Economist Radio

By The Economist

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Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 9421
Reviews: 30

Brian
 Jul 21, 2021
Very informative.

Harvinder
 May 21, 2021
Smart & insightful, given today's climate of mainly propaganda news. 5* no question. I would have given it only 4* five years ago, when news reporting use to have some honesty. Wish it was a little less right of centre


 Apr 14, 2021

Podcast lover
 Mar 31, 2021
Too much background music, too many sound effects - just ends up sounding noisy. Keep it simple. As far as current affairs podcasts are concerned, FT and Monocle are much better.

chris
 Mar 10, 2021
Please stop forcing Jeffrey Sachs into my podcast feed!!!

Description

The Economist was founded in 1843 "to throw white light on the subjects within its range". For more from The Economist visit http://shop.economist.com/collections/audio


Episode Date
The Economist Asks: Emily Oster
00:30:16

Can data make better parents? The author of “The Family Firm” and economics professor at Brown University tells Anne McElvoy why crunching the numbers takes the stress out of raising children. She talks about the backlash to her advocacy of re-opening schools during the Covid-19 pandemic and what damage a year out of the classroom means for pupils. And, what's her top piece of parenting advice?


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Aug 05, 2021
No consent of the governed: Andrew Cuomo on the brink
00:20:42

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

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Aug 05, 2021
Money Talks: Playing catch-up
00:32:14

At the start of the 21st century, developing economies were a source of unbounded optimism and fierce ambition. But the pandemic has revealed a very different picture: many poor and middle-income countries seem to be losing the knack of catching up with rich ones. Is the golden age of emerging markets over? And how can countries now battered by the pandemic get back on that path to rapid growth?


Rachana Shanbhogue hosts with Jim O’Neill, former chief economist at Goldman Sachs who 20 years ago coined the term “BRICs”; Makhtar Diop, head of the International Finance Corporation; our trade and international economics editor, Ryan Avent; China economics editor, Simon Cox, and Africa correspondent, Kinley Salmon.


Sign up for our new weekly newsletter dissecting the big themes in markets, business and the economy at economist.com/moneytalks 

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Aug 04, 2021
No port, still a storm: Lebanon a year after the blast
00:22:24

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

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Aug 04, 2021
Babbage: The shot of the century
00:26:47

The discovery of insulin was a breakthrough in medicine, allowing millions of people to live with diabetes. Host Kenneth Cukier investigates how this life-changing innovation happened. Yet today less than half of the people in the world who need it have access to insulin — how can it be made more accessible? And what does the future hold for insulin treatments?


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Aug 03, 2021
Block off the old chips? Nvidia’s fraught merger
00:21:46

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

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

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

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Aug 02, 2021
Editor’s Picks: August 2nd 2021
00:18:37

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: growth in emerging markets, Tunisia faces a constitutional crisis (9:53) and dry bars of Ireland (16:03) 

 

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Aug 01, 2021
Checks and Balance: Vax wielding
00:43:33

Since Joe Biden declared a “return to normal” on July 4th, the covid-19 Delta variant has knocked America’s pandemic recovery off course. Why are so many Americans still unvaccinated and can they be persuaded?


We report from Arkansas, which is battling a new wave of infections, find out how the trade-off between liberty and public health dents Americans’ life expectancy, and The Economist’s Elliott Morris unveils new data modelling that sheds light on vaccine hesitancy.


John Prideaux hosts with Tamara Gilkes Borr and James Astill.


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Jul 30, 2021
Neither borrower nor renter be: America’s coming foreclosures
00:22:41

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

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Jul 30, 2021
The Economist Asks: Eric Berkowitz
00:30:00

Where is the difference between moderation and censorship on tech platforms? Anne McElvoy asks the author of “Dangerous Ideas" whether social media giants were right to ban Donald Trump and if speech should be free even if it’s offensive? The human-rights lawyer also talks about working with asylum seekers and picks a previously-censored book to take with him to a desert island. 


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Jul 29, 2021
Good news, ad news: Facebook’s big bucks and bets
00:22:46

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

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Jul 29, 2021
Money Talks: Robinhood and the merry mob
00:28:20

The trading app brought retail investing to the public—now it is going public via its retail investors. Our Wall Street correspondent reports from inside its unusual IPO. Plus, as food prices soar, big agriculture is having a bumper year. How long can it last? And lessons from the history books for a new age of central banking. Patrick Lane hosts 


Subscribers to The Economist can join John O’Sullivan, Buttonwood columnist, and Alice Fulwood, Wall Street correspondent, on July 29th for a live event unpicking the inner workings of financial markets and how to make sense of them. Register and submit your questions at economist.com/marketsevent


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Jul 28, 2021
Borderline disorder: the UN’s refugee treaty at 70
00:22:47

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

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Jul 28, 2021
Babbage: Protein power
00:27:14

Google’s DeepMind has developed an artificial-intelligence system that can predict the three-dimensional shape of proteins. How will this monumental step-change for biology be used? Also, a new study shows how wearable devices could help doctors understand long covid. And how songbirds reacquired an ability lost by their dinosaur ancestors. Kenneth Cukier hosts 


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Jul 27, 2021
Alight in Tunisia: a democracy in crisis
00:21:05

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

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Jul 27, 2021
The World Ahead: Let food be your medicine
00:26:59

As scientists learn more about the gut microbiome, what role could personalised nutrition play in the future of health care? We imagine a scenario where biohackers injected themselves with mRNA, the technology used in some coronavirus vaccines. And, could an artificial intelligence ever win the Nobel prize for medicine? Tom Standage hosts.

 

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Jul 26, 2021
The blonde leading: Britain’s two years under Boris Johnson
00:22:22

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

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Jul 26, 2021
Editor’s Picks: July 26th 2021
00:20:57

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: adapting to climate change, academic freedom in Hong Kong (09:23), and monkey business (16:01) 

 

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Jul 25, 2021
Checks and Balance: Cuba libre?
00:41:47

The Biden administration has announced new sanctions against Cuba, as the communist regime cracks down on the biggest protests in decades. How might the president's pledge to support democracy around the world play out in Cuba? 


Miami political consultant Fernand Amandi says liberating Cuba has political rewards. We look back at how Fidel Castro scored an early propaganda victory against America on a visit to New York. And technology writer Antonio García Martínez warns the rapid opening of Cuba to the internet will cause more disruption. 


John Prideaux hosts with Roseann Lake and Jon Fasman.


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

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

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Jul 23, 2021
The Economist Asks: Michael Johnson
00:33:25

Are today’s sporting competitions fair? The four-time Olympic champion sprinter tells Anne McElvoy why he handed back his gold medal after discovering his team-mate's use of performance-enhancing drugs, and why he thinks doping will never be eradicated. Should athletes be allowed to protest on the podium? And, the man with the “golden shoes” on his fantasy sport opponent?


With acknowledgments to Team USA.


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

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

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Jul 22, 2021
Money Talks: Uncertainty principles
00:26:47

Financial markets are rattled by fears about the rapidly spreading Delta variant of covid-19. But another threat also looms: can the economic recovery survive the end of emergency stimulus? Plus, why America’s shale-oil tycoons are now fracking as little as possible. And, our correspondent meets bitcoin miners in rural China to find out why they are packing up and shipping out. Simon Long hosts 


Subscribers to The Economist can join our finance reporters John O’Sullivan, Buttonwood columnist, and Alice Fulwood, Wall Street correspondent, on July 29th for a live event unpicking the inner workings of financial markets and how to make sense of them. Register and submit your questions at economist.com/marketsevent


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Jul 21, 2021
Changing horses mid-streaming? Netflix’s next act
00:19:42

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

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Jul 21, 2021
Babbage: Cloud of suspicion
00:29:07

High stakes and big money lead some athletes to cheat at the Olympic games. Tim Cross, The Economist’s Technology editor, investigates the prevalence of doping in sport and asks if testing can ever keep a lid on the use of performance enhancing drugs. He finds out the impact of the pandemic on testing at the Tokyo games, talks to Olympians about the pressures involved and imagines what if doping restrictions were removed.


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

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

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Jul 20, 2021
Gamechangers: Don't shoot the messenger
00:32:58

Messenger RNA, or mRNA, is the molecule that forms the basis of the coronavirus vaccines made by Moderna and by Pfizer-BioNTech. Although the vaccines went from lab to jab in just a few months, the idea of using mRNA as a therapy has been around for decades. The pioneers of this powerful technology reveal its unexpected path, the obstacles that had to be overcome along the way and its future potential. Tom Standage hosts.

 

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Jul 19, 2021
In a flash: floods devastate Europe
00:20:58

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

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Jul 19, 2021
Editor’s Picks: July 19th 2021
00:20:46

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: Biden’s new China doctrine,  a jailed ex-president won't go quietly in South Africa (8:44), and carbon border taxes (14:32).

 

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Jul 18, 2021
Checks and Balance: Trading places
00:43:35

What is President Biden's new China doctrine and will it work? The Economist's Beijing bureau chief looks back 20 years to the beginning of the era of engagement between the two superpowers. And, as their governments' relationship worsens, how do Chinese and Americans perceive each other?


John Prideaux hosts with Jon Fasman and Zanny Minton Beddoes.


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Jul 16, 2021
A pounder of a quarter: American banks report
00:22:33

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

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Jul 16, 2021
The Economist Asks: David Oyelowo
00:34:55

The actor and director of “The Water Man” tells Anne McElvoy why he thinks Hollywood needs new stories and how grieving for his parents inspired his latest film. The star of “Selma” reveals why he left London for Los Angeles in search of bigger roles. And, does he want to be the next 007? 


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Jul 15, 2021
Loot cause: South Africa’s unrest
00:22:01

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

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Jul 15, 2021
Money Talks: China Inc stays global
00:28:45

Can a new generation of Chinese multinational companies learn to adapt and even thrive in a hostile environment at home and abroad? Also, how Europe’s latest green plan aims to plug the leaks in the world’s biggest carbon market. And, why online shopping is about to become a whole lot more chatty. Simon Long hosts


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Jul 14, 2021
Texas hold-’em-up: a voting-rights standoff
00:21:21

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

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Runtime: 21min

 

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Jul 14, 2021
Babbage: Best behaviour
00:26:57

Countries with high covid-19 vaccination rates, including England, are lifting social restrictions. Behavioural scientist Katy Milkman and health-policy editor Natasha Loder assess the impact of these changes. Will mask-wearing and social distancing stick? And, how people may one day drill for copper as they now drill for oil. Kenneth Cukier hosts


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Jul 13, 2021
Flight attendance: airlines after the pandemic
00:19:56

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

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

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

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Jul 12, 2021
Editor’s Picks: July 12th 2021
00:21:44

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the new fault lines in the world economy, the catastrophic consequences of America abandoning Afghanistan (10:28) and how Mills & Boon, a famed publisher of romantic novels, wants to diversify its hero base (17:30) 

 

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Jul 11, 2021
Checks and Balance: History test
00:43:12

Twenty six Republican-led states have legislated to stop critical race theory being taught in schools. Local school board meetings have seen angry protests. What should Americans learn about their history?


We speak to historian Gary Nash of UCLA, who helped devise national teaching standards, and look back on the West Virginia textbook wars of 1974.


John Prideaux hosts with Tamara Gilkes Borr and Jon Fasman.


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Jul 09, 2021
A decade decayed: South Sudan
00:22:54

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

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Runtime: 22min

 

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Jul 09, 2021
The Economist Asks: Kaja Kallas
00:28:41

Are economic sanctions against Russia a good idea? Anne McElvoy asks the Prime Minister of Estonia whether sanctions really punish Vladimir Putin, and why she thinks dialogue with the Kremlin shows weakness. Are all NATO members spending enough on defence? Estonia’s first female PM explains why she looks to Angela Merkel for lessons in leadership and what the golf course taught her about life.


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Jul 08, 2021
Assassins’ deed: Haiti’s president killed
00:21:21

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

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Jul 08, 2021
Money Talks: Tapering without the tantrum
00:25:34

The economic recovery is outpacing expectations—but so is inflation. Can central banks wind back their support without sending markets into freefall? And, the Olympics used to be a bonanza for corporate sponsors, but this years’ games are turning into a reputational minefield. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts


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Jul 07, 2021
Dropped shots: Russia’s third wave
00:21:48

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

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Runtime: 21min

 

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Jul 07, 2021
Babbage: Urban jungles
00:31:42

As urbanisation progresses and lethal heatwaves become more common, could miniature forests help air-condition cities? Plus, how virtual clinical trials could save money, time and lives. And, counting the hidden costs of artificial intelligence with Kate Crawford, cofounder of the AI Now Institute at NYU and author of “Atlas of AI”. Kenneth Cukier hosts


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Jul 06, 2021
Taken for a ride: why China is leaning on Didi
00:20:49

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

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

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

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Runtime: 21min

 

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Jul 05, 2021
Editor’s Picks: July 5th 2021
00:24:30

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: the long goodbye to covid-19, a battle to defend American democracy (10:25) and how big emerging markets are using retro tools to entice foreign capital (17:46)

 

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Jul 04, 2021
Checks and Balance: Steal works
00:41:21

Election administration used to be a sleepy corner of American bureaucracy. Now it’s the latest victim of extreme polarisation. A privately-funded audit of votes by Republicans in Arizona reveals how democratic norms continue to erode since Donald Trump left office.


Idrees Kahloon reports from Phoenix. Republican Senator Jeff Flake tells us American democracy is more fragile than we thought. Kathleen Hale of Auburn University, who trains election administrators, says many have been traumatised by partisan attacks.


John Prideaux hosts with Jon Fasman.


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Jul 02, 2021
Repetitive strains: SARS-CoV-2 variants
00:23:09

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

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Jul 02, 2021
The Economist Asks: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
00:33:46

Is the era of globalisation over? The Economist’s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes asks the director-general of the World Trade Organisation whether the multilateral trading system still works. Can an organisation rooted in the twentieth century prevent a trade war between the US and China in the twenty-first—and how serious a problem is vaccine protectionism? The WTO’s first African leader talks about being a champion for the continent. And, why poetry is her source of inspiration.


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Jul 01, 2021
Party piece: China’s Communists at 100
00:22:53

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

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Jul 01, 2021
Money Talks: Lives v livelihoods
00:26:25

Lockdowns have become a default tool for governments trying to control covid-19. But are the benefits worth the costs? The return to the office is proving much more difficult than last year’s abrupt exodus. And as he prepares to move to a new beat, our China economics editor reflects on a decade of spectacular growth—and what lies ahead. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts


Sign up for our new weekly newsletter dissecting the big themes in markets, business and the economy at economist.com/moneytalks 

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Jun 30, 2021
No day in court: Jacob Zuma’s jail sentence
00:20:23

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

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Jun 30, 2021
Babbage: Power play
00:28:51

An unlimited supply of clean, carbon-free energy—nuclear fusion is a technology that could change the world. Can engineers make fusion work on a commercial scale? Also, mathematician Jordan Ellenberg on how geometry shapes the world. And, why one of the most common sporting injuries is more of a risk to women than men—and how to prevent it. Kenneth Cukier hosts 


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Jun 29, 2021
Bear necessities: learning to handle Russia
00:21:34

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

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Jun 29, 2021
The Jab: How will the pandemic end?
00:42:24

Vaccines are helping some countries return to a semblance of normalcy, while much of the world remains vulnerable to covid-19. We explore what’s next for the pandemic at this critical juncture. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation, says solidarity has been lacking and is crucial for a successful global response. And The Economist’s data journalist James Fransham unveils a new index tracking how far and how fast life is getting back to normal around the world.


Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Edward Carr, The Economist’s deputy editor.


For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/thejabpod. For continuing coverage of science and data news sign up for our weekly newsletters at economist.com/morescience and economist.com/offthecharts


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Jun 28, 2021
The World Ahead: The heat is on
00:26:27

As heat waves become more frequent and deadly around the world, we consider how two cities in India might weather a deadly one in 2041. Kim Stanley Robinson, science-fiction writer and author of “The Ministry for the Future”, tells us how heat waves could spur humanity’s response to climate change. And we imagine a future in which dementia is preventable and treatable. How might that come about? Tom Standage hosts 

 

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

 

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Jun 28, 2021
Third time’s the harm: Africa’s crippling covid-19 wave
00:20:35

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

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Jun 28, 2021
Editor’s Picks: June 28th 2021
00:39:40

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: China’s communist party at 100: the secret of its longevity

post-pandemic education (9:50) and Belgitude: the art of Belgian zen (31:43)

 

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Jun 27, 2021
Checks and Balance: Recovery time
00:43:49

As America reopens, new business creation is at record levels and there is upward pressure on wages for the first time in decades. How has the pandemic restructured the American economy? 


The Economist’s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes joins the panel. President Obama’s former chief economist Jason Furman assesses the shift in fiscal policy. And Ryan Avent, our economics columnist, looks at the strange labour market. 


John Prideaux hosts with Jon Fasman.


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Jun 25, 2021
Iraq to its foundations: a chance to remake the state
00:21:46

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

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Jun 25, 2021
The Economist Asks: Martha Nussbaum
00:28:51

Has the #MeToo movement run into trouble? The renowned philosopher and author of “Citadels of Pride: Sexual Abuse, Accountability, and Reconciliation” talks to Anne McElvoy about the moral complexities of mass-sharing experiences of sexual assault and shaming of alleged perpetrators. Also, can rules of consent keep up with behaviour? And, as a music buff, what’s her favourite philosophical opera?


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Jun 24, 2021
Bench marks: weighing recent SCOTUS rulings
00:22:11

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

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Jun 24, 2021
Money Talks: The Empire of Son
00:28:01

How has the world's biggest technology investor Softbank ridden the wave of the pandemic?

And, the surging threat of cyber-heists—the methods and menace of the new bank robbers. Also, survival of the fittest in economic theory.

Simon Long hosts 


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Jun 23, 2021
Hunger strikes: North Korea’s food shortages
00:19:12

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

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Jun 23, 2021
Babbage: The other environmental emergency
00:28:21

The loss of biodiversity poses as great a risk to humanity as climate change. Catherine Brahic, The Economist’s environment editor, investigates whether technology can help to monitor, model and protect Earth’s ecosystems. Also, do conservation scientists need to employ a new approach to work better with technologists?


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

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

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Jun 22, 2021
The Jab: How will vaccine technology improve?
00:42:58

The first covid-19 vaccines came from rapid innovation. They have already saved millions of lives. What new technologies are in the pipeline?

 

Robin Shattock’s team at Imperial College London is developing a self-amplifying RNA vaccine.

 

Moz Siddiqui of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, describes a drone system delivering shots to remote areas.

 

And Pamela Bjorkman of the California Institute of Technology explains her research into a universal coronavirus vaccine that could protect against future pandemics.


Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Oliver Morton, The Economist’s briefings editor.


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Jun 21, 2021
Gamechangers: The battery that powers the world
00:30:06

What does it take for an idea to change the world? This new monthly series examines how innovation really works. The lithium-ion battery is the most important factor in the recent rise of the electric car and also powers everything from toothbrushes to smartphones to lawnmowers. We talk to the Nobel prize-winning scientists, the co-founder of Tesla and the pioneers behind this game-changing technology. What does their story tell us about the nature of innovation? Tom Standage hosts.

 

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

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

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Jun 21, 2021
Editor’s Picks: June 21st 2021
00:23:51

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: how to stop the ransomware pandemic, America and Russia return to traditional great-power diplomacy (10:15) and picking the best days to work from home (19:20).

 

 

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Jun 20, 2021
Checks and Balance: Agenda bender
00:43:22

In his first one hundred days Joe Biden looked ruthless, but his ambitious legislative agenda has since hit a wall. A series of crucial votes are expected in the coming month. Is gridlock inevitable?


Sarah Binder of George Washington University says Congressional logjam has become the norm. The Economist’s Lexington columnist James Astill profiles Krysten Sinema, the Senator who may yet break the deadlock.


John Prideaux hosts with Idrees Kahloon and Jon Fasman.


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Jun 18, 2021
Press to exit: Hong Kong’s media arrests
00:22:42

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

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Jun 18, 2021
The Economist Asks: John McWhorter
00:29:32

What makes language offensive? The linguist and author of “Nine Nasty Words” talks to Anne McElvoy and Lane Greene, our language columnist, about the art of swearing. Is language the new cultural battlefield and does the current rhetoric around race help black Americans? And, grammatical bugbears — literally.

 

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

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

 

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Jun 17, 2021
Gamechangers: Trailer
00:01:04

It might start with a lightbulb moment or a sudden flash of insight. But having an idea and making a success of it are very different things. It’s the difference between invention and innovation. And the path from one to the other is rarely a straight line.


But when ideas succeed they can change the world. They can be… Gamechangers.


In this monthly podcast series, we’ll be looking at the people and stories behind these game changing ideas. Some of them you’ll have heard of; some of them, you won’t. Sometimes it takes decades of work to create what looks like an overnight success. But by telling their stories over six episodes, we hope to illuminate how innovation really works in practice.

 

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Jun 16, 2021
Money Talks: Ride shares
00:24:20

The company that owns China’s leading ride-sharing app is expected to float on the stockmarket in New York next month, in what could be the biggest IPO in the world this year. We examine its ambitions and its plans to beat the competition. And, what about the inflation in the room? Host Patrick Lane asks how American businesses are coping with a spring surge of prices. Also, we talk to the CEO of Twitch, a streaming service that made watching people play video games big business. 


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Jun 16, 2021
Present, tense: Biden and Putin meet
00:23:00

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

 

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Jun 16, 2021
Babbage: Mapping Africa
00:29:45

Just 2% of the world’s human-genome catalogue represents people of African origin. A massive sequencing project aims to uncover untold genetic diversity and overlooked disease risks. Also, a new study shows intense exercise is a risk factor for ALS, the most common form of motor-neuron disease. And, the return of cicadas in America bodes ill for children’s well-being. Kenneth Cukier hosts 



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Jun 15, 2021
Patrons’ taint: Brazil’s pork-barrel politics
00:21:13

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

 

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Jun 15, 2021
The Jab: Why was Latin America hit so hard?
00:41:08

Why has Latin America been the region hardest hit by the pandemic? Carlos Castillo-Salgado of Johns Hopkins University blames the informal economy and the example set by Donald Trump. Tulane University’s Valerie Paz-Soldán explains why Peru has been affected the worst.


The Economist’s Sarah Maslin finds hope in the success of a trial of China’s CoronaVac vaccine in the Brazilian town of Serrana.


Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Emma Hogan, The Economist’s Americas editor.


For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/thejabpod. Sign up for our new weekly science and data newsletters at economist.com/morescience and economist.com/offthecharts

 

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Jun 14, 2021
Promises, promises: the G7’s fuzzy climate pledges
00:22:07

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

 

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Jun 14, 2021
Editor’s Picks: June 14th 2021
00:24:30

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: how green bottlenecks threaten the clean energy business, meet the voters that are turning former Labour strongholds Conservative in England (9:45) and, as curtains rise again, the theatre is set to look very different (16:55).

 

 

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Jun 13, 2021
Checks and Balance: After math
00:38:47

On his first overseas trip as president, Joe Biden has promised to send 500m covid-19 jabs to countries that need them. America’s vaccine success is making up for its failure to control the virus last year. Is the pandemic over in America?


Kavita Patel, a primary care doctor, tells us new covid cases have all but vanished and Bruno Maçães, author of “Geopolitics for the End Time, From the Pandemic to the Climate Crisis”, says vaccination success is salvaging America’s global prestige.


John Prideaux hosts with Tamara Gilkes Borr and Jon Fasman.


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Jun 11, 2021
Staying powers? The G7’s changing role
00:22:41

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

 

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Jun 11, 2021
The Economist Asks: Whitney Wolfe Herd
00:26:14

The founder of Bumble talks to Anne McElvoy about whether dating apps have killed romance. Is she cashing in on feminism by building a brand around female empowerment? The world’s youngest female self-made billionaire explains why she’s calling for more diversity in the tech industry. And, what’s her mantra for love?


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Jun 10, 2021
An exit wounds: America’s Afghanistan retreat
00:21:16

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

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Jun 10, 2021
Money Talks: Green bottlenecks
00:28:02

The clean-energy business is thriving. Theories of decarbonisation are finally being put into practice. But how can the green boom avoid getting bogged down? Plus, the new geopolitics of business: American and Chinese big companies dominate. How did Europe become an also-ran and can it recover its footing? And, why the ghost storefronts of Fifth Avenue could stay empty. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts


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

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

 

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Jun 09, 2021
Babbage: A flicker of light for Alzheimer’s
00:24:01

After almost two decades, the FDA has granted conditional approval to a drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’ disease, called aducanumab. But the new drug, and its approval, is surrounded by controversy. Will the gamble pay off? Also, a clever upgrade to fog-collecting technology which could provide a water source in remote locations. And, potentially life-saving oxygen enemas? Kenneth Cukier hosts 


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Jun 08, 2021
Criminal proceedings: America’s spike in violence
00:23:14

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

 

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Jun 08, 2021
The Jab: Will vaccinations restart travel?
00:38:43

Vaccinations have helped ease national lockdowns, but restrictions on international travel remain severe. When and how might they be lifted?


Willie Walsh of the International Air Transport Association tells us airlines are a soft target for government restrictions. Aerosol physicist Lidia Morawska assesses how risky it is to travel by plane. The Economist’s Miki Kobayashi reports on July’s Tokyo Olympics.


Alok Jha and Slavea Chankova are joined by Edward Carr, The Economist’s deputy editor.


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Jun 07, 2021
Ballots and bullets: Mexico’s elections
00:21:52

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

 

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Jun 07, 2021
Editor’s Picks: June 7th 2021
00:28:50

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: the new geopolitics of business, Brazil’s dismal decade (9:25), and how to be the next Tesla (16:30)

 

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Jun 06, 2021
Checks and Balance: Merit where it’s due
00:41:46

The belief that people should advance according to their abilities rather than family pedigree is one of history’s most revolutionary ideas. But the meritocratic ideal that has inspired Americans since Thomas Jefferson has lost its lustre. Social mobility has stalled and critics on both right and left see a country captured by self-serving elites. Can America’s meritocracy be mended?


John Prideaux, US editor, hosts with Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist’s political editor and author of “The Aristocracy of Talent”, US policy correspondent Tamara Gilkes Borr and Jon Fasman, US digital editor. 


For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions, subscribe at economist.com/USpod

 

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Jun 04, 2021
Peace out: from bad to worse in Yemen
00:23:44

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

 

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Jun 04, 2021
The Economist Asks: Maria Stepanova
00:25:21

How to remember the past in the digital present? The author of “In Memory of Memory” talks to Anne McElvoy about charting her family’s history, her nomination for the International Booker Prize, and what young Russians want from politics. And, what are the challenges of parenting in the age of visual technology?


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Jun 03, 2021
Catch-up mustered: Europe’s vaccination drive
00:20:24

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

 

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Jun 03, 2021
Money Talks: Reweaving America’s safety-net
00:25:00

President Joe Biden wants to Europeanise the American welfare state. How will the biggest social-policy experiment since the 1960s work—and who will pay for it? Also, the work from home revolution promises a financial reckoning for commercial property. And, as LGBT+ Pride month begins, how can companies avoid “rainbow-washing”? Host Simon Long explores the pitfalls of woke advertising.


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Jun 02, 2021
Swiping rights: Republicans’ vote-crimping bids
00:19:09

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

 

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Jun 02, 2021
Babbage: Clearing the air
00:29:36

Airborne transmission is one of the main ways that SARS-CoV-2 spreads. So why has it taken so long to be officially recognised? Host Kenneth Cukier and science correspondent Alok Jha investigate the flaws in public-health guidelines and how to assess the risk of aerosol contagion. It is time for a revolution in ventilation.



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Jun 01, 2021
Bibi, it’s cold outside: Israel’s improbable coalition
00:20:37

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

 

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Jun 01, 2021
The Jab: What’s the best vaccination strategy?
00:38:17

The Jab: What’s the best vaccination strategy?


Getting vaccine regimens right is a matter of life and death. We investigate new research that could shape how jabs are rolled out.


The Oxford Vaccine Group’s Matthew Snape says mixing vaccines could boost immunity, and Zeke Emanuel of the University of Pennsylvania explains why second doses should be delayed. Also, we ask Leana Wen of George Washington University whether children should be offered the vaccine.


Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Slavea Chankova, The Economist’s health-care correspondent.


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May 31, 2021
The World Ahead: Preparing for the next catastrophe
00:25:58

The coronavirus pandemic took the world by surprise. But experts had been predicting something similar for decades. Which other threats deserve more attention—from solar flares and rogue AI to antibiotic resistance? And how has the pandemic affected efforts to prepare for them? Also, the mission to crash a space probe into an asteroid, and how it could help protect the Earth in future. Tom Standage hosts.

 

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

 

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May 31, 2021
From the head down: rot in South Africa
00:22:29

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

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May 31, 2021
Editor’s Picks: May 31st 2021
00:31:26

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: Israel and Palestine: two states or one?, Mexico’s false messiah (10:16) And, 

the theory of SARS-CoV-2's origins (18:22)

 

 

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May 30, 2021
Checks and Balance: Texas carry’em
00:39:24

Texas legislators only meet every other year. Their most conservative session in a generation just relaxed gun laws and restricted abortion. Might Republican strength in Texas ease the hangover from the Trump presidency


Mark Jones of Rice University, Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo, and James Astill, The Economist’s Washington bureau chief, contribute.


John Prideaux hosts with Alexandra Suich Bass and Jon Fasman.


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May 28, 2021
Caught in the activists: oil majors’ shake-ups
00:19:36

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

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May 28, 2021
The Economist Asks: Ray Dalio
00:31:27

The billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge-fund manager, assesses President Biden's plans to tax the rich. Anne McElvoy asks him whether his firm's distinctive culture is cultish and whether the Redditers were right in their criticism of hedge funds over GameStop. Also, the need to place some chips on China's economic power and the power of meditation.


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May 27, 2021
On the origins and the specious: the SARS-CoV-2 lab-leak theory
00:20:43

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

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May 27, 2021
Money Talks: A tale of two Europes
00:26:44

The French are back in cafes and Italians can stay out past 10pm—relief at reopening is widespread but European economic recovery risks being starkly unequal. Plus, Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival, the world’s biggest cruise company, shares lessons from a year in the doldrums as ships prepare to set sail again. And, are cryptocurrencies a financial world unto themselves? Patrick Lane hosts.


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May 26, 2021
From out of thin air: Belarus dissidents' fates
00:21:38

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

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May 26, 2021
Babbage: It’s in the genes
00:23:20

How can RNA, which is crucial for the development of vaccines, be used for controlling agricultural pests? Also, we ask Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian, a pioneer in next-generation DNA sequencing, what this technology heralds for the future of healthcare. And can dogs be used to screen for covid-19 at airports or mass gatherings? Kenneth Cukier hosts 



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May 25, 2021
To protect and serve: police reform one year after George Floyd
00:19:54

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

 

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May 25, 2021
The Jab: Can Asia’s covid havens re-open?
00:39:51

A “zero-covid” strategy has kept cases to a minimum in a handful of Asia-Pacific countries. How can they use vaccines to end their isolation?


Professor Gabriel Leung of the University of Hong Kong says “zero-covid” countries have become victims of their own success, Charlie McCann explains South-East Asia’s worrying new wave, and Nell Whitehead reports from Australia.


Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Edward Carr, The Economist’s deputy editor.


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

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

 

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May 24, 2021
Editor’s Picks: May 24th 2021
00:28:21

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: race in America, the green investment boom (10:00), and why NATO increasingly sees its soldiers’ phones as a liability (21:50).

 

 

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May 23, 2021
Checks and Balance: One year on
00:48:02

The idea that racism is resistant to laws meant to end it originated in academia a generation ago. It’s become more mainstream since the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed. How helpful is this way of thinking about race in America?


In this episode we assess how the debate on race is changing with historian Yohuru Williams; find out how "Critical Race Theory" entered the culture wars; and speak to Kimberlé Crenshaw, one of its leading scholars.


John Prideaux hosts with Idrees Kahloon and Jon Fasman.


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May 21, 2021
The dust settles: ceasefire in Gaza
00:23:46

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

 

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May 21, 2021
The Economist Asks: Ben Rhodes
00:32:40

Can the US broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians? With a ceasefire restoring calm in Israel and Gaza, Barack Obama’s former security advisor and author of “After the Fall” talks to Anne McElvoy how President Biden should approach his first diplomatic test and the lessons he learnt in the White House on the art of negotiations. And, the co-host of “Pod Save The World” talks about whether it’s better to debate politics on a podcast or at the dinner table?


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May 20, 2021
Game on: the Tokyo Olympics
00:19:04

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

 

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May 20, 2021
Money Talks: Where have all the workers gone?
00:29:06

Businesses are struggling to fill vacancies at the same time as millions of people are out of work. Host Patrick Lane investigates this conundrum. Also, each year almost 10% of global tax revenue is lost through companies shifting their income to tax havens. How can governments get the world’s most profitable companies to cough up? And, Patrick Collison, co-founder and CEO of Stripe, on the rise of America’s biggest ever unlisted firm.


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May 19, 2021
Populists poised: Italian politics
00:21:28

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

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May 19, 2021
Babbage: The red planet
00:26:37

As China becomes the second country to land a rover successfully on the surface of Mars, what does the Tianwen-1 mission aim to achieve? Also, our innovation editor explores the challenge of recycling old electric vehicles, and how does Victorian-era pollution still shape England’s cities? Kenneth Cukier hosts 



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May 18, 2021
Hot air: emissions reduction
00:21:55

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

 

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May 18, 2021
The Jab: How many have really died?
00:38:20

A new model from The Economist indicates that Covid-19 has claimed millions more lives than official numbers suggest. Can enough vaccine supplies reach poorer countries to prevent millions more deaths?


Data journalist Sondre Solstad reveals the untold story of the pandemic. Robert Guest reports from Mexico, one of the countries hardest hit. COG-UK’s Sharon Peacock, a top “variant hunter”, says vaccines are beating back new strains.


Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Oliver Morton, The Economist’s briefings editor.


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May 17, 2021
Feast and famine: vaccine supply
00:20:29

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

 

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May 17, 2021
Editor’s Picks: May 17th 2021
00:20:11

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: ten million reasons to vaccinate the world, Israel and the Palestinians (9:48) and musical plagiarism (15:35).


*contains adult language

 

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May 16, 2021
Checks and Balance: Smart attack
00:40:27

A ransomware attack shut down a vital fuel pipeline on the east coast. President Biden’s plans to upgrade the hi-tech energy infrastructure may make it yet more vulnerable to hackers. Is America properly protected from cyber attack?


Michael Tran of RBC Capital Markets assesses the damage. The Economist’s defence editor Shashank Joshi puts the attack in context. Amy Myers Jaffe, author of “Energy’s Digital Future”, says it's a wake-up call. 


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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May 14, 2021
Home front: Israel’s war within
00:23:10

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

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May 14, 2021
The Economist Asks: Emily Mortimer
00:24:07

How has the pursuit of love changed? Anne McElvoy asks the British actress, screenwriter and director of the TV adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s novel "The Pursuit of Love" about the choice women face between heady freedoms and a more settled life through the generations. Should period dramas be more diverse? And, which Russian classic would she adapt for the screen.

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May 13, 2021
Purged: Liz Cheney’s sacking
00:21:09

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

 

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May 13, 2021
Money Talks: Does the world still need banks?
00:31:15

Technological change is upending finance as the clout of payment platforms and tech firms grows and central banks begin to issue their own digital currencies. But can you imagine a world without banks? Rachana Shanbhogue explores the future of banking with Alice Fulwood, The Economist’s Wall Street correspondent, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Patrick Collison, cofounder and CEO of Stripe, Kahina van Dyke, head of digital and data at Standard Chartered, and Jean-Pierre Landau, former deputy-governor of the Banque de France.


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May 12, 2021
Baby bust: China’s census
00:21:50

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

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May 12, 2021
Babbage: Chips and blocks
00:31:14

Cutting-edge semiconductors are the most complex objects that humans make. Host Hal Hodson and Tim Cross, The Economist’s technology editor, delve into the secretive science that powers a growing portion of economic activity and the world-leading yet precarious work of TSMC—the company that dominates chipmaking. The pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in this system, but the race to dominate the world of chips is just beginning.


With Dipti Vachani, vice president of automotive and IoT at Arm, Dick Thurston, former chief counsel to TSMC, and Dan Wang of Gavekal Dragonomics.


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May 11, 2021
Rockets over Jerusalem: Israeli-Palestinian violence
00:22:03

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

 

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May 11, 2021
The Jab: Why can’t more be made?
00:39:37

Thousands are dying each day amid vaccine shortages. Would a patent waiver save lives?


Jayati Ghosh of the University of Massachusetts Amherst says liberating IP is an urgent moral issue. Richard Hatchett, CEO at CEPI, disagrees.


Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Edward Carr, our deputy editor, and economics columnist Ryan Avent.


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May 10, 2021
North poll: Boris Johnson’s election victory
00:21:16

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

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May 10, 2021
Editor’s Picks: May 10th 2021
00:27:35

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: the rise of e-money, ten years after Spain’s indignados protests (10:03) and

“the brothers Karamazov” on stage (17:36).


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May 09, 2021
Checks and Balance: Crime without punishment
00:45:34

Big-city homicide rates have spiked during the pandemic. St Louis has America’s highest murder rate and nearly two thirds go unsolved. What happens when so many cases are left cold?


Sharon Williams’ son Mikey was shot and killed. His case remains unsolved. The Economist’s US digital editor Jon Fasman went to St Louis to speak to her.


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard.


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May 07, 2021
Down to brash tax: Colombia’s protests grow
00:19:51

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

 

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May 07, 2021
The Economist Asks: Amy Klobuchar
00:29:26

The Senator for Minnesota, former Democratic presidential candidate, and author of "Antitrust" talks to Anne McElvoy about whether America's mega-companies should be broken up. Also, will the Apple v Epic Games case increase competition and were Facebook’s Oversight Board right to uphold the suspension of Trump’s account. And are female politicians more likely to be accused of bossiness than men?


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May 06, 2021
Who’s to say? Facebook, Trump and free speech
00:21:40

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

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May 06, 2021
Money Talks: Berkshire after Buffett
00:25:25

Now that the world’s most celebrated investor has named a successor, the conglomerate he created must face some hard truths. Also, as companies wrestle with thorny issues from climate change to voting rights, economist Dambisa Moyo argues corporate boards need a makeover. And, the pandemic has coaxed millions of older people online—now companies are racing to keep up with the silver surfers. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts 


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May 05, 2021
Cache and carry: American states’ gun-law push
00:21:20

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

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May 05, 2021
Babbage: Belt, road and orbit
00:22:43

China recently launched the first module of its new space station—what impact will this have on the international scientific community? Also, how orbiting telescopes could be useful in understanding cancer. And when solving problems, why do people prefer to innovate by adding things rather than getting rid of them? Kenneth Cukier hosts 


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May 04, 2021
Strait shooting? The growing peril to Taiwan
00:21:42

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

 

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May 04, 2021
The Jab: Might vaccine diplomacy misfire?
00:36:42

Vaccines have become a tool of global influence. China and Russia have sent millions of doses abroad, but the West has lagged in vaccine diplomacy. What are the risks and rewards?


Agathe Demarais of The Economist Intelligence Unit, who wrote a report on the subject, tells The Jab how China and Russia’s vaccine diplomacy could backfire.


Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Edward Carr, The Economist’s deputy editor, and Argentina correspondent David Smith.


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May 03, 2021
The turn at a century: Northern Ireland’s anniversary
00:22:27

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

 

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May 03, 2021
Editor’s Picks: May 3rd 2021
00:35:00

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Taiwan: the most dangerous place on earth, post-covid syndrome (09:00) and Buttonwood: private-credit markets (28:55)

 

 

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May 02, 2021
Checks and Balance: 100 days of aptitude
00:41:55

A portrait of Franklin Roosevelt hangs in the Oval Office, where Joe Biden convenes historians to share how his hero began changing the country in his very first weeks as president. But the new president faces tough trade-offs to secure his ambitious agenda. How much might this presidency transform America?


Historian Niall Ferguson tells us presidents learn the wrong lessons from those who came before them. The Economist’s Washington correspondent Idrees Kahloon and data journalist Elliott Morris also join.


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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Apr 30, 2021
Illiberal-arts degrees: Hungary’s universities seized
00:22:26

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

 

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Apr 30, 2021
The Economist Asks: Tammy Duckworth
00:27:26

In 2004 Tammy Duckworth was shot down by Iraqi insurgents while she was serving in the army and lost both legs in the attack. As America withdraws troops from Afghanistan, Anne McElvoy asks the Illinois senator about the legacy of America's interventions abroad and whether President Biden is making the right decision. The first Thai-American woman in Congress says there is "enough pie for everyone" and minority groups in Congress should work together. Also, what scares her?  


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Apr 29, 2021
A word in edgewise: Turkey, Armenia and genocide
00:22:59

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

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Apr 29, 2021
Babbage: Post-covid syndrome
00:27:56

As research on long covid advances, how should countries respond to the impending public health emergency? Also, new hope in the fight against malaria in the form of a highly effective vaccine. And, why the sound of nature might be good for your health. Kenneth Cukier hosts 


A note for our listeners: from May 4th 2021 Babbage will be published every Tuesday.


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Apr 28, 2021
A great deal to be desired: Europe-Britain trade
00:21:56

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

 

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Apr 28, 2021
Money Talks: The QE quandary
00:23:19

As economies recover, central bankers will need to decide what to do with their asset-purchase schemes and their enormous balance-sheets. We look at how quantitative easing was pioneered in Japan 20 years ago and why it is still a black box. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts 


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Apr 27, 2021
SPAClash: the buzz and the bust
00:20:56

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

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Apr 27, 2021
The Jab: What lessons have been learned?
00:38:18

More than a billion vaccines have been administered. But the contrast between Israel, largely free of covid-19, and India, struggling with a catastrophic second wave, is stark. What explains the discrepancy?    


Devi Sridhar, Founding Director of the Global Health Governance Programme, tells us what to expect as the next billion vaccines roll out. 


Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Slavea Chankova, The Economist’s health-care correspondent, and technology correspondent Hal Hodson. Anshel Pfeffer reports from Israel.


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Apr 26, 2021
The World Ahead: Government via Siri
00:22:32

Governments’ efforts to move their services and operations online have been accelerated by the pandemic. Host Tom Standage finds out which countries are leading the way, and which are lagging behind. What are the barriers that must be overcome, and where is e-government heading next?

 

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

 

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Apr 26, 2021
Extremist prejudice: rebranding Navalny
00:23:12

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

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Apr 26, 2021
Editor’s Picks: April 26th 2021
00:31:38

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Putin’s next move, the pandemic in India (10:20) and the rise of the robot critic (18:35). 

 

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Apr 25, 2021
Checks and Balance: Vlad, bad and dangerous
00:42:00

Vladimir Putin has responded to a new US administration with typical thuggery. Russia’s main opposition leader is in prison and its military is again threatening Ukraine. Can Joe Biden deal with Russia more effectively than past presidents?


The Economist’s James Bennet and Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador who was with Biden when he last met Putin, join the discussion. Plus we hear an excerpt from The Economist Asks with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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Apr 23, 2021
Carbon date: Biden’s climate summit
00:22:40

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

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Apr 23, 2021
The Economist Asks: Henry Kissinger
00:42:00

How does the best-known veteran of foreign policy view the great global standoff today? Henry Kissinger is a titan of US politics — as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor in the Nixon and Ford administrations he brokered detente with the Soviet Union and orchestrated a breakthrough presidential visit to China in 1972. Incumbents have sought his insight long after he left the White House. Anne McElvoy asks him about the current threats to world order, how to handle Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, and what he would have done differently when in office. And, following an Economist advert, are plane companions ever too inhibited to talk to him? 


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Apr 22, 2021
Growth negligence: India’s covid-19 failings
00:19:48

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

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Apr 22, 2021
Babbage: Promising the earth
00:29:55

President Biden is hosting a virtual summit with world leaders on Thursday 22nd April aiming to convince countries to take bolder action on climate change. Does this mark a new era for American leadership on climate? With China and America at odds over human rights, security and economic competition, can they work together against this common threat? And will countries take sufficient action to meet the challenge at hand? Charlotte Howard hosts 


A note for our listeners: from May 4th 2021 Babbage will be published every Tuesday.


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Apr 21, 2021
Insuperable: Europe’s football fiasco
00:24:07

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

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Apr 21, 2021
Money Talks: Less stick more carrot
00:27:22

As America and its allies threaten more penalties against Russia over the treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, does the West’s overdependence on economic sanctions risk making them ineffective? Also, why India is proving an attractive—and clever—investor in poor countries concerned about Chinese influence. And, do plans for a football Super League risk an own goal? Patrick Lane hosts 


A note for our listeners: from May 5th 2021 Money Talks will be published every Wednesday.


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Apr 20, 2021
A case rests, a city does not: Derek Chauvin’s trial
00:22:13

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

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Apr 20, 2021
The Jab: Can Europe turn the corner?
00:35:11

The continent is suffering a third wave of covid-19 after the European Commission’s vaccine roll out stalled. French President Emmanuelle Macron has said Europe “lacked ambition” in its vaccine efforts. How can European countries catch up?

 

Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Sophie Pedder, The Economist’s Paris bureau chief, Stanley Pignal, European business and finance correspondent, and Sondre Solstad, senior data journalist.

 

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Apr 19, 2021
Lai of the land: Hong Kong’s democrats quashed
00:21:12

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

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Apr 19, 2021
Editor’s Picks: April 19th 2021
00:24:43

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, from United Kingdom to Untied Kingdom, corporations and democracy in America (09:00) and Myanmar: Asia’s next failed state (17:10).


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Apr 18, 2021
Checks and Balance: CEOutrage
00:42:48

American companies used to keep quiet about politics, relying on behind the scenes donations and lobbying. But they are increasingly speaking out on a range of issues— most recently on Georgia’s restrictive new voting laws.

 

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, of the Yale School of Management, organised a recent meeting of CEOs and says this is a great opportunity for businesses. Henry Tricks, The Economist’s Schumpeter columnist, surveys the history of corporate activism and we explore international comparisons.


John Prideaux, our US editor, hosts, with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, US digital editor.


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Apr 16, 2021
The path of increased resistance: Myanmar
00:21:47

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

 

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Apr 16, 2021
The Economist Asks: Francis Suarez
00:24:24

How do you reinvent a city? The mayor of Miami is on a mission to turn his city into the world’s foremost tech and financial hub. Anne McElvoy explores whether he can tempt entrepreneurs and investors away from Silicon Valley and Wall Street and how he will improve the lives of Miamians. Mayor Suarez talks about his ambitions in the Republican Party and reveals why he did not vote for Donald Trump.


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Apr 15, 2021
Boots off the ground: America’s Afghanistan drawdown
00:20:56

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

 

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Apr 15, 2021
Babbage: Where it began
00:35:11

Almost a year and a half since the discovery of the virus that causes covid-19, The Economist’s health policy editor, Natasha Loder, investigates one of the pandemic’s most compelling mysteries: where did SARS-CoV-2 come from? Peter Daszak, who was part of the World Health Organisation’s controversial fact-finding mission to China, explains what evidence they gathered from Wuhan’s animal markets and the city’s microbiology laboratories. 


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Apr 14, 2021
Arms’ reach: Russia flexes at Ukraine border
00:22:00

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

 

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Apr 14, 2021
Money Talks: Politics in the boardroom
00:26:56

From voting rights to climate change, companies are under pressure to speak out—is it wise to mix business and politics? Also, China’s state control over tech giants like Ant Group is growing. Trillions of dollars in market value are at stake. And, as crypto-marketplace Coinbase prepares to list and bitcoin’s value surges, we take a look at the currency’s hidden costs. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts


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Apr 13, 2021
Fission expedition: nuclear-site attack in Iran
00:21:22

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

 

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Apr 13, 2021
The Jab: How to persuade the sceptics?
00:39:17

All adults in America are now eligible for a covid-19 vaccine. Around 30% of those polled in the country, however, are hesitant to take the jab. A shortage of vaccines will soon become a shortage of arms. What is the best way to persuade reluctant citizens to get inoculated?

 

We speak to Heidi Larson, anthropologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and founding director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, about the similarities between vaccine hesitancy today and the 19th century. Crystal Son, director of healthcare analytics at Civis Analytics, on why vaccine safety messaging is ineffective.

 

Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Edward Carr, The Economist’s deputy editor, and Tamara Gilkes Borr, US policy correspondent.

 

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Apr 12, 2021
Plagued by uncertainty: German politics
00:21:58

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

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Apr 12, 2021
Editor’s Picks: April 12th 2021
00:21:15

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, riding high in a workers’ world, the Amazon effect on live sport (9:45) and even transience is mutating (17:35).

 

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Apr 11, 2021
Checks and Balance: Space race
00:40:12

American house prices have risen more steeply during the pandemic than at any time in the last 15 years. Buyers are swapping big cities for suburbs and smaller, sunnier cities in the South and Mountain West. How might this reshuffle change America's politics?


The Economist’s data journalist James Fransham and Denver correspondent Aryn Braun join, along with John Suthers, mayor of Colorado Springs. 


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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Apr 09, 2021
Like a tonne of bricks: violence in Northern Ireland
00:22:36

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

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Apr 09, 2021
The Economist Asks: Paul Theroux
00:25:17

What can a travel writer learn from staying at home? Anne McElvoy asks the prolific travel author Paul Theroux about the virtues of being homebound during the pandemic. The author of "Under the Wave at Waimea" reveals that his friend and one-time foe V.S. Naipaul inspired a character in his new book about big-wave surfing in Hawaii. Also, verbal fencing with his sons Louis and Marcel and his ultimate travel destination. 


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Apr 08, 2021
Clotting factors: the AstraZeneca vaccine
00:22:50

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

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Apr 08, 2021
Babbage: Finger on the pulse of bias
00:22:40

Hospitals routinely measure patients' blood-oxygen levels to determine the severity of covid-19. Why do these and other medical devices and treatments work less well for non-white people and women? Also, if you can have microwave ovens—why not microwave boilers for central heating? And, we explore how bees run vaccination campaigns too. Kenneth Cukier hosts


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Apr 07, 2021
Deaths spiral: America’s spike in murders
00:19:30

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

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Apr 07, 2021
Money Talks: The future of work
00:21:45

The pandemic has fuelled an explosion of unemployment and a transformation in how many people work, especially in richer countries. We consider the many reasons for optimism about the labour market and the prospects for working from home. And, we talk to David Autor, a labour economist at MIT, about the effect of covid-19 on automation. Simon Long hosts 


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Apr 06, 2021
Crown and thorn: Jordan’s royal ruckus
00:21:13

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

 

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Apr 06, 2021
The Jab: Can distribution be fair?
00:40:07

More than a billion doses of covid-19 vaccine have been made. Now comes the hard part: ensuring every country in the world has access to them. Can distribution be made more equitable? 

 

Alok Jha and Natasha Loder are joined by Edward Carr, The Economist’s deputy editor, and Sondre Solstad, senior data journalist.

 

With Seth Berkley of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

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Apr 05, 2021
He said, Xi said: America-China ructions
00:23:17

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

 

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Apr 05, 2021
Editor’s Picks: April 5th 2021
00:21:32

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how Europe has mishandled the pandemic, supply chains make the world safer (10:07), and flying taxis take off, at last (17:09). 

 

 

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Apr 04, 2021
Checks and Balance: Chain reaction
00:31:37

A container ship stuck in the Suez canal, tensions with China, and the vaccine race have combined to make America’s supply chains look vulnerable. President Biden has ordered a security review and his infrastructure plan includes measures to protect them. What are the politics of this new mantra of resilience? 


The Economist’s US business editor Vijay Vaitheeswaran and Soumaya Keynes, our trade and globalisation editor, join the discussion.


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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Apr 02, 2021
Battle acts: France beefs up its forces
00:21:39

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

 

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Apr 02, 2021
The Economist Asks: Aaron Sorkin
00:21:41

How important is truth in historical TV drama? Anne McElvoy asks the Oscar-winning screenwriter about the difference between journalistic accuracy and artistic truth, how he uses that tension in his latest film "The Trial of the Chicago 7" and why he loves courtroom dramas. The creator of "The West Wing" also explains why that series still captivates audiences and whether he would write a drama set on a Zoom call.

 

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Apr 01, 2021
Cresting: India’s second covid-19 wave
00:21:16

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

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Apr 01, 2021
Babbage: Early warning
00:25:22

How can technology be used to forecast future pandemics? We speak to the researchers creating an observatory to spot incipient health crises before they take off. Is data the ultimate weapon in the fight against covid-19 and future viruses? And, the rapid genetic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 made early testing possible—but testing infrastructure needs to be improved. Kenneth Cukier hosts.


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Mar 31, 2021
Takeaway lessons: Deliveroo’s listing disappoints
00:19:14

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

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Mar 31, 2021
Money Talks: The next generation
00:28:44

The EU’s €750bn recovery fund aims to rejuvenate the old continent, but ten months in it faces legal challenges and is yet to pay out a cent. Sustainable investing has been accused of “greenwashing”: we crunch the numbers to find out the real impact. And, ahead of Deliveroo’s IPO, our correspondents take to two wheels to investigate the economics of food delivery. Patrick Lane hosts.


With Paolo Gentiloni, European commissioner for economy and former prime minister of Italy, and Tariq Fancy, former chief investment officer for sustainable investing at BlackRock.


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Mar 30, 2021
High threat-count: boycotts in China
00:23:00

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

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Mar 30, 2021
The Jab: How will science benefit?
00:39:54

The concerted and rapid efforts to counter covid-19 have turbo-charged scientific progress. How can this new knowledge be applied to treat future threats to human health? 

 

Gregg Glenn, head of research and development at Novavax on why that vaccine is effective against variants. 

 

Alok Jha, The Economist's science correspondent, hosts with our health policy editor, Natasha Loder. Oliver Morton, briefings editor, Cuba correspondent Roseanne Lake and James Fransham from our data team join them.

 

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Mar 29, 2021
The World Ahead: Live and direct
00:23:11

How have live events, including sports, music and conferences, changed in response to the pandemic—and which changes will endure, both for in-person and remote attendees? And what do empty stadiums reveal about referees’ bias? Tom Standage hosts.

 

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

 

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Mar 29, 2021
The smell of gas: insurgency in Mozambique
00:21:17

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

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Mar 29, 2021
Editor’s Picks: March 29th 2021
00:42:42

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: science after the pandemic, Rwanda: paragon or prison? (9:10) And Herbie goes electric (33:55) 

 

 

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Mar 28, 2021
Checks and Balance: Size matters
00:39:49

President Biden wants a big infrastructure bill to follow the stimulus cash he has handed out. It would add up to a $5 trillion overhaul of America. A splurge on this scale has long been taboo in mainstream politics. Is big government back?


The Economist’s public policy editor Sacha Nauta and Henry Curr, our economics editor, join the discussion.


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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Mar 26, 2021
Growth and stagnation: Bangladesh’s first 50 years
00:21:14

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

 

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Mar 26, 2021
The Economist Asks: Ursula Burns
00:21:21

Is it time for diversity quotas? Ursula Burns, the first black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, tells The Economist’s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes why she thinks businesses will not diversify without quotas. The former CEO of Xerox also argues that business leaders have the edge over presidents when it comes to closing the skills gap and explains why she became an engineer rather than a nun. 


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Mar 25, 2021
Export-control panel: the EU meets on vaccines
00:22:27

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

 

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Mar 25, 2021
Babbage: Shooting out the messenger
00:26:25

The pandemic has fueled the rapid advancement of emerging biotechnologies. The Economist’s science editor explores the potential of RNA beyond covid-19. Also, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli explains the implications of quantum physics on our interactions with objects. And, creating self-healing materials where roads repair themselves. Kenneth Cukier hosts


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Mar 24, 2021
Can’t take a hike: more economic turmoil in Turkey
00:21:37

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

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Mar 24, 2021
Money Talks: Over the great wall
00:26:46

Against the backdrop of sanctions and retaliations, China's capital markets are increasingly interwoven with global finance—what will this mean for foreign investors? Plus, will President Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus trigger a dreaded return to high inflation—with global consequences? And, a new generation of workers' unions takes on the tech giants. Simon Long hosts.


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Mar 23, 2021
Always be their Bibi? Israel votes, again
00:20:35

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

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Mar 23, 2021
The Jab: Will America do better than Europe?
00:44:41

The EU was slow to roll out covid-19 vaccines, then destroyed confidence in the Astrazeneca vaccine and is now embroiled in a row over supplies. Will America avoid Europe's pitfalls? Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Biden, explains vaccination progress in America, the plateau of new infections and his plan to combat new variants. Also, how does America's federal system affect the vaccination programme?


Alok Jha, The Economist's science correspondent, hosts with our health policy editor, Natasha Loder. Edward Carr, The Economist's deputy editor and our New York correspondent Rosemarie Ward join them.


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Mar 22, 2021
Not-purchasing power: boycotts in Myanmar
00:20:18

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

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Mar 22, 2021
Editor’s Picks: March 22nd 2021
00:39:36

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how to deal with China, Biden’s border bind (12:01) and how the pandemic has changed the shape of global happiness (27:34). Zanny Minton Beddoes hosts.

 

 

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Mar 22, 2021
Checks and Balance: No vacancy
00:43:53

“Don’t come over” is Joe Biden’s message to migrants. Rumours that it’s easier to enter the United States since he became president are fuelling a humanitarian crisis at the southern border. The president needs a firmer grip on the issue, but his favoured centre ground is barren. How should he respond?


The Economist’s Alexandra Suich Bass reports from South Texas, we look back on Ronald Reagan’s big immigration reform, and speak to Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum.


John Prideaux, our US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, US digital editor.


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

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

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Mar 19, 2021
The Economist Asks: Joanna Coles & Melora Hardin
00:30:37

Record numbers of women are considering leaving the workforce due to the pressures of the pandemic. How can successful women help their successors through the glass ceiling? Host Anne McElvoy talks to Joanna Coles, CEO of Northern Star Investments and former chief content officer of Hearst magazines, and Melora Hardin, star of “The Bold Type” and “The Office”, about why audiences enjoy portrayals of monstrous women bosses and the best—and worst—career advice they have received. Plus, has the pandemic slain the stiletto? 


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Mar 18, 2021
Forces to be reckoned with: Afghan peace talks
00:22:34

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

 

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Mar 18, 2021
Babbage: Baidu it
00:24:27

As the Chinese tech giant Baidu prepares for a secondary listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange, how will Baidu’s rise influence technological innovation in China and beyond? Also, the humidity inside facemasks is helpful in fighting covid-19, not just preventing transmission. And Dr Tolullah Oni, an urban epidemiologist, on improving health in rapidly growing cities. Kenneth Cukier hosts 



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Mar 17, 2021
Harms weigh: AstraZeneca vaccine fears
00:22:22

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

 

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Mar 17, 2021
Money Talks: The retail revolution
00:29:41

The shopping industry is in a state of flux. Smartphones and social media are enabling a data-driven transformation that is only just getting started. Host Henry Tricks investigates whether the future of shopping will be ruled by giants and how personal data will increasingly shape not just what gets bought, and where, but even what gets made. Could a new generation of consumers change capitalism for the better?


With David Liu, vice president of strategy at Pinduoduo, Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, Nilam Ganenthiran, president of Instacart, and Katie Hunt, cofounder of Showfields.


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Mar 16, 2021
Earning them: Stripe’s monster valuation
00:20:24

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

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Mar 16, 2021
The Jab: How will behaviour change?
00:40:10

The world has stumbled through the pandemic by nationalising risk. In heavily infected countries citizens have been ordered to stay home for weeks at a time. As covid-19 vaccination programmes spread, governments must gradually restore choice to the individual. How?


We speak to Ozlem Tureci and Ugur Sahin—the couple who co-founded BioNTech which created the first covid-19 vaccine to get regulatory approval. 


Alok Jha, The Economist's science correspondent, hosts with our health policy editor, Natasha Loder. The Economist's deputy editor Edward Carr, Europe correspondent Vendeline Von Bredow and Dan Rosenheck from our data team join them.


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Mar 15, 2021
Redrawing the map: a fragmented Syria
00:22:29

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

 

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Mar 15, 2021
Editor’s Picks: March 15th 2021
00:28:22

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: Joe Biden’s economic experiment, Rupert Murdoch at 90 (09:50) and, the art of coining new words (21:50) 


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Mar 15, 2021
Checks and Balance: Fixer upper
00:41:26

President Biden’s vast economic rescue package has passed without scrutiny or input from Republicans. Meanwhile House Democrats’ plan to protect voting rights will founder so long as the Senate has the filibuster. What’s the best way to fix American democracy?


Our Washington correspondent Idrees Kahloon joins the discussion and we hear from Congresswomen Katie Porter, a proponent of the voting reform bill. The Economist’s Matt Steinglass explores the eccentricity of the supermajority.


John Prideaux, our US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, US digital editor.


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Mar 12, 2021
Casting the net wider: remaking the welfare state
00:22:43

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

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Mar 12, 2021
The Economist Asks: Philippa Perry
00:28:23

During the pandemic, how can we better parent our children? Psychotherapist and writer Philippa Perry talks to Anne McElvoy about the mental-health consequences for the 1.6 billion students kept out of school during the pandemic. Plus, why the idea of quality time is a “cop-out” and feeling sad is part of being human. 


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Mar 11, 2021
Nuclear inaction: the legacy of Fukushima
00:22:35

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

 

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Mar 11, 2021
Babbage: Coronavirus, a year on
00:23:40

A year ago the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. The Economist’s health-care correspondent reflects on the future path of covid-19 infections. Also, how have past pandemics shaped today's society? And, epidemiologist Professor Dame Anne Johnson explores the opportunities for the “new normal”. Kenneth Cukier hosts


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Mar 10, 2021
Whither permitting? Vaccine passports
00:18:51

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

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Mar 10, 2021
Money Talks: SPAC to the future
00:26:17

Special-purpose acquisition companies are Wall Street’s latest craze, attracting everyone from celebrities to retail investors. An alternative to the traditional IPO, SPACs could transform tech investing and supercharge innovation. They are even shaping the post-Brexit battle to be Europe’s financial capital. But are these “blank-cheque firms” a mania, a useful innovation, or both? Simon Long hosts.


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Mar 09, 2021
Reconciled to it: America’s stimulus bill
00:21:27

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

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Mar 09, 2021
The Jab: Trial and error?
00:37:20

Large scale covid-19 vaccine trials have taken place at exceptional speed with unprecedented scrutiny. How do they work? And why are the results so politically charged? 


We speak to Andrew Catchpole, lead scientist on the first trial to infect volunteers with the virus intentionally. Jason Palmer, presenter of The Intelligence, assists in a trial. 


Alok Jha, The Economist's science correspondent, hosts with our health policy editor, Natasha Loder. Slavea Chankova, The Economist's health-care correspondent, and James Fransham, from our data team, join them.


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Mar 08, 2021
Despair and disparities: covid-19 consumes Brazil
00:22:50

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

 

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Mar 08, 2021
Editor’s Picks: March 8th 2021
00:32:06

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how to make a social safety net for the post-covid world, the lessons of Fukushima (9:) And two nations under God (16:30).

 

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Mar 08, 2021
Checks and Balance: Sequel opportunities
00:39:38

Donald Trump has emerged from purdah at a meeting of conservative activists, hinting at another presidential run. Even in defeat the former President retains control of a party united in antipathy to liberal elites. Where does cleaving to culture leave Republicans?


We look at the legacy of Rush Limbaugh, who pioneered Trump’s brand of anti-elitism, and speak to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, one of America’s most popular Republicans.


John Prideaux, our US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, US digital editor.


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Mar 05, 2021
Rubber-stamping ground: China’s parliament meets
00:21:18

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

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Mar 05, 2021
The Economist Asks: Sir Kazuo Ishiguro
00:31:06

What can artificial intelligence reveal about what it means to be human? Host Anne McElvoy asks the Nobel prize-winning author of "The Remains of the Day” about his new book, "Klara and the Sun", in which he argues that people's relationship to machines will eventually change the way they think of themselves as individuals. But does he think only humans are capable of love? And what do he and his author daughter argue about?

 

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Mar 04, 2021
Exit stages left: America and the Middle East
00:21:24

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

 

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Mar 04, 2021
Babbage: Variations on a gene
00:24:10

As global vaccination efforts continue, how is the coronavirus mutating to stay ahead? The head of Britain's covid-19 genomics consortium explains why genetic sequencing is crucial. Also, how studying individual cancer genes may improve precision treatments. And an AI for an eye—host Kenneth Cukier investigates the potential of AI in medicine first hand.



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Mar 03, 2021
Owing to the pandemic: Britain’s budget
00:22:05

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

 

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Mar 03, 2021
Money Talks: Bonds, shaken and stirred
00:25:24

Last week’s turmoil in the bond market has calmed for now, but fears of inflation mean more turbulence ahead. Plus, how poor countries trying to secure debt relief are caught in a minefield of lenders’ competing priorities and egos. And, host Simon Long takes a lesson from a former hostage negotiator in the secrets of successful listening.


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Mar 02, 2021
A dark picture emerges: atrocities in Ethiopia
00:22:15

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

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Mar 02, 2021
The Jab: Will there be enough vaccines?
00:40:02

It is one thing to design and test covid-19 vaccines. It is another to make them at sufficient scale to generate the billions of doses needed to vaccinate the world’s population. How are the vaccines produced, why is production so variable and will it meet demand this year?


We speak to Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest supplier of vaccines. The Economist’s technology correspondent Hal Hodson explains why some vaccines take longer to produce than others. James Fransham from our data team discusses when supply will meet demand.


Alok Jha, The Economist's science correspondent, hosts with our health policy editor, Natasha Loder. Oliver Morton, The Economist's briefing editor, joins them.


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Mar 01, 2021
Coup fighters: Myanmar’s persistent protesters
00:20:59

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

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Mar 01, 2021
Editor’s Picks: March 1st 2021
00:29:57

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the superpowers' tug of war for South-East Asia, America digital markets shift towards oligopolies (09:48) the future of homeschooling post pandemic (18:54)


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Mar 01, 2021
Checks and Balance: Back problems
00:41:26

“America is back” President Biden has told allies. Hard power, including a fearsome nuclear weapons arsenal, is the foundation of America’s global influence. But many Democrats would like to demilitarise foreign policy. Can Joe Biden live up to his own rhetoric as he tries to re-engage with the world? 


We hear from Shashank Joshi, The Economist’s defence editor, and Fiona Hill, who advised President Trump on Russia. Our obituaries editor Ann Wroe profiles George Shultz, architect of the first arms control treaty. 


John Prideaux, our US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, US digital editor.


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Feb 26, 2021
Mutual-appreciation anxiety: Putin and Erdogan
00:20:30