The Intelligence

By The Economist

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Subscribers: 2488
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
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 slinks 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.

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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-election model.

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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 future. 

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Jun 10, 2020
Cops, a plea: police reform in America
00:21:08

George Floyd will be laid to rest today; our obituaries editor reflects on his life and untimely death. His murder has fuelled a long-overdue discussion of America’s fragmented and unaccountable police forces. How much could yesterday’s sweeping congressional bill actually fix? For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 09, 2020
Say his name, and others’: American protests spread globally
00:21:57

Far beyond America’s shores demonstrators are calling for justice in their own countries. It’s an awkward time for America’s allies, and a fortuitous one for its rivals. Labour-market swings during recessions are normally a measure of male employees’ moves—but not this time. And why the video-games industry is raiding its own back catalogue.

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Jun 08, 2020
Not everything in moderation: Twitter v Facebook
00:22:01

The seemingly similar social networks have quite different business models—and that goes some way in explaining why they choose to police their content differently. Emmanuel Macron again finds himself changing course after members of his party defect. And move over, doctors: literature by nurses is at last hitting bookshelves.

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Jun 05, 2020
This, too, shall impasse: Brexit talks resume
00:21:23

The pandemic has made negotiations more difficult and changed the political calculus on both sides. Prospects for a deal before year’s end are dimming. After more than two decades on the lam, an alleged architect of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide is headed to court. And how archaeologists use “soundscapes” and replica instruments to examine past civilisations. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

 

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Jun 04, 2020
Forgoing the distance: covid-19 spreads in Brazil
00:22:10

Even those who can distance themselves are unsure whether to do so—in part because President Jair Bolsonaro mocks the science and rails against lockdowns. The private-equity industry has ballooned since the last financial crisis; does that make it weaker or stronger in this one? And our correspondent investigates a Mexican-mummy mystery. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

 

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Jun 03, 2020
An epidemic of hunger: covid-19 and poverty
00:19:53

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

 

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Jun 02, 2020
The flames spread: protests in America
00:22:05

Demonstrations against police violence have only amplified. We ask why George Floyd’s death touched a nerve, and why these events keep happening in America. A look at the country’s cyber-defences reveals considerable weaknesses—what are states to do as electronic attacks outpace the conventional kind? And what museums are doing now to document the history unfolding around them.

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Jun 01, 2020
Crying foul, again: Black Lives Matter
00:21:41

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

 

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May 29, 2020
Checking their privilege: Beijing’s threat to Hong Kong
00:21:18

China’s parliament voted today to draft legislation that would utterly undermine the territory’s independence. What now for protesters, for Western powers, for the region’s foreign firms? The pandemic has quashed some crimes but has also created new nefarious opportunities. And it may be closing time for the golden age of the booze business.

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May 28, 2020
Leading nowhere: assessing Trump’s covid-19 response
00:22:42

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

 

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May 27, 2020
Shot chasers: big pharma’s covid-19 boost
00:20:46

The pandemic has caused a shift in how drug firms are viewed: their capacity for big-money innovation will give them immunity in the crisis. Widespread homeworking will have broad consequences, from commercial-property values to urban demographics. And a seemingly innocuous Hong Kong history exam is a window into the territory’s increasingly fraught politics. 

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May 26, 2020
Clear skies with a chance: covid-19’s green opportunity
00:22:16

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

 

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May 25, 2020
Systemic concerns: China’s party congress
00:23:06

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

 

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May 22, 2020
Swimming against the currency: Turkey
00:18:46

A central bank struggling for independence, dwindling foreign reserves to prop up the currency and a president who just hates rates: Turkey’s economy looked shaky even before covid-19. Online dating carries on apace amid lockdowns, and it seems people are forging more emotionally intimate bonds. And the risk that humans might pass the coronavirus to their primate cousins.

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May 21, 2020
Politics trumps co-operation: the WHO’s annual meeting
00:22:35

Rhetoric and posturing at the World Health Organisation’s annual assembly reveal an agency under geopolitical stresses just when global co-operation is needed most. Illegal logging has become an existential threat for the Amazon; under the cover of covid-19, a new bill in Brazil could hasten its decline. And reflections on the vast musical legacy of Kraftwerk’s Florian Schneider.

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May 20, 2020
Extreme measures: America’s far right
00:21:10

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

 

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May 19, 2020
Carriers and the disease: the airlines set for hard landings
00:21:30

Which firms will fly above the covid-19 clouds? Big, low-cost carriers with strong finances seem likeliest, but either way consolidation is inevitable. The Indian state of Kerala seems to be handling its outbreak far better than others; blame an unassuming but wildly popular health minister. And whether New York’s beloved Irish pubs will craic on past the pandemic.

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May 18, 2020
Continental divides: covid-19 strains the EU
00:21:02

What started as a public-health crisis is developing into an existential one. The most fundamental question to be addressed is: what is the European Union for? Hopes of helpful change by El Salvador’s millennial president are dimming as he becomes increasingly dictatorial. And why so many Indonesians are draping themselves in the sun.

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May 15, 2020
Bibi steps: Israel’s long-awaited government
00:20:39

After three elections and 16 months, the unity government between sworn rivals Binyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz gets to work tonight. Can it withstand the coming political storms? Frenetic research into the coronavirus is upending some long-established ways of disseminating science, perhaps for good. And we examine the merits of outlawing an awkward job interview question. 

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Editor's note: After publication, the swearing in of Israel's new government was postponed until Sunday.

 

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May 14, 2020
Fool Britannia? A covid-19 response under scrutiny
00:20:29

After a series of government missteps, people in Britain—and, increasingly, outside it—are lambasting the covid-19 response. That has great reputational costs. In a story suited to a television drama, a Filipino network popular with the people but critical of the president has been forced off the air. And our columnist finds surprising modern resonance in a 1950s Argentinian novel. 

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May 13, 2020
Moveable feast: a global food system adapts
00:21:55

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

 

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May 12, 2020
Back to the furore: protests set to reignite
00:21:15

The pandemic overshadowed a striking spate of uprisings around the world. In Lebanon economic conditions have only worsened since—and the protesters are back. A look at urban architecture reveals how past diseases have shaped the world’s cities; we ask how much covid-19 will leave its mark. And, can Corona beer, Latin America’s first global brand, escape its associations with the coronavirus?  

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May 11, 2020
Rises and false: markets v the economy
00:22:00

How can stockmarkets be so healthy when many businesses are so unwell? We look at the many risks that are clearly not priced in. China’s documentary-makers are having to find clever ways to get past censors—which is why one famed filmmaker is just giving his work away online. And remembering a legendary rock-climber who always wanted to find a new way up.

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May 08, 2020
Hitting a Vlad patch: 20 years of Putin
00:20:02

As Russia’s leader marks two decades in power, he faces almighty headwinds—not only covid-19 but also cut-price oil and an increasingly leery citizenry. The pandemic is hitting different tech firms in different ways but on balance it seems to be further consolidating the power of the big ones. And the surprisingly upbeat music that comes about during downturns.

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May 07, 2020
Disarming revelation: a chance at a global ceasefire
00:21:53

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

 

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May 06, 2020
Degrees of separation: universities and covid-19
00:20:26

Many universities were on thin ice financially before the pandemic. Now, with foreign travel slumping and distancing measures the norm, a global reckoning is coming. In many Asian countries, Ramadan seems largely untouched by pandemic-protection measures; we ask why. And the vexing question of how many people live in North Macedonia.

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May 05, 2020
Lives v livelihoods: Africa’s covid-19 tradeoffs
00:20:58

As Nigeria tentatively lifts its lockdown today, we examine the decisions African leaders face: pandemic policies may do more harm than the pandemic itself. There’s a curious dearth of smokers among covid-19’s most severe cases; that may point to a treatment. And on its 150th anniversary, a reflection on the history and the mission of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

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May 04, 2020
Nature, or nurtured? A politicised virus-origin hunt
00:22:29

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

 

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May 01, 2020
Submerging markets: developing economies and covid-19
00:20:49

The pandemic is hitting emerging markets particularly hard, and the crisis is likely to widen the gap between the strongest and the weakest among them. Physical distancing is making life even harder for people with dementia, and their carers. And a few tips on learning a new language in lockdown.

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Apr 30, 2020
Those who can, teach! The case for reopening schools
00:20:56

The world’s students are falling behind and lockdown is only exacerbating prior disparities in their progress; we examine a compelling back-to-school argument. America’s Environmental Protection Agency is rolling back yet more pollution protections, but who stands to gain is unclear. And why so many urban Kenyans understate their salaries to the villagers back home.

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Apr 29, 2020
First, pass the post: Ohio’s vote-by-mail experiment
00:22:52

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

 

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Apr 28, 2020
End transmission: covid-19 in New Zealand
00:20:51

The country is aiming for complete elimination of the coronavirus; so far, so good. But renewed freedom within its borders requires that virtually no one cross them. Restrictions in Europe on movement of agricultural labour could leave crops to rot in the fields. And why cologne is the hand-sanitiser of choice in Turkey.

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Apr 27, 2020
Unsteady states: America’s piecemeal reopening
00:22:38

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


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Apr 24, 2020
Rakhine and ruin: insurgency in Myanmar
00:22:59

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

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Apr 23, 2020
Held in cheque: corporate payouts and covid-19
00:21:00

Even before the pandemic, companies were accused of returning too much money to shareholders. As a recession looms, dividends and share buy-backs should be cut—but not everywhere. Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef is more widespread than ever, and each event makes a full recovery less likely. And the animals are out to play as humans are locked away.

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Apr 22, 2020
Symbols’ status: arrests in Hong Kong
00:21:27

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


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Apr 21, 2020
Restarting Europe’s engine: Germany’s lockdown lightens
00:21:46

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

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Apr 20, 2020
Gross domestic plummet: China’s historic contraction
00:23:22

The covid-19 pandemic has caused the country’s first GDP dip in more than four decades. What struggles still lie ahead for the world’s second-largest economy? Decisive action to help the homeless amid the crisis offers hope for what comes after it. And a look back at the life of Joseph Lowery, a firebrand preacher and rhyming civil-rights activist. 

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Apr 17, 2020
This sequestered isle: Britain’s covid-19 response
00:22:58

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

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Apr 16, 2020
The gloves are on: South Koreans vote
00:19:46

Today’s legislative elections in South Korea are the world’s first to take place amid the covid-19 crisis. How have masked campaigners managed, and how are masked voters likely to respond? “Contact tracing” is crucial in following the coronavirus’s progression; we look into nascent technological approaches to the task. And a look at whether the pandemic will give way to a baby boom.

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Apr 15, 2020
Dis-Kurti-ous: intrigues in Kosovo
00:23:39

We speak to Albin Kurti, a reformist prime minister, after his ouster—and ask how American officials may have played a role in his downfall. Gloomy forecasts will dominate this week’s virtual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, with more countries than ever begging for financial help. And the connection between Instagram, Indonesian lovers and conservative Islam.

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Apr 14, 2020
Opening arguments: Europe’s cautious restart
00:22:07

This week, some European countries are beginning to switch their economies back on, but leaders face a grim trade-off between economic health and public health. Meanwhile, bids to finance Europe’s fiscal-stimulus programmes re-ignite old debates on financial interdependence. And why a bad-boy Belgian is making chocolate in Congo.

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Apr 13, 2020
The fascists and the furious: remembering the 43 Group
00:26:06

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


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Apr 10, 2020
What Viktor’s spoiled: ten years of Orban
00:22:50

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


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Apr 09, 2020
Movement at the epicentre: Wuhan’s lockdown lifts
00:23:53

People are spilling from the Chinese metropolis where the global outbreak took hold. But controls actually remain tight, and authorities’ attempts to spin pandemic into propaganda are not quite working. Mozambique’s rising violence threatens what could be Africa’s largest-ever energy project, in a region that has until now escaped widespread jihadism. And “geomythologists” may have uncovered humans’ oldest tale yet. 

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Apr 08, 2020
States’ evidence: Brazil’s messy covid-19 response
00:23:00

President Jair Bolsonaro still dismisses the disease as “just the sniffles”, so state and local authorities—and the country’s vast slums—have taken matters into their own hands. The physical and mental needs of the world’s locked-down populations are driving a boom in online wellness. And we look back on the life of the French chef who revolutionised English fine dining.

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Apr 07, 2020
An app for that: covid surveillance
00:24:04

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

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Apr 06, 2020
Trough to peak: how high will American unemployment go?
00:22:26

The coronavirus pandemic has sent America’s mighty jobs machine into screeching reverse. How bad might the labour market get? Covid-19 is just one reason why Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, is finding 2020 to be a much harder year than he’d hoped. And we report on the fight to save a 44,000-year-old cave painting.

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Apr 03, 2020
No port of call: coronavirus may sink the cruise industry
00:21:43

Cruise ships had been enjoying a golden era—until covid-19 came along. The pandemic has been a catastrophe for the industry. Stranded passengers have taken ill and even died, ships have been banned from ports, and revenue has collapsed. But lawmakers are unlikely to bail it out. In Sweden, daily life has been pretty normal, despite the coronavirus, but can that continue? And we report on Dutch disease—the language’s unusual affinity for poxy swear words.

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Apr 02, 2020
Wishful thinking: America’s offer to Venezuela
00:22:52

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

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Apr 01, 2020
In need of Comfort: New York's covid-19 crisis
00:23:31

New York is at the centre of America’s—and the world’s—coronavirus crisis. The metropolis has also been caught in a damaging three-way political division, involving three of its native sons. In the Middle East and north Africa, governments have imposed unusually harsh covid-19 crackdowns, but will the authoritarians let up afterwards? And we report on a golden age for African art.

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Mar 31, 2020
Containment or complacency? Covid-19 in Japan
00:22:22

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

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Mar 30, 2020
Life sentences? Prisons and covid-19
00:22:49

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


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Mar 27, 2020
Going to townships: covid-19 threatens Africa
00:22:21

Governments across the continent have had a head start, but that will not address some worrying systemic problems many of them share. Ventilators are now a bottleneck in critical covid-19 care; we ask how many there are, and whether many more would help matters. And voting closes for the enthusiasts nominating a national lichen for Canada. 

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Mar 26, 2020
Fiscal firepower: governments’ covid-19 aid
00:22:36

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


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Mar 25, 2020
Trial, trial again: the race for covid-19 treatments
00:23:26

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

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Mar 24, 2020
Continental shift: covid-19 grips Europe
00:23:33

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


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Mar 23, 2020
Lessons unplanned: school shutdowns spread
00:22:54

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


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Mar 20, 2020
Pandemic, meet politics: the US-China spat
00:21:37

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

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Mar 19, 2020
Drawbridges up: lockdowns and covid-19
00:22:58

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


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Mar 18, 2020
Same old song, and Gantz: fresh coalition talks in Israel
00:22:05

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

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Mar 17, 2020
Flight risk: airlines and covid-19
00:20:59

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

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Mar 16, 2020
Coming two terms with it: Putin’s power grab
00:20:25

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


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Mar 13, 2020
Stimulating discussion: policy responses to covid-19
00:21:12

Britain’s central bank made an emergency cut and released a budget with a whopping £30bn ($38bn) stimulus; we discuss what countries are doing, or should be, to cushion economies against the pandemic. After decades of false starts, laser-based weapons will soon shine on the battlefield. And a look at the legacy and philosophy of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” as it turns 42.

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Mar 12, 2020
Hollywood moment: Harvey Weinstein’s sentencing
00:20:40

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

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Mar 11, 2020
When in Rome...stay put: Italy on lockdown
00:22:43

The unexpected expansion of quarantine measures are a look into the near future of many countries, each facing different social and epidemiological tradeoffs. Slovakia is on the cusp of forming a government with anti-corruption as the new foundational principle—but will it be able to get anything else done? And a look at the social and cognitive benefits of speaking two languages.

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Mar 10, 2020
A day without women: a vast strike in Mexico
00:22:28

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


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Mar 09, 2020
Nevertheless, she persisted: the futility of restricting abortion
00:22:58

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

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Mar 06, 2020
Testing times: the world responds to covid-19
00:22:32

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

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Mar 05, 2020
Joe through a rough patch: Biden’s super Tuesday
00:22:54

The former vice-president stormed a raft of primaries yesterday, setting up a two-horse race to the Democratic nomination. What happens next, though, doesn’t depend entirely on those two. A new study examines subtleties in the “bamboo ceiling” that holds back Asian-American workers. And why wealth divides in English football reveal societal divides, too. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer


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Mar 04, 2020
Caught in the middle: Idlib’s humanitarian disaster
00:22:17

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

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Mar 03, 2020
EU’ve heard this one before: Brexit trade talks
00:21:20

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

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Mar 02, 2020
Playing with fire: Democrats may get Bern
00:23:30

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

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Feb 28, 2020
Delhi melee: India’s citizenship protests
00:21:06

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

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Feb 27, 2020
Clash pipe: Canada’s widening protests
00:22:51

Successive governments have overlooked the concerns of indigenous peoples, and that has elevated a small gas-pipeline protest into a national conflagration. We look back on the life and legacy of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s longest-serving ruler. And the violent turf war in Sri Lanka—between people and elephants.

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Feb 26, 2020
Mitigating circumstances: coronavirus spreads
00:22:48

Global markets tanked yesterday as governments reported startling rises in covid-19 cases. Our correspondents around the world assess countries' differing policies, and the prospects for overcoming the outbreak. There’s chaos and intrigue in Malaysia, where persistent ethnic divides continue to dominate the country’s politics. And why Saturday bus services in Israel are a potent election issue.

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Feb 25, 2020
Peace-meal: ceasefire in Afghanistan
00:22:20

For now, a “reduction in violence” is holding, and a long-awaited agreement hangs in the balance. But can the Taliban and the country’s government engineer a lasting peace? Brazil’s surfers dominate the sport, but perhaps not for long. And the mismatch between teens’ job desires and their prospects.

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Feb 24, 2020
Clerical era: Iran’s elections
00:21:56

In a bid to unite a fractious populace, hardliners barred half of the parliamentary candidates; by silencing moderates, the plan will suppress turnout and deepen the disquiet. We take a look at the rise, fall and this week’s pardon of the “junk-bond king” Michael Milken. And why so few Japanese people use their widely welcomed passports.

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Feb 21, 2020
Uncut emerald: Ireland’s unification prospects
00:22:39

Spurred on by demographic shifts, Brexit and the success of the Sinn Fein party in this month’s election, the once-unthinkable idea of Irish reunification is gaining ground. The IMF is in Lebanon to discuss restructuring the country’s crippling debts; we examine the roots of the economic crisis. And visiting a frigid festival where even the instruments are made from ice.

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Feb 20, 2020
Many hands light of work: China’s 170m migrant workers
00:22:13

Strict controls meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus are affecting many of the country’s villages. Our correspondent visits migrant workers who are trapped and draining their savings. We look into why Boeing’s space-and-defence division, which used to prop up the commercial-aircraft side, is itself losing altitude. And why American politicians’ heights matter so much to their prospects.

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Feb 19, 2020
A friend of mines: America’s explosive policy turn
00:22:06

The Trump administration’s stance on anti-personnel landmines worries many—but also speaks to a future in which the rules of war are uncertain. Britain’s universities are coming to grips with how much the slave trade built them. And why the ads on televised sport aren’t always what they seem.

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Feb 18, 2020
The snails of justice: the International Criminal Court
00:20:44

Sudan’s transitional government has pledged to hand over the country’s brutal former leader to the ICC—could justice for the court’s most-wanted man at last give it credibility? Even with a world-beating renewables push, Norway’s wealth depends on oil; how can it navigate the shifting economics of energy? And the bid to make Los Angeles just a bit less car-dependent.  

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Feb 17, 2020
Another man’s Treasury: Britain’s cabinet upheaval
00:23:55

The dramatic departure of the head of the Treasury reveals Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s desire—and that of his wily chief aide—to take firm hold of the country’s purse strings. A new book finds that a landmark study in psychiatry was not at all what it seemed. And the thumping changes going on in Berlin’s club scene. 

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Additional audio “Dustbin Acid (Super Rhythm Trax)” courtesy Jerome Hill

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Feb 14, 2020
Defence on the defensive: NATO under scrutiny
00:21:00

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

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Feb 13, 2020
Bern turn: New Hampshire’s primary
00:23:06

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

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Feb 12, 2020
Christian Democratic disunion: Germany’s political upheaval
00:22:28

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


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Feb 11, 2020
Trust the process? China’s coronavirus response
00:21:28

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

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Feb 10, 2020
From out of left field: Ireland’s election
00:23:25

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


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Feb 07, 2020
Imperfect call: Trump’s exoneration
00:22:08

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

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Feb 06, 2020
Address change: the State of the Union
00:22:43

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

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Feb 05, 2020
An app-polling delay: Iowa’s caucus chaos
00:21:40

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

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Feb 04, 2020
Economic contagion: Hong Kong
00:21:53

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

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Feb 03, 2020
When one door closes: Brexit day
00:23:50

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

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Jan 31, 2020
Viral hit: the costs of China’s lockdown
00:23:23

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

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Jan 30, 2020
They went that Huawei: Britain’s crucial 5G call
00:22:02

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


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Jan 29, 2020
Showpiece in the Middle East: Trump’s “ultimate deal”
00:23:58

Palestinian leaders have already rejected the American administration’s peace plan. But the proposal is nevertheless politically useful, both for Binyamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump. Our correspondent Nicolas Pelham recounts being detained in Iran last year. He was given a surprising amount of freedom—and made the most of it. And the shrinking American states paying people to move in. 

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Jan 28, 2020
Spread bet: China’s coronavirus quarantine
00:22:55

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


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Jan 27, 2020
Ill-judged: Poland’s rule-of-law crisis
00:21:22

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

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Jan 24, 2020
On the right track: a trend in diplomacy
00:22:59

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

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Jan 23, 2020
Justin time, again: Trudeau’s second term
00:23:36

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


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Jan 22, 2020
Can I get a witness? Impeachment
00:23:55

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

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Jan 21, 2020
Tripoli crown: the battle for Libya
00:20:32

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


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Jan 20, 2020
Address the problem: the global housing blunder
00:23:47

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

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Jan 17, 2020
Set for life? Putin’s power-grab
00:19:59

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

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Jan 16, 2020
Going through a phase: US-China trade deal
00:20:36

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

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Jan 15, 2020
A Biden by their decision? Democrats debate
00:23:07

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

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Jan 14, 2020
Tsai of the times: Taiwan’s defiant election
00:21:10

China has been getting more aggressive in its claims over the island, but voters have made it clear just how much they favour democracy. The relentless slipping of interest rates around the world isn’t recent: new research suggests it’s been going on since the Middle Ages. And why the language of scientific papers disfavours female authors.

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Jan 13, 2020
Scorched-earth policies: Australia and climate change
00:23:13

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

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Jan 10, 2020
Will you still feed me when I’m 62? Macron’s pension fight
00:22:06

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


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Jan 09, 2020
Return fire: Iran’s missile attacks
00:22:45

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

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Jan 08, 2020
Two heads aren’t better than one: Venezuela
00:22:54

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


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Jan 07, 2020
The general and specific threats: Iran
00:23:58

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

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Jan 06, 2020
Negative feedback: reversing carbon emissions
00:23:11

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


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Jan 03, 2020
Made (entirely) in China: a tech behemoth rises
00:23:56

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

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Jan 02, 2020
Lifesaver: meet a death-row detective
00:23:20

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

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Dec 24, 2019
Lying in states: fibbing politicians
00:21:16

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

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Dec 23, 2019
Old China hands: ageing in the Middle Kingdom
00:22:45

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

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Dec 20, 2019
Exclusionary rule: India’s citizenship law
00:21:04

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

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Dec 19, 2019
Marching orders: impeachment around the world
00:23:09

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

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Dec 18, 2019
Majority rules: Britain’s new Parliament sits
00:21:47

Now that the prime minister has a thumping parliamentary majority, Brexit is assured—but on what terms? And what other legislative shake-ups are in the works? President Donald Trump has relied heavily on financial sanctions, often in place of old-fashioned diplomacy. We ask whether that is an effective avenue of foreign policy. And an attempt to peek into Asia’s illegal tiger farms.

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Dec 17, 2019
COP out: the UN climate talks
00:21:49

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

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Dec 16, 2019
Bolt from the blue: Britain’s Conservatives triumph
00:23:50

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


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Dec 13, 2019
Defending the indefensible: Aung San Suu Kyi
00:23:23

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

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Dec 12, 2019
Articles of faith: charges laid against Trump
00:21:42

House Democrats have issued their narrowly focused articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. We look back on the history of impeachments and ask whether the process is working as first intended. Killings of French women by their partners account for a tenth of the country’s murders; at last, the problem is being addressed. And what climate change is doing to the wine industry.

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Dec 11, 2019
Running into debt: Argentina’s new president
00:20:38

For the first time in decades, a non-Peronist president will peacefully hand over power. But the new president—and his deputy, former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner—have their work cut out for them. There’s a resurgence in radical-left ideas brewing; our correspondent picks through the manifestos. And an American mega-mall attempts to beat the rise of e-commerce with thrills.

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Dec 10, 2019
Oil be going: Canada’s separatist west
00:20:10

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

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Dec 09, 2019
Writing on the Wall: a revealing British-election hike
00:22:16

Our correspondent walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall, in northern England, finding shifting party alliances and surprising views on Brexit. We take a look at the phenomenon of Japan’s hikikomori, who shut themselves in for years on end. And why a plague of rats in California is likely to get even worse. Want to weigh in on our podcasts? Please fill out our survey at economist.com/podsurvey.

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Dec 06, 2019
Not shy about retiring: strikes in France
00:22:06

A massive, rolling, national strike begins today, in protest against proposed reforms of the sprawling pension system. But details of the changes haven’t even been published yet. Our correspondent visits the conflict-ravaged Darfur region, and sees a historic opportunity for peace. And a look at how best to let entrepreneurial immigrants get back in business. Want to weigh in on our podcasts? Please fill out our survey at economist.com/podsurvey.

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Dec 05, 2019
Inquiring minds: impeachment’s next stage
00:22:47

The House Judiciary Committee will now take up the inquiry into President Donald Trump. But will any of it matter to uninterested voters? The probe into the mysterious death of an investigative journalist is now haunting Malta’s halls of power. And a look back on the life of a beloved athlete who never quite won cycling’s biggest prize. Want to weigh in on our podcasts? Please fill out our survey at economist.com/podsurvey. 


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Dec 04, 2019
With allies like these: NATO’s bickering leaders hold a summit
00:22:27

It will be all smiles at the NATO summit today in London--but many of them will be forced. Behind the scenes, the alliance’s leaders are arguing about what its purpose should be. We also look at the disputed data behind the idea that inequality has been rising inexorably in recent years. And how a novel way to reduce cow and sheep burps could help in the fight against climate change. Want to weigh in on our podcasts? Please fill out our survey at economist.com/podsurvey

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Dec 03, 2019
Terrorist on parole: A jihadist killer fools Britain’s justice system
00:21:38

The Islamic militant who killed two people in London last week was supposedly being monitored by the authorities. That revelation has prompted a fierce debate about what went wrong. We take a look at the state of the global AIDS epidemic. And as their country goes to wrack and ruin, Venezuelans have been turning to video games, but not for the reasons you might think. Want to weigh in on our podcasts? Please fill out our survey at economist.com/podsurvey.

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Dec 02, 2019
AMLO and behold: Mexico’s president tries to tackle corruption
00:21:51

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s president, is wildly popular, in part because of his determination to wipe out corruption. But is his crusade against graft everything it’s cracked up to be?  We also look at the debate around randomised control trials, a popular but controversial tool in economics. In Congo, caterpillars are considered a delicacy. We explain why they deserve to be the next superfood. Want to weigh in on our podcasts? Please fill out our survey at economist.com/podsurvey.



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Nov 29, 2019
Presidential SEAL: Donald Trump puts his stamp on military discipline
00:22:30

Donald Trump used to lionise generals, but this week he had a falling out with the top brass. Are the armed forces becoming as politicised as America’s other institutions? We also take a look at the emergence of a new narco-state in West Africa, Guinea-Bissau. And Silicon Valley has been trying to shed a reputation for sexism, but many of its products remain ill-suited to women. Want to weigh in on our podcasts? Please fill out our survey at economist.com/podsurvey.

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Nov 28, 2019
Global warning: The UN sounds the alarm on climate change
00:19:58

The UN has just released its annual report on how well the fight to slow climate change is going. It finds that efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions are going from bad to worse. We also look at a surprising new lease on life for China’s regional dialects. And while people debate about the merits of Uber, one thing is clear -- it drives people to drink -- or so new research suggests. Want to weigh in on our podcasts? Please fill out our survey at economist.com/podsurvey.

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Nov 27, 2019
Start spreading the cash: Michael Bloomberg runs for president
00:20:27

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, has announced he is running for president. But he is late to join the race and not very popular with Democratic primary voters. We also look at TikTok, a wildly successful video-sharing app, that some see as a threat to security in the Western world. And much of Switzerland is up in arms--about the reliability of the country’s coffee supply. Want to weigh in on our podcasts? Please fill out our survey at economist.com/podsurvey.

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Nov 26, 2019
Protest vote: Hong Kongers send a message to Beijing
00:22:14

After almost six months of protests and street battles, Hong Kongers have had a chance to vote in local elections. They sent a clear message of support to those agitating for greater democracy. We look at how the impeachment hearings in Washington are undermining the fight against corruption in Eastern Europe. And deep below Jerusalem, a high-tech cemetery is under construction. Would you like to weigh in on our podcasts? Complete our podcast survey at economist.com/podsurvey

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Nov 25, 2019
Bibi in the corner: Binyamin Netanyahu’s indictment
00:21:52

After years of investigations, Israel’s prime minister has been indicted. A fraught legal case will complicate the already messy business of cobbling together a government. We examine the work of a pioneering sociologist to understand the causes and consequences of eviction in America. And Leonardo da Vinci’s vineyard has been faithfully recreated, and his wine is enjoying its own renaissance.

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Nov 22, 2019
Fuel to the fire: growing unrest in Iran
00:20:06

After petrol subsidies were slashed, protests of surprising ferocity have flared up across the country—and neither the government nor the demonstrators seem to be backing down. The illicit trade in rhinoceros horn threatens the animals’ survival, but scientists have come up with a convincing fake that could collapse the market. And the surprisingly subtle choices to balance meat-eating and environmentalism. 

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Nov 21, 2019
Settling in: Israel-Palestine policy
00:21:08

The American administration’s shifting position on Israeli settlements in the West Bank will have little immediate effect—but may end up sharply crimping hopes for a Palestinian state. The first debate ahead of Britain’s general election didn’t leave much room for the two main candidates to get past canned talking points. And how high-end gin is displacing the rot-gut variety in India.

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Nov 20, 2019
Bits in pieces: a fragmenting internet
00:22:08

The early vision for a borderless, unregulated internet has not panned out as its pioneers hoped. How to handle the “splinternet”? Doug Jones is Alabama’s first Democratic senator in a quarter of a century; in his moderate ways our correspondent finds broader lessons for the Democratic Party. And air pollution is a threat the world over—most of all to the well-being of children.

Additional audio courtesy of Department of Records

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Nov 19, 2019
Head for the Hill: this week’s impeachment hearings
00:21:21

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

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Nov 18, 2019
Better the devil they know? Sri Lanka’s election
00:21:29

After multiple suicide bombings in April, much campaigning has been about security. Will Sri Lankans vote tomorrow for the authoritarian-but-effective candidate, or the more untested peacemaker? We examine the growing nostalgia for Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted as Egypt’s president as part of the Arab Spring. And a trawl through historical records shows how long it took for William Shakespeare to reach real fame.

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Nov 15, 2019
Language barrier: Cameroon’s forgotten conflict
00:22:14

There is widespread terror in the largely Francophone country’s English-speaking region. Both hardline separatists and the army target civilians with shocking brutality. In a Central Asian valley, a tangle of borders and exclaves that stretch back to Soviet times is making travel difficult—and sometimes deadly. And an experiment in Estonia to punish lead-footed drivers not with a fine, but with a time-out.

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Nov 14, 2019
Umbrellas to firebombs: Hong Kong’s escalating protests
00:21:43

Molotov cocktails are flying and live rounds have been fired. Once-peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations are transforming into violent confrontations—and neither side seems willing to back down. The agricultural revolution that has swept much of the world has still not reached much of Africa; we look into the seeds of the problem. And why Colombia has a growing difficulty with a druglord’s hippos.

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Nov 13, 2019
The American Dreamer: DACA in the Supreme Court
00:22:10

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


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Nov 12, 2019
Unpresidented: Bolivia’s leader resigns
00:21:25

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

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Nov 11, 2019
Persistence of division: after the Berlin Wall
00:23:55

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

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Nov 08, 2019
Allez, Europe! Macron’s diplomatic push
00:23:20

This week our correspondent joined Emmanuel Macron on his visit to China. The French president is stretching his diplomatic wings, and has some striking views about Europe’s place in the world. The state of Texas has been reliably Republican for decades, but its demographics are changing; could it at last turn blue? And how Japan is dealing with its epidemic of public-transport groping.

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Nov 07, 2019
Demonstrative: a global wave of protest
00:22:49

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

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Nov 06, 2019
Stone unturned? Trump’s adviser on trial
00:24:01

Today Roger Stone, a colourful associate of President Donald Trump for 40 years, goes on trial facing seven charges; he denies them. Could his testimony worry the Trump camp? In the international race to mass-market driverless cars, China’s 5G network may provide a critical edge. And why you shouldn’t worry too much about eerily apposite computer-generated text.

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Nov 05, 2019
Facebooklets: breaking up Big Tech
00:21:38

Few politicians are as ambitious about dismantling the tech behemoths as Elizabeth Warren, one of America’s Democratic presidential contenders. What she is proposing, though, would be neither easy nor quick. We dive into the myriad threats faced by corals, and by the millions of people whose livelihoods depend on them. And a new book considers the likes of Genghis Khan as manager material.

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Nov 04, 2019
Impeach-y keen: Trump investigation goes public
00:23:34

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

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Nov 01, 2019
Iraq in a hard place: deadly protests continue
00:20:55

Demonstrations have been growing for a month and show no signs of abating. But would the reforms that the protesters are demanding actually work? We examine a pioneering bit of Lithuanian software that excels at fake-news detection. And why Germans are resistant to calls for speed limits on the Autobahn

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Oct 31, 2019
May as well: Boris Johnson’s electoral bet
00:22:55

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

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Oct 30, 2019
Not fare enough: Chile’s protests
00:20:19

The ongoing unrest is no longer about a rise in metro fares; Chileans have risen up to demand that the prosperity of their country be distributed more evenly. The “Visegrad Four” economies of central Europe have been a post-communism success story—but as flows of people and money shift, they’re looking more precarious. And, a bid to measure just how useful managers really are. 

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Oct 29, 2019
State of disarray: the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
00:20:20

The man who brought Islamic State to the world stage with visions of a brutal “caliphate” has been killed. But the jihadist movement, while weakened, lives on. Argentines voted their reformist president out and protectionist, big-state Peronists back in. Can the hobbled economy cope? And America’s push to start school later could boost grades and the economy, and even save lives.

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Oct 28, 2019
Poll dance: Boris Johnson’s election ploy
00:22:06

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

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Oct 25, 2019
Calls to action: Lebanon’s continued protests
00:20:23

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

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Oct 24, 2019
Putin, he’s back into it: Russia’s growing influence
00:22:12

Vladimir Putin’s diplomacy regarding northern Syria is just one example of the Russian president’s widening influence. British Airways was once known as the world’s favourite airline, we ask why its popularity has fallen far faster than its profits. And why voters should be wary of politicians claiming to speak for “the people”.

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Oct 23, 2019
The course of Trudeau love: Canada’s election
00:21:25

Justin Trudeau will remain prime minister, but will lead a minority government. He will probably be able to continue with his progressive push, but his halo is a bit tarnished. It’s ten years this month since Greece’s financial implosion; we look back on a decade spent balancing the books. And, the surprising success of fun stock-ticker symbols. 

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Oct 22, 2019
Going through the motion: more Brexit contortions
00:23:28

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

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Oct 21, 2019
Irish ayes? A new Brexit deal
00:22:52

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

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Oct 18, 2019
Antsy about ANC: reform in South Africa
00:23:46

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

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Oct 17, 2019
Back to Square one? Tiananmen veterans in Hong Kong
00:24:19

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

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Oct 16, 2019
Then there were 12: the Democrats’ fourth debate
00:23:44

Twelve candidates take to the stage again tonight, with two clear front-runners. We ask how the winnowing field reflects the mood of the party. We also examine an unlikely candidate in a lesser-watched race: that for the Republican nomination. And, why the shattering of the two-hour-marathon mark has much to do with snazzy footwear.

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Oct 15, 2019
The enemy of their enemy: the Kurds ally with Syria
00:20:26

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

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Oct 14, 2019
PiS prize: Poland’s crucial election
00:21:49

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

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Oct 11, 2019
Uncomfortable president: Trump’s stonewalling
00:19:57

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

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Oct 10, 2019
Sorry state: Kashmir on lockdown
00:20:41

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

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Oct 09, 2019
Just a Kurd to him: Trump’s Syria withdrawal
00:20:49

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

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Oct 08, 2019
Trade disunion: America’s tariff wars
00:22:34

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

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Oct 07, 2019
Duty call: how Ukraine sees the Trump scandal
00:22:48

A phone call between the presidents has sparked an impeachment inquiry in America. But how do the people of Ukraine view the kerfuffle? Massive student protests put Indonesia’s president in a bind, balancing his programme of reforms and growth against uncomfortable social pressures. And, a revealing read through the Democratic presidential contenders’ autobiographies.

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Oct 04, 2019
Immunisation shot? The case against Binyamin Netanyahu
00:20:04

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

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Oct 03, 2019
Reform over function: Peru’s political crisis
00:22:21

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

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Oct 02, 2019
Party like it’s 1949: China’s National Day
00:20:24

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

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Oct 01, 2019
Out-of-office messaging: Britain’s Tory conference
00:22:27

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

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Sep 30, 2019
Spoiled ballot: Afghanistan’s election
00:22:12

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

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Sep 27, 2019
Call to account: Trump-Ukraine intrigues
00:20:25

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

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Sep 26, 2019
And the law won: Boris Johnson’s latest defeat
00:21:45

Once again, Britain’s prime minister has been thwarted, this time for trying to stymie Parliament as the European departure looms. How will Boris proceed, and how will Brexit progress? We take a look at economists’ rise to policy prominence, and what they did wrong when they got there. And, a surprisingly cheery Congolese doomsday sect.

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Sep 25, 2019
Aid for abetting? Trump’s Ukraine call
00:19:40

President Donald Trump’s critics say a telephone call with his Ukrainian counterpart would reveal his most egregious offence yet. But it’s hard to say what would tip lawmakers into pursuing impeachment. Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel agency has folded—but that’s not to say package holidays are passé. And, what the reviews of a propaganda film reveal about China’s international infrastructure efforts.

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Sep 24, 2019
Madurable: impasse in Venezuela
00:21:26

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

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Sep 23, 2019
To all, concern: a climate-change special
00:23:21

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

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Sep 20, 2019
I can do that, Dave: AI and warfare
00:21:23

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

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Sep 19, 2019
Ursa minor: Russia-China relations
00:21:14

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

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Sep 18, 2019
Always be my Bibi? Israel back at the polls
00:21:04

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

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Sep 17, 2019
Pipe down: attacks on Saudi oil
00:22:31

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


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Sep 16, 2019
To Viktor, more spoils: Hungary’s autocracy
00:21:29

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

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Sep 13, 2019
Trust issues: Huawei’s radical plan
00:23:13

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

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Sep 12, 2019
Scapegoating: xenophobia in South Africa
00:19:34

Migrants have become a convenient scapegoat for South Africans frustrated by a slumping economy and rampant unemployment—and for the politicians who might otherwise take the blame. We take a look at the ever-sharper divisions in America’s abortion debate. And, why the improbably complex business of getting cabs in Beirut is preferred over disrupters like Uber.

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Sep 11, 2019
Things fall apart: Britain’s fading centre-right
00:20:31

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

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Sep 10, 2019
Tali-banned: Trump calls off Afghan peace talks
00:21:44

President Trump has abruptly cancelled talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, raising fears of renewed internal strife. Wales dabbles in nationalism, and it could follow the Scottish push for separatism. Finally, could a deal finally be on the horizon in the US-China trade war? Our correspondent searches for answers in the well-stuffed secrets of Chinese upholstery.

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Sep 09, 2019
Disunited Russia party? Moscow’s elections
00:22:12

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

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Sep 06, 2019
Age-old problem: reforming France
00:22:14

President Emmanuel Macron embarks on a serious policy challenge today over pensions. Will his efforts at reform re-ignite the protests that have dogged his presidency? And, a look at the legacies of two opposing figures of environmentalism: David Koch, a billionaire industrialist who undermined the science of climate change, and Steve Sawyer, an activist who elevated Greenpeace to a formidable global movement.

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Sep 05, 2019
This is revolting: Britain’s parliament rebels
00:20:39

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

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Sep 04, 2019
No safety in numbers: America’s immigration raids
00:22:57

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


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Sep 03, 2019
Until blue in the face: Hong Kong’s protests
00:21:08

The territory’s authorities have used live rounds, pepper spray and water cannon with blue dye to mark participants in ever-growing protests. What else might they resort to? The Baltic states, worried about Russian expansionism, are countering the old-school spycraft of the Kremlin’s agents. And, drag acts sashay into the mainstream.

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Sep 02, 2019
Out to launch: American nuclear policy
00:22:14

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

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Aug 30, 2019
Suspend, disbelief: Parliament and Brexit
00:21:17

Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, sparked widespread outrage by suspending Parliament in the run-up to Brexit. What recourse do lawmakers still have? Taiwan’s deal to buy American fighter jets reveals wide political support for tooling up against Chinese aggression. And, the exceptional efforts to save New Zealand’s chubby parrot, the kakapo.

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Aug 29, 2019
Ex-Seoul-mate: Japan-South Korea spat escalates
00:18:50

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

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Aug 28, 2019
Emmanuel transmission: outcomes of the G7
00:22:19

The weekend summit hosted by France’s President Emmanuel Macron resulted in few concrete actions; mostly the diplomatic dance was intended to keep President Donald Trump on side. Such meetings may not always go smoothly, but they’re still worth having. We ask why Uzbekistan is at last closing Jaslyk, its notorious gulag. And, the emerging science of investigating planets in other solar systems. 


Additional sounds by Soundsnap.

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Aug 27, 2019
A friend of mines: Asia’s coal habit
00:22:52

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

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Aug 26, 2019
Fight or flight: Cathay Pacific
00:20:11

China’s central government has made an example of the huge, Hong Kong-based carrier. Will the ploy work to quell protests in the territory, or just further rattle the nerves of its international firms? We examine the spectacular rise of Pentecostalism in Ethiopia, and its effects on the country’s politics. And, the plight of the puffin in the Faroe Islands.

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Aug 23, 2019
Pull out all the backstops: Boris Johnson in Europe
00:19:51

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

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Aug 22, 2019
League of its own? Italian politics
00:20:47

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

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Aug 21, 2019
Power rationing: Sudan in transition
00:22:45

After months of unceasing protests, military leaders have struck a deal to share power with civilians, while Omar al-Bashir, the country’s deposed dictator, is in court. But can Sudan break out of its cycle of violence? We examine the curious notion that the shapes of parliamentary chambers shape the debates within them. And, politics meets choral music at Estonia’s Laulupidu festival.


Additional audio of the International Criminal Court courtesy of ICC-CPI.

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Aug 20, 2019
Scarcely surviving: Zimbabwe
00:21:43

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


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Aug 19, 2019
Yield signs: the global economy
00:22:27

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


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Aug 16, 2019
Poll reposition: Macri fights back
00:20:24

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

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Aug 15, 2019
Let’s not make a deal: Brexit
00:21:38

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

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Aug 14, 2019
Sex cells: the modern fertility business
00:21:16

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

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Aug 13, 2019
Raid in Aden: Yemen’s fragmented conflict
00:22:01

Over the weekend, armed rebels overran Aden, the seat of Yemen’s internationally recognised government. They had defected from a loose, Saudi-backed coalition that looks increasingly shaky. The gaming business is huge, but isn’t yet part of the streaming revolution seen in films and music; who will become the Netflix of gaming? And, an update to a 1970s book on sexuality reveals much about modern female desire, and how it’s perceived.


Additional music by Rymdkraft and Kuesa.

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Aug 12, 2019
Withdrawal symptoms: America-Taliban talks
00:19:05

America’s envoy claimed “excellent progress” in negotiations ahead of the country’s planned exit from Afghanistan. But stickier talks await, between the Islamist militia and the Afghan government. A promising new vaccine may at last tackle typhoid fever, which claims 160,000 lives every year. And, we travel to Scotland and hop on the world’s shortest scheduled flight. 


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Aug 09, 2019
Clear-cut risks: the Amazon degrades
00:21:26

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

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Aug 08, 2019
State of alarm: India moves on Kashmir
00:22:04

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

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Aug 07, 2019
PLA a part? Hong Kong’s growing unrest
00:20:11

China’s central government held another press conference to address increasingly chaotic unrest in Hong Kong. A close listen reveals language that may be presaging a military intervention. There’s much to be said for employee share ownership—but a push from left-leaning politicians to mandate its availability is creating controversy. And, the dirty secret behind the exorbitant costs of music-gig tickets.


Additional audio courtesy of cgeffex from Freesound.org.

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Aug 06, 2019
Sticking to their guns: violence in America
00:23:26

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


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Aug 05, 2019
A farewell to arms control: the INF treaty dies
00:21:15

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

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Aug 02, 2019
Disbelief, dysfunction, disaster: Congo’s Ebola outbreak
00:20:18

As aid workers battle the second-worst outbreak in history, they face violence and disbelief. A history of conflict, suspicion of the rich world and wild conspiracy theories make fighting a difficult battle far harder. Architects are tackling the dark, loud, violent nature of jails to make them more about rehabilitation than retribution. And, the increasingly absurd language of job adverts.

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Aug 01, 2019
Apply liberally: Trudeau’s re-election bid
00:20:36

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

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Jul 31, 2019
Primary culler: Democrats’ second debates
00:23:01

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

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Jul 30, 2019
One country, one system: Hong Kong’s protests
00:21:53

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

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Jul 29, 2019
A plight in Tunisia: the president passes
00:21:20

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


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Jul 26, 2019
Nothing new to report: Robert Mueller testifies
00:22:02

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


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Jul 25, 2019
Ricky situation: Puerto Rico’s protests
00:19:49

Rolling protests have rocked the island after leaked texts revealed the governor’s insults. But Puerto Rico’s problems are far greater than almost 900 pages of tasteless jokes. We consider the merits of challenging Latin America’s amnesties; justice might be served, but unearthing the past comes with its own perils. And, why women are so well represented among eastern Europe’s scientists.

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Jul 24, 2019
You, May, be excused: Boris Johnson ascends
00:19:45

Britain has a new prime minister—who will inherit all the same problems his predecessor had. Good luck guiding a divided nation through Brexit with a paper-thin majority in parliament. Europe’s steel industry is getting hammered by tariffs and gluts, but one tucked-away mill in Austria has steeled itself for tumult. And, what single characteristic do Americans least want in their roommates?

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Jul 23, 2019
Get one thing strait: Iran’s tanker stand-off
00:22:53

The seizure of a British-flagged tanker in the Gulf may seem counter to Iran’s international objectives. But at home, hardliners are in the ascendancy—for them, it’s a public-relations coup. The rise of populism, particularly in Europe, suggests voters are angry. But polls suggest otherwise; we dive into this “happiness paradox”. And, the curious rise in borrowing against high-end art.


Additional music "Puzzle Pieces" by Lee Rosevere.

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Jul 22, 2019
Servant’s entrance: Ukraine’s elections
00:22:32

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

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Jul 19, 2019
Unmoving movement: Venezuela’s bloody stalemate
00:20:05

The opposition’s momentum has faded; many protesters are too tired to go on. Nicolás Maduro, the illegitimate president, is showing his grip on power with shows of force. Global shipping is in a slump—but a visit to the Port of Rotterdam reveals that the industry itself got the message late. And, assessing whether the internet is as ruinous to language as many assume.

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Jul 18, 2019
In like a Leyen: the European Commission’s new president
00:21:11

Ursula von der Leyen has a tough task ahead, pressing a broad agenda in a fragmented European Parliament. We take a look at the vast international collaboration that is weather prediction, where it’s heading and how climate change could make it harder. And, why the villages of Japan are where to head if you love getting close to bears.


Additional sound by Solostud at Freesound.org.

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Jul 17, 2019
At stake, chips: Japan-South Korea trade spat
00:22:27

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

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Jul 16, 2019
Tip of the ICE work: the immigration raids that weren’t
00:23:39

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

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Jul 15, 2019
Tsai hopes: Taiwan’s president on tour
00:22:32

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

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Jul 12, 2019
Unspeakable truths: Britain’s US ambassador
00:22:36

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


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Jul 11, 2019
From Russia with launch codes: Turkey’s new hardware
00:22:51

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

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Jul 10, 2019
Late to the parting: Deutsche Bank shrinks
00:22:23

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

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Jul 09, 2019
In the after-Ba’ath: Syria’s rising Kurds
00:22:23

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

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Jul 08, 2019
New Democracy in an old one: Greece’s election
00:22:34

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

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Jul 05, 2019
Putin on a show: Russia’s resurgence
00:23:15

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


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Jul 04, 2019
Growth anatomy: America’s expansive decade
00:22:04

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

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Jul 03, 2019
Break a LegCo: Hong Kong’s protests boil over
00:21:24

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

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Jul 02, 2019
Armoured Khartoum: Sudan’s bloody transition
00:22:11

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

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Jul 01, 2019
Census and sensibility: landmark SCOTUS rulings
00:23:09

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


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Jun 28, 2019
Fight if you Haftar: the struggle for Libya
00:22:02

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


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Jun 27, 2019
Rights on Q: same-sex marriage in Japan
00:21:44

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

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Jun 26, 2019
Money in the West Bank: Kushner’s peace plan
00:21:06

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

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Jun 25, 2019
Lover or Leaver? How Brexit divided Britons
00:22:15

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

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Jun 24, 2019
Blonde ambition: Boris’s bid for power
00:23:06

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

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Jun 21, 2019
Hawks, stocks and peril: Iran-America brinkmanship
00:19:53

Iran’s downing of an American drone today is just the latest source of tension between the countries. Where does it end? As facial-recognition technology improves, rising privacy concerns are hampering its adoption. And in Britain, advertisements that play to gender stereotypes are under more scrutiny from regulators and consumers.


Additional music by Lee Rosevere "Puzzle Pieces".

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Jun 20, 2019
Moving stories: the UN’s refugee report
00:20:31