The Intelligence

By The Economist

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Subscribers: 1481
Reviews: 3


 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
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?


Additional audio "Fly" by Benboncan at Freesound.org.

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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

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

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Jun 19, 2019
Florida Man: Trump’s re-election campaign
00:20:28

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

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Jun 18, 2019
Lam to the slaughter: Hong Kong’s shocking U-turn
00:23:17

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

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Jun 17, 2019
What’s yours has mines: the Gulf of Oman attack
00:21:32

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

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Jun 14, 2019
Vlad the un-jailer: the Ivan Golunov case
00:21:17

An investigative journalist’s release may look like a press-freedom win in Russia—but it represents much more than that. Democratic presidential hopefuls have no shortage of transformative ideas, yet Senate arithmetic ensures there’s little hope of realising them. And, we visit a place where malaria rages while a cure literally grows on trees.

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Jun 13, 2019
Once more, with felines: half the world gets online
00:21:03

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

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Jun 12, 2019
Independence say: Hong Kong’s ongoing protests
00:22:40

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

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Jun 11, 2019
No way to tweet a friend: Trump’s Mexico tariffs
00:21:56

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

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Jun 10, 2019
Tory story: Britain’s next prime minister
00:21:02

Today Theresa May stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party, and would-be replacements are already lining up. There’s little hope that any would be able to arrange an elegant exit from Europe. Also, we take a look at the astonishing range of ailments that could be treated by magic mushrooms.

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Jun 07, 2019
Basta! The EU challenges Italy’s finances
00:20:37

European officials have threatened a substantial fine if Italy doesn’t shrink its debt and budget deficit. Whether or not it follows through, markets are already punishing the country. Tens of thousands of refugees have snuck into Canada from America, but as an election looms, the government is rethinking its openness. And, the plague of “presenteeism”: when your work is done, just go home.

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Jun 06, 2019
Same as the old boss? Crackdown in Sudan
00:20:42

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

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Jun 05, 2019
Thirty years of forgetting: Tiananmen
00:22:36

On the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square tragedy, our correspondents reflect on a dark and confusing day—and the Chinese government’s efforts to suppress the memory of it. Could such widespread dissent flare up in today’s China? Also, why laws requiring immigrants to speak host-nations’ languages are counter-productive.

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Jun 04, 2019
Get pomped up: Trump’s British visit
00:22:46

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

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Jun 03, 2019
Protectionist racket: trade-war rhetoric
00:22:13

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

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May 31, 2019
Likudn’t: Israel’s political crisis
00:20:48

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

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May 30, 2019
Baba Go Slow: Nigeria’s President gets another term
00:18:48

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

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May 29, 2019
Continental breakfast: European elections
00:20:58

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

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May 28, 2019
This May hurt: British politics
00:20:44

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

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May 24, 2019
Repeat performance: India’s election
00:20:51

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

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May 23, 2019
Ibiza remix: Austria and the European fringe
00:21:10

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

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May 22, 2019
In a heartbeat: abortion in America
00:21:37

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

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May 21, 2019
Battle for legitimacy: Afghanistan v the Taliban
00:22:18

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

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May 20, 2019
Private iniquity? The Abraaj case
00:21:05

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

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May 17, 2019
May, EU live in interesting times: Brexit
00:21:16

As party leaders grill Britain’s prime minister—and with a looming European election the country was due to avoid—we examine how the Brexit mess is dissolving party allegiances. Turkey was once seen as a success story in dealing with Syrians fleeing conflict, but as war has dragged on their welcome is wearing thin. And, kinky and camp meet fraught politics in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.


Additional music "Thoughtful" and "Under Suspicion" by Lee Rosevere.

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May 16, 2019
Don’t spend it all at once: Pakistan and the IMF
00:21:47

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

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May 15, 2019
Supply demands: Yemen peace talks
00:23:30

UN negotiators are trying to salvage a ceasefire agreement surrounding the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. The Arab world’s poorest country is suffering mightily, but the patchwork of actors makes a successful deal ever more difficult. In Latin America, democracy has stalled as economies have stagnated. Yet for democracy to succeed elsewhere, its Latin American shoots must be preserved. And, a splashy apartment building in Bulgaria that’s become emblematic of graft.


Additional music "Chez Space" by The Freeharmonic Orchestra.

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May 14, 2019
Spare the Rodrigo: Philippine elections
00:21:49

Personalities, not policies, will determine votes in today’s poll in the Philippines to fill some 18,000 government jobs. Loyalists of the firebrand president Rodrigo Duterte—including his daughter—will do well. Also, why is it that amid a growing need for new antibiotics, the incentives to produce them are fewer? And, a trip to the tiny Greek island of Delos, for an unusual meeting of modern art and protected antiquity.

Runtime: 21min


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May 13, 2019
Unbalance of trade: China-America talks
00:22:44

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

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May 10, 2019
Generals’ election: Thai politics
00:21:52

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

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May 09, 2019
Nuclear diffusion: Iran
00:21:28

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

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May 08, 2019
Mayor may not: Turkey’s election re-run
00:21:40

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

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May 07, 2019
Everything in moderation: YouTube
00:23:34

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

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May 06, 2019
Barr, none: the White House’s defiance
00:22:22

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

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May 03, 2019
Buy the bullet: global defence spending
00:20:56

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

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May 02, 2019
Putsch comes to shove: Venezuela
00:22:05

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

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May 01, 2019
Inflationary pressure: Argentina’s strikes
00:20:51

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


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Apr 30, 2019
Crossing the “t”s: China-America trade talks
00:20:44

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

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Apr 29, 2019
The strain in Spain: an election looms
00:21:34

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

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Apr 26, 2019
Five Eyes and 5G: the Huawei debate
00:21:12

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

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Apr 25, 2019
Troubling: a death in Northern Ireland
00:21:35

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


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Apr 24, 2019
Worrying new threat: tragedy in Sri Lanka
00:22:35

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

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Apr 23, 2019
Early to wed: child marriage in Africa
00:19:45

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


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Apr 22, 2019
Planes, trains and automobiles: the travails of travel
00:22:30

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


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Apr 19, 2019
[Redacted]: the Mueller report
00:21:37

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

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Apr 18, 2019
Roads to success: Indonesia’s election
00:22:22

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

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Apr 17, 2019
And then, silence: a Paris icon burns
00:19:34

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

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Apr 16, 2019
Modi’s operandi: India’s enormous election
00:21:33

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

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Apr 15, 2019
Bashir and present danger: Sudan’s coup
00:23:05

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

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Apr 12, 2019
Brussels’ doubts: another Brexit delay
00:21:34

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

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Apr 11, 2019
Bibi got back: Israel’s election
00:19:28

Binyamin Netanyahu looks set to win a fifth term as prime minister. How will his policies affect negotiations about some of the most contested land on Earth? Meanwhile in space, Israel’s Beresheet probe is set to land on the Moon—but the recent spate of lunar landings is more about national flag-planting than it is about science. And, how will economies adjust as the old increasingly outnumber the young?


Additional audio courtesy of NASA. Additional music "Fanfare" courtesy of Kevin MacLeod.

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Apr 10, 2019
The new mediocre: the world economy
00:20:23

The International Monetary Fund releases its global-growth forecast today. Expect news of a downgrade, but not recession: low growth has become the status quo. We join international forces in Burkina Faso, where African troops are being trained to contain a growing risk of jihadism. And, why is it that concern about climate-change comes and goes? 

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Apr 09, 2019
Tripoli threat: a warlord’s bid to take Libya
00:20:58

As rebel forces advance on Tripoli and American troops withdraw, we look at the Libyan general leading the march, and at the country’s fractured politics. There’s evidence that Facebook’s advertisement algorithms discriminate on the basis of race and gender. But who’s to blame, and how to fix it? And, the tricky business of making slot machines appeal to a generation of gamers.

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Apr 08, 2019
Theresa looks left: Brexit negotiations
00:23:26

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

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Apr 05, 2019
Resigned to it: Algeria’s president
00:20:34

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

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Apr 04, 2019
Fund while it lasted: the 1MDB scandal
00:20:38

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

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Apr 03, 2019
Vote with pride: LGBT politicians
00:20:33

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

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Apr 02, 2019
AK, not quite OK: Turkey’s elections
00:20:55

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

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Apr 01, 2019
Comic’s relief? Ukraine’s presidential race
00:22:06

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

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Mar 29, 2019
Another dance ‘round the May poll: Brexit
00:21:13

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

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Mar 28, 2019
Seeing the Lighthizer: China trade talks
00:19:56

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

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Mar 27, 2019
Loan behold: a global-economy danger
00:20:17

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

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Mar 26, 2019
Collusion elusion: the Mueller report
00:21:36

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

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Mar 25, 2019
The never-ending saga: Brexit delayed
00:22:51

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

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Mar 22, 2019
Not now, Theresa: Postponing Britain’s EU goodbye
00:19:24

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

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Mar 21, 2019
Alpha Beto: O’Rourke’s appeal
00:21:35

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

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Mar 20, 2019
War and pestilence: Ebola makes a comeback
00:22:59

Five years ago Ebola spread across West Africa, killing more than 10,000 people. In August a fresh outbreak hit the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. We look at why the response this time around has been so ineffective. NATO is about to turn 70. It will not be a happy birthday. And Rodrigo Duterte wants to rename the Philippines.

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Mar 19, 2019
Replacement anxiety: White supremacist terrorism
00:23:43

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

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Mar 18, 2019
Can't deal with it: Brexit
00:22:02

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

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Mar 15, 2019
Lights out: Venezuela’s blackout
00:22:45

Power cuts in Caracas have endangered lives and deepened the misery of Venezuelans. It’s another sign of the corruption that pervades the Maduro regime. Also, how do you make a 10,000 ton ship disappear? And the Hebrew bible - otherwise known as the old testament - gets a fresh new translation. Music courtesy of Ethan James McCollum

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Mar 14, 2019
Losing the plot: Brexit
00:21:25

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

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Mar 13, 2019
Flying stop: Boeing
00:21:43

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

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Mar 12, 2019
The sensitive month: Tibet
00:23:51

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

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Mar 11, 2019
Fifth time unlucky: Algeria’s protests
00:22:49

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

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Mar 08, 2019
Guilt and association: Paul Manafort
00:23:21

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

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Mar 07, 2019
Trudeau in trouble: a sunny leader in stormy times
00:19:02

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

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Mar 06, 2019
Xi’ll meet again: China’s People’s Congress opens
00:20:47

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


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Mar 05, 2019
A thirsty world: the future of water
00:23:13

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

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Mar 04, 2019
Bibi one more time? Binyamin Netanyahu
00:22:40

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

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Mar 01, 2019
Line of control: India-Pakistan
00:20:11

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


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Feb 28, 2019
Chaos and calculation: Brexit
00:22:43

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

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Feb 27, 2019
Two for the show: Trump meets Kim
00:20:41

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

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Feb 26, 2019
It’s bean difficult: the China-America trade war
00:23:22

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

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Feb 25, 2019
Alms held up: Venezuela
00:20:15

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

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Feb 22, 2019
Sins of the fathers: the Vatican and child abuse
00:21:25

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


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Feb 21, 2019
Prince on tour: Muhammad bin Salman
00:19:42

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

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Feb 20, 2019
Labour’s love lost: British politics
00:19:48

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

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Feb 19, 2019
State of the unionising: Amazon
00:22:08

We examine the aftermath of the online behemoth’s withdrawal of its New York expansion plans, and speak with its Midwestern workers about growing talk of unionising. President Emmanuel Macron hopes to quell protests across France with a series of “town halls”; we drop into one. And mezcal is on the rise, but can tequila’s more-traditional cousin survive if the whole world wants a shot?


Music credit: "Chez Space" by The Freeharmonic Orchestra (CC-BY)

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Feb 18, 2019
Emergency measures: America’s border deal
00:20:01

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


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Feb 15, 2019
IS this the end? Islamic State’s last stand
00:20:13

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

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Feb 14, 2019
It’s not easy: the Green New Deal
00:22:46

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

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Feb 13, 2019
Independents’ day: Catalans on trial
00:19:23

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

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Feb 12, 2019
You say you want: Revisiting Iran’s revolution
00:24:27

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


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Feb 11, 2019
Princess unbridled: Thai politics
00:19:08

A Thai princess enters the running for prime minister—a development that reshuffles the country’s centres of power completely. Our obituaries editor chronicles the heartbreak of an Iraqi archaeologist. And Chinese scientists have come up with a smarter way for Earthlings to try contacting aliens—but what kinds of messages is humanity sending them?

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Feb 08, 2019
The Intelligence: Weapons redrawn
00:19:02

After America and Russia pull out out of a cold war-era weapons treaty, we examine the picture of global stability without it. Our China columnist visits with members of the Hui, a repressed Muslim minority spread throughout the country. And Europe launches a system to combat fake-medicines—an expansive and expensive project that few think is necessary.



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Feb 07, 2019
The Intelligence: Credible, but critical
00:21:09

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

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Feb 06, 2019
The Intelligence: Don’t despair, America
00:20:08

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

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Feb 05, 2019
The Intelligence: A despot’s calculation
00:18:55

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

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Feb 04, 2019
The Intelligence: Be careful on the way out
00:22:26

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

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Feb 01, 2019
The Intelligence: Down and out in “iPhone City”
00:18:24

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

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Jan 31, 2019
The Intelligence: This is not a coup
00:27:17

International pressure is mounting on the dictatorial regime of Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro. As he hints at negotiations with a resurgent opposition, we ask how the country’s citizens make ends meet amid the misery. A striking American indictment will make the China trade talks that start today even more tense than last time. And, why is it getting easier to get good-quality Indian food in the truck stops of America?


Additional music: Cylinder Five by Chris Zabriskie.

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Jan 30, 2019
The Intelligence: Deal, delay or dither?
00:21:55

It’s another crucial vote in the Brexit saga as Prime Minister Theresa May learns whether her leaving plan will be derailed or delayed. Autonomous weapons are coming along just as fast as autonomous vehicles are. But who’s tackling the ethics of killer robots? And, the surprising number of uses that Cubans have found for condoms.

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Jan 29, 2019
The Intelligence: Trailer
00:02:56

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

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Jan 23, 2019