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May 14, 2019
Supply demands: Yemen peace talks
UN negotiators are trying to salvage a ceasefire agreement surrounding the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. The Arab world’s poorest country is suffering mightily, but the patchwork of actors makes a successful deal ever more difficult. In Latin America, democracy has stalled as economies have stagnated. Yet for democracy to succeed elsewhere, its Latin American shoots must be preserved. And, a splashy apartment building in Bulgaria that’s become emblematic of graft. Additional music "Chez Space" by The Freeharmonic Orchestra.
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23 min
May 13, 2019
Spare the Rodrigo: Philippine elections
Personalities, not policies, will determine votes in today’s poll in the Philippines to fill some 18,000 government jobs. Loyalists of the firebrand president Rodrigo Duterte—including his daughter—will do well. Also, why is it that amid a growing need for new antibiotics, the incentives to produce them are fewer? And, a trip to the tiny Greek island of Delos, for an unusual meeting of modern art and protected antiquity. Runtime: 21min
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21 min
May 10, 2019
Unbalance of trade: China-America talks
Negotiations to end the trade war have been ruffled as the Trump administration again ramped up tariffs. But even if a deal is struck, that won’t address serious systemic troubles in the countries’ relationship. Many diets rely on simply counting calories, but the truth is that the scientific-sounding measure is mightily misleading. And, as Uber goes public, we take an instructive ride through historic disruptions of the taxi industry.
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22 min
May 9, 2019
Generals’ election: Thai politics
The military junta that runs Thailand almost completely sewed up a momentous vote—almost. After further electoral meddling the generals will now lead a weak government, with a surging youth-led party nipping at their heels. As Russia intensifies bombings in Idlib, the last stronghold of Syrian rebels, we examine how Russia’s involvement in Syria has expanded its role in the Middle East. And, a visit with the soldier-poets of Guinea-Bissau.
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21 min
May 8, 2019
Nuclear diffusion: Iran
Exactly a year after President Donald Trump pulled America out of the Iran nuclear deal—and days after America moved warships into the Persian Gulf—Iran has announced it will break the terms of the deal. Is it more than just sabre-rattling? We examine an impressive new effort to get inside the minds of those unable to speak. And, why is it that British food gets such a bad rap? The answer stretches back to the Industrial Revolution.
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21 min
May 7, 2019
Mayor may not: Turkey’s election re-run
Turkey’s ruling AK party never conceded defeat in Istanbul’s mayoral election in March. Now the result has been annulled, worrying the opposition and international observers. A China-America trade deal has been thrown into doubt thanks to a presidential tweet, but one senator is warning of a grave danger that transcends tit-for-tat tariffs. And, why there’s a growing feminist contingent in a genre of Brazilian music known for its misogyny.
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21 min
May 6, 2019
Everything in moderation: YouTube
Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s chief executive, tells our correspondent that moderating the streaming giant’s content is her biggest challenge. No wonder: every minute, 500 hours-worth of it is added. Also, how West African research is being used to address gun violence in Chicago. And a look at the declining number of royal families, and why some that have survived will stick around.
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23 min
May 3, 2019
Barr, none: the White House’s defiance
The no-show of America’s attorney-general in Congress is just the latest example of the White House’s broad stonewalling policy; we look at the constitutional crisis that may be brewing. Facebook’s blocking of extremists yesterday is just one front the social-media behemoth is fighting. Mark Zuckerberg’s bid to remake the platform will probably ape its Chinese rival, WeChat. And, we check into the Czech Republic and Poland, finding one immigrant group being embraced in a notoriously anti-migrant region.
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22 min
May 2, 2019
Buy the bullet: global defence spending
Governments the world over are beefing up defence spending—chief among them America’s and China’s. But some aggressive countries’ budgets are actually shrinking. May Day protests in France took a violent turn this year, and that complicates President Macron’s efforts to calm an already protest-prone populace. And, academics have been trying to determine which English-speaking country produces the most bullshit.
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20 min
May 1, 2019
Putsch comes to shove: Venezuela
Juan Guaidó, the opposition figure widely viewed as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, has made a dramatic attempt to seize power from President Nicolás Maduro. But the effort appears stalled; how did he go wrong? We look more widely at coups around the world, why they succeed or fail and even how to predict them. And, a dramatic embassy raid reveals why it’s so tough to be a North Korean dissident.
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22 min
April 30, 2019
Inflationary pressure: Argentina’s strikes
Patience runs thin amid rampant inflation and a devaluing currency; Argentines are taking to the streets for two days of strikes and protests. Taiwan’s richest man has joined the presidential race, but lots of his business is based in China. He will struggle to shake perceptions of a conflict of interest. And, America’s Supreme Court is deciding whether to ensure trademark protection for businesses with some pretty racy names.
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20 min
April 29, 2019
Crossing the “t”s: China-America trade talks
American negotiators will be in Beijing this week, for what appears to be the final stages of striking a trade deal. What’s left to be agreed, and what are the sticking points? Also, America’s shale boom has given it leverage in international oil markets—the trick will be using that newfound power effectively. And, we have a sniff of a pungent Egyptian holiday treat that has the potential to kill.
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20 min
April 26, 2019
The strain in Spain: an election looms
Ahead of this weekend’s general election, we examine Spain’s fractured political landscape. A much-needed bastion of stability in Europe looks set for a long fight to form a government. We also take a look at two lingering effects of Japan’s post-war policies: first, we speak to one of the victims of decades of forced sterilisation, for which the government apologised this week. And, given the country’s notorious culture of work—itself a consequence of post-war reconstruction—not everyone relishes extra time off to celebrate the new emperor’s ascension.
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21 min
April 25, 2019
Five Eyes and 5G: the Huawei debate
Leaked discussions reveal that Britain is going against the grain of its “Five Eyes” security partners by letting Huawei supply kit for coming 5G networks. What are the risks—to security and to the alliance? Now that Robert Mueller’s report is in the hands of Congress, what should happen, and will American democracy be the better for it? And, after years of considering how office interiors affect workers, the focus has shifted outside.
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21 min
April 24, 2019
Troubling: a death in Northern Ireland
A young journalist will be buried today, after being accidentally shot by dissident republicans in Northern Ireland. The killing is a worrying reminder of bygone decades of violence that fraught Brexit negotiations may be rekindling. We take a look at South Africa’s job market, and the push to get more young people into work. And, why is there a spate of politicians who speak multiple languages?
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21 min
April 23, 2019
Worrying new threat: tragedy in Sri Lanka
After co-ordinated bomb attacks that killed hundreds, Sri Lanka is reeling. But if the government was so consumed by internal struggles as to miss warnings, how can it respond to the devastation? We take a look at global efforts to contain corruption, drawing lessons from Brazil’s sprawling Lava Jato investigation. And, a visit to what will be the precise geographic centre of the European Union—if and when Britain leaves.
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22 min
April 22, 2019
Early to wed: child marriage in Africa
Marrying too young has lifelong effects: on a girl’s body as much as on her education and career. We explore what is behind a sharp decline in child marriage in parts of Ethiopia. There’s an ancient-clothing trend in China that is mostly goofy fun. But its ethnic overtones may soon worry the Communist Party. And, a chat—as well as a hard-fought match—with Africa’s first World Scrabble Champion.
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19 min
April 19, 2019
Planes, trains and automobiles: the travails of travel
Easter weekend is a busy travel time for the many people who celebrate it. If you’re lucky, it means some time off work. But you might be unlucky, and travel through a terrible airport (we talk about the world’s worst). Or perhaps you’ll splash out and take one of the many sleeper train services that are cropping up (we discuss why train travel is such a draw, particularly for artists). Or you might get stuck in traffic (we visit the places where traffic jams are seen as opportunity rather than nuisance). Safe travels!
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22 min
April 18, 2019
[Redacted]: the Mueller report
Today the report by Robert Mueller, the special counsel who investigated Russian links to the Trump administration, will be released—mostly. What lies behind the redactions, and what investigations are still to play out? Politicians have dabbled in comedy for decades, but comedians who take up politics are an increasingly potent force. And, why Pakistani citizens don’t much mind that their local doctor might be a total quack.
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21 min
April 17, 2019
Roads to success: Indonesia’s election
Joko Widodo, the incumbent president, is expected to win today’s vote, after a people-pleasing term tackling the country’s infrastructure. But there are worrying signs about how Jokowi would continue to rule. As a herd of “unicorns” stampedes toward stockmarkets, their business models don’t look so sure-footed. And, a battle is heating up as hotpot, a spicy Chinese dish, spreads globally.
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22 min
April 16, 2019
And then, silence: a Paris icon burns
Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, was already battling the flames of national protest when fire broke out at the Notre Dame cathedral. Will the tragedy, and Mr Macron’s leadership, bring the country together? America’s armed forces often don’t know how many civilians are killed in its air-strike campaigns—but that’s changing, thanks to help from some of the Pentagon’s loudest critics. And, the Trump administration’s cancellation of a deal for Cuban baseball players won’t stop them making their way, perilously, to the big leagues.
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19 min
April 15, 2019
Modi’s operandi: India’s enormous election
The world’s largest democratic exercise is under way. Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks likely to win on a divisive platform about Hindu nationalism and Pakistani aggression—even if those aren’t voters’ biggest concerns. Social-media companies are increasingly under the microscope of regulators; we take a look at the seemingly intractable problem of policing online content. And, pole-dancing is trying to shed its seedy image. But can it also develop into a global sport?
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21 min
April 12, 2019
Bashir and present danger: Sudan’s coup
A protest movement that began in December at last brought Sudan’s military brass on board. The country’s cycle of dictatorship and democracy may be repeating itself. Bitcoin just turned ten, but it’s still far from fulfilling its promise to upend the financial system—we examine its fundamental shortcomings. And, the human family tree got bigger this week, but as new data flood in the murkier the human-evolution story seems to get.
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23 min
April 11, 2019
Brussels’ doubts: another Brexit delay
Britain now has a new Brexit deadline: the end of October. But those negotiations magnified divisions within the European Union that Brexit is revealing—and causing. We visit one of the Chinese towns whose governments are running social experiments, rating people and businesses on their trustworthiness. And, a chat with Dame Stephanie Shirley, a pioneering programmer since before it was a male-dominated field.
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21 min
April 10, 2019
Bibi got back: Israel’s election
Binyamin Netanyahu looks set to win a fifth term as prime minister. How will his policies affect negotiations about some of the most contested land on Earth? Meanwhile in space, Israel’s Beresheet probe is set to land on the Moon—but the recent spate of lunar landings is more about national flag-planting than it is about science. And, how will economies adjust as the old increasingly outnumber the young? Additional audio courtesy of NASA. Additional music "Fanfare" courtesy of Kevin MacLeod.
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19 min
April 9, 2019
The new mediocre: the world economy
The International Monetary Fund releases its global-growth forecast today. Expect news of a downgrade, but not recession: low growth has become the status quo. We join international forces in Burkina Faso, where African troops are being trained to contain a growing risk of jihadism. And, why is it that concern about climate-change comes and goes?
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20 min
April 8, 2019
Tripoli threat: a warlord’s bid to take Libya
As rebel forces advance on Tripoli and American troops withdraw, we look at the Libyan general leading the march, and at the country’s fractured politics. There’s evidence that Facebook’s advertisement algorithms discriminate on the basis of race and gender. But who’s to blame, and how to fix it? And, the tricky business of making slot machines appeal to a generation of gamers.
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20 min
April 5, 2019
Theresa looks left: Brexit negotiations
Having seemingly exhausted options within her own party, Prime Minister Theresa May is now trying to strike an EU divorce deal with Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the opposition. We profile the hard-left Labour leader. This weekend marks 25 years since one of history’s most horrifying campaigns of slaughter; our correspondent reflects on Rwanda, then and now. And, a prominent scientist seeks a molecule that confers all of the fun of alcohol, but none of the risks.
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23 min
April 4, 2019
Resigned to it: Algeria’s president
After two decades as president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has resigned. But the cabal that’s been running the country doesn’t want to give up power and the opposition is disorganised. Will anything change? Medical professionals staged protests in Canada this week, calling for stricter gun laws; the country’s debate over gun ownership is intensifying. And, the gender pay gap in many countries is exacerbated by parenthood—you can hear it in the data.
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20 min
April 3, 2019
Fund while it lasted: the 1MDB scandal
Today Malaysia’s former prime minister faces his first of several trials, for alleged involvement in the disappearance of billions of dollars from 1MDB, a state-run fund. Businesses also endure their share of scandals, too—the latest one surrounding the maker of OxyContin, a maligned opioid drug. But why are so many recent corporate scandals coming out of America? And, a fabulously popular Chinese soap challenges deeply held notions of filial duty.
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20 min
April 2, 2019
Vote with pride: LGBT politicians
Chicago votes for a new mayor today. Either way it will become the largest American city run by an African-American woman, but it may also get another openly gay mayor. We examine America’s proliferation of LGBT candidates. Mark Zuckerberg’s open letter calling for more regulation of Facebook should come as no surprise; social-media giants are reckoning with hard truths about where technology meets society. And, Korean pop music’s dark underbelly is revealed.
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20 min
April 1, 2019
AK, not quite OK: Turkey’s elections
Turkey’s ruling AK party made historic losses in local elections. Voters, it seems, are fed up with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic mismanagement—but his party remains firmly in control. We visit Mozambique to take stock of the damage wrought by Cyclone Idai. And, as Europe comes onto Daylight Savings Time, a look into the past and the doubtful future of the practice.
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20 min
March 29, 2019
Comic’s relief? Ukraine’s presidential race
A television show’s everyman character winds up as president: and now the actor who plays him leads the polls ahead of Ukraine’s election. Many museums house artefacts that were looted from their homelands; we examine why the calls for returning such objects are getting louder. And, why the humble baguette is falling out of favour in France (plus, the secret to making them crispy).
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22 min
March 28, 2019
Another dance ‘round the May poll: Brexit
Britain’s prime minister has promised to step down if Parliament passes her deal with the European Union. That has sparked a leadership contest that seems likely only to complicate the mess. As an American county declares a state of emergency over its measles outbreak, we discuss anti-vaccine misinformation and examine its grave consequences. And, your formal grammar knowledge has little to do with your grammar skills; it’s time to change how the subject is taught.
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21 min
March 27, 2019
Seeing the Lighthizer: China trade talks
Another week, another round of negotiations between China and America. But as domestic and economic pressures on both sides have lifted, the path to resolution seems ever more unclear. Apple’s entry into the film-and-television business is just the latest move in a reshuffling of the entire entertainment industry. And, why Kim Jong Un has appeared a bit more approachable recently—and why not to be fooled.
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19 min
March 26, 2019
Loan behold: a global-economy danger
The world has only just recovered from the last global financial shock. But a new trend has economists worried: the rising debt on companies’ balance-sheets. Methamphetamine use is skyrocketing in East Asia; we look into the causes and the effects. And, the surprising rise of “Slovakia’s Erin Brockovich” ahead of the country’s presidential election
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20 min
March 25, 2019
Collusion elusion: the Mueller report
Robert Mueller, the special counsel, has at last delivered his report on President Donald Trump’s campaign. Will it have disappointed or empowered the Democrats in Congress who are still bent on investigating the president? And, four years ago the hard-left Syriza party stormed to power in Greece. But it has broken many of its campaign promises. As an early election looms, we take a look at Syriza’s slow slide.
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21 min
March 22, 2019
The never-ending saga: Brexit delayed
European leaders nixed Theresa May’s request to postpone Brexit for three months, but have given her a short-term reprieve - delaying it by a few weeks and possibly longer. Thailand is about to hold its first election since the military seized power five years ago. The only hitch is that the generals are trying to influence the outcome, and anyone who criticises the ruling royal family can be thrown in prison. And how do you make a whisky age more quickly? The answer lies in dance music. We take a sip. Additional music, "Grangtham (Drowning Dub)" by Hanover.
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22 min
March 21, 2019
Not now, Theresa: Postponing Britain’s EU goodbye
With just eight days to go before Brexit, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May wants to extend the leaving date. As an EU summit gathers, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, insists she needs to get her twice-rejected deal through Parliament first. Also, are stronger strains of cannabis causing psychosis among users? And why Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump should have eaten “family-style” to help pull off a nuclear deal.
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19 min
March 20, 2019
Alpha Beto: O’Rourke’s appeal
Beto O’Rourke launched his bid for America’s presidency. Despite his relative lack of experience, he’s already been raking in donations. We look at the source of his appeal. And palm oil is ubiquitous in many consumer goods used today, but it comes at a high environmental cost. Also, does the field of economics have a culture that is off-putting to women?
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21 min
March 19, 2019
War and pestilence: Ebola makes a comeback
Five years ago Ebola spread across West Africa, killing more than 10,000 people. In August a fresh outbreak hit the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. We look at why the response this time around has been so ineffective. NATO is about to turn 70. It will not be a happy birthday. And Rodrigo Duterte wants to rename the Philippines.
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22 min
March 18, 2019
Replacement anxiety: White supremacist terrorism
The terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, has left 50 people dead and a lot of unanswered questions. How big a threat are violent white supremacists? We take a look at a network of museums in China trying to commemorate that country’s murderous experience in the 20th century without offending the Communist Party. And our San Francisco correspondent goes in pursuit of free stuff - a lot of it-in the Bay Area.
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23 min
March 15, 2019
Can't deal with it: Brexit
It’s been another brutal week for Britain’s prime minister as her deal to leave Europe was swatted down comprehensively—again. As a delay to Brexit looks likely, we ask what all the chaos reveals about how Brexit will ultimately play out. Ahead of global climate protests by schoolchildren, we examine how a proposal regarding geoengineering—radically reversing the effects of climate change—reflects coming squabbles over regulating the approaches. And, why is it so difficult to open an Irish pub in Ireland? Additional music, "Kesh Jig, Leitrim Fancy", by Sláinte, licensed under a Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License
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22 min
March 14, 2019
Lights out: Venezuela’s blackout
Power cuts in Caracas have endangered lives and deepened the misery of Venezuelans. It’s another sign of the corruption that pervades the Maduro regime. Also, how do you make a 10,000 ton ship disappear? And the Hebrew bible - otherwise known as the old testament - gets a fresh new translation. Music courtesy of Ethan James McCollum
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22 min
March 13, 2019
Losing the plot: Brexit
The second defeat of British Prime Minister’s plan for withdrawal from the EU has weakened her. But what does it mean for the risk of a no-deal outcome? The chances of a Brexit delay are rising by the day. Competition between major powers for influence in Africa is intensifying, as Russia, China, Europe and America all see potential in the continent. And more gender-inclusive language is proving a headache for grammarians.
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21 min
March 12, 2019
Flying stop: Boeing
Following a second fatal crash of Boeing’s 737-MAX, China was quick to ground its fleet of the newish airliner. What does this mean for the world’s largest planemaker? In Russia, protests have broken out against President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to isolate and control the country’s internet. His bid to regain Russians’ full attention may come too late. And, we look at why so many women are getting divorced in Bangladesh. Additional audio from Anton Scherbakov
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21 min
March 11, 2019
The sensitive month: Tibet
China’s party leaders get nervous in March—a month full of anniversaries that Tibetans hold dear. As the 60th anniversary of Tibet’s uprising approaches, security is tighter than usual. Corporate-risk managers are rotten at assessing their exposure to a changing climate; we examine the dangers that many are ignoring. And, a look back at André Previn—and a life of far more than just show tunes and showmanship. Additional audio courtesy of Twitter users @ngagya95 and @TibetPeople
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23 min
March 8, 2019
Fifth time unlucky: Algeria’s protests
Widespread protests will continue today against the re-election run of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who hasn’t been heard from since a stroke in 2013. Algerians have had enough of their country’s proxy rule and misrule. We also ask if countries can sometimes be better run when their leaders are out of action. And, knife crime is on the rise in Britain, but the causes—and the solutions—are a matter of uncomfortable debate.
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22 min
March 7, 2019
Guilt and association: Paul Manafort
President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager can expect to have the book thrown at him at his sentencing today—the first for crimes revealed by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Mr Trump’s campaign. Following a tense stand-off with Pakistan, we look at how Hindu nationalism has shaped Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s time in office, and will shape his re-election campaign. And, how North Korean refugees ship money home illicitly.
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23 min
March 6, 2019
Trudeau in trouble: a sunny leader in stormy times
Canada’s fresh-faced leader has been a icon for embattled liberals. But now he faces damaging accusations of meddling in a judicial process. Will Justin Trudeau be contrite or fight? And free money sounds like a grand idea. Here’s how universal basic income is being tested in practice. Also, young men in Pakistan grow some very fancy beards.
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19 min
March 5, 2019
Xi’ll meet again: China’s People’s Congress opens
The National People's Congress of China gathers today for ten days of deliberations. Tensions with the West over the trade war and disagreement about the role of technology giant Huawei will be in the background. Bosses are not always the most reliable narrators for an investor seeking to gain insight into a company. But there are new data sources that are making it harder for executives to mislead them. And an attic in France has yielded a find some claim to have been painted by the 17th century master Caravaggio. But how do we assess whether an unsigned, orphaned work is the real, very expensive deal?
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20 min
March 4, 2019
A thirsty world: the future of water
Fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce, as climate change and population growth puts greater pressure on resources. But the problem is one of mismanagement, rather than supply. When Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as Brazil’s president in January, he spoke of a national effort to fix the country’s economy and to tackle crime and corruption. Can he deliver on those promises? And how a big-budget Chinese film reflects the philosophy of the country’s leader.
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23 min
March 1, 2019
Bibi one more time? Binyamin Netanyahu
Israel’s prime minister has been indicted, pending a hearing, just weeks before an election. We look at the charges he faces, and how he has already transformed the country’s politics. Huawei, a Chinese technology giant, has drawn global scrutiny of its tactics and perceived relationship with the Chinese state. But a greater concern is going unmentioned. And, why autonomous-vehicle firms are taking their wares to retirement communities.
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22 min
February 28, 2019
Line of control: India-Pakistan
Air strikes by India and Pakistan this week represent a worrying flare-up of tensions that have simmered for years. We examine the forces and politics at play between the nuclear-armed powers. What’s causing the chill in the global manufacturing sector, and how to escape it? And, under the threat of a potentially costly infectious disease, Denmark is building a border wall.
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20 min
February 27, 2019
Chaos and calculation: Brexit
Grand fissures have opened in Britain’s politics; the two main parties’ leaders are struggling to keep control. What does it all mean for Brexit, just a month away? As pharmaceutical companies defend their prices this week, we look at the push to use cheap, existing drugs in new ways. And, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the desire to adequately mourn the dead opens a market opportunity for paid wailers.
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22 min
February 26, 2019
Two for the show: Trump meets Kim
As Kim Jong Un arrives in Vietnam ahead of a second summit with President Donald Trump, we ask about the real prospects for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. Chicago votes for a new mayor today; we speak with Rahm Emanuel, the outspoken incumbent, about what he has—and hasn’t—done for the city. And, we examine Hungary’s curious effort to stem its population slide.
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20 min
February 25, 2019
It’s bean difficult: the China-America trade war
As President Donald Trump delays further tariffs on $200bn-worth of Chinese goods, there are hints of an end to the trade war. We assess the damage already done by looking at the global soyabean market. Countries around the world are struggling with the ethics and security concerns around re-admitting their citizens who have fought with Islamic State. And, there’s a rising favourite among wine investors—but it could represent a bubble.
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23 min
February 22, 2019
Alms held up: Venezuela
Venezuela is in dire need of humanitarian aid, and Juan Guaidó, the interim president, has pledged to deliver it tomorrow. Will Nicolás Maduro, the dictatorial leader still formally in power, let him? Ahead of Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders, we look back on a half-century’s-worth of wisdom from the “Sage of Omaha”. And in Japan, longer lives are leading to more books by and for the elderly.
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20 min
February 21, 2019
Sins of the fathers: the Vatican and child abuse
The Vatican is hosting a high-profile meeting on child abuse by the clergy. It’s a topic that has been woefully overlooked, and one that threatens to define the tenure of Pope Francis. We visit the world’s largest building, in the city of Chengdu. Inside there’s a giant wave pool, thirty thousand workers, free cats—and a glimpse of the state of China’s economy. And, an effort to resurrect the native language of Hawaii has brought unexpected benefits.
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21 min
February 20, 2019
Prince on tour: Muhammad bin Salman
Muhammad bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, is on a tour of Asia, striking deals and trying to polish his image. What kind of influence will he have in the region? Every year as much as a quarter of the global corporate-tax bill is avoided—legally. We take a look at where all that money is going. And we speak to Nadine Labaki, the first female Arab film-maker nominated for an Oscar.
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19 min
February 19, 2019
Labour’s love lost: British politics
Seven parliamentarians have split from Britain’s opposition Labour party. That could change the calculus of Brexit, and just might be the nucleus of a new movement. There’s a little-noticed shift in the relationship between Islam and the West; a new generation is lighting the way. And our Russia editor has a bit of a hobby—one that puts him at the nexus of language, drama and truth.
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19 min
February 18, 2019
State of the unionising: Amazon
We examine the aftermath of the online behemoth’s withdrawal of its New York expansion plans, and speak with its Midwestern workers about growing talk of unionising. President Emmanuel Macron hopes to quell protests across France with a series of “town halls”; we drop into one. And mezcal is on the rise, but can tequila’s more-traditional cousin survive if the whole world wants a shot? Music credit: "Chez Space" by The Freeharmonic Orchestra (CC-BY)
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22 min
February 15, 2019
Emergency measures: America’s border deal
President Donald Trump is expected to declare a national emergency today, to fund his southern-border wall. We ask why that would be an uncomfortable constitutional precedent. Nigeria’s general election this weekend will be a nail-biter, and allegations of electoral fraud are already flying; the only certainty is that the result will be contested. And, we bid farewell to Opportunity, a Mars rover that vastly exceeded what was expected of it.
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20 min
February 14, 2019
IS this the end? Islamic State’s last stand
In Syria the few remaining Islamic State fighters are hemmed in. The caliphate’s territory may be diminished, but the idea will live on. A Valentine’s Day look at the digital dating market reveals the protocols and pitfalls of online matchmaking. And the derailment of an attempt by India’s railway minister to tout a new high-speed line.
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20 min
February 13, 2019
It’s not easy: the Green New Deal
As America’s Senate majority leader pledges a vote on the Green New Deal, a sweeping set of policies around climate and much more, we examine just what the legislation does—and doesn’t—lay out. Following Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address, we explore the challenges South Africa’s president faces as an election looms. And our language columnist declares war on misused metaphors. Additional audio courtesy of Sunrise Movement & FDR Presidential Library.
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22 min
February 12, 2019
Independents’ day: Catalans on trial
Today 12 leaders of Spain’s Catalonia region go on trial, accused of rebellion. The proceedings will lay bare long-running tensions about democracy and unity. As Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota senator, joins America’s presidential race, we ask whether her centrist tendencies are an advantage or a handicap. And a retrospective of the photographer Don McCullin’s work reveals extremes of human experience and suffering.
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19 min
February 11, 2019
You say you want: Revisiting Iran’s revolution
We examine how the echoes of Iran’s revolution, 40 years ago, still influence how the Islamic Republic deals with the West today. Harley Davidson has become entangled in the Trump administration’s trade war just as changing demographics have put the brakes on the motorcycle-maker. And, we tackle an old ethics conundrum and its relevance to future autonomous vehicles.
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24 min
February 8, 2019
Princess unbridled: Thai politics
A Thai princess enters the running for prime minister—a development that reshuffles the country’s centres of power completely. Our obituaries editor chronicles the heartbreak of an Iraqi archaeologist. And Chinese scientists have come up with a smarter way for Earthlings to try contacting aliens—but what kinds of messages is humanity sending them?
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19 min
February 7, 2019
The Intelligence: Weapons redrawn
After America and Russia pull out out of a cold war-era weapons treaty, we examine the picture of global stability without it. Our China columnist visits with members of the Hui, a repressed Muslim minority spread throughout the country. And Europe launches a system to combat fake-medicines—an expansive and expensive project that few think is necessary.
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19 min
February 6, 2019
The Intelligence: Credible, but critical
Today the Trump administration is expected to announce its nomination for head of the World Bank today. He’s a Treasury official with a sharply critical view of the institution and, to a degree, he’s right. A troubled region of the Philippines heads to the polls, as a Muslim minority calls for greater autonomy. The result might help calm centuries of violence. Finally, we take a trip to the shiny centre of China’s gold industry, just as golden-gift-giving spikes around the lunar new year.
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21 min
February 5, 2019
The Intelligence: Don’t despair, America
Tonight President Trump will deliver his State of the Union address; we ask what he’ll be saying, and what the state of the union really is. Yesterday the jury began its deliberations in the trial of “El Chapo”, an alleged Mexican drug lord. What impact has his capture and trial had on the drugs trade? Finally, Japanese schools and businesses have some onerous grooming rules, stipulating even sock colour—but things seem to be changing.
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20 min
February 4, 2019
The Intelligence: A despot’s calculation
Internal and international pressure on President Nicolás Maduro brings Venezuela to the brink of change. As Facebook turns 15, it’s lurching from crisis to crisis—and still making money hand over fist. We ask whether it has, on balance, been good for the world. Finally, there’s an Iranian pop star who was once a darling of the regime. What’s changed?
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18 min
February 1, 2019
The Intelligence: Be careful on the way out
As progress appears to have been made in peace talks between America and the Taliban, the Senate urges the Trump administration not to rush for the door in Afghanistan. Origami might be pretty, but it hides great scientific potential; it’s starting to show up in all kinds of new technologies. And, our obituaries editor discusses the career of master accordionist Marcel Azzola, and how lives can be celebrated in writing.
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22 min
January 31, 2019
The Intelligence: Down and out in “iPhone City”
As trade talks with China continue in Washington, our correspondent takes a trip to China’s “iPhone City” to see how the country’s slowdown is affecting workers. In El Salvador, a social-media darling leads the polls ahead of Sunday’s presidential election—but his policy plans remain unclear. And, a big diamond up for auction in Angola today is a crystal-clear sign of change for the country.
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18 min
January 30, 2019
The Intelligence: This is not a coup
International pressure is mounting on the dictatorial regime of Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro. As he hints at negotiations with a resurgent opposition, we ask how the country’s citizens make ends meet amid the misery. A striking American indictment will make the China trade talks that start today even more tense than last time. And, why is it getting easier to get good-quality Indian food in the truck stops of America? Additional music: Cylinder Five by Chris Zabriskie.
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27 min
January 29, 2019
The Intelligence: Deal, delay or dither?
It’s another crucial vote in the Brexit saga as Prime Minister Theresa May learns whether her leaving plan will be derailed or delayed. Autonomous weapons are coming along just as fast as autonomous vehicles are. But who’s tackling the ethics of killer robots? And, the surprising number of uses that Cubans have found for condoms.
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21 min
January 23, 2019
The Intelligence: Trailer
The Intelligence is a new current-affairs podcast, published every weekday by Economist Radio, that provides a unique perspective on the events shaping your world. Drawing on the expertise of The Economist’s global network of correspondents, each episode digs past the headlines to get to the stories beneath—and to stories that aren’t making headlines, but should be. For a daily burst of global illumination, you need more than just the facts. You need The Intelligence.
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2 min
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