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Global business news, with live guests and contributions from Asia and the USA.

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Farc Peace Deal in Colombia

The Colombian government and Farc rebels say they have reached a definitive bilateral ceasefire in Latin America's longest running armed conflict. The main issue - the disarmament of the rebels - has been addressed. And, after half a century of war, the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said a final peace deal could be signed by late July. There have been plenty of reports of peace before, so is this really it? We hear from the BBC's Natalio Cosoy in Bogota. California's last nuclear power plant will close by 2025 under a proposal announced on Tuesday, with safety concerns given as the main reason. But the Diablo Canyon plant produces enough power for 1.7 million homes. There is now a plan to replace the energy with renewables, though some environmentalists do not think they will be able to match that produced by nuclear. However, Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth US, says he is celebrating the closure of the plant.Are we heading towards a cashless society? It is a subject of intense debate in financial circles. The Danish and Swedish government have said they expect their countries to go entirely cashless in the future. In the UK, contactless card transactions have risen by a third over the past year and a Mastercard survey shows one in four Britons intend to make payments with their phone over the next 12 months. Most retailers have adapted to the trend but what about individual traders and organisations who have relied on cash donations to survive? The BBC's Susannah Streeter reports. We are joined by two guests on opposite sides of the Pacific - Peter Morici, professor of International Business at the University of Maryland - who is in Washington, and Simon Long Asia editor of The Economist in Singapore.(Photo: Graffiti with a sentence that reads 'Peace is ours' in Bogota, June 2016. Credit: Getty Images)

55mins

23 Jun 2016

Rank #1

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Corruption in Kenya: A Special Report

With the presidential election looming in the key East African economy of Kenya, the issue of corruption looks to be high on the political agenda. It was of course a key cornerstone of Donald Trump's US presidential election campaign, where he pledged to "drain the swamp" and rid Washington of corruption, so how bigger factor could it be in Kenya's presidential race? Vivienne Nunis reports from Nairobi. It's been described as the World's "forgotten war," yet the bloodshed in Yemen shows no signs of ceasing. Our security correspondent Frank Gardner reports from the Saudi Yemen border.Chief executive pay - it's a topic which regularly sees temperatures run high, and governments scratch their heads about how to control the gap between the highest and lowest earners. But now the US city of Portland in Oregon thinks it might have come up with an answer. The New York Times' Gretchen Morgenson tells us about the city's controversial new tax. The former British Prime Minister David Cameron says it cost him his job, but what's behind the rise in political populism across the globe? Our North America editor Jon Sopel takes a look. And, could there be a spy in your midst under the tree this Christmas? We'll hear about concerns that so-called "smart toys" are recording what our children say,and reporting it back to the software companies. The BBC's Roger Hearing will be joined throughout the programme by entrepreneur and author of The Business Secrets of Trappist Monks August Turak in Raleigh, North Carolina. And from Hong Kong by Andrew Peaple, Deputy Asia Finance editor for the Wall Street Journal.(Picture: Highrise buildings of downtown Nairobi are seen from Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya. Credit: EPA/DAI KUROKAWA)

55mins

9 Dec 2016

Rank #2

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Poachers Threaten Reef in South China Sea

The BBC has exclusive evidence of the large-scale destruction of a reef in the South China Sea by Chinese poachers and the theft of valuable and endangered giant clams. The Philippines, which is pursuing its own legal claim to many of the islands, says the Chinese navy is allowing the poachers to plunder the reefs with impunity. Rupert Wingfield-Hayes has the story.All public schools in the Los Angeles area were closed on Tuesday after a ‘credible threat’ was received via email. Almost 700,000 students were affected. A similar threat was received by police in New York, but was not deemed credible - schools remained open. We hear from families caught up in the California alert.Also in the programme, the US central bank the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates tomorrow, for the first time in almost a decade. Our economic commentator Roger Bootle offers his assessment.We discuss big data, as the EU announces new laws requiring companies to ask permission to keep clients data. Customers are also given the right to demand their details are removed from a company's database. However, a breach of the rules could see firms fined around 4% of global revenues.And the artists from a Grammy shortlisted album who definitely won’t be attending the awards ceremony – because they’re all behind bars. We speak to the producer of the Zomba Prison Project in Malawi.We're joined throughout the programme by Mark Miller, Managing Editor at Marketplace in LA and Madhavan Narayanan, columnist and tech writer on the Hindustan Times in Delhi.(Picture: Reef in South China Sea. Credit: BBC)

55mins

16 Dec 2015

Rank #3

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Greek Debt Drama Returns

Greece's debt crisis burst back on to the economic and political agenda today following an extraordinary row at the top of the International Monetary Fund, the body overseeing the Greek government's bailout programme. In simple terms some of the IMF's board members think Greece's debt is "unsustainable", so some of it may need to be written off, whilst others passionately disagree. We'll have reaction from Athens from economist Dr Michael Arghyrou and journalist Katerina Btazak.The pledge to build a wall along the US-Mexican border was a key election promise from President Trump. The BBC's Hugh Sykes reports from the southern US state of Arizona on what businesses and politicians along the border make of the plans. It might sound something of an oxymoron - car companies looking to develop something other than cars - but that's apparently exactly what some of the biggest players in the industry are doing. Mark Garrison from the US business radio programme Marketplace explains all. The BBC's Fergus Nicoll will be joined throughout the programme from New York by Mark Garrison, from New Dehli by Jyoti Malhotra, senior journalist and president of the South Asian Women in Media (SAWM) group, and they'll also be joined from Hong Kong by the BBC's Juliana Liu. PICTURE: A man walks past a graffiti with a EU flag reading in German 'NO' concerning Greece's referendum on the latest offer of a debt deal by the country's EU-IMF creditors, in Athens on June 28, 2015. (Photo: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

55mins

8 Feb 2017

Rank #4

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Chinese firm plans British Steel rescue

To the relief of the UK government, Chinese firm Jingye has promised to rescue British Steel, an iconic company that employs 4,000 people. We ask Martin Jacques, author of When China Rules the World, whether the UK is being drawn into China's Belt and Road plan.Protests in Lebanon show little sign of easing up; the entire financial and political system is the focus of the anger. The BBC's Ivana Davidovic has been finding out more.There is an argument that the American Dream is dead and that meritocracy and hard work aren't valued any more. But some do still live the dream and we hear from one such success story; Rob Bernshteyn, CEO of fintech company, Coupa Software which is worth around US$1.6 billion. Vast parts of Australia's east coast are bracing for potentially catastrophic bushfires today and we're joined by the BBC's Phil Mercer in Maitland, an inland city 165 km north of Sydney. China's annual Singles Day has morphed into an enormous frenzy of shopping and green groups are warning all this comes at a huge cost to the environment. We hear from Tang Damin, a plastics campaigner with Greenpeace in Beijing.And joining us throughout the programme are Simon Littlewood in Singapore - he's President of AC Growth Delivered. And in California, Alison Van Diggelen, is host of Fresh Dialogues.Photo description: British Steel's Scunthorpe works Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

52mins

12 Nov 2019

Rank #5

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Brazil's New Leader

In Brazil, the new president is putting together a very different-looking cabinet to his predecessor - a much more market friendly one. His new finance minister is Henriques Meirelles, former head of the central bank. So what is the likely effect going to be on Brazil's wobbly finances?"Fantastically corrupt". That's how British prime minister David Cameron described Nigeria and Afghanistan earlier in the week. On Thursday he was hosting a global anti-corruption conference in London. Fifty states were represented at the summit, alongside banks, civil society organisations and the International Monetary Fund. Though delegates promised to make tackling corruption a top priority, the meeting led to few firm commitments. Just six countries agreed to publish registers of who really owns companies in their territories, a key goal of anti-corruption campaigners. So - just how much was achieved?St Louis, in Missouri, made international news two years ago because of race riots in the suburb of Ferguson. But it would rather be known for something else. It's become the unlikely capital of chess - in America if not - here's a boast - the world. David Edmonds has just returned from St Louis, which was hosting the US National Championship.Can you copyright a language? Obviously you can't claim the rights to Russian, or Spanish or Swahili, but what about a made-up language? That is an issue that an American court will look at later this year when Paramount Pictures and CBS sue the makers of a Star Trek fan movie. One part of that case is the use of the invented language for the warlike alien race, the Klingons. Klingon is a BIG deal. It was invented in the early 1980s by the linguist Marc Okrand for the Star Trek movies.And Roger Hearing is joined by two guests for the hour on opposite sides of the Pacific - David Kuo of the Motley Fool in Singapore and Ralph Silva of the Silva Network in Toronto.

55mins

13 May 2016

Rank #6

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Chicago Facebook 'Torture' Video: Should there be more safeguards?

Several disturbing incidents have been streamed on Facebook Live, including one of a mentally disabled man being severely assaulted. Business Matters asks, whether with other sites like Periscope too, live broadcasting is now open to all - so is this a welcome expansion of free speech or a risky way of giving a vast audience to extremists and criminals? Jon Fingas, associate editor at Engadget comments.The farming community in Britain receive more than three and a half billion dollars a year from Brussels. But this will change when Britain leaves the European Union. Brexit is the theme for two farming conferences taking place at the moment. The BBC's Caz Graham got the views of some young farmers there about the uncertainty of what Brexit will mean for them.Roger Hearing is joined by Jason Abbruzzese, a Business Reporter at Mashable in New York, and Rosie Blau, China correspondent for the Economist in Beijing for comment throughout the programme.Photo Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

55mins

6 Jan 2017

Rank #7

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President Trump prepares to address Congress for the first time

With President Donald Trump less than an hour away from addressing Congress for the first time, we preview what he's likely to say and how he's been performing in The White House so far.Three months on from India's surprise decision to remove high-valued banknotes from circulation, we examine how the economy has been affected with British economist Roger Bootle.Despite frequent reports that 'Milennials' are finding it difficult to get onto the housing ladder, a report from HSBC suggests that home ownership may not be all that out of reach for young adults in the 21st century. The survey of 9000 people in nine countries indicates that 40 per cent own their own home and 83 per cent of those that don't are planning on buying in the next five years.Should stars of stage and screen get involved in politics, or is it best left to the professionals? Following the Hollywood awards season, where many a political viewpoint emerged among the acceptance speeches, we ask whether celebrities have a part to play in the political sphere and do people actually listen to them?And joining us to discuss all that are Andrew Peaple, Deputy Asia Finance editor for the Wall Street Journal and Katie Long, of Marketplace(Picture Credit - Getty)

49mins

1 Mar 2017

Rank #8

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VW chiefs 'hushed up emission cheating'

The ongoing fall-out from the Volkswagen emissions scandal took another twist in the US today as court papers revealed VW executives knew about emissions cheating two months before the scandal broke. It follows the arrest at the weekend of Oliver Schmidt, who was in charge of VW's US environmental regulatory compliance office from 2012 until March 2015.He was arrested on Saturday on charges that he took part in a conspiracy to defraud the US and VW customers. The company has said it can't comment on an ongoing legal matter, but what might the latest details mean for VW in the United States? Professor John Coffee of Columbia Law School joins us. It's been divided for more than 40 years, but could the European island of Cyprus soon become a reunified, single state once again? We'll hear views from both the north and the south, and assess the chances of success with Christiana Erotokritou, parliamentary spokeswoman for the Democratic Party in the Republic of Cyprus. How far is too far when it comes to compromising corporate principles for hard-nosed business realism? When Apple removed the New York Times app from its store in China, there was a lot of angry commentary on social media. But are such compromises simply pragmatism - or are they self-censorship? Reporter Melissa Chan, familiar with both China and the US, gives us her view. And, come on, be honest, you're amongst friends here at Business Matters. Have you ever not been... strictly upfront with someone in work? Perhaps professed something they'd done was just fine at the exact moment you began hastily redoing that piece of work from scratch, all the while sobbing silently inside for the bus you are set to inevitably now miss? Well former Apple and Google employee Kim Scott reckons she has the answer, it's called Radical Candor, and it sounds... candid. Buzfeed's Jonny Ensall assesses its brilliance, brutality or perhaps both. The BBC's bastion of honesty, Fergus Nicoll is joined throughout the programme by the equally honourable Diana Furchgott Roth,the Washington-based former chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor, and from Hong Kong by independent economist, and former Morgan Stanley & World Bank employee Andy Xie. Picture:Getty Images.

55mins

10 Jan 2017

Rank #9

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Argentina Corruption Charges

Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has been indicted over accusations that she oversaw irregularities in the central bank's sale of dollars in the futures market.The number of migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey has fallen dramatically...as Ankara tightens the border, but elsewhere in the Mediterranean, attempts to stop the smugglers are failing.Miners seeking millions of dollars in compensation for contracting a serious lung disease have won a landmark judgement against the gold mining industry. The High Court in South Africa has given the go ahead for a class action by thousands of workers who developed silicosis while working underground. The head of GSK Sir Andrew Witty tells Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal why developing new drugs is so expensive. And throughout the programme Susannah Streeter is joined by Danny Samson, Professor of Management at Melbourne University in Australia. And the power of Eurovision - why the song contest has such an enduring appeal.

55mins

14 May 2016

Rank #10

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US imposes sweeping sanctions on Venezuela

We look at the global repercussions of sweeping sanctions on the government of Venezuela by the US. We ask if President Trump's aim - to punish 'the usurping' of power by President Nicolas Maduro, Germany's hugely successful automotive industry is being choked by not only global trade tensions, but other factors - the BBC's Rob Young has an extended report on the economic powerhouse and its woes. Plus, we look Disney's disappointing financial results. We discuss all this with guests Youngsuk Chi, a Korean Businessman, who has worked extensively in the media and technology industry and Maya Van Rossun, environmental lawyer and author in Philadelphia.(Image: A man walks past a wall reading "Trump unblock Venezuela" in Caracas on August 6, 2019. Credit: Federico Parra / Getty Images)

52mins

5 Oct 2019

Rank #11

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Former head of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, dies

Over the weekend, at the age of 92, one of the giants of American economic policy and former head of the US central bank Paul Volcker, died at his home in New York. He was perhaps best known for his dramatic hiking of interest rates in the early eighties to fight inflation. We explore his enduring legacy. Meanwhile, shares in Tullow Oil fell as much as 70% after the company announced a boardroom shake-up, scrapped its dividend and cut its production forecasts. Chief executive Paul McDade and exploration director Angus McCoss are stepping down immediately. We talk to Eklavya Gupte, senior editor of Europe and Africa News S&P Global Platts. Robin Harding, Tokyo Bureau Chief or Financial Times and Alexis Goldstein, an activist and financial reform advocate in Washington join the discussion. (Picture Credit: Getty Images)

51mins

10 Dec 2019

Rank #12

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Apple iPhone XS unveiled alongside fall-detecting Watch

Apple has updated its iPhone X handset with three more powerful models. Connie Guglielmo, Editor-in-Chief of tech news site, CNET, tells us about their latest innovations. We have an interview with Ray Dalio, one of the richest people in the world and founder of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates to discuss his new book about the financial crisis. We travel to Singapore to find out how countries in Asia experienced an extraordinary economic boom after the global financial crisis. Our reporter looks at chief executives and bankers in Iceland who were prosecuted during the financial crisis. Plus, we hear about the Sri Lankan president's anger over airline cashew nuts.We're joined throughout the programme by three guests. In Washington, Heather Slavkin Corzo, the director of the Office of Investment of the trade union, the AFL-CIO, and Professor Randall Kroszner, Former Federal Reserve Governor and now Deputy Dean of the Executive MBA programme at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. We also have from Hong Kong Victor Mallet, Asia news editor for the Financial Times.

54mins

13 Sep 2018

Rank #13

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Pakistan Turns To IMF For Bailout Talks

Pakistan's finance minister has announced the country will ask the International Monetary Fund for a bailout. We'll hear from Nadeem Haque, a former Pakistani official and former IMF representative, and Saeed Shah from the Wall Street Journal in Islamabad.Then, Jair Bolsonaro is the favourite in the second round of Brazil's presidential election. The BBC's Julia Carneiro gives us the latest on the country's reaction and what happens now. It’s an age-old question, how do women balance the demands of raising a family with career progression? With three small children and a challenging job Christine Armstrong wanted that question answered once and for all, so she asked as many women as possible for her book the Mother of all Jobs.Alison Green has been giving workplace advice for over a decade and one thing that keeps surprising her is that people want their problems solved without even speaking to the key person. She explains why direct conversation can be the best.All throughout the show, we’ll be joined by Ralph Silva of the Silva Research Network in Toronto, Canada, and Asit Biswas from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Pakistani President Imran Khan speaks to the media on July 25, 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images)

52mins

9 Oct 2018

Rank #14

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Boeing replaces CEO amid 737 safety concerns

US plane maker Boeing has replaced its chief executive Dennis Muilenburg in the wake of two deadly 737 Max crashes and the plane's subsequent grounding. We speak to Scott Hamilton, an aviation industry consultant with Leeham news and analysis in Seattle. Plus, UK defence and aerospace company Cobham has been bought by a US private equity firm in a $5bn deal that could test the new government's tolerance of foreign takeovers. Also in the programme, how green is the internet? We examine the energy consumed powering the web. And if you're looking for a last minute Christmas bargain, a small newspaper business in Alaska is looking to be snapped up. The asking price? Free - we find out why.All this and more discussed with guests Erin Delmore, a political reporter in New York, and journalist Jyoti Malhotra in Delhi.(Photos: File photos of David Calhoun (L), and Dennis Muilenburg (R). Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

52mins

24 Dec 2019

Rank #15

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Trump warns N Korea that US military is 'locked and loaded'

President Trump has renewed his verbal pressure on North Korea, warning Pyongyang not to take military action against the US or its allies. Mr Trump said he hoped the North's leader understood the gravity of the situation. World leaders have expressed concern at the war of words over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.Vincent Ni, Senior Producer, BBC Chinese Service talks about how many people use services and social media platforms like Weibo, WeChat and Baidu Tieba in China. They are currently investigation for alleged violations of cyber security laws and said people had been using the platforms to spread terrorism-related material, rumours and obscenities. The breaches "jeopardised national security," the administration said.Michelle Fleury reports from New York about the growing premium market, as parents spend to make sure they have the very best products for their children. In the US, women are waiting longer to have children which, sometimes, means they have more disposable income.

52mins

12 Aug 2017

Rank #16

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New US Sanctions on Russia Move Closer

The US House of Representatives has voted to impose fresh sanctions on Russia, despite President Donald Trump objecting to the legislation.Daniel Fried, former sanctions coordinator at the US State Department looks at the latest step.Is infrastructure spending really the secret to boosting economic growth? We look at the cost and benefits of planned projects around the globe. And, the "world's most useless airport" is finally about to get its first scheduled flight. The BBC's Roger Hearing will be joined throughout the programme from Singapore by Asit Biswas, distinguished visiting Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and from Los Angeles by Andy Uhler from the Marketplace programme at American public radio. They'll also be joined from Taiwan by the BBC's Cindy Sui and by Chris Heathcote author of the Global Infrastructure Outlook report and the travel journalist Simon Calder.Picture: US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg this month. Credit:Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images.

51mins

26 Jul 2017

Rank #17

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North Korea in Long-Range Missile Test

North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch was in the direction of Japan. The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, says the world needs to increase pressure on Pyongyang to end its missile testing programme. We'll discuss North Korea's latest intercontinental missile test, which experts say puts US cities in range.As the United States Food and Drug Administration announces that it wants to limit the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, we asked Professor Stanton Glantz from the University of California San Francisco for his assessment. Plus, an underground mail train in London is coming back on track as part of the London Postal Museum. The BBC’s Richard Collings went on board. Rob Young is joined on the programme by Colin Peacock, who’s a journalist at Radio New Zealand.(Photo: A man looks at images of missile launches and military exercises in a public square in Pyongyang. Photo credit: ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

53mins

29 Jul 2017

Rank #18

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Six Years Later: Reflecting on Fukushima’s Nuclear Disaster

Host Roger Hearing visits areas surrounding the city on the east side of Japan’s main island where almost half a million people had to leave their homes in 2011 due to the nuclear disaster. He speaks with one man who lost two children and is now involved in a group dedicated to finding those who have so far never been found. Later in the programme, Roger visits an area that was once considered the nation’s breadbasket, but now even as the government and producers try to clean the land and convince shoppers what’s grown there is safe…it’s still a tough call. Finally, even in the toughest times, there are still those who are working to keep the flame of traditional culture alive. Roger speaks to one man doing just that.Roger is joined throughout the programme by William McMichael, assistant professor of economics and business administration at Fukushima University, and Dr. Sae Ochi, director of internal medicine at Tokyo’s Soma Central Hospital.(Picture credit: Getty; a train suite Shiki-Shima, operated by East Japan Railway, during a training run in Inawashiro, Fukushima)

53mins

30 Nov 2017

Rank #19

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Behind Japan’s Corporate ‘Culture of Concealment’

A look into why Japan’s once sterling corporate reputation has taken such a hit amid a number of high-profile scandals in recent years. Also in the programme, a deep dive into why the nation's efforts to make it easier for women to return to work after having children may be destined to fail. And, as Tokyo celebrates its own AIDS Week – a conversation with Japan’s most prominent and respected LGBT figure, Pink Bear, about how traditional values in the country make it difficult for gay people to be open about themselves. Akiko Nagi, founder of networking site Wantedly, and Tomohiro Taniguchi, a journalist and government adviser, weigh in throughout the programme. (Photo: Japan scenery – photo credit: BBC)

51mins

1 Dec 2017

Rank #20