’s west coast burns
00:21:25

Relentless climate change will make devastating blazes more likely; urbanisation in woodland areas will make them more costly. Prevention measures could help—if updated and widened. “Anti-vaxxers” may undermine coming covid-vaccination efforts; we examine the history of a baseless and dangerous movement. And things turn nasty among the biker gangs of northern Europe. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Sep 11, 2020
Genocidal intent? Deserters recount Rohingya atrocities
00:22:50

Two Burmese soldiers have described in harrowing detail what has long been alleged: that the army targeted Muslim-minority Rohingya in a programme of ethnic cleansing. America’s Department of State has been hollowed out and wholly demoralised—and that has dire implications for global diplomacy. And a wildly popular Chinese television show reveals shifting mores for thirty-somethings.

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Sep 10, 2020
Unpicking the thread: forced labour in Xinjiang
00:21:37

Sanctions are tightening around the Chinese province amid suspicions of forced labour. Western firms that are reliant on the region’s cotton and other commodities are in a bind. The pandemic has shown the merits of some governments’ digitised bureaucracies, but rushing the digital shift comes with risks. And how Canada’s border closures threaten a tiny town in remotest Alaska. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Sep 09, 2020
Subcontinental drift: India’s covid spike
00:20:50

A hurried lockdown early in the pandemic has cratered the country’s economy, and infection rates are now shooting up. More suffering lies ahead, on both counts. The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo has failed for 20 years running, and now there is pressure for it to decamp. And the transatlantic tale of the baked bean.

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Sep 08, 2020
Pact unpacked: wobbly Brexit talks
00:20:47

Negotiations on Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with Europe were floundering—even before revelations it may essentially rewrite parts of the last pact it struck. Since the space race’s early days, satellites have been involved in defence. Now a new threat looms: armed conflict between the satellites themselves. And a card game reveals the Lebanese people’s resilience and dark sense of humour.

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Sep 07, 2020
Back to the future-planning: France
00:22:29

Alongside a green-minded, 100bn-euro stimulus, President Emmanuel Macron’s recovery plan borrows ideas from the post-war past to imagine a post-covid future. The mysterious arrest of Paul Rusesabagina, hero of the film “Hotel Rwanda”, shows just how far the country’s leaders will go to suppress dissent. And a careful, revealing study of nappy prices across Europe. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Sep 04, 2020
Rough seas and safe seats: Caribbean elections
00:21:27

The outcome of Jamaica’s election isn’t much in doubt. What’s uncertain is how the wider Caribbean can handle rock-bottom tourism and looming hurricane risks amid the pandemic. North Korea’s leadership at last admitted to the hardships of covid-19; the coming human cost could rival that of the famine in the 1990s. And why African countries put out so many unlikely stamps.

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Sep 03, 2020
In a class, by themselves: pupils head back to school
00:21:34

Millions of schoolchildren are heading back to classes, many of them online. We examine the evidence on virtual learning and how it deepens inequalities. Dubai is a glittering financial hub, connecting the Middle East, Asia and Europe—but to keep its position it will have to shed its dirty-money reputation. And why the pandemic has readers pulling weighty classics from shelves.

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Sep 02, 2020
Integration, differentiation: migrants in Germany
00:22:21

Five years ago, a vast wave of migrants and refugees began to spill into the country. We examine their fates amid a tangle of bureaucracy. Even for the uninfected, the coronavirus has caused widespread “collective trauma”; we ask about its effects and how to heal from it. And Palestinians sneak to the beach as security forces look the other way.

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Sep 01, 2020
Ill be going: Abe Shinzo’s legacy
00:19:39

Japan’s longest-serving prime minister leaves behind a mixed bag of policy successes and shortcomings. We examine his legacy and ask what his successor faces. The annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole—online, of course—revealed research suggesting today’s economic woes will ring down for decades to come. And the curious appeal of in-flight meals eaten on terra firma.

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Aug 31, 2020
Shot down, in flames: Kenosha, Wisconsin
00:20:50

Another shooting of an unarmed black man by police has reopened wounds still not healed after George Floyd’s killing—and, like all else, the unrest is being politicised. Montenegro’s president is Europe’s longest-serving leader, but anti-government sentiment has mounted ahead of Sunday’s election. And a look back on the life of Julian Bream, who restored the reputation of the classical guitar.

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Aug 28, 2020
Team-building exercise: America’s Middle East diplomacy
00:22:36

American officials hope more Arab states will follow the United Arab Emirates in normalising relations with Israel; the groundwork for that has been quietly laid for years. Not every expectant mother wants all those doctors and nurses fussing over them; we take a look at the increasing politicisation of childbirth. And a step change for robots that can walk. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 27, 2020
The grande scheme of things: corruption in Mexico
00:22:15

The former head of the state-owned oil firm has presented stunning claims of high-level graft. Are they credible, and will the president pursue them? Museum curators usually try to add to their collections, but a new generation steeped in the restitution debate is doing just the opposite. And a data-led analysis of the suggestion that Twitter suppresses conservative views. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 26, 2020
Insecurity services? Alexei Navalny’s poisoning
00:22:45

Doctors believe Russia’s opposition leader was poisoned, and suspicion naturally falls on the Kremlin. Why might the country’s leadership have taken such a risk? For LGBT people coming out is, in many places, far easier and more commonplace than it once was—thanks in part to the internet. And why a younger generation is shunning Laos’s traditional ant-egg soup. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 25, 2020
Isle take it: Turkey’s adventures in the Med
00:21:22

The considerable oil and gas reserves beneath the eastern Mediterranean have sparked Turkey’s interest—as well as a number of disputes in the region and beyond. China’s leaders like to say their country has history’s longest-surviving civilisation; now a new archaeological site allegedly offers some proof. And the grave risk to the world’s tallest trees. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 24, 2020
In over its head of state: Mali’s coup
00:21:43

The military has again ousted the president, after months of protests and years of ethnic violence. Fresh elections or no, whoever comes out on top faces a tough job. We survey the pandemic-era dining-out landscape, finding that restaurants are about so much more than the food. And the Chinese trawlers that are stripping the rich waters of the Galapagos. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 21, 2020
Not free, not fair, not finished: Belarus’s election
00:21:30

Huge protests following a rigged election reveal that the people have had enough of “Europe’s last dictator”, Alexander Lukashenko. How long can he hang on? Indonesia’s leaders risk repeating an environmental disaster on Borneo, allegedly in the name of food security. And checking the writing chops of the world’s best-read artificial intelligence. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 20, 2020
Blast from the past: a long-awaited verdict in Lebanon
00:22:10

For 15 years, the truck-bomb killing of a former prime minister went unpunished. But an even more devastating recent blast overshadowed a court’s ruling on the culprits. Chinese students hoping to study in America have been caught in the middle of the countries’ rising animus—not for the first time. And the origins of all the hair in Nigeria’s wildly popular wigs.

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Aug 19, 2020
From Chapo to Mencho: Mexico’s cartels
00:23:14

Mexico’s new top cartel, led by a kingpin called El Mencho, has taken the country’s shocking violence to a terrifyingly brazen new level. In Tunisia, ten years after a self-immolation sparked the Arab Spring, voters are disillusioned with democracy and even nostalgic for the old days. And reflecting on the pianist who lost the use of his right hand, and reinvented his playing around his left. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 18, 2020
Insufficient postage: the fight over America’s mail service
00:21:23

The US Postal Service is one of America’s most popular and necessary public institutions. Now it is at the centre of a battle over November’s election. The growth of microfinance in Cambodia has been for the most part positive, but the pandemic is posing challenges to its sustainability. And if you want to buy a used Airbus A380, it’s a buyer’s market. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 17, 2020
To a concerning degree: dire climate assessments
00:22:20

Recent reports paint a dark picture, from heatwaves to hurricanes to high-water marks. But some promising trends—and pandemic-era economics—provide reasons for hope. We examine the night-time economy of the very swankiest parties, discovering a kind of beauty brokerage at work behind the scenes. And what baseball season reveals for other sports that yearn for a return. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 14, 2020
Youngish, gifted and black: Kamala Harris
00:20:34

Joe Biden’s choice of running mate is simultaneously groundbreaking and conventional, and reveals much about the state of the Democratic party. In China, a surprise court ruling draws attention to the plight of oft-overlooked LGBT people in the workplace. And Japan’s broad push for self-driving ships. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 13, 2020
Therein Lai’s a tale: Hong Kong’s revealing arrests
00:22:09

The dramatic arrest of Jimmy Lai, a pro-democracy newspaper owner, reveals just how enthusiastically Beijing’s new security law will be deployed to quash any dissent. A reservoir is filling behind an enormous new dam in Ethiopia—and that has soured relations with Egypt downriver. And why Britain’s “urban explorers” may soon have far fewer derelict buildings to conquer.

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Aug 12, 2020
Buy now, save later: financing vaccine candidates
00:22:58

As clinical trials progress, policymakers must determine how heavily to fund the pre-emptive manufacture of candidate vaccines, and how to distribute the successful ones. Given Britain’s bungled pandemic response, the separatist mood in Scotland has surged to record levels. And travel tips from the vloggers of illegal migration.

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Aug 11, 2020
Bytes and pieces: America’s Chinese-tech attack
00:21:03

First it was Bytedance’s app TikTok, now it’s Tencent’s WeChat: the Trump administration’s fervour to ban or dismantle wildly popular Chinese apps is increasing. In these straitened times, employees naturally worry that robots and software are coming for jobs—but the pandemic may actually slow that transition. And Britain’s government suggests slimming down even as it subsidises meals out.

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Aug 10, 2020
That history should not repeat: Hiroshima’s storytellers
00:22:24

Survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings are now in their eighties. A new generation is learning to tell their tales, in hopes of preventing more atomic tragedies. Belarus’s president of 26 years will probably win in Sunday’s election, but an invigorated—and unexpected—opposition has him on the back foot. And the horror movie that will make you nervous to use Zoom. 

Additional archive courtesy of Soka Gakkai Women’s Peace Committee. Additional sounds by InspectorJ at Freesound.org. 

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Aug 07, 2020
A broken system, a broken city: Beirut
00:22:30

Some 300,000 people are homeless after an explosion of unthinkable size. The culprit appears to be sheer negligence, brought on by a broken system of governance. The Economist’s data team has updated its excess-death tracker, giving ever-better insight into just how deadly covid-19 is. And the tricky trade-offs for both bosses and workers as they return to the office. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 06, 2020
One nation, under gods? India’s divisive temple
00:20:38

Consecration at Ayodhya, the country’s most contested holy site, is another tick box in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist agenda. Is India’s foundational secularism at risk? The pandemic has been particularly cruel for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s; we examine new research that gives them a ray of hope. And the massive, wheel-terms growth in e-bike sales. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 05, 2020
Going old Turkey: a regional power spreads
00:19:37

Since the Arab spring the country has vastly expanded its military and diplomatic efforts—filling an evident power vacuum and harking back to the days of the Ottoman Empire. Tanzania’s economy was recently upgraded to “middle-income” status, but our analysis suggests something is fishy in its data. And why an Athens hotel will have two floors lopped off its top. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 04, 2020
Ballot blocks: the squeeze on Hong Kong
00:23:54

The territory’s elections have been postponed, its activists barred from running—police are even targeting them abroad. What next for the democracy movement? We ask whether the global protests about race will affect rampant discrimination in Arab countries, most of which host a minority black population. And the solution to a viniferous mystery that dates back a century and a half. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Aug 03, 2020
Living larger: Google’s challenges
00:22:25

Enormous growth over 22 years has brought challenges, both from within and from outside; we examine the tech behemoth’s prospects. Wealth has always exploded wherever humans interacted more—and so have epidemics. We look back on the historical links between economic success and hygiene. And Dubai tries to lure tourists for its sweltering summer season. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jul 31, 2020
Barriers to entry: covid-19 and migration
00:22:56

The crisis has disproportionately squeezed migrants and has given many leaders an excuse to tighten borders. Will the restrictions outlast the pandemic? Balkan countries were notorious for organised crime in the 1990s—but a new report suggests the next generation of tech-savvy gangsters is even more formidable. And a look at this summer’s clutch of Mars missions.

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Jul 30, 2020
One mightily damaging backstory: 1MDB
00:23:30

Five years ago a $4.5bn hole in a development fund scrambled Malaysia’s politics. Now the inquiry has claimed its first scalp: that of Najib Razak, a former prime minister. We examine the grand shift of business to “shadow banks”—a more innovative, if less regulated, end of the industry. And we join a mushroom-picking expedition in China’s Yunnan province. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jul 29, 2020
Feds up: Trump orders troops on America’s streets
00:21:08

Camouflaged personnel with no insignia, protesters bundled into unmarked vans: the President Donald Trump's plan to put federal officers into American cities is a worrying political ploy. Our annual Big Mac index examines which currencies are over- and undervalued; we take a meaty look at what burgernomics reveals. And Indian scientists simultaneously solve a water problem while taming a fire problem. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jul 28, 2020
Bat out of elsewhere? Tracing SARS-CoV-2’s origins
00:20:08

Scientists are looking to South-East Asia to find how the virus got its start in humans. Knowing that could head off future pandemics. It is often hard to blame climate change unequivocally for weather events, but there is no other explanation for this year’s searing Arctic temperatures. And why well-to-do Africans are shopping around for more permissive passports. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jul 27, 2020
For old timers’ sake: covid-19 and care homes
00:22:55

The pandemic has taken its greatest toll in the world’s nursing homes—but the systemic problems surrounding elderly care long predate covid-19. Economists’ usual barometers have gone topsy-turvy during the crisis, so statisticians are turning to “real-time” data; we ask if these novel measures measure up. And reflecting on the life of America’s civil-rights icon John Lewis.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jul 24, 2020
Without a trace: Israel’s covid-19 spike
00:20:13

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has gone from boasting about progress to battling protests as the country’s contact-tracing programme has been overwhelmed. Early and extreme seasonal floods in China have already displaced nearly 2m people, raising questions about the country’s grand river-management promises. And the boom in bedtime stories...for adults.

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Jul 23, 2020
Full-meddle racket: Britain’s “Russia Report”
00:22:46

It remains unclear whether influence and misinformation campaigns have had significant effects on Britain’s institutions, or its elections—but only because successive administrations chose not to look. For decades, Myanmar was a heroin supplier to the world; now a methamphetamine-production boom has created a domestic mess, too. And spotting the brightest comet in decades.

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Jul 22, 2020
Grant them strength, or loan it: Europe’s historic deal
00:22:05

After days of gruelling debate, European leaders have agreed a recovery plan. It includes, for the first time, taking on collective debt—to the tune of hundreds of billions of euros. Jihadism has been growing in Africa’s Sahel region; now it’s spilling into neighbouring states. In one of them, Burkina Faso, a charity is helping prisoners break out...into the music business.

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Jul 21, 2020
Cheques imbalances: America’s partisan stimulus battle
00:21:28

As Congress reconvenes and covid-19 rages largely unabated, the biggest question is how much to prop up the economy—and how to get past partisan rancour about it. With slumping oil prices and a pile of long-term worries, the oil-and-gas industry is looking to offload its dirtiest, most difficult assets. And international polling data suggest that money really can buy happiness.  

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Jul 20, 2020
Laughing all the way: banks’ pandemic windfall
00:22:55

Pandemic panic has subsided, and economic pain deferred—so far. But never mind investment banks’ recent triumphs; uncertainty still abounds. Brazil once had a robust “no contact” policy for its isolated indigenous tribes, but missionaries and miners are closing in. And a notorious Sardinian mobster is on the run once again.

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Jul 17, 2020
No school, hard knocks: developing-world students hit hard
00:23:09

For many of the 1.5bn pupils affected by school closures, fewer lessons just means more labour—or worse. That spells a lifetime of lost earnings, and lost childhoods. Executive pay has long been in the spotlight, but the pandemic may at last spur some pay cuts. And why Cartagena, the “pearl of the Caribbean”, doesn’t want its old tourism industry back. 

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Jul 16, 2020
Eastern exposure: Russia’s telling protests
00:22:45

The arrest of a popular governor in the country’s far east has sparked unrest that reveals President Vladimir Putin’s waning legitimacy—and hints at repression to come. Turkey’s president has turned the stunning Hagia Sophia museum back into a mosque; the distraction tactic is unlikely to work. And why today marks the end of the road for the Segway. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jul 15, 2020
Crude awakening: the Arab world after oil
00:19:51

Historic price fluctuations are hastening a post-oil transition that many Arab countries were already contemplating. That could foment plenty of unrest, but also some much-needed reforms. Not many Americans had, until recently, relied on midwifery. Now business is booming—and that has big public-health benefits. And a much-needed update to the old saw that work expands to fill the time available. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jul 14, 2020
Binary choice: a tech cold war looms
00:21:36

Tensions between China and America are hastening a global technology-industry split. That is not just inefficient; it will have far-reaching geopolitical implications. Today’s scheduled federal execution in America runs counter to the public’s growing discomfort with the death penalty. And a look back at the composer Ennio Morricone and his most profound working relationship.

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Jul 13, 2020
Return to centre? Poland’s presidential run-off
00:21:17

Integration or isolation? Conservative family values or liberal ones? The knife-edge election will decide Poland’s direction for years, and will send a signal to populist leaders throughout Europe. We examine the long battle against HIV/AIDS and what lessons it holds for dealing with covid-19. And why some penguins like ice less than you might think. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jul 10, 2020
Centrifugal force: attacks on Iran
00:22:28

Another strike, evidently on a nuclear-fuel centrifuge facility, is being blamed on Israel—and, by extension, America. It is just the kind of tactic that the abandoned nuclear deal would have obviated. Eastern Europe’s treatment of its drug users runs counter to the “harm-reduction” policies that Europe pioneered decades ago. And faith-based streaming services get a big slice of the pious.

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Jul 09, 2020
In front, and centred: Joe Biden
00:22:02

The former vice-president has shifted leftward with his party, but it is his centrist tendencies that make him electable—and could permit him to effect radical change. Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, is reshuffling the government; why has he chosen a largely unknown mayor as the new prime minister? And the rhymes and reasons behind rap music’s surge in the Arab world. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jul 08, 2020
Off like a shot: the race for a covid-19 vaccine
00:21:51

A British team is leading the race for the one innovation that could, in time, halt the coronavirus crisis. But once a vaccine is approved, who would get it, where, and how fast? An Ethiopian musician’s murder has inflamed the ethnic tensions that threaten the country’s transition to democracy. And a rollicking tale of sloppy spycraft in Fiji.

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Jul 07, 2020
Attention deficit: China’s campaign against Uighurs
00:23:17

Unparalleled surveillance, forced labour, even allegations of ethnic cleansing: atrocities in Xinjiang province carry on. Why are governments and businesses so loth to protest? The field of economics is, at last, facing up to its long-standing race problem. And how covid-19 is scrambling Scandinavians’ stereotypes about one another.

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Jul 06, 2020
Into left field? America's chief justice
00:23:32

Recent Supreme Court rulings might seem like a leftward shift. But Chief Justice John Roberts is leaving loopholes for future conservative challenges. China’s video-sharing social network TikTok was wildly popular in India, until the government pulled the plug this week. And why high-end Bordeaux wines are so (relatively) cheap.

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Jul 03, 2020
Unsettled question: Israel’s annexation threat
00:22:07

A once-fringe position on annexing the West Bank is now a real prospect. But both international support and opposition are lukewarm; not even Israelis think it a priority. For years, war-crimes allegations hung over Kosovo’s president. Now a court has weighed in—undercutting long-running territorial talks with Serbia. And why flashy homes in Sierra Leone’s capital are taxed the same as tin-roofed shacks.

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Jul 02, 2020
Two systems go: a new law grips Hong Kong
00:22:52

A sweeping new national-security law deeply undermines Beijing’s “one country, two systems” approach in the territory; under it, arrests have already been made. What next for Hong Kong’s activists and its businesses? Malawi’s overturned election is a ray of hope that democracy can survive both incumbents’ strongman tactics and covid-19. And the varied successes of pro- and anti-Trump tell-all books. 

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Jul 01, 2020
The next threat: confronting global risks
00:25:04

Six months on from the first reports of the coronavirus, this special episode examines the catastrophic and even existential risks to civilisation. Work is already under way to head off future pandemics, but how to prepare—and who can take on preparing—for the gravest threats with the longest odds?

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Jun 30, 2020
States of alarm: America’s covid-19 surge
00:21:13

An entirely predictable pattern is playing out: the states quickest to exit lockdowns are being hit hardest. Can the country get the virus reliably under control? The pandemic has led to staggering amounts of excess plastic waste, now washing up on shores near you. And the growing risks to South Korea’s tradition of bullfighting. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 29, 2020
Council insecurity: the UN at 75
00:23:14

The founders of the United Nations expected it would move with the times. It hasn’t. Can reforms keep all those nations united? The global focus on policing following George Floyd’s death has sparked a reckoning for television shows that distort Americans’ views of cops. And with this weekend’s Glastonbury festival long since postponed, we ask how live music will survive the pandemic. 

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Jun 26, 2020
Rush to a conclusion: Latin America’s lockdowns
00:22:19

After scattershot enforcement of lockdowns, the region has become the pandemic’s new focal point. But many countries are opening up anyway. America’s latest choke on immigration is aligned with the president’s politics—but not with the tech industry’s needs. And southern France faces a tourist season sans tourists.

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Jun 25, 2020
Leave in peace: Afghan-Taliban negotiations
00:20:36

A withdrawal agreement struck with America has been damnably hard to implement, but the two sides may at last start talks to crimp nearly two decades of conflict. Wirecard, once the darling of Germany’s financial-technology scene, is now at the centre of a massive scandal—and plenty saw it coming. And big wins by national football teams in Africa help ease internecine violence.

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Jun 24, 2020
Past its Prime? Amazon comes of age
00:24:25

The pandemic has been great for sales; for profits, not so much. We examine the e-commerce giant’s prospects as it adapts to a changing world. Throughout history pandemics have helped to shape human conflicts, and covid-19 is no different. And reflecting on the life of an Amazonian storyteller, medicine man and unlikely film star.

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Jun 23, 2020
Isle be damned: Britain ravaged by covid-19
00:20:35

Cosmopolitan, overweight, multi-ethnic: the country’s makeup has made the pandemic more deadly. But the government has repeatedly played a bad hand badly. Native American communities are being hit hard, too, putting tribal customs and even languages at risk. And why China’s company seals hold such power—and potential for abuse.

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Jun 22, 2020
Syria’s condition: Bashar al-Assad
00:22:03

The country’s dictator has spent nearly half his time in power waging war on his own people. His patchwork support network is fading, but he will not go easily. America’s racial unrest has put reparations back in the national conversation—but how best to pay slaves’ descendants, and how much? And the antiquated etiquette lessons required of South Asia’s civil servants. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 19, 2020
Painting the red towns: covid-19 in America
00:21:57

Coronavirus cases are easing in Democrat-held jurisdictions and rising in Republican-held areas. What is behind the shift, and what will it mean for President Donald Trump? Ireland at last has a coalition-government plan—upending a nearly century-old rivalry in order to keep the Irish-nationalist party Sinn Fein out of power. And a nine-year-old hopes to become the world’s youngest-ever chess grandmaster.

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Jun 18, 2020
Himalayan assault: India and China clash
00:20:07

The first deaths at the contested border in 45 years signal broader geopolitical shifts—and mark an escalation that will be difficult to reverse. “Mercenary” is less and less a dirty word in Africa; in fact, there may be more of them than ever before. And how the art business increasingly relies on marketing the dead.

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Jun 17, 2020
No port in a storm: the world’s stranded sailors
00:21:52

Pandemic policies seem to have overlooked the key workers who keep the global trade system afloat: merchant seamen. More than a quarter of a million are at sea unwillingly. Misinformation was a plague even before covid-19. Now it’s a matter of life and death—and of political persuasion. And why pedigree puppies are so pricey in Britain. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 16, 2020
A shifting alliance: NATO
00:21:21

As the organisation’s defence ministers meet this week we look at two of its principal challenges: China’s rising influence and America’s declining interest. After more than three decades, a grand murder mystery has been solved in Sweden—but the outcome has many more frustrated than before. And why there is a matchmaking boom in Japan. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 15, 2020
Heavy lifting: India’s lockdown tradeoffs
00:22:03

As the world’s largest lockdown loosens, we examine how it went wrong and the challenges ahead for a health-care system pushed to its limits. As statues fall across the globe our culture correspondent considers how they represent shifting values and hierarchies—and when they should go. And economists weigh in once again on the phenomenon of winning streaks. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 12, 2020
Spend, sometime: Germany’s economic shift
00:21:46

After decades as the continent’s penny-pincher, the country seems to be splashing out. That isn’t just a covid-19 response; a big thrift shift was already under way. Burundi’s brutal outgoing president of 15 years has died. Will his chosen successor be any better? And after some serious number-crunching, The Economist launches its US presidential forecast.

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Jun 11, 2020
Haftar be going now: the balance shifts in Libya
00:20:10

Tripoli has long been under siege by Khalifa Haftar, a warlord bent on toppling the internationally backed government. At last he has been pushed back from the capital; now what? North Korea is no longer taking calls from the South, but that is probably a diplomatic distraction from big problems at home. And how Ikea is assembling its post-covid