Anne McElvoy asks Cass Sunstein, a former advisor to Barack Obama and co-author of "Nudge", how far the state should define our quest for personal freedom. They discuss how we might need a GPS to navigate through life, the limits of nudging and why left-wing Democrats might be their own worst enemy
Not long ago, Abraaj was one of the world’s highest-profile private-equity firms. We take a look at its spectacular downfall, and the fate of its charismatic boss, Arif Naqvi. This weekend Australian voters will elect a new parliament. How can politicians win back a disillusioned electorate? And why do sausages figure so strongly on voting day?
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, as the rivalry between China and the United States grows, surging sanctions create both risks and unexpected business opportunities. Why the feeble Afghan government is losing the war against the Taliban (10’23). And a tale of golden fleeces—why people in Senegal pay a fortune for fancy sheep (20’19)
As party leaders grill Britain’s prime minister—and with a looming European election the country was due to avoid—we examine how the Brexit mess is dissolving party allegiances. Turkey was once seen as a success story in dealing with Syrians fleeing conflict, but as war has dragged on their welcome is wearing thin. And, kinky and camp meet fraught politics in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Additional music "Thoughtful" and "Under Suspicion" by Lee Rosevere.
Legislators in San Francisco have just voted to ban the use of facial recognition—is this a victory for privacy or a setback for technology? Also, new research on how machine learning can be used to predict the likelihood of breast cancer. And Amazon's boss, Jeff Bezos, draws inspiration from science fiction in his aim to build space habitats. Kenneth Cukier hosts
The International Monetary Fund has struck another deal to bail out Pakistan—its 22nd. But how did the country’s economy end up in such a mess? Never mind rising numbers of vegetarians: the world is eating more meat, and in a way, that’s a good thing. And, how French names reveal social trends that census data cannot.
Two-way trade between America and China hit $2bn a day last year. But the growing mistrust between the two countries is turning business from a safe space into a field of contention. David Rennie, The Economist’s Beijing bureau chief, has travelled across both countries and found that, with China’s daunting rise, making money is no longer enough to keep friendly relations.
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.
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.
Anne McElvoy asks Melinda Gates whether gender equality starts in the kitchen. The American philanthropist explains why the tech world risks entrenching bias into the future, but defends the Gates Foundation’s decision to halve its paid family leave. And Anne and Melinda swap top tips for getting teenagers to do the washing up
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.
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, our cover story reports on the brewing conflict between America and Iran. Both sides need to step back. Also, why the Mexican-American population is shrinking, despite headlines from the southern border (10:05). And, what the latest trends in baby names say about how France is changing (17:34)
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.
As Uber prepares for its public listing this week, a new study in San Francisco shows that ride-hailing companies cause major road congestion. Also, how much should smart speakers see as well as hear? And, author Douglas Rushkoff explains why he views modern technology as anti-human. Kenneth Cukier hosts
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.
Digital disruption is coming to banking at last. Helen Joyce travels across Asia to see how fintechs like Ant Financial are transforming how people spend, save and invest their money, and asks whether traditional banks can catch up. Who will win the battle to be the bank of the future? And could having a bank in your pocket make your money safer?
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.
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.
Anne McElvoy asks author and iconoclast Bret Easton Ellis about why he has decided to take on the social mores of millennials. From the #metoo movement and freedom of expression to anger on social media, he discusses the dangers of a growing generational disconnect. And he apologises for claiming millennials don’t care about literature
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.
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the fight against jihadists is moving to Africa. Despite Western help, governments in the Sahel are struggling to beat back violent extremists. Next, the Democrats and American foreign policy—a chance for radical rethinkers (12:43). And, Netflix and pills—why the drugs industry should take inspiration from the entertainment industry (23:38)
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.
This week the Committee on Climate Change releases its anticipated recommendations for Britain to become a carbon-free economy, but will the Government take meaningful action? Also, the controversial subject of lung cancer screening. And David Spiegelhalter discusses ‘The Art of Statistics’. Kenneth Cukier hosts
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.
Since the financial crisis, compliance officers in charge of minimising banks’ regulatory woes have never been more in demand. Will banks reach peak compliance? Also, author Caroline Criado Perez exposes what she calls “data bias in a world designed for men”. Also, after Avengers: Endgame broke box office records, will Disney Hulk smash the streaming competition later this year? Philip Coggan hosts
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.
In this edition of The world ahead we examine a possible future where antibiotics no longer work. What causes such antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and what can be done to remedy it? And in another health-care scenario, we examine technology's potential to address the global shortage of medical staff. Anne McElvoy hosts
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.
Anne McElvoy asks Man Booker prize-winning novelist Ian McEwan what distinguishes humans and robots in the age of AI. They discuss his new novel "Machines Like Me", a Promethean story which argues that engineers are the mythic gods of today. They also talk about why young writers should switch off their smartphones
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.
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how to stop the rot in South Africa. The liberal opposition cannot win the elections on May 8th, so the president must clean up his own party. Next, why Britain’s artful compromise on Huawei and 5G is a model for other countries (10:17). And, geoengineering could alleviate climate change, but with politically explosive consequences (14:54)
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.
Kenneth Cukier takes a look at the future of genetic engineering and what it means to be human. He speaks to leading scientists, doctors and philosophers to ask if ethics and regulations are able to keep up with the technology
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?
As the debate about raising the minimum wage in America intensifies, it seems that wages for the lowest-paid Americans are already on the increase. Also, why is wage growth in the UK picking up at last? Finally, the most expensive homes in the world’s most desirable cities are becoming a bit less expensive. Simon Longs hosts
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.
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.
Anne McElvoy goes backstage at New York’s newest arts centre, The Shed, to talk to the Grammy and Polar music prize-winning soprano. They discuss bending the rules of genre and gender opposite Ben Whishaw in “Norma Jeane Baker of Troy”. Also, why opera isn’t in trouble and how to reclaim the title of “diva” for the 21st century
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!
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the trouble with tech unicorns. These billion-dollar businesses seem to have it all—except a path to high profits. Next, why did a fire at Notre Dame cathedral provoke more global grief than the recent deadly floods in Mozambique? (9:54) And, why Pakistan risks exterminating a bird that lays golden eggs (15:23)
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.
Amazon’s use of artificial intelligence has long outstripped Facebook and Google. Just how ingrained is AI at Amazon? Also, journalist and author David Wallace Wells explains the diminishing optimism of the climate change movement. And, how natural disasters fade from collective memory. Kenneth Cukier hosts
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.
America’s largest banks reported earnings this week. Bank of America’s chief executive, Brian Moynihan, tells Anne McElvoy why he is bullish about the American economy and justifies his pay package. Also, can Goldman Sachs reinvent itself in the shadow of a scandal? And, Tiger Woods’s stroke of genius—for the business of golf. Simon Long hosts
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.
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?
Anne McElvoy asks the former United States attorney for the powerful Southern District of New York whether the law can still do justice in America. He explains the failure to prosecute any Wall St executives after the financial crisis and his concern about how politicised the Mueller report has become. And, Mr Bharara reveals what crime he would be tempted to commit and why he loves mafia movies.
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.
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, mass protests have ousted Sudan’s dictator. The big question now is who will succeed him. Our Lexington columnist argues that Donald Trump is a pro wrestler masquerading as commander-in-chief (7:54). And kidney donors are wanted, dead or alive—we consider how to persuade more of the living to donate (15:39)
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.
America, China and Russia are developing long range, gliding missiles that travel at speeds greater than Mach 5. What are the threats and safeguards? Also, Dame Stephanie Shirley, the programmer who set up Britain’s first all-female software company in 1962, gives advice to women in tech today. And, how to knit a sports car with carbon fibre. Kenneth Cukier hosts
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.
It’s all change at the European Central Bank with its president, Mario Draghi, set to depart, along with two senior board members. As debate rumbles in America around central-bank independence, can new leadership at the ECB navigate the political shoals? Also, Airbus’s new boss seeks to capitalise as Boeing flounders. And, can the exorbitant cost of cross-border remittances be brought down? Simon Long hosts
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?
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.
Anne McElvoy asks the former president of Colombia whether the country can sustain a lasting peace with the left-wing FARC guerrilla group. They discuss the best way to tackle the global drug trade and why Venezuela’s dictator, Nicolás Maduro, needs a “golden bridge” to give up power peacefully
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.
A selection of three defining articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the promise and perils of synthetic biology—the nascent human capacity to redesign life. Now that Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has resigned, the real battle to overhaul the system begins (9:24). And, where a rejuvenated Tiger Woods ranks on The Economist’s forecast for the golf Masters (14:58).
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.
A little-known paleontologist may have found the last piece of the puzzle explaining the fate of the dinosaurs: what actually happened when the giant asteroid struck the Earth. Also, Paul Davies, a renowned physicist, explains the systems of information that make up consciousness. And, why being heard in the House of Commons is not always essential to getting things done. Kenneth Cukier hosts
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.
Purdue Pharma, a US company which makes OxyContin and is owned by members of the Sackler family, is at the eye of the opioid crisis. What next for the Sacklers and how similar is this storm to that which faced the tobacco industry in the 1990s? Also, the fading fortunes of European banks and NYC’s $100bn congestion problem. Simon Long hosts
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.
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.
Anne McElvoy asks the former prime minister of Italy what lessons the European Union should take from the turmoil of Brexit. They discuss where the power lies in the union today, why Europe needs to make friends with China and why Westminster is looking rather Italian.
This interview was recorded at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai.
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).
A selection of three defining articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Binyamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, provides a parable of modern populism. Flaws in Bitcoin suggest that a lasting revival of cryptocurrencies is unlikely (9:20). And, why museums should return stolen art, but accept donations from almost anyone (18:57)
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.
How scientists followed the nose of a super-smeller to identify a new test for Parkinson’s disease. Also, historian Kate Brown tells us what she uncovered from decades of researching the Chernobyl disaster. And scientists in China have found a potential solution for recharging the pacemaker. Kenneth Cukier hosts
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.
Masayoshi Son reinvented investing — as he prepares to raise billions of dollars for Vision Fund 2, what are the governance questions? Chickenomics and how chicken became the rich world's most popular meat. And, our Bartleby columnist explores the role of charisma in good leadership. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts
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
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the March 23rd 2019 edition
To understand the future of Silicon Valley, look across the Atlantic, where the European Union is pioneering a new way of controlling big tech. Plus, the hackers perfecting the art of getting free stuff, and why civilisations create the gods that suit their needs. Josie Delap hosts.
This is the last episode of “Tasting menu”. For highlights from The Economist every Thursday, search for “Editor’s Picks”, from Economist Radio, wherever you listen to podcasts
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.
In this episode we discuss why, after years of trying to make their products as addictive as possible, social-media companies are now heading in the opposite direction. We look forward to key dates later this year for elections, Chinese anniversaries and historic figures. And we ask what the former headmaster of Eton College is bringing to China’s educational system. Tom Standage hosts.
Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)
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.
Anne McElvoy asks the controversial podcast host, and author of “The Right Side of History”, why he thinks the West needs a revival of old-fashioned values. In the wake of the mass shootings in New Zealand, they debate whether individuals, platforms or governments are responsible for controlling extreme content online. Also, does Ben Shapiro ever regret having gone too far and which presidential hopeful gets his bet for 2020 and beyond?
Music by Chris Zabriskie, “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
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.
The insect apocalypse may not be imminent, but the decline of insect species is still a concern. And we speak to Dr Angela Gallop about her career as one of Britain’s most eminent forensic scientists. Also, when will a robot barista serve you a latte? Kenneth Cukier hosts
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?
A new survey published this week shows harassment and discrimination are widespread problems in the academic field of economics. Soumaya Keynes, our US Economics Editor, speaks to those in the field and Ben Bernanke, President of the American Economic Association, about their experiences and what can be done to achieve change
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.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the March 16th 2019 edition
After Theresa May’s deal was decisively rejected for a second time, Brexit will almost certainly be delayed. It is time for Parliament to seize the initiative. Plus, how sharing a plate of food could help international diplomacy. And, the world wide web has turned 30—what does its future hold? Lane Greene hosts
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.
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
Anne McElvoy asks the award-winning stand-up comedian and creator of "The Office" whether there are any taboos left in comedy and if it matters when people are offended. They discuss seeing the funny side of illness, addiction, death and grief in his new comedy, “After Life”, and whether dogs might save the world
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
Kenneth Cukier gets in the Babbage time machine and travels to 1989, when Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote the famous memo that laid the foundations for the world wide web. Kenn speaks to some of the other key figures that influenced its invention, like Ted Nelson and Vint Cerf, and then asks what the WWW might look like in the future.
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.
Several countries have grounded Boeing’s 737 Max after two catastrophic crashes. What are the precedents and can the business recover? Also, as China’s giant current-account surplus vanishes, could this lead to the Chinese economy opening up? And Volkswagen announces plans to cut jobs as it launches a fleet of new electric cars. Simon Long hosts
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
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the March 9th 2019 edition
A new “scramble for Africa” is taking place. This time Africans themselves stand to benefit the most. Also, a dispatch from the frozen Antarctic, and what the samba-dancers of Rio de Janeiro reveal about Brazil’s neglected history – and its present. Christopher Lockwood hosts
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
The Economist asks: Is education the great leap forward for feminism?
Meghan Markle (the Duchess of Sussex), Annie Lennox, Adwoa Aboah, Julia Gillard and other guests discuss feminism with Anne McElvoy on International Women’s Day. They debate how to end period poverty, what men and boys can do and does the Duchess get irked by charges of supporting "trendy" causes? The event was organised by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
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.
The head of the International Monetary Fund tells Anne McElvoy what it is like to be the “firefighter” of the global financial system. They debate how realistic it is to push for multilateralism against a backdrop of tariff wars, whether Brexit will be delayed and how the IMF can help Venezuela. Ms Lagarde also reflects on the loneliness of being a woman at the top and how women need to stick together.
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.
We have an exclusive interview with Dr Huw Griffiths on the mission to investigate a recently uncovered marine ecosystem in the Antarctic. And the author and scholar Shoshana Zuboff explains surveillance capitalism. Also, how the makers of the game Fortnite have the online platforms of Steam and Google locked in their sights. Kenneth Cukier hosts.
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.
How a once white-hot tech sector in China is shedding capital, employees and bonuses and heading for a freeze. Plane stupid — a look at the private jet industry and why airlines are phasing out first class seats. Also, Jim Collins, author of the best seller ‘Good to Great’, explains the flywheel principle. Simon Long hosts
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?
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the March 2nd 2019 edition
India’s prime minister Narendra Modi may be hoping brinkmanship against Pakistan will fire up voters ahead of April’s elections. Both countries must stop playing with fire. Plus a tour of the neglected treasures of ancient Peru—and is there such a thing as a perfect guide to the English language? Anne McElvoy hosts
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.
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.
Sir Ivan Rogers, Britain’s former Ambassador to the EU, says Brexit will happen in 2019. Anne McElvoy also asks him whether Theresa May, Britain’s Prime Minister, is right to take a no-deal exit off the table, what was his advice and how much did she listen. Also, what will the EU’s relationship with Britain be after the divorce and could Britain rejoin the EU?
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.
It is 150 years since Dmitri Mendeleev discovered the periodic table, the innate order underpinning the elements. Kenneth Cukier explores how this simple grid has shaped our understanding of the universe and our place in it. In a laboratory near Moscow the search is on for element 119, but on the other side of the world in California, researchers are hesitant. Is chemistry over?
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.
Could Kraft Heinz’s troubles signal the limits of cost-cutting and the strategies of 3G Capital? Germany’s Deutsche Bank is struggling, but merging might not be the right answer. Sallie Krawcheck, a titan of Wall Street, who once thought social impact investing was for “granola eaters”, now tells us companies should be less dominated by white males. Simon Long hosts
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.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the February 23rd 2019 edition
The Chinese economic model of steroidal state capitalism is facing a global backlash and offering diminishing returns. Can President Xi be persuaded to reform? Plus, how gumbo tells the story of the American South and why a good astronaut needs a sense of humour. Lane Greene hosts
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.
In this episode of our future-gazing podcast we discuss how an often-ignored region in Africa seems set grow in prominence, for the wrong reasons. Professor Stephen Hsu discusses the implications of genomic risk-scoring in health care. And we look at the rise of the couture designer in China. Tom Standage hosts.
Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)
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.
After earning an Oscar nomination for "12 Years a Slave" and his super-villain stripes in "Doctor Strange", Chiwetel Ejiofor has turned his hand to directing. Anne McElvoy asks him what it will take for Hollywood to start casting black actors as the romantic lead. They discuss why there is still so little diversity behind the camera and how much power directors have to change the status quo
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.
The latest buzz from the AAAS, the largest general science meeting in the world, from The Economist’s science correspondent, Alok Jha. NASA scientists presented initial findings on how a year in space changes astronauts’ bodies. Why a good sense of humour is required for a successful mission to Mars. And can machines become scientists?
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.
It is not yet clear how Britain will leave the European Union on March 29th. But for companies that have to ship stuff to the other side of the world, Brexit has already arrived. What are British companies doing to prepare themselves for Brexit and what effect will this have on the British economy? Richard Cockett hosts
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.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the February 16th 2019 edition
After three decades in the wilderness, socialism is back. Millennial socialists offer a sharp critique of what has gone wrong in Western societies—are they right? Also, why atomic clocks, like wine, get better with age and government-sanctioned science fiction hits big screens in China. Anne McElvoy hosts
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)
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.
The Economist asks: Why is there always trouble in the Trump White House?
Former White House Staffer Cliff Sims, author of “Team of Vipers”, tells Anne McElvoy why he’s suing Donald Trump. They unpick the paradox of how a man who stirs such fierce loyalty in his supporters inspires so little inside his administration. Also, why the president is great in a crisis and the true meaning of “executive time”
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.
Tech giants face regulation on news after UK media review. Its author, Dame Frances Cairncross, tells us even the technology platforms recognise the need for change. Roger McNamee, one of Facebook’s early investors, asks if it’s now too powerful. And the award-winning inventor of GPS on how his early atomic clock just keeps getting better with age. Kenneth Cukier hosts
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.
Money talks: A billionaire, a scandal and business…
The world’s richest man, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos fights back against the Enquirer. Tackling the challenge of the "pink" and "blue" jobs market — should the employment market be more "purple"? And on a scale of 1 to 10, how useful are employee surveys? Simon Long hosts
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.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the February 9th 2019 edition
Despite wildfires and polar freezes, energy firms are planning to increase fossil fuel production. The climate consequences could be grave. Also, the challenge of putting the morals back into McDonald’s. And the next express beauty trend – botox-to-go. Anne McElvoy hosts
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.
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?
Rutger Bregman, author of "Utopia for Realists", told Davos that more tax is better than corporate good works. Our economics editor, Henry Curr, challenges him on whether governments should soak the rich. And is income, wealth or inheritance the best target? Anne McElvoy hosts
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.
Should individuals have rights over their data that are protected similar to human rights? We discuss the universe with Jo Dunkley of Princeton. And why the oceans are turning a different shade of blue. Kenneth Cukier hosts
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.
ExxonMobil is pursuing an aggressive plan for oil investment. Charlotte Howard, our energy editor, explains why. Also, Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast has a record of wrong-footing critics—can he do so again? And the producers of China’s ancient liquor, baijiu, plan to go global. Host Simon Long tastes it.
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.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the February 2nd 2019 edition
The world’s democracies are right to seek change in Venezuela. The question is how. Plus, why Christian pilgrims are flocking to Abu Dhabi, the joy of missing out, and who really was Wild Bill Hickok? Anne McElvoy hosts
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?
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.
The prime minister of New Zealand explains why her country is a laboratory for progressive politics. The Economist’s Anne McElvoy and Zanny Minton Beddoes ask her about the economics of well-being and whether she really is “the anti-Trump”. Also, why New Zealand has had enough of being left off the map
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.
As the controversial story of the editing of the genomes of two babies in China unfolds, we ask how can science be more ethical — and how to tackle “ethics dumping”. Also, how environmental factors can influence the national security of countries affected by climate change. And we look at the phenomenon of the placebo button. Kenneth Cukier hosts
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.
With the economic turmoil crippling Venezuela, we ask what can be done to bring a quick resolution to hyperinflation? Also, the Chinese giant grain producer that is threatening the global industry. And yet another controversy for the credit-default swap. Simon Long hosts
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.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the January 26th 2019 edition
The global flow of money and goods is stagnating. The world needs to prepare for a new era of “slowbalisation”. Plus, why more people are braving the bullring in America. And we introduce “The Intelligence”, a new daily current-affairs podcast from Economist Radio.
Josie Delap hosts
The week ahead: The price of the American government shutdown
As government departments remain unfunded in America, we look at a constitutional principle that may be damaged in the standoff. Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro moves to make guns more easily available. And another shutdown: of this programme. We look back on “The week ahead”, and look forward to what’s next.
Creative commons attribution 4.0 International Chez Space by The Freeharmonic Orchestra
In this episode we discuss what the future holds for the regulation of artificial intelligence. Is populism on the rise in Canada and will it impact Justin Trudeau's chances of re-election? And does China’s new record-breaking bridge really bring it closer to Hong Kong? Anne McElvoy hosts
Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)
The Economist asks: Is this the era of slowbalisation?
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Anne McElvoy asks our editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes and Patrick Foulis, author of the cover story, why globalisation has run out of steam and what will future economic growth look like?
How can new technology deal with rogue drones? And what can be learned from Dutch hospitals in the fight against superbugs. Also, the development of a simple camera that can see around corners. Tim Cross hosts
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.
Is Germany's economy on the brink of a recession? And Professor Amy Edmondson, author of “The Fearless Organisation”, examines the importance of speaking up in the workplace. Also, remembering John Clifton "Jack" Bogle, patron saint of the amateur investor. Philip Coggan hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the January 19th 2019 edition
This week's cover story analyses Britain's Brexit mess and argues the case for a second referendum as the only way out of it. Also, why modern work is so miserable and a night ride with the rebel bikers of Yangon. Anne McElvoy hosts
Britain’s prime minister has just days to assemble a Plan B for Brexit. She is short on time, popular ideas and political allies. The leaders of France and Germany will sign a treaty aimed at greater harmony, but that reveals greater discord. And, China’s GDP will be dented not only by trade woes with America but also graver economic worries.
The Economist asks: What’s behind the new anti-Semitism?
Deborah Lipstadt made headlines for facing down a libel charge from the English author David Irving after she accused him of Holocaust denial. Anne McElvoy asks her about the return of “the oldest hatred”. They discuss how the Pittsburgh massacre changed what it is to be Jewish in America. And, from Larry David to “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel”, when is it ok to joke about Jewishness?
We discuss CERN’s latest plans for a successor to the Large Hadron Collider. Also, our healthcare editor explains how scientists hope to develop vaccines more quickly for unexpected viruses. And, how altering the genetic code of E.coli is leading to groundbreaking research on cancer drugs. Kenneth Cukier hosts.
Will the government shutdown in America cause long-lasting economic damage? Henry Tricks reports on how robots and automation will help Chinese firms cope with rising wages and the trade war. Also, what fuelled the huge growth of Canada's state pension fund and what can it teach other countries? Philip Coggan hosts
Brexit negotiations became more fraught this week, ahead of Tuesday’s make-or-break vote on the prime minister’s deal. As South Africa’s ruling party unveils its manifesto, we ask whether its newish leader can save his party’s reputation and his country’s economy. And, our correspondent has an unexpectedly long chat with President Donald Trump’s most vocal Republican critic.
Childhood is not what it used to be, according to The Economist's special report this week. The race to set children on the path to professional and personal success now begins before preschool. But competitive parenting is increasing inequality. Are there any alternatives to the “rug-rat race”? Anne McElvoy hosts
In a special show, we examine China’s impressive scientific advances and question what they mean for the future of the sciences—and of China. Among the guests is the Chinese-American astronaut Leroy Chiao, discussing China’s recent feat of landing a probe on the far side of the moon. Kenneth Cukier hosts.
As the Euro turns 20 years old, we look back at its launch and ask what the future holds for the currency. After Apple announced it was cutting its quarterly revenue forecast, we discuss whether peak smartphone has been reached. And, Vice President of Twitter, Bruce Daisley, tells us to turn off phone notifications and how to increase the joy of work. Philip Coggan hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the January 5th 2019 edition
As Donald Trump enters the second half of his first term, his luck may be about to change. Plus, the young economists to watch this decade. And should companies monitor their employees’ health? Anne McElvoy hosts
As Venezuela starts 2019 wracked with hunger, inflation and an increasingly autocratic government, we take a look ahead to President Nicolás Maduro’s second term presiding over the mess. Trade talks between China and America are looming, again. But the whole system of international trade is changing; we examine why. And, what causes people to so reliably and violently react to split infinitives?
Anne McElvoy looks back over a year in interviews. Among her guests were several casualties of the Trump administration, from James Comey to Steve Bannon. Tina Tchen, lead lawyer on the Time’s Up campaign, and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson disagree over the promise of #MeToo. And David Sedaris finds comedy in the most excruciating circumstances.
In this special episode of Babbage, we discuss some of the advancements in technology that could change the lives of those living with a disability — an app that is helping those who are visually impaired. Also, how the sit-ski has benefited from research in the aerospace and automotive industries. And, can the symptoms of phantom limb syndrome be harnessed to enhance prosthetics? Kenneth Cukier hosts.
Who are the world’s most exciting young economists? Every ten years, since 1988, The Economist has chosen those whose innovative research is likely to shape our future. Their work varies from the science of education choices to the economics of the weather. In the past, the list has included Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, Freakonomics’ Steven Levitt and Esther Duflo. Our host, Soumaya Keynes, takes a road trip to meet four of the most promising economists of the decade: Stefanie Stantcheva, Melissa Dell, Parag Pathak and Emi Nakamura. Music: Coming Home by TeknoAXE CC by 4.0
In a taste of our Christmas double issue, Jon Fasman takes a walk across Queens, New York City, and through America’s past, present and future. He hears from recent and long-standing Queens residents about why they made their lives there. Congresswoman Grace Meng explains the racial tensions bubbling under the surface and the importance of homemade dumplings. And down in Jamaica Bay, a more ancient migration is taking flight.
Next week Brazil will inaugurate a new president who has a sweeping set of reforms in mind. What will it take to make them work? We take a look at The Economist’s country of the year poll, and discuss this year’s winner. And, our obituaries editor looks back on a year of lives celebrated.
Our Johnson columnist, Lane Greene, decodes the language of 2018 with Lynne Murphy, author of “The Prodigal Tongue” and Anton La Guardia, keeper of The Economist’s style guide. Which words best sum up the closing year? They debate “woke bros” versus “iron snowflakes”, the pros and cons of Americanisms and the key to great writing.
In this festive special we look back at some of our favourite stories from 2018. Could IVF could save the northern white rhino from extinction? Also, the discovery of liquid water on Mars. And, how the amphibious life of the Bajau people has led to their unique evolutionary traits. Kenneth Cukier hosts.
The Economist’s editor-in-chief, Zanny Minton Beddoes, and deputy editor, Edward Carr, discuss the cover stories of 2018. From Donald Trump swinging on a wrecking ball, to likening Brexit to toilet roll (softer is better), how does a picture sell a thousand words? Anne McElvoy hosts.
Why will civil partnerships become more common – among straight people? What will the future look like for CCTV surveillance? Also, the business opportunities in North America for retailing cannabis. Simon Long hosts.
Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)
In this episode we dive into stories from The Economist’s festive double issue. In the 1980s Texas farmers looking for alternative meat sources pinned their hopes on the emu, an enormous and leggy bird. What can today’s market-watchers learn from the great emu bubble? We explore the curiously dangerous history of harmony in choral music. And in Belgium, the renovation of the world’s largest African museum at last confronts the country’s horrific colonial past. Jason Palmer hosts.
The Economist asks: How is Trump changing the presidency?
Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, asks Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer prize-winning author, what makes a great president and how Donald Trump is changing what it means to hold that office. Doris Kearns Goodwin also says she keeps waiting for Mr Trump to grow in office.
We ask how can conservationists preserve biodiversity through new ideas. Also, what can be done to increase the number of women in the technology industry? And Hossein Derakhshan, a formerly jailed Iranian blogger, discusses whether the web is becoming more superficial. Kenneth Cukier hosts.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the December 15th 2018 edition
In this week’s issue, family offices are a new force in global finance – but their billionaire owners will soon face uncomfortable questions. Also, how obsolete technologies could protect against new threats and the art of the perfect copy. Anne McElvoy hosts
UN-brokered peace talks, and the American Senate’s withdrawal of support for Saudi Arabia’s forces, at last represent progress in a conflict that threatens millions with starvation. What next? And, how discord and a mangled deal will haunt Britain’s parliamentarians over the holidays. Also, in Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers’ worrying efforts to hamstring incoming Democrats / Additional audio provided courtesy of Ben Wikler
Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, takes the temperature in a dramatic week in British politics with John Peet, The Economist’s Brexit editor, and Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, a proponent of a different way to solve the Brexit dilemma. They discuss Theresa May’s next moves, a Norway option and the possibility of a second referendum
The race is on to launch satellites to connect the entire world to the internet. We talk to psychologist and geneticist Robert Plomin, about his career and his latest book. And, is the fax machine facing extinction? Kenneth Cukier hosts
The Chinese tech company at the centre of the American - China trade war. How illicit trade is threatening our future with guest Professor Louise Shelley. And the exclusive and influential part of the financial landscape reserved for billionaires. Simon Long hosts.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the December 8th 2018 edition
As anti-government protests engulf France, how a little humility could yet save Emmanuel Macron. Plus, why sensible people fall for online scams and the lessons of Greek myths for artificial intelligence. Anne McElvoy hosts.
(A previous version of this podcast included a story on new business regulations in Cuba which is now out of date.)
A vote in Britain’s parliament next week could well put the country on track for another Brexit referendum. So it should. We examine this year’s UN climate conference and what, amid increasingly dire climate warnings, the delegates are actually doing. And a look back at the life and presidency of George H.W. Bush, with our journalists and one of his cabinet members.
The Economist asks: Is populism the problem or the fix?
Can Steve Hilton, host of Fox News’s “The Next Revolution”, convince Yascha Mounk of Harvard University that populist movements could return power to the people? They debate whether Donald Trump will deliver on radical reforms, whether he poses a threat to a free press and if there should be a second Brexit referendum. Anne McElvoy hosts
Waymo, a division of Google's parent company Alphabet, launched its self-driving taxi service, but is it really a landmark for driverless vehicles? Also, a vast study seeks to understand the genetic underpinnings of ADHD. And we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “Mother of all demos” computing presentation. Kenneth Cukier hosts
As the ECB brings an end to quantitative easing, is Europe’s economic recovery underway? How, despite the glamour of its fashion show, Victoria’s Secret is struggling to keep up with rivals. And the problem of online fraud in America. Simon Long hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the December 1st 2018 edition
China still relies on the outside world for its computer chips – how far should America go to maintain silicon supremacy? Also, democratising lunar landings and why it is so difficult to open a pub in Ireland. Christopher Lockwood hosts
Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)
World leaders gathering for the G20 summit are rocked by ripples from a skirmish in the sea, when Russia captured Ukrainian ships and sailors. Citing the incident, President Trump cancelled a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Also: Mexico’s leftist president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, takes office. Is he a new broom, or a loose cannon? Josie Delap hosts.
NATO’s former commander tells Anne McElvoy why he modelled some of his own leadership on al-Qaeda. They discuss his regrets over the invasion of Iraq, the potential for ground war in Europe and whether America should still intervene abroad
A Chinese scientist has claimed to have edited the genomes of two babies using the revolutionary genome-editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9. Also, how the production of semiconductors is becoming a new battlefield. And Kenneth Cukier asks the author, technology executive and investor Elad Gil what it takes for a startup to become a technology giant.
What will America's political landscape look like once millennials outnumber the baby-boom generation? 2019 will also see a triumphant return to the moon. And how Japan is hoping to attract even more tourists. Anne McElvoy hosts.
Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC x 4.0)
We discuss General Motors’ plans to halt production at five factories in North America and cut more than 14,000 jobs. Also, what next for Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and Renault after Carlos Ghosn was arrested on suspicion of financial misconduct and dismissed from his post as chairman? And, the challenges facing new pub landlords in Ireland. Philip Coggan hosts.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the November 24th 2018 edition
In this week’s issue, why America is the exception to a global decline in suicides. Also, a glimpse of the future of flight and the extraordinary powers of Stan Lee, creator of superheroes. Josie Delap hosts
This weekend, British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to finalise a withdrawal agreement on Brexit with European leaders. But her greatest hurdle is in Westminster rather than Brussels. Can she secure enough votes for her deal in parliament? Anne McElvoy does the 'fuzzy maths'. Also on the show: What does victory look like in a trade war with China? And why Donald Trump is wrong to gloss over the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Christopher Lockwood hosts
The Economist asks: Brexit — can the deal be done?
Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health in Theresa May's Cabinet, on whether the Prime Minister can get a Brexit deal through Parliament and whether a second referendum might be on the cards. Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, also quizzes him on why the NHS lags behind on technology.
In this special episode we examine the controversial gang-mapping database of London's Metropolitan Police Service. Also, a new pilot project to study how a "data trust" might increase access to information while retaining privacy. And how sharing mapping data by the big web platforms could unlock innovations for companies and society. Kenneth Cukier hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the November 17th 2018 edition
In this week’s issue, why modern capitalism needs a competition revolution. Also, how Brexit might change the face of British football and the perils of finding online fame in China. Anne McElvoy hosts
Our journalists speak with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about Japan’s growing demographic crisis, and what he wants to be remembered for. A crushing famine in a massive region of Africa may have peaked, but it still threatens millions. How can this tragedy be mitigated, or future risks avoided? And, scientists are dealing with a weight problem they’ve had for some time: the definition of the kilogram.
Anne McElvoy asks the former White House communications director whether Donald Trump is true to his base. They debate the wisdom of doing battle with the press, if the president’s lies matter and what a Democratic challenger in 2020 should learn from his populist style
Should climate change be a matter of human rights? Also, gene drives' controversial potential to wipe out entire species of mosquitoes. And, a novel watch spring that could change the way mechanical watches are designed. Kenneth Cukier hosts
How powerful firms could undermine public faith in capitalism. Shakespearean drama in Nokia’s boardroom. And most businesses are ramping up their holiday hiring, but where will they find workers? Simon Long hosts.
Music by TeknoAXE CC by 4.0 (Cello Zen, The Cold of the Night)
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the November 10th 2018 edition
After America's mid-term elections, how do the Democrats need to change their game to succeed in 2020? Also, a tour of the entrepreneurial city that brought blue jeans to the Soviet Union, and five minutes that changed an astronaut’s life. Anne McElvoy hosts
President Trump wastes no time after America's mid-term elections before sacking Jeff Sessions, the attorney-general. What will the ouster mean for the special counsel’s Russia investigation? As NATO concludes its largest exercises since the cold war, we look at the political and logistical headwinds the alliance faces. And next week Tencent, a Chinese tech behemoth, will report more dismal results; how can it withstand the Chinese government’s pressure on games makers? Jason Palmer hosts
The Economist asks: Where next for a divided America?
After the hoopla of the mid-term elections - blue wave or red comeback - what does this all mean for America? Anne McElvoy talks to our US Editor, John Prideaux, Chip Roy, former advisor to Ted Cruz, Tim Ryan, Democratic Representative from Ohio, Deb Haaland, one of the first native American women elected to Congress, and Democratic Party strategist Celinda Lake. Who won and what does it mean for 2020?
Highlights from The Economist’s Space Summit in New York, including an interview with Apollo 9 astronaut Russell 'Rusty' Schweickart. Also, how to prepare for space exploration with Dava Newman, Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at MIT. And, astrophysicist Simonetta Di Pippo and astronaut Leroy Chiao discuss worldwide cooperation in space. Tom Standage hosts
The Renaissance scholars couldn’t keep up with new information (“Have you read the latest Erasmus book?” “I don’t have time!”) and needed a better way to organize it. Thus came the invention of tables of contents, indexes, book reviews, encyclopedias, and other shortcuts. What kinds of technological solutions might help us cope with the information overload we all experience today? Guests include: Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack; Nathan Jurgenson, Snapchat sociologist.
As Americans go to the polls, how will Mr. Trump's economic policies play out in the mid-term elections? Who will benefit from America's opportunity zones? And, the buzz around the SEC and what business bosses really think about President Trump.
Simon Long hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the November 3rd 2018 edition
In this week’s issue, could America’s mid-term elections stop the toxic polarisation of federal politics? Plus, how artificial intelligence could transform life for urban commuters. And a glimpse of the treasures to be found in translation. Anne McElvoy hosts
Music: “Sad Marimba Planet” by Lee Rosevere (CCx4.0)
Next week, Americans head to the polls. Why will it be such a consequential election? President Donald Trump has made a caravan of Central American migrants into an object of scaremongering—but the migrants don’t know of the political fight they’re heading into. And voter suppression is likely to have big effects in tight races; we take a look at the one for Georgia’s governor. Jason Palmer hosts
Joschka Fischer, former foreign minister and leader of the Green party in Germany, and Anne McElvoy discuss life after Chancellor Merkel’s retreat from power and whether Germany’s dominance in Europe is in jeopardy. Also Merkel's historian, Andreas Roedder, and our Europe Editor, Christopher Lockwood, on who could succeed her.
Music: “Sad Marimba Planet” by Lee Rosevere, “What Does Anybody Know About Anything” by Chris Zabriskie (CC x 4.0)
Can greenhouse emissions be cut in maritime transport? Also, with the US midterms a week away, Courtney Kennedy from PEW Research Centre discusses the reliability of polling data. And the artificial intelligence system being tested as a way to cut down train delays. Kenneth Cukier hosts
The Secret History of the Future: A Little Less Conversation
Some people thought the laying of the transatlantic cable might bring world peace, because connecting humans could only lead to better understanding and empathy. That wasn’t the outcome, and recent utopian ideas about communication (Facebook might bring us together and make us all friends!) have also met with a darker reality (Facebook might polarize us and spread false information!). Should we be scared of technology that promises to connect the world? Guests include: Robin Dunbar, inventor of Dunbar’s Number; Nancy Baym, Microsoft researcher.
Analysis of Britain's budget with our Britain economics correspondent. What is driving the fall in tech stocks? And, is Harley Davidson struggling to fire on all cylinders?
Helen Joyce hosts. Sound effect: THE_bizniss (cc x 3.0)
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the October 27th 2018 edition
Australia’s economy has been growing for a record 27 years without a recession—could the rest of the world benefit from playing by Aussie rules? Also, how China’s tech giants are revolutionising pig farming. And the ethical dilemmas of programming autonomous cars. Christopher Lockwood hosts.
Music: "Super Hero" by TeknoAXE, "Candlepower" by Chris Zabriskie (CCx4.0)
What will the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist, do to Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s image, and to already-jittery oil markets? Eritreans continue to spill across the border with Ethiopia, which opened last month—but they worry about it closing again. And our journalists vote on the face to grace Britain’s new £50 note; why do banknotes’ famous figures stir such fervour? Jason Palmer hosts
Music: "Making a Change"; "Evocative"; "I'm going for a Coffee"; by Lee Rosevere(CC x 4.0)
What would it look like if every child around the world attended school? And we also consider how far the ‘gig economy’ can go. Also, we ask the question: what foodstuff will be sustaining mankind in the future? Hal Hodson hosts
Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC by 4.0)
The Economist asks: What does it mean to be educated?
Tara Westover was 17 when she first stepped into a classroom, but went on to earn a PhD. She talks to Anne McElvoy about a childhood on the edge of society, why she chose philosophy over coding—and what unorthodox education might teach the mainstream
Could delivering goods by drone soon become a common occurrence? Also, cyber-security expert Bruce Schneier discusses his latest book. And a new innovation for the disposing of human waste from Mount Everest. Hal Hodson hosts
The Secret History of the Future: VR or It Didn’t Happen
In the Victorian era, plaster casts became a way to preserve important artifacts in 3-D. Now, virtual reality promises to preserve places and experiences. But who decides what gets preserved? And is the technology an accurate recreation of the experience, or does it fool us into thinking we’ve encountered the real thing when we’ve done nothing of the sort? Guests include: Jaron Lanier, VR pioneer; Nonny de la Pena, VR artist; Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Is China’s slowing economic growth a cause for concern and will the market jitters spread? Amazon moves into digital advertising in a big way. And, our very own super-hero Captain Sensible takes us on a tour of effective economic policies. Rachana Shanbhogue hosts. Music: Super Hero by TeknoAXE (CC x 4.0)
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the October 20th 2018 edition
The era of engagement is over. America now sees China as an increasingly dangerous rival. Plus, how Bollywood is boosting domestic tourism in India. And a portrait created by AI goes under the hammer, but is it art or artifice? Anne McElvoy hosts
Afghans vote in parliamentary elections on Saturday, amid Taliban attacks. Will Donald Trump’s shift in strategy at last weaken the extremists? And a by-election in Australia threatens to upend the ruling coalition’s razor-thin majority. Also, can a painting done by computer algorithm be considered art? Jason Palmer hosts
Music: "Introducing the Pre-roll"; "Sad Marimba Planet"; "All the Answers"; by Lee Rosevere (CC x 4.0). And "Rain" by Meydän (CC x 4.0).
The Economist asks: Can America remain the world's biggest economic power?
Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, and The Economist’s Adrian Wooldridge discuss America's rise to global economic prominence and its future outlook. Also, what caused the 2008 financial crash, can another bust be avoided — and the challenge posed by China. Anne McElvoy hosts.
Is the internet about to be unravelled by quantum computing? And how artificial intelligence could be used to diagnose the need for lung transplants in patients with cystic fibrosis. Also, our technology correspondent, Hal Hodson, discuss some of the latest happenings in robotics. Kenneth Cukier hosts
The Secret History of the Future: A Clock in the Sky
In 1714, British parliament offered a huge cash prize to anyone who could find a way to determine longitude at sea. And it worked, sort of ... several decades later. Are modern contests (DARPA challenges, the X Prize) offering riches and glory an effective way to spur technological innovation? Guests include: Dava Sobel, author of Longitude.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the October 13th 2018 edition
Many economies are not ready to deal with even a mild recession—they need to start preparing now. Also, winemakers square up to the weed entrepreneurs of California. And why London is the money-laundering capital of the world. Josie Delap hosts
After the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia is starting to look like an old-fashioned Arab dictatorship. And could the drug MDMA help sufferers recover from post-traumatic stress disorder? Also, in France Marine Le Pen’s new National Rally is hoping to come top in next year’s European elections. Jason Palmer hosts
Music: "An Empty Place" by Sarin, "Rain" by Meydän, "Cylinder Four" by Chris Zabriskie (CC x 4.0)
The Economist asks: What would Churchill do in 2018?
We ask Andrew Roberts, historian and Churchill biographer, how the most famous British Prime Minister might have responded to today’s global turmoil. What can current politicians learn from his legacy - and are 21st century critics right about his flaws? Anne McElvoy hosts
This week's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report recommends keeping the global increase in temperature below 1.5°C. We ask how governments and companies can reach "net zero" and whether the global economy can both grow and go green? Kenneth Cukier talks to one of the authors of the report, an advisor to Costa Rica on its pioneering decarbonisation plan and the European refineries industry body on its green efforts.
Music: Smooth as Glass by The Freeharmonic Orchestra (CC x 4.0)
The Secret History of the Future: From Zero to Selfie
In 1969, an anthropologist introduced photographs and films to people in Papua New Guinea who’d never seen themselves represented in media before. It changed their conception of the world. In modern society, social media floods us with imagery at a pace we’ve never encountered before, and powerful video manipulation technology threatens to blur the line between real and fake. Are we the new Papuans, about to be overwhelmed by a wholesale media shift? Guests include: Nathan Jurgenson, Snapchat’s in-house sociologist; Hany Farid, Dartmouth computer science professor.
Money talks: How do you solve a problem like Brasilia?
The next president of Brazil will inherit a public-finance crisis. Far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro is on track to win - what are the implications if he's elected? Britain’s crackdown on dirty money. And the challenges of overcoming another global recession. Helen Joyce hosts.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the October 6th 2018 edition
Chinese investment in Europe is soaring, with benefits for both parties, but Europeans are beginning to worry. The design decisions in our favourite technologies that bring out the worst versions of ourselves. And why potatoes are no longer cheap as chips. Anne McElvoy hosts
After a contentious party conference in Birmingham, has Prime Minister Theresa May emerged intact? Lessons from the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Indonesia. And: why is the European potato in crisis? Christopher Lockwood hosts.
What would the world look like if China made the international rules? Also, what if actors were replaced by digital versions of themselves? We also consider how the future is framed for eyewear. Anne McElvoy hosts
Christopher Andrew, author of "The Secret World", warns intelligence services of the dangers of historical attention span deficit disorder. He argues we can only understand Vladimir Putin — and allegations of meddling in foreign elections — in the context of the long history of Russia. And who was the Edward Snowden of the Victorian era? Anne McElvoy hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie, “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Economist science correspondents break down the discoveries that won this year's Nobel prizes. Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google, discusses the dangerous ways that the tech industry competes for our attention. And: the story of blackest fish in the deep ocean. Kenneth Cukier hosts
The Secret History of the Future: Human Insecurity
The French telegraph system was hacked in 1834 by a pair of thieves who stole financial market information — effectively conducting the world’s first cyber attack. What does the incident teach us about network vulnerabilities, human weakness, and modern-day security? Guests include: Bruce Schneier, famed hacker.
Could Italy’s new budget plans lead to a fresh Eurozone crisis? Elon Musk versus the regulators. And the challenges of replacing the LIBOR rate.
Helen Joyce hosts. Music adapted from track by The Waiters (CC by 3.0 UK)
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the September 29th 2018 edition
As America fights over the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, does the #MeToo movement risk becoming just another battlefield in the culture wars? Why aping the lives of top executives is not the secret to professional success. And the final chapter for China’s most beloved storyteller. Anne McElvoy hosts
The week ahead: The fight to confirm Brett Kavanaugh
As allegations of sexual assault threaten to derail the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, US editor John Prideaux gives his reaction to an emotionally charged day of testimony in Washington. Anne McElvoy digs into the risk of a "no-deal" Brexit. And David Rennie reports on immigration to Guangzhou. Robert Guest hosts
Music by Noxive, “Resilience”, and Aether, "Umber" (CC by 4.0 UK)
The first black presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church tells Anne McElvoy about the invitation to speak at the royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Also, his views on the role of religion in a divided America and whether President Donald Trump acts in good faith
What can we learn from the Spanish flu pandemic which killed over 50 million people a hundred years ago? Carl Malamud, founder of public.resource.org, wants to make more data public. And, is food actually scarce at the bottom of the ocean? Kenneth Cukier hosts.
The Secret History of the Future: The Fault in Our Cars
The first pedestrian killed by a car in the western hemisphere was on New York’s Upper West Side in 1899. One newspaper warned that “the automobile has tasted blood.” Today, driverless cars present their own mix of technological promise and potential danger. Can the reaction to that 1899 pedestrian tragedy help us navigate current arguments about safety, blame, commerce, and public space? Guests include: Missy Cummings, Navy fighter pilot and head of the Duke Humans and Autonomy Lab.
The impact on the media industry of Comcast’s blowout bid for Sky. What has changed in the corporate world in the wake of the #MeToo movement? And the annoying CEO habits you might not want to emulate. Andrew Palmer hosts
Could the result of the upcoming elections in Brazil threaten its democracy? And how Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, has been too slow and timid with reforms. Also, Cuban bees are busy living the high life. Simon Long hosts
As part of the Open Future festival Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, discusses how his economic protectionism could result in price rises for US consumers and why he thinks that’s ok. Also, are there any ultra populists in Europe too right-wing for his movement? His advice to Boris Johnson on Brexit — and his disagreements with Ivanka Trump. Anne McElvoy hosts.
Music by Chris Zabriskie, “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Are e-cigarettes the answer to giving up tobacco smoking? And SpaceX revives its plans to send tourists around the moon. Also, we speak to Zia Chishti of Afiniti about the role of artificial intelligence in business. Kenneth Cukier hosts
The Secret History of the Future: Fork Fashions and Toilet Trends
It took a long time for the fork to go from weird curiosity to ubiquitous tool. How long will it take for current technologies—like the Japanese-style bidet toilet, or heads-up displays such as Google Glass—to go from oddities to everyday necessities? Guests include: Astro Teller, Google’s Captain of Moonshots; Margaret Visser, author of "The Rituals of Dinner".
More Trump tariffs, how is China likely to retaliate? Historian Lord Skidelsky challenges mainstream economic ideas. And the hopes and hurdles for South Korean businesses eyeing up opportunities in North Korea. Philip Coggan hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from The Economist's Open Future season
A special episode marking the culmination of the Open Future initiative, launched this year to celebrate 175 years since The Economist's founding to remake the case for liberal ideals. Featuring contributions from James Comey, Angelina Jolie and Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA. Anne McElvoy hosts.
Following on from her essay on the future of liberalism in this week’s Economist, our Editor-in-Chief, Zanny Minton Beddoes, along with deputy editor, Edward Carr, discuss The Economist 175 years after its founding. Also, how Zambia is heading towards a debt crisis. And introducing our new China column, Chaguan. Simon Long hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie "Cylinder One" (CC by 4.0 UK)
The age of ideological struggle failed to end with the Cold War. Francis Fukuyama, who coined the phrase “the end of history”, talks to Anne McElvoy about the rise of identity politics, whether there is any force that can rival it, and which party is playing the identity game better in the American midterms. Music by Chris Zabriskie, “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
How China will struggle to produce another Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, who steps down as chairman next year. And we discuss cyber-security with former United States Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Kenneth Cukier hosts
The Secret History of the Future: The Body Electric
We’ve used electricity to treat our brains for thousands of years, from placing electric fish on our heads to cure migraines to using electroconvulsive therapy to alleviate depression. But over time, our focus has shifted from restoring health to augmenting our abilities. Should we be wearing battery-powered caps to improve our concentration, or implanting electricity-emitting devices to expand our thinking capacity? Guests include: Brian Johnson, CEO of Kernel.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the September 8th 2018 edition
Ten years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, has finance been fixed? Plus, the benefits of 3D-printing human organs in space, where not to build your capital city, and a taste of our new series in collaboration with Slate, “The Secret History of the Future”
Why joint military exercises by Russia and China should worry the West. And the battle for Syria’s last rebel redoubt looms. Also, the aftermath of the fire that blazed through the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. Simon Long hosts
The Economist asks: What are the forces reshaping today’s Europe?
Anne McElvoy talks to historian Ian Kershaw about the continent’s rollercoaster half-century. They discuss Europe's turbulent friendships with America and Russia and the accusations of anti-Semitism against Britain's Labour party. Also, the EU needs a reboot but is Angela Merkel the person to lead it?
Should tech companies be legally responsible for all their content? Also, major European research funders have announced ‘Plan S’ to make all scientific works free to read. And how optical fibre made in orbit could be better than the terrestrial sort. Kenneth Cukier hosts.
The Secret History of the Future: The Box That AI Lives In
In the 18th-century, a device called the Mechanical Turk convinced Europeans that a robot could play winning chess. But there was a trick. It’s a trick that companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook still pull on us today. Guests include: Jaron Lanier, futurist. Luis von Ahn, founder of CAPTCHA and Duolingo.
How are the governments in Argentina and Turkey responding to their financial and economic crises? Samir Desai, the CEO and cofounder of funding circle, explains why he’s going public. And what are the biggest threats to the global smartphone supply chain? Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the September 1st 2018 edition
The global influence of Silicon Valley may have reached its peak – does this mean a new age of opportunity for the rest of the world? Also, Republicans and Democrats remember Senator John McCain. And what to do about the scourge of honey fraud. Anne McElvoy hosts
The UN accuses the Burmese army of genocide, what next for Myanmar? And the rising tensions between Italy and the EU. Also, the curious case of honey fraud in the United States. Christopher Lockwood hosts.
Has Silicon Valley’s influence as a technology hub peaked? Also, how artificial intelligence is gaining a sense of curiosity. And how a shampoo bottle is saving lives in Bangladesh. Kenneth Cukier hosts.
Has there been a breakthrough in efforts to revamp the NAFTA trade agreement? Henry Tricks, our commodities editor, explains recent falls in commodity prices. And how did YouTube profit from the biggest amateur boxing match of all time? Andrew Palmer hosts.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the August 25th 2018 edition
Americans will soon have to face a simple question: is Donald Trump above the law? Plus, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, on how big data is changing the political game. And a tribute to the queen of soul. Anne McElvoy hosts
Will the recent revelations and convictions hurt President Donald Trump? And Australia’s ruling party sacks the prime minister, again. Also, how British universities are a rare booming export industry. Richard Cockett hosts
The Economist asks: Can one whistleblower tame the tech titans?
Christopher Wylie tells Kenneth Cukier why he blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica. They discuss whether platforms are doing enough to protect users’ privacy and what governments can do to safeguard independent elections
Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
If Google does reintroduce its search engine to China what will it have to omit? And how future helicopters will fly in new ways, with pilots optional. Also, the discovery of a 3,200-year-old ancient Egyptian cheese and what we can learn from it. Hal Hodson hosts
What effect will President Maduro’s desperate measures have on the Venezuelan economy? Stephen Gibbs reports from Caracas. Also on the show: how can companies protect themselves against intangible risks and dealing with congestion in cities. Andrew Palmer hosts.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the August 18th 2018 edition
Online dating has revolutionised the way humans couple up, but the impact of this mass social experiment is only just becoming clear. Plus, the bashful decline of European nudism, and The Economist gazes into the future and asks, what if 50% of CEOs were women? Anne McElvoy hosts
Music by Chris Zabriskie, “Divider” and "Candlepower" (CC by 4.0 UK)
The global arms market is booming, and is tilting in the buyers’ favour. Also, how successful have the first 100 days back in power been for Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad? And the decline of public nakedness in Europe. Simon Long hosts
Anne McElvoy investigates the life of the Scottish philosopher now known as the father of modern economics. What does an author who died in 1790 have to teach us about trade wars and crony capitalism in the 21st century? And which American television villain kept a copy of “The Wealth of Nations” on his bookshelf?
Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Is quantum technology getting ahead of itself? And we look into what is being done to find a cure for celiac disease. Also, we explore random control trials and the placebo effect of sham surgery. Tim Cross hosts
Music by Daniel Birch "Brushed bells in the wind" (CC by 4.0)
What would the world look like if 50% of CEOs were women, and what would have to change to make this possible? We also consider a future in which drones police the oceans, making it harder to get away with lawlessness at sea. Tom Standage hosts
Music by Chris Zabriskie "Candlepower" (CC by 4.0)
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the August 11th 2018 edition
Inevitable but unforgivably outdated – why today’s tax systems need to be brought into the 21st century. Also, how NASA prepared to explore a place 300 times hotter than the surface of the sun, and France's love affair with the high-speed train. Robert Guest hosts
Why the outcome of the upcoming general election in Brazil is harder to predict than usual. And how American sanctions will bring more agony to Iran’s dysfunctional economy. Also, could long school summer holidays around the world be having a negative effect on children and families? Simon Long hosts
The Economist asks: should the veil be a matter for the courts or conscience?
Masih Alinejad tells Anne McElvoy how she took My Stealthy Freedom, her viral campaign against compulsory hijab in Iran, from social media to the streets – could reform be on the way? Also, the impact of visiting Western female politicians wearing the veil and why she believes Iranian women do not want to be liberated by the West.
Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
We speak to project scientist for the Parker Solar Probe, Dr Nicola Fox, about the spacecraft's upcoming mission to the sun's atmosphere. We also discuss the upsides of artificial intelligence with professor Max Tegmark. And how seal whiskers are helping to create new underwater sensors. Kenneth Cukier hosts
Property prices in the world’s most desirable cities have sped away from those elsewhere but what has caused that trend, and will it last? And how governments are limiting foreign investment in tech companies to reduce China's influence. Also, a new decentralised app for prediction markets. Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the August 4th 2018 edition
As the northern hemisphere continues to smoulder through this long hot summer, is mankind losing the war against climate change? The American humourist Davis Sedaris talks about the beauty of eavesdropping. Plus, just how valuable is your accent? Lane Greene hosts
India struggles to move away from fossil fuels towards renewables. And is there cause for optimism in Eritrea, Africa’s North Korea? Also, selling marijuana soon becomes legal in Canada. How will it change the country's high streets? Simon Long hosts
The humourist talks to Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, about making people laugh, overhearing conversations and when can he look back at sad or embarrassing experiences with humour? Also, why he wanted to feed his tumour to a turtle and is there a funny gene in families? And, he reveals all about his sequin culottes.
Should AI systems be more human-centric? We look at how a trial of self-driving vehicles in Texas is focusing on what the technology can do now. Rufus Pollack, the founder of Open Knowledge International, discusses how freedom of choice promotes innovation. And, a simple solution to increasing productivity in India. Kenneth Cukier hosts
Should the Bank of England raise interest rates this week? As Greece prepares to exit its bail-out, what are the lessons to be learned from the crisis? And open-plan offices - do they work? Helen Joyce hosts
What to expect in Zimbabwe’s first post-Mugabe general election next week. Also, we look at how badly UN sanctions are hurting North Korea’s economy. And in Britain how body-worn cameras are spreading beyond the police force. Simon Long hosts
Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA tells Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, about the melancholy beneath the exuberant voices and his musical influences. Would he write the same songs in the #MeToo era and which song has had its lyrics changed for a different feminist time?
Are the recent heat waves around the world a sign of things to come? Geoffrey Carr, our science editor, finds out at the meeting of the International AIDS Society what more needs to be done to eradicate the disease. Also, has liquid water on Mars finally been found? Kenneth Cukier hosts.
What now for Fiat Chrysler after Sergio Marchionne’s departure? How America and Europe are tightening rules on foreign direct investments. And China’s Belt and Road Initiative - a benevolent gift to connect the world or a highway to world dominance? Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the July 21st 2018 edition
The WTO and the global system it oversees are both under threat. Can they be saved? The Cook Islands could soon achieve rich-country status, but becoming the world’s newest developed country may not be all good news. A metal used to harden steel could help prevent global warming. And how to find the many fossils buried within language. Anne McElvoy hosts
Will military tampering swing the Pakistani general election for Imran Khan? Also, Anne McElvoy and Sacha Nauta discuss identity politics. And how Spain is finally tackling the Valley of the Fallen. Christopher Lockwood hosts.
Music by Chris Zabriskie (CC by 4.0 UK)
The former British prime minister tells Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, why Britain should vote again on whether to leave the European Union. What should the referendum question be? And why he talks to Team Trump on the Middle East.
Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
What does the European Commission's record fine of Google mean for the future of its Android operating system? And how a popular gene editing tool is raising a few questions. Also, we speak to Dr David Fajgenbaum about the first ever World Castleman Disease Day. Kenneth Cukier hosts
How can world leaders fix the World Trade Organisation? Also, we discuss the runners and riders to replace Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank. And, after the World Cup in Russia why is the football transfer market unusually quiet? Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the July 14th 2018 edition
Can Theresa May deliver a soft Brexit? Her new plan is the most realistic one yet, but it has unleashed fresh political chaos. Plus, the latest currency insights from the Big Mac index and a trip through the mean streets of Old Shanghai. Anne McElvoy hosts
Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, went on an outing of top-brass Anglo-German military — to discuss how they are preparing for future risks of urban warfare. She had exclusive access to a mock city in eastern Germany - and visited Nazi bunkers where armies are learning from decisive urban battles in history. And they explore the way ISIS and a renewed threat from Russia is changing conflict scenarios.
Music by Chris Zabriskie (CC by 4.0 UK)
Are robots going to replace chefs in the kitchen? And how footsteps can be used for ID and health checks. Also, we focus on the very latest discoveries from the Gaia space mission. Kenneth Cukier hosts
Is there a way out of trade war? The US tariffs and the global repercussions.
Bringing electricity to the remotest and poorest parts of the world - are mini-grids the answer? And is WeWork worth its $20bn valuation?
Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the July 7th 2018 edition
A transatlantic rift is growing – why is NATO worth saving? Plus Jaron Lanier, a pioneer of VR, on why people should delete their social media accounts and get back to reality. And how the longest heatwave for nearly half a century is disrupting both Britain’s courts and its pubs. Anne McElvoy hosts
Will the president who arrives at the NATO summit next week be Triumphant Trump, Tetchy Trump or Torpedo Trump? Also, how the discovery of a new gas field could mean a better economic future for Egypt. And the vegan attacks on boucheries in northern France. Simon Long hosts
Coming soon: a new future-gazing series from The Economist that examines an assortment of speculative scenarios, what-if conjectures and provocative prophecies. Thinking about possible futures can help us understand the present, and catch glimpses of the world ahead.
The Economist asks: How do you revive a classic musical as a tale for today?
Anne McElvoy heads to the Palladium theatre in London to interview Bartlett Sher, Tony award-winning director of “The King & I”. They discuss the challenges of reviving a story written in the 1950s – and set in the 1860s – for an audience in 2018. Also, the ways in which Hamilton is not so revolutionary and the limits of colour-blind casting.
How IVF could save the northern white rhino from extinction. And Jaron Lanier tells us why we should delete our social media accounts. Also, how understanding animal behaviour could reduce errors in the operating theatre. Kenneth Cukier hosts
What will Tesco and Carrefour’s strategic alliance mean for customers and suppliers? Stan Pignal reports on why women in India have dropped out of the workforce. And CO2 shortages in the UK hit the beer industry. Philip Coggan hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the June 30th 2018 edition
Netflix is the tech giant everyone is watching. It has so far managed to avoid the techlash, but will it be happily ever after? Plus Madeleine Albright, America’s first woman secretary of state, on her country’s relationship with Russia; Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, on the failures of the internet; and the urban gardens blossoming in the big smoke. Richard Cockett hosts
A storm is brewing in America following the sudden retirement of Anthony Kennedy, a Supreme Court justice. And after seven years of war and mass displacement, how can Syria rebuild? Also, how a flawed test in China fails the country's young people. Simon Long hosts
America’s first female secretary of state on how populism can slide into fascism, what Kim Jong Il and Vladimir Putin were like in person, and what Donald Trump could learn from reading her lapel pins.
Anne McElvoy hosts
Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
The internet was meant to make the world a less centralised place, but the opposite has happened. The Economist’s technology editor Ludwig Siegele explores why it matters and what can be done about it.
Music by Fabian Measures “Open Cab” cc by 4.0
Gady Epstein explores how Netflix has grown into a global entertainment network and asks Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings about power and responsibility. Also, is government outsourcing a toxic model that can’t be rescued? And could you lead the country of Petronia after its discovery of oil? Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the June 23rd 2018 edition
Women at the wheel in Saudi Arabia are the most visible symbol of a social revolution led by Muhammad bin Salman. The crown prince has a chance to transform the Arab world for the better, but failure could bring more chaos. Also, why America’s small-town newspapers are down but certainly not out. And the fight for free speech, from campuses to stand-up comedy. Anne McElvoy hosts
How radical reforms in Saudi Arabia are changing the Gulf and the wider Arab world. And in Turkey will President Recep Tayyip Erdogan be re-elected? Also, Anne McElvoy discusses free speech with comedian Corinne Fisher. Christopher Lockwood hosts
Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
The sacked director of the FBI on the message of Melania Trump's jacket, why Special Counsel Robert Mueller is the straightest person he’s ever known and how Trump might unintentionally be helping America unite. Anne McElvoy hosts.
The Economist asks: Do safe spaces and trigger warnings clash with liberal values?
Across America, there have been calls on university campuses to limit free speech. Anne McElvoy travels to the University of Chicago to explore the arguments. And a US correspondent, Idrees Kahloon, reflects on his student days at Harvard, when social justice campaigns riled him.
Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
How a privately owned Chinese company called OneSpace is using solid fuel for launching rockets. Also, the worrying growth of bogus scientific journals. And is there an optimal strategy for the dreaded penalty shoot-out? Kenneth Cukier hosts
As fears mount of a trade war between China and America, David Rennie looks at how China is preparing. And as part of our Open Future season, we explore how tax systems could be improved. Also, the electric bike business is riding high. Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the June 16th 2018 edition
Around the world, from Turkey to Venezuela, democracy is in trouble – the least-bad system of government ever devised needs defenders. Also, why nearly half of businesses in Sicily still pay protection money to the Mafia. And a dispatch from the land of the midnight sun. Anne McElvoy hosts
How North Korea got the better of President Donald Trump at this week’s summit in Singapore. And after an important vote in the House of Commons, is the UK heading for a softer Brexit? Also, French President Emmanuel Macron leaves his mark on the world stage. Simon Long hosts
The Economist asks: How should the West respond to Russian meddling?
On the eve of the World Cup in Russia, former American ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, says the US needs to stand up to Putin — build up resilience in the electoral technology, set targeted sanctions — and he explains how it feels to be the target of Putin’s steely eyes. Anne McElvoy hosts.
Why has polio made a comeback in Venezuela and how does it spread? Tien Tzuo, founder of Zuora, says there will be no need to own anything in the future — you will subscribe to everything. And research into how marine mammals respond to predators shows there is safety in numbers. Tom Standage hosts.
How President Trump turned his back on the G7 summit joint agreement. Sir Paul Tucker, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, tells us when power should be delegated to technocrats. And can the solar industry survive without subsidies?
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the June 9th 2018 edition
Although Donald Trump may strike a deal with North Korea after this week’s historic summit, in the long run his destructive approach to foreign policy will damage America and the world. Plus, the remote villages in rural China receiving express delivery by drone. And is the beautiful game a religion, a science or a fine art? Richard Cockett hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
How will President Trump’s wrecking ball approach to foreign policy harm America and the world? And Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, tell us why Canadians will not cower to Mr Trump on NAFTA. Also, the World Cup kicks-off next week. Which country will dominate the beautiful game?
Daniel Franklin hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Kishore Mahbubani, former president of the UN Security Council for Singapore and author of “Has the West lost it?” tells Robert Guest, our foreign editor, about the rise of a new world order – should the West be celebrating? Also, individual freedom in China, and why he thinks Donald Trump is the least of America’s worries. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
How companies are using artificial intelligence in medicine to help with diagnosis. We hear why a Dutch park that mimics nature is riling animal-rights activists. Also, what can be learnt from a new study on the calls of the bottlenose dolphin. Tim Cross hosts
How should allies stand up to President Trump’s trade tariffs? We talk to Professor Kate Pickett about the link between inequality and anxiety in her sequel to The Spirit Level. And Renting The Runway - is shopping for clothes going out of style? Andrew Palmer hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the June 2nd 2018 edition
Italy finally has a government – how will the maverick populist coalition reshape the country and the wider eurozone? Plus, why British politics is sobering up, and the discovery of the gene for genius. Anne McElvoy hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
The Economist asks: Can America’s moderates win the battle of ideas?
In a special programme to mark The Economist’s 175th anniversary #OpenFuture season, Zanny Minton-Beddoes, our Editor-in-Chief and David Rennie, our Washington bureau chief, join Anne McElvoy to debate remedies to popular discontents and a new world order where the US won’t be top dog forever with Jonathan Cowan, founder of Third Way, David Frum, senior editor at The Atlantic, and John Negroponte, former US Ambassador. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Has new research into the human genome discovered the secret to human evolution? And how studying HIV in every organ helps understand how to eliminate it. Also, we review the book “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup”. Kenneth Cukier hosts
Our economic editor, Henry Curr, looks at the threat Italy’s political crisis poses to the euro zone. And Ludwig Siegele, our technology editor, asks Glen Weyl, author of "Radical Markets", why he wants to expand the role of markets and how a new wealth tax could work. Helen Joyce hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the May 26th 2018 edition
Corporate America is betting that Donald Trump is good for business, but executives are counting their profits before their costs. The best-selling author Jordan Peterson has an unusual suggestion for preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. And could your smart speaker help you talk to God? Anne McElvoy hosts
Will the upcoming elections in Colombia threaten the peace deal with FARC? And introducing the Economist's forecasting model for the American mid-terms. Also, the calling off of the upcoming US-North Korea summit by President Donald Trump. Christopher Lockwood hosts
We ask the author of '12 Rules for life' what is wrong with modern liberalism. And he discusses #MeToo, whether people should date their co-workers - and who is the feminist he most admires? Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Deep-fakes – how can we trust what people appear to be saying in online videos? Also, how to contain the recent outbreak of ebola in the DRC. And, a new study of biomass that is putting human’s place in the world into perspective. Kenneth Cukier hosts
Are US businesses happy with the Trump Era? Do we need to break the cosy relationship between auditors and their clients? And why large companies are choosing to invest in Central Europe. Philip Coggan hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the May 19th 2018 edition
After last week's bloodshed in Gaza, how Israelis and Palestinians can find a better way. Also, the unexpected environmental consequences of peace in Colombia, and the human fascination with the sound of silence. Rob Gifford hosts
Why Israel is answerable for this week's deaths in Gaza, but the Palestinian parties, Hamas and Fatah, are also to blame. The Economist’s Adrian Wooldridge discusses the issue of open borders with author Rutger Bregman. And can Meghan Markle modernise the monarchy? Simon Long hosts.
Sarah Rafferty talks to Anne McElvoy about her role as the redhead from US TV show “Suits” and her responsibility as ambassador for girls’ rights and education. Also, her best wishes for former co-star Meghan Markle on her wedding. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Now that the war between the Colombian government and the FARC has ended, scientists are exploring parts of the country previously held by the rebels. The aim is to make Colombia a "bio-power" by 2030. Also, how lead pollution in Greenlandic ice shows evidence of ancient European societies. And the new insect-sized drones that are causing a buzz. Tim Cross hosts
Money talks: Sanction Buster - who you gonna call?
The implications of President Trump’s U-turn on Telecoms giant ZTE. Tamzin Booth explains why Masayoshi Son could be the most influential man in the Tech world. And how non-compete clauses are gumming up the US economy. Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the May 12th 2018 edition
Masayoshi Son is betting $100bn on the world's most exciting technology startups. Win or lose, his Vision Fund is shaking up the tech industry and those that invest in it. Plus, the Pulitzer-prize winning playwright David Mamet on his new comedy inspired by Harvey Weinstein. And are smartphones the key to escaping poverty?
What damage has been done by Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal? Also, the shock result in Malaysia's general election. And the problems meeting global demand for blood plasma. Richard Cockett hosts
The Economist asks: What is the role of the male in modern culture?
David Mamet, award winning playwright and screenwriter, talks to Anne McElvoy about the gender wars and why his new play, inspired by the Harvey Weinstein saga, is best treated as a comedy. And he fires back on the rights and wrongs of owning a gun. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Computer algorithms are being used with increasing frequency to make decisions about humans - from whether a job applicant makes it through a selection process or if a prison inmate gets released on parole. But how are the algorithms making their decisions? And what if they make a mistake? In this special episode of Babbage, we explore the complex work of algorithmic decision-making. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
As Argentina starts talks with the IMF, we ask why Argentina’s currency crisis is causing financial wobbles in other emerging markets.? Simon Long explores whether digital technology can reach people who don’t have access to bank accounts. And, Philip Coggan transforms into Dr Who and looks back at 12 years of his Buttonwood column. Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the May 5th 2018 edition
Despite euphoria about the Korean summit, global arms control is unravelling. Historian John Lewis Gaddis assesses whether there might be order in Donald Trump's chaos. And a glimpse of the first neighbourhood built "from the internet up". Rob Gifford hosts
Our defence and diplomatic editor, Matthew Symonds, discusses how global arms control is unravelling. Also, can Britain right the wrongs from the Windrush fiasco? And how Georgia’s fashion industry is getting itself noticed. Christopher Lockwood hosts
The Economist asks: Should today’s world leaders be hawks or doves?
John Lewis Gaddis, author of “On Grand Strategy”, assesses whether there is order in Mr Trump’s chaos, the balance of global power and whether the age of liberal interventionism is over. Anne McElvoy hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Data is becoming the world's most valuable resource. Governments use it to monitor and control their citizens. Corporations use it to persuade consumers to buy their products. But as machine learning and algorithms advance, will people still be able to harness the power of big data without losing too much individual privacy? Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK).
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the April 28th 2018 edition
A basic level of universal healthcare is sensible, affordable and practical – including in poor countries. Also, Imran Khan, star cricketer turned politician, on the role of the army in Pakistan, free media and the full-face veil. And the Chinese Buddhist shrines that are floating on the stockmarket. Sarah Maslin hosts
The Economist asks: Is the military swaying Pakistan in the wrong direction?
We talk to Imran Khan, star cricketer turned politician bidding to lead Pakistan in the upcoming election. Topics include Donald Trump and the war on terror, why Pakistani media is under pressure and the full-face veil - women's choice or imposition?
Hosted by Anne McElvoy and Edward McBride, our Asia Editor. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK). This interview is subject to a legal complaint from Geo TV Limited which we are investigating.
What is causing the rising rates of methane in the atmosphere? Also, how an amphibious life for the Bajau people has led to unique evolutionary traits. And the excitement around the Gaia space probe’s latest data release. Hal Hodson hosts
Our energy and commodities editor, Henry Tricks, looks at how sensitive the commodities markets are to geopolitical comments. Also, is the Eurozone facing a nasty surprise or is the growth slowdown a temporary blip? And Irish farmers looking for a slice of the European cheese market. Philip Coggan hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the April 21st 2018 edition
The Republican party is organised around one man. Our cover story explains why Donald Trump’s takeover of the GOP is dangerous. Plus, the psychologist Steven Pinker launches our Open Future season with his case for radical optimism. And the cities where licence plates are more expensive than cars. Anne McElvoy hosts
We ask the author Amos Oz about 70 years of independence for Israel. And, the benefits of integrating refugees around the world. Also, the lasting damage being done to Poland by its ruling party, PiS. Simon Long hosts
The Economist asks: What grounds do we have to be optimistic about an Open Future?
We ask Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now, why he is so optimistic about human progress. We also discuss wars, inequality and should there be more good news on the front pages. Anne McElvoy hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)
Professor Sara Seager joins us to discuss the launch of the spacecraft TESS, and its two-year mission to discover new planets. Also, physicist and author Leonard Mlodinow explains elastic thinking. And, how robots are learning to assemble flat-pack furniture. Kenneth Cukier hosts
Our media editor, Gady Epstein, assesses the future of the advertising giant WPP after its CEO Sir Martin Sorrell stepped down. Also, should the USPS be privatised? And the latest figures on China’s economy. Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the April 14th 2018 edition
Germany is becoming more diverse, open, informal and hip. With the right leadership, it could be a model for the West. Also, disrupting the business of death. And the son of a Swiss peasant who revolutionised London’s high society. Rob Gifford hosts
The Economist asks: Have identity politics gone too far?
Tribalism has always existed, but is now playing a far more pivotal role in society: from the rise of gender and ethnic affiliation, to nationalist parties in Europe and even the appeal of Donald Trump. Amy Chua, author of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" and "Political Tribes", explains why the politics of sharp-edged identities have become so powerful.
Hal Hodson, our technology correspondent, joins us from Washington to discuss Mark Zuckerberg and the future for Facebook. Also, the connection between personality and music. And, how possible is it to populate other planets? Kenneth Cukier hosts.
President Trump’s proposals for tariffs threaten a trade war between America and China. Is there a negotiable way out of the problem? Also, reported merger talks between two legal giants could herald a wave of transatlantic deals. And an assessment of social-safety nets in poorer countries reveals a mixed picture. Helen Joyce hosts.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the April 7th 2018 edition
Murder is set to soar in some cities of the developing world. How to curb the killing? Latin America, which has 8% of the world’s population but 38% of its murders, holds the answers. Also, the abiding power of the words of Martin Luther King, and could Britain’s queen be related to the Prophet Muhammad? Lane Greene hosts
Latin America has 8% of the world's people but 38% of its recorded murders. Who is killing whom and why? Also, the story behind the speeches of Martin Luther King. And, Japan’s sex industry is getting less sexual. Simon Long hosts
How requesting personal data from companies leads to a bureaucratic tangle. Also, nurturing scientific talent in Africa. And, the surprising importance of paint colour for self-driving cars. Kenneth Cukier hosts
We ask Henry Curr, our US economics editor, if global stockmarket volatility is the new normal. Also, is India’s economy on the right track? And, the impact of the mobile-phone industry on Vietnam. Helen Joyce hosts
How will Putin react after America expels 60 Russian diplomats? Also, the latest developments in Catalonia’s quest for independence. And, on the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement a special feature from our Britain Editor, Tom Wainwright. Christopher Lockwood hosts.
The Economist asks: How can America fix its problem with gun violence?
Student survivors from the recent Florida school shooting talk to Anne McElvoy about their campaign to make schools safe. And Doug Jones, Senator for Alabama, discusses how to find the common ground over gun reform. Andrew Miller hosts.
Alexandra Suich Bass, our US technology editor, discusses the rise of artificial intelligence in the workplace. Also, the link between genetics and exam success. And, understanding the language of bees. Kenneth Cukier hosts.
Soumaya Keynes, our economics correspondent, explains why the Trump administration’s strategy towards China is risky. Also, are the advertising agency giants doomed? And the economics of Vibranium in Marvel’s “Black Panther” movie. Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the March 24th 2018 edition
Facebook is facing the biggest crisis in its history – it needs not just to repent but to reform. The Oscar-nominated director Darren Aronofsky on pushing his audiences and his actors to their limits. Plus, the astronomer’s guide to the perfect haiku. Anne McElvoy hosts
As America's Congress dithers on gun control, some states move forward with reforms. But will these laws save lives? Also, a new Russian generation speaks out. And, the hygiene revolution in Bangladesh. Christopher Lockwood hosts
Our Asia Economics editor, Simon Rabinovitch, analyses what the new boss of China’s central bank means for China's economy. Also, will Dropbox’s IPO filing be a success? And charging the electric-car revolution. Helen Joyce hosts
What does the sacking of Rex Tillerson as secretary of state mean for America? Also, Tanzania’s descent into dictatorship. And, a special feature on escaping gang life in El Salvador from our sister magazine, 1843. Christopher Lockwood hosts
The Economist asks: Is Russia waging war on the West?
Anne McElvoy, our Senior Editor, asks Sir Francis Richards, former head of GCHQ, and Arkady Ostrovsky, our Russia Editor, if the diplomatic clash sparked by the Skripal case will escalate — and what has changed since the Cold War.
We speak to leading scientists about the life and legacy of Professor Stephen Hawking. And, what is being done to help the ailing Coral reefs? Also, the out of control Chinese space station. Hal Hodson hosts
Simon Rabinovitch, our Asia economics editor, discusses the likely impact of American trade tariffs and Mr Trump’s intervention in the Qualcomm-Broadcom deal on China. And why is America’s health-care system so expensive? Also, can the "petro" save Venezuela’s ailing economy? Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the March 10th 2018 edition
President Trump's protectionism is the greatest threat to the global trading system since its inception after the second world war. Plus, Tina Tchen, one of the lead lawyers on the #Time’sUp campaign, on how to bring down sexual harassment. And a tribute to Bollywood's most adored screen siren. Anne McElvoy hosts
Economist asks: How can #Time’sUp bring down sexual harassment?
We ask Tina Tchen, one of the lead lawyers working on the biggest legal defence fund against sexual harassment, what #Time’sUp's priorities should be. Also, basic steps to make our workplaces safer. Anne McElvoy hosts.
In this week's programme, we dive into The Economist's Technology Quarterly issue on oceans. We discuss offshore aquaculture, how to map the sea floor and the threat of plastics. Joining us is Dr Jyotika Virmani, from the Ocean XPRIZE
Are we on the brink of a trade war? Soumaya Keynes, our economics correspondent, explains President Donald Trump’s plans for tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and goes back to basics with Economics 101: Why Trade is Good. Also, do women invest differently to men? Helen Joyce hosts
The Economist asks: Should leaders face the music?
What risk does Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, take when she talks to Nassim Nicholas Taleb? The author of Skin in the Game discusses whether having more at stake would make the powerful better leaders.
Money talks: American companies face off with the NRA
In the aftermath of the Florida shooting, is corporate America being forced to take a stance? Also; Soumaya Keynes speaks to Dani Rodrik, Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University, about the right way to sell trade deals. And the rapid rise and fall of Anbang. Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the February 24th 2018 edition
Russian meddling is exposing weaknesses in Western democracy – the West needs to do something about it. Also: the new gold rush to the stars, and why South Korea’s fortune-telling industry foresees a rosy future. Anne McElvoy hosts
We bring you the highlights from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, including how children can inherit acquired characteristics from their fathers, asteroid mining and how to grow a human organ. Tim Cross hosts
Henry Tricks, our energy and commodities editor asks whether the chumminess between oil producing countries will last. Also, how will Facebook tackle the challenges ahead and the unlikely home for the world’s crypto-valley? Helen Joyce hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the February 17th 2018 edition
How can the world prevent Africa’s worst war from reigniting? Also, the inbuilt prejudice of the algorithms that can dictate whether you get a credit card or a place at university. And why the myth of “Frankenstein” is still electrifying after 200 years. Sarah Maslin hosts
Robert Guest joins host Anne McElvoy to explain why war is once again threatening to ravage Congo. Also: young immigrants face uncertain futures in the USA and Al-Qaeda's foray into the world of women's magazines
In the final episode in our six-part series, we look at the scientific and technological advances that will shape the coming year - from algorithms that can make judgments about us online, to robots that are more effective than humans in the work place. Cathy O'Neil, author of "Weapons of Math Destruction" and Shane Wall, the Chief Technology Officer of HP join our hosts.
10 years on, what can we learn from the Norwegian quota for female corporate directors? Also: A tale of two chip-makers and a mammoth hostile takeover bid — Qualcomm and Broadcom. And, what is threatening old-fashioned customer service in Japan? Simon Long hosts
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the February 10th 2018 edition
As volatility returns to the markets, America is taking an extraordinary economic gamble. Also, could the Olympics help promote peace between North and South Korea? And the man to blame for the world’s flat-pack furniture woes. Anne McElvoy hosts.
The week ahead: The charade of North Korean diplomacy
The start of the Winter Olympics has seen a temporary thaw in relations on the Korean peninsula. But why is there no warming of relations with the US? Also, what’s ailing Latin American democracy. And understanding the twists and turns of Brexit. Christopher Lockwood hosts.
The Economist asks: Can the Olympics bring about a truce in Korea?
George Papandreou, the former Greek Prime Minister, talks to Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, about whether the spirit of the Olympics can thaw tensions in the Korean peninsula. Also why he implemented a tax on swimming pools and his personal assessment of Angela Merkel
Oliver Morton, our briefings editor, wonders what’s next after Elon Musk’s latest mission to Mars. We ask whether homemade drones can fight conventional armed forces - and could there be lithium under Cornwall? Tim Cross hosts.
Is the plunge in global asset prices a meaningless blip or something more serious? Also, why the UK should care about the trade deals it’s about to lose. And how non-alcoholic drinks are the biggest opportunity in the market. Hosted by Simon Long.
Tasting Menu: Audio highlights from the February 3rd 2018 edition
The Economist Intelligence Unit has published its annual Democracy Index. How is America faring under President Trump? Also, what to do if you feel queasy in a driverless car. And the last blast of the trumpet for Hugh Masekela. Anne McElvoy hosts
Is 2018 the year the populist surge grinds to a halt? John Peet discusses the prospect of a softening Brexit; Hong Kong's Chief Executive discusses Chinese influence; racial issues in America go under the microscope. And: why has the circus lasted for 250 years? Also, a poem to cheer us through 2018. Anne McElvoy and Daniel Franklin host
The Economist asks: What is the greatest threat to democracy?
Anne McElvoy, our senior editor, explores how democracies die with Professor Steven Levitsky, a political scientist. Also, is there a tension between diversity and democracy? And why Harvard University should invite Sarah Palin to speak
The world’s biggest technology firms are poised to transform health care. Will it empower patients and lead to a better diagnosis? Also, ways to prevent passengers in driverless cars from feeling queasy. And how genes play a role in the likelihood of divorce. Kenneth Cukier hosts.
Soumaya Keynes, our economics correspondent, asks why cars are the sticking point in the NAFTA negotiations. Also Simon Long, our finance editor, interviews Lord Jim O’Neill, former Goldman Sachs economist and BRICS man. Is he a China bull and does he think Goldmans will catch up with Morgan Stanley?
President Donald Trump spoke to the business elite at this week’s World Economic Forum. How did he go down with the Davos tribe? Also, could Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria have global consequences? And why climate change might spell the end for winter sports. Chris Lockwood hosts
Anne McElvoy asks Zanny Minton-Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief, and Patrick Foulis, US Business Editor, is President Trump in Davos to brag or show he's serious? Also, late night dancing and the 'global elite' slipping in snow.
A medical breakthrough means a human liver can now be kept alive outside the body. Will this result in more transplants? Also, a new idea for deadening an aircraft’s sonic boom. And the universal signals in music that cross cultural boundaries. Hal Hodson hosts
Morgan Stanley v Goldman Sachs: is dullness the key to success for America's investment banks? Also, is mandatory arbitration the best way to deal with problem bosses? And, why medicinal cannabis in Germany is in short supply. Simon Long hosts.
The Week Ahead: Seven years on from the Arab Spring
Bread, freedom and dignity were the demands of Tunisian protesters in 2011. Now they are back on the streets. What are their demands this time? Also, the hashtag “me too” arrives in China. And 45 years on from a famous legal ruling on abortion, we profile Jane Roe. Helen Joyce hosts
We ask political scientist Patrick Deneen if the world’s most successful political theory is in retreat or just responding to the demands of the modern world. How have Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian challenged the liberal creed? Anne McElvoy presents.
Artificial intelligence heralds the fourth industrial revolution. But what are its ethical challenges? Also, Anne McElvoy and producer Cheryl Brumley head under Manhattan to inspect New York’s newest water tunnel. And the biggest rocket in the world prepares for its maiden flight. Kenneth Cukier hosts.
The World In 2018: Money makes the World In go round
Anne McElvoy and Daniel Franklin return with another special looking forward to the year ahead. This week, they tackle business and economics. Patrick Foulis looks back at a prediction for last year, and looks ahead to the year for American firms; correspondents from across Asia make their predictions for emerging markets; investors weigh in on how Brexit looks from China and why it could be a big year for big cars
Host Chris Lockwood is joined by US editor John Prideaux to discuss an eventful presidency that has raised questions about the incumbent's stability. Also: why is Emmanuel Macron disappointing liberals with an illegal immigration crackdown? And solutions are needed for Japan's ageing population
A Norwegian research vessel has joined the search to find missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370. Can its contingent of self-navigating submarine drones find what others have missed? Also, do we really understand the laws of physics? And what’s new at the world’s biggest gadget show? Hal Hodson and Ananyo Bhattacharya host.
Could we be on the brink of President Trump’s first real trade war over Chinese steel? Also, why the great Indian middle class may not be as big as you think. And, is the gym business in good shape? Simon Long hosts.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the January 6th 2018 edition
An economist’s guide to dieting; bullets, white-knuckle landings and a chocolate fountain in our run-down of the world’s worst airports; and we ask Ana Brnabic, prime minister of Serbia, whether she will ask Vladimir Putin a personal question. Anne McElvoy hosts
Iranians are on the march, fed up with political and social repression. Is this the beginning of something big? Also, what Pakistan’s education reforms can teach other developing nations. And might an idea dubbed 'leapfrogging' help school systems improve faster? Helen Joyce hosts.
Anne McElvoy asks the Prime Minister of Serbia whether a new generation of Eastern European leaders can reshape a troubled region. Ana Brnabic, the country’s first female and openly gay Prime Minister, discusses Serbia’s bloody history, Putin’s record on homosexual rights and the influence of Britpop.
They are the longest living organisms on earth and supply a timber industry worth $600 billion. But do we value trees enough? Also, how reforesting is one of the biggest changes to land use changes. And the growing threat to tree health. Kenneth Cukier hosts.
The World in 2018: Out with the old, in with the new
As 2018 approaches, who or what, are we at risk of losing - and what will be taking their place? With the cheery nanny back on our screens next year, we discover the link between Mary Poppins and women’s suffrage. We learn how plans for a new coffee shop in Milan are controversial. Plus a rival Chinese city is waiting in the wings to steal the limelight from Hong Kong. Anne McElvoy and Daniel Franklin host the third of six special episodes looking at The World in 2018.
A festive roundup of this year's interviews. Salman Rushdie gives us his thoughts on separatism, Hillary Clinton explains exactly what happened in America’s election last year and Richard Dawkins on whether science really can offer an objective truth. Anne McElvoy hosts.
In this special festive episode, we look back at some of the highlights from this year’s coverage. A better way to sail into the stars, why birds are weaving cigarette butts into their homes and what the future of electric cars might look like when charged through thin air. Jason Palmer hosts
We take a look back at 2017 — headaches at Uber, a new way to learn Economics, butter shortages in France and behavioural economics with Michael Lewis. Also, Latin lessons from J Balvin. Simon Long hosts.
Tasting Menu: The remarkable changelessness of Icelandic
A special festive edition of Tasting menu. Our language columnist Lane Greene speaks to Dr Ruth Sanders, Professor Emerita at Miami University of Ohio, about how isolation and determination have kept the Icelandic language so stable for centuries.
President Donald Trump steers America away from an international leadership role, President Xi Jinping rises and President Emmanuel Macron of France makes his mark. We look at the shifting power balance of global leadership. And Joshua Wong, leader of Hong Kong's Umbrella movement and the pro-Democracy party Demosistō, looks beyond a year that saw him imprisoned
From the Medici family’s blending of politics and finance to Donald Trump’s use of social media, networks have played a vital role in the search for control. In an interconnected world, will power shift into the hands of the masses? Or will they further strengthen the hierarchies that benefit the few? Anne McElvoy discusses this with historian Niall Ferguson
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the December 16th 2017 edition
How Doug Jones became Alabama's first Democratic senator in 25 years; Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former prime minister of Denmark, on the top three trouble spots facing the world in 2018; and... er... the importance of... um… hesitating... in good conversation
As we head towards the new year, we look at the risks millions of refugees around the world are facing. Joining us are the former prime minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Jan Egeland. We also ask: will instability increase in the Middle East as Islamic State collapses? And will North Korea turn its bloodcurdling threats into action? Anne McElvoy and Daniel Franklin host the first of six special episodes looking at The World in 2018
The Economist asks: Creativity explained, part two
Anne McElvoy and Lane Greene continue their look at the role of creativity in today’s society. They visit a London railway station to hear how commuters get their creative juices going by playing pianos in public spaces. Lane looks at how the concept of creativity is being widened to enhance the skills involved in coding or crisis management, and considers the 10,000 hour rule that sustains the belief of the universal creativity lobby. Neuroscientist Miriam Mosing tells Lane that studies of creative twins have shown that a genetic pre-disposition to creativity can’t be wholly eliminated, and Anne talks to AI researcher David Cope who has provided a frightening vision for the future of creativity. His computer generated composer “Emily Howell” can absorb existing styles, and use them to generate her own
Astronomers say a curious cigar-shaped asteroid passing by the sun is not native to our solar system. Could it be an alien spacecraft? Also, a pioneering patient who set out to find a cure for his own life-threatening disease. And the great avocado shortage. Jason Palmer hosts.
Philip Coggan, our Buttonwood columnist, asks if we should worry about the freakish rises in cryptocurrency prices. Also, Businesses leave Catalonia in the face of political uncertainty. And the Jedi effect: can the remake save Hollywood? Simon Long hosts.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the December 9th 2017 edition
Melinda Gates on how contraception will change the developing world; Anne McElvoy tickles the ivories to learn the secrets of creativity; and why the best place to make a killing in cryptocurrencies is Siberia
The week ahead: South Africa's road from ruin?
In the coming week, the African National Congress, South Africa's ruling party, chooses its next leader. It is a chance for the country to recover from the dysfunctional rule of Jacob Zuma or slide further into the mire. Plus, how Ukraine has descended into political turmoil - again. And what will happen now that Yemen's former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has been assassinated? Robert Guest hosts.
The Economist asks: Creativity explained, part one
Anne McElvoy and Lane Greene look at the current debate around creativity, and its value to our society. In this first episode, Anne tackles a Bach prelude with the help of pianist James Rhodes who believes that keyboard mastery is “just a physics problem”. Lane assesses how the brain behaves during periods of extreme creativity, and with the help of neuroscientist Aaron Berkowitz, considers how great creatives can de-activate parts of the brain to enhance performance. Concert pianist Di Wu considers the differing experiences of music teaching in China and the United States, and describes how she moved from conquering concertos to tackling business problems whilst studying for an MBA at Columbia University
Google is changing how we view ancient artefacts. Plus, governments could soon regulate video games, as a new money-making method using 'loot boxes' emerges. Some say it's too similar to gambling. And Melinda Gates discusses the importance of contraception in reducing poverty.
We digest the ambitious overhaul of the American tax system and whether the bill will become law by Christmas. And Soumaya Keynes talks to the EU Commissioner for Trade about how the EU is trying to keep China in check. Also market exuberance: shall we dance? Simon Long hosts.
Nadya Tolokonnikova, a founding member of the Russian protest punk group Pussy Riot, told Daniel Franklin, Editor of 'The World in 2018', how she aims to inspire people to enact change. She talks about her latest immersive theatre production in London and a world without borders
Electric cars have become a common sight. So are battery-powered planes likely to take off soon? Also, the engineered bacterium that uses two synthetic DNA letters to make artificial proteins. And how digital technology is transforming speakers and headsets. Jason Palmer hosts.
We ask not whether companies will play a more political role but how expansive that role might be? And, how cheese tells us all we need to know about the economics of trade. Also, how giving your company a Chinese name is tricky business. Simon Long hosts.
Robert Mugabe could not conceive of an end to his 37 years of rule. But now he’s gone. So is this a new dawn for the citizens of Zimbabwe? Also, how the last act of Angela Merkel’s political story is getting messy. And why some see natural disasters as a time to thieve. Helen Joyce hosts
The Economist asks: Could a woman oust Donald Trump in 2020?
Final episode of a three-part series. Anne McElvoy explores the potential impact of the female vote in America's next presidential election. Democratic pollster Celinda Lake discusses how recent sexual-harassment allegations could shape future political contests. Mary Jordan, contributor to a biography about the role of women in Donald Trump's ascendancy, explains why Ivanka was so key to his success. And author Rebecca Traister on why women voting for Trump wasn't really surprising at all
China’s rising demand for electric car batteries has produced a mineral boom in the Australian outback. But is there enough mined cobalt to go round? Also, how the European Union is working towards mitigating climate change. And why the humble fusebox could soon make your home more energy efficient. Tim Cross hosts.
As Disney and others eye up the sale of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets — our media editor Gady Epstein asks why Rupert Murdoch is breaking up his empire. Are Millennials forcing a step change in socially-responsible investing? And a fishy story of herrings in Holland. Simon Long hosts.
We assess the future for Zimbabwe following the removal of President Robert Mugabe. Also, will Alabama send a Democrat to the US Senate? And Chile’s disgruntled voters head to the polls to elect a new President. Robert Guest hosts
The Economist asks: How has Donald Trump impacted America's cities?
In this special episode, Anne McElvoy travels to Chicago and New York to get a sense of how each city’s power players are responding to the presidency. She talks to Rahm Emanuel, Chicago's mayor, about dealing with the city’s problems while at odds with the president. And former deputy mayor of New York, Kenneth Lipper, takes Anne to a secret tunnel to show why Mr Trump's infrastructure plans for cities won't work. And would Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner be welcomed back to the Big Apple?
Countries around the world have agreed to cut carbon emissions but what are they doing to remove the existing CO2 from the air? And how a new generation of surgical robots is about to enter the operating theatre. Also, why do birds really have such colourful bodies? Jason Palmer hosts.
Only three days into his term, President Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Now, the remaining 11 countries are forming a new trade deal called the CPTPP. Host Philip Coggan and Soumaya Keynes speculate whether China might join, now that America is out. Plus why there’s geopolitical tension in the oil market. And Michael Lewis talks about his new book.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the November 11th 2017 edition
This week: our Washington correspondents go head-to-head to find out who knows more about the first year of the Trump presidency; how crapsules might just save your life; and the consolations of philosophy for the middle-aged
One year after President Trump was elected, we quiz our correspondents' knowledge about his time in office. What is the connection between Larry Flynt and Mr. Trump? And what was behind that pained expression in Sean Spicer's eyes? We answer all those pressing questions and more
The Economist asks: How has President Trump changed Washington?
In this special episode, Anne McElvoy returns to America's capital one year-on from the election to find out how party politics has been transformed by Donald Trump's presidency. She checks in with his biographer Marc Fisher, who says he was thrown into a system "he didn't bother to study". And she attends a keynote delivered by a reflective Bill Clinton. Also on the show, is Russia the worm in the bud for Mr Trump? And the Democrats make their first comeback in local elections.
Technology in Africa is making huge advances but will it enough to close the economic gap between Africa and the West? Plus, how scientists are trying to harness the microbiome to rid us of tooth rot. And scientists have developed a 'spaghetti' probe that can map our brains much more accurately. We ask what the future of this technology is. Jason Palmer hosts.
Our Technology Editor, Ludwig Siegele, says that despite the froth, Initial Coin Offerings could challenge the dominance of the tech giants. Also, will Venezuela finally default on its debt and how are markets reacting to the arrest of the Saudi Warren Buffet? Simon Long hosts.
The week ahead: Do social media threaten democracy?
As the US Senate hears evidence on the spread of Russian misinformation online, we ask if social media are undermining democracy. Plus, how the Weinstein storm is ripping through Westminster. And could America's good cop, bad cop routine ease tensions with North Korea? Helen Joyce hosts.
Anne McElvoy and Jan Piotrowski ask one of the world's best-known evolutionary biologists whether science can guide us through a turbulent world of post-truth. Can there really be an objective truth, or will our existing biases win out?
The first interstellar visitor to the solar system arrives, turns and leaves. What can be learned from the mysterious object? Also, researchers are kitting out drones to deliver supplies to the battlefield. And if wireless charging takes off, electric vehicles could—in theory—run forever
Is Amazon’s rumoured entry into the pharma market the real impetus behind the CVS Health and Aetna deal? And Barry Eichengreen, Economist from the University of California, questions how long the dollar can stay dominant. Also, how is France coping with a butter shortage? Simon Long hosts.
As Catalonia’s regional government declares independence, we explore the next stage of the unfolding crisis in Spain. Russia's president Vladimir Putin has established himself as the country's latest Tsar. A trip to Mexico reveals how Donald Trump is reversing the historical partnership of Mexico and the United States. And we take stock of the Balfour Declaration a hundred years on
The creator of the hit satire shows "Veep" and "The Thick of It" explains how to laugh at a mass-murdering former dictator, how Russia is receiving his latest film "The Death of Stalin", and whether President Trump really has killed satire
Minutes ago, Nature announced an important development in gene editing. Host Hal Hodson and Natasha Loder discuss how this technique is so precise and what this means for curing genetic diseases. Plus, why sperm whales like heavy metal music. And why are we so negative about our future?
Callum Williams, our Britain economics correspondent, argues that the Bank of England should raise interest rates early next year rather than next week. Nobel Economist Jean Tirole shares his worries about competition in the digital economy. And driving from right to left in Myanmar. Philip Coggan hosts.
Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the October 21st 2017 edition
Hilary Clinton ran a close race when it came to being America’s first woman president. But what does she think the Democrats need to do to win back the White House? Also, why artificial intelligence no longer needs its human helpers. And the man who zipped up Neil Armstrong. Lane Greene hosts.
Japanese voters go to the polls in a snap election, called with the intention of solidifying the prime minister’s position. Could a lurking nuclear threat from North Korea produce a shock result? Also, as Kurdish fighters relinquish control over Kirkuk, where does that leave their dream of independence? And why Italy is tinkering with its electoral law. Josie Delap hosts.
With the release of Blade Runner 2049, we explore the future of artificial intelligence and whether it could teach us how the human mind works. The Economist's Oliver Morton and Jan Piotrowski debate with host Tim Cross.
Soumaya Keynes, our economics correspondent, discusses whether President Trump's drastic proposals will break the NAFTA trade pact. Also: Why IBM’s recovery is incomplete and a rare glimpse into the HQ of the German retailer Aldi. Simon long hosts.
Anne McElvoy, our Senior Editor, and Zanny Minton-Beddoes, The Economist's Editor-in-Chief, ask the former Democratic Presidential candidate what stops a woman from becoming America's President and how can the Democrats win again. Also: how might other female candidates avoid getting 'Hillary'd' — and is President Trump stoking two nuclear crises?
China's president Xi Jinping wields tremendous power both at home and abroad; our China editor explains why this is cause for concern. Also, foreign radio stations take aim at North Korea. And we discuss the nominees for this year's Man Booker prize
Are identity politics a new obsession? Author Salman Rushdie and host Anne McElvoy explore whether Trump, Brexit and the Catalonian referendum have something in common. And we discuss life under a fatwah and whether he'll be appearing on the TV show ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’.
Babbage: Are C-sections fuelling the obesity epidemic?
Babies born via a Caesarean section are more likely to be obese says new research. Plus how glass is getting a makeover and we explore the question of why you’re attracted to the people you’re attracted to. The Economist's science correspondent Tim Cross presents.
We discuss the winner of this year's Nobel in economics, Richard Thaler. Ukraine's finance minister speaks to us about the battle against corruption, and reforming the beleaguered country. Also, the banks that look like software companies
As Spain descends into turmoil, our Europe editor explains what the Madrid government should do to placate Catalonia’s secessionists and keep the country together. And a vivid report from Puerto Rico reveals the devastation and confusion left in the wake of hurricane Maria
The Economist asks: Is it game over for Theresa May?
After the Tory party conference, the prime minister's future has been called into question. She suffered coughing fits and was even pranked by a comedian. Can Mrs May hang on to her position? Anne McElvoy hosts with Adrian Wooldridge.
This year's Nobel science prizes have been announced and The Economist's science team explain the discoveries behind them. Plus: the link between international trade and lightning strikes, and research suggests that standing desks might be good for your productivity as well as your health.
Money talks: Can the emerging-markets boom continue?
The Economist’s Simon Cox argues emerging markets are more resilient these days, and are less tied to the US Fed's interest-rate decisions. Also, how big is the gender gap in pensions? And the buzz around the Jiophone launch in India. Simon Long hosts.
Sophie Pedder, our Paris bureau chief, analyses whether President Macron will succeed in his grand plans to reform France and the European Union. Also, are China’s courts improving? And we discuss the increasing number of political murders in South Africa. Josie Delap hosts.
The Economist asks: Could Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister?
Jeremy Corbyn has energised the Labour Party. Is the optimism justified? Senior editors Anne McElvoy and Adrian Wooldridge head to Brighton — the site of the Labour Party conference — to dissect the Corbyn phenomenon.
The hunt is on among the world’s airlines for faster and more efficient ways to keep jet engines in tip-top condition. Could the answer be tiny robots that inspect and fix them from the inside? Also, a new study shows that birds deliberately weave cigarette butts into their nests to help keep parasites away. And is it right to relinquish control of our identities to private companies? Jason Palmer hosts.
Money talks: How have markets been reacting to Merkel’s tentative victory?
Adam Roberts, our European business correspondent, analyses how German companies have reacted to the return of the far-right in German politics. Also, will London ban the ride-sharing company Uber and we get excited about some boring-sounding new rules for finance, MiFiD II. Simon Long hosts.
Our senior editor, Michael Reid, says the Catalan question in Spain could catalyse similar movements around Europe. Also, amid the tragedy of another quake, Mexicans can find small consolations. And does New Zealand deserve its clean, green reputation? Josie Delap hosts.
Senior editor, Anne McElvoy, and Jeremy Cliffe, our Berlin bureau chief, investigate the Merkel-machine ahead of the German general election on Sunday. We go on the campaign trail and catch a rare glimpse of Ms Merkel's seat of power – inside the Chancellery.
Electronic sails could lead to faster, cheaper space exploration by harnessing the energy from solar wind. A new paper suggests climate change predictions could have been slightly overheated. And some antivenoms might be more like snake oil than salvation
Reggaeton is a genre of music topping the charts across the world. Colombian artist J Balvin joins host Simon Long to discuss why streaming services have played such a vital role in spreading the word. Plus, why Chinese unicorns are worth more than American ones. And could a better economics textbooks help us predict the next recession?
Angela Merkel will likely cruise to victory in next week's elections in Germany. But the far right AfD could become the third largest party in the Bundestag. What's behind their rise? Also, the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma in some Caribbean islands exceeds their GDP. How will they recover and prepare for the next storm? And Congo's art scene takes off.
Miracles in a test tube won't cure cancer; using and adapting the technology we've already got will. Plus how WiFi's little brother LoRa will enable our smart cities to flourish. And why Saturn's space probe Cassini is diving to its death on Friday.
Money talks: Donald Trump’s moment to shape the Fed
Henry Curr, our US economics editor, discusses how President Trump will fill the four vacant seats on the board of the American Federal Reserve. Also, a big data breach at the credit-scoring company, Equifax, puts millions at risk. And the contradiction at the heart of China’s internet giants. Simon Long hosts.
The week ahead: Germany’s grand coalition or a clash of ideas?
German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is heading into the final two weeks of her election campaign following a lacklustre televised debate. Is it likely her CDU party will coast to victory? Also, why Aung San Suu Kyi appears to be ignoring the slaughter of Myanmar’s Rohingya minority. And why Britain is the isle of spies. Helen Joyce hosts.
Humans and apes share the same ancestors and more than 90% of our genes. What separates us from apes? And why do we stand free, whilst chimpanzees are caged and gorillas are hunted? Host Jason Palmer asks the world's leading primatologist Dr Jane Goodall, who's discoveries forced us to redefine what is it to be human.
Facial recognition software can identify you in a crowd. But it will soon be able to judge your mood, your age and ethnicity. We discuss the merits and pitfalls of this fast-advancing technology. Plus, could fish food be the source of antibiotic resistance? And host Jason Palmer gets stuck in a virtual swamp.
Philip Coggan explains why markets appear so calm in the face of North Korea’s nuclear threat. Also, are China’s capacity cuts for real? And how technology is making banking more inclusive. Simon Long hosts.
The week ahead: An unwelcome visitor from Pyongyang
This past Tuesday, an inter-ballistic missile encroached into Japanese airspace. What does a belligerent North Korea mean for a pacifist Japan? Also, how will the UK’s Premier League cope with Brexit? And the resurgent party that’s reshaping the German election. Josie Delap hosts.
Poverty, health, education or climate change: where should governments spend their money? Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist" and president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre debates with Anne McElvoy and Jan Piotrowski, our environment correspondent.