Episodes
Google’s DeepMind has developed an artificial-intelligence system that can predict the three-dimensional shape of proteins. How will this monumental step-change for biology be used? Also, a new study shows how wearable devices could help doctors understand long covid. And how songbirds reacquired an ability lost by their dinosaur ancestors. Kenneth Cukier hosts  For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our...
Published 07/27/21
The president has sacked the prime minister and suspended parliament. It is clear that the country needed a shake-up in its hidebound politics—but is this the right way? A sprawling trial starting today involving the most senior Catholic-church official ever indicted is sure to cast light on the Vatican’s murky finances. And how climate change is already changing winemaking. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here...
Published 07/27/21
As scientists learn more about the gut microbiome, what role could personalised nutrition play in the future of health care? We imagine a scenario where biohackers injected themselves with mRNA, the technology used in some coronavirus vaccines. And, could an artificial intelligence ever win the Nobel prize for medicine? Tom Standage hosts.   Subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/podcastoffer      See acast.com/privacy for privacy...
Published 07/26/21
As the country tests a bold reopening strategy in the face of the Delta variant, our political editor charitably characterises the prime minister’s tenure as a mixed bag. Hong Kong’s national-security law has now come for its universities, sending shudders through the territory’s last bastion of pro-democracy fervour. And why the alcohol-free beer industry is fizzing.  For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer...
Published 07/26/21
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: adapting to climate change, academic freedom in Hong Kong (09:23), and monkey business (16:01)    Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/podcastoffer    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Published 07/25/21
The Biden administration has announced new sanctions against Cuba, as the communist regime cracks down on the biggest protests in decades. How might the president's pledge to support democracy around the world play out in Cuba?  Miami political consultant Fernand Amandi says liberating Cuba has political rewards. We look back at how Fidel Castro scored an early propaganda victory against America on a visit to New York. And technology writer Antonio García Martínez warns the rapid opening of...
Published 07/23/21
Tokyo is under a state of emergency; covid-19 cases are piling up. But for Japan, a super-spreader event is just one of the potential costs of this year’s games. We ask why Britain’s government has essentially given amnesty to those involved in Northern Ireland’s decades of deadly violence. And our obituaries editor reflects on the life of an Auschwitz accordionist. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer   See...
Published 07/23/21
Are today’s sporting competitions fair? The four-time Olympic champion sprinter tells Anne McElvoy why he handed back his gold medal after discovering his team-mate's use of performance-enhancing drugs, and why he thinks doping will never be eradicated. Should athletes be allowed to protest on the podium? And, the man with the “golden shoes” on his fantasy sport opponent? With acknowledgments to Team USA. Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio...
Published 07/22/21
It seems ever more certain that global temperatures will sail past limits set in the Paris Agreement. We examine what a world warmed by 3°C would—or will—look like. Our correspondent speaks with Sudan’s three most powerful men; will they act in concert or in conflict on the way to democracy? And why Liverpool has been booted from UNESCO’s world-heritage list. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer   See...
Published 07/22/21
Financial markets are rattled by fears about the rapidly spreading Delta variant of covid-19. But another threat also looms: can the economic recovery survive the end of emergency stimulus? Plus, why America’s shale-oil tycoons are now fracking as little as possible. And, our correspondent meets bitcoin miners in rural China to find out why they are packing up and shipping out. Simon Long hosts  Subscribers to The Economist can join our finance reporters John O’Sullivan, Buttonwood...
Published 07/21/21
On the face of it, the streaming giant’s quarterly results were lacklustre. But our media editor explains why its international growth looks promising, and how it is spreading its bets. A largely uncontested purge of LGBT accounts from China’s social-media platform WeChat reveals much about a growing Chinese-nationalist narrative online. And why researchers are cataloguing the microbes of big cities. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here...
Published 07/21/21
High stakes and big money lead some athletes to cheat at the Olympic games. Tim Cross, The Economist’s Technology editor, investigates the prevalence of doping in sport and asks if testing can ever keep a lid on the use of performance enhancing drugs. He finds out the impact of the pandemic on testing at the Tokyo games, talks to Olympians about the pressures involved and imagines what if doping restrictions were removed. For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions...
Published 07/20/21
The European Union, NATO and the “Five Eyes” intelligence partners have all joined America in accusing China’s government of involvement in hacking campaigns. Now what? Away from the spectacle of billionaires’ race to the heavens, many African countries are establishing space programmes—with serious innovation and investment opportunities on the ground. And why Australia is suffering from a plague of mice. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here...
Published 07/20/21
Messenger RNA, or mRNA, is the molecule that forms the basis of the coronavirus vaccines made by Moderna and by Pfizer-BioNTech. Although the vaccines went from lab to jab in just a few months, the idea of using mRNA as a therapy has been around for decades. The pioneers of this powerful technology reveal its unexpected path, the obstacles that had to be overcome along the way and its future potential. Tom Standage hosts.   Subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and...
Published 07/19/21
Disaster-recovery efforts continue, even as heavy rains continue in many places. The tragedy brings climate change to the fore, with political implications particularly in Germany. Syria’s oppressive regime is short of cash, so it has apparently turned to trafficking in an increasingly popular party drug. And why kelp farms are bobbing up along America’s New England coast. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here...
Published 07/19/21
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week: Biden’s new China doctrine,  a jailed ex-president won't go quietly in South Africa (8:44), and carbon border taxes (14:32).   Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/podcastoffer   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Published 07/18/21
What is President Biden's new China doctrine and will it work? The Economist's Beijing bureau chief looks back 20 years to the beginning of the era of engagement between the two superpowers. And, as their governments' relationship worsens, how do Chinese and Americans perceive each other? John Prideaux hosts with Jon Fasman and Zanny Minton Beddoes. For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/USpod   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and...
Published 07/16/21
Bank bosses are jubilant: revenues were down but profits way up. We look at the pandemic-driven reasons behind the windfall, and ask how long their influence may last. A thicket of conflicting laws is complicating Jamaica’s plans to enter the wider medical-marijuana market. And our critic reports from a slimmed-down Cannes film festival. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer Runtime: 22min   See...
Published 07/16/21
The actor and director of “The Water Man” tells Anne McElvoy why he thinks Hollywood needs new stories and how grieving for his parents inspired his latest film. The star of “Selma” reveals why he left London for Los Angeles in search of bigger roles. And, does he want to be the next 007?  Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/podcastoffer   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Published 07/15/21
Widespread looting and the worst violence since apartheid continue, exposing ethnic divisions and the persistent influence of Jacob Zuma, a former president. How to quell the tensions? As some countries administer third covid-19 “booster shots” we ask about the epidemiological and moral cases for and against them. And the bids to reverse the decline of America’s national pastime. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here...
Published 07/15/21
Can a new generation of Chinese multinational companies learn to adapt and even thrive in a hostile environment at home and abroad? Also, how Europe’s latest green plan aims to plug the leaks in the world’s biggest carbon market. And, why online shopping is about to become a whole lot more chatty. Simon Long hosts Sign up for our new weekly newsletter dissecting the big themes in markets, business and the economy at economist.com/moneytalks  For full access to print, digital and audio...
Published 07/14/21
The state’s Democratic lawmakers have fled to Washington, stymieing a voting-rights bill. We examine the growing state-level, bare-knuckle fights on voting rights across the country. Ransomware attacks just keep getting bolder, more disruptive, more sinister; what structural changes could protect industries and institutions from attack? And Britain’s efforts to bring back the eels that once filled its rivers. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe...
Published 07/14/21
Countries with high covid-19 vaccination rates, including England, are lifting social restrictions. Behavioural scientist Katy Milkman and health-policy editor Natasha Loder assess the impact of these changes. Will mask-wearing and social distancing stick? And, how people may one day drill for copper as they now drill for oil. Kenneth Cukier hosts For full access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe at economist.com/podcastoffer and sign up for our new weekly...
Published 07/13/21
Which carriers will thrive? Long-haulers or short-hoppers? The no-frills or the glitzy? The bailed-out or the muddled-through? Our industry editor scans the skies. Record numbers of Latin American migrants heading for America’s southern border mask another trend: many are stopping and making a home in Mexico. And Japan’s storied but declining public bathhouses get hipster makeovers.  For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here...
Published 07/13/21
Food shortages are nothing new. But it has been decades since shelves have been so empty—and since Cubans took to the streets in such numbers. Richard Branson’s space jaunt was intended to mark the start of a space-tourism industry; we examine its prospects. And why, despite last night’s disappointment, England’s football fans should be hopeful about their national side. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer...
Published 07/12/21