The Intelligence from The Economist

By The Economist

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 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.

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.

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Episode Date
The French connection: Macron’s state visit to America
23:47

Behind the pageantry, Presidents Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron will have much to chew over, from a unified response in Ukraine to tricky trade negotiations. Our modelling suggests that Russia’s weaponisation of energy might ultimately kill more people than its efforts on the battlefield will. And a Ghanaian brewer’s struggles reveal the difficulty of business-building in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Nov 29, 2022
Patience zero: China’s remarkable unrest
25:24

Protests have become as bold as they are widespread—mostly against the country’s unsustainable zero-covid policies, but increasingly against the ruling regime itself. California’s wildfires have been growing more intense, and a new analysis shows just how much those blazes undo the good work of the state’s green policies. And a look at the evolution of the Great British Lad.

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Nov 28, 2022
Forgoing a song: protest inside and beyond Iran
28:30

Players’ refusal to sing their national anthem at the World Cup has brought their country’s protests onto the global stage. We ask whether the discontent back home threatens the regime. A sober look at global economic data reveals a probable global recession—one that may not even tame raging inflation. And remembering Hebe de Bonafini, Argentina’s icon of resistance.

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Nov 25, 2022
Scar from the madding crowd: Korea probes a tragedy
26:18

Grief about the deaths of more than 150 people in a crush has turned to anger, and the investigation into what actions were taken—or not taken—has turned political. Our correspondent looks into the vast effort to remake the car industry as automobiles turn into software platforms on wheels. And how Britain’s twee National Trust has waded into the culture wars. 

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Nov 24, 2022
A whole other kettle of fission: Ukraine’s imperilled nuclear plant
23:53

The power station in Zaporizhia has served as an impromptu military base for Russian forces—but danger is mounting and there are signs that troops may soon give it up. The sportswear-industry boom that has much of the world wearing high-performance kit may soon come to an end. And why teenage angst is such a good fit for horror films. 

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Nov 23, 2022
Ploy story: a defenestration at Disney
22:41

Executives have squeezed out Bob Chapek and re-anointed Bob Iger as boss. But the firm’s woes are less about leadership and more about the new economics of Hollywood. We ask why Zimbabwe’s teen mothers find it so hard to stay in school, and what can be done about it. And pigs prove their intelligence, again, by making up after confrontations.

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Runtime: 22 min





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Nov 22, 2022
Damage collateral: a tide turns at COP27
28:13

An issue ignored for three decades came to dominate the summit’s agenda: reparations to poor countries for climate-driven “loss and damage”. Alas, halting those coming losses did not feature much. Our correspondent speaks with a Ukrainian fighter pilot about defending the country’s airspace using mostly Soviet-era kit. And why some words sound the same across many languages.

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Nov 21, 2022
In come taxes: Britain’s austere economic plan
22:12
The “Autumn statement” was filled with belt-tightening, from stealthy tax rises to public-service cuts. But perhaps the bitterest part of the pill has been left for the next government to swallow. As the World Cup begins in Qatar, controversies over preparedness and human rights threaten to overshadow what happens on the pitch. And New York City declares war on rats. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Nov 18, 2022
Musketeers heading for the exits: chaos at Twitter
25:48

Elon Musk gave Twitter’s remaining staff an ultimatum: commit to “working long hours at high intensity” for “hardcore” Twitter, or leave. We evaluate his reign so far. Under President Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua has become a one-party state. And remembering the long life of Anne Frank’s best friend. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer





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Nov 17, 2022
Strike price: missiles fall in Poland
24:15
How did apparently Russian-made munitions kill two people on NATO soil? An accident in the fog of war seems likely, but listen closely: the immediate international response has been telling. Donald Trump has announced he will run for the American presidency again; we ask about his chances and his motivations. And we take you inside India’s tangled hair industry. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Nov 16, 2022
Get the Bali rolling: the G20 meet begins
22:45
The G20 Summit gets under way in Bali today at a time of tensions over Ukraine and Taiwan, and worries about high food and energy prices. We look at what progress, if any, is likely to result from the high-level meeting. An unusually warm autumn has kept gas prices low in Europe. And what a Nobel-prize winner’s work suggests about Neanderthal family life. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Nov 15, 2022
Bolt from the blue: Democrats hold the Senate
28:34
America’s upper legislative chamber remains in Democrats’ hands; they may even expand their majority. We explain what that means for the Biden administration, and why Democrats outperformed expectations. President Biden’s biggest foreign-policy headaches involve China; we ask what to expect from his first in-person meeting with President Xi Jinping. And we introduce our new China-focused podcast, “Drum Tower.” For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Nov 14, 2022
Tales from the crypto: An exchange implodes
28:46
At the start of this week, FTX was the world’s third-largest crypto exchange. After rumours of illiquidity swirled, customers pulled $6bn in assets. It now reportedly faces an $8bn shortfall, and the contagion is spreading. The Sama-Bajau have fished the same waters for centuries, but are citizens of nowhere, which makes their hard lives harder. And what Rishi Sunak can learn from his fictional predecessors. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Nov 11, 2022
Beaten, a retreat: cautious hope in Kherson
25:17

Russia says it will withdraw from the only captured Ukrainian provincial capital. We ask how the drawdown might go and what it means for the wider war. Britain is set for the largest wave of industrial action in decades; the strikes could throw the country into chaos. And the long life of Shyam Saran Negi, India’s first-ever voter.

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Nov 10, 2022
Red ripple: America’s midterm elections
26:19
America’s midterm elections have finished. While the full results may not be known for some time, Democrats appear to have outperformed expectations: Republicans will probably narrowly win the House, while the Senate remains too close to call. Argentina’s slum policy is a rare bright spot in the country’s politics. And why the war in Ukraine may put paid to ground-attack aircraft. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Nov 09, 2022
Who counts wins: Election-administration fears
28:31
In the final episode of our midterms series, we examine how the Republican party’s anti-democratic turn is putting pressure on election administrators. When he briefly reneged on a deal to allow Ukrainian grain exports, Vladimir Putin held the world’s grain supply hostage  – a tactic beloved of strongmen the world over. And HBO turns 50 this year: we assess its legacy. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Nov 08, 2022
Degrees of risk: COP27 and the 1.5C myth
26:19
As the UN’s annual climate jamboree begins, our correspondent calls for a strong dose of realism: limiting warming to 1.5C is just no longer feasible. On average the rule of law is losing ground globally, yet one place it appears to be strengthening is on Russia’s doorstep. And a look at the sports teams everyone loves to hate. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Nov 07, 2022
Red fights and blue: America’s midterm elections
1:30:02

America’s midterm elections, which will determine control of both chambers of Congress, end on Tuesday. For the past three months our correspondents have been travelling across the country, reporting on the trends and concerns shaping the race. This compilation episode highlights the best of their work. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer






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Nov 05, 2022
Peace meal: Ethiopia’s civil war
25:26

A surprise peace agreement should permit desperately needed humanitarian relief for millions in the region of Tigray—but there are reasons to doubt the grinding conflict is at an end. Britain has a problem that other rich countries do not: its over-50s are flooding out of the labour market. And our correspondent attends an unexpectedly tame “crypto rave”.

For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer



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Nov 04, 2022
The elephant in the chamber? America’s midterms
29:55

Our election model suggests that at least one legislative chamber will revert to Republican control; we ask what sort of government would result. The breach of the Nord Stream pipelines is a reminder of how much infrastructure is at risk of subsea sabotage. And what the trendy term “ikigai” actually means in Japan, its ostensible country of origin.

For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer



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Nov 03, 2022
The curious case of Binyamin’s butt-in: Israel’s election
27:32

After a 16-month absence from leadership, Binyamin Netanyahu is back at the centre of the country’s messy politics. We ask how his divisive ways will play out this time. Apple is slowly weaning itself off China as a place both to make and to sell its gizmos. And how the “palaeo” diet bears little resemblance to the real thing.

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Nov 02, 2022
Falling tsar? Russians eye life after Putin
23:17

As President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine continues to falter, Russian elites are now daring to consider the once unthinkable: a life after his leadership. Haiti is in grave disarray, but calling in foreign help to sort things out is proving tricky. And the diamond in Britain’s crown jewels that India wants back.

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Nov 01, 2022
The Prince bonus 2: The 20th party congress
29:51

Host Sue-Lin Wong dissects the unexpected and the foreseen from the Chinese Communist Party’s five-yearly meeting, with The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief David Rennie, who was there. How did Xi Jinping use the event to tighten his grip on power? 


Listen to The Economist’s new weekly China podcast Drum Tower here


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Oct 31, 2022
Once and future: Brazil’s Lula wins again
26:00
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a leftist former president, has won again. Even if President Jair Bolsonaro gracefully concedes, his followers and fellow party members will make Lula’s hard job harder. We ask why California’s green-tinged Democratic governor is against a progressive ballot initiative on electric vehicles. And our say on the bread of the day of the dead. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Oct 31, 2022
Elon-gate: the Musk-Twitter story
26:01
After months of wrangling, Elon Musk completed his deal to buy Twitter, and immediately sacked several top executives. We ask what’s next for the platform and its users. Organised crime is damaging South Africa’s economy. And our obituaries editor looks back at one of the 20th century’s most daring heists. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Oct 28, 2022
Power play: electricity in Ukraine
28:03

Russia has been targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with missiles and drones. Ukraine’s air defences are struggling to keep up, and many households are without power as winter approaches. Bill Gates has a plan to boost African crop yields. And as the BBC turns 100, we reflect on its legacy, and look at challenges ahead. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer






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Oct 27, 2022
Tough Roe to go: abortion and the midterms
29:08
When America’s Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, the conventional wisdom was that it would help Democrats by galvanising them for the midterm elections. Two weeks away from Election Day, the picture isn’t quite so clear. We meet Russia’s ruthless new battlefield commander. And what scientists can learn from training nerve cells to play Pong. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Oct 26, 2022
Third time’s the charm? Britain’s new prime minister
23:09
Rishi Sunak becomes Britain’s prime minister today, making him the third in the past seven weeks. Our correspondent explains who he is, and analyses his road ahead. In Mexico there are growing concerns over the army’s increasing wealth and power. And why “The Stepford Wives,” a novel published 50 years ago, remains relevant and influential today.

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Oct 25, 2022
Number three for Xi: power in China
28:23
Xi Jinping won a third term as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. Our correspondent explains how the recent party congress solidified Xi’s grip on power. With record numbers of people showing up, America’s southern border is a political and actual problem for the Biden administration. And why FIFA and EA Sports have parted ways after 30 years.

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Oct 24, 2022
No wilt to go on: let us bid Truss goodbye
27:23

The Economist’s comparison of Liz Truss’s staying power to that of a lettuce captured global imaginations. Will the next prime minister have a longer shelf-life? We ask why it has proven so tricky to get the Middle East’s considerable natural-gas resources to market. And the murder of Yurii Kerpatenko, a conductor from Kherson who refused to bow to Russian orders.

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Oct 21, 2022
Redrawing the lines: cocaine policy in Latin America
27:48
Regional leaders recognise the abject failure of the war on drugs. We speak with Colombia’s president about some bold new ideas to tackle the problem. Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, is a big gamble on the metaverse—but the real risk is that the company still known as Facebook is waning. And a zippy ride through England’s electric-scooter trial. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Oct 20, 2022
Variety in the price of life: inflation and the midterms
28:26
In the next instalment of our American midterms series we visit Rhode Island to see how inflation—at its highest since the early Reagan era—is affecting people’s lives, and their voting intentions. Denmark’s refugee policies are surprisingly hostile, and surprisingly popular. And our correspondent assesses the latest album and the legacy of Keith Jarrett, one of the world’s greatest living pianists. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Oct 19, 2022
Hell hath no fury: a look inside Iran’s protests
26:38

Unrest is only spreading and the authorities trying to quell it are looking increasingly desperate. We hear from one protester among many who are racked by fear but motivated by hope. The leader of the shadowy Wagner Group of mercenaries has revealed himself; we ask why. And a look at how few workers call in sick these days. 

For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer



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Oct 18, 2022
The Prince bonus episode: Behind the propaganda
28:16

Host Sue-Lin Wong talks to The Economist’s China correspondent Alice Su about the challenges of making The Prince and answers listeners’ questions.


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Oct 17, 2022
Helmsman’s high water: China’s Communist Party Congress
22:04

State media have taken to calling President Xi Jinping “the helmsman”; at the five-yearly meeting he defended his means of steering the country. We ask how to read between his tightly prepared lines. Many of America’s firms will soon deliver disappointing profits—and there is more to blame than simple business cycles. And research suggests that parenthood causes fathers’ brains to shrink.

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Oct 17, 2022
The Prince episode 8: The great helmsman
41:32

Ten years on, Xi’s tight grip on power risks another crisis—this one of his own making.


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Oct 16, 2022
The Prince episode 7: Wolf warriors
41:02

A young Xi Jinping visits Iowa and tries popcorn for the first time. But reconnecting with "old friends" in the Midwest years later fails to prevent relations with America from souring.


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Oct 15, 2022
Witness self-protection programme? Trump and the Capitol riot inquiry
27:45
The former president may well ignore the January 6th committee’s summons; the whole affair may be unceremoniously shut down next year. But that is not to say the process has been in vain. Russia’s intelligence failures during the war in Ukraine have taken the shine off the security services’ fearsome reputations. And remembering Loretta Lynn, country music’s most-successful-ever female star. Additional audio courtesy of Honor Your Hometown. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Oct 14, 2022
Gilt trip: Liz Truss’s hobbled leadership
26:00

Paroxysms in the market for gilts—British-government bonds that were once safe-haven assets—reveal just how wounded the new government’s plans have left it. Cuba is experiencing the worst economic crisis in decades, and those who are not protesting are heading for the door. And making the case to let your lawn go wild.

For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer



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Oct 13, 2022
Don kingmaker: Trump and the midterms
28:53
The latest instalment of our series asks how much difference Donald Trump’s imprimatur has made to candidates—and whether that influence will carry over to a general election. A look at South African rugby reveals positive change in the top ranks but dispiriting decline in the local game. And what the cultural intertwining of James Bond and the Beatles says about Britishness. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Oct 12, 2022
Help them, Obi: one hopeful candidate in Nigeria
25:30

Our correspondent meets with Peter Obi, who has a handsome poll lead and an appeal that spans the country’s religions and ethnicities. But his presidential bid still faces obstacles. Myanmar’s ruling junta is doing more than suppressing the country’s people: it is battering the economy equally efficiently. And remembering Brother Andrew, who made daring deliveries behind the Iron Curtain.

For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer



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Oct 11, 2022
The Prince episode 6: Seeds of a pomegranate
39:03

A Uyghur language teacher is accused of spying for the CIA. An NBA player discovers the cost of criticising China. And Xi Jinping’s obsession with control reaches new and brutal extremes.


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Oct 10, 2022
Crimea and punishment: Russia’s reprisals
23:51

An attack on the Kerch bridge—a pet project of President Vladimir Putin that links Russia with annexed Crimea—has prompted a swift and brutal response. We ask what is likely to happen next. We examine the multipolar nature of popular culture: fears of a globalised monoculture of cool have proved misplaced. And why buying booze in Delhi has again become so unpleasant. 

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Oct 10, 2022
The Prince episode 5: He who must not be named
38:03

A censor at a Chinese social media company can't take it anymore after Xi Jinping’s rule brings harsh new restrictions. The Chinese internet becomes an alternate reality.


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Oct 09, 2022
The Prince episode 4: Man enough
36:06

On taking power, Xi Jinping launches a ruthless series of purges and an unexpected ideological revival to cement his control—and mobilise the Chinese Communist Party behind him.


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Oct 08, 2022
The gains in Ukraine: stalled Russia plainly wanes
24:57

Ukraine’s army has pushed Russian forces back in the south and east. We ask how they’ve managed to make such impressive gains so quickly, whether more could follow and what Russia’s reaction might be. Why Britain has such troubles building homes, power stations and really much of anything. And how Maine’s lobstermen are responding to the latest threat to their industry.

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Oct 07, 2022
Bloody and forgotten: Conflict in eastern Congo
27:57
Our correspondent reports from eastern Congo, where a three-decade-long conflict has killed thousands, and forced more than five million people from their homes--with no end in sight. Researchers are searching for better analgesics: ones that reduce pain without the risk of addiction or corollary physiological damage. And a contest in southern Alaska to select the internet’s favourite fat bear.

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Oct 06, 2022
It does mean a thing: America’s swing voters
27:08

In the next instalment of our midterms series, we head to the suburbs of Atlanta in search of that rarest of political creatures: the swing voter. There aren’t many of them, but they may well determine which party controls the Senate. Luxury brands are changing their outlooks and offerings as they seek new markets and younger consumers. And our culture correspondent visits a retrospective of William Kentridge’s works.

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Oct 05, 2022
Misplaced Truss? Britain’s ruling party meets
25:32

Prime Minister Liz Truss has had a bruising first few weeks in office. Amid policy U-turns and plummeting poll numbers, her Tory party’s annual shindig is a venue for much soul-searching. Russia’s “partial mobilisation” is unlikely to help much on the battlefield—and is proving exceedingly unpopular at home. And the dangers of naming species after people who become notorious.

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Oct 04, 2022
The Prince episode 3: Patriot number one
32:51

A villager’s campaign against corruption highlights the Chinese Communist Party’s weakening grip. As Xi Jinping stands on the brink of power, the emergence of a flamboyant rival deepens the crisis.


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Oct 03, 2022
Poll vaulter: Brazil’s surprise election result
23:55

Jair Bolsonaro, the incumbent president, did unexpectedly well—giving his campaign a boost and foreshadowing a tough run-up to the second round. Malawi’s incipient democracy stands as a shining regional example, but remaking its economy has proved even harder than ousting its undemocratic leader. And why one tank is a particularly handsome prize amid Ukraine’s growing pile of captured Russian kit.

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Oct 03, 2022
The Prince episode 2: Hide and bide
36:55

As a modest provincial official in Fujian, Xi Jinping is outshone by his celebrity wife, while colleagues are caught up in a lurid corruption scandal. How does Xi survive? 


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Oct 02, 2022
The Prince episode 1: Redder than red
36:33

Xi Jinping is born into the top rung of China's elite. But his family is torn apart while he is still a child. The Economist's Sue-Lin Wong finds out why Xi kept faith in the Communist revolution.


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Oct 01, 2022
Form-annex trick: Russia’s Ukraine-seizure bid
23:12

After a series of sham referendums, President Vladimir Putin is expected to annex four partly occupied regions of Ukraine. We ask what risks that move would pose. What has driven China’s president to amass such tremendous personal power? We introduce our new, long-form podcast “The Prince”, which dives deep into his life. And video-game music is rapidly growing in prestige.

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Sep 30, 2022
Lula loop: meeting Brazil’s presidential front-runner
27:21

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a leftist former president, looks well-placed to win a third term. But which Lula would Brazil get—the fiscal conservative or the populist spendthrift? Germany has an earned reputation as an industrial powerhouse, but its dependence on Russian gas and Chinese demand are hobbling it. And why the propaganda-spewing loudspeakers in Vietnam’s capital are firing up again.

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Sep 29, 2022
Off the top of their heads: Iran’s widespread protests
25:12
Women are burning their hijabs on bonfires and hacking off their hair—but the unrest has come to be about far more than the heavy hands of the morality police. The murder of Abe Shinzo, a former Japanese prime minister, exposed troubling government links to a cult-like sect; the fallout could unseat his successor. And using flying robots as 3D printers. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Sep 28, 2022
In for a penny, in for a pounding: Britain’s economic gyrations
23:25

The markets are so far entirely unconvinced that the new administration’s Reagan-esque economic plans will work to spur growth—just look at sterling's tumble. In Tibet, China’s mass collection of DNA samples has one unabashed motive: social control. And the curious wave of “unretirees” returning to work after the pandemic.

Additional audio courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

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Sep 27, 2022
Giorgia on my mind: Italy’s far-right government
24:01

Italians have voted decisively for a coalition of right-wing parties, with Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy, the likely next prime minister. What this means for Italy, Europe and the war in Ukraine remains unclear. Latin American prisons are awful and getting worse. And a surprising hit film makes Chinese authorities nervous.


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Sep 26, 2022
Empire State v real-estate empire: Donald Trump’s legal woes
25:58
Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, announced a sweeping lawsuit against Donald Trump, his businesses and three of his children. He’s also being investigated over allegations of election interference in Georgia and storing classified documents at his Florida resort. The battle to be the top provider of cloud-computing services is heating up. And reflecting on the legacy of “The Joy of Sex,” published 50 years ago. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Sep 23, 2022
Inflation nation: The Fed raises rates, again
23:39
America’s Federal Reserve made its third straight 0.75% interest-rate hike, with Jerome Powell, the Fed’s chair, warning that more hikes would follow. But with inflation still high, and labour markets still tight, is the Fed doing all it can? A new report suggests that forced labour and marriage are on the rise around the world. And reflecting on one man’s long search for extraterrestrial life. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Sep 22, 2022
The 300,000 body problem: Russia mobilises and threatens
28:40

This morning Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would call up more troops to fight in Ukraine, said his goal of “liberating” eastern Ukraine remained unchanged and accused the west of “nuclear blackmail.” Our correspondent parses his speech. Our midterm series heads to Maine, to see how Democrats are fighting for rural voters. And a new discovery in Borneo rewrites the history of surgery.


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Sep 21, 2022
Charles in charge: the future of the Commonwealth
23:26
Elizabeth II was devoted to the Commonwealth, a club of countries that are home to one-third of the world’s population. What is its future under Charles III? Jeddah is Saudi Arabia’s most charming and cosmopolitan city, which Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Prince Muhammad bin Salman, is swiftly bulldozing. And why China’s economy may struggle to overtake America’s.

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Sep 20, 2022
The first draft is history: Chile’s rejected constitution
21:59

Two years in the making, the country’s new foundational document was summarily swatted down in a referendum. We ask how it went so wrong, and what comes next. Data show a long-held view on fertility and prosperity is not as straightforward as thought; we examine the policy implications. And learning about HARM—the missiles causing so much harm to Russian forces.

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Sep 19, 2022
Minority report: the Rohingya, five years on
24:45

Five years after a brutal campaign that drove nearly 750,000 out of Myanmar and into Bangladesh, conditions for the Muslim minority remain appalling on both sides of the border. Central Asian countries are laying plans for railways that would fill their coffers, distance Russia and empower China. And the economics lessons in London’s queue to see Queen Elizabeth II.

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Sep 16, 2022
Xi sells sanctuary: a telling Putin meeting
25:42

As the presidents of China and Russia meet in Uzbekistan, we examine their friendship. They have much in common—but Russia’s prosecution of the war in Ukraine may strain relations. Islamic State and al-Qaeda may be less in the news but their foothold in Africa only keeps growing. And why so many young Korean city-slickers are becoming farmers in the countryside.

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Sep 15, 2022
Cautiousness in the Caucasus: Azerbaijan and Armenia clash
25:00

A conflict smouldering since a war in 2020 has again caught alight; Azerbaijan may feel emboldened by a distracted Russia and its own energy prospects. Gulf countries are swimming in piles of unexpected, oil-derived cash: we ask whether they will sock it away or splurge on citizens and pet projects. And why many Lebanese couples are choosing to wed online.

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Sep 14, 2022
Joule of denial: Russia’s energy games
25:01

Vladimir Putin hopes the threat of cutting off fuel supplies this winter will weaken Europe’s support for Ukraine. European leaders are trying to cobble together a collective response to prevent such fracturing. Before Russia invaded, Ukraine’s surrogacy industry was booming. It has since been disrupted, but not ended. And Britain’s bird populations are changing: we ask why.

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Sep 13, 2022
Russian rush-out: Ukraine’s stunning gains
27:25

Russia has lost in a week what cost it months to gain in eastern Ukraine. We ask what the lightning counter-offensive means for the war. What is more surprising than Mississippi’s capital lacking access to clean drinking water is that millions of other Americans face the same struggle. And the quasi-astrological methods some investors use to predict market movements.

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Sep 12, 2022
Beyond the call of duty: Britain’s queen dies
20:04

The death of Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of an era. We explore her long, dutiful reign and how it shaped the modern monarchy. The country has changed substantially during her time, but one parallel remains: her successor, King Charles III, will also take over at a time of uncertainty for the country and for the monarchy itself.

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Sep 09, 2022
Playing his Trump card: Bolsonaro and the election
27:33

In Brazil, fears are growing that if Jair Bolsonaro loses in October, as polls suggest is likely, he may try to stage a coup or foment violence. He’s been sowing distrust in the country’s electoral system, and many of his supporters are well-armed. Should school lunches be free? And why the gap between the number of boys and girls born in India is narrowing.


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Sep 08, 2022
Introducing The Prince
3:28

Xi Jinping is the most powerful person in the world. But the real story of China’s leader remains a mystery. The Economist’s Sue-Lin Wong finds out how he rose to the top in a new podcast series launching on September 28th. 


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Sep 07, 2022
America’s next top model: predicting the midterm results
26:43

Our model, built to predict the outcome of this year’s midterm elections, tips Republicans to take the House and Democrats to retain control of the Senate. The model’s architect discusses how and why he built it, and our polling guru explains why polls matter. Why there’s no nuclear-arms race in Asia—yet. And Egypt wants the Rosetta Stone back, but it’s not that simple.

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Sep 07, 2022
Deed of Truss: Britain’s new leader
22:07

As Liz Truss becomes prime minister, we ask whether her meat-and-potatoes tax-slashing agenda will work for a crisis-stricken Britain. Japan’s prison population is ageing just as its wider society is—and that is at last prompting reforms to its punitive penal system. And why Ukraine’s short supply of anti-tank missiles is not as worrying as it would once have been. 

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Sep 06, 2022
Cereal numbers: the fall in food prices
24:37

The worst predictions for costs have not come to pass, partly because Russia is selling plenty of wheat. But plenty of food-price woe may still await. We examine the curious re-appearance of the polio virus in the West. And the trials of “Pink Sauce” reveal the perils of being a cottage-food producer—or consumer—in the social-media age.

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Sep 05, 2022
No quiet on any front: Ethiopia’s clash of conflicts
24:10

After a five-month hiatus, violence has returned to the northern region of Tigray—but that is just one of the conflicts threatening to pull the country to pieces. China’s Belt and Road Initiative has made it a prominent developing-world lender. How will it deal with so many of its loans souring? And our obituaries editor reflects on Issey Miyake’s fashion-for-the-masses philosophy.

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Sep 02, 2022
Ready, steady, slow: Ukraine’s bid for Kherson
24:53

The long-trailed counter-offensive to retake the Russian-occupied regional powerhouse and symbolically powerful provincial capital has begun. But Ukraine’s forces are in no hurry. Visa and Mastercard are two of the world’s most profitable companies; we look at efforts to break their iron grip on the payments market. And the blue-blooded horseshoe crabs that are needlessly bled in their millions.

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Sep 01, 2022
Iron Curtain call: Mikhail Gorbachev
26:15

The leader who oversaw the Soviet Union’s collapse had only intended to reform it. But the propaganda and repression he abhorred were what held it together. A speed bump lies ahead for electric vehicles: manufacturing and mining capacity may not keep up with battery demand. And visiting a vast landscape sculpture in Nevada’s desert ahead of this week’s public opening.

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Aug 31, 2022
Home truths: a global property wobble
23:13

As interest rates rise, lots of pandemic-era property trends are fading—but not every market is equally vulnerable as the boom peters out. Generals have long avoided fighting in cities: it is messy and dangerous. Increasingly, though, they have no choice. And our language columnist on the subtle question of whether “data” is plural or singular

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Aug 30, 2022
The third horseman: famine stalks Somalia
25:22

Our correspondent reports from Somalia, which stands on the brink of famine thanks to a drought, soaring food costs and infrastructure destroyed by decades of fighting. Old Hollywood studios are waging an epic battle against their upstart streaming rivals. And why London’s cemeteries are selling used graves.


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Aug 29, 2022
Them that’s got shall have: student-debt relief
23:53
America’s federal government will spend hundreds of billions of dollars cancelling student-loan debt—fulfilling a long-standing progressive wish. But while it may be good politics, the policy rationale makes less sense. Too many Nigerian children are sent to beg on the streets by their religious teachers. And celebrating the music and culture of one of Europe’s oldest ethnic minorities. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 26, 2022
Cell-by date: Malaysia’s ex-PM is jailed
22:37
Najib Razak, prime minister during the massive 1MDB scandal in which billions went missing, lost his final appeal against corruption convictions. We ask what that means for Malaysia’s politics. Many American voters want the law changed on livestock welfare—but the law is pushing back. And past and present collide in the latest from the “Predator” film franchise. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 25, 2022
Putin on the fritz: Six months of war in Ukraine
25:55
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin expected to seize Ukraine easily. Instead he met fierce resistance. Ukraine has fought bravely, Russia poorly. We reflect on lessons learned in the past six months. Angola’s presidential election today is the most competitive since the country gained independence in 1975. And the Edinburgh Festival Fringe turns 75 this year. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 24, 2022
How the father figures: a mysterious Moscow killing
26:14
Speculation is rampant as to who killed Darya Dugina, the pundit daughter of a Russian ultra-nationalist. We ask how the murder will be spun in the absence of answers. When it comes to gay rights, Singapore’s government takes more than it gives. And why some minority languages thrive while others wither. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 23, 2022
Plant of attack: Ukraine’s occupied nuclear-power station
21:33
Tensions are rising at Zaporizhia, which Russian forces are using as a military base. We ask what the risks are, and whether they can be headed off. Britain’s summer heatwave was deadly—but figuring out how deadly was no easy task. And discovering the real value of the “social capital” outside family and work relationships. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 22, 2022
Debtor luck next time? Meeting Sri Lanka’s new president
22:59
We pay a visit to the presidential offices just weeks after protesters stormed them. Things seem calm and the new leader has clear plans; can the country put its years of economic crisis behind it? We investigate the curious case of Turkey’s growth amid screaming inflation. And the “shadow regency” in Britain as the Queen slows down. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 19, 2022
Tax brakes: Britain’s PM contenders on the economy
24:55
As a clear lead hardens and the appointment of a new prime minister looms, both contenders are making noises about cutting taxes. But would either have a firm grip on the country’s long-term woes? The vast makeover of Ethiopia’s capital city—despite a grinding civil war—is an idealised vision of the country’s future. And figuring out why thinking hard is so exhausting. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 18, 2022
The WY and the wherefore: Liz Cheney’s loss
26:10
Wyoming’s sole representative in the House, once a Republican leading light and now a pariah for her views on Donald Trump, has been ousted from Congress. We attend her election-night defeat. The science behind behavioural nudges seems to be on increasingly shaky ground. And investigating the UAE’s questionable plans to make more rain. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 17, 2022
Class action: Kenya gets a new president
22:03
The names are familiar but the establishment-choice and rabble-rouser roles are reversed. That the vote was along class lines rather than ethnicity marks an important shift. Will the result stand? For years Mexico was seen merely as a conduit for illegal drugs; now it has a growing user base as well. And the rising number of Americans bringing guns onto flights. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 16, 2022
Poorer, hungrier, safer? Afghanistan one year on
23:20

Rights for women and girls have regressed by decades; the economy is cratering. Yet, for many rural Afghans, things are actually better than they were before America scarpered. Silicon Valley types once righteously spurned the military-industrial establishment—now they’re queuing up to fund defence startups. And the surprising truth about the most famous scene in “Bambi”, which is turning 80.

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Aug 15, 2022
Crimea punishment: A Russian airfield in ruins
26:15

The airbase in Crimea lies in ruins. Ukraine hasn’t claimed credit, many suspect they carried out the daring attack more than 100 miles behind enemy lines. Our defence editor explains why the war has entered a new phase. Why state-owned firms, not oil supermajors, are the biggest impediment to a green-energy transition. And pondering the pleasures of barbecue.


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Aug 12, 2022
Teflon Don: Trump’s legal woes
24:10

Donald Trump endured an FBI raid, questioning in a civil lawsuit and an adverse court ruling, all in 48 hours. But at least in the short-term, he’s making political hay from his legal woes. Why Apple’s future increasingly rests on services rather than just hardware. And how France is coping with a mustard shortage.


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Aug 11, 2022
Latin-ex Democrats: Republicans and Hispanic voters
24:04
 Our series on America’s mid-term elections begins with a visit to a citizenship class in Doral, Florida, given by Republicans. We examine how the GOP is cutting into Democrats’ advantage with Latino voters. Britain’s trial of a superhighway for drones is a bid to unleash their commercial potential. And meeting   a Thai dissident issuing dystopian pop music from self-imposed exile. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 10, 2022
Strike repose: Hamas sits out Gaza violence
23:21
A ceasefire is holding after a weekend of deadly strikes. We ask why Hamas, the Palestinian movement that controls Gaza, did not get involved. As Generation Z tentatively enters the workforce, they are clamouring for more flexibility and money than their forebears enjoyed. And reflecting on the flawed but brilliant poet Philip Larkin on the centenary of his birth. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 09, 2022
Greenlighted: American climate legislation
26:56
On Sunday America’s Senate passed the most-ambitious climate legislation in the country’s history, giving Democrats and President Joe Biden a huge win heading into the midterms. Why Africa is experiencing a boom in startups. And the nascent, necessary efforts to understand how the menstrual cycle affects athletic performance. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 08, 2022
Our summer special: a despot, a magic trick and a star
36:07
In a bumper episode, we highlight a summer’s-worth of deeply reported stories from 1843, our sister magazine: we profile Muhammad bin Salman, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, who is both a liberalising reformer and a fearsome consolidator of power. We ask why magicians are behind so many viral videos. And we explore humanity’s long-running ambivalence toward the sun. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 05, 2022
Real rate of return: Ukraine’s Kherson bid
21:24
As Russia’s campaign in the eastern Donbas region loses steam, our correspondent finds Ukraine’s efforts to recapture Kherson are gaining momentum. But at what cost? India is notorious for its staggering road-death statistics; we ask what is being done to improve them. And the two surprising factors that predict how worried people are about climate change. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 04, 2022
Nancy meeting you here: a tetchy Taiwan trip
22:24

The visit of America’s speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has Chinese tempers flaring. We ask what the trip suggests about American policy and what it means for Taiwan. Crowdfunding is making a real difference in the war in Ukraine—but its effects vary between the two sides. And a close listen to a young pianist’s prizewinning Rachmaninoff-concerto performance.

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Aug 03, 2022
Not-so-safe house: America kills al-Qaeda leader
24:11

For decades Ayman al-Zawahiri was the chief ideologue of the terrorist group. We ask what his death in Afghanistan means for the broader jihadist movement. A vote on abortion in Kansas today is a sharp test of the electorate following the gutting of Roe v Wade. And remembering Diana Kennedy, an indefatigable food writer and champion of Mexican cuisine.

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Aug 02, 2022
Blistering pace: monkeypox spreads
24:22

As the first fatal cases outside Africa are reported, we investigate the response to the disease, and the parallels with the early days of HIV. Nuclear waste has been stockpiled in supposedly temporary pools for decades; our correspondent visits the first place it is being permanently entombed. And where education is failing even amid encouraging enrolment numbers.

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Aug 01, 2022
Deus ex Manchina: American climate legislation’s revival
22:55

Joe Biden’s climate legislation stalled, in large part because Joe Manchin, West Virginia’s senior senator and a Democrat, had reservations. But Mr Manchin reversed course on Wednesday. Mr Biden looks likely to notch a major legislative win heading into the midterms. Why women’s sports are booming. And remembering a fighter for democracy in Myanmar.


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Jul 29, 2022
Getting more interesting: the Fed raises rates
24:35
America’s central bank has raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point—its fourth rise this year. It is walking a fine line between cooling the economy and tipping the country into recession. Scientific results fundamental to more than a decade’s-worth of Alzheimer’s research may have been fabricated. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jul 28, 2022
Kicking the canister down the road: EU energy policy
19:21
Russia cut the gas flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by half in what many see as retaliation for Europe’s support of Ukraine. EU energy ministers fear further cuts as winter approaches. A new research review suggests the decades-long reliance on SSRIs to treat depression was based on a false premise. And why Dakar’s plant vendors show such high levels of trust. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jul 27, 2022
Two to make a quarrel: the battle to be Britain’s PM
22:58

The campaigning is a bit nasty, by British standards, as Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak vie to become Conservative Party leader and thus prime minister. What will the mud-slinging do for the party’s image? We examine a potentially simple solution to address the Catholic Church’s problem with child abuse. And why prices are skyrocketing at posh hotels. 

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Jul 26, 2022
With the grain, assault: Ukraine’s iffy deal
25:05
Missile strikes on the port of Odessa have dimmed hopes for a UN-brokered deal to get Ukraine’s grain on the move. We ask what chances it may still have. Tunisia's constitutional referendum looks destined to formalise a march back to the autocratic rule it shook off during the Arab Spring. And how Formula 1 is looking to crack America. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jul 25, 2022
Duty unbound: the January 6th hearings
26:03
Last night, the committee investigating the events of January 6th 2021 said that Donald Trump’s failure to stop his supporters’ attack was a “dereliction of duty”. The evidence was strong; whether it will change anything remains unclear. We examine the thinking behind the European Central Bank’s surprise half-point rise in interest rates. And the money motivations of Bangladesh’s loosening booze laws.

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Jul 22, 2022
Knock-down, Draghi-out fight: Italy in turmoil
22:40

For the second time in a week, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has tendered his resignation as his motley coalition government splintered further. The upheaval could not come at a worse time for the country. The pandemic’s devastating costs not only to children’s learning but also to their development are becoming clearer. And researchers are getting bacteria to make jet fuel.

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Jul 21, 2022
Variable-fate mortgage: China’s protests
23:43

Property developers are going belly-up, home-buyers are not paying mortgages, protests after a banking scandal have been quashed. We ask about the instability still to come. Ukraine’s new HIMARS rocket launchers are proving exceedingly effective against Russian forces. And a look at Britain’s world-leading collection of diseases-in-a-dish.

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Jul 20, 2022
To a greater degree: widespread heatwaves
24:21
Vast stretches of the temperate world are baking or burning, and as climate change marches on widespread heatwaves will only grow more intense and more common. After a half-century of insurgency, some rebels of Colombia’s disbanded FARC group needed a new calling: they have become tour guides. And a look at where Ukraine can store its considerable grain harvest. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jul 19, 2022
Steal girders: Brazil’s fraught coming election
23:11

President Jair Bolsonaro, an unabashed fan of Donald Trump, is telegraphing that he may not accept a loss in the October election—there is too much at stake for him and his family. The West has a delicate chance to stem the tide of Russian weapons that have long been pouring into India. And why America is rebranding a much-maligned fish.

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Jul 18, 2022
Jeddah mind trick: Joe Biden in Saudi Arabia
22:02

Joe Biden lands in Saudi Arabia this morning, having spent two unremarkable days in Israel and the West Bank. As president, he has been unusually disengaged from the Middle East, and will probably return home with little to show for his peregrinations. We survey the state of sex education in Latin American schools, and explain why dinosaurs outcompeted other species.


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Jul 15, 2022
A bird out of hand: Elon Musk and Twitter
21:26
Elon Musk wants out of his deal to buy Twitter for $44bn. Twitter wants the Delaware chancery court to hold him to the deal. But the company faces an uncertain future, whoever owns it. Why the pandemic has been great for sellers of traditional herbal medicine. And looking back on a video game that let users create art, music and animation, with the help of a little barking puppy. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jul 14, 2022
Bravery behind bars: Alexei Navalny imprisoned
20:19

Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, has been transferred to a brutal prison. Other Kremlin opponents have been imprisoned or exiled, as Russia has grown more repressive since invading Ukraine. The world’s population will hit 8bn this year; we discuss which regions are growing and which are not. And why clear wine bottles are a bad idea.


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Jul 13, 2022
Field work: The race to succeed Boris Johnson
23:36

The race to succeed Boris Johnson begins today. Numerous Conservative MPs have thrown their proverbial hats into the ring; they are fighting on ground largely staked out by Mr Johnson. American anti-abortion activists believe that fetuses should have all the rights that people do. And why Egypt’s government has turned against its historic houseboats.


To sign up for today’s webinar about Britain’s future after Boris Johnson’s resignation, sign up at www.economist.com/borisresigns


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Jul 12, 2022
Gota goes: Sri Lanka’s president resigns
22:09
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president, announced he will step down on Wednesday after protestors occupied Colombo, the country’s capital, over the weekend. Whoever succeeds him will inherit a host of thorny economic problems. Why Europe’s big tech firms are well placed to weather a downturn. And remembering Peter Brook, an extraordinary theatre director who died at the age of 93. To sign up for tomorrow’s webinar about Britain’s future after Boris Johnson’s resignation, sign up at www.economist.com/boris-resigns.

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Jul 11, 2022
Tragedy in Japan: the killing of Abe Shinzo
24:25

Japan’s prime minister from 2006-07 and 2012-20 died after being shot at a campaign event. Our Tokyo bureau chief analyses the implications for the country and its politics. The resurgence of a particularly well-armed militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo threatens to reignite deadly regional tensions. And we introduce you to the robots that may soon pick your vegetables.

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Jul 08, 2022
Send out the clown: Boris agrees to go
20:18

Boris Johnson is standing down as Britain’s prime minister. We consider his legacy and impact on British politics. Public attitudes on LGBT rights in South-East Asia are changing fast—and its laws are at last changing, too. And at this week’s Montreal’s Jazz Festival, the pioneering pianist and local hero Oscar Peterson remains the patron saint. Additional music courtesy of Urban Science Brass Band

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Jul 07, 2022
Rishi, you were here: Boris Johnson’s woes
21:46

Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid, Britain’s finance and health ministers respectively, resigned yesterday; other officials soon followed suit. Once again, questions about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s political survival are swirling. A ride on London’s sparkling but quiet new railway line hints at the complexities of post-pandemic public transport. And how off-the-shelf drones are making a difference in Ukraine’s war. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer




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Jul 06, 2022
Pressure gauged: the road to recessions
22:29

Hints are turning to hard data: economic slowdowns are coming. We ask about the threat of recessions in different regions and about the effects they may have. The reckless behaviour of China’s fighter pilots is just one reflection of the country’s distrust of the West. And a haircut gone wrong leads to a lesson that challenges textbook economics. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer




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Jul 05, 2022
Southern strategy: the coming bid to retake Kherson
22:41
The city remains Ukraine’s only provincial capital to be taken by Russian forces—can Ukraine overcome its shortages of manpower and firepower to retake the province? Mexico’s official missing-persons list has topped 100,000; our correspondent describes the skyrocketing total and piecemeal efforts to slow its rise. And research suggests that people choose their friends at least in part by smell. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jul 04, 2022
Power strip: SCOTUS’s environmental ruling
27:09

America’s Supreme Court has essentially shorn the Environmental Protection Agency of its agency in making national policy. We ask what that means for the climate-change fight. Hong Kong is marking 25 years since its handover from Britain to China; the promised “one country, two systems” approach is all but gone already. And why moustaches are back in Iraq.

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Jul 01, 2022
Son rise: the Philippines’ next President Marcos
22:21
It is a remarkable turnaround for a notorious family: the late dictator’s son just took the reins. But how will he govern? Scotland’s separatist party is again pushing for an independence referendum. That will probably fail—and empower the very prime minister that many Scots love to hate. And, why pilots in Ukraine are using an outdated, inaccurate missile-delivery technique. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 30, 2022
Uprising tide: the coming inflation-driven unrest
21:58

In a global period of belt-tightening, popular anger will spill over. Our correspondent visits places where powderkegs seem closest to being lit; our predictive model suggests where might be next. China’s spies have a deserved reputation for hacking and harassing—but fall surprisingly short on other spooky skills. And why America is suffering a shortfall of lifeguards. 

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Jun 29, 2022
A force awakens: NATO’s new game plan
24:50

War in Ukraine has stiffened the alliance’s spine; leaders meeting this week will refashion troop-deployment plans reflecting a vastly changed security situation. The property sector makes a staggering contribution to carbon emissions, but our correspondent says it is not cleaning up nearly as fast as other industries are. And reflecting on the life of Roman Ratushny, a steely Ukrainian activist.

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Jun 28, 2022
Comings to term: America’s abortion-rights rollback
24:42
The Supreme Court ruling has convulsed the country; passing the question of abortion rights to the states will divide America yet further. We ask what it means for the court to go so plainly against public opinion, examine the woeful effects the changing scenario will have on women and speak to one woman whose life was saved by a now-threatened procedure. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 27, 2022
Shooting from the hip: The Supreme Court expands gun rights
25:59
Yesterday, America’s Supreme Court issued its most important Second Amendment ruling in more than a decade, striking down a New York law that tightly regulated concealed carrying of guns. The ruling means cities will probably see a lot more armed people. Our correspondent caught up with Ukraine’s First Lady. And new research into the origins of the Black Death. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 24, 2022
Pride and prejudice: China’s LGBT crackdown
22:12
In much of the world, things are improving for sexual minorities. The opposite is true in China, where authorities are cracking down on the LGBT community. Bangladesh is suffering its worst flooding in living memory, but with a surprisingly low death toll (so far). And which city topped the EIU’s annual Liveability Index. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 23, 2022
Eastern encroaches: Ukraine’s losses in Donbas
26:35
Russia is making steady, piecemeal gains in the region; Ukrainian forces are simply outgunned. That disparity defines the war’s progression—for now. More than 20 countries have radio stations run by and for prisoners, giving those inside a voice. And why a cannabis derivative is proving popular among Japan’s elderly. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 22, 2022
Estranged bedfellows: Israel’s government collapses
23:05
A motley collection of parliamentarians, now without its whisper-thin majority, has crumbled. That will force the country back to the ballot box—and back to familiar political turmoil. Increasing numbers of American cities are enticing people with cash incentives, but do such policies work? And why drumming helps people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.  For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 21, 2022
Stuck in the middle with few: Macron’s parliamentary pasting
23:25

resident Emmanuel Macron has lost his majority in France’s National Assembly as voters flooded both to the far right and far left. A second term filled with confrontation and compromise awaits him. The shadowy world of corporate spying is broadening to far more than just cola or fried-chicken recipes. And when scare-tactic road-death statistics lead to more deaths, not fewer. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer




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Jun 20, 2022
Menace to democracy: The January 6th hearings
24:19
In its third public hearing yesterday, the committee investigating the January 6th Capitol insurrection detailed the pressure put on Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election—as well as the continuing threat to American democracy posed by Donald Trump. Can artificial intelligence become sentient, and if it did, how would we know? And why internet shutdowns are a costly and ineffective way to stop students from cheating. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 17, 2022
Powell to the people: The Fed raises rates
24:31
America’s central bank raised rates by .75% yesterday—the biggest increase in almost 30 years. Whether that will help tame rising prices without triggering a recession is unclear. The poor performance of Russian tanks in Ukraine has led some to wonder whether the tank itself is obsolete. And the rousing, darkly humorous defiance of Ukrainian war anthems. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 16, 2022
Planes have changed: Britain’s controversial asylum policy
23:05

The European Court of Human rights foiled Britain’s plans to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda yesterday by holding that British courts must first find the policy legal. The Taliban have proven surprisingly adept tax collectors, though they will spend much of the funds on defence rather than improving the lives of struggling Afghans. And the world is buying too few electric vehicles to meaningfully reduce carbon emissions.


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Jun 15, 2022
No magic bullet: a Congressional agreement on guns
22:57

Mass shootings in Buffalo, Tulsa and Uvalde appear to have broken a longstanding impasse over federal gun laws. A bipartisan group of senators has laid out a legislative framework—but whether that turns into an actual bill remains unclear. Scientists are rethinking what might constitute the building blocks of extraterrestrial life. And why people seem to love boring video games.


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Jun 14, 2022
Nyet effects: Russia’s resilient economy
21:24
Western sanctions are intended to starve Russia’s economy and hinder its ability to wage war in Ukraine. And while the long-term outlook remains grim, so far oil and gas earnings have kept its economy humming. Why Latin America’s commercial capital isn’t even in Latin America: it’s Miami. And why France is building bridges over motorways for wildlife. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 13, 2022
Revolting: The January 6th committee’s public hearings
26:13
The committee investigating the Capitol attacks of January 6th 2021 held the first of several public hearings last night, having gathered evidence for the past year. The hearings may not break Donald Trump’s hold on the Republicans, but they are creating a vital record of an attempted coup. As wolf populations grow, humans are learning to live with them. And why the corporate world has taken an interest in psychedelic drugs.

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Jun 10, 2022
Second time’s the charm? Somalia’s new president
25:45
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is Somalia’s first-ever reelected president. In an interview with our correspondent, he lays out his second-term ambitions for beating back jihadist insurgents and repairing relations with his neighbours. Why adapting to climate change is harder for people with less education. And why the film industry has high hopes for this summer’s blockbusters. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 09, 2022
The wrath of Khan: Pakistan’s turbulent spring
20:57
Pakistan’s government faces an unpleasant choice between doing what’s popular and what is economically necessary, as Imran Khan, the former prime minister, exploits widespread discontent for his own ends. Russia’s invasion is threatening Ukraine’s unique seed bank. And why so many languages have such a rich variety of words to describe family members and relationships. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 08, 2022
After the party, the hangover: Boris survives, barely
25:07
Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, narrowly survived a no-confidence vote last night. As he limps on, the informal contest to succeed him will intensify, as will questions about the Conservative Party’s direction. San Francisco’s progressive district attorney faces a recall election today, in a vote with broader implications for the future of criminal-justice reform in America. And why Ukraine’s army relies on century-old machineguns. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 07, 2022
A farewell to arms control? Ukraine and nuclear weapons
21:41

For almost 80 years, the world has refrained from using or, for the most part, even seriously pondering the use of nuclear weapons. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has eroded that taboo. Avian flu is spreading around the world, threatening birds’ health and contributing to rising egg and poultry prices. And Sun Ra’s huge, weird and wonderful Arkestra is back on the road. 

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Jun 06, 2022
Hide, park: Russian money in London
22:51

Britain’s capital is packed with foreign capital, in particular the Russian kind. We ask what it is about London that attracts—and protects—the oligarchs. We check in again with Lusya Shtein of the anti-Putin punk-rock group Pussy Riot about her daring escape from Russia. And amid celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year tenure, we reflect on royal jubilees through history.

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Jun 03, 2022
Press clipping: Ethiopia’s media crackdown
22:31

The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has expelled our correspondent. Abiy’s proxies at home and abroad are helping a propaganda push that is silencing criticism. California’s legal-marijuana market is enormous, but its growers are floundering under taxes and regulations; the industry is getting stubbed out. And a look at how companies that have withdrawn from Russia are faring.

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Jun 02, 2022
The diet is cast: a coming food catastrophe
26:04
War and blockades in Ukraine are the largest but far from the only problems squeezing the global food system—and with prices already way up, a catastrophe of hunger looms. The prospect of whole-genome screening for newborns opens up many opportunities to avoid or treat disease, and many ethical debates. And more than just sordid history at Bangkok’s red-light-district museum.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 01, 2022
Bear traps: Russia’s push in eastern Ukraine
24:13

Russian forces are having some successes in eastern Ukraine; our defence editor discusses the situation on the ground and what may tip the balance in the grinding war. We examine a contentious American law that reveals the country’s broken immigration system. And why independent Chinese bookshops are becoming so social-media-friendly.

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May 31, 2022
Base motives? China in the Pacific
22:19
The country has just one foreign military base, but there are fears it wants to dot the Pacific region with more—and that is, so far, proving tricky. With ties between Western and Russian scientists severed, decades of research in the Arctic, particularly on climate change, are at risk. And a new series further unpicks the mythology of punk music. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 30, 2022
Take the first left? Colombia’s election
23:04

POLLS SUGGEST // Polls suggest the country might get its first-ever leftist leader. Whatever the outcome, a fresh outbreak of violent protest may await. Africa’s increasingly crippling fuel shortages can be blamed on more than just higher prices. And reflecting on the life of Lawrence MacEwen, laird of a tiny Scottish island whose austere simplicity he fought to preserve. 

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May 27, 2022
Let’s get the parties charted: the Partygate report
25:55
A long-awaited inquiry into lockdown gatherings on Boris Johnson’s watch reveals lurid details of brash bashes. Yet the prime minister will be able, once again, to brush off the controversy. We ask why Switzerland is such a powerhouse in business and finance despite its modest resources. And how Russia’s war propaganda is winning over plenty of Twitter users. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 26, 2022
Active shooters, inactive politics: America’s latest school massacre
23:30
After 19 children and two adults were gunned down in Texas, we ask why gun laws are actually loosening in many states and why even moderate gun controls do not get passed. The rapid spread of monkeypox has rattled a covid-weary world; how much cause for concern is there? And why teams of professional writers are getting involved in games development. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 25, 2022
The city that never slips: Beijing and covid
25:03

China’s Communist Party leaders have painted themselves into a corner: they cannot be seen to put the capital into lockdown, but permitting covid to spread could be catastrophic. We look into the myriad reasons behind America’s sharp shortages of baby formula, and how to solve them. And why it is illegal for women to get a manicure in Turkmenistan.

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May 24, 2022
Labor’s day: Australia’s election
22:01

Anthony Albanese, the first Labor prime minister in a decade, has pledged to do far more on climate change. His party’s slim win shows how Australian politics is changing. Bosses are increasingly turning to surveillance software to monitor employees (so be careful if listening to this show during work hours). And why the fortune-telling tradition of shell-throwing thrives in Brazil.

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May 23, 2022
Straight out of Orwell: Russia’s propaganda machine
26:25

The Kremlin’s propaganda machine ensures that Russians have a much different view of the war in Ukraine than the rest of the world. Our correspondent spent a day immersed in Russian media, to learn what people there see—and what they don’t. The spectre of hyperinflation is once again stalking Zimbabwe. And our obituaries editor remembers a man who refused to let Japan forget its painful past.


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May 20, 2022
Pestilent peninsula: covid in North Korea
24:13
North Korea’s zero-covid strategy appears to have failed. The country has officially acknowledged 162 cases; the true number is probably orders of magnitude more. The country’s health-care system is inadequate, and pre-existing conditions such as tuberculosis and malnutrition are rampant. With elections impending in Turkey, politicians have begun competing with each other to scapegoat refugees. And why girls outperform boys in the Arab world’s schools.

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May 19, 2022
It’s his party: American primaries
24:31
Five American states held primary elections yesterday. The most important were in Pennsylvania, where a Trump-backed candidate won the Republican gubernatorial primary. The Republican senate race remains too close to call. Wide-area motion imaging is a surveillance technique developed by the military in Iraq but now creeping into the civilian world. And why war in Ukraine is raising the price of berries in Britain. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 18, 2022
Luna landing: Crypto chaos
24:07
Stablecoins are essential to the financial plumbing of the cryptocurrency world. They’re pegged to a real-world asset, usually the dollar. But when that peg breaks, things can turn ugly in a hurry. Much of India is suffering through a particularly blistering and costly heatwave. And Indonesians’ love of songbirds is threatening wild bird populations within and beyond Indonesia itself. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 17, 2022
Not stuck in neutral: Sweden, Finland and NATO
22:50
Neither Finland nor Sweden ever joined NATO, the Western military alliance formed in 1949: Finland for pragmatic reasons and Sweden for ideological ones. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted both to change course. Facebook’s appeal is waning – to both users and investors. And for the first time, a telescope has captured images of the black hole at the centre of our galaxy. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 16, 2022
Arm Scandi: Britain’s mutual-defence pact
27:44
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s collective-defence deal with Swedish and Finnish leaders represents a shift in the European order—and Britain’s post-Brexit place in it. Our correspondent visits Great Zimbabwe, a long-overlooked archaeological site of stunning proportions whose secrets are only now being revealed. And a look at the weird sensory thrill of ASMR through a new exhibition. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 13, 2022
Entrenched: stalemate in Ukraine’s east
25:24
Russia’s bid to conquer the eastern region of Donbas is proceeding at a snail’s pace. All over Ukraine resistance continues and a grinding, prolonged conflict looms. Police reform remains controversial in America even two years after George Floyd’s murder. We visit two alternative-policing efforts to see how things might change. And examining the cultural chronicle tucked within Britain’s rules-of-the-road handbook. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 12, 2022
It’s a family affair: Sri Lanka’s protests turn deadly
23:27

Demonstrations that eventually ousted the prime minister have cost lives, but the protest mood is not fading: many want every member of the storied Rajapaksa family out of government. We examine an effort to develop undersea GPS and learn why a watery sat-nav would be so useful. And why 1972 was such a formative year for music in Brazil.

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May 11, 2022
Out like a Lam: Hong Kong’s new leader
21:02

John Lee, the successor to Chief Executive Carrie Lam, won by a predictable landslide: he is just the sort of law-and-order type party leaders in Beijing wanted. As the rich world emerges from the pandemic, surges in activity abound—particularly the opening of new businesses. And ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals, we hear about this year’s entrants from Ukraine.

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May 10, 2022
Under-armed sweat: America’s “arsenal of democracy”
22:36

America accounts for the lion’s share of weaponry sent to Ukraine. But that may leave it short of arms in onward conflicts; boosting production is not as easy as it may seem. The widespread cost-of-living crunch is particularly acute in Britain; we visit a food bank to see how people are coping. And the surprising demographic trends shaping contemporary California.

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May 09, 2022
The son shines: elections in the Philippines
26:19
Voters in the Philippines choose a new president on Monday. The likely winner is a scion of one of the country’s most controversial families. Exxon struck oil off the coast of Guyana a few years back. How will becoming a petrostate change this small country on South America’s northern coast? And koalas are adorable but imperilled—by development, stray dogs and now, a quickly spreading bacterial infection.

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May 06, 2022
Powell’s points presentation: the Fed raises rates
21:54
Prices in America are rising faster than at any time in the past 40 years. In response, the Federal Reserve has made its steepest interest-rate hike in 20 years. Will it be enough to tame inflation while not tipping America into recession? Shanghai’s residents are growing restive after a long lockdown. And Nelson Mandela’s name and legacy are being used to sell a growing range of consumer goods.

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May 05, 2022
Stormont weather: elections in Northern Ireland
24:59

Voters in the UK head to the polls for local elections tomorrow. In Northern Ireland, a party that does not want the country to exist appears poised to win the largest number of seats. Why a Nebraskan company’s annual general meeting has become known as “the Woodstock of capitalism.” And how the art of cattle trading is getting a 21st century makeover.

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May 04, 2022
Roe-ing away: Abortion rights in America
27:22

A leaked draft opinion shows America’s Supreme Court is ready to let states outlaw abortion. We explore the implications for American politics, and the rights of millions of American women. Around 85% of the world’s population lives in countries, often democracies at peace, where press freedom has declined over the past five years. And remembering the typist of Oskar Schindler’s list.

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May 03, 2022
ROC and a hard place: Taiwan’s lessons from Ukraine
22:25

Much like Ukraine, Taiwan has a well-armed neighbour that does not think it exists as a state: China. We ask what both sides are learning from Russia’s invasion. A heavy-handed string of arrests following a flare-up of gang violence in El Salvador is unlikely to change matters. And an analysis reveals the connection between weather and whether voters support climate-change legislation. 

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May 02, 2022
General disarray: Russia’s military failures
22:13
Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s armed forces were believed to be lean, modern and fighting fit. We ask why they have performed so poorly. A life sentence for a Turkish activist portends heightened repression as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan heads for a tough election. And celebrating master harmonica player Toots Thielemans on the centenary of his birth. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 29, 2022
Pipe down: Russia cuts gas to Poland and Bulgaria
22:51
By shutting off gas to Poland and Bulgaria, Russia has made an aggressive move that may draw yet more European sanctions. How might the escalation end? The popularity of Singapore’s ruling party has slipped, a bit, so it has selected a kinder, gentler leader ahead of elections in 2025. And why the delayed Art Biennale in Venice was worth the wait. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 28, 2022
Strong suits: climate litigation
23:32

Activists are tired of waiting for governments and companies to act on climate change. So increasingly they’re taking the matter to court—with success. Egypt’s leaders claim the country is open for business, but the army has a growing stranglehold on the private sector. And even the trails up Mount Everest are being affected by the war in Ukraine.

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Apr 27, 2022
A bird in the hand: Elon Musk buys Twitter
23:36
The world’s richest man now has the keys to one of the most influential social-media platforms. Can it be the free-speech wonderland he is aiming for? Should it? In America marriages involving those under the age of consent remain surprisingly common; we examine why reform remains distant. And a look at the push to redesign outdated, clunky spacesuits. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 26, 2022
Le Pen pusher: Macron wins again
27:28

Emmanuel Macron’s re-election is historic and, for many, a relief. But, as we discuss in the final instalment of our French-election series, the campaign revealed divisions that will trouble his second term, and that he must now try to heal. A staggering flow of foreign weaponry has been a significant factor in Ukraine’s resistance; we examine the geopolitical implications of all that hardware. And the pricey phenomenon of Britain’s personalised licence plates.

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Apr 25, 2022
Rwanda-on-Thames: Britain’s asylum proposal
23:51
BRITAIN’S GOVERNMENT has proposed sending asylum-seekers to Rwanda. The plan has been widely criticised as expensive and ineffective—but the greater danger is that the plan works. New research suggests that diversification, rather than boosting domestic production, may keep supply chains resilient. And our correspondent considers the legacy of Charles Mingus, an American composer and bassist born 100 years ago today.

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Apr 22, 2022
Knocking on hell’s Dvornikov: the battle for Donbas
25:37

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has entered a new phase, and its forces in Ukraine have a new commander—one with a history of targeting civilians. The next few weeks are likely to see huge, bloody battles for control of the eastern Donbas region. As Sunday’s presidential run-off vote approaches our French-election series profiles the incumbent, Emmanuel Macron. And why smell preferences vary little across cultures.

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Apr 21, 2022
Sana’a sunrise: A ceasefire in Yemen
23:02

In Yemen, fighting between Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. Recently, a ceasefire has taken hold — but whether it presages the war’s end or further fighting remains unclear. A new film about Kashmir has proven popular among Indian politicians, largely because it supports their Hindu-nationalist narrative. And why cricket is taking off in Brazil.

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Apr 20, 2022
In neither camp: Neutrality and war
22:20

ONE-THIRD of the world’s population lives in countries backing neither Russia nor Ukraine. The Biden administration has tried to persuade them off the fence, without much success. In Egypt, social mores make it tricky for women to live alone—so they have devised clever tactics to avoid unwelcome attention. And why residents of New Jersey are banned from pumping their own petrol—for now.

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Apr 19, 2022
Running for cover: our Ukraine-refugees special
27:13

The war in Ukraine has created the greatest flux of refugees in Europe since the second world war. We visit Poland, where the response has been remarkably smooth, and a New York neighbourhood that is no stranger to émigrés from the region. And we consider the displaced who are largely overlooked: why are so many Russians exiling themselves in Turkey?

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Apr 18, 2022
Girls interrupted: Afghanistan
23:47
When the Taliban resumed power, there were hopes that women might not be as excluded, repressed and abused as they were previously. Those hopes have faded. As smartphone sales plateau, tech giants are furiously searching for new platforms to conquer. Augmented and virtual reality are the new battlefields. And the rise of giga-everything: how the scale of science drives linguistic innovation. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 15, 2022
Food haul: aid trickles into Tigray
21:56

A ceasefire agreed weeks ago should have mitigated the suffering of starving Ethiopians caught up in war; we ask why so little aid has got through. Rebuilding Ukraine’s infrastructure and economy will require staggering sums—and a vast, international plan of action. And South Africa’s lockdown-era alcohol bans had a curious knock-on effect: crippling shortages of a beloved yeasty goo.

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Apr 14, 2022
Just fine: Boris Johnson and “partygate”
23:38

Police have served Britain’s prime minister, among others, with a fine for breaching the lockdown rules he instituted. He may yet again emerge unscathed, but Britain’s politics is damaged nonetheless. Florida’s natural environment has made it one of America’s fastest-growing states, yet environmental challenges represent its biggest long-term challenge. And Ukraine’s most famous rock star joins the war effort.

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Apr 13, 2022
A stretch and a run: Brazil’s ex-president returns
22:20

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva left office with a sky-high approval rating, having raised millions from poverty—but was then convicted of corruption. Now he wants his old job back. Forced labour in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields, once widespread, is swiftly vanishing. And an old hypothesis confirmed: birds get more colourful the closer they live to the equator.

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Apr 12, 2022
Le Pen is mightier than before: France’s election
25:09

President Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen of the nationalist-populist National Rally party will advance to a run-off; in the continuation of our series, we ask what to expect in an unexpectedly tight race. Russian military communications have proven easy to intercept, leading to poor co-ordination and heavy battlefield losses. And South Korea’s millennials are frantically hunting for Pokémon-themed snacks.

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Apr 11, 2022
Laïcité, extrémité, fragilité: our French-election series in full
54:45

The first round of the presidential election is on Sunday and our first-ever series has been following the race closely. This compendium of the first six dispatches looks at the candidates, their platforms and the sharply shifting political landscape in France. 

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Apr 09, 2022
Gota the trouble: Sri Lanka’s crises
24:00
Through ineptitude and bad timing, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa—known as Gota—has driven his country toward ruin. Its people want him out. Russian forces have occupied Kherson since early March. We hear a report from the ground about life under foreign occupation. And tasting awamori, a Japanese spirit that distillers may lift from the doldrums simply by watering it down. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 08, 2022
Nasty, brutish and long? The war’s next stage
26:21
Russian troops have withdrawn from suburban Kyiv to focus on the eastern Donbas region. With Western weapons for Ukraine flowing in, a grinding war of attrition looms. For our French-election series we meet members of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, which has found success by shifting the focus away from its extremist image. And why a bid to rename Turkey will be so fraught. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 07, 2022
Zero's intolerance: Shanghai’s messy lockdown
22:34
China’s zero-covid policy is being stretched to breaking point as the virus makes its way through the city. Supplies are low, residents are angry and there is no end in sight. The debate about air conditioning in America’s sweltering prisons will only heat up further. And how a dispute about time from exactly a century ago remains timely today. Additional audio provided courtesy of Matthew Florianz. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 06, 2022
Bodies in the streets: Russian atrocities
23:22
Our correspondent reports from towns around Kyiv, where Russian forces appear to have committed war crimes, including summary executions and random murders. The last instalment of a once-in-a-decade climate report suggests that meeting the more ambitious temperature goals set in Paris requires a “handbrake turn” on global emissions. And why Britain’s car washes are a rare example of “re-automation”. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 05, 2022
No-confidence interval: Pakistan’s embattled PM
21:09
Prime Minister Imran Khan seems to be trying everything to avoid an ouster. The powerful military brass may simply want a new leader who is less hostile to the West. Calls for tough sanctions on Russian oil are multiplying. But demand for it has already plummeted—and China and India sniff a bargain. And the earthworm invasion beneath North America’s soil. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 04, 2022
All opposed, say nothing: Hungary’s election
22:47

Viktor Orban’s eight-year assault on the country’s institutions will help his bid for re-election. But the poll is far bigger than Hungary: it is a verdict on autocracies everywhere. Britain welcomes the fees from its staggering number of Chinese university students; we examine the risks that dependence poses. And a prescient Ukrainian war film gets a new lease on life.

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Apr 01, 2022
Oil and vodka: Russia’s resilient economy
22:43

After Russia invaded Ukraine, Western businesses pulled out and governments imposed punishing sanctions. But Russia’s economy is proving surprisingly resilient. In the instalment of our French election series, we travel to Provence to better understand the campaign of the hard-right candidate Eric Zemmour, who has tapped into and stoked anti-Muslim sentiment. And why Lebanon’s plastic surgeons are thriving amid an economic mess.

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Mar 31, 2022
Capital outflow: Russia changes tack
25:26

It appears that Russian forces are withdrawing from Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, to focus on the eastern region of Donbas. We examine what the shifting tactics signify. A court in Singapore has refused to strike a colonial-era anti-gay law from its books, despite the fact it is never enforced; we ask why. And what’s behind Bolivia’s preponderance of contraband Japanese cars.

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Mar 30, 2022
Talk in Turkey: Russia-Ukraine peace negotiations
20:37

Negotiators are again meeting face-to-face, this time in Istanbul. There is little hope of reaching an agreement at this stage—and even less that it would be adhered to. The metal cages appearing atop Russian tanks are intended to counteract anti-tank munitions; in practice their biggest effects seem to be psychological. And the extraordinary heatwave hitting the Antarctic.

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Mar 29, 2022
In the war room: our exclusive visit to Zelensky’s “fortress”
25:07

Our editors traverse layers of security to reach the situation room where Ukraine’s president is so often seen addressing the world. They ask about his decision to stay in Kyiv, which countries are proving most helpful and whether he always had all those green clothes. They find a man who speaks of determination and honesty, and whose sense of humour remains remarkably undimmed.

Find an edited transcript of the interview here

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Mar 28, 2022
Under fire: Life in Kharkiv
26:42
For the past month, one of our editors has spoken daily with a young man in Kharkiv. Today he discusses his family's decision to leave their hometown for somewhere safer. Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court, faced questioning this week from a Senate Committee. And we look back at Oscars hosts gone by.

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Mar 25, 2022
What little remains: The destruction of Mariupol
21:42
For weeks, Russian forces have besieged the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. Up to 90% of its structures have been destroyed, and while thousands have fled, plenty remain--without food, water, medicine or electricity. Najib Razak, once Malaysia’s prime minister, left office embroiled in scandal. Now he’s back on the campaign trail. And Oman has set strict sartorial standards around the dishdasha, its national dress.

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Mar 24, 2022
Vlad the in-jailer: Alexei Navalny sentenced
23:02
Alexei Navalny returned to Russia after being poisoned in an assassination attempt that many believe came from the Kremlin. He was immediately arrested, and yesterday his prison sentence was extended for nine years. But if Vladimir Putin hopes that ends his influence, he may be mistaken. The world has turned against Russian artists. And a new exhibition explores African-American contributions to the American table.

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Mar 23, 2022
Russian to judgment: Putin accused of war crimes
23:48

Joe Biden, among others, has called Vladimir Putin “a war criminal.” International tribunals have tried and convicted war criminals from Rwanda and Serbia: will Russia’s president suffer the same fate? The war in Ukraine will disrupt the world’s wheat market, with potentially grave political consequences in the Middle East. And three public-works projects in Mexico are stirring controversy.

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Mar 22, 2022
Blood will out: Russian mercenaries
22:10
Russian forces advancing on Kyiv have stalled. Ukraine has refused the demand to surrender Mariupol. But it’s not just Russian regular troops fighting: we look at Russia’s use of mercenaries. Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius, and is now facing the wrath of China. And included in the exodus of Ukrainians are plenty of four-legged companions. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Mar 21, 2022
Mention the war: Germany awakes
26:02
For decades, Germany was doctrinally pacifist: a legacy left over from the second world war. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed that, seemingly overnight. As Russia’s military advance has stalled, it has turned its firepower against civilian targets, resulting in widespread death, but also in the destruction of Ukraine’s cultural legacy. And remembering one of the many brave, ordinary Ukrainians, fallen in defence of their country.

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Mar 18, 2022
Shock and war: global prices rise
24:09

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed global prices, which were already climbing, even higher. As America’s central bank raises its target interest rate for the first time in four years, we break down the challenges facing central bankers. In the fourth instalment of our French election series, we look at how the conflict has changed the race. And Russia’s seizure of the Chernobyl nuclear plant ends three decades of scientific research.

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Mar 17, 2022
Bear hug? China’s take on Ukraine
24:22

China appears content to let the carnage continue in Ukraine, anticipating a win for Vladimir Putin. Its real concern is avoiding an apparent win for America and the West. Never mind fears that cryptocurrencies might help Russia dodge sanctions: they are far better at helping to finance Ukraine’s efforts. And the cyborg cockroaches that may one day aid search-and-rescue operations.

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Mar 16, 2022
Capital accounts: on the ground in Kyiv
24:39

Our correspondent finds Ukraine's capital already accustomed to an eerie war footing. People are getting married and playing music, even as medicine runs out and a new volunteer army braces for fighting. Australia’s barely fathomable floods show freakish weather is becoming increasingly common there. And the case for reforming how grammar is taught.

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Mar 15, 2022
Abject lesson: the siege of Mariupol
23:31
To the west, strikes near Poland have rattled NATO partners. But look to the south-east to see what Russia intends for the Ukrainian cities it encircles. Chile’s new president Gabriel Boric is just the latest leftist to take office in the region; we examine the “pink tide” that is coming in. And why British retail workers are sporting body cameras. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Mar 14, 2022
Defog of war: your questions answered
28:34
We tackle some of the many questions on the war in Ukraine that listeners sent in this week—why no-fly zones are a perilous idea, how weapons are making their way into Ukraine, why mud is a growing tactical concern, the implications of oil-and-gas embargoes and much more. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Mar 11, 2022
A non-member states: Finland’s ex-PM on NATO
22:57

Perched at Russia’s north-western corner, the country has plenty of history dealing with neighbourly aggression. We speak with Alexander Stubb, a former prime minister, about his views on European security. After a nasty campaign season, South Korea has a new president, Yoon Suk-Yeol. We examine the myriad challenges he faces. And how to spot Parkinson’s disease early—with an electronic nose.

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Mar 10, 2022
Strikes, fear: an update from Kharkiv
26:40
After failing to take Ukraine’s second city, Russian forces continue to pummel it with air, artillery and missile strikes. We speak again with an increasingly despondent Kharkiv native. Many schoolyard games have deep histories, conveying culture down the generations; these days they are adapting to the pandemic era. And the revival of Mexico’s murals with a purpose. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Mar 09, 2022
War stories: the view from Russia
24:04

With the propaganda machine at fever pitch, not everyone in Russia agrees on—much less agrees with—what is going on in Ukraine. Dissent is being met with increasing repression. A wave of jihadism is crashing across the states of West Africa and the battle lines are moving south. And reasons for both hope and concern in our annual glass-ceiling index.

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Mar 08, 2022
Bear trapped: the sanctions on Russia
25:36

The West’s co-ordinated financial weaponry is starting to bite, opening a new age of economic conflict; once-unthinkable oil embargoes seem now to be on the table. Taiwan is another democratic country with a big, bullying neighbour; we examine how the war has sparked introspection. And celebrating Pier Paolo Pasolini, a polymathic auteur unjustly known only for his most controversial film.

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Mar 07, 2022
Rushing from Russians: Ukraine’s refugees
24:54

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered a refugee crisis in Europe. More than a million people have left; millions more could follow. Turkey’s reasonably stable relationship with Russia may not survive the war. And remembering a champion of Yaghan language and culture, at South America’s southernmost tip. 

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Mar 04, 2022
Climate of fear: the IPCC’s new report
24:53
A new report shows that climate change is already causing widespread, tangible damage, and argues that adaptation is now as important as mitigation. A once-promising candidate for the French presidency sees her campaign sputter. And why America needs to shore up the postal service’s finances. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Mar 03, 2022
All that Xi wants: China’s Ukraine dilemma
20:44
After backing Russia’s grievances against NATO, China now finds itself treading a very fine line on Ukraine. There are often reasons to be suspicious of a country’s covid-death tally; we examine research showing how fraud can be spotted mathematically. And why women are less likely than men to be corrupt. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Mar 02, 2022
Square in their sights: Kharkiv under siege
25:56

The levelling of Freedom Square in Ukraine’s second city is powerfully symbolic. One resident has been speaking to us daily since the invasion began. In the American West, minerals crucial to a clean-energy transition abound. We examine the opposition to a looming new mining boom. And a revealing meal with our food columnist: we have big news about “The Intelligence”.

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Mar 01, 2022
The battlefield broadens: Ukraine resists
24:24

On the ground, Ukrainian resistance is holding—so far—and Vladimir Putin’s nuclear posturing reveals a crumbling of his plans. Meanwhile the international response grows more serious and more united. We examine President Joe Biden’s savvy Supreme Court pick, Ketanji Brown Jackson. And how to get around the fact that eyewitness testimony can be fuzzy or change over time. 

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Feb 28, 2022
Capital offence: the battle for Ukraine
25:23

As promised, Ukraine’s forces are fighting back tenaciously against a Russian invasion on multiple fronts—but Kyiv, the capital, is now squarely in the invaders’ sights. In England, the last covid restrictions were lifted entirely this week; we consider the calculations many leaders are making in this phase of the pandemic. And an assessment of romantic comedies as a cultural force.

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Feb 25, 2022
It begins: Russia invades Ukraine
21:18
Ukrainians woke to the sound of sirens. Volleys of cruise missiles, artillery, widespread reports of explosions: a large-scale invasion appears to be under way. Our correspondent in Kyiv reports on the mood and on what is known so far. And we examine the sharp rise in carjackings in America, asking why so many young people end up behind the wheel. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Feb 24, 2022
Given choice: Colombia’s abortion-law change
22:05
In little more than a year, three of Latin America’s four most populous countries have expanded access to abortion. We ask what is driving that change in the region. Austin is the destination for many fleeing Silicon Valley; our correspondent examines the risks posed to the hot new tech spot. And the sugarloaf pineapple: the lucrative fruit of Benin’s branding labours. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Feb 23, 2022
Putting his first boot forward: Russian troops move
23:02

President Vladimir Putin has declared the independence of the two Ukrainian provinces of Donbas—and sent in "peacekeepers". We ask what is next. The African Union was founded two decades ago this year; its early integration and diplomatic successes have since sharply faded. And our deep, interactive dive into Spotify reveals the slipping global dominance of English-language lyrics.

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Feb 22, 2022
Trial run: genocide claims against Myanmar
24:04
The Gambia’s first-of-its-kind case at the International Court of Justice might bring a rebuke and shine light on Myanmar’s brutal tactics. It might not, alas, bring succour for the Rohingyas. Our correspondent considers a grand geopolitical gamble from exactly 50 years ago, seeking lessons for today from Richard Nixon’s visit to China. And research reveals that noise stresses plants out. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Feb 21, 2022
On the brinkmanship: a special episode on Ukraine and Russia
26:29

We unpick the week’s torrent of headlines; an invasion may yet come but either way President Vladimir Putin has already harmed Russia. The country’s digital self-isolation project is quietly forging ahead; we examine its home-grown “tech stack” with everything from chips up to apps. And we hear from a Ukrainian woman whose life has been upended by the conflict’s uncertainties.

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Feb 18, 2022
Sharpest tools, in a box: miniature vaccine factories
22:23

BioNTech, the German firm behind the first licensed coronavirus jab, reveals its attempts to stuff its technology into shipping containers—to be used where they are most needed. In the second instalment of our French-election series, we ask what is left of the country’s left. And, as the Olympics wrap up, putting numbers to judges' biases that favour their compatriots. 

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Feb 17, 2022
Judge, jury and executive: another power-grab in Tunisia
21:54
Last summer President Kais Saied nobbled the legislature; now he has abolished the judiciary. We ask where the country is headed, and why there is so little protest. Brazil’s modern-art scene, born a century ago this week, flourished despite rocky politics—but the current president has a chokehold on it. And the Thai army’s quixotic mission to evict Bangkok’s legendary street-food hawkers. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Feb 16, 2022
Yen here before: Japan’s “new capitalism”
20:41

Today’s figures showing the first annual economic growth in three years may seem promising. But the grand plans of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio resemble past policies that have not worked. The finely tuned government of Bosnia is under grave threat from some of the same forces that caused its brutal war. And why roadkill is now on the menu in Wyoming.

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Feb 15, 2022
Not trucking around: Canada’s protests spread
22:25

It has become much more than a fight against proof-of-vaccination strictures. The anti-government mood has spread in Canada and abroad. What happens next? Haiti has received billions upon billions in foreign assistance but its situation remains dire; we ask why all that aid has not aided much. And Reader’s Digest, a surprisingly influential American snappy-excerpts magazine, turns 100.

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Feb 14, 2022
Withdrawal symptoms: Afghanistan goes hungry
23:51

Since American forces left, pessimism has skyrocketed—and with good reason. Starvation is driving Afghans to sell their organs and even their children in order to eat. The artificial snow of this year’s winter Olympics is unsustainable and environmentally troubling; we meet a “snow consultant” pioneering a better way. And remembering Lata Mangeshkar, who gave voice to a newly liberated India.

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Feb 11, 2022
Which way UP: India’s bellwether election
23:12
The state-legislature poll in Uttar Pradesh is in effect a vote on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s increasingly stringent Hindu-national agenda—and will hint at his party’s chances in 2024. Oil majors are getting points for selling off their dirtiest oil-and-gas operations; we ask who is buying them. And which countries are up and which are down in our annual Democracy Index. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Feb 10, 2022
The quiet man of Europe: Olaf Scholz
24:13
So far Germany’s new chancellor has been all but invisible at home and on the international stage. We examine the motives behind his reticence—and his abilities during a European crisis. As space becomes a battleground and satellites become targets, new research aims to bring nuclear power to bear. And visiting a red-hot art exhibition in three ways at once. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Feb 09, 2022
FAANGer danger: big tech takes a beating
22:49

 For years, the big tech firms Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google were seen as a collective good bet; investors will soon judge them each on their merits—or demerits. After Israel’s creation, Jews were shunned in the Arab world; that now seems to be changing, and quickly. And, on the frozen ground at Ukraine’s border, there will be mud.

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Feb 08, 2022
Fission creep: Iran nuclear talks resume
22:48

After protracted negotiations, at last a conclusion appears nigh—but depending on whom you ask, a breakthrough is as likely as a breakdown. The regime in Bangladesh has been growing more brutal, yet some American sanctions seem to have had a swift and surprising effect. And Japan focuses on healthier, happier sunset years.

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Feb 07, 2022
Skin in the Games: Beijing’s nervy Olympics
25:32

Our correspondent describes the fraught effort to attend the opening ceremony. It is a pageant highlighting a divided world, with party leaders aiming for zero covid, zero mistakes and zero dissent. An investigation reveals the brutal treatment meted out by Libya’s coast guard dealing with Europe-bound migrants—an outfit bankrolled by the European Union itself. And America’s gun-owners become surprisingly diverse.

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Feb 04, 2022
A model result: our French-election series begins
24:18

In the first instalment of the series, we unveil our forecast model and visit one of the quiet suburbs where the vote’s outcome will probably be decided. Debt has soared as borrowing costs stayed low; we examine who will foot the enormous interest bills as rates rise. And the one place where marriages increased in the pandemic era. 

You can find all of our ongoing coverage of the French election at https://www.economist.com/french-election-2022

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Feb 03, 2022
Action pact: NATO’s Ukraine role
23:20
Our correspondent speaks with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general, who says the alliance’s involvement in de-escalating Russia tensions is a sign of its resurgent relevance. After tortuous votes, Italy’s lawmakers elected a president: the incumbent who did not want the job. No posts have changed, but the political balance surely has. And we meet the nuns racking up followers on TikTok. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Feb 02, 2022
Do as I say, except at my dos: Boris Johnson’s parties
23:10

A long-awaited report confirms rumours that have consumed Boris Johnson’s premiership. He may be weakened, but early signs suggest he will not fall. One year after Myanmar’s military coup, the protest mood has not faded; the murderous junta is failing to rule and the country is falling apart. And the pain of losing one’s native tongue in a foreign land.

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Feb 01, 2022
Sunshine statement: Ron DeSantis’s Florida
24:04

Talk of a presidential run for the governor is growing. We examine the state’s rightward lurch as a bellwether of his intent and his political strength. Our correspondent finds that divorce is getting easier, cheaper and a little less adversarial across the rich world. And the wider ecosystem risks posed by the looming extinction of the Sumatran rhino.

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Jan 31, 2022
Insecurities in securities: why markets are sliding
22:47
Huge swings and downward trends: markets are forward-looking, and it is clear they do not see much to look forward to in 2022. Warnings about infectious bugs resistant to antibiotics have long been around; to see the effects just look to South Asia. And our data journalists reveal another benefit of widespread veganism: huge tracts of habitable land. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jan 28, 2022
On the edge of his seat: Stephen Breyer
22:42
The departure of one of America’s Supreme Court justices is an opportunity for President Joe Biden to choose a replacement, but the clock is ticking. We ask who might be in the running. West Africa’s latest coup, in Burkina Faso, bodes ill for an already stumbling campaign against jihadism in the region. And why countries change their capitals. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jan 27, 2022
Twist of faith: religious hatred in India
22:45

As the country celebrates its secular constitution, we examine the rising bigotry of Hindu nationalists—at best tolerated and at worst encouraged by the ruling party. China’s propagandists are onto something: after years of dull jingoism, the entertainment they put out now is glossy, big-budget and ever more watchable. And why South-East Asia’s obsession with otters poses a threat to them.

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Jan 26, 2022
What’s it good for? Putin’s Ukraine calculus
22:36
More Russian troops piling in. Embassy staff pulling out. American forces on alert and sober diplomacy still on the docket. We examine Vladimir Putin's ways, means and motivations. The Omicron variant is making its mark in Mexico, a place that our correspondent says never really shut down. And considering the merits and the risks of work-related drinks. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jan 25, 2022
Prime mover? Mario Draghi and the Italian presidency
21:36

This week’s secretive votes will determine the next president and the current prime minister looks to be a favourite. But that move would be bad for Italy. Many African countries that are rife with resources remain persistently underdeveloped; we dig into the reasons. And we meet the chefs bringing unsung Native American cuisine to the table.

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Jan 24, 2022
Unsustainable envelopment goals: China’s zero-covid fight
20:04

The Omicron variant is destined to test the limits of a policy that has already proved costly: consumption, growth and confidence are all flagging. The effects of Russia’s gulag did not stop when the labour camps closed: there appear to be long-term benefits for nearby areas. And why cycling in the Arab world is on the rise.

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Jan 21, 2022
Heavyweight-price fight: how to beat global inflation
24:27
Shoppers across the developed world face sharply rising prices, and leaders are reaching for all manner of remedies—but that’s what central banks are for. Behind the story of Myanmar’s brutal military leadership is a slow stream of defectors; our correspondent meets the support network they rely on. And cover songs muddle the notion of who can call it their tune.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jan 20, 2022
Drilling into the numbers: ExxonMobil
22:56
America’s biggest oil firm has long been recalcitrant on climate matters, so its new net-zero targets may seem surprising. We examine the substance of its pledges—and motivations. For an economist, tipping is an odd practice; whether you love it or hate it may be a question of control. And how unusual Novak Djokovic’s refusenik vaccine stance is among elite athletes. Additional audio courtesy of Tennis Australia. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jan 19, 2022
Through deny of a needle: vaccine mandates
22:51

Austria is set to enact a bold policy of levying fines on the unvaccinated. We look at what is driving governments to such measures, and whether they will work. Japan’s shift in thinking about its growing elderly population holds lessons for countries set for a similar demographic shift. And why the Mormon church is struggling to retain its foreign converts.

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Jan 18, 2022
But who’s counting? Voting rights in America
23:04
Democrats will spend the week battling for a tightening of laws on casting votes; that will overshadow Republicans’ worrying push into how those votes are counted and certified. Earthquakes remain damnably unpredictable, but new research suggests a route to early-warning systems. And why hammams, the declining bathhouses of the Arab world, will cling on despite even the challenge of covid-19. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jan 17, 2022
His royal minus: Prince Andrew
23:20

The queen’s second son has been stripped of his titles—an apparent bid to insulate the crown from his legal troubles. But dangers to the prince and to the monarchy remain. A blockade of Mali, intended to force a return to democratic order, may worsen security and entrench foreign influences. And the genre of “eco-horror” evolves alongside environment-driven anxieties.

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Jan 14, 2022
In vino, veritas: Boris Johnson under fire
22:47
While Britons followed covid strictures, the prime minister’s residence hosted boozy gatherings; widespread fury hints that his prevarications this time may be his last as leader. Religious institutions struggled during the pandemic, as all businesses did—so they are selling assets and courting new customers in innovative ways. And road rage is common, but in America it is getting decidedly deadlier. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jan 13, 2022
Not in the same class: America and schools
22:09

The country’s children have missed more in-person learning than those in most of the rich world—to their cost. We ask why battles about schooling rage on. Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, came to power on big promises; few were fulfilled. We ask about the skimpy legacy he leaves behind. And a look at the metaverse’s red-hot property market.

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Jan 12, 2022
Talking out his asks: Putin’s NATO demands
21:55

This week’s flurry of diplomacy aims to address what Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, says he wants. He cannot get it. Does an invasion of Ukraine hang in the balance? At an annual jamboree of economists our correspondent finds an unusual focus on the future—in particular the future of home working. And why Cuba has an enormous trade in grey-market garlic.

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Jan 11, 2022
Hope for the crest: an Omicron wave hits India
21:35

The country has the world’s worst estimated covid-death total—but as another variant takes hold there are reasons for optimism. Mexico’s president has some old-fashioned notions about energy, and his pet legislation would make it both dirtier and costlier. And the Orient Express was itself a murder victim, just one line in a continent-spanning rail network that may yet be revived.

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Jan 10, 2022
Fuel to the flames: uprising in Kazakhstan
23:13

What started as a fuel-price skirmish has engulfed the entire country; now Russian-led troops have been summoned to help. How did things escalate so quickly? The spike in global house prices has several pandemic-related causes—but do not expect them to fall much when those factors fade. And our obituaries editor reflects on the life of Britain’s first transgender activist. 

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Jan 07, 2022
Capitol crimes: one year after America’s insurrection
23:37
The insurrection’s horrors might have marked a turning point for Donald Trump’s supporters and enablers. Not so; the people and the politics remain as divided as they were one year ago. We examine why, despite the rampant uncertainty that should lift it, gold had a terrible 2021. And London’s farcical attempt to draw consumers to a famed shopping district. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jan 06, 2022
Stop the presses! Hong Kong’s media crackdown
22:11

The closure of two independent, Chinese-language media outlets all but completes the push to silence pro-democracy press; we ask what is next for the territory. Sudan’s military seems as uninterested in civilian help with governing as legions of protesters are in military leadership. What could end the standoff? And why sanctions on Iran are affecting the purity of saffron. 

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Jan 05, 2022
Holmes stretch: Theranos’s founder convicted
21:34

Elizabeth Holmes has been found guilty of fraud. We ask what lessons her downfall holds for Theranos’s high-profile backers—and for a startup culture of hype before science. As Apple crosses a $3trn valuation we examine the motives for its stop-start forays into the competitive streaming-video business. And what lies behind the curious resurgence of syphilis.

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Jan 04, 2022
Separate weighs: Brexit, one year on
22:00

Trade is down, red tape is up, details of regulatory harmony are still being hammered out. Britain may be less divided about it, but the benefits of the divorce are still to be seized. For the clinically vulnerable, covid restrictions go beyond government mandates; our correspondent shares a personal view. And a visit to mainland Singapore’s last rural village.

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Jan 03, 2022
All she wrote: our obituaries editor reflects on 2021
25:00

From Prince Philip to Desmond Tutu, from an anti-racism campaigner and member of the Auschwitz Girls’ Orchestra to a war surgeon focused on civilians to an impoverished Ethiopian whose school for the poor educated 120,000 students: our obituaries editor reflects on the famed and the lesser-known figures who died in 2021. 

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Dec 30, 2021
A few bright spots: our country of the year
20:10

Each year The Economist selects its country of the year: a place that has improved the most. Improvement, though, was damnably rare in 2021. We run through our nominations and the shortlist, and take a close look at why the winner won. And we examine what has gone on in South and South-East Asia, which offered no contenders whatsoever.

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Dec 29, 2021
You bet your dollar-bottomed: Erdogan’s next gambit
23:20

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s idea for saving the lira by backing deposits with dollars means the Turkish taxpayer will end up bailing out the Turkish depositor. Our correspondent finds striking insights in 40 years’-worth of humdrum submissions to a unique sociology project. And Saudi Arabia’s multi-billion-dollar push into the cinema industry it outlawed for decades.

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Dec 28, 2021
Beginning of the endemic? Omicron’s spread
22:20

The lightning-fast spread of a seemingly milder coronavirus variant may represent a shift from pandemic to endemic; we ask how that would change global responses. Concern about video-game addictiveness is as old as video games themselves—but the business models of modern gaming may be magnifying the problem. And newly publicised photographs shed light on Bangladesh’s brutal war for independence.

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Dec 27, 2021
No safety in numbers: security in Haiti
24:05

The security situation is hopeless, following violent unrest and a presidential assassination—as one family’s epic and ultimately failed attempt to leave reveals. The sum total of the missing banknotes in the world is staggering, but what is worrying is that no one seems interested in finding it all. And meeting the man who unwittingly became Sherlock Holmes’s secretary.

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Dec 23, 2021
Relocation, relocation, relocation: America’s internal migration
24:08

The flood of people out of cities is unlike anything since the suburbanisation of the 1950s; we examine the inevitable economic and political consequences. After years of reporting our correspondent concludes that the mutual disdain of a country’s northern and southern halves is a curious human universal. And a sojourn to fact-check Julius Caesar’s accounts of his triumphs in France.

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Dec 22, 2021
All about that base: Japan’s security policy
24:25

In recent years the country has found itself in a sharply different geopolitical environment, responding by building bases and security-partner ties as never before. Our correspondent meets perhaps the last living offspring of an American slave, whose stories paint a picture of the civil-rights movement right up to today. And Thailand’s changing cannabis policy, best seen through its restaurants’ menus.

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Dec 21, 2021
Back to the USSR: Russia and Ukraine
23:54

As border tensions continue to build, our Russia editor looks back to the fall of the Soviet Union to explain why Russia has never accepted Ukraine’s independence. Eating out has only become more expensive through the decades, yet the diners keep coming; we examine the long history and economics of restaurants. And our staff picks for 2021’s best books.

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Dec 20, 2021
Centre of no attention: Chile’s presidential election
23:20

As the vote’s second round has neared, the candidates have shifted, a bit, from their positions at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Which radical vision for the country will win out? The transition to electric vehicles may well stall, unless the chicken-and-egg problem of public chargers can be cracked. And a soaring history of “birdmen”, successful and otherwise.

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Dec 17, 2021
Money printer slow brrr: the Fed turns down the taps
20:40

America’s central bank plans to pinch off its massive bond-buying programme much faster in a bid to stall inflation; our correspondent says it is perhaps a late-arriving signal—but a promising one. Loneliness is a growing problem in the rich world but seems particularly acute among American men. And why aged artists are increasingly taking over the December music charts.

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Dec 16, 2021
In full swing: Ethiopia’s shifting civil war
24:17

More than a year after a rebellion Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised to put down in weeks, the balance of power keeps swinging—and neighbouring states may soon be drawn in. To the chagrin of libertarian crypto types, regulators are weighing in on an industry now worth trillions. And the fed-up North Korean wives earning more than their husbands.

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Dec 15, 2021
Twister of fate? Tornadoes and climate change
23:43

Many have been quick to link the tornado catastrophe in America’s Upland South to climate change; we ask why that is a tricky connection to draw. Citizenship of Gulf states has long been difficult to acquire, even for lifelong residents. That is slowly changing—for a slice of the elite. And the kerfuffle surrounding the repurposing of Britain’s red phone boxes.

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Dec 14, 2021
Protein shake-up: getting to know Omicron
20:13

The latest “variant of concern” has spread far—and fast. We examine what has been learned about it at equally striking speed, and ask what to look out for next. South-East Asia has long had a methamphetamine problem; so-called compulsory treatment centres are only making matters worse. And the effort to make a minuscule lemur science’s next super-model

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Dec 13, 2021
Unsafe as houses? Evergrande and China’s big plans
24:07

The wildly indebted property firm has defaulted at last. That poses big risks as China’s leadership works to refashion financial markets and draw in foreign investors. We visit the world’s largest lithium reserves, asking why Bolivia has not yet made the most of them—and whether it still might. And the Chopin concert aimed at calming Poland’s refugee tensions.

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Dec 10, 2021
Ain’t no party: scandals hobble Britain’s government
22:06

At two years into Boris Johnson’s premiership, yet more scandal ensures attention will still stray from the sweeping agenda of change he promised. An archaeological find in the state of Tamil Nadu rewrites the timeline of civilisation in India—raising questions of identity in a charged political atmosphere. And the man listening intently to the staggering variety of Beijing’s birds.

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Dec 09, 2021
CDU later: Angela Merkel’s successor
22:55
For the first time in 16 years Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union is out of Germany’s government. We ask what to expect from Olaf Scholz, the new chancellor. China’s leadership wants to boost the birth rate but discriminates against single mothers; we examine a slow push for equality. And mental-health apps are booming, but the risks are many and the benefits uncertain. Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here. www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Dec 08, 2021
Off the warpath: America 80 years after Pearl Harbour
22:48
The Japanese attack set America on a course toward military hegemony; recent administrations have walked it back. We ask what the country would fight for now. A clash of priorities between national and city-level politicians the world over makes for fraught politics on car ownership. And our columnist envisages how the office will compete with home in a post-pandemic world.Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Dec 07, 2021
The first sentence of the story: Aung San Suu Kyi
22:11

Myanmar’s ousted leader has been sentenced to four years in prison; more guilty verdicts are expected soon. That will only fuel unrest that has not ceased since a coup in February. Scrutiny of Interpol’s new president adds to concerns that the supranational agency is in authoritarians’ pockets. And governments start to back the “seasteading” of libertarians’ dreams.

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Dec 06, 2021
Taiwan thing after another: the Solomon Islands
20:44