Economist Radio

By The Economist

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 Aug 6, 2019


 Jul 6, 2019


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 Jun 16, 2019


 Apr 27, 2019

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The Economist was founded in 1843 "to throw white light on the subjects within its range". For more from The Economist visit http://shop.economist.com/collections/audio


Episode Date
The Economist asks: What’s the recipe for the restaurant of the future?
00:25:53

Over iced coffee and crullers at Union Square Cafe in New York, Anne McElvoy asks restaurateur Danny Meyer about his recipe for restaurant success—from Michelin-starred 11 Madison Park to the fast-food chain Shake Shack. They talk about how #MeToo has changed the politics of the kitchen and why he would rather diners left smaller tips. And, when any dish can be delivered at the tap of an app, is there still magic in eating out?

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Aug 23, 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
Editor’s picks: August 22nd 2019
00:23:17

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, our cover story on what companies are for (12:20) Also, Matteo Salvini hopes elections will make him Italy’s prime minister. (18:40) And how Burgundy wine investors have beaten the stock market

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Aug 22, 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
Babbage: Gut Feeling
00:21:31

How can understanding the link between gut bacteria and Autism Spectrum Disorder help scientists develop a treatment? Broken heart syndrome, or Takotsubo, is a serious condition that can be caused by the death of a loved one. Scientists have recently discovered a possible link to cancer. Also, could re-training the brain combat chronic breathlessness? Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Aug 21, 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
The Secret History of the Future: Salvation in the Air
00:33:36

At the dawn of the 20th century, chemists dreamed of extracting nitrogen from the air and turning it into a limitless supply of fertiliser. Sceptics thought they were crazy—it was possible in theory, but it was unclear if it could be done in practice. What happened next changed the course of 20th-century history, and provides inspiration to innovators pursuing a different dream today: sucking carbon dioxide out of the air to avert climate change. Might they not be quite so crazy after all?

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Aug 21, 2019
Money talks: From bad to wurst
00:20:09

This week the Bundesbank warned that Germany’s economy will probably soon be in recession. Henry Curr, our economics editor, argues that the country needs more fiscal stimulus. Who will buy the world’s largest AI computer chip? And, Apple's entry into the credit card market. Simon Long hosts

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Aug 20, 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
The Economist asks: Who will decide the fate of Hong Kong?
00:25:34

Former Chief Secretary of the territory, Anson Chan, has called on leader Carrie Lam to withdraw a controversial law which sparked a wave of protests. Anne McElvoy asks her whether Hong Kong’s special status is under threat and, 30 years after the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, if history might repeat itself? Anne also speaks with our Asia columnist, Dominic Ziegler, who has been reporting on the story since it began

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Aug 16, 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
Editor’s picks: August 15th 2019
00:31:02

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, markets are braced for a global downturn. (10:00) Bernie Sanders could hand the Democratic ticket to a moderate. (18:02) And, investors are growing disenchanted with Narendra Modi

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Aug 15, 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
Babbage: A cure for Ebola?
00:20:31

Two treatments for Ebola have emerged from a clinical trial in Africa. Scientists estimate that sea-levels across the globe will rise by 50cm or so in the next 80 years; in some places they could go up by twice as much. Are governments and businesses prepared to deal with the rising tides? And, as face-recognition technology spreads, so do ideas for subverting it. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Aug 14, 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
The Secret History of the Future: Bug in the System
00:32:51

The first ever computer program was written in 1843 by Ada Lovelace, a mathematician who hoped her far-sighted treatise on mechanical computers would lead to a glittering scientific career. Today, as we worry that modern systems suffer from “algorithmic bias” against some groups of people, what can her program tell us about how software, and the people who make it, can go wrong?

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Aug 14, 2019
Money talks: Delayed tariffication
00:21:37

President Trump has delayed some tariffs on Chinese imports. Soumaya Keynes, our US economics editor, explains the surprise decision and its implications for the global economy. Also, is data as valuable an asset as oil? What can companies learn from the oil industry about keeping data safe? And, the secrets of success for online fashion retailers. Rachana Shanbogue hosts

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Aug 13, 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
The Economist asks: Is LA the model for a more diverse America?
00:31:43

Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, argues America’s second largest city benefits from being a melting pot. Anne McElvoy asks him how he is faring in tackling the city’s housing crisis and why he is not running for the Democratic nomination in 2020. They address allegations of racism in the White House and, in the wake of two mass shootings, how to curb gun violence in America. Also, could smooth jazz prevent traffic jams?

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Aug 09, 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
Editor’s picks: August 8th 2019
00:19:47

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, China’s response to the protests in Hong Kong could have global repercussions.  The British government claims it is too late for MPs to prevent the country leaving the EU on October 31st. Yet many are determined to try (9:12). And, Norway has had its fillet of fish-smugglers (16:33)

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Aug 08, 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
Babbage: Meno-Pause
00:20:56

Can pioneering surgery help delay the menopause and how will it impact women's lives? And, Clara Vu, of Veo Robotics, explains some of the challenges of designing “cobots”, robots that work collaboratively with humans on manufacturing tasks. Also, should people have the right to choose to know if they are a carrier of a hereditary genetic disease? Alok Jha hosts

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Aug 07, 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
The Secret History of the Future: Dots, Dashes and Dating Apps
00:33:04

In the 19th century, young people wooed each other over the telegraph. But meeting strangers on the wires could lead to confusion, disappointment, and even fraud. Do modern online dating apps have anything to learn from telegraph romances?

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Aug 07, 2019
Money talks: Yuan-a fight?
00:20:20

President Donald Trump has accused China of being a currency manipulator, after the Chinese currency “po qi” or “cracked 7” against the US dollar— a psychologically significant value—for the first time in over a decade. How will this escalation of the US-China trade war affect global markets? Also, how useful are yield curves for predicting future recessions? And, life without Uber. Rachana Shanbhogue presents.

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Aug 06, 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
The Economist asks: Should race matter on stage?
00:30:13

Wendell Pierce, best known for his roles in the television dramas “The Wire”, “Suits” and “Jack Ryan”, plays Willy Loman in a new production of “Death of a Salesman”, moving to London’s West End in the autumn. Anne McElvoy caught up with him backstage in July and asked him about whether casting an all-black Loman family changes the nature of the play, his thoughts on America's troubled racial history, and how that history shapes his views of the current president of the United States

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Aug 02, 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
Editor’s picks: August 1st 2019
00:23:36

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the collapse of the Amazon, which is home to 40% of Earth’s rainforest, would be felt far beyond Brazil’s borders. America’s central bank has cut rates for the first time in more than a decade (9:40). And, meal delivery is anything but a tasty business (15:20)

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Aug 01, 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
Babbage: Hot as hell
00:28:03

Record-breaking heatwaves are becoming routine and they are killing people. But many of the potentially life-saving solutions are both low-tech and low-cost. Governments should be doing more. Also, we visit Lake Chad in the Sahel to understand how climate change can fuel conflict. And, droughts or floods, heatwaves or cold snaps, just how responsible is humanity for extreme weather events? Catherine Brahic hosts

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Jul 31, 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
The Secret History of the Future: Mars on Earth
00:34:26

Polar exploration was the Victorian equivalent of the space race. Major powers vied to outdo each other, funding expeditions to the most inhospitable parts of the world as demonstrations of their supremacy over nature and each other. Today, the resulting tales of triumph and tragedy hold valuable lessons about what to do—and what not to do—as human explorers plan missions to Mars.

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Jul 31, 2019
Money talks: Warren of Wall Street
00:23:13

Can US Senator Elizabeth Warren convince Wall Street to back her and how are the other candidates faring in the Democratic competition for the 2020 presidential nomination? And, David Autor, an economist at MIT, speaks to Money Talks about how computers changed the US labour market, the impact of China and his gecko brand. Also, will the world follow Sweden’s lead and go cashless? Simon Long hosts

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Jul 30, 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
The world ahead: Sunshady business
00:18:46

If efforts to cut emissions fall short, might some nations resort to solar geoengineering — building a sunshade in the stratosphere — to buy more time? Also, what if Facebook blocked Europeans from using its services? Tom Standage hosts

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Jul 29, 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
The Economist asks: How should filmmakers depict Nazi Germany?
00:21:08

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck hoped never to make a film about the Third Reich. Anne McElvoy asks the Oscar-winning director of “The Lives of Others” what changed his mind. His new film, “Never Look Away”, was inspired by the life of the artist Gerhard Richter, who unwittingly married the daughter of an SS doctor responsible for the death of his aunt. Von Donnersmarck responds to criticisms of the film from Richter, and from those who say he stylises violence. And, how does his nation's relationship with the past shape European politics today?

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Jul 26, 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
Editor’s picks: July 25th 2019
00:20:36

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, to stop a no-deal Brexit, moderate Tory MPs must be ready to bring down Boris Johnson. The growing friendship between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping is much better for China than it is for Russia (8:50). And, the business of live music – how big stars maximise their take from tours (16:30)

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Jul 25, 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
Babbage: Return of the king
00:18:21

Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has reclaimed its crown as the world’s most valuable listed company. What can other firms learn from its reboot? Also, Reshma Shetty, cofounder of Gingko Bioworks, explains the potential of synthetic biology to harness – and transform – the power of nature. And, British ethicists put police use of artificial intelligence on trial. Alok Jha hosts

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Jul 24, 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
The Secret History of the Future: Meat and Potatoes
00:36:20

The potato seemed strange and unappetizing when it first arrived in Europe. But it grew into a wonder food that helped solve the continent’s hunger problems. Can its journey tell us what to expect from current efforts to replace animal meat with societally healthier meat alternatives made from plants, insects, or cells grown in petri dishes?

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Jul 24, 2019
Money talks: Europe’s bright spots
00:16:42

A few resilient countries and sectors have helped cushion the effects of a trade and manufacturing slowdown on the euro zone. But can that continue? Also, Tyler Cowen, an economist and blogger, stands up for big business. And, it’s all in the small print – why it matters that consumers neither read nor understand the contracts they sign. Simon Long hosts

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Jul 23, 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
The Economist asks: Anna Wintour
00:29:57

For more than 30 years as editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour has been the gatekeeper of high style. Anne McElvoy asks if the fashion business can genuinely deliver sustainability and shift catwalk stereotypes. They discuss why Wintour personally avoids social media and the consequences of Donald Trump’s tweets about non-white congresswomen. Also, she addresses why Melania Trump has not been asked to appear on Vogue's cover since becoming first lady

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Jul 19, 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
Editor’s Picks: July 18th 2019
00:21:52

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is likely to be even more racially divisive than his first. WhatsApp has become Africa’s most popular messaging platform but also a political tool to spread misinformation (8’22). And, drag performers in China are adapting to their socially conservative society (16’17).

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Jul 18, 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
Babbage: The next giant leap for mankind
00:22:40

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 moon mission. Is humankind about to return there? And what do the next 50 years of space exploration hold? The task of moderating a platform with over two billion active users is a daunting one. Brent Harris, Facebook’s director of governance, explains his plans. And the science behind the search for the reddest red yet. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Jul 17, 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
The Secret History of the Future: Unreliable Evidence
00:27:52

In the early 20th century a new forensic technique—fingerprinting—displaced a cruder form of identification based on body measurements. Hailed as modern, scientific, and infallible, fingerprinting was adopted around the world. But in recent years doubts have been cast on its reliability, and a new technique—DNA profiling—has emerged as the forensic gold standard. In assuming it is infallible, are we making the same mistake again?

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Jul 17, 2019
Money talks: How slow can you grow?
00:21:33

Last week’s episode asked how long American economic growth could last. Now, new figures reveal that China’s growth is the slowest in nearly three decades. What can the Chinese government do about it? Insurance companies make their money from predicting disaster, but as those risks change the industry is lagging behind. And England has won the Cricket World Cup in a controversial tiebreak––but are tiebreaks fair? Simon Long hosts

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Jul 16, 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
The Economist asks: Is conservatism in crisis?
00:25:01

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, George Will, and Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist’s political editor, debate whether the conservatism movement is reorienting into one that chooses populism over prudence and they dissect the challenges that conservatism faces around the world. Anne McElvoy asks them whether the next generation of conservative leaders will be made in the image of Donald Trump. And, can a baseball nation and a cricket nation unite over conservatism?

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Jul 12, 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
Editor’s picks: July 11th 2019
00:19:27

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: could America’s longest economic expansion on record be coming to an end? How India’s hunt for “illegal immigrants” is aimed at Muslims, including many citizens (09:20). And, employers are wrongly looking for superhero candidates (14:30).

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Jul 11, 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
Babbage: How tech is my valley?
00:22:51

China is promoting a tech district that it hopes will be a serious contender to America’s Silicon Valley. Hal Hodson, The Economist’s technology correspondent, visits the new hub. Lord John Browne, author of “Make, Think, Imagine”, on how advancements in engineering and artificial intelligence will eventually affect civilisation. And, what do hydrogen molecules sound like? Some innovative students have developed “molecular music.” Kenneth Cukier hosts.

Music provided by Ilkley Grammar School students Sam Harris, Matthew Hodson, Joe Higgit and Edgar Langley. 

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Jul 10, 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
The Secret History of the Future: Second Wind
00:30:16

For thousands of years we sailed our cargo across oceans using zero-emission, 100 percent renewable wind. Then we switched to ships that run on oil, creating a global maritime fleet that pumps greenhouse gases into the sky. Could we go back to wind-powered ships by rediscovering a clever nautical innovation that we abandoned a century ago?

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Jul 10, 2019
Money talks: When the growing gets tough
00:18:19

America’s economy has been expanding for 121 months in a row—unemployment is low and the stock market has soared. But how long can this last? History suggests a painful recession might be around the corner. Nobel prizewinner and economics professor Joseph Stiglitz tells us capitalism is broken. And, what is an economist's secret to affordable tickets to Wimbledon? Rachana Shanbhogue hosts

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Jul 09, 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
The Economist asks: Mark Carney
00:24:24

The Governor of the Bank of England explains how central banks are preparing for a riskier world. Mark Carney, who is due to step down next year, singles out climate change as a significant emerging risk for insurance companies and markets. But what can central bankers do about it? He also responds to critics who say he's overstepping the bounds of his role and discusses why he feels that his Brexit warnings have been vindicated. And, was he a fan of Stormzy's Glastonbury performance? Anne McElvoy hosts

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Jul 05, 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
Editor’s picks: July 4th 2019
00:27:39

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the global crisis in conservatism. Royal Dutch Shell’s boss delivers some hard truths on oil and climate change (10:18). And, insects become fish food (18:00)

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Jul 04, 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
Babbage: DeepMind games
00:20:57

The child chess prodigy who created a computer that outplays human grandmasters—Demis Hassabis, founder of DeepMind, explains how games are a testing ground for algorithms and what real-world challenges he hopes to tackle with artificial intelligence. And, what can AlphaZero, the chess-playing computer, teach human players? Kenneth Cukier also speaks to the chess players Dominic Lawson, Natasha Regan and Matthew Sadler about the future of machine intelligence and its interplay with human wisdom

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Jul 03, 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
The Secret History of the Future: A Familiar Tune
00:39:26

The 19th-century invention of the phonograph left composers worried they might not be paid for recordings. The 20th-century proliferation of digital sampling outmoded old copyright laws. Can these previous tech disruptions of the music business teach us how to handle a 21st-century onslaught of computers that can compose their own songs?

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Jul 03, 2019
Money talks: Brexit and the City
00:22:54

London is home to the world’s biggest international financial centre. But Brexit threatens to cut the City off from its most important single foreign market. Tamzin Booth, The Economist’s Britain business editor, investigates whether the City of London can survive Brexit and how other cities across Europe, like Frankfurt, are vying to win their rival’s business. What is at stake on both sides of the Channel, and are there any winners in this battle? 

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Jul 02, 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
Editor’s picks: June 28th 2019
00:21:16

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how should the world contain Iran? Reparations for slavery is a morally appealing but flawed idea (9:08). And, Europe heroically defends itself against veggie burgers (16:30)

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Jun 28, 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
Babbage: Curing the big sea
00:19:51

Researchers hope to use disease-fighting genes found in whales to help find treatments for cancer in humans. Airliners that mix batteries and fossil fuel could dominate the skies in the future. And, are people more honest than they think they are? Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Jun 27, 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
The Economist asks: Can Labour solve Brexit?
00:31:30

While British headlines are dominated by the race to become the next Conservative prime minister, the opposition Labour party is divided over how to resolve the Brexit stalemate. Anne McElvoy interviews John McDonnell MP, the shadow chancellor, who is one of the strongest voices calling for a second referendum in which he wants Labour to campaign to remain in the EU. Anne asks him about revoking Article 50, if he would push for a vote of no confidence to force a general election, whether he has ambitions to become Labour leader and what the party is doing to root out anti-Semitism

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Jun 26, 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
The Secret History of the Future: Season 2 Trailer
00:02:33

What can 19th century polar exploration teach us as humans plan missions to Mars? Do modern online dating apps have anything to learn from romances over the telegraph wires? Dig into the past, and you’ll find surprising lessons about what’s next for our modern world. Season 2 of "The Secret History of The Future" starts on July 3rd 2019.

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Jun 26, 2019
Money talks: Bargaining chips
00:17:54

The trade war between America and China is intensifying after America blacklisted five more Chinese technology entities. Will this jeopardise any talk of a trade deal at the upcoming G20 summit? Could low-denomination treasury bills help Italy’s cash-strapped economy? Also, a new way of working called “ghost work”. Phil Coggan hosts

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Jun 25, 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
The World ahead: In the Sharenthood
00:29:11

What if America decided to pull out of NATO? And a trip to 2029 to report on a landmark case in which parents are required to pay damages for sharing images of their children online, and refusing to take them down when the children grow up. Tom Standage hosts

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Jun 24, 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
The Economist asks: Which Democrats can challenge Donald Trump in 2020?
00:30:17

Anne McElvoy and John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, interview two distinctive hopefuls in the race to replace Donald Trump. Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, assesses America's role in the world and sets out his plan to redress racial inequality. He also reflects on what he has learned both from Mr Trump and from Leslie Knope, a character in the TV comedy, “Parks and Recreation”. And Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur, champions universal basic income as a way to restore the elusive American Dream

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Jun 21, 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
Editor’s Picks: June 20th 2019
00:21:59

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Boris Johnson is the favourite to become Britain's next Prime Minister (8:23). America’s future will be written in the two mega-states—California and Texas (16:50). And, pets have gained the upper paw over their so-called owners

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Jun 20, 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
Babbage: Facebucks
00:19:31

Facebook wants to create a global digital currency—what could possibly go wrong? Also, why billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, founder of Blackstone private-equity firm, is donating £150m to fund a humanities centre at Oxford University. And, what can be done to increase public trust in artificial intelligence? Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Jun 19, 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
Money talks: Banking bad
00:16:43

Deutsche Bank plans to create a new division, a “bad bank”, which will hold tens of billions of euros of assets as part of an overhaul of it is operations. Will the remaining firm become profitable enough to satisfy regulators and investors? And the growing concern in China over balancing the books at a local level. Also, our correspondent takes a trip to Citeco — France’s museum of economics. Patrick Foulis hosts

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Jun 18, 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
The Economist asks: Armistead Maupin
00:23:19

Anne McElvoy asks the creator of “Tales of the city” about what drew him back to 28 Barbary Lane and a new batch of tales of queer America. Fifty years on from the Stonewall riots that sparked the LGBT civil rights movement, Armistead Maupin talks about how far there is still to go, what young gay men can never understand about his generation and why he has finally decided to abandon his beloved San Francisco

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Jun 14, 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
Editor’s Picks: June 13th 2019
00:23:11

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, huge demonstrations in Hong Kong have rattled the territory’s government. (8:50) America’s biggest defence merger highlights the changing nature of war (17:11) And, why Australia’s pioneering image cloaks a nanny state

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Jun 13, 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
Babbage: Space invaders
00:23:36

The business opportunities from small satellite technology are infinite: from an ‘ambulance’ which rescues malfunctioning spacecraft to devices that can measure the oil level in a tanker from space. Are we on the verge of making gene-editing technology safer? And, 50 years after man set foot on the moon, Oliver Morton, senior editor and author, predicts the future of humans’ relationship with lunar exploration. Kenn Cukier hosts

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Jun 12, 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
Money talks: All the presidents men
00:19:23

There are no women in the running to take over as the next President of the European Central Bank. And, lessons from the Woodford Investment group—even star fund-managers can struggle to outperform the market. Also, why do German billionaires avoid the limelight? Simon Long hosts

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Jun 11, 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
Editor’s Picks: June 7th 2019
00:22:11

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the second half of humanity is joining the internet. Citizens of the emerging world will change the web and it will change them. Next, could the slaughter of pro-democracy protesters in Khartoum be Sudan’s Tiananmen? (7:43) And, why baseball reflects America’s desire to be different (14:39)

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Jun 07, 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
The Economist asks: Who can lead Britain through Brexit?
00:36:16

Anne McElvoy speaks to two candidates in the race to succeed Theresa May as Conservative leader and Britain's prime minister. She catches up with Rory Stewart, the international development secretary, who proposes a “citizens’ assembly” to solve Brexit. And she asks the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, how he would avoid a no-deal Brexit and about explaining the National Health Service to President Donald Trump

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Jun 06, 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
Babbage: Fusing the future
00:20:03

In this week’s Babbage, Alok Jha investigates the organisations and companies trying to crack a technology that could solve all of the world’s energy problems in a stroke—nuclear fusion. From Iter, the world's largest collaborative fusion experiment, to private start-ups racing to be first, could the long-promised dream of nuclear fusion - to provide clean, limitless, carbon-free power - finally be about to come true?

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Jun 05, 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
Money talks: Tariffs at dawn
00:19:39

President Trump has started using import tariffs to win political as well as economic battles. What will be the impact of his latest threats to impose tariffs on Mexican goods? Also, how the US Federal Reserve is preparing for the next recession. And, how a toxic working environment can poison lives even among do-gooders. Simon Long hosts

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Jun 04, 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
The Economist asks: Who will run tomorrow’s top companies?
00:27:15

Anne McElvoy asks Ursula Burns about how she became the first black woman to run a Fortune 500 company. She explains why she now champions gender quotas, having vehemently opposed them. And, as AI threatens more traditional jobs, how CEOs should balance protecting profits with protecting their employees

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May 31, 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
Editor’s Picks: May 30th 2019
00:26:01

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Britain’s constitutional time-bomb. Brexit is already a political crisis—sooner or later it will become a constitutional one too. How floods and storms in the Midwest are altering American attitudes to climate change (9’24). And, 30 years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, many Chinese know little about the bloodshed (18’07)

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May 30, 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
Babbage: Rash behaviour
00:19:25

The measles resurgence around the world has been blamed on parents refusing to vaccinate their children but is vaccinating children enough? Also, how a new glove for humans is teaching robots how to feel. And Kenneth Cukier asks Carl Benedikt Frey, economic historian, what can be learnt from the industrial revolution in today’s world of automation and robots.

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May 29, 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
Money talks: Just the job
00:20:53

The received wisdom is that work is becoming low-paid and precarious, with jobs lost to automation and the gig economy. The data say otherwise. What does the jobs boom in the rich world mean for the global economy? Also, will Alibaba’s plans to list in Hong Kong start a corporate shift away from Wall Street? And, the role of clearing houses in averting financial crises. Philip Coggan hosts

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May 28, 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
The world ahead: Food for thought
00:22:07

After the successful stockmarket flotation of Beyond Meat, maker of the Beyond Burger, we assess the potential impact of meat substitutes on global meat consumption. Also, is space tourism about to take off? And what can be done to preserve indigenous languages for future generations. Tom Standage hosts.

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May 27, 2019
The Economist asks: Are the Victorians a model for Brexit Britain?
00:34:26

With Theresa May on her way out of 10 Downing Street and Britain no closer to achieving the Brexit she promised, Anne McElvoy takes the long view. She asks Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative MP, and Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, to debate how the titans of the 19th century shaped modern Britain. What would Queen Victoria do? And who in the Conservative party do they tip to take over the leadership?

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May 24, 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
Editor’s Picks: May 23rd 2019
00:23:26

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party has won a second landslide victory. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, should make better use of his latest triumph. Can China, home to half the world’s pigs, curb the epidemic of African swine flu (6’28)? And Brazil faces painful disagreement over how to commemorate its history of slavery (12’54)

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May 23, 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
Babbage: Data to the rescue
00:24:47

Access to the right data can be as valuable in humanitarian crises as water or medical care, but it can also be dangerous. Misused or in the wrong hands, the same information can put already vulnerable people at further risk. Kenneth Cukier hosts this special edition of Babbage examining how humanitarian organisations use data and what they can learn from the profit-making tech industry. This episode was recorded live from Wilton Park, in collaboration with the United Nations OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data

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May 22, 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
Money talks: When the chips are down
00:22:47

How will the Trump administration’s restrictions affect Huawei—can the world’s second biggest smartphone maker adapt to not doing business with America? Michael Froman, a former US trade representative and the vice-chairman of MasterCard, discusses how private companies themselves can promote freer trade. And Jennifer Eberhardt, a professor of psychology, on the science of racial bias. Simon Long hosts

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May 21, 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
The Economist asks: Cass Sunstein
00:23:23

Anne McElvoy asks Cass Sunstein, a former advisor to Barack Obama and co-author of "Nudge", how far the state should define our quest for personal freedom. They discuss how we might need a GPS to navigate through life, the limits of nudging and why left-wing Democrats might be their own worst enemy

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May 17, 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
Editor’s Picks: May 16th 2019
00:23:43

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, as the rivalry between China and the United States grows, surging sanctions create both risks and unexpected business opportunities. Why the feeble Afghan government is losing the war against the Taliban (10’23). And a tale of golden fleeces—why people in Senegal pay a fortune for fancy sheep (20’19)

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May 16, 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
Babbage: Facing the future?
00:21:10

Legislators in San Francisco have just voted to ban the use of facial recognition—is this a victory for privacy or a setback for technology? Also, new research on how machine learning can be used to predict the likelihood of breast cancer. And Amazon's boss, Jeff Bezos, draws inspiration from science fiction in his aim to build space habitats. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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May 15, 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
Money talks: A US-China game of nerves
00:26:24

Two-way trade between America and China hit $2bn a day last year. But the growing mistrust between the two countries is turning business from a safe space into a field of contention. David Rennie, The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, has travelled across both countries and found that, with China’s daunting rise, making money is no longer enough to keep friendly relations.

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May 14, 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
The Economist asks: Melinda Gates
00:20:12

Anne McElvoy asks Melinda Gates whether gender equality starts in the kitchen. The American philanthropist explains why the tech world risks entrenching bias into the future, but defends the Gates Foundation’s decision to halve its paid family leave. And Anne and Melinda swap top tips for getting teenagers to do the washing up

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May 10, 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
Editor’s Picks: May 9th 2019
00:21:02

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, our cover story reports on the brewing conflict between America and Iran. Both sides need to step back. Also, why the Mexican-American population is shrinking, despite headlines from the southern border (10:05). And, what the latest trends in baby names say about how France is changing (17:34)

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May 09, 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
Babbage: Uber traffic
00:20:31

As Uber prepares for its public listing this week, a new study in San Francisco shows that ride-hailing companies cause major road congestion. Also, how much should smart speakers see as well as hear? And, author Douglas Rushkoff explains why he views modern technology as anti-human. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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May 08, 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
Money talks: Tech’s raid on the banks
00:23:22

Digital disruption is coming to banking at last. Helen Joyce travels across Asia to see how fintechs like Ant Financial are transforming how people spend, save and invest their money, and asks whether traditional banks can catch up. Who will win the battle to be the bank of the future? And could having a bank in your pocket make your money safer?

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May 07, 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
The Economist asks: Bret Easton Ellis
00:27:26

Anne McElvoy asks author and iconoclast Bret Easton Ellis about why he has decided to take on the social mores of millennials. From the #metoo movement and freedom of expression to anger on social media, he discusses the dangers of a growing generational disconnect. And he apologises for claiming millennials don’t care about literature

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May 03, 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
Editor’s Picks: May 2nd 2019
00:28:28

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the fight against jihadists is moving to Africa. Despite Western help, governments in the Sahel are struggling to beat back violent extremists. Next, the Democrats and American foreign policy—a chance for radical rethinkers (12:43). And, Netflix and pills—why the drugs industry should take inspiration from the entertainment industry (23:38)

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May 02, 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
Babbage: Net zero Britain
00:21:00

This week the Committee on Climate Change releases its anticipated recommendations for Britain to become a carbon-free economy, but will the Government take meaningful action? Also, the controversial subject of lung cancer screening. And David Spiegelhalter discusses ‘The Art of Statistics’. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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May 01, 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
Money talks: Rise of the No Men
00:19:09

Since the financial crisis, compliance officers in charge of minimising banks’ regulatory woes have never been more in demand. Will banks reach peak compliance? Also, author Caroline Criado Perez exposes what she calls “data bias in a world designed for men”. Also, after Avengers: Endgame broke box office records, will Disney Hulk smash the streaming competition later this year? Philip Coggan hosts

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Apr 30, 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
The world ahead: When the drugs don't work
00:21:39

In this edition of The world ahead we examine a possible future where antibiotics no longer work. What causes such antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and what can be done to remedy it? And in another health-care scenario, we examine technology's potential to address the global shortage of medical staff. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Apr 29, 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 Economist asks: Ian McEwan
00:26:39

Anne McElvoy asks Man Booker prize-winning novelist Ian McEwan what distinguishes humans and robots in the age of AI. They discuss his new novel "Machines Like Me", a Promethean story which argues that engineers are the mythic gods of today. They also talk about why young writers should switch off their smartphones

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Apr 26, 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
Editor’s Picks: April 25th 2019
00:22:35

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how to stop the rot in South Africa. The liberal opposition cannot win the elections on May 8th, so the president must clean up his own party. Next, why Britain’s artful compromise on Huawei and 5G is a model for other countries (10:17). And, geoengineering could alleviate climate change, but with politically explosive consequences (14:54)

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Apr 25, 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
Babbage: The genetic revolution
00:21:09

Kenneth Cukier takes a look at the future of genetic engineering and what it means to be human. He speaks to leading scientists, doctors and philosophers to ask if ethics and regulations are able to keep up with the technology

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Apr 24, 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
Money talks: Waging bull
00:22:46

As the debate about raising the minimum wage in America intensifies, it seems that wages for the lowest-paid Americans are already on the increase.  Also, why is wage growth in the UK picking up at last? Finally, the most expensive homes in the world’s most desirable cities are becoming a bit less expensive.  Simon Longs hosts



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Apr 23, 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
The Economist asks: Renée Fleming
00:23:25

Anne McElvoy goes backstage at New York’s newest arts centre, The Shed, to talk to the Grammy and Polar music prize-winning soprano. They discuss bending the rules of genre and gender opposite Ben Whishaw in “Norma Jeane Baker of Troy”. Also, why opera isn’t in trouble and how to reclaim the title of “diva” for the 21st century

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Apr 19, 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
Editor’s Picks: April 18th 2019
00:19:39

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the trouble with tech unicorns. These billion-dollar businesses seem to have it all—except a path to high profits. Next, why did a fire at Notre Dame cathedral provoke more global grief than the recent deadly floods in Mozambique? (9:54) And, why Pakistan risks exterminating a bird that lays golden eggs (15:23)

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Apr 18, 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
Babbage: Am-AI-zon
00:24:34

Amazon’s use of artificial intelligence has long outstripped Facebook and Google. Just how ingrained is AI at Amazon? Also, journalist and author David Wallace Wells explains the diminishing optimism of the climate change movement. And, how natural disasters fade from collective memory. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Apr 17, 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
Money talks: Big bank theory
00:24:26

America’s largest banks reported earnings this week. Bank of America’s chief executive, Brian Moynihan, tells Anne McElvoy why he is bullish about the American economy and justifies his pay package. Also, can Goldman Sachs reinvent itself in the shadow of a scandal? And, Tiger Woods’s stroke of genius—for the business of golf. Simon Long hosts

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Apr 16, 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
The Economist asks: Preet Bharara
00:30:48

Anne McElvoy asks the former United States attorney for the powerful Southern District of New York whether the law can still do justice in America. He explains the failure to prosecute any Wall St executives after the financial crisis and his concern about how politicised the Mueller report has become. And, Mr Bharara reveals what crime he would be tempted to commit and why he loves mafia movies.

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Apr 12, 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
Editor’s Picks: April 11th 2019
00:28:02

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, mass protests have ousted Sudan’s dictator. The big question now is who will succeed him. Our Lexington columnist argues that Donald Trump is a pro wrestler masquerading as commander-in-chief (7:54). And kidney donors are wanted, dead or alive—we consider how to persuade more of the living to donate (15:39)

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Apr 11, 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
Babbage: Hypersonic Boom
00:18:09

America, China and Russia are developing long range, gliding missiles that travel at speeds greater than Mach 5. What are the threats and safeguards? Also, Dame Stephanie Shirley, the programmer who set up Britain’s first all-female software company in 1962, gives advice to women in tech today. And, how to knit a sports car with carbon fibre. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Apr 10, 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
Money talks: Banking on independence
00:20:26

It’s all change at the European Central Bank with its president, Mario Draghi, set to depart, along with two senior board members. As debate rumbles in America around central-bank independence, can new leadership at the ECB navigate the political shoals? Also, Airbus’s new boss seeks to capitalise as Boeing flounders. And, can the exorbitant cost of cross-border remittances be brought down? Simon Long hosts

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Apr 09, 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
The Economist asks: Juan Manuel Santos
00:25:21

Anne McElvoy asks the former president of Colombia whether the country can sustain a lasting peace with the left-wing FARC guerrilla group. They discuss the best way to tackle the global drug trade and why Venezuela’s dictator, Nicolás Maduro, needs a “golden bridge” to give up power peacefully

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Apr 05, 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
Editor’s picks: April 4th 2019
00:20:09

A selection of three defining articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the promise and perils of synthetic biology—the nascent human capacity to redesign life. Now that Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has resigned, the real battle to overhaul the system begins (9:24). And, where a rejuvenated Tiger Woods ranks on The Economist’s forecast for the golf Masters (14:58).

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Apr 04, 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
Babbage: Dino-more
00:20:45

A little-known paleontologist may have found the last piece of the puzzle explaining the fate of the dinosaurs: what actually happened when the giant asteroid struck the Earth. Also, Paul Davies, a renowned physicist, explains the systems of information that make up consciousness. And, why being heard in the House of Commons is not always essential to getting things done. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Apr 03, 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
Money talks: Opioid scandal
00:20:28

Purdue Pharma, a US company which makes OxyContin and is owned by members of the Sackler family, is at the eye of the opioid crisis.  What next for the Sacklers and how similar is this storm to that which faced the tobacco industry in the 1990s? Also, the fading fortunes of European banks and NYC’s $100bn congestion problem. Simon Long hosts

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Apr 02, 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
The Economist asks: Matteo Renzi
00:24:53

Anne McElvoy asks the former prime minister of Italy what lessons the European Union should take from the turmoil of Brexit. They discuss where the power lies in the union today, why Europe needs to make friends with China and why Westminster is looking rather Italian.

This interview was recorded at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai.

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Mar 29, 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
Editor’s picks: March 28th 2019
00:24:14

A selection of three defining articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Binyamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, provides a parable of modern populism. Flaws in Bitcoin suggest that a lasting revival of cryptocurrencies is unlikely (9:20). And, why museums should return stolen art, but accept donations from almost anyone (18:57)

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Mar 28, 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
Babbage: DiagNoses
00:24:09

How scientists followed the nose of a super-smeller to identify a new test for Parkinson’s disease. Also, historian Kate Brown tells us what she uncovered from decades of researching the Chernobyl disaster. And scientists in China have found a potential solution for recharging the pacemaker. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Mar 27, 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
Money talks: Too close to the Son
00:18:44

Masayoshi Son reinvented investing — as he prepares to raise billions of dollars for Vision Fund 2, what are the governance questions? Chickenomics and how chicken became the rich world's most popular meat. And, our Bartleby columnist explores the role of charisma in good leadership.  Rachana Shanbhogue hosts

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Mar 26, 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
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the March 23rd 2019 edition
00:14:39

To understand the future of Silicon Valley, look across the Atlantic, where the European Union is pioneering a new way of controlling big tech. Plus, the hackers perfecting the art of getting free stuff, and why civilisations create the gods that suit their needs. Josie Delap hosts. 


This is the last episode of “Tasting menu”. For highlights from The Economist every Thursday, search for “Editor’s Picks”, from Economist Radio, wherever you listen to podcasts

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Mar 25, 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 world ahead: Slow social
00:24:45

In this episode we discuss why, after years of trying to make their products as addictive as possible, social-media companies are now heading in the opposite direction. We look forward to key dates later this year for elections, Chinese anniversaries and historic figures. And we ask what the former headmaster of Eton College is bringing to China’s educational system. Tom Standage hosts.

Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)

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Mar 22, 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
The Economist asks: Ben Shapiro
00:30:43

Anne McElvoy asks the controversial podcast host, and author of “The Right Side of History”, why he thinks the West needs a revival of old-fashioned values. In the wake of the mass shootings in New Zealand, they debate whether individuals, platforms or governments are responsible for controlling extreme content online. Also, does Ben Shapiro ever regret having gone too far and which presidential hopeful gets his bet for 2020 and beyond?

Music by Chris Zabriskie, “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Mar 21, 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
Babbage: Insectageddon?
00:19:45

The insect apocalypse may not be imminent, but the decline of insect species is still a concern. And we speak to Dr Angela Gallop about her career as one of Britain’s most eminent forensic scientists. Also, when will a robot barista serve you a latte? Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Mar 20, 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
Money talks: #Metoo in Economics
00:18:01

A new survey published this week shows harassment and discrimination are widespread problems in the academic field of economics. Soumaya Keynes, our US Economics Editor, speaks to those in the field and Ben Bernanke, President of the American Economic Association, about their experiences and what can be done to achieve change

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Mar 19, 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
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the March 16th 2019 edition
00:12:55

After Theresa May’s deal was decisively rejected for a second time, Brexit will almost certainly be delayed. It is time for Parliament to seize the initiative. Plus, how sharing a plate of food could help international diplomacy. And, the world wide web has turned 30—what does its future hold? Lane Greene hosts

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Mar 18, 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
The Economist asks: Ricky Gervais
00:20:47

Anne McElvoy asks the award-winning stand-up comedian and creator of "The Office" whether there are any taboos left in comedy and if it matters when people are offended. They discuss seeing the funny side of illness, addiction, death and grief in his new comedy, “After Life”, and whether dogs might save the world

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Mar 14, 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
Babbage: Pioneers of the WWW
00:20:45

Kenneth Cukier gets in the Babbage time machine and travels to 1989, when Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote the famous memo that laid the foundations for the world wide web. Kenn speaks to some of the other key figures that influenced its invention, like Ted Nelson and Vint Cerf, and then asks what the WWW might look like in the future.

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Mar 13, 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
Money talks: Boeing grounded
00:22:12

Several countries have grounded Boeing’s 737 Max after two catastrophic crashes. What are the precedents and can the business recover? Also, as China’s giant current-account surplus vanishes, could this lead to the Chinese economy opening up? And Volkswagen announces plans to cut jobs as it launches a fleet of new electric cars. Simon Long hosts

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Mar 12, 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
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the March 9th 2019 edition
00:16:18

A new “scramble for Africa” is taking place. This time Africans themselves stand to benefit the most. Also, a dispatch from the frozen Antarctic, and what the samba-dancers of Rio de Janeiro reveal about Brazil’s neglected history – and its present. Christopher Lockwood hosts

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Mar 11, 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
The Economist asks: Is education the great leap forward for feminism?
00:47:21

Meghan Markle (the Duchess of Sussex), Annie Lennox, Adwoa Aboah, Julia Gillard and other guests discuss feminism with Anne McElvoy on International Women’s Day. They debate how to end period poverty, what men and boys can do and does the Duchess get irked by charges of supporting "trendy" causes? The event was organised by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust

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Mar 08, 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
The Economist asks: Christine Lagarde
00:25:54

The head of the International Monetary Fund tells Anne McElvoy what it is like to be the “firefighter” of the global financial system. They debate how realistic it is to push for multilateralism against a backdrop of tariff wars, whether Brexit will be delayed and how the IMF can help Venezuela. Ms Lagarde also reflects on the loneliness of being a woman at the top and how women need to stick together.

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Mar 07, 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
Babbage: Breaking the ice
00:21:34

We have an exclusive interview with Dr Huw Griffiths on the mission to investigate a recently uncovered marine ecosystem in the Antarctic. And the author and scholar Shoshana Zuboff explains surveillance capitalism. Also, how the makers of the game Fortnite have the online platforms of Steam and Google locked in their sights. Kenneth Cukier hosts.

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Mar 06, 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
Money talks: Winter is coming
00:18:58

How a once white-hot tech sector in China is shedding capital, employees and bonuses and heading for a freeze. Plane stupid — a look at the private jet industry and why airlines are phasing out first class seats. Also, Jim Collins, author of the best seller ‘Good to Great’, explains the flywheel principle. Simon Long hosts

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Mar 05, 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
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the March 2nd 2019 edition
00:13:55

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi may be hoping brinkmanship against Pakistan will fire up voters ahead of April’s elections. Both countries must stop playing with fire. Plus a tour of the neglected treasures of ancient Peru—and is there such a thing as a perfect guide to the English language? Anne McElvoy hosts

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Mar 04, 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
The Economist asks: Is Brexit happening?
00:28:38

Sir Ivan Rogers, Britain’s former Ambassador to the EU, says Brexit will happen in 2019. Anne McElvoy also asks him whether Theresa May, Britain’s Prime Minister, is right to take a no-deal exit off the table, what was his advice and how much did she listen. Also, what will the EU’s relationship with Britain be after the divorce and could Britain rejoin the EU?

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Feb 28, 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
Babbage: The element-hunters
00:20:00

It is 150 years since Dmitri Mendeleev discovered the periodic table, the innate order underpinning the elements. Kenneth Cukier explores how this simple grid has shaped our understanding of the universe and our place in it. In a laboratory near Moscow the search is on for element 119, but on the other side of the world in California, researchers are hesitant. Is chemistry over?

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Feb 27, 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
Money talks: No magic sauce
00:21:17

Could Kraft Heinz’s troubles signal the limits of cost-cutting and the strategies of 3G Capital? Germany’s Deutsche Bank is struggling, but merging might not be the right answer. Sallie Krawcheck, a titan of Wall Street, who once thought social impact investing was for “granola eaters”, now tells us companies should be less dominated by white males. Simon Long hosts

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Feb 26, 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
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the February 23rd 2019 edition
00:13:12

The Chinese economic model of steroidal state capitalism is facing a global backlash and offering diminishing returns. Can President Xi be persuaded to reform? Plus, how gumbo tells the story of the American South and why a good astronaut needs a sense of humour. Lane Greene hosts

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Feb 25, 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
The world ahead: Shifting sands of the Sahel
00:22:02

In this episode of our future-gazing podcast we discuss how an often-ignored region in Africa seems set grow in prominence, for the wrong reasons. Professor Stephen Hsu discusses the implications of genomic risk-scoring in health care. And we look at the rise of the couture designer in China. Tom Standage hosts.


Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)

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Feb 22, 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
The Economist asks: Chiwetel Ejiofor
00:22:43

After earning an Oscar nomination for "12 Years a Slave" and his super-villain stripes in "Doctor Strange", Chiwetel Ejiofor has turned his hand to directing. Anne McElvoy asks him what it will take for Hollywood to start casting black actors as the romantic lead. They discuss why there is still so little diversity behind the camera and how much power directors have to change the status quo

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Feb 21, 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
Babbage: Joker AAAStronauts
00:21:00

The latest buzz from the AAAS, the largest general science meeting in the world, from The Economist’s science correspondent, Alok Jha. NASA scientists presented initial findings on how a year in space changes astronauts’ bodies. Why a good sense of humour is required for a successful mission to Mars. And can machines become scientists?

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Feb 20, 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
Money talks: B&B — Brexit and Business
00:15:47

It is not yet clear how Britain will leave the European Union on March 29th. But for companies that have to ship stuff to the other side of the world, Brexit has already arrived. What are British companies doing to prepare themselves for Brexit and what effect will this have on the British economy? Richard Cockett hosts

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Feb 19, 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
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the February 16th 2019 edition
00:12:59

After three decades in the wilderness, socialism is back. Millennial socialists offer a sharp critique of what has gone wrong in Western societies—are they right? Also, why atomic clocks, like wine, get better with age and government-sanctioned science fiction hits big screens in China. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Feb 18, 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
The Economist asks: Why is there always trouble in the Trump White House?
00:23:02

Former White House Staffer Cliff Sims, author of “Team of Vipers”, tells Anne McElvoy why he’s suing Donald Trump. They unpick the paradox of how a man who stirs such fierce loyalty in his supporters inspires so little inside his administration. Also, why the president is great in a crisis and the true meaning of “executive time”

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Feb 14, 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
Babbage: Regulating fake news
00:20:40

Tech giants face regulation on news after UK media review. Its author, Dame Frances Cairncross, tells us even the technology platforms recognise the need for change. Roger McNamee, one of Facebook’s early investors, asks if it’s now too powerful. And the award-winning inventor of GPS on how his early atomic clock just keeps getting better with age. Kenneth Cukier hosts 

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Feb 13, 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
Money talks: A billionaire, a scandal and business…
00:19:02

The world’s richest man, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos fights back against the Enquirer. Tackling the challenge of the "pink" and "blue" jobs market — should the employment market be more "purple"? And on a scale of 1 to 10, how useful are employee surveys? Simon Long hosts

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Feb 12, 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
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the February 9th 2019 edition
00:12:36

Despite wildfires and polar freezes, energy firms are planning to increase fossil fuel production. The climate consequences could be grave. Also, the challenge of putting the morals back into McDonald’s. And the next express beauty trend – botox-to-go. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Feb 11, 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 Economist asks: how to tax the rich?
00:26:36

Rutger Bregman, author of "Utopia for Realists", told Davos that more tax is better than corporate good works. Our economics editor, Henry Curr, challenges him on whether governments should soak the rich. And is income, wealth or inheritance the best target? Anne McElvoy hosts

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Feb 07, 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
Babbage: A bill of data rights
00:20:36

Should individuals have rights over their data that are protected similar to human rights? We discuss the universe with Jo Dunkley of Princeton. And why the oceans are turning a different shade of blue. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Feb 06, 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
Money talks: Crude awakening
00:18:21

ExxonMobil is pursuing an aggressive plan for oil investment. Charlotte Howard, our energy editor, explains why. Also, Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast has a record of wrong-footing critics—can he do so again? And the producers of China’s ancient liquor, baijiu, plan to go global. Host Simon Long tastes it.

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Feb 05, 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
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the February 2nd 2019 edition
00:12:42

The world’s democracies are right to seek change in Venezuela. The question is how. Plus, why Christian pilgrims are flocking to Abu Dhabi, the joy of missing out, and who really was Wild Bill Hickok? Anne McElvoy hosts

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Feb 04, 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 Economist asks: Jacinda Ardern
00:25:08

The prime minister of New Zealand explains why her country is a laboratory for progressive politics. The Economist’s Anne McElvoy and Zanny Minton Beddoes ask her about the economics of well-being and whether she really is “the anti-Trump”. Also, why New Zealand has had enough of being left off the map

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Jan 31, 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
Babbage: Ethically challenged
00:16:13

As the controversial story of the editing of the genomes of two babies in China unfolds, we ask how can science be more ethical — and how to tackle “ethics dumping”. Also, how environmental factors can influence the national security of countries affected by climate change. And we look at the phenomenon of the placebo button. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Jan 30, 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
Money talks: Calming down hyperinflation
00:17:48

With the economic turmoil crippling Venezuela, we ask what can be done to bring a quick resolution to hyperinflation? Also, the Chinese giant grain producer that is threatening the global industry. And yet another controversy for the credit-default swap. Simon Long hosts

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Jan 29, 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
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the January 26th 2019 edition
00:12:02

The global flow of money and goods is stagnating. The world needs to prepare for a new era of “slowbalisation”. Plus, why more people are braving the bullring in America. And we introduce “The Intelligence”, a new daily current-affairs podcast from Economist Radio.

Josie Delap hosts

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Jan 28, 2019
The week ahead: The price of the American government shutdown
00:22:16

As government departments remain unfunded in America, we look at a constitutional principle that may be damaged in the standoff. Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro moves to make guns more easily available. And another shutdown: of this programme. We look back on “The week ahead”, and look forward to what’s next.


Creative commons attribution 4.0 International Chez Space by The Freeharmonic Orchestra

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Jan 25, 2019
The world ahead: Regulating AI
00:21:48

In this episode we discuss what the future holds for the regulation of artificial intelligence. Is populism on the rise in Canada and will it impact Justin Trudeau's chances of re-election? And does China’s new record-breaking bridge really bring it closer to Hong Kong? Anne McElvoy hosts


Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)

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Jan 24, 2019
The Economist asks: Is this the era of slowbalisation?
00:28:15

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Anne McElvoy asks our editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes and Patrick Foulis, author of the cover story, why globalisation has run out of steam and what will future economic growth look like?

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Jan 24, 2019
Babbage: Droning on
00:19:20

How can new technology deal with rogue drones? And what can be learned from Dutch hospitals in the fight against superbugs. Also, the development of a simple camera that can see around corners. Tim Cross hosts

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Jan 23, 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
Money talks: Achtung maybe?
00:14:26

Is Germany's economy on the brink of a recession? And Professor Amy Edmondson, author of “The Fearless Organisation”, examines the importance of speaking up in the workplace. Also, remembering John Clifton "Jack" Bogle, patron saint of the amateur investor. Philip Coggan hosts

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Jan 22, 2019
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the January 19th 2019 edition
00:11:34

This week's cover story analyses Britain's Brexit mess and argues the case for a second referendum as the only way out of it. Also, why modern work is so miserable and a night ride with the rebel bikers of Yangon. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Jan 21, 2019
The week ahead: Plan B, or not to be?
00:23:20

Britain’s prime minister has just days to assemble a Plan B for Brexit. She is short on time, popular ideas and political allies. The leaders of France and Germany will sign a treaty aimed at greater harmony, but that reveals greater discord. And, China’s GDP will be dented not only by trade woes with America but also graver economic worries.

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Jan 18, 2019
The Economist asks: What’s behind the new anti-Semitism?
00:28:42

Deborah Lipstadt made headlines for facing down a libel charge from the English author David Irving after she accused him of Holocaust denial. Anne McElvoy asks her about the return of “the oldest hatred”. They discuss how the Pittsburgh massacre changed what it is to be Jewish in America. And, from Larry David to “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel”, when is it ok to joke about Jewishness?



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Jan 17, 2019
Babbage: A growing conCERN
00:17:38

We discuss CERN’s latest plans for a successor to the Large Hadron Collider. Also, our healthcare editor explains how scientists hope to develop vaccines more quickly for unexpected viruses. And, how altering the genetic code of E.coli is leading to groundbreaking research on cancer drugs. Kenneth Cukier hosts.

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Jan 16, 2019
Money talks: Cost of the shutdown
00:16:40

Will the government shutdown in America cause long-lasting economic damage? Henry Tricks reports on how robots and automation will help Chinese firms cope with rising wages and the trade war. Also, what fuelled the huge growth of Canada's state pension fund and what can it teach other countries? Philip Coggan hosts

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Jan 15, 2019
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the January 12th 2019 edition
00:11:48

Could China become a scientific superpower? Plus, the perils of competitive parenting and a movement for gender equality in European street names. Josie Delap hosts

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Jan 14, 2019
The week ahead: Let’s break a deal
00:23:13

Brexit negotiations became more fraught this week, ahead of Tuesday’s make-or-break vote on the prime minister’s deal. As South Africa’s ruling party unveils its manifesto, we ask whether its newish leader can save his party’s reputation and his country’s economy. And, our correspondent has an unexpectedly long chat with President Donald Trump’s most vocal Republican critic.

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Jan 11, 2019
The Economist asks: How pushy should parents be?
00:22:15

Childhood is not what it used to be, according to The Economist's special report this week. The race to set children on the path to professional and personal success now begins before preschool. But competitive parenting is increasing inequality. Are there any alternatives to the “rug-rat race”? Anne McElvoy hosts

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Jan 10, 2019
Babbage: Will China dominate science?
00:16:34

In a special show, we examine China’s impressive scientific advances and question what they mean for the future of the sciences—and of China. Among the guests is the Chinese-American astronaut Leroy Chiao, discussing China’s recent feat of landing a probe on the far side of the moon. Kenneth Cukier hosts.

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Jan 09, 2019
Money talks: The Euro at 20
00:19:44

As the Euro turns 20 years old, we look back at its launch and ask what the future holds for the currency. After Apple announced it was cutting its quarterly revenue forecast, we discuss whether peak smartphone has been reached. And, Vice President of Twitter, Bruce Daisley, tells us to turn off phone notifications and how to increase the joy of work. Philip Coggan hosts

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Jan 08, 2019
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the January 5th 2019 edition
00:13:38

As Donald Trump enters the second half of his first term, his luck may be about to change. Plus, the young economists to watch this decade. And should companies monitor their employees’ health? Anne McElvoy hosts

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Jan 07, 2019
The week ahead: Hungry for change
00:19:10

As Venezuela starts 2019 wracked with hunger, inflation and an increasingly autocratic government, we take a look ahead to President Nicolás Maduro’s second term presiding over the mess. Trade talks between China and America are looming, again. But the whole system of international trade is changing; we examine why. And, what causes people to so reliably and violently react to split infinitives?

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Jan 04, 2019
The Economist asks: Best of 2018
00:15:58

Anne McElvoy looks back over a year in interviews. Among her guests were several casualties of the Trump administration, from James Comey to Steve Bannon. Tina Tchen, lead lawyer on the Time’s Up campaign, and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson disagree over the promise of #MeToo. And David Sedaris finds comedy in the most excruciating circumstances.

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Jan 03, 2019
Babbage: Success of 'disability tech'
00:13:42

In this special episode of Babbage, we discuss some of the advancements in technology that could change the lives of those living with a disability — an app that is helping those who are visually impaired. Also, how the sit-ski has benefited from research in the aerospace and automotive industries. And, can the symptoms of phantom limb syndrome be harnessed to enhance prosthetics? Kenneth Cukier hosts.

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Jan 02, 2019
Money talks: Bright economic stars
00:28:53

Who are the world’s most exciting young economists? Every ten years, since 1988, The Economist has chosen those whose innovative research is likely to shape our future. Their work varies from the science of education choices to the economics of the weather. In the past, the list has included Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, Freakonomics’ Steven Levitt and Esther Duflo. Our host, Soumaya Keynes, takes a road trip to meet four of the most promising economists of the decade: Stefanie Stantcheva, Melissa Dell, Parag Pathak and Emi Nakamura. Music: Coming Home by TeknoAXE CC by 4.0

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Jan 01, 2019
Tasting menu: A walk through Queens
00:17:01

In a taste of our Christmas double issue, Jon Fasman takes a walk across Queens, New York City, and through America’s past, present and future. He hears from recent and long-standing Queens residents about why they made their lives there. Congresswoman Grace Meng explains the racial tensions bubbling under the surface and the importance of homemade dumplings. And down in Jamaica Bay, a more ancient migration is taking flight.

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Dec 31, 2018
The week ahead: Bolsonaro’s bold agenda
00:20:53

Next week Brazil will inaugurate a new president who has a sweeping set of reforms in mind. What will it take to make them work? We take a look at The Economist’s country of the year poll, and discuss this year’s winner. And, our obituaries editor looks back on a year of lives celebrated.

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Dec 28, 2018
The Economist asks: The wordsmiths
00:27:32

Our Johnson columnist, Lane Greene, decodes the language of 2018 with Lynne Murphy, author of “The Prodigal Tongue” and Anton La Guardia, keeper of The Economist’s style guide. Which words best sum up the closing year? They debate “woke bros” versus “iron snowflakes”, the pros and cons of Americanisms and the key to great writing.

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Dec 27, 2018
Babbage: Best of 2018
00:14:21

In this festive special we look back at some of our favourite stories from 2018. Could IVF could save the northern white rhino from extinction? Also, the discovery of liquid water on Mars. And, how the amphibious life of the Bajau people has led to their unique evolutionary traits. Kenneth Cukier hosts.

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Dec 26, 2018
Tasting menu: The cover story
00:16:36

The Economist’s editor-in-chief, Zanny Minton Beddoes, and deputy editor, Edward Carr, discuss the cover stories of 2018. From Donald Trump swinging on a wrecking ball, to likening Brexit to toilet roll (softer is better), how does a picture sell a thousand words? Anne McElvoy hosts.

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Dec 24, 2018
The world ahead: Will you (not) marry me?
00:17:46

Why will civil partnerships become more common – among straight people? What will the future look like for CCTV surveillance? Also, the business opportunities in North America for retailing cannabis. Simon Long hosts. 


Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)

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Dec 21, 2018
The Week ahead: The great emu bubble
00:19:18

In this episode we dive into stories from The Economist’s festive double issue. In the 1980s Texas farmers looking for alternative meat sources pinned their hopes on the emu, an enormous and leggy bird. What can today’s market-watchers learn from the great emu bubble? We explore the curiously dangerous history of harmony in choral music. And in Belgium, the renovation of the world’s largest African museum at last confronts the country’s horrific colonial past. Jason Palmer hosts.

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Dec 21, 2018
The Economist asks: How is Trump changing the presidency?
00:27:49

Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, asks Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer prize-winning author, what makes a great president and how Donald Trump is changing what it means to hold that office. Doris Kearns Goodwin also says she keeps waiting for Mr Trump to grow in office.

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Dec 20, 2018
Babbage: A little more conservation
00:19:43

We ask how can conservationists preserve biodiversity through new ideas. Also, what can be done to increase the number of women in the technology industry? And Hossein Derakhshan, a formerly jailed Iranian blogger, discusses whether the web is becoming more superficial. Kenneth Cukier hosts.

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Dec 19, 2018
Money talks: The Christmas jamboree
00:23:16

The Economist’s Vijay Vaitheeswaran, Charlotte Howard and NPR’s Cardiff Garcia join host Philip Coggan for our celebration of the business, finance and economics highlights and lowlights of 2018.

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Dec 18, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the December 15th 2018 edition
00:12:34

In this week’s issue, family offices are a new force in global finance – but their billionaire owners will soon face uncomfortable questions. Also, how obsolete technologies could protect against new threats and the art of the perfect copy. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Dec 17, 2018
The week ahead: Yemen’s overlooked war
00:22:03

UN-brokered peace talks, and the American Senate’s withdrawal of support for Saudi Arabia’s forces, at last represent progress in a conflict that threatens millions with starvation. What next? And, how discord and a mangled deal will haunt Britain’s parliamentarians over the holidays. Also, in Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers’ worrying efforts to hamstring incoming Democrats / Additional audio provided courtesy of Ben Wikler

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Dec 14, 2018
The Economist asks: Brexit — what next?
00:22:06

Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, takes the temperature in a dramatic week in British politics with John Peet, The Economist’s Brexit editor, and Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, a proponent of a different way to solve the Brexit dilemma. They discuss Theresa May’s next moves, a Norway option and the possibility of a second referendum


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Dec 13, 2018
Babbage: Lots in space
00:20:48

The race is on to launch satellites to connect the entire world to the internet. We talk to psychologist and geneticist Robert Plomin, about his career and his latest book. And, is the fax machine facing extinction? Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Dec 12, 2018
Money talks: Huawei in the spotlight
00:21:14

The Chinese tech company at the centre of the American - China trade war. How illicit trade is threatening our future with guest Professor Louise Shelley. And the exclusive and influential part of the financial landscape reserved for billionaires. Simon Long hosts.

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Dec 11, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the December 8th 2018 edition
00:11:15

As anti-government protests engulf France, how a little humility could yet save Emmanuel Macron. Plus, why sensible people fall for online scams and the lessons of Greek myths for artificial intelligence. Anne McElvoy hosts.


(A previous version of this podcast included a story on new business regulations in Cuba which is now out of date.)

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Dec 10, 2018
The week ahead: Brexit ramp
00:21:18

A vote in Britain’s parliament next week could well put the country on track for another Brexit referendum. So it should. We examine this year’s UN climate conference and what, amid increasingly dire climate warnings, the delegates are actually doing. And a look back at the life and presidency of George H.W. Bush, with our journalists and one of his cabinet members.

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Dec 07, 2018
The Economist asks: Is populism the problem or the fix?
00:25:23

Can Steve Hilton, host of Fox News’s “The Next Revolution”, convince Yascha Mounk of Harvard University that populist movements could return power to the people? They debate whether Donald Trump will deliver on radical reforms, whether he poses a threat to a free press and if there should be a second Brexit referendum. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Dec 06, 2018
Babbage: Waymo to go
00:18:06

Waymo, a division of Google's parent company Alphabet, launched its self-driving taxi service, but is it really a landmark for driverless vehicles? Also, a vast study seeks to understand the genetic underpinnings of ADHD. And we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “Mother of all demos” computing presentation. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Dec 05, 2018
Money talks: Easing into a recovery?
00:16:57

As the ECB brings an end to quantitative easing, is Europe’s economic recovery underway? How, despite the glamour of its fashion show, Victoria’s Secret is struggling to keep up with rivals. And the problem of online fraud in America. Simon Long hosts

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Dec 04, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the December 1st 2018 edition
00:12:30

China still relies on the outside world for its computer chips – how far should America go to maintain silicon supremacy? Also, democratising lunar landings and why it is so difficult to open a pub in Ireland. Christopher Lockwood hosts


Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)

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Dec 03, 2018
The week ahead: Troubled waters
00:21:16

World leaders gathering for the G20 summit are rocked by ripples from a skirmish in the sea, when Russia captured Ukrainian ships and sailors. Citing the incident, President Trump cancelled a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Also: Mexico’s leftist president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, takes office. Is he a new broom, or a loose cannon? Josie Delap hosts.

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Nov 30, 2018
The Economist asks: General Stanley McChrystal
00:24:39

NATO’s former commander tells Anne McElvoy why he modelled some of his own leadership on al-Qaeda. They discuss his regrets over the invasion of Iraq, the potential for ground war in Europe and whether America should still intervene abroad

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Nov 29, 2018
Babbage: The baby crisperer
00:19:16

A Chinese scientist has claimed to have edited the genomes of two babies using the revolutionary genome-editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9. Also, how the production of semiconductors is becoming a new battlefield. And Kenneth Cukier asks the author, technology executive and investor Elad Gil what it takes for a startup to become a technology giant.

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Nov 28, 2018
The world ahead: Move over, baby boomers
00:21:05

What will America's political landscape look like once millennials outnumber the baby-boom generation? 2019 will also see a triumphant return to the moon. And how Japan is hoping to attract even more tourists. Anne McElvoy hosts.


Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0) 

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Nov 27, 2018
Money talks: Going, going, Ghosn
00:12:14

We discuss General Motors’ plans to halt production at five factories in North America and cut more than 14,000 jobs. Also, what next for Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and Renault after Carlos Ghosn was arrested on suspicion of financial misconduct and dismissed from his post as chairman? And, the challenges facing new pub landlords in Ireland. Philip Coggan hosts.

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Nov 27, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the November 24th 2018 edition
00:11:12

In this week’s issue, why America is the exception to a global decline in suicides. Also, a glimpse of the future of flight and the extraordinary powers of Stan Lee, creator of superheroes. Josie Delap hosts

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Nov 26, 2018
The week ahead: A big deal
00:22:38

This weekend, British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to finalise a withdrawal agreement on Brexit with European leaders. But her greatest hurdle is in Westminster rather than Brussels. Can she secure enough votes for her deal in parliament? Anne McElvoy does the 'fuzzy maths'. Also on the show: What does victory look like in a trade war with China? And why Donald Trump is wrong to gloss over the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Christopher Lockwood hosts

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Nov 23, 2018
The Economist asks: Brexit — can the deal be done?
00:24:33

Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health in Theresa May's Cabinet, on whether the Prime Minister can get a Brexit deal through Parliament and whether a second referendum might be on the cards. Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, also quizzes him on why the NHS lags behind on technology.

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Nov 22, 2018
Babbage: The dos and don'ts of data
00:18:07

In this special episode we examine the controversial gang-mapping database of London's Metropolitan Police Service. Also, a new pilot project to study how a "data trust" might increase access to information while retaining privacy. And how sharing mapping data by the big web platforms could unlock innovations for companies and society. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Nov 21, 2018
Money talks: Trump’s Economics Adviser
00:15:17

We speak to Kevin Hassett, Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers about the American economy.

Helen Joyce hosts.

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Nov 20, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the November 17th 2018 edition
00:13:17

In this week’s issue, why modern capitalism needs a competition revolution. Also, how Brexit might change the face of British football and the perils of finding online fame in China. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Nov 19, 2018
The week ahead: Age-old problems
00:16:35

Our journalists speak with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about Japan’s growing demographic crisis, and what he wants to be remembered for. A crushing famine in a massive region of Africa may have peaked, but it still threatens millions. How can this tragedy be mitigated, or future risks avoided? And, scientists are dealing with a weight problem they’ve had for some time: the definition of the kilogram.

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Nov 16, 2018
The Economist asks: Anthony Scaramucci
00:26:01

Anne McElvoy asks the former White House communications director whether Donald Trump is true to his base. They debate the wisdom of doing battle with the press, if the president’s lies matter and what a Democratic challenger in 2020 should learn from his populist style

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Nov 15, 2018
Babbage: The blame game
00:15:10

Should climate change be a matter of human rights? Also, gene drives' controversial potential to wipe out entire species of mosquitoes. And, a novel watch spring that could change the way mechanical watches are designed. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Nov 14, 2018
Money talks: Monopolies and boardroom games
00:16:15

How powerful firms could undermine public faith in capitalism. Shakespearean drama in Nokia’s boardroom. And most businesses are ramping up their holiday hiring, but where will they find workers? Simon Long hosts.

Music by TeknoAXE CC by 4.0 (Cello Zen, The Cold of the Night)

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Nov 13, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the November 10th 2018 edition
00:13:26

After America's mid-term elections, how do the Democrats need to change their game to succeed in 2020? Also, a tour of the entrepreneurial city that brought blue jeans to the Soviet Union, and five minutes that changed an astronaut’s life. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Nov 12, 2018
The week ahead: Sessions ails
00:26:20

President Trump wastes no time after America's mid-term elections before sacking Jeff Sessions, the attorney-general. What will the ouster mean for the special counsel’s Russia investigation? As NATO concludes its largest exercises since the cold war, we look at the political and logistical headwinds the alliance faces. And next week Tencent, a Chinese tech behemoth, will report more dismal results; how can it withstand the Chinese government’s pressure on games makers? Jason Palmer hosts

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Nov 09, 2018
The Economist asks: Where next for a divided America?
00:38:14

After the hoopla of the mid-term elections - blue wave or red comeback - what does this all mean for America? Anne McElvoy talks to our US Editor, John Prideaux, Chip Roy, former advisor to Ted Cruz, Tim Ryan, Democratic Representative from Ohio, Deb Haaland, one of the first native American women elected to Congress, and Democratic Party strategist Celinda Lake. Who won and what does it mean for 2020?

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Nov 08, 2018
Babbage: Economist in space
00:23:11

Highlights from The Economist’s Space Summit in New York, including an interview with Apollo 9 astronaut Russell 'Rusty' Schweickart. Also, how to prepare for space exploration with Dava Newman, Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at MIT. And, astrophysicist Simonetta Di Pippo and astronaut Leroy Chiao discuss worldwide cooperation in space. Tom Standage hosts

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Nov 07, 2018
The Secret History of the Future: Infinite Scroll
00:37:01

The Renaissance scholars couldn’t keep up with new information (“Have you read the latest Erasmus book?” “I don’t have time!”) and needed a better way to organize it. Thus came the invention of tables of contents, indexes, book reviews, encyclopedias, and other shortcuts. What kinds of technological solutions might help us cope with the information overload we all experience today? Guests include: Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack; Nathan Jurgenson, Snapchat sociologist.

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Nov 07, 2018
Money talks: Mid-term matters
00:20:48

As Americans go to the polls, how will Mr. Trump's economic policies play out in the mid-term elections? Who will benefit from America's opportunity zones? And, the buzz around the SEC and what business bosses really think about President Trump.

Simon Long hosts

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Nov 06, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the November 3rd 2018 edition
00:12:17

In this week’s issue, could America’s mid-term elections stop the toxic polarisation of federal politics? Plus, how artificial intelligence could transform life for urban commuters. And a glimpse of the treasures to be found in translation. Anne McElvoy hosts

Music: “Sad Marimba Planet” by Lee Rosevere (CCx4.0)

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Nov 05, 2018
The week ahead: America’s mid-terms
00:26:21

Next week, Americans head to the polls. Why will it be such a consequential election? President Donald Trump has made a caravan of Central American migrants into an object of scaremongering—but the migrants don’t know of the political fight they’re heading into. And voter suppression is likely to have big effects in tight races; we take a look at the one for Georgia’s governor. Jason Palmer hosts

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Nov 02, 2018
The Economist asks: Angela's exit
00:27:51

Joschka Fischer, former foreign minister and leader of the Green party in Germany, and Anne McElvoy discuss life after Chancellor Merkel’s retreat from power and whether Germany’s dominance in Europe is in jeopardy. Also Merkel's historian, Andreas Roedder, and our Europe Editor, Christopher Lockwood, on who could succeed her. 


Music: “Sad Marimba Planet” by Lee Rosevere, “What Does Anybody Know About Anything” by Chris Zabriskie (CC x 4.0)

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Nov 01, 2018
Babbage: Turning the oceans green
00:20:26

Can greenhouse emissions be cut in maritime transport? Also, with the US midterms a week away, Courtney Kennedy from PEW Research Centre discusses the reliability of polling data. And the artificial intelligence system being tested as a way to cut down train delays. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Oct 31, 2018
The Secret History of the Future: A Little Less Conversation
00:28:54

Some people thought the laying of the transatlantic cable might bring world peace, because connecting humans could only lead to better understanding and empathy. That wasn’t the outcome, and recent utopian ideas about communication (Facebook might bring us together and make us all friends!) have also met with a darker reality (Facebook might polarize us and spread false information!). Should we be scared of technology that promises to connect the world? Guests include: Robin Dunbar, inventor of Dunbar’s Number; Nancy Baym, Microsoft researcher.

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Oct 31, 2018
Money talks: End of Austerity?
00:16:52

Analysis of Britain's budget with our Britain economics correspondent. What is driving the fall in tech stocks? And, is Harley Davidson struggling to fire on all cylinders?

Helen Joyce hosts. Sound effect: THE_bizniss (cc x 3.0)

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Oct 30, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the October 27th 2018 edition
00:11:57

Australia’s economy has been growing for a record 27 years without a recession—could the rest of the world benefit from playing by Aussie rules? Also, how China’s tech giants are revolutionising pig farming. And the ethical dilemmas of programming autonomous cars. Christopher Lockwood hosts.

Music: "Super Hero" by TeknoAXE, "Candlepower" by Chris Zabriskie (CCx4.0) 

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Oct 29, 2018
The week ahead: Oil and trouble
00:24:14

What will the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist, do to Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s image, and to already-jittery oil markets? Eritreans continue to spill across the border with Ethiopia, which opened last month—but they worry about it closing again. And our journalists vote on the face to grace Britain’s new £50 note; why do banknotes’ famous figures stir such fervour? Jason Palmer hosts


Music: "Making a Change"; "Evocative"; "I'm going for a Coffee"; by Lee Rosevere(CC x 4.0)

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Oct 26, 2018
The world ahead: Universal lessons
00:17:14

What would it look like if every child around the world attended school? And we also consider how far the ‘gig economy’ can go. Also, we ask the question: what foodstuff will be sustaining mankind in the future? Hal Hodson hosts 


Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC by 4.0)

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Oct 25, 2018
The Economist asks: What does it mean to be educated?
00:17:54

Tara Westover was 17 when she first stepped into a classroom, but went on to earn a PhD. She talks to Anne McElvoy about a childhood on the edge of society, why she chose philosophy over coding—and what unorthodox education might teach the mainstream

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Oct 25, 2018
Babbage: Pie in the sky
00:18:41

Could delivering goods by drone soon become a common occurrence? Also, cyber-security expert Bruce Schneier discusses his latest book. And a new innovation for the disposing of human waste from Mount Everest. Hal Hodson hosts

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Oct 24, 2018
The Secret History of the Future: VR or It Didn’t Happen
00:30:31

In the Victorian era, plaster casts became a way to preserve important artifacts in 3-D. Now, virtual reality promises to preserve places and experiences. But who decides what gets preserved? And is the technology an accurate recreation of the experience, or does it fool us into thinking we’ve encountered the real thing when we’ve done nothing of the sort? Guests include: Jaron Lanier, VR pioneer; Nonny de la Pena, VR artist; Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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Oct 24, 2018
Money talks: China jitters
00:16:07

Is China’s slowing economic growth a cause for concern and will the market jitters spread? Amazon moves into digital advertising in a big way. And, our very own super-hero Captain Sensible takes us on a tour of effective economic policies. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts. Music: Super Hero by TeknoAXE (CC x 4.0)

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Oct 23, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the October 20th 2018 edition
00:12:12

The era of engagement is over. America now sees China as an increasingly dangerous rival. Plus, how Bollywood is boosting domestic tourism in India. And a portrait created by AI goes under the hammer, but is it art or artifice? Anne McElvoy hosts

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Oct 22, 2018
The week ahead: Polls, apart
00:20:55

Afghans vote in parliamentary elections on Saturday, amid Taliban attacks. Will Donald Trump’s shift in strategy at last weaken the extremists? And a by-election in Australia threatens to upend the ruling coalition’s razor-thin majority. Also, can a painting done by computer algorithm be considered art? Jason Palmer hosts


Music: "Introducing the Pre-roll"; "Sad Marimba Planet"; "All the Answers"; by Lee Rosevere (CC x 4.0). And "Rain" by Meydän (CC x 4.0).

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Oct 19, 2018
The Economist asks: Can America remain the world's biggest economic power?
00:33:17

Alan Greenspan,  former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and The Economist’s Adrian Wooldridge discuss  America's rise to global economic prominence and its future outlook. Also, what caused the 2008 financial crash, can another bust be avoided —  and the challenge posed by China. Anne McElvoy hosts.

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Oct 18, 2018
Babbage: The quantum conundrum
00:19:08

Is the internet about to be unravelled by quantum computing? And how artificial intelligence could be used to diagnose the need for lung transplants in patients with cystic fibrosis. Also, our technology correspondent, Hal Hodson, discuss some of the latest happenings in robotics. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Oct 17, 2018
The Secret History of the Future: A Clock in the Sky
00:33:27

In 1714, British parliament offered a huge cash prize to anyone who could find a way to determine longitude at sea. And it worked, sort of ... several decades later. Are modern contests (DARPA challenges, the X Prize) offering riches and glory an effective way to spur technological innovation? Guests include: Dava Sobel, author of Longitude.

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Oct 17, 2018
Money talks: Sears of change
00:14:49

Sears, the giant of American retail, goes bankrupt. The shale boom has made America the world’s top oil producer: is it sustainable? And is Weight Watchers over “weight”? Helen Joyce hosts

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Oct 16, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the October 13th 2018 edition
00:11:13

Many economies are not ready to deal with even a mild recession—they need to start preparing now. Also, winemakers square up to the weed entrepreneurs of California. And why London is the money-laundering capital of the world. Josie Delap hosts

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Oct 15, 2018
The week ahead: Saudi repression
00:24:34

After the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia is starting to look like an old-fashioned Arab dictatorship. And could the drug MDMA help sufferers recover from post-traumatic stress disorder? Also, in France Marine Le Pen’s new National Rally is hoping to come top in next year’s European elections. Jason Palmer hosts

Music: "An Empty Place" by Sarin, "Rain" by Meydän, "Cylinder Four" by Chris Zabriskie (CC x 4.0)

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Oct 12, 2018
The Economist asks: What would Churchill do in 2018?
00:26:25

We ask Andrew Roberts, historian and Churchill biographer, how the most famous British Prime Minister might have responded to today’s global turmoil. What can current politicians learn from his legacy - and are 21st century critics right about his flaws? Anne McElvoy hosts

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Oct 11, 2018
Babbage: What a difference half a degree makes
00:23:28

This week's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report recommends keeping the global increase in temperature below 1.5°C. We ask how governments and companies can reach "net zero" and whether the global economy can both grow and go green? Kenneth Cukier talks to one of the authors of the report, an advisor to Costa Rica on its pioneering decarbonisation plan and the European refineries industry body on its green efforts.

Music: Smooth as Glass by The Freeharmonic Orchestra (CC x 4.0)

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Oct 10, 2018
The Secret History of the Future: From Zero to Selfie
00:35:33

In 1969, an anthropologist introduced photographs and films to people in Papua New Guinea who’d never seen themselves represented in media before. It changed their conception of the world. In modern society, social media floods us with imagery at a pace we’ve never encountered before, and powerful video manipulation technology threatens to blur the line between real and fake. Are we the new Papuans, about to be overwhelmed by a wholesale media shift? Guests include: Nathan Jurgenson, Snapchat’s in-house sociologist; Hany Farid, Dartmouth computer science professor.

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Oct 10, 2018
Money talks: How do you solve a problem like Brasilia?
00:19:50

The next president of Brazil will inherit a public-finance crisis. Far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro is on track to win - what are the implications if he's elected? Britain’s crackdown on dirty money. And the challenges of overcoming another global recession. Helen Joyce hosts.

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Oct 09, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the October 6th 2018 edition
00:12:02

Chinese investment in Europe is soaring, with benefits for both parties, but Europeans are beginning to worry. The design decisions in our favourite technologies that bring out the worst versions of ourselves. And why potatoes are no longer cheap as chips. Anne McElvoy hosts


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Oct 08, 2018
The week ahead: Dances with wolves
00:16:56

After a contentious party conference in Birmingham, has Prime Minister Theresa May emerged intact? Lessons from the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Indonesia. And: why is the European potato in crisis? Christopher Lockwood hosts.

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Oct 05, 2018
The world ahead: Xi’s world order
00:19:12

What would the world look like if China made the international rules? Also, what if actors were replaced by digital versions of themselves? We also consider how the future is framed for eyewear. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Oct 04, 2018
The Economist asks: What can history teach spies?
00:21:32

Christopher Andrew, author of "The Secret World", warns intelligence services of the dangers of historical attention span deficit disorder.  He argues we can only understand Vladimir Putin — and allegations of meddling in foreign elections — in the context of the long history of Russia.  And who was the Edward Snowden of the Victorian era? Anne McElvoy hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie, “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Oct 04, 2018
Babbage: The Nobel winners explained
00:16:22

Economist science correspondents break down the discoveries that won this year's Nobel prizes. Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google, discusses the dangerous ways that the tech industry competes for our attention. And: the story of blackest fish in the deep ocean. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Oct 03, 2018
The Secret History of the Future: Human Insecurity
00:28:40

The French telegraph system was hacked in 1834 by a pair of thieves who stole financial market information — effectively conducting the world’s first cyber attack. What does the incident teach us about network vulnerabilities, human weakness, and modern-day security? Guests include: Bruce Schneier, famed hacker.

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Oct 03, 2018
Money talks: Musk do better!
00:14:52

Could Italy’s new budget plans lead to a fresh Eurozone crisis? Elon Musk versus the regulators. And the challenges of replacing the LIBOR rate.

Helen Joyce hosts. Music adapted from track by The Waiters (CC by 3.0 UK)

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Oct 02, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the September 29th 2018 edition
00:12:11

As America fights over the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, does the #MeToo movement risk becoming just another battlefield in the culture wars? Why aping the lives of top executives is not the secret to professional success. And the final chapter for China’s most beloved storyteller. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Oct 01, 2018
The week ahead: The fight to confirm Brett Kavanaugh
00:22:46

As allegations of sexual assault threaten to derail the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, US editor John Prideaux gives his reaction to an emotionally charged day of testimony in Washington. Anne McElvoy digs into the risk of a "no-deal" Brexit. And David Rennie reports on immigration to Guangzhou. Robert Guest hosts

Music by Noxive, “Resilience”, and Aether, "Umber" (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Sep 28, 2018
The Economist asks: Bishop Michael Curry
00:22:34

The first black presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church tells Anne McElvoy about the invitation to speak at the royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Also, his views on the role of religion in a divided America and whether President Donald Trump acts in good faith

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Sep 27, 2018
Babbage: Lessons from Spanish flu
00:17:10

What can we learn from the Spanish flu pandemic which killed over 50 million people a hundred years ago? Carl Malamud, founder of public.resource.org, wants to make more data public. And, is food actually scarce at the bottom of the ocean? Kenneth Cukier hosts.

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Sep 26, 2018
The Secret History of the Future: The Fault in Our Cars
00:32:08

The first pedestrian killed by a car in the western hemisphere was on New York’s Upper West Side in 1899. One newspaper warned that “the automobile has tasted blood.” Today, driverless cars present their own mix of technological promise and potential danger. Can the reaction to that 1899 pedestrian tragedy help us navigate current arguments about safety, blame, commerce, and public space? Guests include: Missy Cummings, Navy fighter pilot and head of the Duke Humans and Autonomy Lab.

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Sep 26, 2018
Money talks: Sky’s the limit
00:16:43

The impact on the media industry of Comcast’s blowout bid for Sky. What has changed in the corporate world in the wake of the #MeToo movement? And the annoying CEO habits you might not want to emulate. Andrew Palmer hosts

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Sep 25, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the September 22nd 2018 edition
00:11:24

Why Europe should embrace ties with Africa, the wildlife photographer who built an assault course for badgers, and an impressive display of bonhomie on the Korean peninsula. Lane Greene hosts.

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Sep 24, 2018
The week ahead: Beware Bolsonaro
00:16:19

Could the result of the upcoming elections in Brazil threaten its democracy? And how Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, has been too slow and timid with reforms. Also, Cuban bees are busy living the high life. Simon Long hosts 

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Sep 21, 2018
The Economist asks: Steve Bannon
00:32:58

As part of the Open Future festival Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, discusses how his economic protectionism could result in price rises for US consumers and why he thinks that’s ok. Also, are there any ultra populists in Europe too right-wing for his movement? His advice to Boris Johnson on Brexit — and his disagreements with Ivanka Trump.  Anne McElvoy hosts.

Music by Chris Zabriskie, “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Sep 20, 2018
Babbage: Up in smoke
00:17:06

Are e-cigarettes the answer to giving up tobacco smoking? And SpaceX revives its plans to send tourists around the moon. Also, we speak to Zia Chishti of Afiniti about the role of artificial intelligence in business. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Sep 19, 2018
The Secret History of the Future: Fork Fashions and Toilet Trends
00:27:28

It took a long time for the fork to go from weird curiosity to ubiquitous tool. How long will it take for current technologies—like the Japanese-style bidet toilet, or heads-up displays such as Google Glass—to go from oddities to everyday necessities? Guests include: Astro Teller, Google’s Captain of Moonshots; Margaret Visser, author of "The Rituals of Dinner".

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Sep 19, 2018
Money talks: Tariffic!
00:18:00

More Trump tariffs, how is China likely to retaliate? Historian Lord Skidelsky challenges mainstream economic ideas. And the hopes and hurdles for South Korean businesses eyeing up opportunities in North Korea. Philip Coggan hosts

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Sep 18, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from The Economist's Open Future season
00:16:16

A special episode marking the culmination of the Open Future initiative, launched this year to celebrate 175 years since The Economist's founding to remake the case for liberal ideals. Featuring contributions from James Comey, Angelina Jolie and Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA. Anne McElvoy hosts.

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Sep 17, 2018
The week ahead: The Economist at 175
00:19:31

Following on from her essay on the future of liberalism in this week’s Economist, our Editor-in-Chief, Zanny Minton Beddoes, along with deputy editor, Edward Carr, discuss The Economist 175 years after its founding. Also, how Zambia is heading towards a debt crisis. And introducing our new China column, Chaguan. Simon Long hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie "Cylinder One" (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Sep 14, 2018
The Economist asks: Francis Fukuyama
00:18:32

The age of ideological struggle failed to end with the Cold War.  Francis Fukuyama, who coined the phrase “the end of history”, talks to Anne McElvoy about the rise of identity politics, whether there is any force that can rival it, and which party is playing the identity game better in the American midterms.  Music by Chris Zabriskie, “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Sep 13, 2018
Babbage: Ma waves ali bye bye
00:15:14

How China will struggle to produce another Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, who steps down as chairman next year. And we discuss cyber-security with former United States Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Sep 12, 2018
The Secret History of the Future: The Body Electric
00:33:53

We’ve used electricity to treat our brains for thousands of years, from placing electric fish on our heads to cure migraines to using electroconvulsive therapy to alleviate depression. But over time, our focus has shifted from restoring health to augmenting our abilities. Should we be wearing battery-powered caps to improve our concentration, or implanting electricity-emitting devices to expand our thinking capacity? Guests include: Brian Johnson, CEO of Kernel.

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Sep 12, 2018
Money Talks: The Lehman Lessons
00:23:54

Ten years on from the collapse of Lehman Brothers, we examine what progress has been made. Are we prepared for the next global financial crisis? Helen Joyce hosts

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Sep 11, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the September 8th 2018 edition
00:13:02

Ten years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, has finance been fixed? Plus, the benefits of 3D-printing human organs in space, where not to build your capital city, and a taste of our new series in collaboration with Slate, “The Secret History of the Future”

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Sep 10, 2018
The week ahead: Wargames
00:17:31

Why joint military exercises by Russia and China should worry the West. And the battle for Syria’s last rebel redoubt looms. Also, the aftermath of the fire that blazed through the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. Simon Long hosts

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Sep 07, 2018
The Economist asks: What are the forces reshaping today’s Europe?
00:22:58

Anne McElvoy talks to historian Ian Kershaw about the continent’s rollercoaster half-century. They discuss Europe's turbulent friendships with America and Russia and the accusations of anti-Semitism against Britain's Labour party. Also, the EU needs a reboot but is Angela Merkel the person to lead it?

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Sep 06, 2018
Babbage: Content liability
00:14:20

Should tech companies be legally responsible for all their content? Also, major European research funders have announced ‘Plan S’ to make all scientific works free to read. And how optical fibre made in orbit could be better than the terrestrial sort. Kenneth Cukier hosts.

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Sep 05, 2018
The Secret History of the Future: The Box That AI Lives In
00:33:57

In the 18th-century, a device called the Mechanical Turk convinced Europeans that a robot could play winning chess. But there was a trick. It’s a trick that companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook still pull on us today. Guests include: Jaron Lanier, futurist. Luis von Ahn, founder of CAPTCHA and Duolingo.

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Sep 05, 2018
Money talks: Crumbling currencies
00:18:35

How are the governments in Argentina and Turkey responding to their financial and economic crises? Samir Desai, the CEO and cofounder of funding circle, explains why he’s going public. And what are the biggest threats to the global smartphone supply chain?  Helen Joyce hosts

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Sep 04, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the September 1st 2018 edition
00:11:43

The global influence of Silicon Valley may have reached its peak – does this mean a new age of opportunity for the rest of the world? Also, Republicans and Democrats remember Senator John McCain. And what to do about the scourge of honey fraud. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Sep 03, 2018
The week ahead: Myanmar’s atrocities
00:17:44

The UN accuses the Burmese army of genocide, what next for Myanmar? And the rising tensions between Italy and the EU. Also, the curious case of honey fraud in the United States. Christopher Lockwood hosts.

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Aug 31, 2018
The Economist asks: John McCain’s last word
00:19:36

Has the late Senator’s final address damaged Donald Trump? What will John McCain’s legacy be? Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, recalls our interview with the political nonconformist and war hero - and talks to Senator John Barrasso about their last visit to Vietnam, Rick Wilson, Republican strategist, and Madeleine Albright, Democrat and former Secretary of State.

Audio excerpt courtesy of Simon & Schuster. Audio from “Every Day is Extra” by John Kerry. Copyright © 2018 by John Kerry. Aired with permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Music by Chris Zabriskie (CC by 4.0 UK).

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Aug 30, 2018
Babbage: Peaks and Valleys
00:16:30

Has Silicon Valley’s influence as a technology hub peaked? Also, how artificial intelligence is gaining a sense of curiosity. And how a shampoo bottle is saving lives in Bangladesh. Kenneth Cukier hosts.

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Aug 29, 2018
Money talks: NAFTA — alive or dead?
00:18:27

Has there been a breakthrough in efforts to revamp the NAFTA trade agreement? Henry Tricks, our commodities editor, explains recent falls in commodity prices. And how did YouTube profit from the biggest amateur boxing match of all time?  Andrew Palmer hosts.

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Aug 28, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the August 25th 2018 edition
00:13:08

Americans will soon have to face a simple question: is Donald Trump above the law? Plus, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, on how big data is changing the political game. And a tribute to the queen of soul. Anne McElvoy hosts

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Aug 27, 2018
The week ahead: Above the law?
00:15:22

Will the recent revelations and convictions hurt President Donald Trump? And Australia’s ruling party sacks the prime minister, again. Also, how British universities are a rare booming export industry. Richard Cockett hosts

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Aug 24, 2018
The Economist asks: Can one whistleblower tame the tech titans?
00:20:35

Christopher Wylie tells Kenneth Cukier why he blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica. They discuss whether platforms are doing enough to protect users’ privacy and what governments can do to safeguard independent elections


Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Aug 23, 2018
Babbage: Will Google translate?
00:14:38

If Google does reintroduce its search engine to China what will it have to omit? And how future helicopters will fly in new ways, with pilots optional. Also, the discovery of a 3,200-year-old ancient Egyptian cheese and what we can learn from it. Hal Hodson hosts

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Aug 22, 2018
Money talks: Chopping zeros off the Bolivar
00:20:07

What effect will President Maduro’s desperate measures have on the Venezuelan economy? Stephen Gibbs reports from Caracas. Also on the show: how can companies protect themselves against intangible risks and dealing with congestion in cities. Andrew Palmer hosts.

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Aug 21, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the August 18th 2018 edition
00:11:40

Online dating has revolutionised the way humans couple up, but the impact of this mass social experiment is only just becoming clear. Plus, the bashful decline of European nudism, and The Economist gazes into the future and asks, what if 50% of CEOs were women? Anne McElvoy hosts


Music by Chris Zabriskie, “Divider” and "Candlepower" (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Aug 20, 2018
The Secret History of the Future: Trailer
00:02:27

Examine the history of tech to uncover stories that help us illuminate the present and predict the future.

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Aug 20, 2018
The week ahead: A call to arms
00:15:13

The global arms market is booming, and is tilting in the buyers’ favour. Also, how successful have the first 100 days back in power been for Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad? And the decline of public nakedness in Europe. Simon Long hosts

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Aug 17, 2018
The Economist asks: Who was Adam Smith?
00:19:13

Anne McElvoy investigates the life of the Scottish philosopher now known as the father of modern economics. What does an author who died in 1790 have to teach us about trade wars and crony capitalism in the 21st century? And which American television villain kept a copy of “The Wealth of Nations” on his bookshelf?

Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Aug 16, 2018
Babbage: Jumping the Q
00:19:23

Is quantum technology getting ahead of itself? And we look into what is being done to find a cure for celiac disease. Also, we explore random control trials and the placebo effect of sham surgery. Tim Cross hosts 


Music by Daniel Birch "Brushed bells in the wind" (CC by 4.0)

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Aug 15, 2018
The world ahead: Generation XX
00:14:55

What would the world look like if 50% of CEOs were women, and what would have to change to make this possible? We also consider a future in which drones police the oceans, making it harder to get away with lawlessness at sea. Tom Standage hosts

Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC by 4.0)

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Aug 15, 2018
Money talks: Sick as a Turkey
00:15:52

Are Turkey's currency troubles contagious? The weed-killer court case that could have worldwide impact. And why Tiger Woods still has the power to roar Andrew Palmer hosts

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Aug 14, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the August 11th 2018 edition
00:11:46

Inevitable but unforgivably outdated – why today’s tax systems need to be brought into the 21st century. Also, how NASA prepared to explore a place 300 times hotter than the surface of the sun, and France's love affair with the high-speed train. Robert Guest hosts

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Aug 13, 2018
The week ahead: Brazil’s telenovela election
00:17:40

Why the outcome of the upcoming general election in Brazil is harder to predict than usual. And how American sanctions will bring more agony to Iran’s dysfunctional economy. Also, could long school summer holidays around the world be having a negative effect on children and families? Simon Long hosts 

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Aug 10, 2018
The Economist asks: should the veil be a matter for the courts or conscience?
00:14:38

Masih Alinejad tells Anne McElvoy how she took My Stealthy Freedom, her viral campaign against compulsory hijab in Iran, from social media to the streets – could reform be on the way? Also, the impact of visiting Western female politicians wearing the veil and why she believes Iranian women do not want to be liberated by the West.

Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Aug 09, 2018
Babbage: My corona
00:19:32

We speak to project scientist for the Parker Solar Probe, Dr Nicola Fox, about the spacecraft's upcoming mission to the sun's atmosphere. We also discuss the upsides of artificial intelligence with professor Max Tegmark. And how seal whiskers are helping to create new underwater sensors. Kenneth Cukier hosts 

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Aug 08, 2018
Money talks: Urban outbidders
00:16:22

Property prices in the world’s most desirable cities have sped away from those elsewhere but what has caused that trend, and will it last? And how governments are limiting foreign investment in tech companies to reduce China's influence. Also, a new decentralised app for prediction markets. Helen Joyce hosts

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Aug 07, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the August 4th 2018 edition
00:11:32

As the northern hemisphere continues to smoulder through this long hot summer, is mankind losing the war against climate change? The American humourist Davis Sedaris talks about the beauty of eavesdropping. Plus, just how valuable is your accent? Lane Greene hosts

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Aug 06, 2018
The week ahead: The black hole of coal
00:17:49

India struggles to move away from fossil fuels towards renewables. And is there cause for optimism in Eritrea, Africa’s North Korea? Also, selling marijuana soon becomes legal in Canada. How will it change the country's high streets? Simon Long hosts

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Aug 03, 2018
The Economist asks: David Sedaris
00:26:15

The humourist talks to Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, about making people laugh, overhearing conversations and when can he look back at sad or embarrassing experiences with humour? Also, why he wanted to feed his tumour to a turtle and is there a funny gene in families? And, he reveals all about his sequin culottes.

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Aug 02, 2018
Babbage: Drive.ai time
00:19:29

Should AI systems be more human-centric? We look at how a trial of self-driving vehicles in Texas is focusing on what the technology can do now. Rufus Pollack, the founder of Open Knowledge International, discusses how freedom of choice promotes innovation. And, a simple solution to increasing productivity in India. Kenneth Cukier hosts 

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Aug 01, 2018
Money talks: Greek Lessons
00:14:28

Should the Bank of England raise interest rates this week?   As Greece prepares to exit its bail-out, what are the lessons to be learned from the crisis?  And open-plan offices - do they work? Helen Joyce hosts


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Jul 31, 2018
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the July 27th 2018 edition
00:11:01

Britain’s churches are being turned into quirky campsites. Congo’s Catholics are standing up for democracy. And why open-plan offices can lead to closed minds. Richard Cockett hosts

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Jul 30, 2018
The week ahead: How to catch a crocodile
00:16:01

What to expect in Zimbabwe’s first post-Mugabe general election next week. Also, we look at how badly UN sanctions are hurting North Korea’s economy. And in Britain how body-worn cameras are spreading beyond the police force. Simon Long hosts

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Jul 27, 2018
The Economist asks: Bjorn from ABBA
00:22:00

Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA tells Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, about the melancholy beneath the exuberant voices and his musical influences.  Would he write the same songs in the #MeToo era and which song has had its lyrics changed for a different feminist time?


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Jul 26, 2018
Babbage: Too hot to handle
00:15:45

Are the recent heat waves around the world a sign of things to come? Geoffrey Carr, our science editor, finds out at the meeting of the International AIDS Society what more needs to be done to eradicate the disease. Also, has liquid water on Mars finally been found? Kenneth Cukier hosts. 

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Jul 25, 2018
Money talks: One Belt One Road
00:17:09

What now for Fiat Chrysler after Sergio Marchionne’s departure? How America and Europe are tightening rules on foreign direct investments. And China’s Belt and Road Initiative - a benevolent gift to connect the world or a highway to world dominance?  Helen Joyce hosts


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Jul 24, 2018