The Economist Podcasts

By The Economist

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Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 9819
Reviews: 32

andrewbetts
 Dec 6, 2021
Excellent news source in digestable chunks


 Nov 18, 2021

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

Description

Every weekday our global network of correspondents makes sense of the stories beneath the headlines. We bring you surprising trends and tales from around the world, current affairs, business and finance—as well as science and technology.


Episode Date
The World Ahead: Year three
00:26:54

In wealthy and well-vaccinated countries, year three of the pandemic will be better than year two. But in countries that are poorer, less well vaccinated or both, the deleterious effects of the virus will linger. A disparity of outcomes between rich and poor countries will emerge. Meanwhile, tests and treatments for “long covid” are on the horizon and the mRNA technology used in some covid vaccines could be applied to other diseases. So could there be a “covid dividend”?


Host Tom Standage talks to The Economist's Edward Carr, Natasha Loder and Slavea Chankova.


For full access to print, digital and audio editions, subscribe to The Economist at www.economist.com/podcastoffer.


And we would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/worldaheadsurvey.

 

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Dec 06, 2021
The first sentence of the story: Aung San Suu Kyi
00:22:11

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

Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here 

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

 

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Dec 06, 2021
Editor’s Picks: December 6th 2021
00:23:40

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: what the Omicron variant means for the world economy, what experiments with “free banking” in the 18th and 19th centuries reveal about the future of stablecoins (10:53) and how the legacy of Stalin’s gulag continues to shape Russian fortunes (18:16) 

 

Please fill in our listener survey at www.economist.com/epsurvey 

 

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Dec 06, 2021
Checks and Balance: Courting controversy
00:42:11

The Supreme Court looks poised to place dramatic limits on abortion rights. Liberals worry this signals a conservative takeover of the nation’s laws, but the justices deny that they are politicians in robes. How is the Supreme Court reshaping America?


The Economist’s Steve Mazie explains what another case on the docket reveals about the court’s conservative wing. We go back to a surprising ruling on gay rights. And former Trump official Sarah Isgur tells us what the right thinks of the court.


Jon Fasman presents with Charlotte Howard. 


We would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/USpodsurvey 


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Dec 03, 2021
Taiwan thing after another: the Solomon Islands
00:20:44

The archipelago’s diplomatic pivot to China has added an international dimension to the latest flare-up of domestic tensions. We ask how this tiny state figures into far larger geopolitics. British law permits medical cannabis for children with epilepsy—so why are so few able to get it? And a Formula 1 race may mark the end of Saudi Arabia’s alcohol ban.

Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here 

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Dec 03, 2021
The Economist Asks: Eric Cantor
00:27:04

The former House majority leader and Virginia congressman assesses whether the Republican Party needs Donald Trump to win. The one-time rising star of the GOP talks to Anne McElvoy about the lessons learnt from losing his seat to a Tea-Party challenger. Is bipartisanship broken or can his old frenemy President Joe Biden fix it? 


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Dec 02, 2021
Roe blow? SCOTUS weighs abortion rights
00:24:02

The conservative supermajority on America’s Supreme Court looks likely to strip back rights enshrined since the Roe v Wade ruling in 1973. Beset by natural disasters, Puerto Rico did not seem ready for a pandemic—but our correspondent finds it has done better than the rest of America. And an intriguing new idea in the mystery of how Earth got its water. Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Dec 02, 2021
Money Talks: Omicronomics
00:31:01

China’s economy is slowing while America’s overheats, prompting Jerome Powell to suggest this week that the Fed could act faster than planned. As the Omicron variant triggers a fresh wave of travel restrictions, is the world economy caught between a rock and a hard place? Host Patrick Lane and Henry Curr, our economics editor, assess the threats to global growth.


With Carmen Reinhart, senior vice-president and chief economist of the World Bank group, and Wang Tao, chief China economist and head of Asia research for UBS, an investment bank.


We would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/moneytalkssurvey 


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Dec 01, 2021
The house that Jack built: Twitter’s founder departs
00:19:35

Jack Dorsey’s departure from the social-media giant reflects the growing primacy of engineering talent, and the waning mythology of the big-tech founder. Ukraine’s military has become much better at battling Russian-backed separatists since the annexation of Crimea—but now a far graver kind of war looms. And the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest list of the world’s most expensive cities.

Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here 

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Dec 01, 2021
Babbage: Omicron and on
00:28:32

Countries are scrambling to stop the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. We search for scientific clues to understand how it will shape the pandemic. Professor Sharon Peacock, one of the world’s top variant hunters, predicts Omicron will be more transmissible than previous strains. And, will Omicron supplant the Delta variant globally? Correspondent Hal Hodson looks to immunology for answers.


Alok Jha hosts, with The Economist’s health policy editor, Natasha Loder and deputy editor, Edward Carr.


We would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/babbagesurvey.  


To keep up-to-date with our coverage of the Omicron variant, go to economist.com/omicron.


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Nov 30, 2021
Centrifugal forces: Iran nuclear talks resume
00:22:51

Things were all smiles after negotiations resumed—but it is difficult to see how a middle ground can be reached in Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Apple’s surprise move to permit repairs to its hardware reflects the growing “right to repair” movement, and a shift in the notion of tech ownership. And the “grab lists” that museum curators prefer not to talk about. Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here 

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

 

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Nov 30, 2021
The World Ahead: The eagle and the dragon
00:22:53

The rivalry between China and America will intensify in 2022 as each side strives to demonstrate the superiority of its system of government. As China uses its stage-managed Communist Party congress to cement Xi Jinping in power, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party are expected to face a drubbing in America’s mid-term elections. Editor-in-Chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, US editor John Prideaux and host Tom Standage assess the competition between the two superpowers. 


For full access to print, digital and audio editions, subscribe to The Economist at www.economist.com/podcastoffer


And we would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/worldaheadsurvey.

 

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Nov 29, 2021
Priority letter: the Omicron variant
00:21:02

Governments’ rapid responses to a new coronavirus strain were wise. But much is still to be learned about the Omicron variant before longer-term policies can be prescribed. Vietnam’s government wants to create internationally competitive firms, and a growing new class of billionaires suggests the plan is working. And research suggests that social distancing comes naturally to bees under pathogenic threat.

Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here 

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Nov 29, 2021
Editor’s Picks: November 29th 2021
00:28:49

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: the venture-capital industry is being turbocharged, what the fate of star tennis-player Peng Shuai reveals about one-party rule in China (10'52) and, when a museum is on fire, how do you decide what to save? (19'09)

 

Tell us what you think at www.economist.com/epsurvey  

 

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Nov 29, 2021
Checks and Balance: Beef encounter
00:39:35

At Thanksgiving Americans express gratitude for family, the harvest… and a big, juicy turkey. Americans consume the most meat per person, but that's not good for the planet. Could they cut back?

 

The Economist’s Jon Fasman and his sons prepare the Thanksgiving turkey. We go back to a nationwide contest to find the perfect chicken. And Caroline Bushnell from The Good Food Institute discusses how to wean Americans off meat.  

 

John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.

 

We would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/uspodsurvey 


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Nov 26, 2021
A cut-rate theory: Turkey’s currency spiral
00:22:55

As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan keeps pushing his upside-down economic ideas, the currency plummets and an immiserated population grows restless. Sunday’s presidential election in Honduras will be a test of the country’s democracy; fears abound of the deadly protests that marred the last vote. And our obituaries editor reflects on the life of Rossana Banti, a storied, lifelong anti-fascist campaigner.

Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 26, 2021
The Economist Asks: Claudia Roden
00:23:06

In 1956 the Suez Crisis forced the Egyptian-born cookery writer and her Jewish family to flee Cairo for London. She tells Anne McElvoy why she collected the recipes of fellow refugees to keep the flavours of home alive and what food tells us about stories of migration. The octogenarian author of “A Book of Middle Eastern Food” and “Med” spills the secrets of her kitchen – from embracing mistakes to what to cook for the festive season. 


We would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/economistaskssurvey


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Nov 25, 2021
You put your left side in: Germany’s shake-about
00:23:00

A three-way coalition has struck a deal to govern. We ask who’s who among top ministers and what’s what on the newly centre-left agenda. A shortage of lorry drivers has sharpened Britain’s supply-chain woes; our correspondent hitches a ride with one, finding why it is such a hard job to fill. And what Maine’s new “right to food” actually means. Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 25, 2021
Money Talks: Veni, vidi, VC
00:29:39

Venture capital is no longer embodied by Silicon Valley investing in its own backyard. A new wave of both capital and competition is powering new ideas across sectors and around the world. Our correspondent Arjun Ramani and host Rachana Shanbhogue speak to veteran VCs, newcomers and founders to find out whether the innovation being funded will be worth the risks.


With Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia Capital; Rana Yared, general partner at Balderton; Ali Partovi, chief executive of Neo; Dr Maria Chatzou Dunford, founder of Lifebit.ai and Rachel Delacour, co-founder of Sweep.


We would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/moneytalkssurvey 


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Nov 24, 2021
America’s sneezing: diagnosing global inflation
00:22:18

Prices are up all over, especially in America. But whether the world’s largest economy is part of the problem or just suffering the same symptoms will determine how to fix it. Autocratic leaders of middling-sized countries are having a field day as America has relinquished its world-policeman role. And what makes some languages fail to develop a word for blue?

For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here 

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Nov 24, 2021
Babbage: Reservoir dogs
00:29:34

The coronavirus could be lurking in many species of animals, according to a new report. We analyse the implications for human health. Also, what is the relationship between an unbalanced gut microbiome and autism? And, the father of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy died this month. Aaron Beck’s daughter, the psychiatrist Judith Beck, tells us how her father turned the world of psychiatry upside down. Kenneth Cukier hosts.


We would love to hear from you—please take a moment to complete our listener survey at economist.com/babbagesurvey.  


For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.


Additional audio used with permission from the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

 

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Nov 23, 2021
New bid on the bloc: Europe and vaccine mandates
00:22:03

A Delta wave is driving restrictions and restrictions are driving unrest. Vaccine mandates like that enacted by Austria may be the only way to end the cycle. We examine the dim prospects for Peng Shuai, a Chinese tennis star who accused a senior politician of sexual assault. And a broader view of modern art at the UAE’s new Guggenheim museum. Have your say about “The Intelligence” in our survey here www.economist.com/intelligencesurvey. And for full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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Nov 23, 2021
Left, right and no centre: Chile’s elections
00:21:13

The presidential election will now go to a run-off—between candidates of political extremes. We ask how that polarisation will affect promised constitutional reform. Our correspondent visits Mali to witness the largest current Western push against jihadism, finding that governments and peacekeepers in the Sahel are losing the war. And women seek a more level playing field in competitive gaming.

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Nov 22, 2021
Editor’s Picks: November 22nd 2021
00:24:12

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: a new era of big government, the revival of far-right ideas in France (10:34) and our Bartleby column on the business phrasebook (19:04) 

 

 

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Nov 22, 2021
Checks and Balance: America on trial
00:40:30

The bare facts of the Kyle Rittenhouse case are not disputed. In August 2020 he shot dead two people, and injured a third, during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. But to the right the teenager is an American hero and to the left he’s a reckless vigilante. What does the case tell us about gun culture and race in America? 


We hear how the media on the left and right told the Rittenhouse story and go back to the origins of a notorious self-defence law. The Economist’s Daniel Knowles explains why guns divide America.


John Prideaux hosts with Jon Fasman and Charlotte Howard.


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Nov 19, 2021
State of profusion: governments just keep growing
00:22:05

Some factors that drive relentless growth in state spending are eternal; some are getting stronger. Our correspondent outlines a big-government future. We examine how MacKenzie Scott, an accidental billionaire, is revolutionising big-money philanthropy. And Moroccan hoteliers rail against a law that forbids beds for the unwed.

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Nov 19, 2021
The Economist Asks: Armando Iannucci
00:25:47

When covid-19 lockdowns shuttered his productions, the renowned satirist vented his frustrations in a new form – a mock-epic poem called “Pandemonium”. He talks to Anne McElvoy about seeking inspiration in the works of John Milton and how to find humour in difficult days. Is any joke out of bounds for the creator of the television shows “The Thick of It” and “Veep” and what’s on his pick-me-up reading list?


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Nov 18, 2021
Georgia undermined: protests and a hunger strike
00:22:24

Mikheil Saakashvili, a former president, is seven weeks into a hunger strike and protests supporting him are proliferating. We ask where the country is headed. China’s state-sponsored industrial espionage is growing more overt and more organised—and little can be done to stop it. And how to figure out the past tense of verbs like “green-light” and “gaslight”.

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Nov 18, 2021
Money Talks: Inflated expectations
00:30:55

Until recently worrying about rising prices seemed like a relic of the 1970s. Now it borders on a global obsession. As new data on inflation from around the world exceed expectations, host Rachana Shanbhogue asks whether central bankers will be able to curb the trend. Plus, we crunch the numbers in our alternative inflation “Uluru” index.


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Nov 17, 2021
Defrost setting: the Xi-Biden summit
00:19:52

The meeting between superpower presidents was cordial and careful, but it will take far more than a video call to smooth such frosty relations. Europe once had an enviable international rail network—one it must revive if the bloc is to meet its climate targets. And the costly and sometimes dangerous lengths South Koreans are going to for flattering photographs.

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Nov 17, 2021
Babbage: Mind matters
00:26:58

An estimated 55 million people around the world live with dementia, yet only a quarter have been formally diagnosed. How will technology improve diagnostic devices for the condition? Also, with better testing in place but few treatments available, we explore if healthcare systems can cope with this silent epidemic. And, author and professor, Nina Kraus explores how brains build a sound world. Kenneth Cukier hosts. 


For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our weekly science newsletter at economist.com/simplyscience.


Terms and conditions for the book competition featured in this podcast are available at economist.com/podcast-contest

 

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Nov 16, 2021
White flagged: Cuba’s muted protests
00:19:31

White roses, white sheets hung from homes, even white t-shirts: a movement’s symbolic colour was not much in evidence after officials quashed national protests. Part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to wean its economy off oil is to entice lots of tourists; we ask how likely that is to work. And gut bugs beget a bigger bounty of blackcurrant berries.

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Nov 16, 2021
To a Lesser Degree: Ratcheting up
00:38:20

COP26 has come to a close. What does the outcome mean for the future of the planet? We measure it against earlier landmarks of environmental summitry. 


Gro Harlem Brundtland, a former Norwegian prime minister and pioneer of environmental dealmaking, tells us the process is yielding results. And science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson makes the case for optimism.


Hosted by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, The Economist’s global energy and climate innovation editor, with environment editor Catherine Brahic, and Oliver Morton, our briefings editor.

 

For full access to print, digital and audio editions as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/climatepod and you can sign up to our fortnightly climate newsletter at economist.com/theclimateissue.

 

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Nov 15, 2021
Peronists’ peril: Argentina’s elections
00:20:02

The ruling party got a pasting at the polls, owing in part to a reeling economy. We ask what the opposition’s gains mean for the country. The practice of assisted dying is being enshrined in law the world over; we examine the ethical dimensions of its spread. And why electric vehicles failed to keep their market dominance a century ago.

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Nov 15, 2021
Editor’s Picks: November 15th 2021
00:19:15

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the consequences of Russia’s new era of repression, why too many are still denied the right to die assisted dying (09:19) and why Turkey is deporting refugees for eating bananas (17:09)

 

Watch The Economist’s new documentary film, “Fearless: the women fighting Putin”

 

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Nov 15, 2021
Checks and Balance: Wall or nothing
00:41:19

America has reopened its borders to vaccinated travellers, 20 months after they were shut. In that time attempts to cross illegally into the US from the south have soared. Joe Biden promised to undo his predecessor’s immigration policies, but on the ground it appears nothing much has changed. What is happening at America’s border with Mexico?  


The Economist’s Alexandra Suich Bass reports from Arizona. We go back to when a Democratic president talked tough on immigration. And migrant rights activist Gia Del Pino tells us about the families stuck in limbo.  

 

John Prideaux hosts with Jon Fasman and Charlotte Howard.


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Nov 12, 2021
The heat is on: COP26’s final hours
00:20:21

The climate summit in Glasgow is in its last official day, but looks sure to overrun as negotiators thrash out an agreement. When the talking’s over, what will count as success? The rise of film franchises and streaming is taking the shine off Hollywood’s top stars. And we hatch a tale of unusual births among North America’s biggest birds.

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Nov 12, 2021
The Economist Asks: Euan Blair
00:27:29

Host Anne McElvoy asks the founder of Multiverse why he thinks apprenticeships are the best route into the workplace and whether the education policies of former British prime minister Tony Blair, his father, mean too many young people go to university. He reflects on growing up in the spotlight and what proximity to power has taught him. And is there the tech entrepreneur’s dress code?


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Nov 11, 2021
Putin’s defiers: repression in Russia
00:19:58

As the economy has deteriorated and the internet has bypassed television, persecution of opponents has become the president’s main tool of political control. Even the pandemic has been harnessed to silence dissent. An Economist film reports on the young women standing up to Vladimir Putin. And in China, there’s a more subdued background to the Singles’ Day online shopping splurge. 

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Nov 11, 2021
Money Talks: It’s not just Evergrande
00:28:36

The debt-ridden Chinese property giant continues to teeter on the verge of collapse. But the rot in China’s financial system goes much deeper—and could pose a global risk. As COP26 in Glasgow nears a close, we explore the drawbacks of the debate over “degrowth” for tackling climate change. And the property website Zillow’s house-flipping flop reveals the limits of big data in real estate. Henry Tricks hosts


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Nov 10, 2021
Trouble at the border: Belarus and the EU
00:21:21

Around 2,000 people from the Middle East are at the European Union’s eastern frontier. Alexander Lukashenko, the autocratic Belarusian president, promised them passage to the EU. They are pawns in a long dispute and their plight is bleak. Tension is mounting in north Africa, between Algeria and Morocco. And who said words were cheap? The cost of newsprint is soaring. 

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Nov 10, 2021
Babbage: Going antiviral
00:26:14

As covid-19 threatens Europe once again, effective oral antiviral treatments for covid-19 are finally being approved by regulators. Is this the next step towards beating the virus? Also, author Azeem Azhar on what the accelerating growth of technology means for business, the economy and society. And we reveal the winners of our latest book giveaway. Kenneth Cukier hosts. 


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Terms and conditions for the book competition featured in this podcast are available at economist.com/podcast-contest.

 

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Nov 09, 2021
Dream on: Biden and social mobility
00:20:44

Americans born at the bottom of the economic ladder find it harder than past generations—or their peers abroad—to climb to the top. The president has plans to change that. But he’s already having to scale them back. Concrete may be a super-spouter of carbon dioxide, but it can go green. And a new style of book review is flourishing on TikTok

 

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Nov 09, 2021
To a Lesser Degree: Under pressure
00:40:34

The COP26 conference is taking place amid an energy crisis. How will political pressures on the negotiators from activists, public opinion, and a troubled energy market influence the outcome?


UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed tells us why the negotiations are so important to the poor world. We go to The Netherlands, where green activists have turned to the courts and we look at America’s tricky energy politics. 


Hosted by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, The Economist’s global energy and climate innovation editor, with environment editor Catherine Brahic, and Oliver Morton, our briefings editor.

 

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Nov 08, 2021
Gamechangers: Reinventing the wheel
00:30:15

Who first thought of putting wheels on suitcases and why did this seemingly obvious idea not take off until the 1990s? In the final episode of our series on how innovation works, we explore how the adoption of an idea can be hampered by social attitudes and prejudices. In the case of the wheeled suitcase, it wasn’t a change in technology that made the difference—instead, the crucial change took place inside people’s heads. Tom Standage hosts.


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Nov 08, 2021
Control the past: rewriting Chinese history
00:20:06

Over four days in Beijing, the political and military elite are meeting to recast the past. The revised version will depict Xi Jinping as a giant of the stature of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping—and justify his continued rule. More Africans are migrating, mostly within their own continent. And Hollywood is examining its navel. It doesn’t like what it finds.

 

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Nov 08, 2021
Editor’s Picks: November 8th 2021
00:24:18

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: the calamity facing Joe Biden and the democrats, the uses and abuses of green finance (10:19) And Orwellian and proud (16:07)

 

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Nov 08, 2021
Checks and Balance: Right mind
00:41:18

Normally a political party goes through a reckoning after a defeat. But, a year later, there’s been no post-mortem of the 2020 election for Republicans. Instead the GOP remains loyal to the man who many refuse to accept lost the presidency. What does the Republican party stand for beyond Trumpism?


Jon Fasman reports from a gathering of social conservatives. We find out how a radical anti-capitalist philosopher is inspiring the modern GOP. And pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson explains what drives rank and file Republicans to the polls.  


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard.


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Nov 05, 2021
Tigrayans turn the tables: Ethiopia’s war
00:22:26

Few imagined when Ethiopia’s civil war began a year ago that the capital, Addis Ababa, would come under threat from Tigrayan rebels. We explain why the tide has turned. At this time of year, India’s deadliest environmental problem—its toxic air—is at its worst. And the Chinese Comminust Party is cracking down on burning gifts for the dead.

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Nov 05, 2021
The Economist Asks: Brian Cox
00:24:37

The leading man who made his name playing the baddie talks to Anne McElvoy about what makes the best villains and his recent memoir “Putting the Rabbit in the Hat”. The star of HBO’s “Succession” says why the series struck a chord during the Trump presidency and what links the two powerful patriarchs Logan Roy and Shakespeare’s King Lear. Also, have young actors lost the craft of theatre?


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Nov 04, 2021
Covering the ground: trees and COP26
00:22:54

At the global climate summit, more than 100 countries have promised to end deforestation by 2030. Similar promises have been made before, but might this time be different? America’s Supreme Court dives into the thorny topics of abortion and gun rights. And we report on the peculiar economics of African cities where the UN has set up shop. 

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Nov 04, 2021
Money Talks: Yield curveball
00:29:20

With the prospects for inflation clouded in uncertainty, central banks are in a new staring contest with the bond market. Who will blink first? Also, host Henry Tricks explores how the private sector is influencing what might be the most corporate COP ever. And economist Claudia Goldin tracks five generations of American women to work out why the gender pay gap persists—and how to conquer it.


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Nov 03, 2021
Power failure: South Africa’s ANC stumbles
00:20:37

For the first time since the end of white rule, South Africa’s governing African National Congress is set to win less than half the vote, albeit in local polls. We explain its slide in popularity. After a dreadful 2020, Italy has had a happier 2021; what’s prime minister Mario Draghi’s next move? And we check out the rhythm of Bangladesh’s underground club scene.

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Nov 03, 2021
Gamechangers: Mobile money
00:33:34

Paying for things using your phone has become far more widespread during the pandemic. But Western consumers are playing catch-up. Mobile payments have been widespread for more than a decade in Africa, and in particular in Kenya, where the world’s first successful mobile-money system, called M-PESA, was launched in 2007. Why did it take off in Kenya first, how did users shape the development of the product—and what does this story reveal about innovation? Tom Standage hosts


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Nov 02, 2021
Babbage: The colour of health
00:36:28

The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated how the colour of a person’s skin can fix the odds on their physical health. Host Alok Jha and Tamara Gilkes Borr, US public policy correspondent, investigate what drives these disparities around the world. As health services embrace artificial intelligence, is medical AI compounding human bias—or could it hold the cure?


With Dr Lisa Angeline Cooper, healthcare professor at Johns Hopkins University; Dr Jenna Lester, director of the Skin of Colour clinic at the University of California, San Francisco; Dr Mary Janevic of the University of Michigan School of Public Health; and Dr Ziad Obermeyer, head of the Systems Medicine machine-learning lab.


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Nov 02, 2021
The Floyd factor: American police reform
00:21:26

More than a year after George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis policeman, the city votes on an overhaul of its force. We examine America’s shifting debate over police reform. Cryptocurrencies have taken off in Cuba; but the communist authorities want control. And light may be shed on the mystery of the reproductive habits—and extraordinary migration—of eels. 

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Nov 02, 2021
To a Lesser Degree: COP26 kicks off
00:36:20

As the COP26 climate conference begins in Glasgow, much is at stake. Will the leaders gathered there be able to reach an agreement to slow global warming?


US climate envoy John Kerry tells us why he is optimistic. We report from Australia, one of the rich countries lagging in its climate commitments, to look at the politics behind the negotiations.


Hosted by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, The Economist’s global energy and climate innovation editor, with environment editor Catherine Brahic, and Oliver Morton, our briefings editor.

 

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Nov 01, 2021
Cool heads needed: COP26 begins
00:20:48

World leaders are gathering in Glasgow for the UN climate summit. Can they agree on the path to meeting the goals set in Paris six years ago, to stabilise global temperatures? We weigh up the chances. Sex work is illegal almost everywhere in America; a growing movement wants that to change. And why Britain’s TV-production industry is booming.

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Nov 01, 2021
Editor’s Picks: November 1st 2021
00:24:44

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week why the COP26 climate summit will be both disappointing—and crucial; the autumn of a patriarch in Turkey (11:23); and our Banyan columnist on the BJP’s battle with Bollywood (18:47) 

 

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Nov 01, 2021
Checks and Balance: Left behind
00:41:51

The race to be Virginia’s next governor should be an easy win for the Democratic Party, so how did it get this tight? Democrats in Washington are struggling to pass a budget bill and fighting among themselves, the president’s approval ratings are in the doldrums and demographic trends are setting the party up for long-term weakness. Is this as good as it gets for the Democrats? 

 

Jon Fasman reports from an election rally in Virginia. We go back to a time when civil rights tore the party apart. And The Economist’s Elliot Morris explains why the future looks grim for Democrats at the polls.  


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard.


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Oct 29, 2021
Going critical: Iran’s nuclear programme
00:23:08

The Islamic Republic is closer than ever to a bomb’s worth of fissile material. Talks with America and other countries will resume next month, but hopes of an agreement are fading. Is war inevitable? Chinese media are not allowed to report on the #MeToo movement, but the Communist Party is taking up some feminist causes. We consider the paradox of women’s rights in modern China. And we look back at the life of Anne Saxelby, a pioneering American cheesemonger, who has died aged 40.

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Oct 29, 2021
The Economist Asks: Indra Nooyi
00:32:26

Is work-life balance possible at the top? Host Anne McElvoy asks the former chief executive of PepsiCo how she juggled family commitments with leading a Fortune 500 company. She shares her lessons on mixing business with politics – and how should top companies respond to criticism that they pay too little tax? And why did she plump for a corporate career when she could have been a rock star?


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Oct 28, 2021
Competitive spirit: tech after the pandemic
00:21:53

After a year of breakneck growth, the big five tech companies—Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft—are coming back down to earth. We look at how the pandemic has changed the industry and spurred on smaller firms. Serbia’s military build-up is making its neighbours nervous. The country’s president tells us why he’s been amassing arms. And evolution usually unfolds over millions of years. But new research into Mozambique’s tuskless elephants suggests that it can be turbocharged by humans. Additional audio used with permission from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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Oct 28, 2021
Money Talks: Is the future non-fungible?
00:29:36

This week The Economist auctioned off an Alice in Wonderland-inspired NFT for charity. Host Rachana Shanbhogue finds out how the sale went and explores the promise and pitfalls of this dizzying new market. Plus, the financial landscape in Africa is changing fast: we ask why the unicorn population has more than doubled this year and speak to Sim Tshabalala, head of the continent’s largest lender, Standard Group Bank. 


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Oct 27, 2021
Winter is coming: Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis
00:20:48

Two months after the Taliban’s victory, civilians face a looming disaster. Will Western governments dig their heels in, or turn the aid taps back on? India’s government has increasingly turned to high-tech means for delivering government services. But its digital-first solutions are inaccessible to millions of citizens. And we look at the business of renting clothing, as Rent the Runway goes public with a sky-high valuation.

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Oct 27, 2021
Babbage: Cleaning the air
00:28:42

The World Health Organisation recently declared that air pollution is the greatest environmental threat to health globally. What do cities and governments need to do to clean up their act? Also, we explore how Occam’s razor, ​​a theory from a medieval theologist, has influenced science. And, could music be an effective way to communicate with extraterrestrials? Alok Jha hosts 


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Oct 26, 2021
Trouble in Khartoum: Sudan’s coup
00:22:31

Just as the country was moving towards democracy, its generals have overthrown the civilians—again. We look at what sparked the unrest, and why coups in Africa are on the rise. Ecuador declared a state of emergency last week over a wave of violent crime. It’s just one of several headaches for Guillermo Lasso, the country’s president. And we explain why you have an accent in a foreign language.

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Oct 26, 2021
To a Lesser Degree: Living in a hotter world
00:34:50

Actions to combat climate change have been primarily focused on mitigation - limiting the amount of greenhouse-gas emissions in the atmosphere. But even with those efforts, the planet's temperature will continue to rise, leading to more extreme weather events. How will humanity adapt?


Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, tells us why adaptation in agriculture is critical to feeding the world. We go to China to explore a new kind of “sponge city,” which is designed to absorb water. And we examine the peril and promise of solar geoengineering. 


Hosted by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, The Economist’s global energy and climate innovation editor, with environment editor Catherine Brahic, and Oliver Morton, our briefings editor.

 

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Oct 25, 2021
You shall not pass: standardising vaccine passports
00:20:22

Covid certificates are a global mess, with countries operating a patchwork of incompatible systems. We look at why it’s so difficult to standardise digital health passes. When the results of Uzbekistan’s elections are published today, the only surprise will be the margin of victory for Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the country’s autocratic leader since 2016. The question is how far he can take his agenda of economic and political reform. And Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), a way of representing ownership of digital media, have taken the art world by storm. Why The Economist is getting in the game

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Oct 25, 2021
Editor’s Picks: October 25th 2021
00:22:44

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the real-time revolution transforming economics, how insurgency, secessionism and banditry threaten Nigeria (10:06) and our Bartleby columnist on why corporate mission statements deserve more than an eye-roll (17:39) 

 

 

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Oct 24, 2021
Checks and Balance: Labour’s love lost
00:39:06

Wages are going up and employees are walking out - some to strike, some never to come back. American workers have more leverage than before the pandemic. How permanent is this shift in power?


The Economist’s Simon Rabinovitch takes us to a picket line in Pennsylvania and we go back to an earlier walk out in Hollywood. Betsey Stevenson, one of President Obama’s economics advisors, tells us how long this could last. 


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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Oct 22, 2021
Flu into a rage: Brazil’s Bolsonaro inquiry
00:21:35

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

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Oct 22, 2021
The Economist Asks: Nobel peace prize winners 2021
00:26:28

This year’s award celebrates two journalists working in countries where the screws are tightening on media freedom. Host Anne McElvoy asks Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Russia’s Dmitry Muratov how they are defending the free press. The editor of Novaya Gazeta explains why he has dedicated his medal to murdered colleagues and the co-founder of Rappler shares how she fights back in the face of online trolling. 


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Oct 21, 2021
States of emergency: Nigeria
00:23:35

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

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Oct 21, 2021
Money Talks: In a tightening spot
00:29:42

Higher inflation looks likely to last into 2022. The Bank of England could be the first big central bank to raise interest rates—why might it make the first move? Also, our team explores how real-time data are upending economics. And Michael Dell, boss of the eponymous tech firm, on why founders are leaving Silicon Valley for Texas and why PCs are still sexy. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts


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

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

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Oct 20, 2021
Babbage: on Babbage
00:30:44

On the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Babbage, we retrace the footsteps of the brilliant but irascible British inventor, mathematician, and engineer. Host Kenneth Cukier investigates why Babbage is hailed by some as the grandfather of the computer, while others argue his contribution is overblown. And could letting go of parts of his legacy help unleash the future of computing?


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Oct 19, 2021
Meeting them where they are: a British MP’s murder
00:20:46

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

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Oct 19, 2021
To a Lesser Degree: Paying for it
00:33:57

The green revolution won’t be cheap, but there is enough money to make it happen - if it goes to the right places. What role can finance play in steering economies towards a low-carbon future?


Elemental Excelerator’s Dawn Lippert tells us why Hawaii is the best place to help climate start-ups find funding. Tariq Fancy, who ran sustainable investments for Blackrock, asks whether environmental investing makes any difference at all. 


Hosted by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, The Economist’s global energy and climate innovation editor, with environment editor Catherine Brahic, and Oliver Morton, our briefings editor.

 

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Oct 18, 2021
Chinese draggin’: growth slows
00:19:49

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

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Oct 18, 2021
Editor’s Picks: October 18th 2021
00:23:55

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the first big energy shock of the green era, how covid-19 will move from pandemic to endemic (11:29) and our Charlemagne columnist assesses the odds of “Polexit” versus a “dirty remain” (17:21) 

 

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Oct 17, 2021
Checks and Balance: Face palm
00:40:50

Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much, but in Facebook they’ve found a common enemy. When whistleblower Frances Haugen told a congressional hearing the company knew its products damaged the mental health of its young users, senators rushed to proclaim they would get something done. How harmful is Facebook? And will politicians take action?


The Economist’s Hal Hodson tells us we need more evidence to understand social media’s impact on wellbeing. We go back to when video games caused panic on Capitol Hill. And The Economist’s Alexandra Suich Bass explains why this scandal is politically potent. 


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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Oct 15, 2021
Port, and a storm: sectarian violence in Lebanon
00:23:22

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

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Oct 15, 2021
The Economist Asks: David Chase
00:27:14

Fourteen years after “The Sopranos'' ended, the creator of the hit TV series explains why his show is reaching new and younger audiences. Host Anne McElvoy asks whether mobsters have a moral compass and why audiences root for the patriarch Tony Soprano? The Hollywood veteran talks about bringing the story back to life in the prequel movie “The Many Saints of Newark” and why it should be enjoyed in a cinema, not at home.


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Oct 14, 2021
For watt it’s worth: energy markets’ squeeze
00:22:52

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

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Oct 14, 2021
Money Talks: A real-world revolution
00:32:03

This year's Nobel prize celebrates the "credibility revolution" that has transformed economics since the 1990s. Today most notable new work is not theoretical but based on analysis of real-world data. Host Rachana Shanbhogue speaks to two of the winners, David Card and Joshua Angrist, and our Free Exchange columnist Ryan Avent explains how their work has brought economics closer to real life.


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Oct 13, 2021
Keep your friends close: Pakistan’s shifting role
00:21:01

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

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Oct 13, 2021
Babbage: Rocks in space
00:30:33

A probe to study the Trojan asteroids is expected to take off this week, but what will this mission uncover about the formation of the solar system? Also, we explore new technology to observe asteroids, as well as a mission to deflect an incoming celestial object. And, we hear from the Nobel co-laureate in Physiology or Medicine, Ardem Patapoutian, about temperature and pressure sensing. Alok Jha hosts. 


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Oct 12, 2021
Exit Poles? A bold challenge to the EU
00:20:01

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

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Oct 12, 2021
To a Lesser Degree: Going in reverse
00:32:23

Lowering greenhouse gas emissions won’t be enough to stop the world from overheating. Carbon needs to be sucked out of the atmosphere. But can that be done quickly enough -- and on what scale?


Nathalie Seddon of the Nature-Based Solutions Initiative explores the ways ecosystems can be enhanced to store carbon. And we go to Iceland to visit the world’s largest direct air capture facility that removes carbon from the air, which is then injected into volcanic rock.


Hosted by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, The Economist’s global energy and climate innovation editor, with environment editor Catherine Brahic, and Oliver Morton, our briefings editor.

 

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Oct 11, 2021
Zero-to-some game: Asia-Pacific covid-19 plans crack
00:21:15

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

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Oct 11, 2021
Editor’s Picks: October 11th 2021
00:28:17

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the world economy’s shortage problem, Abiy Ahmed against the world (9:39) and how fast-fashion label Shein models a new style of Chinese multinational (16:50)

 

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Oct 10, 2021
Checks and Balance: Cop out
00:42:24

When Democrats took control of Congress and the presidency, it raised hopes that real change could happen in a criminal justice system tarnished by racism and police brutality. But federal efforts have stalled and progressive local prosecutors are hitting roadblocks. Why is law enforcement so resistant to reform?


The National Sheriffs’ Association’s Jonathan Thompson tells us police are open to some change. We go back to when an amateur video tape shone a light on racist cops. And Boston District Attorney Rachael Rollins explains why she’s stopped prosecuting a number of non-violent crimes.


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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Oct 08, 2021
Strait of tension: Chinese jets test Taiwan
00:22:05

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

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Oct 08, 2021
The Economist Asks: Stanley McChrystal
00:31:34

Are Western alliances fraying? Anne McElvoy asks the retired four-star US General about the diplomatic fallout from the AUKUS deal. As Chinese jets menace Taiwan, would the US go to war to defend the island? The former commander of US and coalition troops in Afghanistan ponders whether the Taliban could become America’s counter-terrorism allies. And could you follow the General’s lead and exist on one meal a day? 


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Oct 07, 2021
How to lose friends and alienate people: Ethiopia’s civil war
00:20:00

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

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Oct 07, 2021
Money Talks: The new logic of trade
00:35:48

Trade used to be about efficiency and growth. But those goals are being overtaken by others, from security to environmentalism. Our Britain economics editor Soumaya Keynes and host Rachana Shanbhogue investigate how the blurring of economic and political concerns is driving—and destabilising—trade relationships, with global consequences.


We hear from Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, about the WTO’s complicated history and contested future. US Trade Representative Katherine Tai explains where she thinks the current rules-based system falls short, particularly when it comes to China. And Pamela Coke-Hamilton, head of the International Trade Centre, identifies the winners and losers of this new era.


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Oct 06, 2021
Ticker shock: London’s wheezing stockmarket
00:23:34

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

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Oct 06, 2021
Babbage: A new Anthropocene diet
00:26:02

A new generation of technologies are transforming the world’s food-production system. Food scientists are producing cruelty-free meat in the lab, growing salad underground in vertical farms and bringing aquaculture on land. The Economist's US digital editor Jon Fasman uncovers the future of food.

 

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

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

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Oct 05, 2021
To a Lesser Degree: Best behaviour
00:31:17

Eating less meat or giving up flying are palpable ways people can help mitigate climate change. But how much does personal action matter? And how should societies meet the challenge of lowering greenhouse gas emissions?


Yael Parag of the Reichman University in Tel Aviv weighs the merits of individual carbon budgets. Bruce Friedrich of the Good Food Institute highlights the impact of eating beef. And Jon Fasman, The Economist’s US digital editor, tries a lab-grown meat substitute to assess its flavour and potential.


Hosted by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, The Economist’s global energy and climate innovation editor, with environment editor Catherine Brahic, and Oliver Morton, our briefings editor.

 

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Oct 04, 2021
Docket launch: a new term for America’s Supreme Court
00:21:54

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

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Oct 04, 2021
Editor’s Picks: October 4th 2021
00:27:16


A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: Xi Jinping’s campaign against China's capitalist excesses, how to revive Britain’s stockmarket (10:11), and electric motor city (18:33) 

 

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Oct 03, 2021
Checks and Balance: Taxing times
00:42:17

Democrats are in a fight to turn President Biden’s signature economic proposals into law. They want to raise the top rates of income tax and increase corporate tax to fund them. It would be the first big hike in federal taxes in nearly three decades. What is the best way to pay for Joe Biden’s vision of America? 


The Economist’s Simon Rabinovitch takes us through the president’s tax plans. We go back to the time when the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age became tax dodgers. And Erica York from the Tax Foundation tells us America’s fiscal system is surprisingly progressive.  


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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Oct 01, 2021
The courage of two convictions: Nicolas Sarkozy
00:21:09

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

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Oct 01, 2021
The Economist Asks: Michel Barnier
00:23:51

As trade tensions flare, Anne McElvoy asks the former chief Brexit negotiator about the state of relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom. Can the two sides end a stand-off about the Northern Ireland protocol? The author of “My Secret Brexit Diary” reveals why he wants to be the next president of France. And, after four years of tussles with Britain, would he still call himself an Anglophile? 


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Sep 30, 2021
Nobody’s fuel: Britain’s shortages
00:23:06

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

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Sep 30, 2021
Money Talks: Bricks and mortar
00:27:53

China’s largest developer Evergrande is threatening to default—what does this reveal about the broader troubles in the country’s property market? And if you live in a big American or European city, there’s a good chance that a mighty financial institution could be your next landlord. Plus, historian Adam Tooze looks back at the economic impact of the pandemic. Patrick Lane hosts.


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Sep 29, 2021
Suga-free Diet: Japan’s next leader
00:19:13

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

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Sep 29, 2021
Babbage: Don't panic
00:25:59

As British petrol stations run dry, we explore the behavioural science of panic buying. Also, a dried-up lake bed reveals evidence about America’s first inhabitants. And neuroscientist Anil Seth explains what a new theory can tell us about our conscious experiences of the world—and a chance to win his book. Kenneth Cukier hosts.  


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Sep 28, 2021
A run for its money: funding crunches in Congress
00:21:50

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

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Sep 28, 2021
To A Lesser Degree: The challenge
00:29:52

It's not too late to avert a climate disaster. The question is, how? We map out the three priorities: reducing emissions and finding ways to suck carbon out of the air, adapting to climate change; and navigating the fraught global politics to reach agreement at November’s UN Climate Conference in Glasgow.


John McDermot, The Economist’s Chief Africa Correspondent, reports from South Africa on the difficulties of weaning the country off coal. 


Hosted by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, The Economist’s global energy & climate innovation editor, with Catherine Brahic, environment editor, and Oliver Morton, briefings editor.

 

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Sep 27, 2021
Colour schemes: Germany’s coming coalition
00:19:34

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

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Sep 27, 2021
Editor’s Picks: September 27th 2021
00:25:52

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: the mess Merkel leaves behind, America gets serious about countering China (11:01) and Nigerian megachurches practise the prosperity they preach (17:36).

 

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Sep 26, 2021
Checks and Balance: AUKUS ruckus
00:41:21

Occasionally, you can see big shifts in foreign policy happen right before your eyes. The unveiling of AUKUS, the trilateral defence pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, was one of those rare occasions. What does AUKUS tell us about America’s changing priorities?  


The Economist’s Daniel Franklin explains how the pact is a response to Chinese aggression. We go back to when a European crowd went wild for an American political star. And Paris bureau chief Sophie Pedder tells us how AUKUS may benefit French president Emmanuel Macron.  


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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Sep 24, 2021
Clubs seal: China’s view as alliances multiply
00:23:19

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

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Sep 24, 2021
The Economist Asks: What happens after Merkel?
00:26:06

Host Anne McElvoy reviews the German Chancellor’s 16-year leadership with Wolfgang Nowak, a political veteran who advised Angela Merkel's predecessor, and asks what made her such a phenomenal politician. And as the race to replace Angela Merkel draws to a close, Anne talks to security expert Claudia Major about the domestic and foreign challenges awaiting her successor. 


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Sep 23, 2021
Same assembly, rewired: the United Nations meets
00:22:14

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

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Sep 23, 2021
Money Talks: Volatile gas
00:27:41

The price of natural gas is rocketing, with global consequences. Is volatility in this crucial fuel here to stay? We also ask why an investigation at the World Bank has put Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the International Monetary Fund, in the spotlight. And, after our adventures in DeFi-land last week, economist Eswar Prasad assesses who should control the future of money and payments. Patrick Lane hosts


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Sep 22, 2021
The homes stretch: Evergrande
00:19:03

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

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Sep 22, 2021
Babbage: From pandemic to twindemic
00:28:50

As the northern hemisphere heads towards its second winter battling covid-19, epidemiologist Professor Dame Anne Johnson explains the risk of a surge in flu cases and how to avoid a double pandemic. Also, a decline in mental health was one of the unforeseen consequences of the coronavirus crisis. Dr Wendy Suzuki, a neuroscientist, advises how to turn everyday anxiety into a positive emotion. And, a new form of sea defence is part natural, part artificial. Kenneth Cukier hosts. 



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Sep 21, 2021
Running to stand still: Canada’s election
00:20:01

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

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Sep 21, 2021
To a Lesser Degree: Trailer
00:01:31

Rising global temperatures have already increased the frequency of floods, wildfires, droughts, and heatwaves around the world. If humanity does not change course rapidly, the effects of climate change will become more extreme.


What can be done to avoid this outcome?


Vijay Vaitheeswaran, the Economist’s global energy and climate innovation editor, will be joined weekly by expert guests to explore how everything—from finance to agriculture, transport to international policy—will have to change to take the world’s temperature down ‘To a Lesser Degree’.

 

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Sep 20, 2021
Potemkin polls: Russia’s elections
00:21:10

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

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Sep 20, 2021
Editor’s Picks: September 20th 2021
00:24:42

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the dream and danger of decentralised finance, how America is substantially reducing child poverty (10:02) and a defence of, like, “like” (18:57)

 

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Sep 20, 2021
Checks and Balance: Life choices
00:40:32

When the Supreme Court declined to block a Texas law prohibiting most abortions after six weeks, it gave the strongest signal yet that its conservative majority is prepared to deny women the right to an abortion. Nearly fifty years after Roe v Wade, might that landmark ruling soon be overturned


Legal historian Mary Ziegler assesses Roe’s chances of survival. We look back to when the abortion debate turned deadly. And pro-life activist Kyleen Wright tells us why liberals are wrong to accuse her movement of hypocrisy. 


John Prideaux hosts with Mian Ridge and Jon Fasman.


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Sep 17, 2021
Sub plot: the AUKUS alliance
00:22:44

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

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Sep 17, 2021
The Economist Asks: Scott Gottlieb
00:30:14

As President Biden pushes to get more Americans fully jabbed, Anne McElvoy asks the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration whether America’s vaccine mandates will work. The author of “Uncontrolled Spread” discusses the failures in handling the covid-19 pandemic and the efficacy of booster shots. And, what is the best temperature to cook a steak?


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Sep 16, 2021
Shake, rattle the roles: Britain’s cabinet reshuffle
00:21:04

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

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Sep 16, 2021
Money Talks: Alice in DeFi-land
00:31:23

After a painstakingly slow start, the financial system is now digitising fast. Alice Fulwood, The Economist’s US finance correspondent, and host Rachana Shanbhogue explore the different emerging models shaping the future of money and payments. 


With David Marcus, head of Facebook Financial and Novi, its new digital wallet system; Benoît Cœuré, head of innovation at the Bank for International Settlements, a club of central banks (recorded at the 2021 Eurofi forum) and Lex Sokolin, head of decentralised finance at ConsenSys, a blockchain software firm.


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Sep 15, 2021
Hunger gains: Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis
00:20:28

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

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Sep 15, 2021
Babbage: Booster shot
00:24:55

As the northern hemisphere heads towards its second pandemic winter, some countries have already started to make third doses of vaccine available to their most vulnerable citizens. But scientists disagree about whether offering boosters is the best use of vaccine resources—or necessary at all. And, a big study in Bangladesh finds simple ways to encourage mask use. Also, we reveal our book competition winner. Kenneth Cukier hosts.


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

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

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Sep 14, 2021
Gamechangers: Thinking inside the box
00:37:15

The notion of shipping things in standardised boxes seems obvious in retrospect, so why did shipping containers take so long to emerge? Host Tom Standage finds out how difficult it was for this simple idea to take off. He talks to shipping experts and economists about the container’s far-reaching impact on the global economy—creating both winners and losers.


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Sep 13, 2021
Getting their vax up: America’s vaccine mandates
00:20:54

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

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Sep 13, 2021
Editor’s Picks: September 13th 2021
00:23:25

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, America then and now: the bitter legacy of 9/11. Why nations that fail women fail, (9:42) and a forgotten revolution in pottery (17:58)

 

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Sep 12, 2021
Checks and Balance: Twenty years later
00:43:19

America set out to reshape the world order after the attacks of September 11th. Today it is easy to conclude that its foreign policy has been abandoned on a runway at Kabul airport. Is the era of American interventionism over? 


The Economist's James Bennet traces Joe Biden’s shifting views on foreign wars. We look back to the origins of humanitarian interventionism in Bosnia. And, Anne-Marie Slaughter, former aide to Barack Obama and author of “Renewal”, tells us how American power might work in the future.


John Prideaux hosts with Zanny Minton Beddoes and Jon Fasman.


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Sep 10, 2021
From the ground up: New York after 9/11
00:22:02

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

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Sep 10, 2021
The Economist Asks: General Sir Nick Carter
00:32:37

Should the West engage with the Taliban? As Afghans and the Western alliance adjust to Afghanistan's new reality, Britain's chief of the defence staff talks to Anne McElvoy about the speed of the takeover and the future of Taliban rule. He also reflects on the mistakes of the war and assesses the terror threat as the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaches.


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Sep 09, 2021
Putsch back: Africa’s latest coup in Guinea
00:22:07

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

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Sep 09, 2021
Money Talks: Opening gambit at Intel
00:23:32

The notoriously insular American chipmaker wants to throw open the doors. Succeed or fail, this reversal will shake up a $600bn industry at the heart of the global economy. Plus, Harvard economist Edward Glaeser explains how the pandemic is transforming the world’s cities. And, as high streets and malls open, can the direct-to-consumer boom last? Patrick Lane hosts.


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Sep 08, 2021
The call before the storm? Brazil’s protests
00:21:34

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

Additional Beijing audio courtesy of Colin Chinnery.

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Sep 08, 2021
Babbage: The building blocks of life
00:27:24

From the hive of molecular activity inside every cell to how cells self-organise into complex living things and those organisms evolve into different species, host Kenneth Cukier explores the fundamental architecture of life. He also investigates how the power of stem cells could be used to treat genetic diseases and why there is still debate about the origins of modern humans.


With Geoffrey Carr, The Economist’s science editor; Dr Alison Woollard, professor of biochemistry at Oxford University; Dr Alena Pance of the Wellcome Sanger Institute of genomics; and Dr Viviane Slon, a paleogeneticist at the University of Tel Aviv.


Subscribers can read our essay series exploring how life works from the scale of the molecule all the way up to that of the planet at economist.com/biology-briefs 


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Sep 07, 2021
Bitcoin of the realm: El Salvador’s experiment
00:20:52

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

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Sep 07, 2021
Editor’s Picks: September 6th 2021
00:36:16

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: the threat from the illiberal left, the future of meetings (13:42) and covid and the internet are fuelling bonkers beliefs (22:56)

 

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Sep 06, 2021
Heartbeat of the matter: Texas’s draconian abortion law
00:22:25

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

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Sep 06, 2021
Checks and Balance: The great awokening
00:43:06

A loose set of once-radical ideas about identity, social justice and self-expression has leapt from university campuses to permeate politics and the press, spilling onto the streets and beginning to spread into schools. We investigate how this progressive revolution is changing America. Are business leaders using wokeness for profit? And how should liberals respond to the threat from the illiberal left?


We hear from Robin DiAngelo, best-selling author of “Nice Racism”, learn from the panic over political correctness three decades ago and speak to entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, author of “Woke, Inc”.


John Prideaux hosts with Idrees Kahloon and Jon Fasman.


Subscribers to The Economist can join John Prideaux and guests on September 9th for a live event on the future of American power 20 years after 9/11. Register at economist.com/USpower


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Sep 03, 2021
Taking the fifth: Venezuela’s talks
00:23:43

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

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Sep 03, 2021
The Economist Asks: Katie Kitamura
00:25:16

Anne McElvoy asks the Japanese-American writer whether war criminals can be brought to justice. The author of “Intimacies” reveals why she drew inspiration from the international criminal courts as well as the interpreters who work in them, the power of language and the pitfalls of mistranslation. The daughter of immigrants to the US talks about where she feels most at home and the secret to marital bliss.


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Sep 02, 2021
Reeling and dealing: how to engage the Taliban
00:21:29

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

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Sep 02, 2021
Money Talks: Delta means change
00:22:51

The Delta variant has altered the direction of the pandemic and the threats the world economy faces—economic policy must adapt. Also, what can America's ‘gilded age’ reveal about China's future? And, the world’s strictest limits on video games could be a ‘critical hit’ to the industry. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts. 


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Sep 01, 2021
Out for blood: the Theranos trial
00:21:17

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

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Sep 01, 2021
Babbage: Back to school
00:28:18

As debates over vaccinating children rage and the Delta variant of covid-19 surges in many countries, what impact will the return to classrooms have on the covid-19 pandemic? Also, our science correspondent Alok Jha asks ecologist Meg Lowman about the secrets that can be revealed by exploring the treetops. And the northern white rhino is nearing extinction, but can technology bring this species back from the brink? Kenneth Cukier hosts. 


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Aug 31, 2021
CDU later? Germany’s topsy-turvy election
00:20:05

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

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

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

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Aug 30, 2021
Editor’s Picks: August 30th 2021
00:18:26

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, after Afghanistan, where next for global jihad?, Why Fundamental physics is humanity’s most extraordinary achievement (9:33) And pheasants revolt in Britain (14:51) 

 

 

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Aug 29, 2021
Checks and Balance: Bay botch
00:43:41

San Francisco avoided a heavy toll from covid-19, but may feel the virus’s impact longer than other places. The city’s economy is stuttering as tech workers stay home. Emigration, crime, and poorly-run schools need fixing, just as a series of recall elections are causing political instability. Why is the home of innovation so poorly governed?


Matt Haney of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors gives us a tour of the Tenderloin district. We find out how a famous hippy handbook influenced the internet’s anti-politics. And speak to Josh Spivak, author of Recall Elections: From Alexander Hamilton to Gavin Newsom.


John Prideaux hosts with Alexandra Suich Bass and Jon Fasman.


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Aug 27, 2021
The terror of their ways: Kabul and global jihadism
00:21:52

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

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Aug 27, 2021
The Economist Asks: Kai-Fu Lee
00:30:35

One of the most prominent figures in China’s tech sector and author of “AI 2041” tells Anne McElvoy how artificial intelligence will have changed the world in twenty years time. They discuss the impact machine learning will have on jobs and why an algorithm could spot the next pandemic. Plus, can a robot ever replicate human emotion?


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Aug 26, 2021
To all, appearances: Israel’s PM in Washington
00:19:20

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

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Aug 26, 2021
Money Talks: The fight over the Fed
00:27:04

The Federal Reserve under Jerome Powell has taken an extraordinarily bold gamble. But will the central bank chairman still be in office to see if it pays off? Plus why construction firms cannot build fast enough to keep up with the rich world’s housing boom. And the race for territory as, one by one, American states legalise betting on sports.


Rachana Shanbhogue hosts. Featuring Peter Jackson, CEO of Flutter Entertainment.


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Aug 25, 2021
Delta‘s force: Australia’s covid plans crumble
00:20:45

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

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Aug 25, 2021
Babbage: Unstrung — the end of string theory?
00:25:07

The 20th Century was a golden age for physics but some of its ideas for explaining the material universe have been thrown into doubt. Could a theory known as entropic gravity usher in a new dawn? Also, how should scientists engage with science deniers? And, the technology behind the next generation of prosthetic limbs. Natasha Loder hosts. 


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Aug 24, 2021
How you like them: Apple’s decade under Tim Cook
00:20:44

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

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

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

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Aug 23, 2021
Editor’s Picks: August 23rd 2021
00:24:32

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: the fiasco in Afghanistan is a grave blow to America’s reputation, Bartleby asks whether you should work (a little) on your holiday (10:00) and, 700 years on, how Dante can still help people find hope amid adversity (15:40)

 

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Aug 22, 2021
Checks and Balance: The reckoning
00:39:45

As the withdrawal from Afghanistan descends into chaos, we consider failures in intelligence, the international reaction to America’s disorderly exit and whether decades of American involvement leave any positive legacy for the Afghan people. 


The Economist's US editor John Prideaux hosts with Laurel Miller of the International Crisis Group; Dr Weeda Mehran, who grew up under the Taliban; James Astil, The Economist’s Washington bureau chief and former Afghanistan reporter, and Jon Fasman, US digital editor.


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Aug 20, 2021
Value-free investing: China and Afghanistan
00:21:45

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

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Aug 20, 2021
The Economist Asks: Simon Russell Beale
00:24:01

The star of “Bach and Sons” tells Anne McElvoy how he brought the great German composer to life on stage. They discuss the impact of theatre closures on actors’ finances and why he reckons it’s now safe to return to the stalls on both sides of the Atlantic. Plus, how far should identity politics influence who plays which roles?


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Aug 19, 2021
Fits and starts: SARS-CoV-2’s origin
00:21:30

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

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Aug 19, 2021
Money Talks: The brass is greener
00:26:00

Hundreds of billions of dollars are pouring into the business of decarbonisation. Can this green boom flourish where the last one wilted? Plus, why the branchless neobanks finally conquering America face new challenges beyond the pandemic. And the cybersecurity industry is thriving—but do those shelling out for protection get what they pay for? 


The Economist’s finance editor Rachana Shanbhogue hosts, with Ciaran Martin, former head of the National Cyber Security Centre.


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Aug 18, 2021
Stymie a river: the American West dries up
00:19:14

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

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Aug 18, 2021
Babbage: Keeping it cool
00:24:56

Solar geoengineering has the potential to help counteract global warming, so why are scientists so cautious about it? Host Kenneth Cukier also explores a new, green idea that could revolutionise air conditioning. And our obituaries editor remembers Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in physics who united two of the known forces in the universe.


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Aug 17, 2021
It rains, it pours: Haiti’s tragedy compounds
00:20:03

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

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Aug 17, 2021
Gamechangers: More than just a game
00:38:24

Deep learning, a form of artificial intelligence, powers voice assistants, facial recognition, music recommendations and underpins pioneering scientific research on how proteins fold. But all this was made possible by a breakthrough in a completely different field: video games. Powerful graphics chips (GPUs), developed to make video games more realistic, turned out to be ideal for speeding up the mathematical calculations used in deep learning. Host Tom Standage finds out how gaming transformed AI and meets the researchers who persevered when the chips were down.

 

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Aug 16, 2021
Nothing to break the fall: Afghanistan
00:21:42

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

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Aug 16, 2021
Editor’s Picks: August 16th 2021
00:25:21

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: China’s attack on tech, function in Washington (10:09), and our prediction model for Germany’s election (17:15)

 

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Aug 15, 2021
Checks and Balance: The western paradox
00:41:41

More Americans are moving to western states in search of beautiful landscapes, cheaper housing and lower taxes. Yet wildfires, soaring temperatures and water shortages are making the West less hospitable. It’s an old Western theme: man versus nature. Does nature have the upper hand?


The Economist's US editor John Prideaux hosts with Jon Fasman and Aryn Braun.


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Aug 13, 2021
Thicket and boarding pass: travel’s tangle of rules
00:22:47

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

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Aug 13, 2021
The Economist Asks: Walter Isaacson
00:31:00

Can biography tell the whole truth? Anne McElvoy asks the writer how he balances the friendliness with his subjects and over-familiarity. The author of “The Code Breaker" and “Steve Jobs” reveals whether he regrets anything he has written and if he’s more critical of politicians than scientists. And, of all the historical figures he’s profiled, who would he most like to go for dinner with?


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Aug 12, 2021
Bridges and divides: America’s infrastructure push
00:21:53

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

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Aug 12, 2021
Money Talks: What tech does China want?
00:31:05

The contours of Xi Jinping’s grand plan for the Chinese technology industry are emerging. But with so much damage done to the country’s star firms, host Henry Tricks asks what is driving the crackdown. Can the Communist Party pull off an ambitious overhaul of the data economy without crippling it? And what could the West learn from watching the fallout?


With Don Weinland, The Economist’s China business and finance correspondent; Simon Cox, our China economics editor; Kendra Schaefer, head of tech at Trivium China; and Dr Keyu Jin of the London School of Economics.


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Aug 11, 2021
Blazed and confused: Turkey’s raging fires
00:20:23

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

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Aug 11, 2021
Babbage: Open-source intelligence
00:31:23

Amateurs, activists and academics are using technology and open-source data to uncover state secrets. Shashank Joshi, The Economist’s defence editor, explores how open-source intelligence is disrupting statecraft and asks John Brennan, a former director of the CIA, how these techniques are being used alongside secret intelligence to detect missile silos in China.


Guests include Elliot Higgins, founder of Bellingcat, an open-source intelligence collective; Melissa Hanham, affiliate at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation; and Dr Amy Zegart, author of "Spies, Lies and Algorithms".


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Aug 10, 2021
Shots or fired: America’s vaccine mandates
00:17:42

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

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

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

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Aug 09, 2021
Editor’s Picks: August 9th 2021
00:29:55

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, open-source intelligence comes of age, why regulators should treat stablecoins like banks (10:50) and how predicting viral evolution may let vaccines be prepared in advance (17:00). 

 

 

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Aug 08, 2021
Checks and Balance: Gimme shelter
00:44:39

A federal moratorium on evictions during the pandemic has been extended after protests by left-wing members of Congress. As homelessness grows more visible, the pandemic has spawned rare momentum and funds to tackle the problem. Can it be fixed?


Peter Hepburn of Princeton’s Eviction Lab assesses the impact of the moratorium. We go back to the 1980s when homelessness first became a cause célèbre. And Jason Elliott, aide to California’s governor, outlines the state’s ambitious plans to house homeless people. 


Jon Fasman hosts with Idrees Kahloon and Aryn Braun.


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Aug 06, 2021
Coming in harder: Iran’s new president
00:22:09

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

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Aug 06, 2021
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.


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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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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


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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.


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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