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The Intelligence from The Economist

Get a daily burst of global illumination from The Economist’s worldwide network of correspondents as they dig past the headlines to get to the stories beneath—and to stories that aren’t making headlines, but should be. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

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Going old Turkey: a regional power spreads

Since the Arab spring the country has vastly expanded its military and diplomatic efforts—filling an evident power vacuum and harking back to the days of the Ottoman Empire. Tanzania’s economy was recently upgraded to “middle-income” status, but our analysis suggests something is fishy in its data. And why an Athens hotel will have two floors lopped off its top. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

19mins

4 Aug 2020

Rank #1

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As a general rules: Myanmar’s coup

The army already had plenty of political power, but following a landslide election loss it dramatically seized more. After five years of democracy, will the country abide a return to military rule? The wind-power boom has driven a scramble for balsa wood—harming the Ecuadoreans who live where it grows. And a better way to test the language skills of would-be citizens. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

20mins

2 Feb 2021

Rank #2

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High threat-count: boycotts in China

Western fashion brands are in Chinese consumers’ crosshairs, the victims of political wranglings over sanctions and human-rights issues—a spat that may soon consume other industries. A striking number of people in the criminal-justice system have had traumatic brain injuries; our correspondent investigates how much that link has been overlooked. And why the audio app Clubhouse has stormed the Middle East.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

23mins

30 Mar 2021

Rank #3

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Shoutshow: Trump and Biden clash

America’s first presidential debate was unmitigated chaos, revealing little more than the rancour between the candidates. In Chicago a newish musical genre called drill has a strong relation to the city’s gang violence; we ask whether it is a causal one. And amid a global rise in hand-washing, we look at the fascinating, fragrant history of soap.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

23mins

30 Sep 2020

Rank #4

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The general and specific threats: Iran

Killing Iran’s top military commander does not seem likely to further America’s aims for the region. What should America and its allies expect now? Biologists have long struggled to explain why homosexual behaviour is so widespread in nature, but a new theory simply asks: why not? And the global comeback of dubbing in foreign films. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

23mins

6 Jan 2020

Rank #5

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Not fare enough: Chile’s protests

The ongoing unrest is no longer about a rise in metro fares; Chileans have risen up to demand that the prosperity of their country be distributed more evenly. The “Visegrad Four” economies of central Europe have been a post-communism success story—but as flows of people and money shift, they’re looking more precarious. And, a bid to measure just how useful managers really are. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

20mins

29 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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Coming write-up: Chile votes to overhaul its constitution

The country has roundly rejected its dictatorship-era charter and mapped out how to fashion a new one. What do Chileans stand to gain—and to lose? Rising populations of the elderly in the world’s prisons are creating deepening problems, both for jailers and the jailed. And we explore a theory that blames political chaos on too many would-be elites.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

21mins

26 Oct 2020

Rank #7

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Bubbles in the market: Mexico’s Coca-Cola obsession

For decades, the country has been an almighty consumer of the fizzy drink. But amid a woeful covid-19 situation politicians are highlighting the health concerns it brings. In getting to know a sleepy French village, our correspondent finds a nuanced view of isolation in the pandemic age. And the lavish books providing a never-before-seen perspective on the Sistine Chapel’s frescoes.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

21mins

22 Dec 2020

Rank #8

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Riot act: Biden confirmed amid chaos

After previously unthinkable scenes played out in Washington’s legislature, we ask what the violence will mean for the president, Republican lawmakers and American democracy. Argentina’s move to liberalise its abortion laws reflects slowly changing attitudes across Latin America, and may spur wider change. And examining the history of Ethio-jazz, a unique musical melting pot. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

20mins

7 Jan 2021

Rank #9

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Watts the problem: Texas’s energy failings

Crippling blackouts can be explained in part by the state’s unique energy market, but the disaster exposes wider failures that must be confronted amid a changing climate. Today’s landing of another Mars rover broadens the hunt for evidence of extraterrestrial life—an effort that is expanding faster and farther than ever before. And soft rock shakes off its milquetoast manner.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceofferListen and subscribe to “The Jab from Economist Radio”, our new weekly podcast at the sharp end of the global vaccination race. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

23mins

18 Feb 2021

Rank #10

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Fuel to the fire: growing unrest in Iran

After petrol subsidies were slashed, protests of surprising ferocity have flared up across the country—and neither the government nor the demonstrators seem to be backing down. The illicit trade in rhinoceros horn threatens the animals’ survival, but scientists have come up with a convincing fake that could collapse the market. And the surprisingly subtle choices to balance meat-eating and environmentalism. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

20mins

21 Nov 2019

Rank #11

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Running into debt: Argentina’s new president

For the first time in decades, a non-Peronist president will peacefully hand over power. But the new president—and his deputy, former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner—have their work cut out for them. There’s a resurgence in radical-left ideas brewing; our correspondent picks through the manifestos. And an American mega-mall attempts to beat the rise of e-commerce with thrills.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

20mins

10 Dec 2019

Rank #12

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Wishful thinking: America’s offer to Venezuela

The Trump administration makes Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro an offer he seems sure to refuse: an end to sanctions in return for power-sharing and elections. The coronavirus pandemic has crushed oil prices at the same time a price war is raging: the industry has never seen anything like it. And as videoconferencing brings your workmates into your home, we suggest how to create the right impression. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

22mins

1 Apr 2020

Rank #13

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Laïcité, égalité, fraternité? France’s secularism bill

President Emmanuel Macron’s draft bill walks a fine line balancing the country’s foundational secularism and worries about Islamist terrorism. Amid slumping economies everywhere, Taiwan’s looks surprisingly buoyant; we ask how that might continue after the pandemic. And how managers can best navigate the holiday-party season in a cheerless year.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

19mins

9 Dec 2020

Rank #14

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COP out: the UN climate talks

Again, the annual COP conference ran long and ended with disappointment. Why can’t countries agree on what so clearly must be done? One big contributor to the changing climate is meat-eating, and China looks ever more carnivorous. And a new, push-button system to land planes whose pilots are incapacitated. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

21mins

16 Dec 2019

Rank #15

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In their own Swede time: pandemic pragmatism

By the numbers to date, Sweden's light-touch covid-19 measures may not seem successful. But its pragmatism takes an instructively long view of the pandemic. China’s high-level party machinery brooks no political dissent; among street-level functionaries, stories of disobedience and tolerance are far more nuanced. And a devilishly clever way to stem the poaching of endangered turtles’ eggs.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

23mins

12 Oct 2020

Rank #16

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Gross domestic plummet: China’s historic contraction

The covid-19 pandemic has caused the country’s first GDP dip in more than four decades. What struggles still lie ahead for the world’s second-largest economy? Decisive action to help the homeless amid the crisis offers hope for what comes after it. And a look back at the life of Joseph Lowery, a firebrand preacher and rhyming civil-rights activist. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

23mins

17 Apr 2020

Rank #17

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Mitigating circumstances: coronavirus spreads

Global markets tanked yesterday as governments reported startling rises in covid-19 cases. Our correspondents around the world assess countries' differing policies, and the prospects for overcoming the outbreak. There’s chaos and intrigue in Malaysia, where persistent ethnic divides continue to dominate the country’s politics. And why Saturday bus services in Israel are a potent election issue.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

22mins

25 Feb 2020

Rank #18

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Demonstrative: a global wave of protest

Today’s public-sector demonstrations in Zimbabwe are just the latest in a wave of protests around the world. We look into why there are so many, and what might be driving them. It’s not all sound and fury, though; in Lebanon, an Instagram-driven push is helping demonstrators find love in the crowds. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

22mins

6 Nov 2019

Rank #19

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Imperfect call: Trump’s exoneration

A predictable outcome in President Donald Trump’s Senate trial will have unpredictable effects on executive power and congressional oversight—but probably not on November’s elections. A staggering map of neural connections opens a new frontier in brain science. And the entirely preventable plague of locusts munching through east Africa. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/radiooffer Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

22mins

6 Feb 2020

Rank #20