Economist Radio

By The Economist

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Reviews: 15

Grant
 Dec 23, 2019
Always an interesting insightful daily fix of current affairs. I look forward each morning to enjoying the coverage they provided.

Dave
 Nov 18, 2019
One of the best news outlets in the world. Always varied, and always quality.


 Oct 21, 2019
Amazing free coverage!


 Aug 6, 2019


 Jul 6, 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
Checks and Balance: How long?
00:33:11

President Trump changed tone and course this week, extending federal guidelines on social distancing to the end of April. New York is now the epicentre of the global pandemic. Yet large parts of the US remain relatively unaffected by covid-19. Public opinion supports tough measures to contain the virus for now. But how sustainable are strict curbs on personal freedom in a country founded on individual liberty?


The Economist’s healthcare correspondent Slavea Chankova explains the epidemiological models behind the lockdown, we tell the story of history’s most notorious asymptomatic carrier, and Senator Cory Booker reflects on political division in national crises.


John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman.


Read The Economist’s full coverage of the coronavirus.


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Apr 03, 2020
Trough to peak: how high will American unemployment go?
00:22:26

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

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Apr 03, 2020
The Economist Asks: Cory Booker
00:29:27

The global total of confirmed coronavirus cases has exceeded one million; a quarter of them are in America. The new epicentre of this pandemic is the New York tri-state area. As politicians argue over how to save lives and the economy, Anne McElvoy asks Cory Booker, a senator from New Jersey, whether America can unite to fight the virus. They talk about tussles over vital equipment between states and the federal government. Also, does he agree with the mayor of LA on recommending masks to lessen the risk of contracting covid-19? Plus, the former Democratic presidential hopeful shares his “dad joke” for a moment of cheer.


The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. To receive it, register here. For more coverage, see our coronavirus hub.

 

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Apr 02, 2020
No port of call: coronavirus may sink the cruise industry
00:21:43

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

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Apr 02, 2020
Babbage: Fighting contagion with data
00:27:19

How are location data from mobile phones being used to combat covid-19? And, as more people are forced to stay at home, can broadband and mobile internet connections keep up? Plus, the epidemiologist who helped defeat smallpox, Larry Brilliant, on what needs to be done against the coronavirus. Kenneth Cukier hosts.


The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. To receive it, register here. For more coverage, see our coronavirus hub.

 

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Apr 01, 2020
Wishful thinking: America’s offer to Venezuela
00:22:52

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

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Apr 01, 2020
Money Talks: The home front
00:22:58

At the beginning of a financial year like no other, millions of newly furloughed or unemployed Americans face rent and mortgage payments. How long can the financial system withstand the strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic? Many employees have had to make a quick transition to remote working. Businesses struggling to make the switch could look to those companies that have never had an office. And, a day in the life of Bartleby—and his cat. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts.


The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. To receive it, register here. For more coverage, see our coronavirus hub.

 

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

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

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Mar 31, 2020
The World Ahead: Pandemic predictions
00:25:20

As the covid-19 situation worsens, host Tom Standage explores what the pandemic reveals about the perils of prediction and what other future threats we might be overlooking. Also, what a simulation of a future mission to Mars could teach us about self-isolation on Earth today. And, the hit video game “Plague, Inc” is teaching players about the dynamics of pandemics—and how to stop them.

 

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

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Mar 30, 2020
Containment or complacency? Covid-19 in Japan
00:22:22

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

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Mar 30, 2020
Editor’s Picks: March 30th 2020
00:22:09

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the role of big government in the time of covid-19, (10:20) assessing the havoc the pandemic is causing in emerging countries, (17:45) and, a guide to videoconferencing etiquette.

 

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Mar 29, 2020
Checks and Balance: Counting the cost
00:37:48

President Trump worries a sustained lockdown may do more damage than the covid-19 pandemic itself. More Americans have been laid off in the past week than ever before. He wants the country back open for business by Easter. Meanwhile Congress has approved nearly two trillion dollars to avert a prolonged slump. But is it enough?


Chicago restaurant workers tell us what happens when an entire sector shuts down. Idrees Kahloon, US policy correspondent, assesses the rescue package. Economics columnist Ryan Avent looks back into history to find out what is missing from the current bailout plan


John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman.


Read The Economist’s full coverage of the coronavirus.


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Mar 27, 2020
Life sentences? Prisons and covid-19
00:22:49

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

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Mar 27, 2020
The Economist Asks: Sir David Attenborough
00:24:27

For decades Sir David Attenborough has brought the natural world into people’s homes. But his upcoming film, “A Life On Our Planet”, offers a stark message about human impact on the environment. Anne McElvoy asks the godfather of natural history television where he draws the line between wonder and warning. Does his work have the power to change hearts and minds or is he preaching to the choir? They talk about whether the climate could be the only winner from the global covid-19 pandemic and why he has stopped trying to get through to President Trump. Plus, a knock at the door and an unexpected question.


David Attenborough: A Life on our Planet” will be released in cinemas and on Netflix later this year. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: economist.com/radiooffer

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Mar 26, 2020
Going to townships: covid-19 threatens Africa
00:22:21

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

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Mar 26, 2020
Babbage: The sniff test for covid-19
00:25:49

Ear, nose and throat experts believe there may be a link between covid-19 and the loss of the senses of smell and taste. Might this help tackle the spread of the disease? And, how scientists and manufacturers are trying to keep up with demand for life-saving ventilators. Plus, the climate impact of staying at home. Kenneth Cukier hosts. 


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Mar 25, 2020
Fiscal firepower: governments’ covid-19 aid
00:22:36

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


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Mar 25, 2020
Money Talks: Closed for business
00:26:48

In a desperate attempt to slow the spread of covid-19, governments around the world are ordering residents to stay at home. As the number of fatalities increases, so do the corporate casualties. Which companies are worst-hit and how long will they be closed? And, as Americans stock up on goods in preparation for lockdown, a peek into the pantry shows the scale of the challenge facing one of the country's core industries–dairy. Plus, can global trade weather the economic havoc caused by the virus? Simon Long hosts. 


 

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Mar 24, 2020
Trial, trial again: the race for covid-19 treatments
00:23:26

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

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

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

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Mar 23, 2020
Editor’s Picks: March 23rd 2020
00:23:35

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the covid-19 pandemic is shutting planet earth down (10:55) America’s financial plumbing has seized up (19:30) and the show must go on for London’s theatres.

 

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Mar 22, 2020
Checks and Balance: The invisible enemy
00:37:15

Californians have been ordered to stay home. The border with Canada is closed to non-essential traffic. Donald Trump says he now considers himself a “wartime president”. But, for now, the enemy remains invisible. Only 4% of Americans report knowing someone who has tested positive for covid-19. Is the US healthcare system prepared for the coming offensive?

John Prideaux, our US editor, talks to Alok Jha, The Economist’s science correspondent, former CDC head Dr Tom Frieden, and Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief. Washington correspondent Jon Fasman asks what lessons the rest of the US can learn from New Rochelle, NY, one of the first communities to experience an outbreak.

 

Read The Economist’s full coverage of the coronavirus.

 

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Mar 20, 2020
Lessons unplanned: school shutdowns spread
00:22:54

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

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Mar 20, 2020
The Economist asks: Ezra Klein
00:27:38

Why is America divided? Anne McElvoy asks the editor-at-large of Vox Media and podcast host about whether the coronavirus pandemic will bring Americans together or further apart, if Donald Trump is a symptom or cause of polarization in America and why podcasts are the platform to find common ground. Also, when did Klein last change his mind?


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Mar 19, 2020
Pandemic, meet politics: the US-China spat
00:21:37

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

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Mar 19, 2020
Babbage: Can the curve be flattened?
00:25:21

Dramatic measures to staunch the spread of covid-19 are happening around the world, but will they be enough to reduce the rate of new cases? And amid public anxiety we answer your questions such as can you get coronavirus twice? How does testing work? And how long does the virus live on surfaces and in the air? The Economist’s health-care and science correspondents answer your covid-19 questions. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Mar 18, 2020
Drawbridges up: lockdowns and covid-19
00:22:58

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


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Mar 18, 2020
Money Talks: Nearing zero
00:24:23

America’s Federal Reserve cut interest rates to close to zero to try to ease the economic pain caused by the outbreak of covid-19. What more can central banks do? And, why are many companies fleeing to cash? As consumers race to buy pasta and toilet rolls, what are governments shopping for? Simon Long hosts 


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Mar 17, 2020
Same old song, and Gantz: fresh coalition talks in Israel
00:22:05

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

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

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

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Mar 16, 2020
Editor’s Picks: March 16th 2020
00:24:22

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the politics of pandemics, (09:40) stress-testing the NHS, (17:50) and, the fallout of the oil war.

 

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Mar 15, 2020
Checks and Balance: Getting a grip
00:36:48

The United States is bracing itself for the spread of covid-19. Sports leagues, universities, and, in some states, schools have shut down. Donald Trump announced a ban on flights from Europe, but investors remain unconvinced he has a grip on the situation. China meanwhile appears to have got over the worst of the outbreak after imposing strict quarantine measures. Will America manage to limit the spread of the coronavirus? How much will the delayed response damage Donald Trump? 


Charlotte Howard, our New York bureau chief, hosts with Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent, and Midwest correspondent Adam Roberts. David Rennie, Beijing bureau chief, and Idrees Kahloon, US policy correspondent for The Economist, also join.


Read The Economist’s full coverage of the coronavirus.


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Mar 13, 2020
Coming two terms with it: Putin’s power grab
00:20:25

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


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Mar 13, 2020
The Economist Asks: Mervyn King
00:25:24

The covid-19 pandemic is spreading fast, bringing immense uncertainty to individuals, governments and the global economy. Lord Mervyn King, who led the Bank of England through the depths of the global financial crisis, faced turbulent times. Anne McElvoy asks the former governor whether forecasters can keep up in the era of coronavirus. Also, how panic-buying is like a run on a bank and the radical uncertainty of marriage. 

 

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

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

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Mar 12, 2020
Babbage: Fighting the virus
00:19:49

As the number of cases of covid-19 rises over 100,000 around the world, scientists and governments are working around the clock on treatments and vaccines. Our science editor, Geoffrey Carr, explains the genetic make-up of the virus. Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rupert Beale from the Francis Crick Institute, and Regina Barzilay from MIT explain their attempts to thwart the outbreak. Plus, we turn data outlining the fatality rate by age into sound. Kenneth Cukier hosts 

 

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Mar 11, 2020
Hollywood moment: Harvey Weinstein’s sentencing
00:20:40

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

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Mar 11, 2020
Money Talks: Another Black Monday
00:21:54

Financial markets are reeling from a new “Black Monday” which saw oil prices tumble and stocks plunge in the most brutal day for the market since the global financial crisis of 2007-2009. Slumping demand caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus has sparked a crude-oil price war. What are the ramifications? And, how the virus is boosting a fledgling Chinese industry. Patrick Lane hosts 

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Mar 10, 2020
When in Rome...stay put: Italy on lockdown
00:22:43

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

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

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

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Mar 09, 2020
Checks and Balance: Joementum
00:39:30

"They don't call it Super Tuesday for nothing." Those were Joe Biden’s words after his astonishing comeback this week. Votes in 14 states catapulted him into the lead in the delegate count that decides the Democratic Party nomination. The former Vice President’s resurrection poses new questions about a campaign that had been all but written off. Does he have the character and organisation to beat Bernie Sanders, then President Trump? The Economist’s US editor John Prideaux looks into Joe Biden’s past and his plans. New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman join him.


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Mar 06, 2020
Nevertheless, she persisted: the futility of restricting abortion
00:22:58

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

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Mar 06, 2020
Editor’s Picks: March 5th 2020
00:28:05

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the covid-19 pandemic threatens an economic crisis as well as a health crisis. Both need fixing. (9:16) The battle for liberty in Africa—across the continent, young protesters are standing up to ageing autocrats. (17:06) And, how Jack Welch, former boss of GE, transformed American capitalism.


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Mar 05, 2020
The Economist Asks: Christian Louboutin
00:24:43

The French designer’s red-soled shoes have won devotees from Aretha Franklin to Cardi B. But when what it means to be feminine, sexy and fashionable is being redefined, where does the stiletto stand? In Paris, Anne McElvoy asks Christian Louboutin where the line lies between fashion and fetishism. Is veganism a fad and how is he preparing the business for a coronavirus pandemic? And, which nationality can match the English for prudishness—and kink.


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Mar 05, 2020
Testing times: the world responds to covid-19
00:22:32

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

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Mar 05, 2020
Babbage: The ocean—it ain't easy being blue
00:24:32

The ocean is under assault as people demand more of its resources. Now climate change is causing the greatest stress yet to ocean ecosystems. Kenneth Cukier talks to Jane Lubchenco, the first US science envoy for the ocean, about why the ocean is too big to ignore. He meets the scientists helping corals to spawn outside their natural habitat and using seaweed as a substitute for single-use plastic. Also, how can Japanese sushi chefs guarantee the origins of their fish?

 

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Mar 04, 2020
Joe through a rough patch: Biden’s super Tuesday
00:22:54

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

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Mar 04, 2020
Money Talks: How to save the world economy?
00:18:39

The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates in the face of increasing concern about the economic impact of the new coronavirus. It follows warnings from forecasters that the outbreak could tip some countries into recession. What more needs to be done to prevent a full-scale downturn? The Economist’s Europe economics correspondent Rachana Shanbhogue asks Patrick Foulis, business affairs editor; Alice Fulwood, American finance correspondent; and Henry Tricks, Schumpeter columnist



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Mar 03, 2020
Caught in the middle: Idlib’s humanitarian disaster
00:22:17

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

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

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

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Mar 02, 2020
Checks and Balance: Crashing the party
00:36:26

The centrists of the Democratic Party establishment have only a few days to figure out how to stop Bernie Sanders running away with the nomination. Something similar happened to the Republicans in 2016 when Donald Trump memed his way to the presidency to the horror of party grandees. Mainstream parties in European democracies have also faced challenges from the fringes. Is the era of the party machine over? Or are moderates simply losing the battle of ideas?


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Feb 28, 2020
Playing with fire: Democrats may get Bern
00:23:30

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

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Feb 28, 2020
Editor’s Picks: February 27th 2020
00:24:43

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, what can be done about the viral pandemic that is sweeping the world (9:07), the dangerous consequences of forcing Americans to choose between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump (16:56), and three lessons from Bob Iger, the king of Disneyland.

 

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Feb 27, 2020
The Economist Asks: Janet Yellen
00:28:50

America is enjoying its longest ever economic growth spurt. How much longer can it last? The spread of the new coronavirus is threatening global growth, the link between lower unemployment and higher inflation seems to have gone missing, and central banks are facing politically motivated attacks. Janet Yellen, the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve, talks to Anne McElvoy and Henry Curr, our economics editor, about what it’s like to manage the world’s biggest economy and whether central banks and governments still have the right tools for the job. Also, how to ace a job interview with President Trump. 


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Feb 27, 2020
Delhi melee: India’s citizenship protests
00:21:06

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

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Feb 27, 2020
Babbage: Going viral, going global
00:23:11

Covid-19, the new coronavirus, is spreading around the world. Abdi Mahamad, the World Health Organisation’s incident manager for Asia, reveals that for the first time since the start of the outbreak, more cases are being reported outside China than within it. What can countries do to limit the spread of the virus, and will it become a pandemic? The Economist’s deputy editor Tom Standage hosts a debate with Therese Hesketh, professor of global health at the Institute for Global Health at University College London; Christl Donnelly, professor of statistical epidemiology at Imperial College London a WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling; and Slavea Chankova, our health-care correspondent. 

 

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Feb 26, 2020
Clash pipe: Canada’s widening protests
00:22:51

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

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Feb 26, 2020
Money Talks: covid-19 spreads
00:25:10

Stockmarkets saw some of the sharpest falls in years after a rise in new coronavirus cases. Is a global economic downturn on the cards? Also, Argentina faces serious debt difficulties—can it strike a new deal with the International Monetary Fund? And, Professor Diane Coyle, from Cambridge University, on the importance of the “data economy”. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts


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Feb 25, 2020
Mitigating circumstances: coronavirus spreads
00:22:48

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

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Feb 25, 2020
The World Ahead: NPT threats
00:21:05

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty turns 50 this year, but the celebrations may be short-lived. Also, the challenges facing Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, as he tries to keep both China and America happy. And why the future of video-gaming may play out in the cloud. Tom Standage hosts.   

 

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

 

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Feb 24, 2020
Peace-meal: ceasefire in Afghanistan
00:22:20

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

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Feb 24, 2020
Checks and Balance: Mike drop
00:34:46

Michael Bloomberg is trying to transform the Democrat presidential field through the sheer weight of his cash. But does politics in America really work that way? John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, Jon Fasman, and Charlotte Howard assess whether Bloomberg’s advertising campaign matches his mayoral record, why a legal case from the Watergate era has been crucial to the billionaire’s campaign, and how South Carolina’s minority voters are reassessing the moderate field. 


Listen to The Economist Asks: Michael Bloomberg


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

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

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Feb 21, 2020
Editor’s Picks: February 20th 2020
00:22:25

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how to make sense of the latest tech surge, (10:20) examining Jeff Bezos’s $10bn promise to fight climate change (15:30) and, Bagehot on Boris - the imperial prime minister. Zanny Minton-Beddoes, The Economist’s Editor-in-chief hosts.


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Feb 20, 2020
The Economist Asks: What makes an extremist?
00:29:29

Technology has transformed the way extremist groups recruit and mobilise their members. Julia Ebner, author of “Going Dark”, spent two years undercover inside radical organisations of all political hues. This week, in the wake of a far-right terrorist attack in the German town of Hanau, Anne McElvoy asks her what drives perpetrators to commit mass violence. They talk about how Julia won the trust of neo-Nazis and militant Islamists, how gamification is used to radicalise—and why she believes counter-terrorism experts need to understand their subjects better

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Feb 20, 2020
Uncut emerald: Ireland’s unification prospects
00:22:39

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

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Feb 20, 2020
Babbage: Feeding tomorrow’s world @AAAS
00:31:22

By 2050 the global population is projected to reach 9.7 billion. At the same time, climate change is putting increasing pressure on agricultural land. At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle, Alok Jha, The Economist’s science correspondent, speaks to nutritionists, genetic engineers and computer scientists to find out whether the planet can sustainably feed future generations. Could genetic engineering make key crops more productive, resilient and nutritious? And how harvesting more data can help farmers get more from their fields

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Feb 19, 2020
Many hands light of work: China’s 170m migrant workers
00:22:13

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

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Feb 19, 2020
Money Talks: Coronanomics
00:22:35

Coronavirus is causing unprecedented supply and demand challenges for the global economy. How can businesses minimise economic damage? Also, why are MBA schools in China thriving? And, the cities rebelling against the cashless revolution. Patrick Lane hosts.


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Feb 18, 2020
A friend of mines: America’s explosive policy turn
00:22:06

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

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

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

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Feb 17, 2020
Checks and Balance: The Trump pay bump
00:32:47

Amid the drama of impeachment and the Democrats' first primaries, President Trump expanded the list of mostly Muslim nationalities restricted from travel to the US. A hard line on immigration will be a big part of his reelection pitch. He’ll make the link between stronger borders and a booming economy. It turns orthodox economics on its head, but recent data on rising wages will help the president make his case. Might the wall be good economics after all? Callum Williams, senior economics writer, joins Checks and Balance host John Prideaux. Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman also join to examine the electoral power of Trump’s record on immigration.


Pete Buttigieg speaks to Economist Asks 

https://www.economist.com/podcasts/2019/06/21/which-democrats-can-challenge-donald-trump


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Feb 14, 2020
Another man’s Treasury: Britain’s cabinet upheaval
00:23:55

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

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

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Feb 14, 2020
Editor's Picks February 13th 2020
00:21:59

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week Irish unification is becoming more likely, (09:40) Angela Merkel’s presumed successor quits as party boss (16:30) and, looking at the world through the eyes of options traders

 

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Feb 13, 2020
The Economist Asks: Thomas Piketty
00:25:54

The idea that inequality is rising is being used to explain everything from tribalism to low voter turnout. But how much is known about the gap between the haves and the have-nots, is it growing and why does it matter? Economist Thomas Piketty, dubbed “the modern Marx” for his theories on how wealth concentrates, talks to Anne McElvoy and Henry Curr, The Economist’s economics editor, about his new book, “Capital and Ideology”. They debate how unfair societies can learn from their mistakes and whether inequality is ever in the public interest. Also, why Piketty would like to pay more tax on his bestsellers, and what life with three daughters has taught him about equality in the home


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Feb 13, 2020
Defence on the defensive: NATO under scrutiny
00:21:00

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

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Feb 13, 2020
Babbage: Close encounters of a solar kind
00:23:50

The Solar Orbiter is on a two year journey towards the sun, the most studied astronomical subject in the sky. What will this new view of the sun reveal? Also, Kenneth Cukier talks to Amy Zegart, who advises American policymakers on cyber-spycraft, about how countries can improve their defence against digital security threats. And, why living in a city impairs navigational skills


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Feb 12, 2020
Bern turn: New Hampshire’s primary
00:23:06

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

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Feb 12, 2020
Money Talks: Supply strain
00:21:09

As the Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread, what effect will factory closures in China have on global supply chains? Also, how technology is finally poised to disrupt the market for real estate. And what it takes to be a CEO in 2020. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts 


 

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Feb 11, 2020
Christian Democratic disunion: Germany’s political upheaval
00:22:28

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

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

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

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Feb 10, 2020
Checks and Balance: Left Bern
00:35:26

Might America choose a socialist president? Ahead in the polls for the New Hampshire primary, Bernie Sanders’ grip on the left of the Democratic Party is strengthening. The Senator from Vermont is the American left’s best chance in decades to defy political gravity. John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, looks at the history of socialism in America and James Astill, Lexington columnist, assesses Senator Sanders’ chances. Checks and Balance regulars Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman also consider how Sanders might fare against President Trump and the similarities between the two.


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Feb 07, 2020
From out of left field: Ireland’s election
00:23:25

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


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Feb 07, 2020
Editor’s Picks: February 6th 2020
00:24:38

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the state of the Democrats. (10:20) What does it take to be a CEO in the 2020s? (18:40) And, QE or not QE? The Economist‘s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes hosts.

 

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Feb 06, 2020
The Economist Asks: Has Donald Trump reinvented the American presidency?
00:28:48

After being acquitted in the Senate, Donald Trump will be the first president to run for reelection having been impeached. Anne McElvoy asks Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey, the authors of “Unmaking the presidency”, about whether the verdict strengthens Mr Trump’s electoral hand. Will the way Mr Trump is reshaping the presidency outlast him and could he be changing the office for the better?


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Feb 06, 2020
Imperfect call: Trump’s exoneration
00:22:08

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

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Feb 06, 2020
Babbage: Viral hit
00:18:09

Can a vaccine for the new coronavirus be developed in time to stop a pandemic? How a satellite called Claire has found a new way of spotting methane leaks to help combat global warming. And, unfolding the mystery of butterfly wings. Kenneth Cukier hosts 


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Feb 05, 2020
Address change: the State of the Union
00:22:43

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

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Feb 05, 2020
Money Talks: Business after Brexit
00:19:47

After Britain’s official departure from the European Union on January 31st, the government faces a divergence dilemma: departing from the EU's rules may mean less access to its markets. The Economist’s Britain business editor Tamzin Booth explains the costs and opportunities of a directive-free future. And Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, and city financier Dame Helena Morrissey discuss what government and business must do to adapt. Patrick Lane hosts


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Feb 04, 2020
An app-polling delay: Iowa’s caucus chaos
00:21:40

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

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

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

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Feb 03, 2020
Checks and Balance: Des Moines craft
00:34:26

It’s 1,000 miles from the White House. But for decades, Iowa has played an outsized role in America’s presidential race. Voters give their verdict on the 2020 candidates for the first time in the Iowa caucuses next week — an important test for the Democrats hoping to be elected President in November. How much does Iowa really matter? The Economist’s US editor, John Prideaux, heads to the Midwest to find out. Correspondents Adam Roberts and Jon Fasman have also been in Iowa this week. Charlotte Howard joins the discussion from New York.

 

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Jan 31, 2020
When one door closes: Brexit day
00:23:50

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

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Jan 31, 2020
Editor’s picks: January 30th 2020
00:22:23

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, will the Wuhan virus become a pandemic? (09:40) The United Kingdom leaves the European Union. (17:55) And, drugs offered to transgender children need to be used more cautiously.


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Jan 30, 2020
Viral hit: the costs of China’s lockdown
00:23:23

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

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Jan 30, 2020
Babbage: Judging the book
00:20:45

Will Facebook’s new “oversight board” restore trust in the social media giant? Also, venture capitalist Roy Bahat on how AI will transform the future of work. And, how to make oxygen from moon dust. Kenneth Cukier hosts 



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Jan 29, 2020
They went that Huawei: Britain’s crucial 5G call
00:22:02

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


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Jan 29, 2020
Money Talks: Market contagion
00:21:28

Concern over the new coronavirus caused global stockmarkets to fall. Could the Wuhan virus hurt economic growth in China more than the SARS virus did? Also, how can India’s economy recover from “stagflation”? And, the “father of disruptive innovation” has died—the legacy of Clayton Christensen’s management lessons. Simon Long hosts.


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Jan 28, 2020
The Economist Asks: Trapped in Iran
00:40:05

In July 2019 Nicolas Pelham, The Economist's Middle East correspondent, received a rare journalist’s visa to visit Iran. But on the day he was due to fly home he was detained by intelligence officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, one of the country’s most powerful institutions. He was questioned repeatedly and forced to stay in the country for seven more weeks. Although unable to leave, he was later allowed to roam the city without a minder and found a paradoxical liberation in captivity. He gained a rare insight into life in Tehran, recording the sounds of the city as he explored. In this podcast, he tells Anne McElvoy his extraordinary story.


Nicolas Pelham’s account, “Trapped in Iran”, is on the cover of 1843 magazine. 

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Jan 28, 2020
Showpiece in the Middle East: Trump’s “ultimate deal”
00:23:58

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

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Jan 28, 2020
The World Ahead: Deep green sea
00:21:36

New environmental rules have been introduced to control pollution at sea, but might they do more harm than good—and how can shipping be made greener in the long term? Also, a look at the future of nursing, as 2020 has been designated the year of the nurse. And how Xi Jinping is playing a long game to improve Chinese football in the decades to come. Tom Standage hosts. 

 

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

 

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Jan 27, 2020
Spread bet: China’s coronavirus quarantine
00:22:55

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


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Jan 27, 2020
Checks and Balance: Disruptor-in-chief
00:39:31

How far has President Donald Trump delivered on his promise to remake American power in the world? With so much attention focused on the impeachment drama originating in Ukraine, John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, identifies the places more likely to determine the fate of Trump’s presidency. And has America’s global standing been damaged as Trump’s critics allege? Co-hosts Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman debate President Trump’s foreign policy with David Rennie, Beijing bureau chief, and Shashank Joshi, defence editor.


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Jan 24, 2020
Ill-judged: Poland’s rule-of-law crisis
00:21:22

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

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Jan 24, 2020
Editor’s Picks: January 23rd 2020
00:20:23

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP are sowing division in India. (10:06) Investors at home and abroad are piling into American government debt. (16:31) And, the similarities between Britain’s queen and Sir Alex Ferguson.

 

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Jan 23, 2020
The Economist Asks: Does the world need Davos?
00:32:27

At the World Economic Forum, which celebrates its 50th anniversary, The Economist’s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, Anne McElvoy and Patrick Foulis debate the future of the annual alpine gathering. How did a young academic’s pet project come to be seen as the ultimate A-list bash for global CEOs, political leaders and celebrities alike? Anne McElvoy speaks to the CEO of Youtube, Susan Wojcicki, actress and activist Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Natalia Vodianova, a supermodel and philanthropist, about what they achieve at Davos and the mission behind the glamour. Is it a forum for effective decision-making—or just a week in the snow for the global elite? And finally, snowboots or stilettos?


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Jan 23, 2020
On the right track: a trend in diplomacy
00:22:59

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

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Jan 23, 2020
Babbage: The Wuhan plan
00:25:08

The new coronavirus, which was discovered in December in the city of Wuhan China, is now causing a global scare. What are the symptoms of the Wuhan virus and how can it be contained? Also, a new biotech company is hoping to revolutionise the way drugs are brought to market. And, should countries around the world ban Huawei technology from their 5G network? Kenneth Cukier hosts.


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Jan 22, 2020
Justin time, again: Trudeau’s second term
00:23:36

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

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Jan 22, 2020
Money Talks: Goldilocks economy
00:17:53

America’s biggest banks posted record profits last week, despite falling interest rates. This week the attention turns to smaller lenders. Why might they not do so well? Also, why precious metals rhodium and palladium make gold look cheap. And, ganbei! The world’s biggest alcoholic-drinks company, finding success in doing everything… wrong. Simon Long hosts 


 

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Jan 21, 2020
Can I get a witness? Impeachment
00:23:55

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

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

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

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Jan 20, 2020
The Economist asks: How to be a dictator
00:29:09

The 20th century has become known as the “age of dictatorship”, for the horrors perpetrated by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and other despots from Chile to Cambodia. Anne McElvoy asks Frank Dikötter, a historian and professor at the university of Hong Kong, how these men rose to power and why some survived while others were brought down. They debate the limits of authoritarian power today, including China’s ability to act in Hong Kong. And what makes a true dictator—or is there something a bit dictatorial in everyone?


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Jan 17, 2020
Address the problem: the global housing blunder
00:23:47

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

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Jan 17, 2020
Checks and Balance: Trailer
00:01:21

US editor John Prideaux and his colleagues from across the US and around the world go beyond the headlines and the horserace to delve deeper into the race for the White House—and why it matters so much.

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Jan 17, 2020
Editor’s Picks: January 16th 2020
00:21:27

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the consequences of the West's obsession with homeownership. (8:58) Vladimir Putin’s power grab. (14:08) And, Harry, Meghan and Marx—why Brand Sussex represents the biggest threat to the monarchy so far


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Jan 16, 2020
Set for life? Putin’s power-grab
00:19:59

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

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Jan 16, 2020
Babbage: Starlight, star bright
00:18:42

A giant star called Betelgeuse is behaving strangely. Could the dimming star be about to become a supernova? Also, a group of internet veterans are contesting the billion dollar sale of the “.org” domain registry. What’s their alternative? And, accidental stampedes can be deadly. How does a crowd turn into a crush? Kenneth Cukier hosts


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Jan 15, 2020
Going through a phase: US-China trade deal
00:20:36

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

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Jan 15, 2020
Money Talks: Experiencing turbulence
00:23:59

Boeing has a new chief executive. What does he need to do to restore faith in the world’s biggest aerospace company? Also, why some countries are trying to ditch the dollar and challenge America’s dominance of the global financial cycle. And, how can the economics profession solve its race problem? Rachana Shanbhogue hosts. 


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Jan 14, 2020
A Biden by their decision? Democrats debate
00:23:07

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

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

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

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Jan 13, 2020
The Economist Asks: The Suleimani killing—masterstroke or madness?
00:29:25

As America announces new sanctions and Iran threatens further revenge attacks, Anne McElvoy interviews Ambassador Ryan Crocker about what the killing of Qassem Suleimani means. The former US chief diplomat to Iraq, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon explains why his reaction to the news was one of satisfaction and how the loss of its top general will reshape Tehran's influence in the region. They explore whether America can stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Or will the conflict become President Trump’s own endless war? 


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Jan 10, 2020
Scorched-earth policies: Australia and climate change
00:23:13

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

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Jan 10, 2020
Editor’s Picks: January 9th 2020
00:20:59

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the fallout from the killing of Qassem Suleimani. (09:30) Can a new boss salvage the reputation of Boeing? (17:47) And, a right-royal shake-up

 

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Jan 09, 2020
Will you still feed me when I’m 62? Macron’s pension fight
00:22:06

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


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Jan 09, 2020
Babbage: Fire fighting
00:24:25

Australia is battling catastrophic wildfires. Climate models predict extreme fire events are going to become more commonplace. What can countries do to prepare? And, a glimpse into the chip factory around which the modern world turns. Also, what is “open innovation”? Henry Chesbrough, professor at the Haas School of Business, at UC Berkeley talks to Kenneth Cukier.


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Jan 08, 2020
Return fire: Iran’s missile attacks
00:22:45

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

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Jan 08, 2020
Money Talks: Full battle rattle
00:24:52

Oil and gold prices spiked after the killing of Qassem Suleimani, an Iranian general, by the United States. How might heightened tension in the Middle East affect these important commodity markets in the weeks ahead? And, at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting, Ben Bernanke reflected on how successfully the Fed has adapted to a world of ultra-low interest rates. Also, why consumer shame now means it pays to be ethical. Patrick Lane hosts 


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Jan 07, 2020
Two heads aren’t better than one: Venezuela
00:22:54

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


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

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

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Jan 06, 2020
The Economist Asks: Bagehot on Bagehot
00:21:46

What can Britain today learn from Walter Bagehot? He was The Economist’s greatest editor who mixed with the cream of British society in the 19th century. The Economist’s current Bagehot columnist, Adrian Wooldridge, talks to James Grant, financial journalist and biographer of Bagehot, about Bagehot’s prose, politics and lasting influence


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Jan 03, 2020
Negative feedback: reversing carbon emissions
00:23:11

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


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Jan 03, 2020
Editor’s Picks: January 2nd 2020
00:35:56

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, don’t be fooled by the phase one trade deal between China and America. (10:20) Finding new physics requires a new particle collider. (30:52) And, a dispute over racism roils the world of romance novelists

 

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Jan 02, 2020
Made (entirely) in China: a tech behemoth rises
00:23:56

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

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Jan 02, 2020
Babbage: What’s the frequency Kenneth?
00:23:08

Kenneth Cukier celebrates the invention of a musical instrument that turns 100 in 2020—the Theremin. A staple of sci-fi sound-effects, the instrument is enjoying a revival in the digital age. We talk to players, historians, a former student and relative of its inventor to learn about the influence of the Theremin on modern culture. Was the instrument a technological achievement that came a century too soon?


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Jan 01, 2020
Money Talks: Work in progress
00:24:25

The office is evolving beyond recognition. How did a functional grid of desks become more like a home, complete with in-house childcare and spare exercise clothes? James Fransham, a data journalist at The Economist, takes a tour of some of the world’s leading offices to find out whether other companies will follow their lead. Is it possible to leave work feeling better than when you arrived? And, when it comes to the bottom line, is the office of the future good for business?

 

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Dec 31, 2019
The World Ahead: Tax me if you can
00:24:05

2020 will be a key year for determining how big multinational and technology companies are taxed, but can a global deal be reached? Also, to what degree will the Olympics boost Japan’s international standing next year and will a new event called sport climbing catch on? Finally, the science fiction guide to the future. Anne McElvoy hosts 

 

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

 

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Dec 30, 2019
The Economist Asks: The Best of 2019
00:16:25

In 2019 Anne McElvoy challenged the people making the news. From presidential candidates and CEOs to fashion icons and even a relationship therapist. Among her guests were Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg, editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour and author Anand Giridharadas


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Dec 27, 2019
Editor’s Picks: 26th December 2019
00:49:07

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the holiday issue of The Economist. This week, visiting the most diverse district in Africa, (17:30) meeting the Cockneys of Thetford, (34:22) and the tangled history of California’s eucalyptus trees.


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Dec 26, 2019
A very merry Money Talks Christmas special
00:28:42

From pickled radishes to red knickers, we take a break from the news of the moment to look back over the peaks and troughs of the past year in business, finance and economics. Our merry panel of Helen Joyce, The Economist’s finance editor, Patrick Foulis, our business affairs editor, and Schumpeter columnist Henry Tricks join Philip Coggan, otherwise known as Bartleby, for a riotous ride through the stories of the year. And, fortified with mulled wine and chocolate coins, they offer their predictions for 2020


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Dec 24, 2019
Lifesaver: meet a death-row detective
00:23:20

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

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

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

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Dec 23, 2019
The Economist Asks: Greta Gerwig
00:26:25

Every generation has its own “Little Women”. Anne McElvoy asks Greta Gerwig, the Oscar-nominated writer and director of “Lady Bird”, about how she reinvented the classic story of Jo, Amy, Meg and Beth March for a new audience. They talk about her move to behind the camera, rescuing her characters from stereotypes and the economics of being a woman artist then and now. Also, how does Barbie, the subject of her next film, fare in the age of #MeToo? 


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Dec 20, 2019
Old China hands: ageing in the Middle Kingdom
00:22:45

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

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Dec 20, 2019
Editor’s Picks: December 19th 2019
00:29:14

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the holiday issue of The Economist. This week, the phenomenon of technological pessimism (08:23), how to cut homelessness in the world’s priciest cities (12:51), and how China made the piano it’s own



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Dec 19, 2019
Exclusionary rule: India’s citizenship law
00:21:04

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

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Dec 19, 2019
Babbage: How the planets got their spots
00:25:05

The workings of the solar system were once likened to the machinations of a precise clock, but the orbits of the planets haven’t always been so perfectly balanced. How did the planets end up where they are today? Also, the Mars missions which hopes to reveal life on the red planet. And, designer and technologist John Maeda on the importance of understanding machines. Kenneth Cukier hosts 



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Dec 18, 2019
Marching orders: impeachment around the world
00:23:09

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

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Dec 18, 2019
Money talks: Maxed out
00:18:20

Boeing has announced it will temporarily cease production of 737 Max airliners. How high are the stakes for the company? And Heather Boushey, executive director at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, says data on inequality should be making economists rethink their models. Also, The Economist’s Bartleby columnist on how to survive the office Christmas party. Simon Long hosts 


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Dec 17, 2019
Majority rules: Britain’s new Parliament sits
00:21:47

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

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

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

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Dec 16, 2019
The Economist asks: How did Boris turn Britain blue?
00:22:29

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has redrawn the political map in Britain after the Conservative party won the general election by a landslide. Outside the Houses of Parliament, Anne McElvoy asks Richard Burgon, a prominent pro-Corbyn frontbencher, whether Brexit or the Labour leader caused the party's crushing defeat. Did pollsters predict the blue rinse? And, Lord Falconer and Sir Michael Fallon, former cabinet ministers on either side of the political divide, debate how the Tories broke Labour’s “red wall” in the north-east, and where this leaves the Brexit process


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Dec 13, 2019
Editor’s picks election special: December 13th 2019
00:20:23

A UK election special featuring a selection of three essential articles from our coverage of the night, read aloud. Victory for Boris Johnson’s all-new Tories. Why not to expect the Labour Party to move back to the centre quickly (08:50). And, why markets surged after the Conservative victory (16:31)


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Dec 13, 2019
Bolt from the blue: Britain’s Conservatives triumph
00:23:50

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


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Dec 13, 2019
Editor’s picks: December 12th 2019
00:20:59

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, President Trump deserves to be removed for attempting to tip the 2020 election. (11:37) A long-promised pension reform in France will coddle the old and squeeze the young. (17:20) And, how grime is helping Britain’s left-behind


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Dec 12, 2019
Defending the indefensible: Aung San Suu Kyi
00:23:23

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

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Dec 12, 2019
Babbage: Beijing kicks out foreign kit
00:23:34

China wants to remove all foreign technology from its state offices within the next three years. One in every two people will experience the menopause. Why are so few women taking advantage of life-changing hormone replacement therapies? And, the internet domain registry “.org” is being sold for over $1bn. What does this mean for the future of the internet? Kenneth Cukier hosts 


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Dec 11, 2019
Articles of faith: charges laid against Trump
00:21:42

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

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Dec 11, 2019
Money talks: Political currency
00:22:13

How are markets pricing the various possible outcomes of the British election? And, central banks are starting to incorporate climate risk into their forecasts, but some wonder whether they are over-reaching. Also, the nuts of wrath—a tale of Italian Nutella. Helen Joyce hosts. 



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Dec 10, 2019
Running into debt: Argentina’s new president
00:20:38

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

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

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

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Dec 09, 2019
The Economist asks: Is there a future for democracy in China?
00:23:15

The historian Jung Chang, a survivor of the Cultural Revolution and the author of “Wild Swans”, talks to Anne McElvoy about her latest book, “Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister”. It follows three remarkable women from China’s brief period of democracy in the 1920s to positions of influence that shaped their country’s history. They talk about how Beijing views the challenge to its authority from the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and what the rest of the world misunderstands about China


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Dec 06, 2019
Writing on the Wall: a revealing British-election hike
00:22:16

Our correspondent walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall, in northern England, finding shifting party alliances and surprising views on Brexit. We take a look at the phenomenon of Japan’s hikikomori, who shut themselves in for years on end. And why a plague of rats in California is likely to get even worse. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

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Dec 06, 2019
Editor’s picks: December 5th 2019
00:22:33

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, an electoral nightmare before Christmas for Britain. (10:10) China’s behind-the-scenes battle for influence in the United Nations. (18:10) And, how to make a small supercomputer with a really big chip


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Dec 05, 2019
Not shy about retiring: strikes in France
00:22:06

A massive, rolling, national strike begins today, in protest against proposed reforms of the sprawling pension system. But details of the changes haven’t even been published yet. Our correspondent visits the conflict-ravaged Darfur region, and sees a historic opportunity for peace. And a look at how best to let entrepreneurial immigrants get back in business. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

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Dec 05, 2019
Babbage: Now I’ve learned my ABC
00:22:09

After the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, step back from their roles at Google’s parent company Alphabet, who will really be in charge? Israeli venture capitalist Chemi Peres on the ways innovation can lead to peace. And, cases of Malaria are no longer in decline — what needs to happen to reignite the fight? Kenneth Cukier hosts 


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Dec 04, 2019
Inquiring minds: impeachment’s next stage
00:22:47

The House Judiciary Committee will now take up the inquiry into President Donald Trump. But will any of it matter to uninterested voters? The probe into the mysterious death of an investigative journalist is now haunting Malta’s halls of power. And a look back on the life of a beloved athlete who never quite won cycling’s biggest prize. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

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Dec 04, 2019
Money talks: Instant tariffication
00:22:41

Donald Trump is introducing new tariffs and this time they are not aimed at China. The latest figures suggest that China’s economy is stronger than Mr Trump portrays. What valuation will the Saudi Aramco IPO achieve? Also, economist and author Branko Milanović on the battle between liberal capitalism and political capitalism. Patrick Lane hosts 



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Dec 03, 2019
With allies like these: NATO’s bickering leaders hold a summit
00:22:27

It will be all smiles at the NATO summit today in London--but many of them will be forced. Behind the scenes, the alliance’s leaders are arguing about what its purpose should be. We also look at the disputed data behind the idea that inequality has been rising inexorably in recent years. And how a novel way to reduce cow and sheep burps could help in the fight against climate change. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

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

The Islamic militant who killed two people in London last week was supposedly being monitored by the authorities. That revelation has prompted a fierce debate about what went wrong. We take a look at the state of the global AIDS epidemic. And as their country goes to wrack and ruin, Venezuelans have been turning to video games, but not for the reasons you might think. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

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Dec 02, 2019
The Economist asks: What’s the future of the Republican party?
00:32:12

Ahead of the 2020 American presidential election, John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, talks to Bill Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts, Joe Walsh, a talk radio host and former Illinois congressman, and Mark Sanford, a former governor of South Carolina. While Donald Trump enjoys near 90% approval ratings among his party, can anyone challenge him for the Republican presidential nomination? And how has he changed what it means to be a Republican? Anne McElvoy hosts

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Nov 29, 2019
AMLO and behold: Mexico’s president tries to tackle corruption
00:21:51

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s president, is wildly popular, in part because of his determination to wipe out corruption. But is his crusade against graft everything it’s cracked up to be? We also look at the debate around randomised control trials, a popular but controversial tool in economics. In Congo, caterpillars are considered a delicacy. We explain why they deserve to be the next superfood. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

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Nov 29, 2019
Editor’s picks: November 28th 2019
00:25:39

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, inequality could be lower than you think (11:20), Britain’s Labour Party plans to redistribute political power as well as income (17:30), and Mexico’s President is using a crusade against corruption to take control


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Nov 28, 2019
Presidential SEAL: Donald Trump puts his stamp on military discipline
00:22:30

Donald Trump used to lionise generals, but this week he had a falling out with the top brass. Are the armed forces becoming as politicised as America’s other institutions? We also take a look at the emergence of a new narco-state in West Africa, Guinea-Bissau. And Silicon Valley has been trying to shed a reputation for sexism, but many of its products remain ill-suited to women. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

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Nov 28, 2019
Babbage: AI: The end of the scientific method?
00:22:40

Researchers are using artificial intelligence techniques to invent medicines and materials—but in the process are they upending the scientific method itself? The AI approach is a form of trial-and-error at scale, or “radical empiricism”. But does AI-driven science uncover new answers that humans cannot understand? Host Kenneth Cukier finds out with James Field of LabGenius, Demis Hassabis of DeepMind, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, tech venture capitalists Zavain Dar and Nan Li, philosophy professor Sabrina Leonelli, and others.

 

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Nov 27, 2019
Global warning: The UN sounds the alarm on climate change
00:19:58

The UN has just released its annual report on how well the fight to slow climate change is going. It finds that efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions are going from bad to worse. We also look at a surprising new lease on life for China’s regional dialects. And while people debate about the merits of Uber, one thing is clear -- it drives people to drink -- or so new research suggests. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

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Nov 27, 2019
Money talks: Shopping for diamonds
00:22:49

LVMH, a French luxury goods giant, is buying American jeweller Tiffany & Co for over $16bn. What are its plans for the latest jewel in its crown? Soumaya Keynes speaks to Stephen Vaughn, former general counsel to the United States Trade Representative, about a crisis at the heart of the World Trade Organisation. And, what lessons can be learned from the world’s most extreme economies? Patrick Lane hosts


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Nov 26, 2019
Start spreading the cash: Michael Bloomberg runs for president
00:20:27

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, has announced he is running for president. But he is late to join the race and not very popular with Democratic primary voters. We also look at TikTok, a wildly successful video-sharing app, that some see as a threat to security in the Western world. And much of Switzerland is up in arms--about the reliability of the country’s coffee supply. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

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Nov 26, 2019
The world ahead: Small COP, big COP
00:24:09

On the eve of the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, we ask what delegates hope to achieve. Also, how can online games help in the fight against fake news? And host Tom Standage interviews an artificial intelligence called GPT-2 about its views on the big themes of 2020. 


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

 

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Nov 25, 2019
Protest vote: Hong Kongers send a message to Beijing
00:22:14

After almost six months of protests and street battles, Hong Kongers have had a chance to vote in local elections. They sent a clear message of support to those agitating for greater democracy. We look at how the impeachment hearings in Washington are undermining the fight against corruption in Eastern Europe. And deep below Jerusalem, a high-tech cemetery is under construction. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer

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Nov 25, 2019
The Economist asks: Is NATO experiencing “brain death”?
00:23:49

The secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Jens Stoltenberg, reacts to Emmanuel Macron’s stark warnings about the future of the alliance. Daniel Franklin, The Economist’s diplomatic editor, asks Mr Stoltenberg how NATO’s members can overcome their differences—should Europe have its own defence force and is Turkey at risk of drifting away from the alliance? Also, how should Article 5 be enforced in space?


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Nov 22, 2019
Bibi in the corner: Binyamin Netanyahu’s indictment
00:21:52

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

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Nov 22, 2019
Editor’s picks: November 21st 2019
00:20:06

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Hong Kong is not the only part of China’s periphery to resent the heavy hand of the Communist party. (9:20) What happens when McKinsey, the high priesthood of management consultancy, is itself disrupted? (16:51) And, if disaster strikes, the Swiss want to be caffeinated


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Nov 21, 2019
Fuel to the fire: growing unrest in Iran
00:20:06

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

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Nov 21, 2019
Babbage: Reality check
00:23:07

Virtual reality continues to make people sick. Will the technology ever take off and is it designed for women? Leo Murray, from “Riding Sunbeams”, on using solar power to propel future commuter journeys. Also, how slippery toilets could reduce water-use. Alok Jha hosts 


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Nov 20, 2019
Settling in: Israel-Palestine policy
00:21:08

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

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Nov 20, 2019
Money talks: Getting bizzy
00:25:27

Ahead of the UK’s general election, party leaders courted businesses at the annual conference of the Confederation of British Industry. We ask the CBI’s chief economist Rain Newton-Smith what attendees made of their proposals. Also, Scott Kupor of Andreessen Horowitz reveals the secrets of success in the world of venture capitalism. And, why the future of gaming is in the cloud. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts

 

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Nov 19, 2019
Bits in pieces: a fragmenting internet
00:22:08

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

Additional audio courtesy of Department of Records

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Nov 19, 2019
Futurewatch: The crypto craze
00:22:21

Is cryptocurrency the future of money? Helen Joyce, The Economist’s finance editor, explores whether digital coins can offer a viable alternative to existing currencies. And Tim Cross, The Economist’s technology editor, explains the blockchains that underpin them

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Nov 18, 2019
Head for the Hill: this week’s impeachment hearings
00:21:21

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

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Nov 18, 2019
The Economist asks: Esther Perel
00:27:06

What is the secret to a great working relationship? The psychotherapist, author and podcaster opens up about the key ingredients to collegiality in the office, millenials’ expectations of managers and the cult of the founder. Esther Perel also offers Anne McElvoy advice on managing her team.


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Nov 15, 2019
Better the devil they know? Sri Lanka’s election
00:21:29

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

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Nov 15, 2019
Editor’s picks: November 14th 2019
00:21:39

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Democrats want impeachment hearings to change the public’s view of Donald Trump. That will be difficult. (10:50) The tangled politics surrounding a killing and its aftermath in Gaza. (16:30) And, for aircraft-carriers, bigger isn’t better


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

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

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Nov 14, 2019
Babbage: Private patients
00:28:20

Google has teamed up with US-healthcare provider Ascension to access patient data without them being notified. What are the privacy concerns and implications for digital healthcare? And, how will 3D printing change the way we build everything from skyscrapers to spaceships. Also, Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and author, speaks to Kenn Cukier about the future of science education and space exploration.


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Nov 13, 2019
Umbrellas to firebombs: Hong Kong’s escalating protests
00:21:43

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

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Nov 13, 2019
Money talks: Streams come true
00:21:35

Disney Plus enters the battle of the streaming services, amongst competition from Netflix, Apple, Amazon and others. Which will achieve the Hollywood ending? And we ask Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade advisor, what the endgame is in negotiations with China. Also, why our Bartleby columnist hates videoconferencing. Helen Joyce hosts 

 

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Nov 12, 2019
The American Dreamer: DACA in the Supreme Court
00:22:10

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


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Nov 12, 2019
Futurewatch: The future of banking
00:20:26

Futurewatch: The future of banking

Will the bricks and mortar of high-street banks be replaced by the silicon chips of data centres? Looking at the rise of "neobanks" around the world, The Economist’s finance editor Helen Joyce explores how technology is changing traditional banking


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Nov 11, 2019
Unpresidented: Bolivia’s leader resigns
00:21:25

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

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Nov 11, 2019
The Economist asks: Thirty years on, is Germany still divided?
00:34:21

On November 9th 1989, Anne McElvoy and Conny Günther were in East Berlin watching the impossible—the fall of the Berlin Wall. Thirty years later they retrace their steps to find out how decades of division transformed and still shape German lives. They talk to those who risked their lives tunnelling under the wall to help people escape, delve into the surveillance files kept on them by the Stasi, and hear from a new generation about the future of post-Wall Germany

 

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Nov 08, 2019
Persistence of division: after the Berlin Wall
00:23:55

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

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Nov 08, 2019
Editor’s picks: November 7th 2019
00:28:15

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Emmanuel Macron warns that Europe is “on the edge of a precipice”. (9:20) Bashing billionaires is misguided. (15:40) And, could the internet splinter along nation-state lines? 


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Nov 07, 2019
Allez, Europe! Macron’s diplomatic push
00:23:20

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

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Nov 07, 2019
Babbage: Designer genes
00:23:48

How far away are “designer babies” from being a reality? Host Kenneth Cukier explores the ethical questions around the applications of a genome-wide association study. Journalist and author Gaia Vince on how “cultural evolution” shapes society. Also, a solution to the problem of “concrete cancer

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Nov 06, 2019
Demonstrative: a global wave of protest
00:22:49

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

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Nov 06, 2019
Money talks: Unhappy EUnion
00:23:51

Opposition to the European Central Bank’s plans for quantitative easing has been split along North-South lines in the euro zone. But are these concerns justified? And, journalist and author Matthew Syed explains why thinking is more creative in organisations where the staff are diverse. Also, our Wall Street correspondent, Alice Fulwood, plays a round of poker with player and entrepreneur Bryn Kenney, who tops the world’s All-Time Money List. Simon Long hosts


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Nov 05, 2019
Stone unturned? Trump’s adviser on trial
00:24:01

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

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Nov 05, 2019
Futurewatch: The death of cash
00:16:52

As digital payments become the norm, will there be a need for cash? The Economist’s Finance editor Helen Joyce takes a look behind the scenes of the future, from Sweden to Shanghai. She explores how digital payments will transform the economy, and how they risk leaving some people behind


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Nov 04, 2019
Facebooklets: breaking up Big Tech
00:21:38

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

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Nov 04, 2019
Editor’s picks: November 1st 2019
00:29:48

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Islamic State after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (11:12) The reinvention of the MBA for the next business revolution. (22:33) And, why Donald Trump’s hostile reception at the World Series was a defining moment in his presidency


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Nov 01, 2019
Impeach-y keen: Trump investigation goes public
00:23:34

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

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Nov 01, 2019
The Economist asks: José Manuel Barroso
00:23:42

The Brexit deadline has been delayed and Britain is now heading for a snap general election. Anne McElvoy asks José Manuel Barroso, former president of the European Commission, whether Boris Johnson can win on December 12th and “get Brexit done”. Also, will Britain’s exit from the EU threaten workers’ rights? And, as an opera devotee, which work does he think would best serve as a guide—or a warning—to the unfolding political drama?


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Oct 31, 2019
Iraq in a hard place: deadly protests continue
00:20:55

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

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Oct 31, 2019
Babbage: Home o’Sapiens
00:23:16

Scientists believe they have located the ancestral home of one of humanity’s early ancestors—in northern Botswana. Tom Siebel, a Silicon Valley veteran and the founder of C3.ai, explains how digital transformation stops companies from going extinct. And, host Kenneth Cukier takes a trip to the Natural History Museum in London to learn about bias in species collection

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Oct 30, 2019
May as well: Boris Johnson’s electoral bet
00:22:55

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

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Oct 30, 2019
Money talks: HSBC change
00:23:34

HSBC’s third-quarter results have revealed a “disappointing” performance in Europe and America. What has caused problems for the global bank? Also, Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil firm, looks likely to push forward with plans for an IPO. What challenges does the oil giant face? And Julian Richer, founder of the entertainment retailer Richer Sounds, on the secret to keeping staff happy. Simon Long hosts


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Oct 29, 2019
Not fare enough: Chile’s protests
00:20:19

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

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Oct 29, 2019
Futurewatch: Trailer
00:01:19

Coming soon: a new series from The Economist that goes behind the scenes of the future to meet the people who are building tomorrow's world. In its first season, Futurewatch looks at the future of money—the death of cash, the rise of challenger banks and the potential of cryptocurrencies.

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Oct 28, 2019
The world ahead: Libra in the balance
00:21:09

As doubts surround the launch of Facebook’s Libra, will 2020 really be the year of digital currencies? We find out what shopping is like when payments are automatic and invisible. And, how China provides a glimpse of how people will handle their finances in the future. Tom Standage hosts

 

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


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Oct 28, 2019
State of disarray: the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
00:20:20

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

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Oct 28, 2019
The Economist asks: Where does power lie in America?
00:27:48

Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams was the first African-American woman to win a major-party nomination for governor in 2018, narrowly losing to the incumbent she accused of suppressing non-white votes. Anne McElvoy asks what the fraught Georgia race taught her, whether identity politics is a benefit or drawback to her party -  and whether she would serve as Joe Biden’s vice-president. Also, who would Abrams, as spy novelist, like to see in the role of James Bond?



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Oct 25, 2019
Poll dance: Boris Johnson’s election ploy
00:22:06

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

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Oct 25, 2019
Editor’s picks: October 24th 2019
00:28:46

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, why Elizabeth Warren’s plan for American capitalism is not the answer to the country’s problems. (10:30) Russia’s increasing influence in Africa (21:20) And, IPOs are a racket but try finding something better

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Oct 24, 2019
Calls to action: Lebanon’s continued protests
00:20:23

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

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Oct 24, 2019
Babbage: Libra takes a pounding
00:21:21

Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra, has suffered setbacks in recent weeks, as the company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg appears before a congressional committee to defend it. The Economist’s technology editor Tim Cross explains what’s at stake. Also, how a giant timber mill in Finland is leading the way in sustainable forestry. And Damian Bradfield, chief creative officer of WeTransfer, on how ethics and the internet can coexist. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Oct 23, 2019
Putin, he’s back into it: Russia’s growing influence
00:22:12

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

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Oct 23, 2019
Money talks: Wells Far(to)go
00:24:20

The new boss of Wells Fargo has an unenviable to-do list. Our Wall Street correspondent sizes up Charlie Scharf’s prospects for rehabilitating the bank after a series of scandals. Senator Elizabeth Warren is now leading the pack of Democratic candidates for the American presidency. Would her plans reshape American capitalism for better or worse? And, can money really buy happiness? Patrick Lane hosts

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Oct 22, 2019
The course of Trudeau love: Canada’s election
00:21:25

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

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

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

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Oct 21, 2019
The Economist asks: Who can trust Trump’s America?
00:24:13

America’s withdrawal from northern Syria and the subsequent Turkish invasion have overturned the power balance in the region, displacing tens of thousands of America’s former allies, the Kurds. Ash Carter helped build that alliance as US secretary of defence. John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, asks him how America’s actions in Syria will affect its ability to deal with future threats. Also, why Secretary Carter believes some American companies are too quick to abandon American values. And, how to run the biggest organisation in the world

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Oct 18, 2019
Irish ayes? A new Brexit deal
00:22:52

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

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Oct 18, 2019
Editor’s picks: October 17th 2019
00:22:03

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Donald Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds is a blow to America’s credibility. (09:40) The proposed Brexit agreement is different to anything advertised during the referendum. (14:40) And the Japanese royal family has little room to make itself more relevant. Zanny Minton Beddoes hosts

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Oct 17, 2019
Antsy about ANC: reform in South Africa
00:23:46

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

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Oct 17, 2019
Babbage: Cough up
00:25:07

Over the past two decades the Global Fund has fought the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, but now many in the field fear its progress is under threat. The founder and CEO of language-learning app Duolingo, Luis von Ahn, on his plans to help the 750m illiterate adults in the world learn to read. And, why net-zero carbon emissions targets are measuring the wrong thing. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Oct 16, 2019
Back to Square one? Tiananmen veterans in Hong Kong
00:24:19

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

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Oct 16, 2019
Money talks: A Nobel endeavour
00:22:08

What causes poverty? Rachana Shanbhogue interviews this year’s winners of the Nobel prize for economics—Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer. Their pioneering work has changed the understanding of one of the hardest problems in economics: why do some countries grow rich while others stay poor? Plus, Europe’s Nordic banks are embroiled in money-laundering scandals. What do regulators need to do to restore confidence?

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Oct 15, 2019
Then there were 12: the Democrats’ fourth debate
00:23:44

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

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

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

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Oct 14, 2019
The Economist asks: Senna, Winehouse, Maradona—can a film reveal the person behind the myth?
00:25:45

In his trilogy of documentaries the filmmaker Asif Kapadia rejected the traditional tools of the trade. Instead, he painstakingly reconstructed the lives of Formula One champion Ayrton Senna, acclaimed singer Amy Winehouse and legendary footballer Diego Maradona almost entirely from archival footage. Anne McElvoy asks Kapadia whether this forensic approach reaches closer to the real person behind the myth. They talk about the difficulty of interviewing a champion of deceit and whether it matters if the hero of the story is sometimes a villain. Also, what does it take to be the greatest footballer of all time? And at what cost?

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Oct 11, 2019
PiS prize: Poland’s crucial election
00:21:49

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

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Oct 11, 2019
Editor’s picks: October 10th 2019
00:25:09

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the strange new rules of the world economy. (9:40) A long-feared clash between Turkey and Syria’s Kurds will have consequences across the Middle East. (17:00) And, a tale of adventure in a library of ice

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Oct 10, 2019
Uncomfortable president: Trump’s stonewalling
00:19:57

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

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Oct 10, 2019
Babbage: The promise and peril of AI
00:28:41

Artificial intelligence—the technique of using data and algorithms to make decisions as well as (or better) than humans—is on track to become a mainstream technology, on a par with electricity or computing. But in order to flourish it needs to overcome several challenges. From privacy and market concentration, to safety and explainability. In this week’s show Kenneth Cukier speaks to some of the leading experts in the field about the benefits and risks of AI, and why it is so important that we deploy the technology. Guests include Yoshua Bengio, Andrew Ng, Ajay Agrawal, Catherine Havasi and Stuart Russell

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Oct 09, 2019
Sorry state: Kashmir on lockdown
00:20:41

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

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Oct 09, 2019
Money talks: How low can rates go?
00:25:05

Our economics editor, Henry Curr, explores why the global economy is behaving weirdly and how governments and central banks should respond. Also, can freer trade help address climate change? The Economist’s editor-in-chief, Zanny Minton-Beddoes, asks Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, Cecilia Malmström, the EU’s trade commissioner, Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup, and Tidjane Thiam, CEO of Credit Suisse, at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum. And, how the economics of streaming is changing pop songs. Helen Joyce hosts

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Oct 08, 2019
Just a Kurd to him: Trump’s Syria withdrawal
00:20:49

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

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

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

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Oct 07, 2019
The Economist asks: Did Margaret Thatcher pave the way for Brexit?
00:26:03

Britain’s relationship with Europe dominated the last years of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership. Anne McElvoy asks Charles Moore, a Conservative columnist and her authorised biographer, whether the roots of Brexit can be traced back to the Iron Lady’s fierce tussles over British sovereignty. They talk about the machinations of her inner circle during her final years in power and her pioneering climate advocacy. Also, the “nightmare” of managing Boris Johnson, and what really happened at those louche Spectator lunches

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Oct 04, 2019
Duty call: how Ukraine sees the Trump scandal
00:22:48

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

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Oct 04, 2019
Editor’s picks: October 3rd 2019
00:21:37

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, computers will increasingly call the shots in financial markets. (10:00) China’s nationalism is the world’s problem. (17:30) And, how to reinforce the border wall with a gator-infested moat

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Oct 03, 2019
Immunisation shot? The case against Binyamin Netanyahu
00:20:04

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

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Oct 03, 2019
Babbage: Steak and Chips
00:26:15

As the trade war intensifies, China wants to reduce its reliance on imports of foreign computer chips. Could open-source technology solve its problems? Also, new research on red meat pits statisticians against nutritionists. And Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, on the ethical dilemmas that come from powerful new technology. Kenneth Cukier hosts


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Oct 02, 2019
Reform over function: Peru’s political crisis
00:22:21

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

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Oct 02, 2019
Money talks: WeWorry
00:23:43

WeWork has scrapped plans for an initial public offering after its CEO stepped down amid claims of mismanagement. What does its implosion mean for investors and other young firms with similar ambitions? Greece's new government is preparing to announce its first draft budget. Will it be enough to re-energise the economy? Plus, a taste of Chinese fine wine. Patrick Lane hosts

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Oct 01, 2019
Party like it’s 1949: China’s National Day
00:20:24

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

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Oct 01, 2019
The world ahead: A different dystopia
00:24:49

With recent protests taking place against president Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, The Economist’s foreign editor, Robert Guest, considers what might happen if Mr Sisi's regime collapses. We discuss the global cannabis revolution, as medical use opens the way to wider liberalisation. And, instead of worrying about too many robots in the workforce in the future, should we be worrying that there will be too few?


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

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Sep 30, 2019
Out-of-office messaging: Britain’s Tory conference
00:22:27

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

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Sep 30, 2019
Editor’s picks: September 27th 2019
00:29:20

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the promise and the perils of impeachment. (9:10) China’s repression of Islam is spreading beyond Xinjiang. (21:22) And, proof has emerged that a quantum computer can outperform a classical one

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Sep 27, 2019
Spoiled ballot: Afghanistan’s election
00:22:12

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

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Sep 27, 2019
The Economist asks: Michael Bloomberg
00:24:02

The link between capitalism and progress is being questioned. Should big business step into the breach where politics is gridlocked? In a New York buzzing with world leaders and talk of impeachment, Anne McElvoy interviews Michael Bloomberg, the businessman, philanthropist and former mayor of the city, at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum. She asks him if CEOs are the new politicians and whether he thinks Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren has the edge in the White House race. Also, why even billionaires yearn to stop and smell the roses

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Sep 26, 2019
Call to account: Trump-Ukraine intrigues
00:20:25

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

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Sep 26, 2019
Babbage: Carbon sucks
00:25:39

Scientists are experimenting with different ways to reduce the amount of carbon being emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere. Nilay Shah, of Imperial College London, explains how carbon capture and storage works. And, Wang Jian, a tech chief of Alibaba, on how data can be harnessed to make cities more efficient. Plus, three low-tech innovations that could make a big difference to sustainable living. Kenneth Cukier hosts


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Sep 25, 2019
And the law won: Boris Johnson’s latest defeat
00:21:45

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

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Sep 25, 2019
Money talks: Planet Inc
00:27:36

What are the risks businesses face from climate change? And, Kate Raworth, economist and educator, explains “doughnut economics” and says rich economies are addicted to “unending growth”. Who are the billionaires hoping to make big bucks from climate change? Also, we hear from the finalists of The Economist’s Open Future essay competition who sought an effective response to climate change. Simon Long hosts 


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Sep 24, 2019
Aid for abetting? Trump’s Ukraine call
00:19:40

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

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

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

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Sep 23, 2019
The Economist asks: Inside Huawei
00:28:07

In his palatial headquarters, Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of the Chinese telecommunications giant, explains how the American boycott has hurt Huawei and how he will fight back. He outlines plans to sell Huawei’s 5G technology to Western companies, allowing them to compete on a level playing field. David Rennie, The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, and Patrick Foulis, our business affairs editor, also ask Mr Ren about the US-China trade war, unfettered access to the internet in China and the protests in Hong Kong. And, does he plan to retire any time soon? Anne McElvoy hosts

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Sep 20, 2019
To all, concern: a climate-change special
00:23:21

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

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Sep 20, 2019
Editor’s picks: September 19th 2019
00:26:32

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, climate change must be tackled urgently and clear-headedly. (12:50) Israel’s prime minister has lost his majority. (19:00) And, why Russia is ambivalent about global warming

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Sep 19, 2019
I can do that, Dave: AI and warfare
00:21:23

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

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Sep 19, 2019
Babbage: Climate. Change
00:25:18

As global leaders prepare for the UN climate change summit next week, we debate what changes individuals can make today to help limit the effects of climate change. The Economist’s environment editor, Catherine Brahic, hosts a roundtable with Christiana Figueres, who convenes Mission 2020 to reduce global carbon emissions; Ed Davey, a director of the Food and Land Use Coalition with the World Resources Institute; and Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change in the school of engineering at Manchester University



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Sep 18, 2019
Ursa minor: Russia-China relations
00:21:14

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

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Sep 18, 2019
Money talks: Purpose vs profit
00:27:45

What are companies for? The orthodoxy was that they exist primarily to pursue profit. But a new faith in higher corporate purpose as a means to address social injustice, climate change and inequality is sweeping the Western business world. How much is this trend of “reverse Friedmanism” going to change what it means to do business? Or could chief executives playing politics have dangerous consequences? Tamzin Booth hosts

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Sep 17, 2019
Always be my Bibi? Israel back at the polls
00:21:04

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

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

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


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Sep 16, 2019
Editor’s picks: September 13th 2019
00:22:13

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the “internet of things” revolution is about to go into overdrive. Europe’s best hope of economic revival lies in its neglected single market (09:29). And, Neanderthals and the consequences of chronic earache (18:02)

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Sep 13, 2019
To Viktor, more spoils: Hungary’s autocracy
00:21:29

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

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Sep 13, 2019
The Economist asks: Margaret Atwood
00:31:10

The author of “The Testaments” and “The Handmaid’s tale” debates whether her novels are speculative fiction and how women's rights have evolved since she began writing in the early 1960s. Anne McElvoy asks Margaret Atwood whether she benefitted from a “Trump bump”, if #MeToo is an invincible weapon and what makes a “bad” feminist? Also, does she admire the Queen?

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Sep 12, 2019
Trust issues: Huawei’s radical plan
00:23:13

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

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Sep 12, 2019
Babbage: Taxis for take-off
00:24:23

Flying taxis could soon become commonplace in cities if operators can overcome strict regulations on their use. Journalist Rebecca Fannin explores the future of technology giants in China. And, how can the sound of sand reveal its source? Kenn Cukier hosts

extra music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Sep 11, 2019
Scapegoating: xenophobia in South Africa
00:19:34

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

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Sep 11, 2019
Money talks: Fannie and Freddie move house
00:21:07

The US Treasury plans to privatise Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which prop up most of the country’s mortgage finance. How will this affect the US mortgage market? Also, despite legislation aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit, Britain could still leave the EU without a deal. The Bank of England is weighing up its options for how to deal with the consequences. And, how important are coaches to sporting success? Simon Long hosts

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Sep 10, 2019
Things fall apart: Britain’s fading centre-right
00:20:31

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

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

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

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Sep 09, 2019
The Economist asks: Malcolm Gladwell
00:27:21

The prolific author and podcaster explains why people so often misunderstand strangers and the consequences when they do, from police injustice to Ponzi schemes. Anne McElvoy asks Malcolm Gladwell why humans are so bad at distinguishing lies from the truth, whether judges should be replaced with AI, and if true strangers still exist in the age of social media

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Sep 06, 2019
Disunited Russia party? Moscow’s elections
00:22:12

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

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Sep 06, 2019
Editor’s picks: September 5th 2019
00:18:16

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, President Assad clings to power in Syria. (10:40) The Conservatives tightening embrace of populism has set up Britain for a dangerously polarised election. (15:20) And, Americans are paying more for their lobster sandwiches

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Sep 05, 2019
Age-old problem: reforming France
00:22:14

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

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Sep 05, 2019
Babbage: Innovation around innovation
00:27:17

Innovation: it’s more than just a buzzword that companies use when trying to sound dynamic. But what does it actually mean? Some entrepreneurs and economists like Patrick Collison and Tyler Cowen think that it needs to be studied as a science of progress. How can pulling together thinking about this help innovators of the future? And what are companies doing today to try and change the way we work? Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Sep 04, 2019
This is revolting: Britain’s parliament rebels
00:20:39

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

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Sep 04, 2019
The Secret History of the Future: New Media, Old Story
00:38:10

Radio was originally a social medium, as early radio sets (each of which could transmit as well as receive) turned cities into giant chatrooms, populated by Morse Code-tapping enthusiasts. But the excitement of this democratic, digital platform did not last, and radio was tamed by corporate interests in the 1920s. The utopian dream of platforms that are open and meritocratic has been reborn in the internet era in the form of blogging, and more recently podcasting. But can it ever come true?

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Sep 04, 2019
Money talks: Hell to peso
00:24:20

Argentina’s President has imposed currency controls in an attempt to stabilise the markets, as the country faces escalating financial troubles. How did things go so wrong so quickly? And what next? The Economist’s Soumaya Keynes asks Binyamin Appelbaum, author of “The Economists’ Hour”, what impact economists have had on public policy. Also, why are older people not retiring? Simon Long hosts

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Sep 03, 2019
No safety in numbers: America’s immigration raids
00:22:57

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


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

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

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Sep 02, 2019
The Economist asks: Should billionaires call the shots on solving global problems?
00:28:36

At glitzy gatherings across the world, former heads of state, corporate bosses and celebrities champion the power of philanthropy to change the world. Anand Giridharadas, author of “Winners take all”, argues this is a charade and the 1% have little interest in changing the system. Anne McElvoy challenges him on the nature of the problem with elite do-gooding. Should billionaires give their money to different causes, or pay more tax and let governments choose how to spend it? And would governments necessarily use the money any better? This event was organised by Intelligence Squared.

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Aug 30, 2019
Out to launch: American nuclear policy
00:22:14

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

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Aug 30, 2019
Editor’s picks: August 29th 2019
00:26:28

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, after Boris Johnson announced he will temporarily suspend Parliament, how can MPs stop a no-deal Brexit? The conflict between Israel and Iran is widening (10:00). And, vertical farming is on the up (16:40)

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Aug 29, 2019
Suspend, disbelief: Parliament and Brexit
00:21:17

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

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Aug 29, 2019
Babbage: Oh, grow up
00:22:52

Investors are ploughing hundreds of millions of dollars into vertical farming. Could towers of vegetables help feed the world’s growing population? Also, how studying gravitational waves could unlock the deepest mysteries of the universe and prove Einstein wrong. And, network theorist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi explains the science of professional success. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Aug 28, 2019
Ex-Seoul-mate: Japan-South Korea spat escalates
00:18:50

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

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Aug 28, 2019
The Secret History of the Future: A Brief History of Timekeeping
00:33:07

The first mechanical clocks were made to summon monks to prayer. Ever since, timekeeping technology has often been about control and obligation. But underneath a mountain in Texas, a new kind of clock is being built that’s meant to alter the way we think about time. Can it force us to connect our distant past with our distant future, tick by tick?

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Aug 28, 2019
Money talks: Big pharma in court
00:26:12

The pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $572 million for its part in the opioid crisis in the state of Oklahoma. What precedent will this set? In Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard explains how the escalation of trade tensions is affecting monetary policy and he reacts to President Trump’s adversarial style. And finally, some funny business. Simon Long hosts

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Aug 27, 2019
Emmanuel transmission: outcomes of the G7
00:22:19

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


Additional sounds by Soundsnap.

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Aug 27, 2019
The world ahead: Clash of the titans
00:22:48

With tensions rising in the South China Sea, we consider how a potential clash between America and China might play out—and why the world should pay more attention to this region. And host Tom Standage takes a ride in a self-driving car in London, to see how Europe is faring in the race to build autonomous vehicles.


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

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Aug 26, 2019
A friend of mines: Asia’s coal habit
00:22:52

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

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Aug 26, 2019
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


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

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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