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October 18, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 18, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 17, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 17, 2019
Our journalists interview Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, about his efforts to clean up his country and his 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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 16, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 16, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 15, 2019
What causes poverty? Rachana Shanbogue 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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 15, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 14, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 11, 2019
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? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 11, 2019
It is at once a post-communist success story and a case of populist threats to the rule of law. 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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 10, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 10, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 9, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 9, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 8, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 8, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 7, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 4, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 4, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 3, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 3, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 2, 2019
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 ____________________ Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/radiooffer ____________________ For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 2, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 1, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
October 1, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 30, 2019
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) ____________________ Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/radiooffer ____________________ For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 30, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 27, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 27, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 26, 2019
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. 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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 26, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 25, 2019
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 ____________________ Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/radiooffer ____________________ For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 25, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 24, 2019
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 ____________________ Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/radiooffer ____________________ For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 24, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 23, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 20, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 20, 2019
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. Runtime: 22min For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 19, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 19, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 18, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 18, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 17, 2019
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 17, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
September 16, 2019
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. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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
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