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September 13, 2019
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) For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 13, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 12, 2019
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? http://economist.com/radiooffer For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 12, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 11, 2019
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) For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 11, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 10, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 10, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 9, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 6, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 6, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 5, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 5, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 4, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 4, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 4, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 3, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 3, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 2, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 30, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 30, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 29, 2019
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) For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 29, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 28, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 28, 2019
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”. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 28, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 27, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 27, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 26, 2019
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). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 26, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 23, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 23, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 22, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 22, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 21, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 21, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 21, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 20, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 20, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 19, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 16, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 16, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 15, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 15, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 14, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 14, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 14, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 13, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 13, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 12, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 9, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 9, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 8, 2019
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) For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 8, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 7, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 7, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 7, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 6, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 6, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 5, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 2, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 2, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 1, 2019
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) For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
August 1, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 31, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 31, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 31, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 30, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 30, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 29, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 29, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 26, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 26, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 25, 2019
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) For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 25, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 24, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 24, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 24, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 23, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 23, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 22, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 19, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 19, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 18, 2019
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). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 18, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 17, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 17, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 17, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 16, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 16, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 15, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 12, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 12, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 11, 2019
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). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 11, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 10, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 10, 2019
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" For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 10, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 9, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
July 9, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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