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Two guys. One cup. Of coffee. Two friends get together every week and talk nonsense about what's happened in this weeks events. Well at least they try... Expect tangents, hilarity and the sound of 2 best friends wondering how life led them to this point. @themulholland @sparkygolarky
 
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show series
 
The archipelago’s diplomatic pivot to China has added an international dimension to the latest flare-up of domestic tensions. We ask how this tiny state figures into far larger geopolitics. British law permits medical cannabis for children with epilepsy—so why are so few able to get it? And a Formula 1 race may mark the end of Saudi Arabia’s alcoho…
 
The conservative supermajority on America’s Supreme Court looks likely to strip back rights enshrined since the Roe v Wade ruling in 1973. Beset by natural disasters, Puerto Rico did not seem ready for a pandemic—but our correspondent finds it has done better than the rest of America. And an intriguing new idea in the mystery of how Earth got its w…
 
Jack Dorsey’s departure from the social-media giant reflects the growing primacy of engineering talent, and the waning mythology of the big-tech founder. Ukraine’s military has become much better at battling Russian-backed separatists since the annexation of Crimea—but now a far graver kind of war looms. And the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest…
 
Things were all smiles after negotiations resumed—but it is difficult to see how a middle ground can be reached in Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Apple’s surprise move to permit repairs to its hardware reflects the growing “right to repair” movement, and a shift in the notion of tech ownership. And the “grab lists” that museum curators prefer not to tal…
 
Governments’ rapid responses to a new coronavirus strain were wise. But much is still to be learned about the Omicron variant before longer-term policies can be prescribed. Vietnam’s government wants to create internationally competitive firms, and a growing new class of billionaires suggests the plan is working. And research suggests that social d…
 
As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan keeps pushing his upside-down economic ideas, the currency plummets and an immiserated population grows restless. Sunday’s presidential election in Honduras will be a test of the country’s democracy; fears abound of the deadly protests that marred the last vote. And our obituaries editor reflects on the life of Ros…
 
A three-way coalition has struck a deal to govern. We ask who’s who among top ministers and what’s what on the newly centre-left agenda. A shortage of lorry drivers has sharpened Britain’s supply-chain woes; our correspondent hitches a ride with one, finding why it is such a hard job to fill. And what Maine’s new “right to food” actually means. Hav…
 
Prices are up all over, especially in America. But whether the world’s largest economy is part of the problem or just suffering the same symptoms will determine how to fix it. Autocratic leaders of middling-sized countries are having a field day as America has relinquished its world-policeman role. And what makes some languages fail to develop a wo…
 
A Delta wave is driving restrictions and restrictions are driving unrest. Vaccine mandates like that enacted by Austria may be the only way to end the cycle. We examine the dim prospects for Peng Shuai, a Chinese tennis star who accused a senior politician of sexual assault. And a broader view of modern art at the UAE’s new Guggenheim museum. Have …
 
The presidential election will now go to a run-off—between candidates of political extremes. We ask how that polarisation will affect promised constitutional reform. Our correspondent visits Mali to witness the largest current Western push against jihadism, finding that governments and peacekeepers in the Sahel are losing the war. And women seek a …
 
Some factors that drive relentless growth in state spending are eternal; some are getting stronger. Our correspondent outlines a big-government future. We examine how MacKenzie Scott, an accidental billionaire, is revolutionising big-money philanthropy. And Moroccan hoteliers rail against a law that forbids beds for the unwed. For full access to pr…
 
Mikheil Saakashvili, a former president, is seven weeks into a hunger strike and protests supporting him are proliferating. We ask where the country is headed. China’s state-sponsored industrial espionage is growing more overt and more organised—and little can be done to stop it. And how to figure out the past tense of verbs like “green-light” and …
 
The meeting between superpower presidents was cordial and careful, but it will take far more than a video call to smooth such frosty relations. Europe once had an enviable international rail network—one it must revive if the bloc is to meet its climate targets. And the costly and sometimes dangerous lengths South Koreans are going to for flattering…
 
White roses, white sheets hung from homes, even white t-shirts: a movement’s symbolic colour was not much in evidence after officials quashed national protests. Part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to wean its economy off oil is to entice lots of tourists; we ask how likely that is to work. And gut bugs beget a bigger bounty of blackcurrant berries. For ful…
 
The ruling party got a pasting at the polls, owing in part to a reeling economy. We ask what the opposition’s gains mean for the country. The practice of assisted dying is being enshrined in law the world over; we examine the ethical dimensions of its spread. And why electric vehicles failed to keep their market dominance a century ago. For full ac…
 
The climate summit in Glasgow is in its last official day, but looks sure to overrun as negotiators thrash out an agreement. When the talking’s over, what will count as success? The rise of film franchises and streaming is taking the shine off Hollywood’s top stars. And we hatch a tale of unusual births among North America’s biggest birds. For full…
 
As the economy has deteriorated and the internet has bypassed television, persecution of opponents has become the president’s main tool of political control. Even the pandemic has been harnessed to silence dissent. An Economist film reports on the young women standing up to Vladimir Putin. And in China, there’s a more subdued background to the Sing…
 
Around 2,000 people from the Middle East are at the European Union’s eastern frontier. Alexander Lukashenko, the autocratic Belarusian president, promised them passage to the EU. They are pawns in a long dispute and their plight is bleak. Tension is mounting in north Africa, between Algeria and Morocco. And who said words were cheap? The cost of ne…
 
Americans born at the bottom of the economic ladder find it harder than past generations—or their peers abroad—to climb to the top. The president has plans to change that. But he’s already having to scale them back. Concrete may be a super-spouter of carbon dioxide, but it can go green. And a new style of book review is flourishing on TikTok See ac…
 
Over four days in Beijing, the political and military elite are meeting to recast the past. The revised version will depict Xi Jinping as a giant of the stature of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping—and justify his continued rule. More Africans are migrating, mostly within their own continent. And Hollywood is examining its navel. It doesn’t like what it…
 
Few imagined when Ethiopia’s civil war began a year ago that the capital, Addis Ababa, would come under threat from Tigrayan rebels. We explain why the tide has turned. At this time of year, India’s deadliest environmental problem—its toxic air—is at its worst. And the Chinese Comminust Party is cracking down on burning gifts for the dead. For full…
 
At the global climate summit, more than 100 countries have promised to end deforestation by 2030. Similar promises have been made before, but might this time be different? America’s Supreme Court dives into the thorny topics of abortion and gun rights. And we report on the peculiar economics of African cities where the UN has set up shop. For full …
 
For the first time since the end of white rule, South Africa’s governing African National Congress is set to win less than half the vote, albeit in local polls. We explain its slide in popularity. After a dreadful 2020, Italy has had a happier 2021; what’s prime minister Mario Draghi’s next move? And we check out the rhythm of Bangladesh’s undergro…
 
More than a year after George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis policeman, the city votes on an overhaul of its force. We examine America’s shifting debate over police reform. Cryptocurrencies have taken off in Cuba; but the communist authorities want control. And light may be shed on the mystery of the reproductive habits—and extraordinary migra…
 
World leaders are gathering in Glasgow for the UN climate summit. Can they agree on the path to meeting the goals set in Paris six years ago, to stabilise global temperatures? We weigh up the chances. Sex work is illegal almost everywhere in America; a growing movement wants that to change. And why Britain’s TV-production industry is booming. For f…
 
The Islamic Republic is closer than ever to a bomb’s worth of fissile material. Talks with America and other countries will resume next month, but hopes of an agreement are fading. Is war inevitable? Chinese media are not allowed to report on the #MeToo movement, but the Communist Party is taking up some feminist causes. We consider the paradox of …
 
After a year of breakneck growth, the big five tech companies—Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft—are coming back down to earth. We look at how the pandemic has changed the industry and spurred on smaller firms. Serbia’s military build-up is making its neighbours nervous. The country’s president tells us why he’s been amassing arms. And…
 
Two months after the Taliban’s victory, civilians face a looming disaster. Will Western governments dig their heels in, or turn the aid taps back on? India’s government has increasingly turned to high-tech means for delivering government services. But its digital-first solutions are inaccessible to millions of citizens. And we look at the business …
 
Just as the country was moving towards democracy, its generals have overthrown the civilians—again. We look at what sparked the unrest, and why coups in Africa are on the rise. Ecuador declared a state of emergency last week over a wave of violent crime. It’s just one of several headaches for Guillermo Lasso, the country’s president. And we explain…
 
Covid certificates are a global mess, with countries operating a patchwork of incompatible systems. We look at why it’s so difficult to standardise digital health passes. When the results of Uzbekistan’s elections are published today, the only surprise will be the margin of victory for Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the country’s autocratic leader since 2016.…
 
President Jair Bolsonaro’s early dismissal of the pandemic as “a little flu” presaged a calamitous handling of the crisis. We ask how a congressional investigation’s dramatic assessment of his non-actions may damage him. China’s test of a hypersonic, nuclear-capable glider may rattle the global weapons order. And our obituaries editor reflects on t…
 
Criminal gangs in north-western states, jihadists in the north-east, a rebellion in the south-east: kidnappers, warlords and cattle rustlers are making the country ungovernable. The new head of Samsung Electronics has a legacy to build—and aims to do so by breaking into the cut-throat business of processor chips. And the sci-fi classic “Dune” gets …
 
Russia continues to pile pressure on the country, and will soon have the power to cut off its natural gas. Our correspondent pays a visit to find how Ukrainians cope. The simplest solution to renewables’ intermittency is to move electricity around—but that requires vast new international networks of seriously beefy cables. And Canada’s version of A…
 
Sir David Amess was killed doing what he loved: speaking directly with voters. We examine the dangers inherent in the “constituency surgeries” that British politicians cherish. The fight against tuberculosis is made harder by mutations that confer drug resistance; we look at research that has traced nearly every one of them. And why Andy Warhol is …
 
A paltry GDP rise is down to the pandemic, power and property. We ask what growing pains President Xi Jinping will endure in the name of economic reforms. Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, will probably end up in the second round of next year’s election; who will stand against him is ever more unpredictable. And fixing meeting inefficiency with …
 
The effort to investigate last year’s port explosion in Beirut has fired up political and religious tensions—resulting in Lebanon’s worst violence in years. We speak with Dmitry Muratov, a Russian journalist who shared this year’s Nobel peace prize, about what the award means to him, and to press freedom. And why autocratic regimes like to snap up …
 
A fossil-fuel scramble reveals energy markets in desperate need of a redesign. We examine what must be done to secure a renewable future. Throngs of Hong Kong residents fleeing China’s tightening hand are settling in Britain; our correspondent finds an immigrant group unlike any that came before. And the boom in “femtech” entrepreneurs at last focu…
 
As the Taliban’s closest ally, the country bears a big responsibility for Afghanistan’s fate. We examine its diplomatic risks and opportunities. Mastercard is pressing porn purveyors this week; we look at how financial companies are reluctantly stepping up as the internet’s police. And a timely social-inequality take drives South Korea’s “Squid Gam…
 
After a court ruling in Poland that is an affront to a core European Union principle, Poles hit the streets—fearing a “Pol-exit” they do not want. Who will back down? Hydrogen has been touted for decades as a fuel with green credentials. At last its time has come. And the herd of unicorns popping up in Mexico. For full access to print, digital and …
 
Where governments enacted zero-tolerance coronavirus strategies, numbers indeed stayed low. That was before the Delta variant. We ask how countries can now wind back those policies. A shocking report of sexual abuse within France’s Catholic church further threatens the institution’s connection with society. And countering the notion that the “stand…
 
China has sent more than 100 planes to probe Taiwan’s air-defence zone. We explain why Beijing has chosen this moment to send a message across the strait. The WHO has approved a vaccine against malaria—a turning-point in fighting a disease that kills 260,000 African children a year. And if you want a Nobel prize, it helps to be lauded by a laureate…
 
Abiy Ahmed is sworn in again as prime minister, even as continuing strife increases the country’s isolation. Our correspondent witnesses the gruesome aftermath of a telling battle. China once encouraged, even forced abortions. Now, as it frets about declining birth rates, it’s discouraging them. And we report on India’s “godmen” and “godwomen”, the…
 
A global financial centre must move with the times, and—so far—London has not. Our correspondent lays out the causes of the malaise, and how to fix it. For many years compulsory military service was on the decline; we ask why so many countries are bringing it back. And why Europe is the destination for a growing class of digital nomads. For full ac…
 
Yesterday’s global outage is not even the worst of it: today’s congressional testimony will examine a whistleblower’s allegations that the company knows its products cause widespread harm. The modern food-industrial complex is great for eaters but appalling for the planet; we examine technological fixes, and whether consumers will bite. And how Afg…
 
The court will be tackling just about every judicial and social flashpoint in the country during the term that starts today; our correspondent lays out the considerable stakes. A vast and costly die-off of Britain’s trees could have been averted simply and cheaply: just let them stay put. And why hotels are such ideal backdrops for filmmakers and s…
 
The first conviction of France’s former president shocked the nation; the second confirms for citizens that, these days, politicians will be held to account. Our correspondent meets a Burmese hipster who, after this year’s military coup, has become a somewhat conflicted freedom fighter. And the record label whose name you may never have heard but w…
 
From chicken to petrol, Britons are facing long queues and bare shelves. We ask about the multifarious reasons behind the shortfalls, and how long they will last. Tunisia’s democracy has been looking shaky for months; we examine what may change with yesterday’s appointment of its first-ever female prime minister. And India’s beleaguered unmarried c…
 
The ruling party’s choice for its president—a shoo-in for prime minister—seems to overlook the people’s will. We ask how Kishida Fumio is likely to lead, and for how long. Some of Nigeria’s megachurches are larger than stadiums, and have considerable assets—as do many of their charismatic pastors. And keeping up with demand for vinyl records presen…
 
America’s crash of deadlines carries risks for the government’s budget and just possibly its sovereign debt, and threatens Joe Biden’s presidency-defining social-spending reforms. We ask what happens next. South Korea’s government is ostensibly cracking down on fake news; in practice it may be hobbling real journalism. And the hopeful view provided…
 
The country heads for a three-party government after a nail-biting election. We cut through the flurry of letters and colours to ask what is likely to happen next. The technology swiftly deployed to combat the coronavirus may also crack a four-decade-old problem: vaccinating against HIV. And evidence that the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex may have liked…
 
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