The Economist Podcasts

By The Economist

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Reviews: 34


 Sep 22, 2022


 Apr 26, 2022

andrewbetts
 Dec 6, 2021
Excellent news source in digestable chunks


 Nov 18, 2021

Brian
 Jul 21, 2021
Very informative.

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.

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Episode Date
The Prince episode 3: Patriot number one
32:51

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


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

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

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



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Oct 03, 2022
Editor’s Picks: October 3rd 2022
22:29

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Britain in crisis: how not to run a country. Also, how to make sense of China’s president (10:00), and why becoming a father shrinks your cerebrum (18:05).

 

Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions:

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Oct 02, 2022
The Prince episode 2: Hide and bide
36:55

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


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

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


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Oct 01, 2022
Checks and Balance: House party
41:16

House Republicans have launched their legislative agenda for the next Congress. The “Commitment to America” is fairly brief, pretty unspecific, and filled with standard Republican platitudes around tax cuts and curbing wasteful spending. Kevin McCarthy, who will probably be Speaker if his party wins, calls it “a new direction” for America.  What would Republicans do with control of the House? 


We dissect what’s in the “Commitment to America”, and look at its famous predecessor.  Representative James Comer, who will likely chair the House Oversight Committee if Republicans win, explains what he plans to do in the role.


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Idrees Kahloon.  


You can now find every episode of Checks and Balance in one place and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod.  





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Sep 30, 2022
Form-annex trick: Russia’s Ukraine-seizure bid
23:12

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

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



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Sep 30, 2022
The Economist Asks: In times of economic turmoil, can global trade help?
27:11

The World Trade Organisation was set up in 1995 to enable the multilateral trading system. But in the past decade, it’s come under pressure. Now, the global economy looks set to enter an unstable new phase. Host Anne McElvoy and Henry Curr, The Economist’s economics editor, travel to the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva to ask Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the director-general, how trade can mitigate the pain. They discuss how supply chains need to change and assess the trade-off between efficiency and equality. Dr Okonjo-Iweala examines the rift between China and America and how the WTO needs to reform.


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Sep 29, 2022
Lula loop: meeting Brazil’s presidential front-runner
27:21

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

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Sep 29, 2022
Money Talks: The rate shock
33:51

The world’s financial markets are going through their most painful adjustment since the global financial crisis. Global stock markets have sold off sharply and bond markets are on course for their worst year since 1949. The British pound briefly fell to its lowest level ever against the dollar. And the Japanese government has intervened to prop up the value of the yen for the first time since 1998. What’s underlying this shift?


On this week’s episode, hosts Alice Fulwood, Mike Bird and Soumaya Keynes are joined by our business affairs editor Patrick Foulis to parse the fallout from this month’s synchronous decision by the majority of the world’s central banks to raise interest rates. They’ll look at the idiosyncrasies of two outliers: Britain, where the government’s tax cuts are at odds with the Bank of England’s desire to reign in prices, and Japan, where the central bank recently decided to keep rates negative. Plus, Blue Bay Asset Management’s chief investment officer Mark Dowding explains why he’s decided to bet against sterling. And former Bank of Japan policy committee member Goushi Kataoka outlines why he thinks a weak yen could spell opportunity for Japan’s ailing economy.


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

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



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Sep 28, 2022
Off the top of their heads: Iran’s widespread protests
25:12
Women are burning their hijabs on bonfires and hacking off their hair—but the unrest has come to be about far more than the heavy hands of the morality police. The murder of Abe Shinzo, a former Japanese prime minister, exposed troubling government links to a cult-like sect; the fallout could unseat his successor. And using flying robots as 3D printers. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Sep 28, 2022
Babbage: How psychedelics could fix the brain
44:22

Psychedelic drugs—such as LSD and psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in magic mushrooms—may be coming to the medicine cabinet. Research into their use to treat mental-health conditions was long blocked by law and stigma. But in recent years, there has been a revival of interest in the drugs, which are now being trialled to treat conditions such as depression. The Economist’s Ainslie Johnstone visits one of Britain's most high-profile psilocybin research facilities, and investigates how the drug could help scientists better understand autism. And, as investors pile in, Natasha Loder, our health policy editor, separates the hope from the hype. Plus, we ask whether the drugs’ hallucinatory effects are necessary for their health benefits, and meet a researcher who hopes to develop psychedelics without the trip. Alok Jha hosts.


Listen to our other episodes on psychedelics in health care at economist.com/psychedelics-pod.


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.



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Sep 27, 2022
In for a penny, in for a pounding: Britain’s economic gyrations
23:25

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

Additional audio courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

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



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Sep 27, 2022
Editor’s Picks: September 26th 2022
24:27

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, a new-look Gulf, Vladimir Putin's partial mobilisation (10:45), and the Google-Meta advertising duopoly (15:00).

 

Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions:

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Sep 26, 2022
Giorgia on my mind: Italy’s far-right government
24:01

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


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Sep 26, 2022
Checks and Balance: Ukraine relief
44:36

“The world should see the outrageous acts for what they are," Joe Biden told the United Nations General Assembly this week, condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine. So far, America has led efforts to support Ukraine’s fight back against the aggressor next door. But with food and energy prices high, Vladimir Putin announcing a partial mobilisation (whatever that is) and once again threatening to use nuclear weapons, how long-lasting will support from the West be? 


Jeremy Shapiro of the European Council on Foreign Relations explains how America’s approach to Ukraine has been a success so far—and the risks it now faces. We go back to another time the United States supported an ally without putting boots on the ground. And the American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka discusses how Republicans might respond to the war in Ukraine in the future. 


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Idrees Kahloon.


You can now find every episode of Checks and Balance in one place and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod.



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Sep 23, 2022
Empire State v real-estate empire: Donald Trump’s legal woes
25:58
Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, announced a sweeping lawsuit against Donald Trump, his businesses and three of his children. He’s also being investigated over allegations of election interference in Georgia and storing classified documents at his Florida resort. The battle to be the top provider of cloud-computing services is heating up. And reflecting on the legacy of “The Joy of Sex,” published 50 years ago. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Sep 23, 2022
The Economist Asks: Why is progress on gender equality slowing?
21:27

The covid-19 pandemic played havoc with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Progress to achieve gender equality by 2030 has not only stalled, it’s reversed. Host Anne McElvoy asks Melinda French Gates, a philanthropist, if the target still makes sense. The co-chair of the Gates Foundation also discusses the overturning of Roe v Wade in America


Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/podcastoffer



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Sep 22, 2022
Inflation nation: The Fed raises rates, again
23:39
America’s Federal Reserve made its third straight 0.75% interest-rate hike, with Jerome Powell, the Fed’s chair, warning that more hikes would follow. But with inflation still high, and labour markets still tight, is the Fed doing all it can? A new report suggests that forced labour and marriage are on the rise around the world. And reflecting on one man’s long search for extraterrestrial life. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Sep 22, 2022
Money Talks: Beyond seasonable doubt
37:50

Lawsuits aimed at green-house gas emissions are a growing trend, and better science is making them more precise. As ESG comes under attack, could these suits represent a different front in pressuring companies to act on climate change?


On this week’s episode, hosts Alice Fulwood and Mike Bird speak with our environment editor Catherine Brahic about the rise in climate litigation aimed at holding companies responsible for climate change. Then, we head to Peru, to meet the farmer at the centre of a potentially seismic court case against Germany’s largest electricity firm. Finally, Sophie Marjanac of the environmental organisation ClientEarth explains why the law can be a useful way to outline the responsibilities of corporations when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions and who pays the costs of a warming planet.


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

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



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Sep 21, 2022
The 300,000 body problem: Russia mobilises and threatens
28:40

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


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



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Sep 21, 2022
Babbage: How science can save the world
36:09

During the pandemic, scientists gained greater prominence in the lives of ordinary people than ever before. And while covid-19 highlighted the importance of the field to humanity, it also raised questions about the role of scientists in modern life. Host Alok Jha talks to the astronomer and cosmologist Martin Rees, one of Britain’s top scientists and a former president of the Royal Society. His new book “If Science is to Save Us” argues that scientific knowledge can solve some of the world’s biggest problems, but it can also lead to great harm. He tells us about the three looming “mega-catastrophes” that worry him most, and how to encourage innovation in scientific research.


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.



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Sep 20, 2022
Charles in charge: the future of the Commonwealth
23:26
Elizabeth II was devoted to the Commonwealth, a club of countries that are home to one-third of the world’s population. What is its future under Charles III? Jeddah is Saudi Arabia’s most charming and cosmopolitan city, which Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Prince Muhammad bin Salman, is swiftly bulldozing. And why China’s economy may struggle to overtake America’s.

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Sep 20, 2022
Editor’s Picks: September 19th 2022
23:17

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, why the British monarchy matters, Vladimir Putin’s war is failing (10:31), and China’s property crisis hasn’t gone away (17:59).

 

Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions:

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Sep 19, 2022
The first draft is history: Chile’s rejected constitution
21:59

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

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Sep 19, 2022
Checks and Balance: Roe your own way
44:02

The most significant moment in the midterms campaigns may have come in June. That was when the Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v Wade, taking away the federal right to an abortion and sending the decision back to the states. This fired up Democratic candidates and voters. The party has been doing well in special elections and referendums, and making gains in the polls. How much is this to do with the fight for abortion rights? 


The Economist’s Stevie Hertz travels to Michigan to hear how abortion is influencing voters in that state. We go back to a milestone election for female voters. And US representative Abigail Spanberger explains how the issue is shaping her race for reelection.  


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Idrees Kahloon.


You can now find every episode of Checks and Balance in one place and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod.



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Sep 16, 2022
Minority report: the Rohingya, five years on
24:45

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

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



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Sep 16, 2022
The Economist Asks: Could Vladimir Putin lose the war in Ukraine?
37:54

Ukraine has made a remarkable turnaround. In a few days, its army liberated 6,000 square kilometres of territory–more than Russia had seized in the previous five months. Host Anne McElvoy asks Wesley Clark, a retired four-star US general, if Ukraine’s surprise counter-offensive marks a new phase in the war and what to expect if Russia retaliates. And Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, analyses whether the cracks in Vladimir Putin’s aura of invincibility will damage his standing at home. 


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Sep 15, 2022
Xi sells sanctuary: a telling Putin meeting
25:42

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

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



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Sep 15, 2022
Money talks: India's moment
36:50

India’s economy recently overtook Britain’s to be the world’s fifth largest, and it’s on track to be the fastest growing big economy this year. Part of what’s powering that growth is renewed domestic investment by the country’s big conglomerates. Could this be the year that India’s promise is realised?


On this week’s episode, hosts Mike Bird, Soumaya Keynes and Alice Fulwood examine what’s powering India’s growth. First, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, the chairman of India’s biggest conglomerate, Tata Sons, explains why the company is investing $90bn domestically. Then, our global energy and climate innovation editor Vijay Vaitheeswaran heads to Pune, where he finds that India’s green energy transition is well underway. Finally, our Mumbai bureau chief Tom Easton takes a tour of Tamil Nadu, where he sees factories rapidly being built to help power India’s domestic manufacturing transition. 


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

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



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Sep 14, 2022
Cautiousness in the Caucasus: Azerbaijan and Armenia clash
25:00

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

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Sep 14, 2022
Babbage: Will Ethereum’s merge transform crypto?
42:49

A monumental shift is about to take place in the crypto world. One of the most important blockchain projects, Ethereum, is set to change the way it secures its network—from the energy-intensive “proof-of-work” system to the greener “proof-of-stake” method. Known as “the merge”, the switch could slash Ethereum’s energy consumption by over 99 percent. The Economist’s Stevie Hertz investigates why the “proof-of-work” system of mining currencies like bitcoin is so bad for the environment, and Alice Fulwood and Ludwig Siegele analyse how Ethereum’s merge will change the wider cryptoverse. Alok Jha 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.



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Sep 13, 2022
Joule of denial: Russia’s energy games
25:01

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

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



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Sep 13, 2022
Editor’s Picks: September 12th 2022
27:14

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the death of Elizabeth II marks the end of an era. Also, why Jair Bolsonaro poses a threat to Brazilian democracy (11:15), and Europe’s energy market in crisis (19:12).

 

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Sep 12, 2022
Russian rush-out: Ukraine’s stunning gains
27:25

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

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Sep 12, 2022
Checks and Balance: The elephant in the boardroom
42:53

The close relationship between the Republican Party and the corporate world has shaped American capitalism for decades. Businesses are used to disdain from Democrats, but vitriol from the right is newer. This has been on display in public brawls between lawmakers and companies, and shifting orthodoxies in the Republicans’ economic philosophy. What will be the impact of the party’s growing suspicion of America Inc?  


West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore tells us why he’s targeting firms that won’t invest in fossil fuels. We go back to a high point in the party’s love-in with big business. And political adviser Oren Cass explains the theory behind the Republicans’ new approach. 


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Alexandra Suich Bass. 


You can now find every episode of Checks and Balance in one place and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod





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Sep 09, 2022
Beyond the call of duty: Britain’s queen dies
20:04

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

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Sep 09, 2022
The Economist Asks: Can Britain’s new prime minister solve an economic crisis?
36:55
The new leader of the Conservative Party, Liz Truss, faces an enormous task. Britain is contending with soaring energy bills, double-digit inflation and the unresolved backwash of Brexit. Host Anne McElvoy asks Lord Razzall and former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith about her path to power. And, The Economist’s Soumaya Keynes and Matthew Holehouse analyse her chances of success.

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Sep 08, 2022
Playing his Trump card: Bolsonaro and the election
27:33

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


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Sep 08, 2022
Introducing The Prince
3:28

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


Subscribe to The Economist with the best offer at economist.com/chinapod and join our editors to discuss the implications of Xi Jinping's rule at a subscriber event on September 15th here.



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Sep 07, 2022
Money Talks: Running on empty
37:41

Europe is facing a catastrophic energy crisis. Prices for the natural gas needed to power many of its electricity plants have increased ten-fold since last summer. Most recently, Russia has choked off gas supplies to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in retaliation against the G-7’s decision to put a cap on Russian oil prices. What needs to be done to keep homes warm this winter?


On this week’s episode, hosts Soumaya Keynes, Alice Fulwood and Mike Bird investigate the options facing European governments as they scramble to tackle soaring consumer energy bills. First, our Europe economics editor Christian Odendahl explains the extent of the problem and the structural factors that underpin it. Then, the IMF’s Assistant Director for Europe Oya Celasun describes how direct cash support can protect the poor from surging energy prices. Finally, Scottish Power chief executive Keith Anderson outlines his plan for a state-supported price freeze and structural reform of the UK’s energy market.


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

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

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

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Sep 07, 2022
Babbage: From our archive—the James Webb Space Telescope
41:10

In recent months, the world has been astounded by cosmic images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. By gazing deep into space, it can see billions of years back in time, and promises to transform human understanding of the universe. In this episode, first released in December 2021, host Alok Jha explores the telescope’s promise. And, science correspondent Gilead Amit asks NASA’s head of science Thomas Zurbuchen about the mission’s impact on the agency.


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.


With thanks to Don Giller for supplying additional audio.



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Sep 06, 2022
Deed of Truss: Britain’s new leader
22:07

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

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Sep 06, 2022
Editor’s Picks: September 5th 2022
24:33

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the disunited states of America, why Britain can't build (9:15) and Pakistan’s worst floods in recent memory (17:05). 

 

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Sep 05, 2022
Cereal numbers: the fall in food prices
24:37

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

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Sep 05, 2022
Checks and Balance: A house divided
46:06

Red and blue states have always been different. Each state’s ability to experiment, iterate and differentiate has been a source of strength. But as federal politics has become more partisan, so have the states. On everything from abortion to climate, American policy is now dividing into two distinct blocs. How is this new, fractious federalism changing the union?


We hear from the governors of America’s most conservative state, Tate Reeves of Mississippi, and its most progressive, Gavin Newsom of California, whose visions of America’s future are almost polar opposites. We go back to the unlikely origin of the idea that states should be the “laboratories of democracy”. And Chris Warshaw, a political scientist at George Washington University, explores how far apart states can drift and at what cost. John Prideaux hosts with Alexandra Suich Bass and Idrees Kahloon. 


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Sep 02, 2022
No quiet on any front: Ethiopia’s clash of conflicts
24:10

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

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Sep 02, 2022
The Economist Asks: How can mental health-care crises be solved?
28:01

During the 13 years Thomas Insel led America’s National Institute of Mental Health, medicines and treatments for those with serious mental health disorders improved, but outcomes did not. Host Anne McElvoy asks him what has gone wrong–and how it might be fixed. The psychiatrist and author of “Healing” also discusses how technology might help.


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Sep 01, 2022
Ready, steady, slow: Ukraine’s bid for Kherson
24:53

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

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Sep 01, 2022
Money Talks: Will the electric vehicle boom go bust?
37:47

This month, California banned the sale of petrol cars by 2035. It could prompt a third of American states to embrace electric vehicles more quickly. But America is a laggard when it comes to the EV revolution. The European Parliament voted in June for a ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2035. Japan and others are also aiming for a ban by 2035. But government efforts to encourage consumers to switch to buying electric cars could run into the reality that there isn’t yet enough capacity to manufacture the batteries necessary to power all those cars. 


On this week’s episode, hosts Alice Fulwood, Soumaya Keynes and Mike Bird look at whether the EV boom could go bust before it gets going. They’re joined by our industry editor Simon Wright who lays out the challenges battery manufacturers face in getting raw materials. Then, Peter Carlsson, the chief executive of European battery manufacturer Northvolt, outlines the challenges his firm faced in building a gigafactory in Sweden. Finally, Ford’s vice-president of sustainability Bob Holycross explains why the carmaker sees the switch to EVs as a refounding of the company.


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

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Aug 31, 2022
Iron Curtain call: Mikhail Gorbachev
26:15

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

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Aug 31, 2022
Babbage: The open-source intelligence war
41:42

Six months have passed since Russia invaded Ukraine. It is arguably the most transparent conflict ever, thanks to publicly available satellite data and social media. How has open-source intelligence (OSINT) shaped the war? The Economist’s defence editor Shashank Joshi examines the technologies behind the OSINT revolution, and how this new era of openness is changing warfare. Alok Jha hosts.


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Aug 30, 2022
Home truths: a global property wobble
23:13

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

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




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Aug 30, 2022
Editor’s Picks: August 29th 2022
21:02

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, are sanctions on Russia working? Plus, Joe Biden’s sweeping debt-forgiveness plan (10:00) and in defence of commuting (15:10).

 

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Aug 29, 2022
The third horseman: famine stalks Somalia
25:22

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


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Aug 29, 2022
Checks and Balance: Extreme goes mainstream
44:47

After the FBI raided Donald Trump’s Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, threats against law enforcement surged and an armed man tried to break into the agency’s office in Cincinnati. Election, health-care and school officials are feeling increasingly unsafe doing their jobs. Is America entering a new era of political violence?


Security expert Rachel Kleinfeld assesses the state of political violence today. We take a trip to Idaho to meet a militia leader running for elected office. And political science professor Robert Pape considers how to counter violent actors.


Charlotte Howard hosts with Aryn Braun and James Bennet.


You can now find every episode of Checks and Balance in one place and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod.



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Aug 26, 2022
Them that’s got shall have: student-debt relief
23:53
America’s federal government will spend hundreds of billions of dollars cancelling student-loan debt—fulfilling a long-standing progressive wish. But while it may be good politics, the policy rationale makes less sense. Too many Nigerian children are sent to beg on the streets by their religious teachers. And celebrating the music and culture of one of Europe’s oldest ethnic minorities. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 26, 2022
The Economist Asks: Can Russian history explain the Ukraine crisis?
32:41
Six months into Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, host Jon Fasman asks historian Orlando Figes how Russian history can help make sense of the conflict. The bestselling author explains how past myths and ideologies continue to shape Russia’s attitude to its neighbours and the West–and what could happen when the Putin era is over.

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Aug 25, 2022
Cell-by date: Malaysia’s ex-PM is jailed
22:37
Najib Razak, prime minister during the massive 1MDB scandal in which billions went missing, lost his final appeal against corruption convictions. We ask what that means for Malaysia’s politics. Many American voters want the law changed on livestock welfare—but the law is pushing back. And past and present collide in the latest from the “Predator” film franchise. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 25, 2022
Money Talks: Who is winning the sanctions war?
38:58

At the outset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West united to impose unprecedented sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s regime. Six months on, a furious debate has erupted about the true state of Russia’s economy, which has so far defied the gloomiest predictions.. So is the West losing the sanctions war?


On this week’s episode, hosts Soumaya Keynes, Mike Bird and Alice Fulwood are joined by senior economics writer Callum Williams to investigate why Russia’s economy is doing better than expected. Then Nicholas Mulder, assistant professor of history at Cornell University, explains how long it has taken for sanctions to have an impact in the past. Finally, deputy chief economist at the Institute for International Finance Elina Ribakova outlines what further measures the West could take.


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Aug 24, 2022
Putin on the fritz: Six months of war in Ukraine
25:55
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin expected to seize Ukraine easily. Instead he met fierce resistance. Ukraine has fought bravely, Russia poorly. We reflect on lessons learned in the past six months. Angola’s presidential election today is the most competitive since the country gained independence in 1975. And the Edinburgh Festival Fringe turns 75 this year. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 24, 2022
Babbage: NASA’s newish rocket
42:15

NASA’s giant new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), will soon embark on its maiden journey to lunar orbit. The launcher is designed to send humans back to the Moon, but was built on old technology, and is years late and shockingly over budget. Does NASA even need a successor to the Space Shuttle, when Elon Musk’s SpaceX is developing a cheaper, more powerful alternative? Host Alok Jha examines the politics behind the SLS and the role of NASA against the backdrop of a now-flourishing, innovative, private-sector space industry.


Listen to our guide to SpaceX’s Starship rocket at economist.com/starship-pod.


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Aug 23, 2022
How the father figures: a mysterious Moscow killing
26:14
Speculation is rampant as to who killed Darya Dugina, the pundit daughter of a Russian ultra-nationalist. We ask how the murder will be spun in the absence of answers. When it comes to gay rights, Singapore’s government takes more than it gives. And why some minority languages thrive while others wither. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 23, 2022
Editor’s Picks: August 22nd 2022
29:19

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, will Donald Trump run again? Also, the future of the Visa-Mastercard payments duopoly (9:35) and, what kind of prime minister will Britain get? (21:45) 

 

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Aug 22, 2022
Plant of attack: Ukraine’s occupied nuclear-power station
21:33
Tensions are rising at Zaporizhia, which Russian forces are using as a military base. We ask what the risks are, and whether they can be headed off. Britain’s summer heatwave was deadly—but figuring out how deadly was no easy task. And discovering the real value of the “social capital” outside family and work relationships. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 22, 2022
Checks and Balance: Trump towers
45:45

The most powerful figure in the Republican Party is still Donald Trump. Despite his attempts to overturn the results of the presidential election, his friendliness with dictators, and multiple active investigations against him, he remains the most powerful man on the American right. Mid-term hopefuls and former critics are vying for his approval. Dissenters are being swept away. Will anything break Donald Trump’s hold on the GOP? And, despite all obstacles, will he be the next Republican nominee for president?


John Prideaux hosts with Idrees Kahloon and Charlotte Howard.


Idrees and Aryn Braun, our Mountain West correspondent, drive up to Jackson, Wyoming, to witness the swansong of the state’s lone member of Congress, Liz Cheney. John talks to Jack Goldsmith, a law professor at Harvard and former top advisor to George W. Bush, about what the Mar-a-Lago raid means for Donald Trump’s legal battles. And Idrees reports from CPAC, an increasingly influential gathering of conservative activists, about the evolution of the MAGA movement.


You can now find every episode of Checks and Balance in one place and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod



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Aug 19, 2022
Debtor luck next time? Meeting Sri Lanka’s new president
22:59
We pay a visit to the presidential offices just weeks after protesters stormed them. Things seem calm and the new leader has clear plans; can the country put its years of economic crisis behind it? We investigate the curious case of Turkey’s growth amid screaming inflation. And the “shadow regency” in Britain as the Queen slows down. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 19, 2022
The Economist Asks: What can America expect from the Supreme Court’s next term?
30:56

The Supreme Court is changing America. In its last term, it eliminated the constitutional right to abortion, loosened gun laws and eroded the separation of church and state. Host Jon Fasman asks Eric Segall, professor of law at Georgia State University, what will happen in the upcoming term and whether the court could be reformed. They also discuss the role of “originalism”, the judicial philosophy that interprets the constitution precisely as it was written by its authors. 


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Aug 18, 2022
Tax brakes: Britain’s PM contenders on the economy
24:55
As a clear lead hardens and the appointment of a new prime minister looms, both contenders are making noises about cutting taxes. But would either have a firm grip on the country’s long-term woes? The vast makeover of Ethiopia’s capital city—despite a grinding civil war—is an idealised vision of the country’s future. And figuring out why thinking hard is so exhausting. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 18, 2022
Money Talks: Land, locked
39:11

Mortgage boycotts that began in Jiangxi, China have spread to nearly 100 cities across the country, threatening over 320 real estate projects. They add more trouble to a property market that was already in turmoil and portend future pain in the world’s second largest economy.


On this week’s episode, hosts Mike Bird, Soumaya Keynes and Alice Fulwood are joined by our China economics editor, Simon Cox, and our China business and finance editor, Don Weinland, to find what’s causing the crisis. First, University of California San Diego associate professor Victor Shih explains why the roots of this crisis go as far back as the early 1990s. Then, investor Andrew Left re-evaluates his report from 2012 in which he said the now-bankrupt Evergrande - once China’s second-largest property developer - was a fraud. The call got him banned from trading on Hong Kong’s stock exchange. And finally, they ask what this could mean politically for the Chinese government. 


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Aug 17, 2022
The WY and the wherefore: Liz Cheney’s loss
26:10
Wyoming’s sole representative in the House, once a Republican leading light and now a pariah for her views on Donald Trump, has been ousted from Congress. We attend her election-night defeat. The science behind behavioural nudges seems to be on increasingly shaky ground. And investigating the UAE’s questionable plans to make more rain. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 17, 2022
Babbage: Could artificial intelligence become sentient?
44:50

A debate has been raging in technology circles, after an engineer at Google claimed in June that the company’s chatbot was sentient. Host Kenneth Cukier explores how to define “sentience” and whether it could be attained by AI. If machines can exhibit consciousness, it presents myriad ethical and legal considerations. Is society equipped to deal with the implications of conscious AI?


Find The Economist’s list of the five best books to read on artificial intelligence here


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Aug 16, 2022
Class action: Kenya gets a new president
22:03
The names are familiar but the establishment-choice and rabble-rouser roles are reversed. That the vote was along class lines rather than ethnicity marks an important shift. Will the result stand? For years Mexico was seen merely as a conduit for illegal drugs; now it has a growing user base as well. And the rising number of Americans bringing guns onto flights. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 16, 2022
Editor’s Picks: August 15th 2022
31:57

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how to prevent a war between America and China over Taiwan, thanks to Vladimir Putin, Germany has woken up (10:20), and Britain’s summer of discontent (18:40).

 

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Aug 15, 2022
Poorer, hungrier, safer? Afghanistan one year on
23:20

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

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




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Aug 15, 2022
Checks and Balance: Chuck yeah!
44:39

Democrats have finally passed their climate, tax and health care legislation through the Senate. Chuck Schumer and his colleagues are toasting their successful out-manoeuvring of the GOP. How will the Inflation Reduction Act affect carbon emissions, prescription drug prices and the deficit? And will it improve voters’ views of Joe Biden and his party?


The Economist’s Vijay Vaitheeswaran assesses the climate provisions in the bill. We go back to another occasion when Democrats had to go it alone in Congress. And The Economist’s Elliott Morris considers whether a legislative victory can change voters' minds. 


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Idrees Kahloon.


You can now find every episode of Checks and Balance in one place and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod.



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Aug 12, 2022
Crimea punishment: A Russian airfield in ruins
26:15

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


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Aug 12, 2022
The Economist Asks: What does it mean to win a war today?
37:44
As the prospect of a long war in Ukraine looms, host Anne McElvoy asks national security expert Philip Bobbitt how to define victory in 21st-century warfare. They assess the war on terror, as the one-year anniversary of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan approaches. And, the author of “The Shield of Achilles” shares memories of his uncle, President Lyndon Johnson, and describes what it's like to be inside Washington’s war rooms.

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Aug 11, 2022
Teflon Don: Trump’s legal woes
24:10

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


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Aug 11, 2022
Money Talks: Fragile economies
33:02

From Sri Lanka to Pakistan, El Salvador to Ghana, Egypt to Tunisia, some emerging economies are feeling the pain of rising commodity prices, higher interest rates and a strong dollar. Is a wave of historic debt defaults coming for emerging markets?


On this week’s episode, hosts Soumaya Keynes, Mike Bird, and Alice Fulwood continue their exploration of the impact of the strong dollar. First, Kroll chief economist Megan Greene explains which countries she thinks are most vulnerable. Then, a look at what was behind the Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s, which led to an economic downturn more severe than the Great Depression. Finally, our trade and economics editor Ryan Avent says that many nations have learned lessons from past crises that could help them weather this difficult period.


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Aug 10, 2022
Latin-ex Democrats: Republicans and Hispanic voters
24:04
 Our series on America’s mid-term elections begins with a visit to a citizenship class in Doral, Florida, given by Republicans. We examine how the GOP is cutting into Democrats’ advantage with Latino voters. Britain’s trial of a superhighway for drones is a bid to unleash their commercial potential. And meeting   a Thai dissident issuing dystopian pop music from self-imposed exile. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 10, 2022
Babbage: The child hepatitis mystery
42:37

Since April a mysterious outbreak of hepatitis in children around the world has baffled doctors. Some children have required liver transplants and more than 20 have died. Recent findings may link the spike in cases to covid-19 lockdowns. We examine the evidence and ask how a lack of exposure to bugs can affect immune systems. What other consequences could pandemic restrictions have for the long-term health of children—and adults? Kenneth Cukier hosts.


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Aug 09, 2022
Strike repose: Hamas sits out Gaza violence
23:21
A ceasefire is holding after a weekend of deadly strikes. We ask why Hamas, the Palestinian movement that controls Gaza, did not get involved. As Generation Z tentatively enters the workforce, they are clamouring for more flexibility and money than their forebears enjoyed. And reflecting on the flawed but brilliant poet Philip Larkin on the centenary of his birth. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 09, 2022
Editor’s Picks: August 8th 2022
1:01:33

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, MBS: despot in the desert, the era of big-tech exceptionalism may be over (49:05), and why it’s OK not to be perfect at work (55:30).

 

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Aug 08, 2022
Greenlighted: American climate legislation
26:56
On Sunday America’s Senate passed the most-ambitious climate legislation in the country’s history, giving Democrats and President Joe Biden a huge win heading into the midterms. Why Africa is experiencing a boom in startups. And the nascent, necessary efforts to understand how the menstrual cycle affects athletic performance. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 08, 2022
Checks and Balance: Pennsylvania mania
46:49

The second part of our occasional series on the race for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat. For now the campaign is largely happening online, with Democrat John Fetterman staying off the trail due to a health scare, and Republican Dr Oz failing to take advantage of the open lane. But away from the memes and internet stunts, what do voters actually want?


Local journalist John Micek gives an update on the horse race. We go back to a sea-change moment in Pennsylvania’s electoral landscape. And The Economist’s Stevie Hertz heads into the Philadelphia suburbs to find out how voters are feeling with less than 100 days to go until the midterms. What can one state tell us about the national picture?


John Prideaux hosts with Idrees Kahloon and Jon Fasman.


You can now find every episode of Checks and Balance in one place and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod.



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Aug 05, 2022
Our summer special: a despot, a magic trick and a star
36:07
In a bumper episode, we highlight a summer’s-worth of deeply reported stories from 1843, our sister magazine: we profile Muhammad bin Salman, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, who is both a liberalising reformer and a fearsome consolidator of power. We ask why magicians are behind so many viral videos. And we explore humanity’s long-running ambivalence toward the sun. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 05, 2022
The Economist Asks: Can we learn to disagree better?
33:44

In a polarised world opportunities to disagree are plentiful – and frequently destructive. Host Anne McElvoy asks Adam Grant, an organisational psychologist and author of “Think Again”, why he thinks the key to arguing well is to be open-minded. They discuss whether social media erode reasoned argument, and the new breed of powerful political communicators. Plus, how does the psychology of resilience help those who are “languishing”?


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Aug 04, 2022
Real rate of return: Ukraine’s Kherson bid
21:24
As Russia’s campaign in the eastern Donbas region loses steam, our correspondent finds Ukraine’s efforts to recapture Kherson are gaining momentum. But at what cost? India is notorious for its staggering road-death statistics; we ask what is being done to improve them. And the two surprising factors that predict how worried people are about climate change. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Aug 04, 2022
Money Talks: Top dollar
39:42

This year, the dollar is up by 15% against the yen, 10% against the pound and 5% against the yuan. In July, it briefly hit parity against the Euro, something that last happened two decades ago. What’s behind the greenback’s rise?


In this week’s show, hosts Mike Bird, Alice Fulwood and Soumaya Keynes examine what the dollar’s strength says about its role as the world’s dominant reserve currency. First, our US economics editor Simon Rabinovitch goes in search of lunch to determine if the dollar is overvalued. Then, Eurizon chief executive Stephen Jen tells us why the dollar is smiling. Finally Megan Greene, a senior fellow at Brown University and global chief economist for CRO, explains why efforts to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency have mostly failed.


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Aug 03, 2022
Nancy meeting you here: a tetchy Taiwan trip
22:24

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

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Aug 03, 2022
Babbage: How AI cracked biology’s biggest problem
34:34

DeepMind’s artificial-intelligence system AlphaFold has predicted the three-dimensional shape of almost all known proteins. The company’s boss Demis Hassabis tells us how the AI was able to solve what was, for decades, biology’s grand challenge. Plus, Gilead Amit, The Economist’s science correspondent, explores the significance of the breakthrough for scientists tackling neglected diseases and designing new molecules. The leap forward could be AI’s greatest contribution to biology to date, but how else could machine learning help science? 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.



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Aug 02, 2022
Not-so-safe house: America kills al-Qaeda leader
24:11

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

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Aug 02, 2022
Editor’s Picks: August 1st 2022
1:13:54

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, what happened to the Ukrainians who fled to Russia, how the sun is both our creator and destroyer (27:56), and how magicians won the attention economy (34:32).

 

 

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Aug 01, 2022
Blistering pace: monkeypox spreads
24:22

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

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Aug 01, 2022
Checks and Balance: Peak progressive
46:20

The Democratic party is in the throes of a rude awakening. Despite Donald Trump remaining at its head, the Republican Party is widely expected to make significant gains in the upcoming mid-term elections. Working class and Hispanic voters seem to be turning away from the Democrats. In some liberal cities, voters are in open revolt against progressive policies. How did the party lose touch with its voters? And does a flurry of recent dealmaking suggest it can moderate in time to avoid electoral disaster?


Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, makes the case for progressive success beyond the mid-terms. We ask Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of “The New Politics of Evasion”, how the central myths of the Democratic party have changed. And Ro Khanna, a Democratic congressman from Silicon Valley, argues for how to reframe the Democratic narrative.


John Prideaux hosts with Idrees Kahloon and Charlotte Howard


You can now find every episode of Checks and Balance in one place and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod


"Triplicity, or Donkey, Moose or Elephant", by L. Mae Felker and H.S. Gillett, performed Harry Style



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Jul 29, 2022
Deus ex Manchina: American climate legislation’s revival
22:55

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


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Jul 29, 2022
The Economist Asks: How can America counter China and Russia?
26:14

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping bonded on basketball courts when they were vice-presidents. Today their relationship has turned tense as they tussle over Taiwan and trade. But the war in Ukraine is also consuming much of President Biden’s attention. Host Anne McElvoy asks Wendy Sherman, America’s deputy secretary of state, how the administration is balancing its two biggest foreign-policy challenges as well as its renewed focus on the Indo-Pacific. And the steely negotiator discusses the frustrating reality of high-stakes talks.


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Jul 28, 2022
Getting more interesting: the Fed raises rates
24:35
America’s central bank has raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point—its fourth rise this year. It is walking a fine line between cooling the economy and tipping the country into recession. Scientific results fundamental to more than a decade’s-worth of Alzheimer’s research may have been fabricated. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jul 28, 2022
Money Talks: How should crypto be regulated?
41:15

The crypto winter has left many investors out in the cold. People have lost money as lending platforms have gone bust and complex stablecoin systems have unravelled. The push for better guardrails to be put in place has accelerated. But how do you protect consumers without stifling innovation?


This week hosts Alice Fulwood, Mike Bird and Soumaya Keynes hear from Senator Cynthia Lummis, co-author of a bill that would split oversight of crypto in the US between existing agencies. They then speak to the head of one of those agencies, Rostin Behnam from the CFTC, about the role it can play. And our editor Kim Gittleson heads to an industry gathering in Paris, to find out how European crypto insiders are reacting to attempts to regulate them.


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Jul 27, 2022
Kicking the canister down the road: EU energy policy
19:21
Russia cut the gas flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by half in what many see as retaliation for Europe’s support of Ukraine. EU energy ministers fear further cuts as winter approaches. A new research review suggests the decades-long reliance on SSRIs to treat depression was based on a false premise. And why Dakar’s plant vendors show such high levels of trust. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jul 27, 2022
Babbage: Can technology personalise your diet?
43:41

Digital tools and sophisticated wearable devices are being combined with the latest knowledge on metabolic science to build personalised eating plans. Slavea Chankova, The Economist’s health-care correspondent, explores the future of nutrition. Data from new nutrition technology can also be tied to exercise monitoring devices and blood biomarkers, to build algorithms that aim to make people get healthier. But can the emerging personalised nutrition era make a real difference to public health? Alok Jha hosts.


Listen to our recent collection of episodes on the digital health revolution at economist.com/babbagewearables.


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Jul 26, 2022
Two to make a quarrel: the battle to be Britain’s PM
22:58

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

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Jul 26, 2022
Editor’s Picks: July 25th 2022
33:49

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, why ESG should be boiled down to emissions, why the Tory leadership race should focus on Britain's growth challenge (10:00), and how software developers aspire to forecast who will win a battle (18:20) 

 

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

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Jul 25, 2022
Checks and Balance: What is the fight over CRT really about?
50:25

The final episode in our three-part special series investigating the battle over what is taught in America’s public schools and asking how the anti-CRT movement became such a powerful social, legislative and political force in its own right. Although there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of teachers getting it wrong, there is little sign so far that CRT is causing widespread harm. What then explains the frenzy?


The Economist’s Tamara Gilkes Borr speaks to a teacher in Tennessee who lost his job after getting caught up in the debate. She visits a seemingly unconnected hearing in the Arizona legislature and unearths something surprising. And she goes back to Christopher Rufo, one of the leaders of the anti-CRT movement, to find out what the connection is between his campaign and the push to increase school choice in America. Does the anti-CRT movement have a bigger target?


You can listen to the rest of this special series in full via the Checks and Balance homepage and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod.  


Audio of labour-activist Dolores Huerta from “Outlawing Dolores Huerta: The Tucson Diaries” by NonProfit News



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Jul 22, 2022
Duty unbound: the January 6th hearings
26:03
Last night, the committee investigating the events of January 6th 2021 said that Donald Trump’s failure to stop his supporters’ attack was a “dereliction of duty”. The evidence was strong; whether it will change anything remains unclear. We examine the thinking behind the European Central Bank’s surprise half-point rise in interest rates. And the money motivations of Bangladesh’s loosening booze laws.

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Jul 22, 2022
The Economist Asks: How should America tackle the border problem?
30:00

The deaths of 53 migrants in San Antonio, Texas are a reminder of the risks taken to enter America illicitly. Border crossings are at record levels. President Joe Biden promised to fix immigration, but his critics say his policies stoke disorder. Host Anne McElvoy asks Ted Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas, how he would solve the problem. Plus, Alexandra Suich Bass, The Economist’s senior US correspondent, explains why Congress has failed to tackle immigration.


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Jul 21, 2022
Knock-down, Draghi-out fight: Italy in turmoil
22:40

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

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Jul 21, 2022
Money Talks: The backlash against ESG
43:43

One of the hottest areas of investing in recent years has been ESG: using environmental, social, and governance metrics as ways to assess potential investments. But the idea that you can make profits with purpose has recently come under pressure. Elon Musk has called ESG a scam; German police have just launched “greenwashing” raids; and insiders are spilling the beans. For something with hints of a moral crusade, ESG is in danger of turning into an unholy mess

On this week’s episode, hosts Alice Fulwood, Soumaya Keynes and Mike Bird investigate the problems plaguing ESG, and ask if the industry can survive. Blackrock’s former co-Chief Sustainability Officer Tariq Fancy explains why he decided the industry wasn’t fit for purpose. Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, argues that the private sector has an important role to play alongside government policy. And Henry Tricks, the author of our special report on ESG, explains why he thinks the industry should focus solely on reducing emissions - and jettison the S and G. 

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

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Jul 20, 2022
Variable-fate mortgage: China’s protests
23:43

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

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Jul 20, 2022
Babbage: How to keep secrets in the age of quantum computing
40:19

The age of quantum computing is coming closer, presenting both an opportunity and a risk for individuals, companies and governments. Host Alok Jha explores why quantum computers threaten to crack the codes that keep data and communications secure over the internet. We also investigate how encryption techniques can be improved for a post-quantum age, and why it is urgent that they be deployed as soon as possible.


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Jul 19, 2022
To a greater degree: widespread heatwaves
24:21
Vast stretches of the temperate world are baking or burning, and as climate change marches on widespread heatwaves will only grow more intense and more common. After a half-century of insurgency, some rebels of Colombia’s disbanded FARC group needed a new calling: they have become tour guides. And a look at where Ukraine can store its considerable grain harvest. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jul 19, 2022
Checks and Balance: Is CRT taught in schools?
42:21

The second of a three-part special series investigating the fight over critical race theory and asking how the anti-CRT movement became such a powerful new social, legislative and political force. The debate has become centred on how race, gender and sexuality are discussed in public schools. In this episode, The Economist’s Tamara Gilkes Borr, a former public-school teacher, puts the politics to one side to find out what is actually happening in America’s classrooms.


When critics point to the evils of CRT, they are often talking about programmes like ethnic studies and social-emotional learning. Tamara travels to San Francisco to sit in on some classes and find out what is really being taught. She hears from a mother in Arizona concerned about a book assigned to her 9-year-old daughter. And she speaks to researchers working to quantify whether the teaching of topics associated with CRT helps or harms students.


You can listen to the rest of this special series in full via the Checks and Balance homepage and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod



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Jul 18, 2022
Steal girders: Brazil’s fraught coming election
23:11

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

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Jul 18, 2022
Editor’s Picks: July 18th 2022
22:20

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, why the Democrats need to wake up and stop pandering to their extremes, Europe’s winter of discontent (9:50), and why bottling white wine in clear glass is an error (18:09).

 

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Jul 17, 2022
Checks and Balance: What is critical race theory?
32:16

The first episode of a three-part special series investigating the fight over what is taught in America’s public schools. Until recently, critical race theory (CRT) was a niche legal field encountered only by graduate students. It is now a catch-all term for whatever the right thinks is going wrong with America and a new front in the culture war alongside abortion and guns. The anti-CRT movement has become a powerful new social, legislative and political force in its own right. But what actually is critical race theory?


The Economist’s Tamara Gilkes Borr, a former public-school teacher, has spent months reporting on this issue. In this episode she speaks to Kimberlé Crenshaw, a professor at UCLA and Columbia law schools and one of the scholars who first developed critical race theory. She meets Christopher Rufo, the man who started the conservative furore over CRT. And she examines what the bans against the teaching of CRT in 17 states actually do. 


You can listen to the rest of this special series in full via the Checks and Balance homepage and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod.



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Jul 15, 2022
Jeddah mind trick: Joe Biden in Saudi Arabia
22:02

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


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Jul 15, 2022
The Economist Asks: How has Ukraine changed warfare?
28:30

As the Ukraine conflict grinds into its fifth month, host Anne McElvoy and Shashank Joshi, The Economist’s defence editor, ask Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Britain’s chief of the defence staff, how Ukraine can win as Russia wages a long war of attrition. The head of the UK’s armed forces assesses the strengths of the Russian army and how western militaries are meeting that challenge.


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Jul 14, 2022
A bird out of hand: Elon Musk and Twitter
21:26
Elon Musk wants out of his deal to buy Twitter for $44bn. Twitter wants the Delaware chancery court to hold him to the deal. But the company faces an uncertain future, whoever owns it. Why the pandemic has been great for sellers of traditional herbal medicine. And looking back on a video game that let users create art, music and animation, with the help of a little barking puppy. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jul 14, 2022
Money Talks: Britain's growth crisis
39:50

Britain’s Conservative party may be changing leadership, but it will take a lot more than that to change the country's gloomy economic situation. Prices are rising at their fastest pace in 40 years–at one of the highest rates in the West. The cost of servicing the country’s ballooning debt has increased. And a recession is looming. 


On this week’s episode, hosts Soumaya Keynes, Alice Fulwood and Mike Bird investigate just what’s behind Britain’s growth crisis. First, they ask our Britain editor Andrew Palmer how much of the current situation is down to Boris Johnson’s government’s economic policies and the OBR’s David Miles explains how much space the incoming government has to cut taxes. Then, Anna Valero of London School of Economics explains what’s behind Britain’s tepid growth: a productivity crisis. The Economist’s Joshua Roberts shows venture capital’s role. Finally, they ask just what can be done to get Britain’s economy back on track. 


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter dissecting the big themes in markets, business and the economy at economist.com/moneytalks and sign up to our new, six-week online course "Fintech and the Future of Finance" at economist.com/futureoffinance. Use discount code ‘moneytalks’ for a special offer. 


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Jul 13, 2022
Bravery behind bars: Alexei Navalny imprisoned
20:19

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


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Jul 13, 2022
Babbage: How did humans evolve?
40:17

The evolutionary journey that created modern humans was once thought to be relatively linear. But new technology is revealing a far more complex picture. The Economist’s Dylan Barry travels to South Africa to trace the story of our evolution, and explains how interbreeding with other species provided the genes possessed by many people today. To uncover our origins, scientists are nowadays not only hunting for clues in the bones of our ancestors—but in the genomes of living people, too. We speak to the researchers who are helping to rewrite the human story. Alok Jha hosts.


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Jul 12, 2022
Field work: The race to succeed Boris Johnson
23:36

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


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


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Jul 12, 2022
Editor’s Picks: July 11th 2022
28:22

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, why Britain is in a dangerous state, why the world’s most exciting app is also its most mistrusted (10:49), and Trumpism’s new Washington army (18:38).

 

 

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Jul 11, 2022
Gota goes: Sri Lanka’s president resigns
22:09
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president, announced he will step down on Wednesday after protestors occupied Colombo, the country’s capital, over the weekend. Whoever succeeds him will inherit a host of thorny economic problems. Why Europe’s big tech firms are well placed to weather a downturn. And remembering Peter Brook, an extraordinary theatre director who died at the age of 93. To sign up for tomorrow’s webinar about Britain’s future after Boris Johnson’s resignation, sign up at www.economist.com/boris-resigns.

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Jul 11, 2022
Checks and Balance: Price control
42:52

Despite a remarkably strong labour market, predictions of an imminent downturn are everywhere. The disagreement now is not over whether the Federal Reserve should fight inflation, but how painful the consequences of doing so will be. In trying to fix one problem, will the Federal Reserve create another? How much should Americans blame President Biden for the increasingly gloomy outlook? And what can the administration do to protect both the economy and its own electoral future?


We ask Dr Cecilia Rouse, chair of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors, whether America is heading for recession and why the post-pandemic economic paradigm is different. We go back to the 1970s to find out why inflation is so politically toxic for the Democrats. And our US economics editor Simon Rabinovitch looks beyond the midterms to see whether President Biden has a way out.


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Idrees Kahloon


You can now find every episode of Checks and Balance in one place and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod



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Jul 08, 2022
Tragedy in Japan: the killing of Abe Shinzo
24:25

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

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Jul 08, 2022
The Economist Asks: Boris Johnson resigns – what next?
34:14

After days of mounting pressure–sparked by a scandal involving his deputy chief whip–Britain’s prime minister quit as Conservative Party leader. The scandal is one of many that plagued his leadership, but the problems facing the Tories run far deeper. Host Anne McElvoy asks The Economist’s Andrew Palmer and Soumaya Keynes what brought the curtain down on Mr Johnson and what problems await his successor. Plus, Charles Powell, Margaret Thatcher’s closest adviser, assesses the similarities between the denouement of the two charismatic and controversial leaders.


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Jul 07, 2022
Send out the clown: Boris agrees to go
20:18

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

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Jul 07, 2022
Money Talks: TikTok’s ticking time bomb
37:28

It’s the fastest growing app in the world, filled with dance trends, cats misbehaving, and questionable financial advice. Teenagers love it; Western politicians are less convinced. Could TikTok’s popularity be its downfall?

This week, hosts Mike Bird, Alice Fulwood and Soumaya Keynes investigate just who is afraid of TikTok’s growing influence. First, our media editor Tom Wainwright unpacks the relationship between TikTok, its parent company ByteDance, and its Chinese twin, Douyin. Then, AB Bernstein’s Robin Zhu outlines just how big a threat the app poses to the likes of Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube. Plus, Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr outlines his concerns about TikTok’s ability to harvest user data. And we ask: how long before this ticking geopolitical time-bomb blows up? 

Correction: An earlier version of this podcast said that the Chinese Communist Party recently took a 1% ownership stake in ByteDance. It was Chinese state-owned enterprises who recently took a 1% stake in a Chinese subsidiary of ByteDance. Apologies. 

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Jul 06, 2022
Rishi, you were here: Boris Johnson’s woes
21:46

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




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Jul 06, 2022
Babbage: How to unlock the secrets of the universe—beyond the Standard Model
36:01

This week, the Large Hadron Collider returned to life after a three-year upgrade. By recreating conditions as close as possible to the Big Bang, it might provide answers to some of physics’s greatest mysteries. Recent findings have shown chinks in the armour of the Standard Model of particle physics, currently scientists’ best understanding of the universe at its smallest scales. Through the lens of an intriguing anomalous result, host Alok Jha investigates the new theories that might supersede the Standard Model. How could such ideas impact our comprehension of the universe and what it contains?


This episode follows our two-part series about the reopening of the Large Hadron Collider. Listen at economist.com/LHC-pod.


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Jul 05, 2022
Pressure gauged: the road to recessions
22:29

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




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Jul 05, 2022
Editor’s Picks: July 4th 2022
22:36

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how to win the long war in Ukraine, why the Supreme Court’s judicial activism will deepen cracks in America (10:20), and beach reads for business people (17:55).

 

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Jul 04, 2022
Southern strategy: the coming bid to retake Kherson
22:41
The city remains Ukraine’s only provincial capital to be taken by Russian forces—can Ukraine overcome its shortages of manpower and firepower to retake the province? Mexico’s official missing-persons list has topped 100,000; our correspondent describes the skyrocketing total and piecemeal efforts to slow its rise. And research suggests that people choose their friends at least in part by smell. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jul 04, 2022
Checks and Balance: Supreme authority
45:51

As gridlock plagues the Capitol, across First Street the Supreme Court is transforming America. In this term alone, it has overturned the right to an abortion, loosened gun laws, eroded the separation of church and state and limited the federal government’s ability to combat climate change. Public confidence in the institution is at a record low. How is the Supreme Court changing America and, as it does so, is it undermining itself


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and our Supreme Court correspondent, Steven Mazie. They talk to Leah Litman, a professor at the University of Michigan and cohost of the Strict Scrutiny podcast, about how the justices have radically tipped the scales this term. We revisit another era in which the court tested the limits of its powers and transformed America. And Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas and author of “The Shadow Docket”, explains how the court’s under-the-radar decision-making is damaging its authority.


You can now find every episode of Checks and Balance in one place and sign up to our weekly newsletter. For full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod



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Jul 01, 2022
Power strip: SCOTUS’s environmental ruling
27:09

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

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Jul 01, 2022
The Economist Asks: What’s the future for Hong Kong?
41:26

Twenty-five years ago, Britain returned Hong Kong to China. The handover was based on a promise the city would retain its high degree of autonomy. That pledge now lies in tatters.  Host Anne McElvoy asks Chris Patten, the last colonial governor, why Hong Kong’s nascent democracy was thwarted. Sue-Lin Wong, The Economist’s China correspondent, tells Anne how China tightened its grip on Hong Kong. And, exiled activist Nathan Law ponders the future of the pro-democracy movement. 


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Jun 30, 2022
Son rise: the Philippines’ next President Marcos
22:21
It is a remarkable turnaround for a notorious family: the late dictator’s son just took the reins. But how will he govern? Scotland’s separatist party is again pushing for an independence referendum. That will probably fail—and empower the very prime minister that many Scots love to hate. And, why pilots in Ukraine are using an outdated, inaccurate missile-delivery technique. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 30, 2022
Money Talks: Crypto winter is here
38:14

In much of the northern hemisphere, it is summer. But in the world of crypto, winter has arrived. The price of bitcoin, which has been hovering around $20,000, is 70% below its peak of last year. In fact, the entire market capitalisation of the cryptoverse has shrunk by more than two-thirds since November 2021. Is this, as the crypto bulls say, a much needed correction? Or is this the beginning of a domino effect that could see the entire decentralised finance system unravel?

This week, hosts Alice Fulwood, Mike Bird and Soumaya Keynes first look at why this crash is different from the many that have come before in the short life-span of cryptocurrencies. Then, they ask what weaknesses have been exposed in this downturn. Will this downturn finally see the end of the crypto hype and bust cycle?

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

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Jun 29, 2022
Uprising tide: the coming inflation-driven unrest
21:58

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

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Jun 29, 2022
Babbage: How to go green amid an energy crisis
37:34

The energy shock threatens to derail action on climate change. Which technologies will enable the green transition, while ensuring energy security, too? Vijay Vaitheeswaran, The Economist's global energy & climate innovation editor, describes the pathway to a decarbonised future. How can electrical grids be made smarter and more resilient as they are fed by cleaner, more renewable sources of energy? And how soon will the technology that’s needed for the energy transition be ready for widespread deployment? Alok Jha hosts.


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Jun 28, 2022
A force awakens: NATO’s new game plan
24:50

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

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Jun 28, 2022
The World Ahead: The future of green travel
29:26

Can flying be made sustainable? Host Tom Standage travels to the year 2042 to find airlines making growing use of “synthetic” aviation fuel, made using carbon dioxide extracted from the atmosphere, which allows for carbon-neutral flights. Back in the present, Nat Keohane, former White House policy adviser, and Catherine Brahic, The Economist’s environment editor, discuss how sustainable fuels and broader carbon markets could help reduce the environmental impact of flying.


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Jun 27, 2022
Comings to term: America’s abortion-rights rollback
24:42
The Supreme Court ruling has convulsed the country; passing the question of abortion rights to the states will divide America yet further. We ask what it means for the court to go so plainly against public opinion, examine the woeful effects the changing scenario will have on women and speak to one woman whose life was saved by a now-threatened procedure. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 27, 2022
Editor’s Picks: June 27th 2022
23:11

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how to fix the world’s energy emergency without wrecking the environment, the Biden-Harris problem (10:15), and China’s worsening mental-health crisis (16:45). 

 

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Jun 26, 2022
Checks and Balance: Insurrection retrospection
46:56

After conducting more than 1,000 interviews and reviewing over 140,000 documents, the House of Representatives’ January 6th committee is now presenting its findings. Yet much of what it is investigating happened publicly: the violence in the Capitol was live-streamed and the conspiracy to overturn the election happened in the open. Even so, most Americans have either moved on or misinterpreted the riot. What is the purpose of the committee? What new information has it revealed—and can it make a difference?


Former federal and state prosecutor Danya Perry examines the possible criminal consequences for top-ranking officials. And strategist Sarah Longwell shares how Republican voters are receiving the committee. John Prideaux hosts with Idrees Kahloon and James Astill. 


Since recording this episode, the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade, its landmark ruling which protected the right to an abortion. Last month, we examined what America would look like if Roe was struck down. 


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Jun 24, 2022
Shooting from the hip: The Supreme Court expands gun rights
25:59
Yesterday, America’s Supreme Court issued its most important Second Amendment ruling in more than a decade, striking down a New York law that tightly regulated concealed carrying of guns. The ruling means cities will probably see a lot more armed people. Our correspondent caught up with Ukraine’s First Lady. And new research into the origins of the Black Death. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 24, 2022
The Economist Asks: How can governments fight inflation?
28:25

Consumer prices across the rich world are rising by more than 9% year on year, the highest rate since the 1980s. Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning economist, talks to host Anne McElvoy and Henry Curr, The Economist’s economics editor, about how governments and central banks should respond. We also ask if a recession can be avoided, and whether the era of big government spending is over.


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Jun 23, 2022
Pride and prejudice: China’s LGBT crackdown
22:12
In much of the world, things are improving for sexual minorities. The opposite is true in China, where authorities are cracking down on the LGBT community. Bangladesh is suffering its worst flooding in living memory, but with a surprisingly low death toll (so far). And which city topped the EIU’s annual Liveability Index. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 23, 2022
Money Talks: House arrest
38:43

House prices across the rich world have dramatically increased since 2020. But that rapid rise could soon be coming to a sputtering halt, as central banks raise interest rates in an effort to rein in prices. Is another housing crash on the way?

This week, hosts Alice Fulwood, Mike Bird and Soumaya Keynes investigate the potential fallout of rapidly rising mortgage rates. First, they speak with Dallas Federal Reserve senior research economist Enrique Martinez-Garcia, who argues that America is currently in a housing bubble. Then, our senior producer JohnJo Devlin takes a tour of one of the most exposed property markets in the world: Norway’s. Finally, our global property correspondent Vinjeru Mkandawire explains which other countries’ housing markets are most vulnerable to rising rates – and offers her opinion of the best place in the world to buy a house.

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

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Jun 22, 2022
Eastern encroaches: Ukraine’s losses in Donbas
26:35
Russia is making steady, piecemeal gains in the region; Ukrainian forces are simply outgunned. That disparity defines the war’s progression—for now. More than 20 countries have radio stations run by and for prisoners, giving those inside a voice. And why a cannabis derivative is proving popular among Japan’s elderly. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 22, 2022
Babbage: The short-sightedness epidemic
39:11

Short-sightedness, known as myopia, was once a rare condition. But in East Asia, it is becoming ubiquitous, with rates increasing in the rest of the world, too. For decades, researchers thought the condition was mostly genetic. But the scientific consensus has changed. Host Alok Jha and Tim Cross, The Economist’s technology editor, wade through the latest evidence and explore how to prevent or slow the onset of myopia. And, how can the condition’s public-health burden be reduced?


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Jun 21, 2022
Estranged bedfellows: Israel’s government collapses
23:05
A motley collection of parliamentarians, now without its whisper-thin majority, has crumbled. That will force the country back to the ballot box—and back to familiar political turmoil. Increasing numbers of American cities are enticing people with cash incentives, but do such policies work? And why drumming helps people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.  For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 21, 2022
The World Ahead: The future of education
22:56

Will personalised learning replace teachers? Host Tom Standage travels to the year 2042 to find children being taught by personalised learning assistants powered by artificial intelligence, and funded by corporate advertising. What does this mean for schools? Back in the present, Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, and Mark Johnson, The Economist’s education correspondent, debate how technology will change education, and the merits of the “flipped classroom”.


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Jun 20, 2022
Stuck in the middle with few: Macron’s parliamentary pasting
23:25

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




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Jun 20, 2022
Editor’s Picks: June 20th 2022
30:28

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the remaking of globalisation, Latin America’s vicious circle (9:55), and does the tank have a future? (17:55).

 

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Jun 19, 2022
Checks and Balance: Breaking nukes
48:56

Since America dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, a fragile balance of deterrence, treaties, fear and taboo has stopped the world’s nuclear powers from deploying their arsenals in anger. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has ushered in a new nuclear era. How should we think about the nuclear threat? And what role should America play in policing it?  


Dr Nina Tannenwald, author of “The Nuclear Taboo”, explains how the norms that guaranteed the long nuclear peace have been unravelling for years. We explore the lost era of US-Soviet collaboration to contain the threat from “loose nukes”. And Dr Siegfried Hecker, who led those efforts as director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, shares lessons from sixty years working to avert nuclear catastrophe.


John Prideaux hosts with Shashank Joshi and Jon Fasman


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Jun 17, 2022
Menace to democracy: The January 6th hearings
24:19
In its third public hearing yesterday, the committee investigating the January 6th Capitol insurrection detailed the pressure put on Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election—as well as the continuing threat to American democracy posed by Donald Trump. Can artificial intelligence become sentient, and if it did, how would we know? And why internet shutdowns are a costly and ineffective way to stop students from cheating. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 17, 2022
The Economist Asks: Will America finally pass gun-control legislation?
20:55

The US Senate has reached a bipartisan gun-reform agreement that, if passed into law, could be the most significant in 30 years. Guest host Jon Fasman speaks to Chris Murphy, the Connecticut senator who led the negotiations for the Democrats, about the significance of the deal and why a compromise has been so elusive in the past. The senator, who has spent ten years trying to enact a change in gun laws, explains why he thinks even modest reforms will make America safer. 


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Jun 16, 2022
Powell to the people: The Fed raises rates
24:31
America’s central bank raised rates by .75% yesterday—the biggest increase in almost 30 years. Whether that will help tame rising prices without triggering a recession is unclear. The poor performance of Russian tanks in Ukraine has led some to wonder whether the tank itself is obsolete. And the rousing, darkly humorous defiance of Ukrainian war anthems. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 16, 2022
Money Talks: Supply chain reactions
37:37

More than two years after the pandemic, supply chains are still snarled. Shipping times remain at record highs. Baby food, tampons, and semiconductors are all scarce. Companies are still struggling to answer a basic question: just when will all of this end? But one thing seems clear: after years of anxious speculation, the structure of the world’s supply chains have fundamentally changed.

On this week’s Money Talks, hosts Soumaya Keynes, Mike Bird and Alice Fulwood go on a journey to find out what’s still leading to delays and investigate the big shifts that will continue long after shelves are finally full. They’re joined by Audrey Ross, import and export compliance manager at Orchard Custom Beauty and Chris Rogers, principal supply chain economist at Flexport, who talk about the factors that are still gumming up delivery of goods. Then, Michael Wax, co-founder of Forto, explains why digitising the industry could help speed up shipping times. Finally, our US business editor Charlotte Howard unpacks what all of this will mean for supply chains in the future and why the old system might be finished.

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Jun 15, 2022
Planes have changed: Britain’s controversial asylum policy
23:05

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


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Jun 15, 2022
Babbage: Is ketamine the next antidepressant?
41:52

In America and Europe, a growing number of clinics are offering ketamine to treat depression. The anaesthetic—also used illegally as a party drug—can provide rapid relief from the condition where traditional treatments, such as antidepressant drugs, have failed. We investigate how the therapy works, and ask what role it will play in the future of mental-health care. And, as ketamine treatments spread, is enough known about the drug’s long-term safety? Alok Jha hosts with Natasha Loder, The Economist’s health policy editor.


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Jun 14, 2022
No magic bullet: a Congressional agreement on guns
22:57

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


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Jun 14, 2022
The World Ahead: The future of health care
25:07

How much preventative health monitoring is too much? Host Tom Standage travels to the year 2042 to find large-scale monitoring of people’s health as part of a shift from treatment to prevention⁠—and a debate about whether regular medical scans should be made compulsory. What role will wearable devices play, and how might new diagnostic tools affect health inequality?


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Jun 13, 2022
Nyet effects: Russia’s resilient economy
21:24
Western sanctions are intended to starve Russia’s economy and hinder its ability to wage war in Ukraine. And while the long-term outlook remains grim, so far oil and gas earnings have kept its economy humming. Why Latin America’s commercial capital isn’t even in Latin America: it’s Miami. And why France is building bridges over motorways for wildlife. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 13, 2022
Editor’s Picks: June 13th 2022
24:00

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, why foundation models are artificial intelligence’s new frontier, the stagnation nation: a chronic British disease (10:30), and why visiting the scenes of stories is an act of imagination (18:20).

 

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Jun 12, 2022
Checks and Balance: California reality
46:06

The Golden State, it is often said, is where the future happens first. Now Los Angeles, long a bastion of the left, is seriously contemplating choosing a billionaire former Republican as its next mayor. Voters are fed up with homelessness and crime and are threatening to follow San Francisco’s example and recall progressive public prosecutors who had promised to reimagine public safety. Is California revealing the limits of progressive politics?


The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, reflects on his city’s progress and challenges as he leaves office. We head to the campaign trail to meet the candidates vying to replace him. And Fernando Guerra of Loyola Marymount University explains what California’s example means for the rest of the country. 


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Aryn Braun.


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Jun 10, 2022
Revolting: The January 6th committee’s public hearings
26:13
The committee investigating the Capitol attacks of January 6th 2021 held the first of several public hearings last night, having gathered evidence for the past year. The hearings may not break Donald Trump’s hold on the Republicans, but they are creating a vital record of an attempted coup. As wolf populations grow, humans are learning to live with them. And why the corporate world has taken an interest in psychedelic drugs.

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Jun 10, 2022
The Economist Asks: How do our culinary choices shape the world?
27:56

When chef Alice Waters opened her restaurant Chez Panisse, she sparked a food revolution in America. She talks to guest host Jon Fasman about leading the Slow Food movement and fighting against fast-food culture. In her latest book, “We Are What We Eat”, she argues for a fairer and more sustainable food system. But how can that be achieved in practice? And, would she ever put lab-grown fish on her menu?


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Jun 09, 2022
Second time’s the charm? Somalia’s new president
25:45
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is Somalia’s first-ever reelected president. In an interview with our correspondent, he lays out his second-term ambitions for beating back jihadist insurgents and repairing relations with his neighbours. Why adapting to climate change is harder for people with less education. And why the film industry has high hopes for this summer’s blockbusters. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 09, 2022
Money Talks: The fight for financial supremacy in Asia
37:36

For decades, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore have been the three heavyweight cities in Asian business and finance, with Hong Kong the undisputed champion. But as the city-state’s draconian security law and zero covid policy begin to bite, its rivals are going for the title.

In this week’s Money Talks, hosts Mike Bird and Soumaya Keynes investigate whether Singapore or Shanghai could take the lead as Asia’s main financial centre. First, they ask Michael Mainelli of think-tank Z/Yen what makes a financial centre. Then, our China business and finance editor Don Weinland makes the case for Shanghai, James Crabtree of the International Institute for Strategic Studies gives the view from Singapore and our China correspondent Sue-Lin Wong argues we shouldn’t count out Hong Kong just yet.

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

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Jun 08, 2022
The wrath of Khan: Pakistan’s turbulent spring
20:57
Pakistan’s government faces an unpleasant choice between doing what’s popular and what is economically necessary, as Imran Khan, the former prime minister, exploits widespread discontent for his own ends. Russia’s invasion is threatening Ukraine’s unique seed bank. And why so many languages have such a rich variety of words to describe family members and relationships. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 08, 2022
Babbage: Artificial intelligence enters its industrial age
38:14

A new type of artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly emerging as a candidate to become the next major general-purpose technology. "Foundational AI" will inject itself into many human endeavours—from writing to coding to drug discovery. We explore why foundation models could end up having an economic impact similar to that of electricity, and why the emerging technology is also proving so controversial. Alok Jha hosts.


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

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Jun 07, 2022
The World Ahead: The future of food
27:04

Are there some things we shouldn’t eat? Host Tom Standage travels to the year 2042 to find that animal-based meat is being pushed aside in favour of cultured meat grown in vats, a new industry dominated by three companies. He samples food grown from the cells of endangered animals and hears from a food activist. Back in the present day, we ask The Economist's Jon Fasman and Liz Specht, vice president of Science and Technology at the Good Food Institute, a non-profit group focused on reimagining protein production, to assess the likelihood of this imagined scenario. 


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Jun 06, 2022
A farewell to arms control? Ukraine and nuclear weapons
21:41

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

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Jun 06, 2022
Editor’s Picks: June 6th 2022
37:24

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, a new nuclear era, what America’s next recession will look like (10:15), and why you shouldn’t bring your whole self to work (31:40).

 

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Jun 06, 2022
Checks and Balance: Pivotal partnerships
43:54

Another American administration, another much-vaunted pivot to Asia. Republicans and Democrats agree that America needs to respond to China's growing regional clout, but that's where the harmony ends. War in Europe is diverting attention, much of Asia has doubts about America’s reliability and China warns that any attempt to build an “Asian NATO” is “doomed to fail”. What is the Biden administration’s Asia strategy?


Scott Kennedy, senior advisor on China at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, assesses the administration’s long-awaited plans for countering Chinese regional influence. We find out how America pushed its Western defensive frontier all the way across the Pacific. And our US economics editor Simon Rabinovitch weighs up whether the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is a disappointing “nothing burger” or a vital seat at the table. 


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman.


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Jun 03, 2022
Hide, park: Russian money in London
22:51

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

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Jun 03, 2022
The Economist Asks: How is the Russian crisis changing Germany?
33:48

Since reunification, Germany has sought stable relations with Russia. That changed with Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. But is this Zeitenwende (“turning point”) really a new era for Europe’s powerhouse? Anne McElvoy asks John Lough, former NATO strategist, why risk-averse chancellors turned a blind eye to the Kremlin. Anne visits the mothballed Nord Stream 2 pipeline with Alexander Drost, from the University of Greifswald. And Anna Luhrmann, Germany’s Europe and climate minister, discusses how the country can wean itself off Russian energy and the significance of the shift in foreign and security policy.  


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Jun 02, 2022
Press clipping: Ethiopia’s media crackdown
22:31

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

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Jun 02, 2022
Money Talks: The Alexander technique (update)
24:52

A hundred years ago, Sadie Alexander became the first African American to receive a PhD in economics and then spent a career fighting racial discrimination. This spring, the American Economic Association made her a distinguished fellow, their first ever posthumous award. We’ve decided to update this episode we first ran in December 2020 looking at her forgotten contributions to the field. Soumaya Keynes hosts.

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

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Jun 01, 2022
The diet is cast: a coming food catastrophe
26:04
War and blockades in Ukraine are the largest but far from the only problems squeezing the global food system—and with prices already way up, a catastrophe of hunger looms. The prospect of whole-genome screening for newborns opens up many opportunities to avoid or treat disease, and many ethical debates. And more than just sordid history at Bangkok’s red-light-district museum.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Jun 01, 2022
Babbage: Corals vs climate change
31:31

Coral reefs are increasingly under threat from global heating, but some species appear to be resistant to warmer sea temperatures. How can scientists harness these findings and revive these important pieces of marine life? Alok Jha 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.


Additional audio courtesy of the Acoustical Society of America and the U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center Newport.



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May 31, 2022
Bear traps: Russia’s push in eastern Ukraine
24:13

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

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May 31, 2022
Editor’s Picks: May 30th 2022
20:54
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, How Xi Jinping is damaging China’s economy, Why America should make it harder to buy guns (10:15) And The power of small gestures (15:13) 

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May 30, 2022
Base motives? China in the Pacific
22:19
The country has just one foreign military base, but there are fears it wants to dot the Pacific region with more—and that is, so far, proving tricky. With ties between Western and Russian scientists severed, decades of research in the Arctic, particularly on climate change, are at risk. And a new series further unpicks the mythology of punk music. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 30, 2022
Checks and Balance: Unbearable
45:44

The horror at Uvalde in Texas shows American exceptionalism at its worst. But part of the tragedy is that the event in itself is not exceptional. In the ten years since the massacre at Sandy Hook, there have been more than 900 other shootings in schools across the country. Why can’t America stop gun violence? 


Former firearms executive turned safety campaigner Ryan Busse explores how American gun culture has changed. We go back to the last time a president was able to pass lasting federal gun control legislation. And The Economist’s Alexandra Suich Bass considers what policies could help make America safer. 


John Prideaux presents with Charlotte Howard and Idrees Kahloon.  


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May 27, 2022
Take the first left? Colombia’s election
23:04

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

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May 27, 2022
The Economist Asks: How will the war in Ukraine change the world economy?
38:48

This week the global elite gathered in Davos for the World Economic Forum against a backdrop of rising commodity prices, soaring inflation and conflict in Europe. Host Anne McElvoy assesses the economic fallout with Patrick Foulis, The Economist’s business affairs editor, and our finance and economics editor, Rachana Shanbhogue. Anne also talks to Adena Friedman, CEO of the Nasdaq stock exchange, to gauge the outlook for the markets. Plus, historian Adam Tooze on the changing economic world order.

 

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May 26, 2022
Let’s get the parties charted: the Partygate report
25:55
A long-awaited inquiry into lockdown gatherings on Boris Johnson’s watch reveals lurid details of brash bashes. Yet the prime minister will be able, once again, to brush off the controversy. We ask why Switzerland is such a powerhouse in business and finance despite its modest resources. And how Russia’s war propaganda is winning over plenty of Twitter users. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 26, 2022
Money Talks: The next recession
39:34

Since 1900, the global economy has fallen into a recession about once a decade on average. In 2020, the world experienced the deepest downturn since the second world war. Just two years on, is another recession on the way

This week, hosts Soumaya Keynes and Mike Bird focus on the economic slowdown in the world’s two biggest economies - in America and in China – and ask what could be done to prevent a full blown recession. They’re joined by our US economics editor Simon Rabinovitch in Washington, D.C., who asks former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Saint Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard to weigh up the likelihood of a recession in America this year. Plus, London School of Economics associate professor Keyu Jin gives us the view from Beijing.

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

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May 25, 2022
Active shooters, inactive politics: America’s latest school massacre
23:30
After 19 children and two adults were gunned down in Texas, we ask why gun laws are actually loosening in many states and why even moderate gun controls do not get passed. The rapid spread of monkeypox has rattled a covid-weary world; how much cause for concern is there? And why teams of professional writers are getting involved in games development. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 25, 2022
Babbage: How to unlock the secrets of the universe—part two
41:40

In part two of our visit to the Large Hadron Collider on the Franco-Swiss border, Alok Jha asks whether the machine’s next iteration can take the field of particle physics beyond the Standard Model. We also investigate the long-term future of particle colliders. Will scientists ever build the instruments required to reveal the true building blocks of the universe?


Listen to both episodes of the series at economist.com/LHC-pod.


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May 24, 2022
The city that never slips: Beijing and covid
25:03

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

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May 24, 2022
Editor’s Picks: May 23rd 2022
36:09


A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how the war in ukraine is tipping a fragile world towards mass hunger (10:36), why the tide is out for cryptocurrency assets (16:40), and pouring graphene’s bright future.

 

 

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May 23, 2022
Labor’s day: Australia’s election
22:01

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

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May 23, 2022
Checks and Balance: Rights to remain
44:55

President Biden came to office promising, like many before him, to fix America's immigration system. But border crossings are at record highs, his reforms have floundered and states are going their own way on how to treat undocumented residents. Meanwhile a third of voters believe there is a plan afoot to replace them with people brought in from abroad. What will it take to untangle the immigration mess in America?


Alexandra Suich Bass reports from Texas where the fight over Title 42 is compounding frustrations over record numbers of people attempting to cross into America. We speak to Ali Noorani, author of “Crossing Borders” and former head of the National Immigration Forum, about the Great Replacement theory and why immigration is such fertile ground for conspiracy thinking. And Idrees investigates how some states are creating alternative welfare systems for the millions of undocumented migrants living and working long-term in America. 


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Idrees Kahloon. 


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May 20, 2022
Straight out of Orwell: Russia’s propaganda machine
26:25

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


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May 20, 2022
The Economist Asks: Is the United Nations fit for purpose?
23:51

The war in Ukraine has put the organisation’s founding principles and its authority on the line. Anne McElvoy asks Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States ambassador to the UN, how the Security Council can function in a time of division. Is the sharing of military intelligence by America an act of war? Plus, the ambassador discusses her solutions to the looming food security crisis


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May 19, 2022
Pestilent peninsula: covid in North Korea
24:13
North Korea’s zero-covid strategy appears to have failed. The country has officially acknowledged 162 cases; the true number is probably orders of magnitude more. The country’s health-care system is inadequate, and pre-existing conditions such as tuberculosis and malnutrition are rampant. With elections impending in Turkey, politicians have begun competing with each other to scapegoat refugees. And why girls outperform boys in the Arab world’s schools.

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May 19, 2022
Money Talks: Worse than the average bear (market)
40:41

The beginning of 2022 has been particularly brutal for stock markets. The S&P 500 had its worst April since 1970, the past seven weeks have marked the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s longest losing streak since 1980, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq has fallen 20% from its peak, putting it officially in bear market territory. 

This week, hosts Mike Bird, Alice Fulwood and Soumaya Keyes start small then zoom out. First, they look at what’s behind the crypto crash and hear from one unlucky investor who lost it all. Then, they speak with Rebecca Patterson, hedge fund Bridgewater’s chief investment strategist, who connects the dots between the crypto carnage and the rising power of retail investors. And finally, legendary bear market investor Jeremy Grantham explains why he thinks the stock market bubble hasn’t fully burst yet.

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

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May 18, 2022
It’s his party: American primaries
24:31
Five American states held primary elections yesterday. The most important were in Pennsylvania, where a Trump-backed candidate won the Republican gubernatorial primary. The Republican senate race remains too close to call. Wide-area motion imaging is a surveillance technique developed by the military in Iraq but now creeping into the civilian world. And why war in Ukraine is raising the price of berries in Britain. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 18, 2022
Babbage: How to unlock the secrets of the universe—part one
41:51

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is restarting after a three-year break for maintenance and upgrades. In the first of two episodes, host Alok Jha travels to the Franco-Swiss border to find out what the particle accelerator could reveal about the fundamental building blocks of the universe. In 2012, the LHC discovered the Higgs boson, the final piece of the Standard Model of particle physics. But physicists know that that theory is incomplete—it does not account for gravity, dark energy or dark matter, and cannot explain why there seems to be more matter than antimatter. In its third run of experiments, we investigate how the LHC might change our understanding of physics at its most fundamental scales. 


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May 17, 2022
Luna landing: Crypto chaos
24:07
Stablecoins are essential to the financial plumbing of the cryptocurrency world. They’re pegged to a real-world asset, usually the dollar. But when that peg breaks, things can turn ugly in a hurry. Much of India is suffering through a particularly blistering and costly heatwave. And Indonesians’ love of songbirds is threatening wild bird populations within and beyond Indonesia itself. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 17, 2022
Editor’s Picks: May 16th 2022
29:16

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the forces that stand to transform India’s economy over the next decade (11:06), how surveilling workers could enhance productivity (21:07), and full-genome screening for newborn babies is now on the cards.

 

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May 16, 2022
Not stuck in neutral: Sweden, Finland and NATO
22:50
Neither Finland nor Sweden ever joined NATO, the Western military alliance formed in 1949: Finland for pragmatic reasons and Sweden for ideological ones. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted both to change course. Facebook’s appeal is waning – to both users and investors. And for the first time, a telescope has captured images of the black hole at the centre of our galaxy. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 16, 2022
Checks and Balance: Voting wars
45:08

Primary season is in full swing but more than a third of voters and a majority of Republicans still believe the last election was stolen. At the centre of this struggle is Georgia, which in 2020 had the tightest presidential election results in the country. It has since passed restrictive new voting laws, locking both Republicans and Democrats into a fierce fight over electoral fairness. We explore why the parties have so much power over the running of elections in America and ask what it will take to restore voters’ faith in their own democracy. 


John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Idrees Kahloon. Idrees has been reporting from Georgia where he spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger about what’s at stake for Georgia voters this time around. We look back at why the mechanics of how Americans vote have changed so much and so frequently over time. And we hear from Nse Ufot, head of the New Georgia Project, a voter-registration organisation, about the impact of new voting laws on the coming elections. 


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May 13, 2022
Arm Scandi: Britain’s mutual-defence pact
27:44
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s collective-defence deal with Swedish and Finnish leaders represents a shift in the European order—and Britain’s post-Brexit place in it. Our correspondent visits Great Zimbabwe, a long-overlooked archaeological site of stunning proportions whose secrets are only now being revealed. And a look at the weird sensory thrill of ASMR through a new exhibition. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 13, 2022
The Economist Asks: What if America reverts to abortion bans?
28:28

For 50 years, women in America have had a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. Now, a leaked draft opinion suggests that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade. Anne McElvoy asks Mary Ziegler, a legal historian, about the origins of the landmark legislation and what would happen if Roe is cast aside. Plus, does the Supreme Court need reforming?


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May 12, 2022
Entrenched: stalemate in Ukraine’s east
25:24
Russia’s bid to conquer the eastern region of Donbas is proceeding at a snail’s pace. All over Ukraine resistance continues and a grinding, prolonged conflict looms. Police reform remains controversial in America even two years after George Floyd’s murder. We visit two alternative-policing efforts to see how things might change. And examining the cultural chronicle tucked within Britain’s rules-of-the-road handbook. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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May 12, 2022
Money Talks: Out of gas
33:42

Russia’s trade surplus has continued to grow, even in the wake of Western sanctions. It’s now forecast to be double what it was last year. That’s prompted an acknowledgement among Western countries that more needs to be done to squeeze the country economically. Recently, the G7 announced plans to completely wean itself off of Russian oil; the European Union is trying to follow suit. But that still leaves a gigantic loophole: natural gas.

In this week’s episode, host Mike Bird goes back to a key point in the 1970s to find out how Germany, Europe’s largest economy, became so reliant on Russian gas. Our European economics editor Christian Odendahl and our Berlin bureau chief Vendeline Von Bredow examine the geopolitical fallout from Germany’s misguided energy policy. And Georg Zachmann of the Bruegel Institute explains why liquified natural gas could potentially be part of the short-term solution.

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

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May 11, 2022
It’s a family affair: Sri Lanka’s protests turn deadly
23:27

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

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May 11, 2022
Babbage: An app a day keeps the doctor away
44:19

Wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, can measure a growing array of health indicators. Machine learning can filter that torrent of data to reveal a continuous, quantified picture of you and your health. But wearables linked to health apps are not only able to help diagnose diseases—they are beginning to treat them too. We explore the technology that promises to revolutionise health care. Alok Jha hosts.


Listen to our recent episodes on the use of wearable technologies in health care at economist.com/babbagewearables.


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May 10, 2022
Out like a Lam: Hong Kong’s new leader
21:02

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

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May 10, 2022
Editor’s Picks: May 9th 2022
24:12
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how to save the supreme court from itself, how wearable technology promises to revolutionise health care (10:29) and our Bartleby columnist on why working from anywhere isn't realistic (18:29)

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May 09, 2022
Under-armed sweat: America’s “arsenal of democracy”
22:36

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

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May 09, 2022
Checks and Balance: After Roe
47:08

A leaked draft opinion suggests that the Supreme Court is preparing to overturn Roe v Wade. But the verdict will not end fights over abortion in America. Both pro-choice and anti-abortion movements are furiously preparing for what comes next. What will the post-Roe era look like? And if the justices do overturn a 50-year-old precedent and hand decisions on abortion back to the states, what might the Supreme Court do next?


The Economist’s Steven Mazie explains what the leak reveals about the inner workings of America’s highest court. Our correspondent Stevie Hertz visits Illinois and Missouri to find out what the end of Roe will mean in practice. She speaks to Dr Colleen McNicholas, regional chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood, Michele Landeau, head of the Missouri Abortion Fund, and anti-abortion lawyer and state representative Mary Elizabeth Coleman. And David French, a conservative Christian writer and author of “Divided We Fall”, considers whether the reasoning that could overturn Roe might be applied to other constitutional liberties in America.


John Prideaux hosts with Mian Ridge and Jon Fasman. 


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The original version of this episode contained an unverified statement about the impact of proposed anti-abortion legislation on access to some forms of contraception. This has now been removed.



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May 06, 2022
The son shines: elections in the Philippines
26:19
Voters in the Philippines choose a new president on Monday. The likely winner is a scion of one of the country’s most controversial families. Exxon struck oil off the coast of Guyana a few years back. How will becoming a petrostate change this small country on South America’s northern coast? And koalas are adorable but imperilled—by development, stray dogs and now, a quickly spreading bacterial infection.

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May 06, 2022
The Economist Asks: Could the Ukraine war turn nuclear?
26:26

In ten weeks of conflict Vladimir Putin has not been afraid to rattle the nuclear sabre. Western leaders have responded by tempering their own rhetoric – but the risk of nuclear war is greater than it has been for more than half a century. Anne McElvoy asks Rose Gottemoeller, a former deputy secretary-general at NATO, whether Russia will launch nuclear weapons and, if it did, what the West should do. And, has NATO proved its worth?


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May 05, 2022
Powell’s points presentation: the Fed raises rates
21:54
Prices in America are rising faster than at any time in the past 40 years. In response, the Federal Reserve has made its steepest interest-rate hike in 20 years. Will it be enough to tame inflation while not tipping America into recession? Shanghai’s residents are growing restive after a long lockdown. And Nelson Mandela’s name and legacy are being used to sell a growing range of consumer goods.

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May 05, 2022
Money Talks: Proxy wars
33:31

A record number of company shareholders have put forward resolutions at annual meetings this year, pressuring companies on everything from their environmental practices to political donations. Host Alice Fulwood asks our US business editor Charlotte Howard why the new frontline in corporate purpose has shifted to proxy battles. Plus, our US audio correspondent Stevie Hertz heads to Nebraska to find out more about a contentious resolution to unseat Warren Buffett from Berkshire Hathaway. And Thomas DiNapoli, the head of one of America’s largest pension funds, explains why the fund is supporting resolutions on everything from worker’s rights at Starbucks to racial equity at Amazon this year and weighs in on the spat between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

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

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May 04, 2022
Stormont weather: elections in Northern Ireland
24:59

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

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May 04, 2022
Babbage: Bill Gates's plan to prevent the next pandemic
33:40

New diseases are inevitable, but pandemics are not. As the threat from covid-19 recedes, how can the world stop new pathogens from becoming health emergencies? Business leader and philanthropist Bill Gates has long warned of the risk that a novel virus would go global. He tells Geoff Carr, The Economist’s science and technology editor, about his plan to pandemic-proof the planet. Alok Jha hosts.


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May 03, 2022
Roe-ing away: Abortion rights in America
27:22

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

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May 03, 2022
Editor’s Picks: May 2nd 2022
21:56

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how rotten is Russia’s army? France’s re-elected president prepares for a tough second term (10:30) and a struggle over artistic freedom suggests a better way out of the culture wars (15:25). 

 

 

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May 02, 2022
ROC and a hard place: Taiwan’s lessons from Ukraine
22:25

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

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May 02, 2022
Checks and Balance: Welcome to Pennsylvania
43:26


The race for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat is wild, and between now and the midterm elections we’ll be regularly checking in. The first major milestone, the primaries, is a few weeks away. What can the Pennsylvania Senate race tell us about the future direction of American politics?  


Local journalist John Micek gives us a tour of his home state. The Economist’s James Bennet profiles the Democratic candidates. And veteran political consultant Christopher Nicholas examines what it takes for a Republican to win


John Prideaux presents with Charlotte Howard and Idrees Kahloon.


For full access to print, digital and audio editions as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod



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Apr 29, 2022
General disarray: Russia’s military failures
22:13
Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s armed forces were believed to be lean, modern and fighting fit. We ask why they have performed so poorly. A life sentence for a Turkish activist portends heightened repression as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan heads for a tough election. And celebrating master harmonica player Toots Thielemans on the centenary of his birth. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 29, 2022
The Economist Asks: Will Russia’s war criminals face justice?
24:39

Evidence of Russian war crimes litters the landscape of Ukraine. But it’s a long trudge from the battlefields to the courtroom. Anne McElvoy asks Oona Hathaway, an expert on law and warfare and a professor at Yale University, whether the perpetrators will be held accountable. Could Vladimir Putin and others be prosecuted by a Nuremberg-style tribunal? Plus, should America join the International Criminal Court?


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Apr 28, 2022
Pipe down: Russia cuts gas to Poland and Bulgaria
22:51
By shutting off gas to Poland and Bulgaria, Russia has made an aggressive move that may draw yet more European sanctions. How might the escalation end? The popularity of Singapore’s ruling party has slipped, a bit, so it has selected a kinder, gentler leader ahead of elections in 2025. And why the delayed Art Biennale in Venice was worth the wait. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 28, 2022
Money Talks: Breaking the bank? Part two
34:44

Thirty years ago, rich-world central banks started winning the fight against inflation. More recently, they have begun to fight new battles, including against climate change or inequality. As the old enemy of inflation returns, in this two-part series, host Soumaya Keynes asks if central banks are fighting on too many fronts. 

In part two, Simon Rabinovitch, our US economics editor, asks former president of the New York Federal Reserve William Dudley and former economic advisor to President Barack Obama Jason Furman why the Fed failed to act on rising prices. Plus, our finance editor Rachana Shanbhogue and economics editor Henry Curr debate what can be done now and what lessons the Fed’s failure can hold for other central banks around the world.

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

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Apr 27, 2022
Strong suits: climate litigation
23:32

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

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Apr 27, 2022
Babbage: Editing the code of life
41:50

In 2012, the discovery of the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 revolutionised scientists’ ability to modify DNA. Ten years on, host Alok Jha speaks to Jennifer Doudna, the Nobel laureate who pioneered the technology. She explains how CRISPR could transform healthcare and the food supply—and help with the fight against climate change. Plus, how does she grapple with the ethical questions raised by the technology she helped to invent?


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Apr 26, 2022
A bird in the hand: Elon Musk buys Twitter
23:36
The world’s richest man now has the keys to one of the most influential social-media platforms. Can it be the free-speech wonderland he is aiming for? Should it? In America marriages involving those under the age of consent remain surprisingly common; we examine why reform remains distant. And a look at the push to redesign outdated, clunky spacesuits. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

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Apr 26, 2022
Editor’s Picks: April 25th 2022
24:36

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, why the Federal Reserve has made a historic mistake on inflation. Also, what Taiwan can learn from Ukraine about resisting invasion (10:40) and, Elon Musk’s Twitter saga is capitalism gone rogue (17:15).

 

 

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Apr 25, 2022
Le Pen pusher: Macron wins again
27:28

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

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Apr 25, 2022
Checks and Balance: Wilted greens
45:49

President Biden came to office promising a clean energy revolution that would both slash emissions and strengthen the economy. But that priority has been overtaken by the need to control high oil prices and look tough on Russia. How has the war in Ukraine changed Mr Biden’s energy calculus—and what’s left of the green agenda?


We ask Jason Bordoff, energy adviser to President Obama and founder of Columbia University's Climate School, whether America now has to choose between energy security and tackling climate change. We go back to the year a president with no majority managed to pass sweeping environmental bills. And our correspondent Aryn Braun investigates what California’s record as a green laboratory reveals about states' ability to act on their own. She talks to Anthony Rendon, speaker of the California state assembly, Lauren Sanchez, chief climate adviser to Governor Newsom, and Mary Nichols, former head of the California Air Resources Board.


Charlotte Howard hosts with Vijay Vaitheeswaran, our energy and climate innovation editor, and Idrees Kahloon, our Washington DC bureau chief.


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Apr 22, 2022
Rwanda-on-Thames: Britain’s asylum proposal
23:51
BRITAIN’S GOVERNMENT has proposed sending asylum-seekers to Rwanda. The plan has been widely criticised as expensive and ineffective—but the greater danger is that the plan works. New research suggests that diversification, rather than boosting domestic production, may keep supply chains resilient. And our correspondent considers the legacy of Charles Mingus, an American composer and bassist born 100 years ago today.

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Apr 22, 2022
The Economist Asks: Carl Bildt
29:51

The war in Ukraine has driven Finland and Sweden to rethink their long-held position on neutrality. Anne McElvoy asks the former Swedish prime minister whether the two countries will join Nato. Will membership bring stability and security to Europe and how should the Nordic neighbours manage their relations with Russia? Plus, he relives the history lesson he received from the former German chancellor Helmut Kohl. 


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Apr 21, 2022
Knocking on hell’s Dvornikov: the battle for Donbas
25:37

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

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Apr 21, 2022
Money Talks: Breaking the bank? Part one
34:51

Thirty years ago, rich-world central banks started winning the fight against inflation. More recently, they have begun to fight new battles, including against climate change or inequality. As the old enemy of inflation returns, in this two-part series, host Soumaya Keynes asks if central banks are fighting on too many fronts. 

In part one, Rachana Shanbhogue, our finance editor and author of a new Special Report on central banks, explains why the remit of central banks has expanded. Plus, former Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin gives us the inside story on her decision to withdraw her contentious nomination to run the central bank’s regulatory efforts, after pushback from Republican Senators over her views on climate change and monetary policy. 

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

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Apr 20, 2022
Sana’a sunrise: A ceasefire in Yemen
23:02

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

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Apr 20, 2022
Babbage: A new age of nuclear power?
42:13

The war in Ukraine is causing countries to rethink their dependence on Russian energy. Some governments are turning to nuclear power. While unpopular, it is one of the safest and most sustainable forms of energy—and an essential weapon in the fight against climate change. Can innovations in technology and engineering help to revive the nuclear industry? Alok Jha hosts.


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Apr 19, 2022
In neither camp: Neutrality and war
22:20

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