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)
The never-ending saga: Brexit delayed
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.
The Economist asks: Ben Shapiro
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)
Not now, Theresa: Postponing Britain’s EU goodbye
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