The Intelligence from The Economist

By The Economist

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Subscribers: 3673
Reviews: 5


 Aug 2, 2021


 Aug 2, 2020


 Jul 19, 2019

ryan
 Jul 6, 2019
the only episode I listened to was so full of lies and ridiculous conspiracies it's ridiculous. I'm too intelligent for that garbage.

From my phone
 Apr 23, 2019
it's more good than bad though I preferred the week ahead. This a less dry and more casual listening podcast with snippets of information from around the world

Description

Get a daily burst of global illumination from The Economist’s worldwide network of correspondents as they dig past the headlines to get to the stories beneath—and to stories that aren’t making headlines, but should be.


Episode Date
Flu into a rage: Brazil’s Bolsonaro inquiry
00:21:35

President Jair Bolsonaro’s early dismissal of the pandemic as “a little flu” presaged a calamitous handling of the crisis. We ask how a congressional investigation’s dramatic assessment of his non-actions may damage him. China’s test of a hypersonic, nuclear-capable glider may rattle the global weapons order. And our obituaries editor reflects on the life of level-headed American statesman Colin Powell.

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Oct 22, 2021
States of emergency: Nigeria
00:23:35

Criminal gangs in north-western states, jihadists in the north-east, a rebellion in the south-east: kidnappers, warlords and cattle rustlers are making the country ungovernable. The new head of Samsung Electronics has a legacy to build—and aims to do so by breaking into the cut-throat business of processor chips. And the sci-fi classic “Dune” gets a good cinematic treatment at last.

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Oct 21, 2021
Gas-trick distress: a visit to Ukraine
00:20:26

Russia continues to pile pressure on the country, and will soon have the power to cut off its natural gas. Our correspondent pays a visit to find how Ukrainians cope. The simplest solution to renewables’ intermittency is to move electricity around—but that requires vast new international networks of seriously beefy cables. And Canada’s version of American football is wasting away

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Oct 20, 2021
Meeting them where they are: a British MP’s murder
00:20:46

Sir David Amess was killed doing what he loved: speaking directly with voters. We examine the dangers inherent in the “constituency surgeries” that British politicians cherish. The fight against tuberculosis is made harder by mutations that confer drug resistance; we look at research that has traced nearly every one of them. And why Andy Warhol is big in Iran, again.

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Oct 19, 2021
Chinese draggin’: growth slows
00:19:49

A paltry GDP rise is down to the pandemic, power and property. We ask what growing pains President Xi Jinping will endure in the name of economic reforms. Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, will probably end up in the second round of next year’s election; who will stand against him is ever more unpredictable. And fixing meeting inefficiency with an 850-year-old idea.

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Oct 18, 2021
Port, and a storm: sectarian violence in Lebanon
00:23:22

The effort to investigate last year’s port explosion in Beirut has fired up political and religious tensions—resulting in Lebanon’s worst violence in years. We speak with Dmitry Muratov, a Russian journalist who shared this year’s Nobel peace prize, about what the award means to him, and to press freedom. And why autocratic regimes like to snap up English football clubs.

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Oct 15, 2021
For watt it’s worth: energy markets’ squeeze
00:22:52

A fossil-fuel scramble reveals energy markets in desperate need of a redesign. We examine what must be done to secure a renewable future. Throngs of Hong Kong residents fleeing China’s tightening hand are settling in Britain; our correspondent finds an immigrant group unlike any that came before. And the boom in “femtech” entrepreneurs at last focusing on women’s health.

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Oct 14, 2021
Keep your friends close: Pakistan’s shifting role
00:21:01

As the Taliban’s closest ally, the country bears a big responsibility for Afghanistan’s fate. We examine its diplomatic risks and opportunities. Mastercard is pressing porn purveyors this week; we look at how financial companies are reluctantly stepping up as the internet’s police. And a timely social-inequality take drives South Korea’s “Squid Game” to the top of Netflix's charts worldwide.

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Oct 13, 2021
Exit Poles? A bold challenge to the EU
00:20:01

After a court ruling in Poland that is an affront to a core European Union principle, Poles hit the streets—fearing a “Pol-exit” they do not want. Who will back down? Hydrogen has been touted for decades as a fuel with green credentials. At last its time has come. And the herd of unicorns popping up in Mexico.

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Oct 12, 2021
Zero-to-some game: Asia-Pacific covid-19 plans crack
00:21:15

Where governments enacted zero-tolerance coronavirus strategies, numbers indeed stayed low. That was before the Delta variant. We ask how countries can now wind back those policies. A shocking report of sexual abuse within France’s Catholic church further threatens the institution’s connection with society. And countering the notion that the “standard English” taught the world over is the only proper one. 

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Oct 11, 2021
Strait of tension: Chinese jets test Taiwan
00:22:05

China has sent more than 100 planes to probe Taiwan’s air-defence zone. We explain why Beijing has chosen this moment to send a message across the strait. The WHO has approved a vaccine against malaria—a turning-point in fighting a disease that kills 260,000 African children a year. And if you want a Nobel prize, it helps to be lauded by a laureate.    

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Oct 08, 2021
How to lose friends and alienate people: Ethiopia’s civil war
00:20:00

Abiy Ahmed is sworn in again as prime minister, even as continuing strife increases the country’s isolation. Our correspondent witnesses the gruesome aftermath of a telling battle. China once encouraged, even forced abortions. Now, as it frets about declining birth rates, it’s discouraging them. And we report on India’s “godmen” and “godwomen”, their moneyspinning schemes and their fanatical followers.

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Oct 07, 2021
Ticker shock: London’s wheezing stockmarket
00:23:34

A global financial centre must move with the times, and—so far—London has not. Our correspondent lays out the causes of the malaise, and how to fix it. For many years compulsory military service was on the decline; we ask why so many countries are bringing it back. And why Europe is the destination for a growing class of digital nomads.

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Oct 06, 2021
When it goes dark: Facebook’s terrible week
00:21:05

Yesterday’s global outage is not even the worst of it: today’s congressional testimony will examine a whistleblower’s allegations that the company knows its products cause widespread harm. The modern food-industrial complex is great for eaters but appalling for the planet; we examine technological fixes, and whether consumers will bite. And how Afghanistan's embassies abroad are—or aren’t—dealing with the Taliban.

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Oct 05, 2021
Docket launch: a new term for America’s Supreme Court
00:21:54

The court will be tackling just about every judicial and social flashpoint in the country during the term that starts today; our correspondent lays out the considerable stakes. A vast and costly die-off of Britain’s trees could have been averted simply and cheaply: just let them stay put. And why hotels are such ideal backdrops for filmmakers and scriptwriters.

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Oct 04, 2021
The courage of two convictions: Nicolas Sarkozy
00:21:09

The first conviction of France’s former president shocked the nation; the second confirms for citizens that, these days, politicians will be held to account. Our correspondent meets a Burmese hipster who, after this year’s military coup, has become a somewhat conflicted freedom fighter. And the record label whose name you may never have heard but whose music you certainly have

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Oct 01, 2021
Nobody’s fuel: Britain’s shortages
00:23:06

From chicken to petrol, Britons are facing long queues and bare shelves. We ask about the multifarious reasons behind the shortfalls, and how long they will last. Tunisia’s democracy has been looking shaky for months; we examine what may change with yesterday’s appointment of its first-ever female prime minister. And India’s beleaguered unmarried couples at last are getting some privacy.

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Sep 30, 2021
Suga-free Diet: Japan’s next leader
00:19:13

The ruling party’s choice for its president—a shoo-in for prime minister—seems to overlook the people’s will. We ask how Kishida Fumio is likely to lead, and for how long. Some of Nigeria’s megachurches are larger than stadiums, and have considerable assets—as do many of their charismatic pastors. And keeping up with demand for vinyl records presents pressing problems. 

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Sep 29, 2021
A run for its money: funding crunches in Congress
00:21:50

America’s crash of deadlines carries risks for the government’s budget and just possibly its sovereign debt, and threatens Joe Biden’s presidency-defining social-spending reforms. We ask what happens next. South Korea’s government is ostensibly cracking down on fake news; in practice it may be hobbling real journalism. And the hopeful view provided by a French conceptual artist’s latest work.

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Sep 28, 2021
Colour schemes: Germany’s coming coalition
00:19:34

The country heads for a three-party government after a nail-biting election. We cut through the flurry of letters and colours to ask what is likely to happen next. The technology swiftly deployed to combat the coronavirus may also crack a four-decade-old problem: vaccinating against HIV. And evidence that the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex may have liked a love bite.

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Sep 27, 2021
Clubs seal: China’s view as alliances multiply
00:23:19

Leaders of “the Quad” are meeting in person for the first time; drama from the AUKUS alliance still simmers. Our Beijing bureau chief discusses how Chinese officials see all these club ties. As Chancellor Angela Merkel’s time in office wanes, we assess Germany’s many challenges she leaves behind. And the sweet, sweet history of baklava, a Middle Eastern treat gone global.

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Sep 24, 2021
Same assembly, rewired: the United Nations meets
00:22:14

The annual United Nations General Assembly is more than just worthy pledges and fancy dinners; we ask where the tensions and the opportunities lie this time around. Last year’s fears of a crippling “twindemic” of covid-19 and influenza proved unfounded—and that provides more reason to worry this year. And why “like” is, like, really useful

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Sep 23, 2021
The homes stretch: Evergrande
00:19:03

China’s property behemoth has slammed up against new rules on its giant debt pile. We ask what wider risks it now poses as a cash crunch bites. Britain has begun a demographic trend unusual in the rich world: its share of young people is spiking—and will be for a decade. And what the pandemic has done for the future of office-wear.

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Sep 22, 2021
Running to stand still: Canada’s election
00:20:01

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remains in power after Monday’s election, but he emerges without the majority he wanted, and with his soft power damaged. He now faces a fourth wave of the pandemic and an emboldened far-right from a weaker position. Child labour fell markedly in the 16 years after the turn of the millennium. Now it’s on the rise again. Efforts to prevent children from working can often exacerbate the problem. And we consider one of the more unusual ideas for combating climate change: potty-training cows.

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Sep 21, 2021
Potemkin polls: Russia’s elections
00:21:10

The winner of Russia’s elections was not in doubt. Vladimir Putin’s party, United Russia, came out on top. But despite the ballot stuffing and repression, the opposition still managed to rattle the Kremlin. The Gates Foundation is America’s biggest charitable foundation by far and a powerhouse in the world of public health. But its money could be better spent. And we read the tea leaves to explain why bugs are important for your brew. 

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Sep 20, 2021
Sub plot: the AUKUS alliance
00:22:44

The alliance between America, Britain and Australia has enormous significance, most of all for its nuclear-submarine provisions. We look at the global realignment it represents. The container-shipping industry has had a wild year and its prices reflect the vast disarray; we ask whether things will, or should, get back to normal. And the growing trend of politicians’ media-production companies.

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Sep 17, 2021
Shake, rattle the roles: Britain’s cabinet reshuffle
00:21:04

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has re-allocated a number of key government posts. We ask how the changes reflect his political standing and what they mean for his agenda. A first-of-its-kind study that deliberately infected participants with the coronavirus is ending; we examine the many answers such research can provide. And the rural places aiming to capitalise on their dark skies.

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Sep 16, 2021
Hunger gains: Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis
00:20:28

Economic collapse and halting international aid following the Taliban’s takeover have compounded shortages that were already deepening; we examine the unfolding disaster. The verdict in a blockbuster case against Apple might look like a win for the tech giant; a closer read reveals new battle lines. And the data that reveal how polluters behave when regulators are not watching.

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Sep 15, 2021
Percent of the governed: California’s recall vote
00:23:14

Governor Gavin Newsom is fighting off a bid to remove him that puts the world’s fifth-largest economy and, possibly, control of the Senate in play for Republicans. Russia’s exercises in Belarus are the largest in 40 years—showcasing a chummy relationship and worrisome military might. And how Dante Alighieri’s masterwork “The Divine Comedy” still holds lessons, 700 years after his death.

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Sep 14, 2021
Getting their vax up: America’s vaccine mandates
00:20:54

President Joe Biden’s requirements for employers to insist on vaccinations are a bold move amid flatlining inoculation rates. But will they work? For decades the world’s cities seemed invincible, but the pandemic has hastened and hardened a shift in urban demographics and economics. And an ancient Finnish burial site scrambles notions of gender roles in the distant past.

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Sep 13, 2021
From the ground up: New York after 9/11
00:22:02

The horrors of 20 years ago spurred an ambitious transformation, not just at the site of the attacks but across the city’s five boroughs. We visit what has risen from the ashes. A growing body of academic work—and plenty of examples on the ground—suggest countries that most mistreat women are the most violent and fractious. And solving a flashy-hummingbird mystery.

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Sep 10, 2021
Putsch back: Africa’s latest coup in Guinea
00:22:07

It is unclear whether better governance lies ahead after a military takeover; what is certain is that Africa’s unwelcome trend of defenestrations has returned. We ask why. Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, thought it a good time to shore up his party’s mandate; as election day nears that plan looks shaky. And the rise and fall of Georgia’s sex-selective abortions.

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Sep 09, 2021
The call before the storm? Brazil’s protests
00:21:34

Tens of thousands of people aligned with President Jair Bolsonaro held protests—at his direction. Yet the numbers are increasingly aligned against him as he eyes next year’s elections. Conspiracy theories are nothing new, but politicians espousing them, and exploiting them to great effect, make them much more than harmless tales. And a listen to the disappearing sounds of old Beijing.

Additional Beijing audio courtesy of Colin Chinnery.

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Sep 08, 2021
Bitcoin of the realm: El Salvador’s experiment
00:20:52

President Nayib Bukele thinks obliging businesses to take the cryptocurrency will help with remittances, inclusion and foreign investment. So far, few are convinced. From after-school tutoring to endless extracurricular activities, education is an increasingly cut-throat affair; we examine the costs of these academic arms races. And Sally Rooney’s new novel and the question of what makes great contemporary fiction.

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Sep 07, 2021
Heartbeat of the matter: Texas’s draconian abortion law
00:22:25

The Supreme Court’s surprise decision to let the country’s harshest “heartbeat bill” stand bodes ill for the landmark Roe v Wade decision; we ask what happens next. Brazil’s police kill six times as many people as America’s—and the numbers bear out a clear racial divide among the fallen. And how Lebanon is reviving its olive-oil industry, with global ambitions.

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Sep 06, 2021
Taking the fifth: Venezuela’s talks
00:23:43

Four previous resolution meetings involving President Nicolás Maduro have changed little. This time international backing and aligned incentives might at last spur fair elections. Madagascar already had it hard, but the coronavirus and repeated, brutal droughts have conspired to push the country’s south to the brink of famine. And our obituaries editor reflects on war surgeon and hospital-builder Gino Strada.

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Sep 03, 2021
Reeling and dealing: how to engage the Taliban
00:21:29

In some ways America has more leverage now that its forces have left; we ask how diplomatic and aid efforts should proceed in order to protect ordinary Afghans. A global pandemic has distracted from a troubling panzootic: a virus is still ravaging China’s pig farms, and officials’ fixes are not sustainable. And the first retrospective for activist artist Judy Chicago.

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Sep 02, 2021
Out for blood: the Theranos trial
00:21:17

Elizabeth Holmes founded a big blood-testing startup; her claims were founded on very little. As her trial begins we ask how the company got so far before it all crumbled. Research on primates is increasingly frowned upon in the West, leaving a strategic opportunity in places such as China. And lessons in a lost novel by French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir.

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Sep 01, 2021
CDU later? Germany’s topsy-turvy election
00:20:05

The party of Angela Merkel, the outgoing chancellor, is flailing in polls. We ask why the race has been so unpredictable and what outcomes now seem probable. In America, obtaining a kit to make an untraceable firearm takes just a few clicks; we examine efforts to close a dangerous legal loophole. And as sensitivities change, so do some bands’ names

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Aug 31, 2021
Banks note: the Jackson Hole meeting
00:21:14

The message for central bankers at the annual jamboree: relax a bit about inflation and be loud and clear about plans to stanch the cash being pumped into economies. The halt to an Albanian hydroelectric-dam project reflects a growing environmental lobby in the country, which sees better uses for its waterways. And following dinosaur tracks—but finding no bones—in Bolivia.

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Aug 30, 2021
The terror of their ways: Kabul and global jihadism
00:21:52

The suicide-bombings that have killed scores of people signal how the Taliban will struggle to rule Afghanistan; meanwhile the rest of the world’s jihadist outfits are drawing lessons from the chaos. The swift reversal of an explicit-content ban by OnlyFans, a subscription platform, reveals a growing tension between pornography producers and payment processors. And the many merits of 3D-printed homes.

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Aug 27, 2021
To all, appearances: Israel’s PM in Washington
00:19:20

Naftali Bennett’s first face-to-face meeting with President Joe Biden will look calm and co-operative. But in time, sharp differences will strain the “reset” they project today. Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency is being defanged; it was simply too good at routing the rot President Joko Widodo once promised to eradicate. And estimating the breathtaking global cost of vaccine inequality.

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Aug 26, 2021
Delta‘s force: Australia’s covid plans crumble
00:20:45

For a while, closed borders and strict contact-tracing held the coronavirus at bay. What lessons to take now the Delta variant has broken through in the region? The European Union once had few prosecutorial powers to tackle rampant fraud by member states’ citizens; we examine a new office that can start cleaning house. And a look at Japan’s seasonal-sweet obsession.

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Aug 25, 2021
How you like them: Apple’s decade under Tim Cook
00:20:44

The tech firm has ballooned under his leadership, but Mr Cook’s next ten years will not be as rosy as the first. We ask how he can maintain Apple’s shine. Activists, academics, journalists, now labour unions: Hong Kong’s authorities keep stifling democracy’s defenders wherever they turn. And why California may soon find it hard to bring home the bacon.

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Aug 24, 2021
Annexed question, please: Ukraine’s summit on Crimea
00:19:31

President Volodymyr Zelensky wants to draw attention to Russia’s continued occupation of Crimea, and its failure to look after the region’s citizens. A new report attempts to put numbers to the “enforced disappearances” of Bangladesh’s opposition voices. And why so few astronauts have been women, and how that is changing. 

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Aug 23, 2021
Value-free investing: China and Afghanistan
00:21:45

The Taliban’s takeover is a boon for China’s propaganda machine: America is tired, its policies disastrous, its values a distraction. Meanwhile China has its own interests in the country. New research may explain rising covid-19 cases among the vaccinated: jabs’ effectiveness wanes with time, and “breakthrough” infections appear more contagious. And the case for working, a bit, while on holiday.

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Aug 20, 2021
Fits and starts: SARS-CoV-2’s origin
00:21:30

In the end, the World Health Organisation’s report in March revealed little. We ask why the coronavirus origin story is so crucial, and whether China will ever let it be told. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson will struggle to square his current green promises with his past love—and his party’s—of cars. And the forgotten cooks in fried chicken’s history.

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Aug 19, 2021
Stymie a river: the American West dries up
00:19:14

The first-ever water shortage declared for the Colorado River is just one sign of troubles to come; as the climate changes, century-old water habits and policies must change with it. Israel’s Pegasus spyware has raised concerns the world over, but the country is loath to curb its exports of hacking tools. And the resurgence of a beloved and funky Nigerian seasoning.

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Aug 18, 2021
It rains, it pours: Haiti’s tragedy compounds
00:20:03

A president’s assassination, a cratered economy and now this: a tropical depression that will hamper rescue efforts after a massive earthquake. The country cannot catch a break. India and Pakistan parted ways 74 years ago this week; we discuss how the tensions that defined their division still resonate today. And why Indonesia is so good at badminton.

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Aug 17, 2021
Nothing to break the fall: Afghanistan
00:21:42

The fall of Kabul, the capital, sealed the country’s fate: after 20 years, the Taliban are back in charge—a fearsome outcome for its people and for the Biden administration. As capital punishment fades, life sentences proliferate; that comes with its own costs and iniquities. And visiting an enclave in Uruguay that is in many ways more Russian than Russia.

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Aug 16, 2021
Thicket and boarding pass: travel’s tangle of rules
00:22:47

Restrictions are opaque, fickle and often illiberal—and it is not even clear how much they help curb the coronavirus. Chinese officials want to boost the economy of the province of Xinjiang, but our correspondent says plans predicated on repressing the Uyghur minority are unlikely to work. And bidding farewell to our work-and-management columnist, who still hates useless meetings.

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Aug 13, 2021
Bridges and divides: America’s infrastructure push
00:21:53

The Senate has passed the first part of President Joe Biden’s mammoth plan, which is now tied to a far more ambitious part two. We examine their prospects for passage. Zambia is undertaking a pivotal election—but it seems far from a fair fight to oust the incumbent. And our Germany-election tracker cuts through reams of data and tricky electoral politics.

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Aug 12, 2021
Blazed and confused: Turkey’s raging fires
00:20:23

Across the Mediterranean and beyond, flames are consuming the landscape. Our correspondent says Turkey’s government helped make the country a tinderbox and was caught flat-footed by the blaze. State secrets, business intelligence, even conservation data: it’s all online, and freely available. We examine the pros and cons in an era of open-source intelligence. And the “murder hornet” threatening America’s north-west.

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Aug 11, 2021
Shots or fired: America’s vaccine mandates
00:17:42

Inoculation or testing requirements are spreading nearly as fast as the Delta variant. But it is not clear they will actually drive more people to get vaccinated. A broad semiconductor shortage has hit plenty of industries; we examine supply-chain subtleties that have made it particularly bad for carmakers. And why Mumbai is suffering from a plague of snakes.

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Aug 10, 2021
Hot prospects: a sobering IPCC report
00:21:13

The UN climate body’s latest doorstopper report is unequivocal: climate change is human-caused, and already here—and 1.5°C of warming is looking ever harder to avoid. In Bolivia, debate still rages as to whether a 2019 election was rigged, or a coup; the people want pandemic relief, not paralysed politics. And investigating the received wisdom of the “difficult second novel”.

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Aug 09, 2021
Coming in harder: Iran’s new president
00:22:09

Ebrahim Raisi takes office as the country is blamed for multiple attacks in the region; a more mistrustful, hardline and aggressive regime awaits. Our correspondent meets a woman first trafficked into a sprawling Bangladeshi brothel at age 12 and who is now in charge of it. And the high-tech shoes that may be contributing to tumbling world records in Tokyo.

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Aug 06, 2021
No consent of the governed: Andrew Cuomo on the brink
00:20:42

After a damning report into sexual-harassment allegations, support for New York’s governor has cratered. He is hanging on—for now. LinkedIn seems to do a brisk trade in China, without revealing how it keeps on the right side of the censors. So users increasingly censor themselves. And the mutual appreciation of Chechnya’s brutal dictator and a star mixed-martial-arts fighter.

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Aug 05, 2021
No port, still a storm: Lebanon a year after the blast
00:22:24

The explosion at Beirut’s port was a symptom, not a cause, of the country’s malaise. We find more questions than answers about the blast and a political class unshaken by it. For half a century, one Beirut resident has, from the same apartment, witnessed a history pockmarked by unexpected disaster. And our Big Mac index reveals the depth of Lebanon’s economic crisis. 

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Aug 04, 2021
Block off the old chips? Nvidia’s fraught merger
00:21:46

The semiconductor giant wants to acquire ARM—a British firm that is more complement than competitor—but regulators may balk. We look at what’s at stake in chips. Something is changing in Americans’ spiritual lives: a drift away from organised religion. We examine the startling rise in the “nothing in particular” denomination. And how women are leading China’s growing surfing scene.

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Aug 03, 2021
No-sanctuary cities: the Taliban’s latest surge
00:21:15

Sweeping rural gains made as American forces have slipped out are now giving way to bids for urban areas; an enormous, symbolic victory for the insurgents looms. Singapore has enjoyed relative racial harmony for decades, but shocking recent events have revealed persistent inequalities. And why chewing gum has lost its cool.

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Aug 02, 2021
Neither borrower nor renter be: America’s coming foreclosures
00:22:41

America’s pandemic-driven measures granting relief on mortgages and rent arrears will soon expire, and millions of people are in danger of losing their homes. The Netherlands’ history of slavery is often overlooked; a new exhibition goes to great lengths to confront it. And how Marmite’s love-it-or-hate-it reputation represents an unlikely marketing coup.

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Jul 30, 2021
Good news, ad news: Facebook’s big bucks and bets
00:22:46

The social-media behemoth revealed huge profits and stressed even bigger plans: to become an e-commerce giant and a hub for digital creators, and to pioneer something called the “metaverse”. After a bruising election, Peru has an inexperienced new president; matching policy to his hard-left platform will be a dangerous game. And the publisher trying to bring ethnic diversity to romance novels.

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Jul 29, 2021
Borderline disorder: the UN’s refugee treaty at 70
00:22:47

An international convention devised after the second world war is ill-suited to the refugee crises of today—and countries are increasingly unwilling to meet their obligations. Vancouver’s proposed response to a spate of drug overdoses is a sweeping decriminalisation; we ask whether the plan would work. And the bid to save a vanishingly rare “click language” in Africa.

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Jul 28, 2021
Alight in Tunisia: a democracy in crisis
00:21:05

The president has sacked the prime minister and suspended parliament. It is clear that the country needed a shake-up in its hidebound politics—but is this the right way? A sprawling trial starting today involving the most senior Catholic-church official ever indicted is sure to cast light on the Vatican’s murky finances. And how climate change is already changing winemaking.

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Jul 27, 2021
The blonde leading: Britain’s two years under Boris Johnson
00:22:22

As the country tests a bold reopening strategy in the face of the Delta variant, our political editor charitably characterises the prime minister’s tenure as a mixed bag. Hong Kong’s national-security law has now come for its universities, sending shudders through the territory’s last bastion of pro-democracy fervour. And why the alcohol-free beer industry is fizzing

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Jul 26, 2021
A dangerous games? A muted start to the Olympics
00:23:14

Tokyo is under a state of emergency; covid-19 cases are piling up. But for Japan, a super-spreader event is just one of the potential costs of this year’s games. We ask why Britain’s government has essentially given amnesty to those involved in Northern Ireland’s decades of deadly violence. And our obituaries editor reflects on the life of an Auschwitz accordionist.

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Jul 23, 2021
Three-degree burn: the warmer world that awaits
00:22:37

It seems ever more certain that global temperatures will sail past limits set in the Paris Agreement. We examine what a world warmed by 3°C would—or will—look like. Our correspondent speaks with Sudan’s three most powerful men; will they act in concert or in conflict on the way to democracy? And why Liverpool has been booted from UNESCO’s world-heritage list.

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Jul 22, 2021
Changing horses mid-streaming? Netflix’s next act
00:19:42

On the face of it, the streaming giant’s quarterly results were lacklustre. But our media editor explains why its international growth looks promising, and how it is spreading its bets. A largely uncontested purge of LGBT accounts from China’s social-media platform WeChat reveals much about a growing Chinese-nationalist narrative online. And why researchers are cataloguing the microbes of big cities.

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Jul 21, 2021
Joint pain: a rare rebuke of China’s hackers
00:20:10

The European Union, NATO and the “Five Eyes” intelligence partners have all joined America in accusing China’s government of involvement in hacking campaigns. Now what? Away from the spectacle of billionaires’ race to the heavens, many African countries are establishing space programmes—with serious innovation and investment opportunities on the ground. And why Australia is suffering from a plague of mice.

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Jul 20, 2021
In a flash: floods devastate Europe
00:20:58

Disaster-recovery efforts continue, even as heavy rains continue in many places. The tragedy brings climate change to the fore, with political implications particularly in Germany. Syria’s oppressive regime is short of cash, so it has apparently turned to trafficking in an increasingly popular party drug. And why kelp farms are bobbing up along America’s New England coast.

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Jul 19, 2021
A pounder of a quarter: American banks report
00:22:33

Bank bosses are jubilant: revenues were down but profits way up. We look at the pandemic-driven reasons behind the windfall, and ask how long their influence may last. A thicket of conflicting laws is complicating Jamaica’s plans to enter the wider medical-marijuana market. And our critic reports from a slimmed-down Cannes film festival.

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Jul 16, 2021
Loot cause: South Africa’s unrest
00:22:01

Widespread looting and the worst violence since apartheid continue, exposing ethnic divisions and the persistent influence of Jacob Zuma, a former president. How to quell the tensions? As some countries administer third covid-19 “booster shots” we ask about the epidemiological and moral cases for and against them. And the bids to reverse the decline of America’s national pastime.

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Jul 15, 2021
Texas hold-’em-up: a voting-rights standoff
00:21:21

The state’s Democratic lawmakers have fled to Washington, stymieing a voting-rights bill. We examine the growing state-level, bare-knuckle fights on voting rights across the country. Ransomware attacks just keep getting bolder, more disruptive, more sinister; what structural changes could protect industries and institutions from attack? And Britain’s efforts to bring back the eels that once filled its rivers.

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Runtime: 21min

 

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Jul 14, 2021
Flight attendance: airlines after the pandemic
00:19:56

Which carriers will thrive? Long-haulers or short-hoppers? The no-frills or the glitzy? The bailed-out or the muddled-through? Our industry editor scans the skies. Record numbers of Latin American migrants heading for America’s southern border mask another trend: many are stopping and making a home in Mexico. And Japan’s storied but declining public bathhouses get hipster makeovers

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Jul 13, 2021
Hasta la victoria, hambre: rare protests rock Cuba
00:20:53

Food shortages are nothing new. But it has been decades since shelves have been so empty—and since Cubans took to the streets in such numbers. Richard Branson’s space jaunt was intended to mark the start of a space-tourism industry; we examine its prospects. And why, despite last night’s disappointment, England’s football fans should be hopeful about their national side.

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Jul 12, 2021
A decade decayed: South Sudan
00:22:54

The world’s youngest state was born amid boundless optimism. But poverty is still endemic and ethnic tensions still rule politics; what hope for its next decade? Mass graves found at Canada’s “residential schools” have sparked a reckoning about past abuses of indigenous peoples. And marking 50 years since the final album of Karen Dalton, the forgotten queen of folk.

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Runtime: 22min

 

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Jul 09, 2021
Assassins’ deed: Haiti’s president killed
00:21:21

Jovenel Moïse presided, in an increasingly authoritarian way, over a country slipping toward failed-state status. The unrest is likely to worsen following his assassination. The Democratic primary race for New York’s mayor has at last been decided, with lessons for Democrats elsewhere and for fans of ranked-choice voting. And the movement to revive Islam’s bygone relaxed attitudes to homosexuality. 

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Jul 08, 2021
Dropped shots: Russia’s third wave
00:21:48

Despite registering the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, the country is being lashed by covid-19. Mixed messages and a long-cultivated mistrust are to blame. DARPA, America’s agency that funds blue-sky tech research, has been so successful down the years that now other countries want to copy it. And remembering Kenneth Kaunda, an icon of African liberation.

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Runtime: 21min

 

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Jul 07, 2021
Taken for a ride: why China is leaning on Didi
00:20:49

Just after the ride-hailing giant made a splashy stockmarket debut, Chinese regulators came down hard. Why is the country crimping its tech champions? There is something missing at many American embassies around the world: American ambassadors. We ask why so few are in post, and what risk that poses. And the not-so-simple task of counting the Earth’s oceans.

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Jul 06, 2021
Leave them in no peace: America’s Afghan exit
00:21:32

Passport queues are lengthening; ad-hoc civilian militias are strengthening. As foreign powers bow out, Taliban militants take district after district—and the fear of the people is palpable. The pandemic drove a boom in the attention economy, and media companies happily obliged. Now, it seems, an “attention recession” looms. And a look at the thoroughly inbred nature of thoroughbred horses.

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Runtime: 21min

 

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Jul 05, 2021
Repetitive strains: SARS-CoV-2 variants
00:23:09

The coronavirus’s Delta variant accounts for ever more infections; we ask about mutational surprises yet to emerge, and what can be done about them. The ousting of Ethiopia’s army from the Tigray region might precipitate far wider conflict—within the country and far beyond its borders. And ahead of the Fourth of July, we find no good films about the holiday. 

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Jul 02, 2021
Party piece: China’s Communists at 100
00:22:53

Pomp and rhetoric marked the centenary of what are arguably the world’s most successful authoritarians. We sit in on the celebrations, tinged with paranoia; we look back to 1921 and how the party came to be and came to power; and we listen to the party-approved hip-hop that represents a new propaganda push. 

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Jul 01, 2021
No day in court: Jacob Zuma’s jail sentence
00:20:23

South Africa’s embattled former leader will be imprisoned for failing to show up to trial—a sign that, for all the rot in South Africa, its Constitutional Court still has teeth. Our environment editor discusses the scope of heatwaves sweeping the northern hemisphere and cheap ways to lower their death tolls. And how a centuries-old rice dish has become politicised in India.

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Jun 30, 2021
Bear necessities: learning to handle Russia
00:21:34

As both summitry and military near-misses proliferate, some want measured dialogue while others want markedly tougher talk. Our defence and Russia editors discuss world leaders’ diverging views on handling today’s Russia. South Korea’s new opposition leader is giving voice to many young men who rail against the country’s feminist values. And what lies behind professional footballers’ frequent, flashy haircuts.

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Runtime: 21min

 

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Jun 29, 2021
Third time’s the harm: Africa’s crippling covid-19 wave
00:20:35

Hopes that the continent had escaped the worst of the pandemic have proved too hasty; our correspondent describes a slow-rolling tragedy with little hope of respite. Reading scores in America are shockingly low; many blame how the skill is taught. We examine one state’s experiment with a method known to work better. And how smartphones are changing the film industry. 

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Jun 28, 2021
Iraq to its foundations: a chance to remake the state
00:21:46

With elections looming, there is an opportunity to remake a state ravaged by war and riven by power struggles. We ask how to take Iraq out of a hard place. Fires are raging again in the American West; a “megadrought” in the region may shape its future development. And the 175th anniversary of a foundational free-trade battle.

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Jun 25, 2021
Bench marks: weighing recent SCOTUS rulings
00:22:11

The court’s term is not quite over, with contentious rulings still pending. We examine the latest decisions to gauge how its new conservative justices have affected its ideological bent. As a former Mauritanian president heads to jail we examine the country’s efforts to tackle corruption and bridge deep societal divides. And the long philosophical reach of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s only book.

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Jun 24, 2021
Hunger strikes: North Korea’s food shortages
00:19:12

An admission that the country’s food situation is “tense” is a rare glimpse into the compounding effects of pandemic policies and crop failures. Adherents of wild conspiracy theories in America tend to be white, and often evangelical. But Hispanic Americans are getting conspiracy-curious too. And the moonshine that’s made from an Indian flower with a deep history.

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Jun 23, 2021
Drop it when it’s hot: the Fed’s consequential hint
00:22:20

The merest mention of future interest-rate rises from America’s central bank sent markets into a tizzy. We consider the merits and the effects of signalling early and often. Europe’s drug use dipped when the pandemic began, but soon rebounded; we examine the rising potency of the continent’s drugs and drug syndicates. And data reveal what makes work-from-home productivity so low.

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Jun 22, 2021
A vote with no confidence: Ethiopia’s untimely election
00:21:09

The northern region of Tigray, consumed by war and facing famine, will not vote today. It is all a far cry from what Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed once promised. Italy has piles of cash and a new ministry to guide it through a green revolution; we examine its plans and its challenges. And a rare conservation success off Australia’s coast.

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Jun 21, 2021
Press to exit: Hong Kong’s media arrests
00:22:42

The raid of an outspoken pro-democracy newspaper, carried out under the city’s newish security law, has further spooked its media outlets. We ask what remains of press freedom. Our correspondent visits Europe’s and Africa’s largest slums to see how a grinding pandemic has affected their residents. And how Somaliland’s curious, silent camel-trading method is changing.

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Jun 18, 2021
A hardline act to follow: Iran’s presidential election
00:21:17

The supreme leader is consolidating theocratic power and ensuring a hardline legacy. Voters know they have little meaningful choice; many will simply stay home. A trial shows the life-saving power of an antibody therapy for the most severe covid-19 cases—suggesting that seemingly failed earlier drugs need revisiting. And why a faded folk-music tradition in Norway is experiencing a revival. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 17, 2021
Present, tense: Biden and Putin meet
00:23:00

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin have much to hammer out today—but don’t expect it to be genial. We examine what is on the table, and how each president will be judged. Competition in the cryptocurrency world is mushrooming; we ask whether any contender might knock bitcoin off its top slot. And France’s curious sell-now, die-later property scheme. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 16, 2021
Patrons’ taint: Brazil’s pork-barrel politics
00:21:13

President Jair Bolsonaro campaigned on a promise to overturn the country’s political patronage, but as his popularity has slipped he has come to need it. The latest bids to return to commercial supersonic flight look promisingly quieter, cheaper and perhaps even more sustainable. And our correspondent reflects on the costs of having black hair in a white world. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 15, 2021
Promises, promises: the G7’s fuzzy climate pledges
00:22:07

Where they are clear, the summit’s commitments do not add much to existing targets; mostly, though, they are woefully short on detail. We pick through the pledges. Germany is facing up to a colonial-era atrocity in modern-day Namibia, but a hard-won reparations deal will not quell controversy. And how Persian-music artists are upending the audio-streaming model. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 14, 2021
Staying powers? The G7’s changing role
00:22:41

For the seven world leaders meeting in Britain the immediate crises are clear. But a broader question hangs over them: how can the G7 maintain its relevance? A ruling in Britain excites a debate that takes in free speech, trans rights and workplace policy. And “van life” keeps spreading but, as ever, not everything is as it seems on Instagram. Additional audio by Bryher's Boys, courtesy of Bryher’s Boys Publishing. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 11, 2021
An exit wounds: America’s Afghanistan retreat
00:21:16

Air bases have been handed over; America’s remaining troops are shipping out and NATO forces are following suit. Can Afghanistan’s government forces hold off the Taliban? In parts of China, a playful wedding tradition goes a bit too far for Communist Party authorities’ taste. And a look at just how bad people are at coming up with accurate alibis. 

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Jun 10, 2021
You don’t say: Indonesia joins Asia’s digital censorship
00:18:09

As governments across South-East Asia crimp online freedoms, the region’s healthiest democracy might have been expected to resist the trend. Not so. President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua is using a new law to detain more of his potential adversaries in November’s election—and is coming under international pressure. And how Jordan’s gas-delivery-truck jingles jangle nerves. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 09, 2021
Criminal proceedings: America’s spike in violence
00:23:14

Piecemeal criminal-justice reforms following last year’s protests are coming up against hard numbers: violent crime is up. We ask what can, and should, be done. The man who led a coup in Mali last year has done it again; our correspondent considers how the tumult affects the wider, regional fight against jihadism. And the global spread of Japan’s beloved anime. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 08, 2021
Ballots and bullets: Mexico’s elections
00:21:52

The run-up to the country’s largest-ever election has been bloody; the aftermath will set the tone for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose record so far is woeful. Our analysis of listed green-technology firms reveals striking growth—but as with any tech-stock spike, it is worth asking whether it is all a bubble. And a look at two missions heading to Venus. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 07, 2021
Peace out: from bad to worse in Yemen
00:23:44

The Saudi-backed government is hobbled; separatism is spreading; a humanitarian crisis grows by the day. A rebel advance on a once-safe city will only prolong a grinding war. We look at the scourge of doping in horse racing ahead of this weekend’s Belmont Stakes. And the last surviving foreign fighter in Spain’s civil war was a revolutionary to the end. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 04, 2021
Catch-up mustered: Europe’s vaccination drive
00:20:24

The bloc seems at last to have a firm hand on inoculation and recovery—but efforts to engineer even progress among member states are not quite panning out. In recent years Bangladesh’s government has been cosy with a puritanical Islamist group; we ask why the relationship has grown complicated. And a genetic-engineering solution to the problem of mosquito-borne disease. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 03, 2021
Swiping rights: Republicans’ vote-crimping bids
00:19:09

A walkout in the Texas legislature is just the most dramatic of broad efforts to restrict voting rights—in particular of minority voters. We examine the risks to America’s democracy. Changes in climate and populations are driving nomadic Nigerian herders into increasing conflict; how to preserve their way of life? And a new kind of space race aims for the silver screen. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 02, 2021
Bibi, it’s cold outside: Israel’s improbable coalition
00:20:37

The only thing that unites the parties of a would-be government is the will to oust Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. What chance their coalition can secure political stability? A new report reveals where the gangsters of the Balkans are stashing their loot: in an increasingly distorted property market. And a look at the mysterious case of Canada’s hardened butter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jun 01, 2021
From the head down: rot in South Africa
00:22:29

Jacob Zuma, a former president, at last answers to decades-old corruption allegations. But graft still permeates his ANC party and government at every level. The pandemic’s hit to parents—particularly women—is becoming clear, from mental-health matters to career progression to progress toward gender equality. And the super-slippery surface that ensures you get the most from your toothpaste tube.

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May 31, 2021
Caught in the activists: oil majors’ shake-ups
00:19:36

Activist investors installed green-minded board members at ExxonMobil; Chevron’s shareholders pushed a carbon-cutting plan; a Dutch court ruled Shell must cut emissions. We examine a tumultuous week for the supermajors. After years of scant attention, Scotland’s drug-death problem is at last being acknowledged and tackled. And the Peruvian pop star boosting the fortunes of a long-derided indigenous language.

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May 28, 2021
On the origins and the specious: the SARS-CoV-2 lab-leak theory
00:20:43

The suggestion that the virus first emerged from a Chinese laboratory has proved stubbornly persistent; as calls mount for more investigation, it has become a potent epidemiological and political idea. Latin America’s strict lockdowns have had the expected calamitous economic effects. We look at the region’s prospects for recovery. And the tricky business of artificially inseminating a shark.

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May 27, 2021
From out of thin air: Belarus dissidents' fates
00:21:38

The regime got its quarry—a widely read, dissident blogger and his girlfriend—but faces international condemnation for its piratical means. How to pressure what is increasingly a pariah state? Our correspondent in the Democratic Republic of Congo surveys the damage from a sudden volcanic eruption; another could come at any time. And why more music-copyright disputes are ending up in court.

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May 26, 2021
To protect and serve: police reform one year after George Floyd
00:19:54

Protests have followed police killings in America with saddening regularity, but the scope of demonstrations following George Floyd’s murder may mark a turning point in how policing is monitored and regulated. We speak to Lee Merritt, an attorney for Mr Floyd’s family, and to our United States editor—asking how likely cultural and structural changes are to take hold. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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May 25, 2021
From a tax to attacks: Colombia’s unrelenting unrest
00:21:24

Protests that began last month show no sign of abating; our correspondent speaks with Iván Duque, the country’s increasingly beleaguered president. Revelations about a blockbuster 1995 interview with Princess Diana cast a shadow over the BBC—when it already has plenty of fires to fight. And why it’s so hard to find an address in Costa Rica: there aren’t any. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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May 24, 2021
The dust settles: ceasefire in Gaza
00:23:46

After 11 days of fierce fighting, Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire beginning in the early hours of Friday morning. But will the quiet last? In July, China’s Communist Party will celebrate its centenary. But that requires airbrushing much of its history. And, we look back at the life of Asfaw Yemiru, an Ethiopian educator who transformed the lives of more than 120,000 children. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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May 21, 2021
Game on: the Tokyo Olympics
00:19:04

The Tokyo Olympics are due to begin in just over two months. But with coronavirus cases climbing in recent months, 80% of Japanese people want the games to be cancelled. The navigation signals sent by satellites like America’s GPS constellation are surprisingly weak. What happens when they’re jammed—or tricked? And in America cicadas have emerged from their underground redoubts for the first time in 17 years, for a frenzied few weeks of mating. How do you study a species that emerges fewer than six times in a century? For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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May 20, 2021
Populists poised: Italian politics
00:21:28

Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, has been cheered by the markets since taking on the job in February. But a coalition of right-wing populists are waiting in the wings should he falter. Mexico’s army hasn’t ruled the country since the 1940s. But the generals are now running everything from building sites to the border. And even during a pandemic, British medical students are struggling to get their hands on suitable corpses.

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May 19, 2021
Hot air: emissions reduction
00:21:55

The International Energy Agency has published a report explaining what needs to happen if the world is to get to net zero emissions by 2050. It points to a transition away from fossil fuels on an epic scale. Today Somaliland celebrates its 30th anniversary. It has been a quiet success story in a sea of instability. But what it craves is international recognition as a state. And soaring share prices are normally cause for cheer—unless your computers can’t keep up. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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May 18, 2021
Feast and famine: vaccine supply
00:20:29

Though over 10bn doses of covid-19 vaccine may be produced this year, much of the poor world will see little of them. The supply of vaccines is much tighter than it ought to be. Our correspondent in New Delhi offers a personal reflection on India’s spiraling epidemic. And even as British museums re-open today, their future is looking shaky. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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May 17, 2021
Home front: Israel’s war within
00:23:10

As Israel's war with Hamas has intensified, mob violence between Arabs and Jews within the country has made a tricky situation even more difficult. Is the rising price of everything from airline tickets to used cars in America a transitory phenomenon or a sign of overheating? And is pineapple and ham on pizza an inspired combination—or a culinary war crime? 

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May 14, 2021
Purged: Liz Cheney’s sacking
00:21:09

Liz Cheney had been a rising Republican star. Now the staunch conservative has been purged by her own party. Her removal shows that, even in defeat, Donald Trump retains an iron grip on the Republicans. Denmark has taken in thousands of Syrian refugees over the past decade, but its welcome has waned. The Danish government says that Damascus is safe enough for many to return. And, we explain why companies are paying more attention to the curves and curls of their fonts. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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May 13, 2021
Baby bust: China’s census
00:21:50

China just unveiled the results of its first census in over a decade. The results are striking, if not surprising: the world’s largest country will soon stop growing. Yet if a greying population causes economic headwinds, Chinese officials also have reason for cheer. With digital currencies in vogue, central banks want to get in on the action. The rise of “govcoins” could transform monetary policy and expand access to bank accounts. But it could also destabilise private banking. And roadkill isn’t just an unsightly nuisance. It also offers a way of counting elusive species.

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May 12, 2021
Rockets over Jerusalem: Israeli-Palestinian violence
00:22:03

Tension in the holy city of Jerusalem has been rising for weeks, amid the attempted eviction of Palestinians and a march by Jewish nationalists. Yesterday it erupted into the worst violence in years, as Hamas rockets fired at Israel from Gaza prompted retaliatory air strikes. A cyber-attack that shut down one of America’s largest fuel pipelines reflects the growing problem of ransomware. And in China, authorities are clamping down on a spurt of grave robbing. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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May 11, 2021
North poll: Boris Johnson’s election victory
00:21:16

Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, is celebrating a wave of election victories for his Conservative Party in the north of England. But in Scotland, pro-independence parties continue to dominate. Judges in Germany have demanded that the government take a more radical approach to climate change; their ruling could shake up climate policy around the world. And if you’re bored of cardigans, why not knit yourself a road?

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May 10, 2021
Down to brash tax: Colombia’s protests grow
00:19:51

Demonstrations initially against tax reform have bloomed—and turned violent. The reforms have been shelved, but the protests now threaten President Iván Duque’s rule. The emissions contributions of the world’s armed forces are rarely reported and largely overlooked; we examine the efforts to make armies a bit greener. And an audio tour through popular music’s accidental innovators. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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May 07, 2021
Who’s to say? Facebook, Trump and free speech
00:21:40

The social-media giant’s external-review body upheld a ban on former president Donald Trump—for now. We ask how a narrow ruling reflects on far broader questions of free speech and regulation. America’s young offenders are often handed long sentences and face disproportionate harms; we examine reforms that are slowly taking hold. And the Broadway mental-health musical that is a surprise hit in China.

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May 06, 2021
Cache and carry: American states’ gun-law push
00:21:20

Today another state will enact a “permitless carry” law—no licence, checks or training required. We ask why states’ loosening of safeguards fails to reflect public sentiment. Brexit has supercharged Scottish nationalism, and this week’s elections may pave the way to another independence referendum. And a long-forgotten coffee species may weather the climate-change era.

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May 05, 2021
Strait shooting? The growing peril to Taiwan
00:21:42

A decades-old policy of “strategic ambiguity” is breaking down; we ask about the risks and the stakes of a potential Chinese bid to take Taiwan by force. The number of diseases jumping from animals to humans is set to keep rising; we look at why, and how to make the jump rarer. And the misguided mission to understand canine communication. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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May 04, 2021
The turn at a century: Northern Ireland’s anniversary
00:22:27

The province’s largest party aligned with Britain has lost its leader; in the 100 years since the island was split it has rarely seemed so close to reuniting. Diplomacy, as with so much else, had to go online during the pandemic—and emerged more efficient and inclusive than many expected. And how art-lovers are getting ever more fully immersed. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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May 03, 2021
Illiberal-arts degrees: Hungary’s universities seized
00:22:26

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s proudly “illiberal democracy” has nobbled nearly every institution. Now that his ruling party will run the higher-education system, expect a propaganda blitz. We examine research that points toward a long-sought blood test for clinical depression—one that would identify targeted treatments. And remembering Native American historian and campaigner LaDonna Brave Bull Allard. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Apr 30, 2021
A word in edgewise: Turkey, Armenia and genocide
00:22:59

In calling the 1915 campaign against Armenians a genocide, President Joe Biden has rekindled tensions that never really faded—and has perhaps delayed a rapprochement. Chinese authorities fear religion, particularly when it is practised out of sight; we look at increasing repression of China’s tens of millions of Christians. And tracking the coronavirus’s spread by dipping into Britain’s sewers.

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Apr 29, 2021
A great deal to be desired: Europe-Britain trade
00:21:56

Europe’s parliament has overwhelmingly voted to extend a stopgap trade agreement. But the rancour behind the vote, and the deal’s thin measures, say much about future relations. Female soldiers are entering armed forces in big numbers, but they still face barriers both in getting the job and in doing it. And China’s homegrown Oscar-winning director is scrubbed from its internet. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Apr 28, 2021
SPAClash: the buzz and the bust
00:20:56

Special-purpose acquisition companies offer a novel way for companies to list on stockmarkets. We look behind the buzz, and something of a recent bust, to discover why they are a useful innovation both for investors and markets. President Jair Bolsonaro wants every Brazilian citizen to have a gun—especially his supporters. And a visit to the world’s largest magazine archive.

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Apr 27, 2021
Extremist prejudice: rebranding Navalny
00:23:12

Russian courts’ bid to designate opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s movement as a terrorist organisation is unsurprising: it fits a narrative of increasing repression at home and sabre-rattling at the borders. Africa’s vaccination drive is beset by shortcomings in both supply and demand; we examine the rising number of bottlenecks. And a forgotten African-American composer at last gets her due.

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Apr 26, 2021
Carbon date: Biden’s climate summit
00:22:40

President Joe Biden laid out ambitious emissions targets yesterday, but in order to be taken seriously on climate change, America has some reputation rebuilding to do. Researchers are starting to understand why online meetings are so exhausting—and are pinpointing the up sides of work lives lived increasingly online. And the waning influence of awards shows such as this Sunday’s Oscars.

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Apr 23, 2021
Growth negligence: India’s covid-19 failings
00:19:48

Mass gatherings and in-person voting continue, even as new case numbers smash records and fatalities spiral in public view. We ask how a seeming pandemic success has turned so suddenly tragic. Chad’s president of three decades has been killed; that has implications for regional violence far beyond the country’s borders. And a deep dive on the international sea-cucumber trade.

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Apr 22, 2021
Insuperable: Europe’s football fiasco
00:24:07

A “Super League” plan wrong-footed fans, clubs, even governments. We examine what the failed bid says about the sport’s economics. We return to the George Floyd case and the landmark conviction of his murderer. The Kurds have long sought their own state in the Middle East; that now looks as unlikely as ever. And why spelling is so persistently counter-intuitive.

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Apr 21, 2021
A case rests, a city does not: Derek Chauvin’s trial
00:22:13

The former police officer involved in George Floyd’s death awaits a verdict. What would conviction mean in a case emblematic of a far wider racial-justice movement? Internal migration has left a third of China’s young people separated from one or both parents—with serious costs and risks to those children. And the bid to make the art of tasting the province of engineering.

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Apr 20, 2021
Lai of the land: Hong Kong’s democrats quashed
00:21:12

Some of the territory’s most outspoken activists—from media mogul Jimmy Lai to “father of democracy” Martin Lee—have been sentenced. We look at what’s left of Hong Kong’s protest spirit. Scientists have been making hybrid animal “chimeras” for decades, but newly developed human-monkey embryos raise serious ethical questions. And how the Arab world is changing channels as propaganda consumes Egyptian television.

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Apr 19, 2021
The path of increased resistance: Myanmar
00:21:47

Protests against February’s military coup are only growing, even as the army becomes more murderous. The economy is paralysed. What can be done to put the country back together? In Cuba, the end of the Castro-family era is nigh; a new leader inherits a cratered economy and an ambitious vaccine-development effort. And some surprising road-fatality statistics from America. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Apr 16, 2021
Boots off the ground: America’s Afghanistan drawdown
00:20:56

Few believe President Joe Biden’s withdrawal plan is wise; it is already prompting allied forces to go. We ask about the risks of that untimely vacuum. Much climate-change angst focuses on carbon dioxide, but addressing sources of methane would be an easy way to slow warming—and even to save money. And Bhutan’s world-beating vaccination drive took just one week. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Apr 15, 2021
Arms’ reach: Russia flexes at Ukraine border
00:22:00

The troops and hardware piling up at the border are probably just posturing. But look closely: Russia’s military is swiftly getting better-equipped and better-trained. Outsized inflation numbers in America are partly a statistical quirk—but also a sign of the tricky balance pandemic-era policymakers must navigate. And why you may soon be getting a lift from a flying taxi. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Apr 14, 2021
Fission expedition: nuclear-site attack in Iran
00:21:22

An apparent act of sabotage at an Iranian nuclear site, blamed on Israel, has complicated the prospect of America returning to the 2015 nuclear deal; we ask what happens next. Many of Europe’s public-service broadcasters are being squeezed by populist movements and illiberal governments. How to keep them independent? And an effort to translate Latvia’s short but dense ancient poems.  For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Apr 13, 2021
Plagued by uncertainty: German politics
00:21:58

As the country wrestles with another covid-19 wave, the battle to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel is building. We look at the political and epidemiological races. Prince Philip was a loyal consort to Britain’s queen for seven decades; our correspondent recalls meeting him at a difficult time for the family. And why Kenyans are at last indulging in their own coffee.

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Apr 12, 2021
Like a tonne of bricks: violence in Northern Ireland
00:22:36

The ostensible reason for continuing clashes relates to a well-attended funeral. But the terms of Brexit have raised tempers, inflaming centuries-old tensions; we ask what might calm them. Alexei Navalny’s condition is worsening in prison: does it really serve the Kremlin’s interests to let him perish? And “poetry slams” are a welcome release in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

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Apr 09, 2021
Clotting factors: the AstraZeneca vaccine
00:22:50

British and European regulators have addressed a possible link with blood clots. Expect more rare side-effects to emerge; what seems clear for now is that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh any risks. A new analysis shows that a racist American film from 1915 left a long legacy of racial violence. And a shady history of the function and fashion of sunglasses.

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Apr 08, 2021
Deaths spiral: America’s spike in murders
00:19:30

Estimates suggest that last year’s rise in murder rates was the greatest in perhaps half a century, reversing a long decline; we ask what is behind it. Amid Europe’s woefully slow vaccine rollouts, Serbia stands out as an unlikely success story. And the pandemic’s natural experiment on the ideal number of working hours.

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Apr 07, 2021
Crown and thorn: Jordan’s royal ruckus
00:21:13

Pressure on the king’s half-brother may represent a mere family feud, but Prince Hamzah’s complaints resonate with the country’s people. We ask what will happen next. Study the fast-growing list of India’s billionaires: who has joined it and who has left are signs of the country’s shifting economy. And an indigenous group’s tall order in Vancouver’s property market. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Apr 06, 2021
He said, Xi said: America-China ructions
00:23:17

The Biden administration’s early moves suggest no “reset” in relations; we recall a time when the game of ping-pong brought the countries back to the table. Although economics has transformed in the past quarter-century, the way it is taught has not; we examine efforts to rewrite the textbooks. And a forgotten album by British-Pakistani teenagers gets another lease of life. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffe

 

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Apr 05, 2021
Battle acts: France beefs up its forces
00:21:39

After years of peacekeeping and counter-insurgency campaigns, the country is getting tooled up and trained up for serious military conflict. The “baby bust” brought on by the pandemic has changed global population predictions; we look into the down sides of a world with fewer people. And the Benin Bronzes have become a focal point for the art world’s restitution push. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Apr 02, 2021
Cresting: India’s second covid-19 wave
00:21:16

Case numbers are on the rise—at a more worrying rate even than the first wave. We ask why, and what is being done to slow the spread. As revenues at wildlife-tourism spots have dried up, so has security—and now poaching is even more rampant than before. And scientists’ increasingly audacious bids to see around corners. 

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Apr 01, 2021
Takeaway lessons: Deliveroo’s listing disappoints
00:19:14

The tepid debut of Britain’s dominant food-delivery app signals doubts not only about the gig economy but also about London’s ability to lure tech-firm listings. Chinese officials love to deploy “cloud seeding” to water the country’s parched lands, but even if it works, it distracts from better water-management policies. And why tweets so often come back to haunt their authors.

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Mar 31, 2021
High threat-count: boycotts in China
00:23:00

Western fashion brands are in Chinese consumers’ crosshairs, the victims of political wranglings over sanctions and human-rights issues—a spat that may soon consume other industries. A striking number of people in the criminal-justice system have had traumatic brain injuries; our correspondent investigates how much that link has been overlooked. And why the audio app Clubhouse has stormed the Middle East.

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Mar 30, 2021
The smell of gas: insurgency in Mozambique
00:21:17

In a province that is home to a massive natural-gas project, a long-simmering insurgency has burst into horrific violence; we ask why the government seems to have lost control. Our correspondent visits Minneapolis, where the police officer accused of murdering George Floyd goes on trial today. And the existential threat to a bird that has forgotten how to sing love songs.

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Mar 29, 2021
Growth and stagnation: Bangladesh’s first 50 years
00:21:14

The country has empowered its women, established itself as a garment-industry powerhouse and vastly improved public health—but its politics remains troubled. The pandemic has not reduced average global happiness, but rather reshaped it: the old are more content and the young less so. And a look at the staggering costs of the Suez Canal blockage. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Mar 26, 2021
Export-control panel: the EU meets on vaccines
00:22:27

European leaders will address the thorny question of vaccine-export controls today. We look at the row with Britain and what it means for the broader relationship with the EU. Our correspondent visits Congo-Brazzaville as the president of nearly 37 years triumphs again—at a continuing cost to his people. And research suggests that Europe’s most inbred rulers were the least adept.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Mar 25, 2021
Can’t take a hike: more economic turmoil in Turkey
00:21:37

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan just does not like interest-rate rises. So he has again sacked a central-bank governor given to imposing them—again, to his own peril. America’s love of free markets extends also to the business of sperm donation; our correspondent discusses the risks that come with so little regulation. And the opera composer who is shaking up stereotypes.

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Mar 24, 2021
Always be their Bibi? Israel votes, again
00:20:35

It’s the fourth poll in two years, but a stable government is still far from guaranteed. We examine the firm grip Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu still has on Israeli politics. In the Philippines, children have been cooped up at home for a year—but citizens seem to buy into the government’s rationale. And the real history of the chocolate chip cookie.

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Mar 23, 2021
Not-purchasing power: boycotts in Myanmar
00:20:18

As demonstrations against February’s coup continue, many are trying a subtler form of resistance: starving army-owned businesses of revenue. We ask whether the ploy will work. Snippets of Neanderthal DNA survive in most humans—and they are a mixed blessing as regards the risks of covid-19. And, not for the first time, Britain’s census questions reveal the preoccupations of a nation.

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Mar 22, 2021
Another race question: murder in Atlanta
00:19:29

A shooting in the city left eight dead, six of them women of East Asian descent. We examine the past and present of anti-Asian sentiment in America. Frontex, Europe’s border-enforcement agency, is rising in clout and requisitioning more kit; we look at the closest the bloc has come to having a standing army. And why managers should tackle nonsensical workplace rules.

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Mar 19, 2021
Forces to be reckoned with: Afghan peace talks
00:22:34

Negotiations in Moscow may at last forge agreement between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents; that, in turn, would inform America’s long-promised drawdown. The International Criminal Court can investigate crimes against humans, but there is a push to make injury to the environment a high crime, too. And a look at Britney Spears’s conservatorship, a legal arrangement ripe for abuse. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Mar 18, 2021
Harms weigh: AstraZeneca vaccine fears
00:22:22

Scattered reports of blood clots have sparked curbs across Europe, even though the jab is almost certainly safe. We take a hard look at the risks in relative terms. After Canada arrested a Huawei executive in 2018, China detained two Canadians—we examine the hostage diplomacy still playing out. And how “non-fungible tokens” may benefit digital artists of all sorts. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Mar 17, 2021
Earning them: Stripe’s monster valuation
00:20:24

The firm got in early providing online-payment software to tech startups. Now it’s the most valuable Silicon Valley darling yet. We look at its future prospects. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo faces a raft of allegations and widespread calls to quit; our correspondent reckons he will not go anywhere without a fight. And the Kabul beauty trend that keeps growing.

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Mar 16, 2021
Redrawing the map: a fragmented Syria
00:22:29

As the country marks ten years of civil war, the economy is crippled; it has broken up into statelets and ethnic enclaves that may never be reunified. Violence against women is sparking a global wave of protest. We examine why it is more widespread, and more damaging, in the poor world. And the creature that can shed its entire body. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Mar 15, 2021
Casting the net wider: remaking the welfare state
00:22:43

As the Biden administration fires a $1.9trn pandemic-relief bazooka, we consider how governments might rethink welfare: providing more-flexible benefits, investing in human capital and acting as an insurer against the gravest risks. The simple pleasure of human touch, so constrained of late, is not an emotional luxury—it’s a physical need. And why it’s so hard to coin a word.

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Mar 12, 2021
Nuclear inaction: the legacy of Fukushima
00:22:35

The cleanup effort in and around the melted-down power plant is still progressing, but rebuilding communities—and, crucially, trust—is proving far more difficult. As Rupert Murdoch turns 90 we look at how his businesses are faring, and how they are likely to be run by his heirs. And the Victorian strongman who was arguably the world’s first fitness influencer. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Mar 11, 2021
Whither permitting? Vaccine passports
00:18:51

Formalising systems to divide the vaccinated from the unvaccinated is neither as risky nor as useful as many people think. In any case, vaccine passports are coming. On the anniversary of Tibet’s uprising, we examine how pressure on Tibetan Buddhism is rising, with dark parallels to Uyghur Muslims’ plight. And why it’s time to close the gate on duty-free shopping.

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Mar 10, 2021
Reconciled to it: America’s stimulus bill
00:21:27

Thanks to a parliamentary contortion called reconciliation, the $1.9trn covid-relief plan is likely to sail through—we examine what is in it and what its passage portends for lawmaking in the Biden era. Unrest is unusual in Senegal, but citizens are out in force; we ask about the roots of the protest mood. And what ever happened to bespoke ringtones?

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Mar 09, 2021
Despair and disparities: covid-19 consumes Brazil
00:22:50

State and local pandemic responses are scattershot; a national effort is all but nonexistent. A creeping sense of fatalism makes for peril far beyond the country’s borders. Aggregate American jobs numbers are promising, but our correspondent digs deeper to find how much harder women have it in the labour force. And the interview set to widen Britain’s royal rift. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Mar 08, 2021
Rubber-stamping ground: China’s parliament meets
00:21:18

The National People’s Congress kicked off with two big signals of Beijing’s intentions: a return to economic-growth targets and a plan to eradicate Hong Kong’s vestiges of democracy. On the first-ever papal visit to Iraq, Pope Francis hopes to give succour to the country’s beleaguered Christians. And the continued tribulations of the nightclub scene.

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Mar 05, 2021
Exit stages left: America and the Middle East
00:21:24

The Biden administration would like to pull back from the region; America’s strategic interests have changed, as have regional dynamics. We examine the careful exit that is possible. To evade censors China’s cinephiles often turn to pirated versions of foreign films, but the volunteers who subtitle them are under increasing pressure. And researchers make a connection with the dream world. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Mar 04, 2021
Owing to the pandemic: Britain’s budget
00:22:05

The finance minister has a plan that will keep many safeguards in place—for now. We ask how the country will then dig itself out of a financial hole. As countries aim for net-zero emissions, how to pick the policies that do the most good for the least cash? And why every fruit tree in Zanzibar has an owner. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Mar 03, 2021
A dark picture emerges: atrocities in Ethiopia
00:22:15

It is becoming more certain that war crimes are being committed in the northern region of Tigray. Yet, despite increasing international pressure, there is little hope the suffering will soon end. In China anti-capitalist sentiment is growing online; overworked youth have a decidedly Maoist view of the country’s biggest businesses and tycoons. And the uphill struggles of France’s skiing industry.

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Mar 02, 2021
Coup fighters: Myanmar’s persistent protesters
00:20:59

The temperature keeps rising: as demonstrations continue to grow, the army is becoming more brutal. We ask how the country can escape the cycle of violence. In a pandemic, laws against misinformation have their merits—but are also easily put to work for censorious governments. And why British dependencies want to get growing in the medical-marijuana game.

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Mar 01, 2021
Mutual-appreciation anxiety: Putin and Erdogan
00:20:30

The presidents of Turkey and Russia make an odd couple; their former empires have clashed over centuries. We look at the fragile—but nonetheless worrisome—alliance between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. India’s economy is recovering but a longstanding drag on growth persists: the overwhelming fraction of women absent from the labour force. And an unlikely protest anthem rattles Cuba’s regime. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Feb 26, 2021
Hell for Tether: a cryptocurrency crimped
00:22:01

The notionally dollar-pegged “stablecoin” quietly underpins many crypto-market moves. We ask what the currency issuer’s clash with New York authorities means for the wider crypto craze. In many African countries, parliamentarians are asked to fill public-service gaps—at great personal cost. We examine moves toward a fairer forking out of funds. And why physical-education exams are popping up in China.

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Feb 25, 2021
Let the games be thin: Tokyo’s Olympic tussles
00:21:12

Planners are in a corner. Delaying or cancelling the summer tournament looks like defeat; pressing ahead looks like a danger. We take a look at the sporting chances. Britain has decarbonised faster than any other rich country, but getting to “net zero” will be a whole lot harder. And why South Koreans have such trouble with noisy neighbours.

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Feb 24, 2021
Confirmation biases: Biden’s cabinet picks
00:20:19

President Joe Biden’s top posts are shaping up as Senate confirmation hearings continue—but some controversial nominations await a vote. We look at who is on the docket. Politics in the Democratic Republic of Congo has become messy, at the expense of some promised and much-needed reforms. And why the global rap scene is picking up a London accent. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Feb 23, 2021
Contrary to popular opinion: Mexico’s president
00:19:50

Andrés Manuel López Obrador roared into office with a grand “fourth transformation” agenda. Even after two years of policy failures and power-grabbing, he remains wildly popular. An eye-catching new report implores economists to take biodiversity into account—and puts some sobering limits on growth. And a chat through the state of the art in conversational computers.

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Feb 22, 2021
Have I not news for you: Facebook’s Australian battle
00:21:47

A media code that would obligate tech giants to pay for linking to news stories looks set to pass. In response, Facebook pre-emptively took down those links—and a whole lot more. So-called honour killings persist in the Arab world; we examine the support for such murders and look at attempts to reform lax laws. And remembering the jazz-fusion giant Chick Corea.

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Feb 19, 2021
Watts the problem: Texas’s energy failings
00:23:30

Crippling blackouts can be explained in part by the state’s unique energy market, but the disaster exposes wider failures that must be confronted amid a changing climate. Today’s landing of another Mars rover broadens the hunt for evidence of extraterrestrial life—an effort that is expanding faster and farther than ever before. And soft rock shakes off its milquetoast manner.

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Feb 18, 2021
The next of 1,000 cuts: Hong Kong activists on trial
00:20:27

It is not violent young protesters in the dock: the accused are the architects of the territory’s democracy. Our correspondent examines the city’s descent into authoritarian rule. In Colombia, activists are disappearing or being killed at a horrific rate. We ask why, and what can be done. And weighing up Oregon’s daring drug-decriminalisation experiment.

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Feb 17, 2021
Desert stands: France in the Sahel
00:22:31

Terror groups and separatists run riot in the sprawling region, and France has had some success in keeping the peace. But how, and when, to draw down its troops? Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the World Trade Organisation’s history-making new leader, has quite the task ahead to rebuild trust in and among the institution’s members. And the worrying shifts in subsea soundscapes. Additional audio courtesy Jana Winderen. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Feb 16, 2021
No Capitol punishment: Trump’s acquittal
00:24:05

Donald Trump was all but certain to be cleared in his Senate trial, and so it went. But the few Republican votes to convict are telling. What next for the former president? A look into Swiss efforts to track down a missing $230m raises disturbing questions. And why women aren’t getting the laughs as stand-up comedy grows in China.

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Feb 15, 2021
Exit-stage plight: Brexit’s costs come due
00:22:35

Stock-trading is shifting to the continent; businesses are bound up in red tape; border issues are still simmering. There is far more than mere “teething problems” as Britain and Europe adjust to their new relationship. Our correspondent looks at the slippery nature of risk by speaking with wing-suited daredevils. And in Kenya the flower-industry bounce-back is blooming great news.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Feb 12, 2021
The coup is on the other foot: Myanmar
00:22:46

A power-grab by the army’s commander, Min Aung Hlaing, is not turning out to be easy: the greatest protest movement in a generation is gathering steam. Debates over trans rights are particularly fraught in criminal-justice systems. We examine the balancing act going on in America. And a historical tour of autocrats’ luxuriant bathrooms reveals there’s a lot to loos. 

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Feb 11, 2021
Like hell out of a bat: SARS-CoV-2’s origin
00:20:59

The World Health Organisation unveiled preliminary findings, suggesting the coronavirus probably jumped to humans via an intermediary animal and all but ruling out a laboratory leak. We examine the many remaining questions. Nefarious regimes find it ever easier to reach across borders, subjecting dissidents to repression and surveillance abroad. And why it’s so hard to buy a car in Algeria. 

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Feb 10, 2021
Very long covid: the lasting risks to Africa
00:21:28

So far it seems the continent has weathered the pandemic well. But current numbers mask a future reckoning that is likely to have dire human and economic costs. We look into the “predatory trading” that in part explains recent, frenzied action in stockmarkets. And a surprising discovery about the plastics that sink to the oceans’ depths. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Feb 09, 2021
The art of the done deal: Trump on trial, again
00:22:51

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump will make history, but its outcome is assured. We ask what the proceedings say about the Republican Party. China’s youth are making their own way, even as the Communist regime tries to win greater loyalty from them; we examine the country’s future leaders. And another, overlooked pandemic: that of loneliness at work. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Feb 08, 2021
Ballot bonanza: Latin America’s year of elections
00:21:01

Ecuador’s elections on Sunday kick off a packed year of polls in the region. Democracy’s foothold in South America looks assured; in Central America, less so. Engineers are vastly improving the core technologies in televisions. We preview the viewing pleasure to come. And remembering Nikolai Antoshkin, a Soviet general who faced unknowable danger to save untold lives.

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Feb 05, 2021
Cheques notes: getting America’s stimulus right
00:21:50

Congress is on the cusp of pushing through a $1.9trn stimulus bill. But would it be money well spent? We examine the economics. Nearly half of India’s students attend cheap, efficient private schools that have been hit harder by the pandemic than the state-run kind. And the latest bid to clean up Earth’s celestial neighbourhood—and how to finance it.

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Feb 04, 2021
Rise above the cloud: Amazon’s new chief executive
00:20:11

Jeff Bezos is relinquishing the reins—partly—of the firm he founded. We take a look at Andy Jassy, who will replace him as chief executive at a profitable but tricky time. Our annual Democracy Index isn’t brimming with great news; we examine how democratic norms are faring worldwide. And the capture of the biggest drug lord you’ve probably never heard of. 

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Feb 03, 2021
As a general rules: Myanmar’s coup
00:20:45

The army already had plenty of political power, but following a landslide election loss it dramatically seized more. After five years of democracy, will the country abide a return to military rule? The wind-power boom has driven a scramble for balsa wood—harming the Ecuadoreans who live where it grows. And a better way to test the language skills of would-be citizens. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Feb 02, 2021
More needles in the haystack: vaccine candidates proliferate
00:22:00

That a coronavirus vaccine could be developed in a year is astonishing—and promising candidates just keep coming. How will the virus’s variants change the dynamic? Palestine may at last hold elections, after 15 years of promises. But Mahmoud Abbas, the incumbent president, may end up as the only viable candidate. And the probable first big market for lab-grown meat.

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Feb 01, 2021
Tug of warheads: the nuclear order
00:21:35

Successful arms-control diplomacy has kept proliferation at bay for decades. But many states now have nuclear ambitions; we look at an increasingly worrying shift. Rapid development in sub-Saharan Africa has led to a “double burden” of malnutrition: obesity is skyrocketing even as undernourishment continues. And the riches and the tensions to be found at a Greenland rare-earth-minerals mine. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jan 29, 2021
Conte’s inferno: political crisis in Italy
00:20:57

The president is scrambling to pull together a workable government following Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s resignation—and the instability has big implications for Europe’s post-pandemic plans. We examine the staggering rise of shares in GameStop and the day traders trying to stick it to the hedge-funders. And the sport of back-country skiing gets a lift in America.

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Jan 28, 2021
Vials and tribulations: the EU’s vaccine push
00:19:56

The European Union’s vaccine rollout was slow and fragmented even before pharma companies warned of supply shortfalls; we ask what’s gone wrong. Australia’s proposed law that would force tech titans to pay news providers is just one front in a battle that might upend a foundational principle of the internet. And the bawdy baked goods that have captured Egyptians’ attention. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jan 27, 2021
Party down: Vietnam’s Communist leaders meet
00:21:03

At this week’s five-yearly congress there will be pride in the handling of the pandemic—but broader discontent and mounting protests should worry party bigwigs. We ask our education correspondent why so many American schools remain empty and what the long-run costs will be. And differentiating the difficult character of Patricia Highsmith from the litany of difficult characters she conjured.

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Jan 26, 2021
Vlad tidings: demonstrations across Russia
00:20:34

The arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny—and an exposé he released alleging deep corruption—fuelled vast weekend protests, chipping away at President Vladimir Putin’s legitimacy. Having left the European Union Britain must find a new foreign-policy foothold in the world; we examine its options and its moves so far. And a shocking revelation about haggis ahead of Scotland’s Burns Night celebrations. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jan 25, 2021
Biting the hands that would feed: Ethiopia
00:18:52

There are signs that the federal government is obstructing humanitarian aid to the war-torn region of Tigray, putting millions of civilians at risk of famine. We draw lessons from Israel’s vaccine rollout to predict what still lies ahead for many countries. And what can be learned by striking a deal with Bali’s larcenous monkeys. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jan 22, 2021
Much to repair: Biden’s first day on the job
00:22:07

The watchword was unity as Joe Biden took office—he struck a calming tone and got immediately to work. We analyse the gargantuan tasks that lie ahead. Messaging services such as WhatsApp provide a needed online forum; as users flood to new apps we examine questions of privacy and security. And the Parisian street artist depicting brutal protests to unsettling effect.

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Jan 21, 2021
Costly disbelief: covid-19 ravages Brazil again
00:20:29

Desperate scenes in the city of Manaus may foretell a dire wave throughout the country. A misguided sense of “herd immunity” has worsened matters, as has the president’s persistent scepticism. We examine history to see how lasers progressed from practical impossibility to utter ubiquity—and the scientific frontiers they are still illuminating. And how clams are protecting lives in Poland. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jan 20, 2021
Hell no, we won’t grow: Indian farmers’ mass protests
00:21:33

Hundreds of thousands of farmers have participated in protests around Delhi, demonstrating against laws that they say threaten their livelihoods. We ask how the standoff will end. Today America will designate Yemen’s Houthi militants as terrorists, but that is likely only to harm a population already facing starvation. And what’s behind a boom in African comics. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jan 19, 2021
Landed, in trouble: Alexei Navalny returns to Russia
00:20:52

The opposition leader was detained as soon as he arrived—but President Vladimir Putin has no good options for dealing with his most vocal opponent. Germany’s ruling CDU party has a new leader; we examine the challenges that lie ahead for him, his party and his country. And the kerfuffle behind an American-made film relegated to the Golden Globes’ foreign-language category. 

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Jan 18, 2021
Bold Wine in new battles: Uganda’s election
00:19:34

After a violent campaign in which the opposition candidate Bobi Wine was extensively intimidated, authorities imposed an internet blackout. President Yoweri Museveni will almost certainly cling to power—a worry for Uganda and the wider region. Wikipedia turns 20 today; we ask how, against long odds, it has survived and grown. And the video game that’s sparking a moral panic in Afghanistan.

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Jan 15, 2021
Two-timer: Trump impeached, again
00:20:35

Some House Republicans broke ranks, joining Democrats to hand President Donald Trump an ignominious distinction. Our deputy editor lays out why the Senate should now convict and remove him. Under South Africa’s ruling ANC party a powerful black middle class bloomed, but the party’s fiscal mismanagement threatens their loyalty. And the boom in “spirits” with no booze but plenty of branding. 

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Jan 14, 2021
Trial ensnarer: human-rights law’s new tool
00:20:20

War criminals and their ilk often evade justice solely because of squabbling over who can be tried where. But a rise in “universal jurisdiction” trials is tightening the net. Recent lockdowns’ hits to global economies are not nearly as deep as they were the first time around; we explore why. And Cambodian rat-catchers reckon with boom and bust. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jan 13, 2021
You don’t say: tech’s Trump bans
00:22:12

Moves to shutter the president’s accounts and to crimp corners of the internet given to right-wing extremism raise thorny questions, both about free speech and social-media firms’ business models. Our public-policy editor takes a broad look at girlhood: how women’s adolescence has changed for the better but is challenged mightily by covid-19. And science’s bid to save more snake-bite victims’ lives.

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Jan 12, 2021
Wrest wing: the bid to oust Trump
00:21:25

Today Democratic lawmakers will begin attempts to remove President Donald Trump. It could fail, or be delayed—or Republicans could see a political opportunity. Even amid a global vaccination drive, the hunt for covid-19 treatments continues; we examine two existing arthritis drugs that appear to save lives. And the synthesiser that conquered music in the 1980s and then stuck around. Additional audio courtesy of Nate Mars and Daniel Reid. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jan 11, 2021
The longer arm of the law: Hong Kong
00:23:50

A national-security law imposed by Beijing had not, until this week, bared its teeth; the arrests of dozens of pro-democracy figures reveals how much it can crimp opposition. At the American Economics Association’s annual shindig, a scholar implores economists to recalibrate just how self-interested they take people to be. And the inspiring life and untimely death of a beloved, goat-herding refugee. 

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Jan 08, 2021
Riot act: Biden confirmed amid chaos
00:20:50

After previously unthinkable scenes played out in Washington’s legislature, we ask what the violence will mean for the president, Republican lawmakers and American democracy. Argentina’s move to liberalise its abortion laws reflects slowly changing attitudes across Latin America, and may spur wider change. And examining the history of Ethio-jazz, a unique musical melting pot. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Jan 07, 2021
Run-off, their feat: Georgia’s Senate races
00:22:34

Democrats look set to win both the run-off elections that will determine control of the Senate—and how President-elect Joe Biden will be able to govern. Quantum computing is still nascent, its power yet to be truly tapped. But the finance sector is already looking to squeeze it for analytical advantage. And how Confucianism still influences society in South Korea.

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Jan 06, 2021
Stresses of strains: emerging coronavirus variants
00:18:44

It is no surprise that more-transmissible coronavirus variants are cropping up. We ask how worrisome the strains found in Britain and South Africa are. American authorities have lodged a landmark case against Walmart for its role in the country’s worsening opioid crisis—a problem with clearly more than one cause. And dealing with the pile of unused vacation days from 2020.

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Jan 05, 2021
Arms within reach: Israel's vaccination lead
00:23:15

Aggressive purchasing, solid logistics and a competitive health-care system have led to a world-beating rate of immunisation—but, as ever, politics is playing a role, too. Big oil had a terrible 2020, but the sector’s troubles pre-date the pandemic; we look at the supermajors’ varying approaches to an uncertain future. And how covid-19 is reshaping China’s clubbing scene.

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Jan 04, 2021
Isle talk to EU later: a vote on a scant Brexit deal
00:20:36

Britain’s parliament will vote today on its last-gasp agreement with the European Union. But that will only mark the start of more negotiations for years to come. And we examine the shortlist from The Economist’s annual “country of the year” debate—New Zealand, Malawi and Taiwan—and unveil the winner. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Dec 30, 2020
Cheques, imbalances: America’s fraught stimulus
00:22:20

After months of deadlock, a covid-19 relief package has passed, but the battles continue. We ask how things got so dire and what President-elect Joe Biden will inherit. A deadly shootout in London more than a century ago still resonates today; we examine one of the world’s first breaking-news stories. And the colour black reaches new depths in art. 

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Dec 29, 2020
Going around the bloc: Europe’s vaccination push
00:22:00

The first inoculations are happening across the continent as part of a co-ordinated push—but levels of both supply and uptake remain uncertain. Our correspondent explores South Korea’s obsession with hiking and why it means different things to different climbers. And looking back on a troubling year for Britain’s royals.

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Dec 28, 2020
Old acquaintance not forgot: the notable deaths of 2020
00:22:26

In a year marked by more than a million and a half deaths, mortality has rarely been so front of mind. Our obituary editor looks back through the notable figures she has memorialised, from George Floyd to Vera Lynn. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Dec 23, 2020
Bubbles in the market: Mexico’s Coca-Cola obsession
00:21:01

For decades, the country has been an almighty consumer of the fizzy drink. But amid a woeful covid-19 situation politicians are highlighting the health concerns it brings. In getting to know a sleepy French village, our correspondent finds a nuanced view of isolation in the pandemic age. And the lavish books providing a never-before-seen perspective on the Sistine Chapel’s frescoes.

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Dec 22, 2020
Get the lead out: Zambia’s toxic mine
00:22:36

A site that closed more than a quarter-century ago is still slowly poisoning the residents of Kabwe with lead; a class-action lawsuit is at last seeking redress. Our correspondent visits the ancient monastery behind the international Shaolin brand, learning the subtle story of its abbot and chief executive. And flicking through The Economist’s staff picks for books of the year.

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Dec 21, 2020
Rehousing project: Bangladesh’s Rohingya
00:21:26

The country’s refugee camps are packed and squalid, so the government is moving perhaps 100,000 Rohingya Muslims to a tiny island. Will life for them improve? Military tactics can be misleading; sometimes they are outright trickery. Our defence editor looks at the past and future of military deception. And why Christmas dinner involves such different fare around the world.

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Dec 18, 2020
And then, winter: ten years after the Arab Spring
00:23:30

A revolutionary conflagration a decade ago has almost entirely flickered out. We ask what happened to all the optimism and why real change has been so hard to achieve. A widely watched lawsuit reveals the slow march of feminism in China, one case at a time. And a look back at Ludwig van Beethoven’s life and work, 250 years on. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Dec 17, 2020
This market went a little piggy: a capital-raising frenzy
00:22:39

Astonishingly, companies have raised more capital this year than ever before. We ask how capital markets shook free amid the pandemic—and what will happen with all that cash now. Our correspondent finds just how dependent the world’s waste-management industry is on informal workers, whose hard jobs have been made far harder this year. And the technology making megaphones much more mega.

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Dec 16, 2020
Joe, College: Biden’s victory affirmed
00:21:46

America’s by-the-book electoral-college vote calmed concerns about another Trump-camp bid to overturn the election—but that is not to say the ructions are over. On an unannounced visit to a suspected forced-labour camp in China’s Xinjiang province, our correspondent runs into trouble when witnessing evidence of a far wider social-engineering effort. And Cuba’s beloved sweet, milky treat gets a freshen-up. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Dec 15, 2020
So long, and we’re keeping all the fish: Brexit
00:18:49

Britain’s divorce from the European Union still hinges on sticky matters of fishing rights and the enforcement of fair competition, and time is rapidly running out to strike a deal. India’s fantastical “love jihadconspiracy theory is just another Muslim-marginalisation move—one that the government seemingly approves of. And a hermit-crab housing shortage in Thailand.

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Dec 14, 2020
Taking the temperature: a climate chat with the UN chief
00:20:33

Ahead of a weekend meeting to assess and bolster the Paris Agreement, our correspondent speaks with Antonio Guterres about his reasons for cautious optimism. The founder of an upstart far-right Dutch party has been consumed by scandals; we discuss a disastrous downfall. And following AirBnB’s stonking stockmarket debut, we examine the revealed preferences of pandemic-era bookers. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Dec 11, 2020
If you already joined ‘em, beat ‘em: Facebook gets sued
00:21:01

American regulators have put mergers that they approved years ago at the heart of antitrust lawsuits—a tricky bid to curb the social-media giant’s market power. We examine the surge of an artist-led protest movement in Cuba, where dissent on any scale is a dangerous proposition. And what a cross-border, ski-slope spat reveals about European co-operation. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Dec 10, 2020
Laïcité, égalité, fraternité? France’s secularism bill
00:19:40

President Emmanuel Macron’s draft bill walks a fine line balancing the country’s foundational secularism and worries about Islamist terrorism. Amid slumping economies everywhere, Taiwan’s looks surprisingly buoyant; we ask how that might continue after the pandemic. And how managers can best navigate the holiday-party season in a cheerless year.

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Dec 09, 2020
Granting immunity: America weighs vaccine approval
00:21:32

As Britons receive the first doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, authorities in America are meeting this week to authorise its emergency use. We examine the approaches on both sides of the pond. Despite pandemic prescriptions of social distancing, multigenerational living is on the rise. And how Advent calendars became so very extra.

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Dec 08, 2020
Fairly unusual: Ghana’s elections
00:22:24

In a region racked by dodgy polls, the country looks to continue a trend of uncontested handovers of power. That is not to say, however, that there aren’t sticking points. As tortuous Brexit negotiations drag on, we look at how British farming can and should change under a new regulatory regime. And the starving deer of a Japanese tourist hotspot.

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Dec 07, 2020
Intensive scare: covid-19 ravages America
00:23:19

Numbers of cases, hospitalisations and deaths are rocketing across the country. We examine the situation in the Midwest, as a microcosm of a wider unfolding tragedy. Venezuela’s ruling party will take over the National Assembly after Sunday’s vote, sidelining the self-proclaimed legitimate leader Juan Guaidó and cementing Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship. And the fruitful life and ignominious death of the Arecibo telescope.

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Dec 04, 2020
Your planet, or mines? Kicking the coal habit
00:21:37

In the West market forces are squeezing coal—even as its use rises in Asia. We examine how the world can wean itself off the dirtiest fossil fuel. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Belarus’s probable presidential-election winner, never expected to run for office. Our correspondent visits her in exile, asking about the country’s prospects for democracy. And how candy-floss machines may help make better face masks.

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Dec 03, 2020
Trans formative: a landmark children’s-rights ruling
00:21:46

Britain’s High Court has ruled that puberty blockers for children with gender dysphoria have been dispensed too readily, fuelling a debate that will be keenly watched abroad. A vote today on a law tightening accounting rules on American-listed Chinese companies has a political dimension—and implications for investors. And Poland’s populist leaders seize on the resurgence of “disco polo” music.

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Dec 02, 2020
Nuclear-war head: assassination in Iran
00:19:13

The killing of the country’s top nuclear scientist comes at a tricky time: violent retribution may threaten hoped-for diplomacy with the incoming American administration. An artificial-intelligence breakthrough may transform protein science, with implications for everything from industrial processes to tackling disease. And why Europe’s lighter-touch, second round of lockdowns have been so effective.

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Dec 01, 2020
No show of force: France’s controversial police-protection bill
00:21:42

Protesters are raging against a proposed bill that would outlaw posting videos of alleged police brutality—just as two videos expose more such violence. High-stakes exams for students have been delayed, modified, even cancelled during the pandemic; we look at how all those varying results stack up. And, South Africa’s growing trend of livestock theft—and rebranding.  

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Nov 30, 2020
One party to rule them all? India’s fraying democracy
00:20:03

Many of the country’s institutions are being slowly hobbled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government; we ask whether the world’s largest democracy is in peril. Sweden has a surprisingly entrenched problem with gang violence, revealing the social costs of its segregated populations. And how Black Friday is playing out in the pandemic era. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 27, 2020
At his majesty, displeasure: Thailand’s anti-monarchy push
00:23:04

A long string of pro-democracy protests are railing more and more against the king himself—and the protesters are younger and more fearless than ever before. The arrest of Bobi Wine, Uganda’s popular singer-turned-opposition-hero, has sparked deadly violence. He won’t win January’s election, but his movement isn’t going away. And a Thanksgiving Day look at the globe-trotting history of the turkey

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Nov 26, 2020
Tigray area: Ethiopia’s deadly standoff
00:21:46

The northern region’s surrounded forces are ignoring Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s deadline to disarm. More regions are being drawn in—and a conflagration across the Horn of Africa looms. Artificial-intelligence pilots have shown serious dogfighting skills, but for reasons both technical and ethical humans are still needed in the cockpit. And the rise of mixed martial arts on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Nov 25, 2020
What funds we’ll have: green venture capital
00:22:05

The boom-and-bust of environmental-technology investing has settled out, and money is flooding in—both individual and institutional. We examine the green fields that lie ahead. Many Arab countries have long been suffering an exodus of medical professionals—a problem only magnified by the pandemic. And a reflection on the life of Jonathan Sacks, a tirelessly unifying British rabbi. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer


 

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Nov 24, 2020
Playing his Trump cards: Biden’s China policy
00:22:18

The tone of America’s president-elect on China changed markedly through the campaign; his policies, at least at the outset, may differ little from those of his predecessor. We examine the stark racial disparities in covid-19 outcomes around the world. And the clever use of a waste product to make a better takeaway coffee cup.

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Nov 23, 2020
Undercut a deal: the threat to Afghan peace
00:20:05

Peace talks continue in Doha but on the ground the Taliban are consolidating control. America’s rush to withdraw its forces could undo the good work of getting them to the negotiating table. As DoorDash heads to a public listing, we look at the rapidly shifting fortunes of the food-delivery business. And why golf has a long-shot problem.

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Nov 20, 2020
Quit it cold, Turkey: policy tightens at last
00:21:15

Now that the economic reins have been taken back from the president’s son-in-law, the country is making the right policy noises—and just in time. China’s anti-poverty drive is not disinterested charity; it is about transforming citizens’ thoughts. And chronicling Pepe the Frog’s descent into alt-right memedom.

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Nov 19, 2020
Concession stand: Trump’s intransigence
00:21:13

America’s outgoing president is sticking with an insidious fiction, lashing out at those who deny it. That frustrates a stable handover of power—and will cost lives. Egypt has a long-standing problem with sexual harassment and abuse. A reckoning has begun this year, revealing some deeply conservative views among both men and women. And why streaming-era television programmes have got so long.

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Nov 18, 2020
Out on a LegCo: Hong Kong under pressure
00:22:00

Following a purge based on a harsh new security law, the territory’s Legislative Council lacks a single opposition voice. That will make the work of pro-Beijing lawmakers easier. As promising vaccines start to emerge, we examine the role of so-called T-cells in granting long-lasting immunity to the coronavirus. And why employers are relying more and more on psychometric tests.

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Nov 17, 2020
Disrupter, disrupted: Britain’s government
00:21:24

The chief aide to the prime minister had been a driving force in policy but a dividing force in government. What will happen now that he has stood down? We examine how Canada’s response to the pandemic has shielded its economy—so far. And lockdowns bring the market for pasta to a rolling boil. 

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Nov 16, 2020
Going to cede: Armenia and Azerbaijan
00:22:25

The longest-running conflict in the Caucasus could well be over. We examine a peace deal that benefits outside powers and chips away at regional identities. The hipster aesthetic long ago permeated rich countries; our correspondent finds it creeping even into impoverished and war-torn corners of the world. And reflecting on the life of James Randi, a tireless debunker of charlatans.

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Nov 13, 2020
Sahel of a mess: France’s impossible peacekeeping mission
00:23:01

Jihadism is growing in a continent-wide strip of Africa, and the riskiest operations to contain it fall to French troops. Our correspondent witnesses a fraught and seemingly endless mission. Peru has ousted yet another president, at a woeful time: the pandemic is raging, the economy cratering and politics fracturing. And the movement to water down Sweden’s state monopoly on booze. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 12, 2020
We’ll again have Paris: Biden’s ambitious climate plans
00:21:42

President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign had the environment front and centre. We analyse his pledges—and his prospects for implementing them. As the video-gaming industry releases its next round of consoles, it is eyeing a far larger prize: high-end gaming with no console at all. And the red poppy of Remembrance Day turns into something of an armistice race in Britain. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 11, 2020
Nine out of ten, doctors say: a promising coronavirus vaccine
00:20:27

A vaccine claimed to be 90% effective represents an enormous achievement. We discuss what questions remain and the regulatory and distribution challenges ahead. A string of recent African elections reveals strongmen bending democracy to stay in office; will upcoming polls break it altogether? And a moral crusade in India doesn’t fit the country’s chill relationship with weed. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 10, 2020
Brought to heal: Biden’s chance to unite America
00:22:37

President Donald Trump will go, but Trumpism will remain. Our editor-in-chief considers how President-elect Biden can repair the divided country he will inherit. Denmark aims to cull 17m mink that could represent a reservoir of a mutated coronavirus—why didn’t it do so when other countries did? And the old-timey Korean music that might just challenge K-pop.  

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Nov 09, 2020
Abiy damned: Ethiopia’s looming civil war
00:21:34

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has taken drastic steps to quieten a state stacked with trained militias. The conflict could draw in more states—or the whole of the Horn of Africa. China’s increasing push for self-reliance in a globalised economy has its complications—made clear by a vast influx of precision-bred super-chickens. And the macabre tale of books bound with human skin.

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Nov 06, 2020
The lawyers of diminishing returns: America’s election
00:20:00

As President Donald Trump’s re-election path slims, his pledges to fight the results in court are multiplying. We look at the cases that may eventually decide the election. Global crises tend to affect birth rates, and covid-19 is no different—but the effects are not evenly spread. And a suite alternative for business types tired of working from home. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 05, 2020
Tally forth: America’s elections
00:21:31

The outcome remains unclear as vote-counting continues. We look at some of the surprise results, ask what happens next and examine how The Economist’s election forecast has held up. And we tag along with our American correspondents for the thrill of election-night reporting.The latest results are here www.economist.com/us2020results; for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 04, 2020
Poles’ position: an abortion-law backlash
00:21:54

Poland already had some of the strictest laws on terminations, but the ruling party’s bid to tighten them further has sparked national outrage. We lay out what to expect on election night in America—the denouement will not be simple, and is unlikely to be quick. And a historical look at the films screened in the White House’s private cinema. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 03, 2020
Lock step: England to shut down, again
00:20:32

Prime Minister Boris Johnson all but ruled out a second lockdown, but his hand has been forced by England’s caseload. What are the political costs of his U-turn? Myanmar’s coming election will almost certainly be marred by disinformation on Facebook—principally because so many Burmese people get their only news there. And examining the current glut of political biographies.

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Nov 02, 2020
Net losses: plunder of the oceans
00:21:03

The staggering extent of illegal fishing, and its human and environmental costs, are only just becoming clear. We ask how to put a shadowy industry on a more even keel. The old guard likes to mock millennial investors, but they’re changing finance, possibly for the better. And as Berlin’s shiny new airport opens we ask: why is it nine years late? For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 30, 2020
What Xi said: China’s five-year plan
00:21:47

The party’s Fifth Plenum sets out a five-year vision; we mine the plan for clues about how China views itself in the world—and how long Xi Jinping intends to lead. The pandemic has the rich world thinking and talking about death in a way not seen since the second world war. And an uncertain future for Singapore’s famed street-food hawkers.

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Oct 29, 2020
Stumbling bloc: Europe’s second wave
00:19:21

Across the continent, covid-19 cases are rising steeply and containment measures are still divergent. We look at the challenges of finding policies that are efficacious and sustainable. Tanzania’s election today is all but zipped up; President John Magufuli has been trampling the country’s hard-won democratic traditions. And what the florid language of wine experts says about human perception.

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Oct 28, 2020
Chagrin, and Barrett: America’s Supreme Court
00:22:18

Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation marks the first time since the 1930s the court has leaned so conservative, and has stoked another partisan battle that may further reshape the court. Following the announcement of water on the Moon, we look at a looming, broader battle: who will own the water rights? And why Australia’s aboriginal flag is flying less and less. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 27, 2020
Coming write-up: Chile votes to overhaul its constitution
00:21:33

The country has roundly rejected its dictatorship-era charter and mapped out how to fashion a new one. What do Chileans stand to gain—and to lose? Rising populations of the elderly in the world’s prisons are creating deepening problems, both for jailers and the jailed. And we explore a theory that blames political chaos on too many would-be elites.

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Oct 26, 2020
Civil proceedings: America's presidential debate
00:20:54

America’s final presidential debate had less noise and more substance. But polls seem immovable and nearly 50m Americans have already voted; will the race change? South Korea’s population-boosting efforts have failed, so it is encouraging more women into the workforce—and that will redress some long-standing inequalities. And crunching 70 years’ worth of Formula 1 data to find the sport’s true greatest. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 23, 2020
Pandemic power-grabs: autocrats’ covid opportunism
00:20:35

As it has with so many other trends, the pandemic has hastened the decline of democracy and human rights; covid-19 provides autocrats with perfect cover. The plummeting price for the cobalt that powers electronics has upended lives and driven crime in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And how physicists found an upper bound for the speed of sound. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 22, 2020
Secular-stand nation: terror in France
00:22:26

The brutal murder of a schoolteacher comes amid warnings of mounting Islamism in the country. The attack will only harden resolve for a secular society. Alexei Navalny, Russia’s opposition leader, speaks with our correspondent about the attempt on his life; it signals, he says, a regime in decline. And data reveal how the arrival of mobile internet erodes faith in governments.

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Oct 21, 2020
The persecution of a people: China’s repression of the Uyghurs
00:21:41

Reporting by The Economist reveals deepening efforts by Chinese authorities not just to imprison the Muslim-minority people but also to reduce their number, to wipe out their culture and to hound them wherever in the world they may go. Yet a visit to Yunnan province reveals that the party’s hostility to ethnic minorities is not absolute.

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Oct 20, 2020
Loved Labour’s won: landslide in New Zealand
00:21:09

After a term spent steering the country through crises, Jacinda Ardern has led her Labour party to a thumping victory; what will they do with their historic majority? Far from taking on water as the pandemic progresses, the shipping industry is steaming ahead. And as museums sell off parts of their collections, we consider art’s value beyond the dollar signs. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Oct 19, 2020
Más MAS? Bolivia’s election
00:21:43