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Business Daily

The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.

Tous les épisodes

  • 23.10.2020
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    Why BP is betting against oil

    Is the fossil fuel industry being too complacent about the speed at which renewable energy will disrupt their business in the next three decades?That's the contention of Spencer Dale, chief economist at BP. In an extended interview with Justin Rowlatt, he explains the thinking behind his company's plan to cut its own oil and gas production by 40% before the end of this decade.And it's not just about heading off the threat of catastrophic climate change. As Spencer explains, even in their business-as-usual scenario they expected an unprecedentedly fast shift towards solar, wind and biomass energy, thanks to steep learning curves and stiffening competition.Producer: Laurence Knight(Picture: BP logo at night; Credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images)

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  • 22.10.2020
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    Contact tracing apps: Worth the hype?

    Why contact tracing technology has been slow to make an impact. Ed Butler speaks to Jenny Wanger from the Linux Foundation Public Health in the US where many states are only now rolling out contact tracing apps, months after many countries around the world. We hear from Colm Harte, technical director at NearForm, the company behind Ireland's app, which has been downloaded by about a quarter of the population. Chan Cheow Hoe, the chief digital technology officer for the Singapore government, talks about the success of digital contact tracing in his country. And the BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones explains why contact tracing apps are no longer being seen as the silver bullet in the fight against Covid-19.(Photo: The National Health Service contact tracing app rolled out in England and Wales. Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 21.10.2020
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    Google hit by competition lawsuit

    The US government has filed charges against Google, accusing the company of violating competition law to preserve its monopoly over internet searches and online advertising. As the Department of Justice sues the search engine google for being a monopoly, could all tech giants be under threat? We hear from Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google and Jack Poulsen, a software engineer and former Google employee. We also get the view of Sally Hubbard, a former New York anti-trust attorney and current director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute. (Pic of Google logo by Jakub Porzycki via Getty Images).

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  • 20.10.2020
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    Trading with the USA

    When President Trump came to power in 2016 he vowed he would scrap the international trade agreements he believed had cost a huge number of US jobs, and declared his intent to tip the trade balance back in America's favour. He wanted to take on China and what he saw as its dominance in the global marketplace.How has this 'America First' policy worked out in the ensuing four years, and what has it meant for the US's trading partners?As part of our look at the US elections 2020: and What the World Wants, Manuela Saragosa examines whether President Trump has succeeded in his aim, and she finds out what companies from China to Canada hope will come out of the next presidency. Manuela talks to Herbert Lun, managing director of Wing Sang electrical, whose factory is in China's Pearl River Delta. He produces electronic hair products for the American market - how has his business coped with the threat of US tariffs? While Mark Rowlinson, counsel at the United Steelworkers of Canada, tells Manuela that tariffs have brought some Canadian steel and aluminium producers - operating in an already very tight market - to the edge of bankruptcy.The BBC's economics correspondent, Andrew Walker, is on hand to provide context and analysis throughout, and you can read more on the BBC website and hear more about the USA and the rest of the world, across the World Service this week.Manuela and her guests also consider the alternative to President Trump - a Joe Biden presidency - and whether that would make it any easier to do business with the US. There might be a change of tone, but would he actually dismantle the protectionist policies of the last four years?Picture: Trump Tower in New York. Credit: Getty

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  • 19.10.2020
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    Biotech: Guilt-free palm oil?

    A commodity associated with the destruction of tropical rainforest in South East Asia may soon have a synthetic replacement.But can it match palm oil's magic properties? Will consumers accept it in their food? And what will it mean for the farmers whose livelihoods depend on palm oil plantations?Manuela Saragosa speaks to Shara Ticku, co-founder of the biotech firm C16 Biosciences, which is pioneering the new plantation-free product, as well as Anita Neville of Indonesia's largest privately owned palm oil grower, Golden Agri-Resources. Plus Veronika Pountcheva of the international food wholesalers Metro Group explains why they are actively looking at the synthetic alternative.Producer: Laurence Knight(Picture: A tub of palm oil; Credit: Edwin Remsberg/Getty Images)

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  • 17.10.2020
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    Business Weekly

    Golden passports and cash for citizenship - a legitimate way to for countries to get investment or a scheme open to abuse and corruption? That’s the big question we’ll be looking at on this episode of Business Weekly. We look at why the wealthy want to acquire them. We also hear from Cyprus where a passport corruption scandal has rocked the nation. Meanwhile, the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Economics tells us about the unusual way in which he discovered he'd won, and of course, about the game theory that netted him and a colleague the award. And we hear from the African animators who are taking on the world. Business Weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produced by Matthew Davies.

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  • 16.10.2020
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    Brexit - ready or not

    As talks between the EU and the UK enter their final stretch, what sort of Brexit are businesses preparing for? Manuela Saragosa speaks to Chayenne Wiskerke of the Dutch onion growing company Wiskerke Onions which exports to the UK. She also speaks to Martin Bysh the founder of Huboo, a UK fulfilment company which works mostly with the e-commerce industry and exports all over the world. They tell her how they've been coping with the years of uncertainty around the Brexit negotiations. (Picture credit: Getty Creative)

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  • 15.10.2020
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    Africa's animation scene: Ready for takeoff

    It’s been a tough year for much of the entertainment industry, with the pandemic causing production to be halted on all but a few projects. Filming bubbles and closed sets have been costly and time consuming. But one sector is booming – animation – especially in Africa. We hear from animators and producers across the continent about why demand for their work has never been higher. Vivienne Nunis speaks to Chris Morgan of Fundi Films, which recently produced the animation series My Better World. She's also joined by award-winning Kenyan animator and artist Ng’endo Muki and Nick Wilson, founder of the African Animation Network. Self-taught Nigerian animator Ridwan Moshood tells us how his passion for the craft took him from watching video tutorials in the internet cafes of Lagos to his own production company.(Picture credit: A still from the animated series My Better World. Picture Credit: My Better World/Chris Morgan)

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  • 14.10.2020
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    Over 50 and out of work

    What's it like for older people losing their job during the Covid pandemic?Tamasin Ford speaks to 59 year old lighting crew chief Michael Heggett. He's worked on events like Princess Diana’s funeral, the London’s Olympic games and Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday concert. He had a fantastic career until Covid hit and he lost all his work. He fears he might never be employed again. Patrick Button, an assistant economics professor at Tulane University in the USA says his research shows that older workers are being disproportionately impacted by Covid. And Yvonne Sonsino from Mercer, a global human resources firm, says that the long term outcomes for older people are not good, particularly for their pensions?(Picture credit: Getty Creative)

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  • 13.10.2020
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    Sexism in African investment

    Why do female entrepreneurs in Africa not get the investment capital they need? When women are navigating the male dominated finance and start-up scene in Africa, sexism can be a daily occurence. Efe Ukala is the founder of Impact Her - an organisation to help female entrepreneurs in Africa get access to finance. She says at one meeting she went to she was the only woman in the room and when one man joined them he went round the table to introduce himself to everyone except her. Mélanie Keita is the co-founder and CEO of Melanin Capital, a financial advisory firm that connects social impact entrepreneurs in Africa with investors. She tells Tamasin Ford that on a number of occasions she has set up meetings with potential investors only for them to hit on her. Manka Angwafo, the founder and CEO of agribusiness company, Grassland Cameroon, says women just aren't listened to on the continent. And Tokunboh Ishmael is the co-founder and MD of Alithea Capital, a private equity fund management firm based in Nigeria which has set up a fund aimed at proactively seeking out female founders and diverse management teams to invest in their businesses. (Picture credit: Getty creative)

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  • 12.10.2020
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    The future of Hong Kong

    Can Hong Kong retain its position as Asia's financial capital? The National Security Law passed in Hong Kong saw violent protests in the middle of 2020. The BBC’s Karishma Vaswani takes us through how businesses have changed the way they work to avoid getting in to trouble with Beijing. Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce says the new law won’t change the basic pillars of Hong Kong’s society, and that it will continue to attract big corporate names to hold on to its place as a key financial hub. But it’s not ‘business as usual’ by any means, says Tara Joseph, the president of the American Chambers of Commerce for Hong Kong, saying the worsening relationship between the US and China, coronavirus and the new law means some business people are holding back from their usual activity. And two key business figures, Weijan Shan, CEO of private equity firm PAG, and Curtis Chin, former US Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank, try to unpick the difficulty of the ‘one country, two systems’ approach which China has historically promised in its governance over Hong Kong.(Image: A silhouetted figure looks pensively over Hong Kong's famous Victoria Harbour and the cityscape, lit up at night time. Credit: Tse Hon Ning / Getty Images)

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  • 10.10.2020
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    Business Weekly

    Are big technology companies the modern versions of monopolistic oil barons or simply innovative companies that provide a service to enthusiastic consumers? That's the question we'll be looking at on this edition of Business Weekly as Democratic lawmakers in the US release a report detailing uncompetitive behaviour. We also look at the allegations made by a former Facebook employee who says she feels she has blood on her hands because the company failed to adequately act on political misinformation and propaganda she reported on the site. We head to Venice where we hear from workers in the tourism sector who are desperate for cruise ships to return; meanwhile environmental campaigners want them to stay away. We get to hear how human beings need to adapt to working in extreme heat and why musicians want the British government to support them during the pandemic. Presented by Lucy Burton and produced by Clare Williamson. (Image: Social network icons on phone screen, Image credit: Press Association)

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  • 09.10.2020
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    The end of the oil era

    How will the energy transition transform geopolitics? Which countries will be the winners and losers?The answers may not be as obvious as you might think - not at least according to Jason Bordoff, a former energy advisor to President Obama, and director of Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy.In a long interview with Manuela Saragosa, he explains why the future may not be so bleak for oil producers, how the transition could be bumpy and last decades, and why even once the world has finally weaned itself off fossil fuels, a future energy based on clean renewable energy could bring a whole new series of risks with it.Producer: Laurence Knight(Picture: Old oil tankers; Credit: timnewman/Getty Images)

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  • 08.10.2020
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    The end of the line for cruise ships?

    Can the cruise ship industry survive? Once a lucrative market, with giant vessels boasting 100% occupancy, cruises have been all but wiped out since the coronavirus.Manuela Saragosa hears from reporter Vivienne Nunis in Venice. Pre-covid, Venice was the poster city for over-tourism. Cruise ships towered over the city’s fragile, historic buildings, filling the air with their exhaust fumes. Many campaigners wished to see the back of them. The pandemic has granted those campaigners their wish. But it’s come at an economic price. And it’s highlighted the cruise ship industry’s precarious future. Manuela also speaks to Simon Calder, travel expert, about the prospects for this hard-hit sector of the industry.Producer: Sarah Treanor(Image: Two luxury cruise ships being dismantled at Turkey's shipbreaking yard. Credit: Chris McGrath/ Getty Images)

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  • 07.10.2020
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    Does big tech need a reboot?

    A leading Silicon Valley boss says big tech companies need more empathy and diversity. Maelle Gavet, is a French-born tech entrepreneur with experience in building firms in her native France, India, Russia, South Africa, and now as chief operating officer of online real-estate broker, Compass.Inc. She's been listed as one of the most influential women in US tech. In her new book 'Trampled by Unicorns' she critiques what she sees as the cultural deficits of Silicon Valley and says that these companies cannot be relied upon to self-regulate. This comes as a report backed by Democratic lawmakers has urged changes that could lead to the break-up of some of America's biggest tech companies. But James Ball, an award-winning investigative reporter, and author of a new book himself, 'The System: Who Owns the Internet and How it Owns Us' says we shouldn't be too quick to do this as it won't actually fix the real problems.(Image: A friendly robot is seen through a shattered phone screen. Credit: SimoneN / Getty Images)

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  • 06.10.2020
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    Is Facebook bad for democracy?

    How the social media platform is poisoning politics around the world. A former Facebook employee says she has "blood on my hands" after struggling to contain the misinformation and manipulation conducted through the platform.Azerbaijani journalist Arzu Geybulla describes the coordinated Facebook campaigns against activists and politicians in her country. Berhan Taye, Africa policy manager at digital rights group Access Now, tells us why Facebook isn't doing enough to prevent the spread of hate speech in Ethiopia. And Siva Vaidhyanathen, author of a book 'Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy' explains why Facebook can't stop the spread of toxic content without undermining its business model.(Photo: A mobile phone advert featuring Facebook in Myanmar, where Facebook has been blamed for helping spread hate speech. Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 05.10.2020
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    Is it time to rethink the electricity grid?

    Are our century-old grids fit for the era of solar and wind power, or is a completely new kind of electricity transmission needed?Justin Rowlatt looks at the mess in California, where President Trump has blamed rolling blackouts on the state's rush to embrace renewable energy. But former regulator Cheryl LaFleur says one big reason is California's poor integration with neighbouring electricity grids. A US government report recommended linking all the nation's grids together, but then the report mysteriously disappeared - investigative journalist Peter Fairley explains why.Meanwhile Britain is looking to integrate its own National Grid more closely with the rest of Europe, according to the director of the UK Electricity System Operator Fintan Slye, so that it can handle a glut of new wind power. But why not go one step further and build a global electricity grid? It's a possibility discussed by energy consultant Michael Barnard.Producer: Laurence Knight(Picture: Stork on an electricity pylon at sunset; Credit: James Warwick/Getty Images)

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  • 04.10.2020
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    Business Weekly

    This week saw the rather unedifying spectacle of the first 2020 US presidential debate. Did either of the candidates offer solid policies on the economy or the environment?As further investigations shed more light on Donald Trump’s financial affairs we’ll ask why he has been so reluctant to make them public.We’ll also find out why Facebook is threatening to ban all news on its Australian sites and ask whether clubbing can survive during a pandemic.Business Weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produced by Joshua Thorpe.

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  • 02.10.2020
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    Final countdown for a Brexit trade deal

    Why state aid may be the sticking point for a Brexit trade deal(Image: Two boxing gloves punching each other, one with the UK flag, one with the EU flag. Credit: Getty Images Stock)

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  • 01.10.2020
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    Trump's taxes

    What can the New York Times' revelations can tell us about the President's financial affairs?President Trump paid only $750 in tax federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, and paid none in 10 of the past 15 years. That's according to an investigation by The New York Times earlier this week. The President says its all fake news. He's for years refused to publish his income tax returns. David Cay Johnstone, an investigative journalist and editor with DCReport.org, says the Times revelations show why he's keeping them hidden.Adam Davidson who's written extensively on the President's business ties, says the only way to join up the dots since the death of his father, who was continuously propping up the President's finances, and the end of his lucrative appearances on the reality TV show, The Apprentice, is to work out who's bankrolling Trump's businesses.But Dan Alexander, writer for Forbes magazine and author of White House Inc: How Donald Trump turned the Presidency into a Business, says that the President does have more assets than debts but he could come across conflicts of interest when he tries to re-finance these debts.(Image: Novelty US dollar bills printed with Donald Trump's image on. Credit: Joel Forrest / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

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  • 30.09.2020
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    The company that invented the future

    Simulmatics Corporation pioneered data analytics in the 1960s - raising the same qualms then as fake news and social media manipulation do today.Manuela Saragosa speaks to historian Jill Lepore, whose book "If Then: How Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future" charts the company's rise, and its role in helping John F Kennedy get elected US President in 1960.At the heart of their work was using mainframe computers - a novelty at the time - to crunch polling, census and electoral data on voters in order to figure out the best targeted messages for their candidate to voice. It foreshadows the far more sophisticated modern use of data to target voters on social media. So what lessons from history are there for us today?(Picture: Two men work at a console in a Univac computer room in 1960; Credit: H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images)

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  • 29.09.2020
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    Facebook's face-off in Australia

    Should Facebook and Google pay for news that appears on their platforms? The Australian government thinks so. It’s drafted a law that would force them to pay - and Facebook is now threatening to ban all news from its Australian site. It’s a high stakes stand-off with potential global repercussions.Veteran local newspaper publisher Bruce Ellen tells Manuela Saragosa how his business has suffered the past decade as articles are shared online for free. Journalist Zoe Samios of the Sydney Morning Herald says the pushback from Facebook has been especially forceful, while Belinda Barnet of Swinburne University in Melbourne says she thinks they are unlikely to back down.But consultant Hal Crawford has little sympathy for the news companies, which he says get a lot more value from social media platforms than vice versa. Plus, Peter Lewis from the Centre for Responsible Technology worries that if Facebook follows through with its threat to remove news altogether from its platform in Australia, what will fill the void?(Image: Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone with 100 dollar bills in the background. Credit: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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  • 28.09.2020
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    China to the rescue?

    President Xi Jinping made a big surprise announcement on Tuesday - that China is committing to cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2060.But why has President Xi decided to take such a bold unilateral step? Will China's actions match his words? And how will other countries respond, not least the US?To answer these questions, Justin Rowlatt speaks to two people who have been at the top table of international climate diplomacy. Todd Stern was US President Barack Obama's representative in the Paris Agreement negotiations. And Rachel Kyte was an advisor on sustainable development to the United Nations Secretary General.Plus, Li Yan of Greenpeace in China explains what to look out for next year in the country's new five-year plan as proof that Beijing is serious about tackling carbon emissions.Producer: Laurence Knight(Picture: China's President Xi Jinping; Credit: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images)

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  • 26.09.2020
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    Business Weekly

    What will get the swing states swinging? That’s the question we ask on this edition of Business Weekly as we take an in-depth look at Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas and Ohio. We find out what business leaders, activists and environmentalists in these places want from their new leader and ask whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden can deliver. We hear from Puerto Ricans and Cubans in Florida, young people in Texas and a farmer in Ohio. Business Weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produced by Matthew Davies.

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  • 25.09.2020
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    London's dirty financial secrets

    How some of the world's biggest banks are helping criminals launder money through the UK capital. The BBC's Andy Verity describes what a major new leak of documents tells us about the flows of dirty money through financial centres. Dr Susan Hawley from the charity Spotlight on Corruption tells us why banks and regulators aren't doing enough to stop it, and Tom Burgis, author of a new book Kleptopia: How Dirty Money is Conquering the World, explains why money laundering is a threat to democracy and freedom.(Photo: London's financial district, Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 24.09.2020
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    Venture capital in Africa

    Funding for African tech start-ups is booming. But only if you’re not African. Odunayo Eweniyi, is the co-founder of the first online savings and investment app in West Africa, Piggyvest. She tells Tamasin Ford about how hard it was to convince Western based Venture Capitalists to invest in them. Jesse Ghansah, the Ghanaian Founder of the Fintech company, Swipe says as an African founder he’s still judged differently. Iyinolowa Aboyeji, who’s from Nigeria, set up a financing initiative called the Fund for Africa’s Future. He says rather than looking at the problem of foreign founders in Africa receiving more investment than African founders, people need to look at why it’s happening. And Adaeze Sokan, also based in, Nigeria, is the Director of Design and Strategy at Ventures Platform which is a funding initiative focused on Africa. She says that more start-up money needs to be aimed at women.

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  • 23.09.2020
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    Why is fashion still not sustainable?

    Making designer fashion more sustainable has been a cause célèbre for decades, so why hasn’t it happened yet? At the close of London Fashion Week, and just before the beginning of Paris, Tamasin Ford has been looking into why the industry hasn’t made the changes it needs. Kevin Bailey of the VF Corporation, one of the largest apparel and footwear retailers, says the industry has made great strides, while Roger Lee, of TAL apparel in Hong Kong, says a vague standards system for what counts as “sustainable” makes further progress difficult. But Christina Dean, founder of the Redress sustainable fashion awards as well as the upcycled fashion brand, the R-Collective, says companies could have already done a lot more to use re- and up-cycled materials in their new lines.(Picture credit: Getty Creative)

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  • 22.09.2020
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    Craft beer in a pandemic

    Brewing, like many industries, has had to adapt during the coronavirus pandemic. And whilst this can be a logistical nightmare, the current crisis might also present some new opportunities. Elizabeth Hotson talks to beer writer, Pete Brown about the impact so far of coronavirus on craft beer. We take a socially distanced trip to East London to hear from Jon Swain, co-founder of Hackney Brewery and then cross over to Maryland in the US where Julie Verratti from Denizens Brewing explains how an aluminium can shortage is making it tough to ship her products. And in Mexico City, Jessica Martinez from Cerveceria Malteza explains how lockdown gave an unexpected boost to craft beer. (Picture of beer cans by Elizabeth Hotson).

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  • 21.09.2020
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    Has Coronavirus killed the nightclub?

    Nightclubs around the world are struggling to survive with social distancing guidelines. The social effect is palpable, especially for the younger generation who have grown up with club culture. BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Jamz Supernova tells Ed Butler about everything she's missing from the club scene. Meanwhile, the Night-time Industries Association's Michael Kill says they and club owners are working to convince the government to help them open up. But how would that work? Lutz Leichsenring, an advocate for Berlin nightlife says any way forward will be difficult, but this crisis should be a wake up call for cities to value their nightlife more.(Picture: A Berlin nightclub. Picture credit: Getty Images.)

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  • 19.09.2020
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    Business Weekly

    There are less than two months to go until the presidential election in the United States. Both candidates and parties have framed it as something of an existential fight. So, on Business Weekly we look at the big issues framing the debate. We examine the economy, immigration and healthcare and find out what a Biden Presidency or a second-term of office for President Trump could mean for these key policy areas. Plus, as the Zimbabwean government hands back some land to some evicted farmers, our reporter in Harare tells us why this is happening now and how the move has been received. And what has Covid-19 done to the Asian wedding industry? Business Weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produced by Matthew Davies.

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  • 18.09.2020
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    US Elections: California burning

    The West Coast wildfires have lifted climate change to the top of the campaign agenda, but will it actually shift any votes? It highlights one of sharpest policy contrasts between the two presidential candidates - with Donald Trump questioning whether global warming is even a threat, while Joe Biden has a detailed $2.5 trillion plan to decarbonise the economy.Justin Rowlatt speaks to David Banks, a former energy advisor to both President Trump and George W Bush, as well as Cheryl LaFleur, who served as an energy regulator under Barack Obama. Plus the BBC's North America correspondent Anthony Zurcher discusses electoral calculations behind each candidate's stance.(Picture: A firefighter watches the fire burning in Monrovia, California; Credit: Ringo Chiu/AFP via Getty Images)

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  • 17.09.2020
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    US Elections: The end of Reaganomics?

    Will the elections usher in a sea-change in economic thinking, after 40 years dominated by small government conservatism?Manuela Saragosa speaks to one small government conservative - Ramesh Ponnuru of the American Enterprise Institute - who says people like him no longer have a home in either of the main political parties. Economist James Galbraith says the scale of the economic challenge posed by the pandemic could compel a much greater role for the Federal government in reviving and restructuring the economy.But could this election prove as significant as the victory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his economic New Deal in 1932 - assuming that President Trump even loses? Political scientist Julia Azari says despite Joe Biden's reputation as an unassuming moderate party stalwart, there are parallels with his illustrious Democratic predecessor.Producer: Laurence Knight(Picture: A poster of a Ronald Reagan commemorative postage stamp on display as people pass by; Credit: Stephen Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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  • 16.09.2020
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    US Elections: Immigrants welcome?

    President Trump's crackdown on immigrants is popular with his core voters, but less so with corporate America.Manuela Saragosa asks whether this nation of immigrants is about to vote to close the door to the American Dream for millions of foreigners. Among them are Indian IT workers who have been left in limbo by the sudden suspension of H-1B visas, as relayed by immigration lawyer Poorvi Chotani of LawQuest.Theresa Cardinal Brown of the Bipartisan Policy Center says there is widespread agreement among voters that the immigration system is "broken", less so on what needs doing. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies think tank says President Trump hasn't gone far enough. In contrast, Britta Glennon of the Wharton business school says that even the lighter restrictions under the Obama administration drove high value jobs out of the US.(Picture: A new US citizen is sworn-in at a naturalisation ceremony in Santa Ana, California Credit: Reuters)

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  • 15.09.2020
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    US Elections: What it means for healthcare

    Voters will soon decide who will be the next President of the United States, with healthcare – both the Coronavirus response and health coverage in general - being one of the most important issues. We'll hear from one American cancer survivor who lost their coverage during the crisis, and the director of a Missouri hospital on the challenges they've faced during the pandemic. Then, Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News explains the current state of US healthcare and the differences between candidates Trump and Biden on the future of it. Though Doug Badger of the Heritage Foundation cautions that those pressing for universal healthcare in the US will be under served by a Biden presidency.(Photo: a vigil in memory of healthcare workers who have died of Covid-19 in Alhambra, California. Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 14.09.2020
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    US Elections: The view from Beijing

    Tensions with China have simmered for the past three years ever since President Trump initiated the so-called trade war.As Ed Butler hears from tech analyst Dan Wang, the trade war could prove a death sentence for Huawei, one of China's highest-profile firms. So what is likely to change after the US election, depending on who wins? Not much, says China analyst Rui Zhong, as Beijing's priorities under President Xi appear far more domestic. And Daniel Russel, former adviser on Asia to President Obama, agrees, saying the world looks very different from that previous administration. But Ian Bremmer, chair of the Eurasia Group, counsels that the election still has huge potential for the global balance of power.(Picture Credit: Getty Images.)

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  • 14.09.2020
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    Biotech: The future of food

    Would you feel better tucking into a juicy steak knowing that the cow it comes from is still happily living out its life in a field somewhere? Biotechnology could make that possible.Manuela Saragosa hears from Shannon Falconer at pet food maker Because Animals, who grows real meat in a lab. Jon McIntyre at Motif FoodWorks explains how new technology has made his plant-based products tastier. We also hear from Tony Seba at the think tank, Rethink X. He believes we'll be designing food like software in the future.Producer: Laurence Knight.(Picture: Raw meat in a lab petri dish. Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 12.09.2020
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    Business Weekly

    Business Weekly hears from the industry that brings viruses back from the dead. The world of biotechnology is rapidly evolving - it recreates the stuff we can’t necessarily touch and feel, like smells and bacteria. Can it help contain future pandemics? Manuela Saragosa explores the risks and opportunities. We also head backstage at the theatre - many shows are having to come up with novel ways to perform productions, but are they able to sustain a business under social distancing rules? Rob Young speaks to the artistic director of the world famous Royal Albert Hall in London’s West End about their plans to ensure shows carry on.

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  • 11.09.2020
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    Biotech: The future of materials

    Can spider silk and grasshopper rubber, brewed by vats of genetically modified microbes, wean us off our addiction to oil-based plastics?Manuela Saragosa explores what sounds like an environmentalist sci-fi utopia. She speaks to Daniel Meyer, head of corporate planning at Spiber, a Japanese company that is already trying to commercialise clothes and car parts made of synthetic spider silk. Meanwhile Christophe Schilling, chief executive of California-based Genomatica, is using a similar biotechnology to manufacture good old-fashioned nylon.But there is one potential problem: The microbes that make these fantastic new materials need to be fed lots and lots of sugar - but where will it all come from? Agnieszka Brandt-Talbot of Imperial College in London thinks she has an answer, and it involves that most sugary of substances - wood.Producer: Laurence Knight(Picture: Close up of a Furrow Spider on its web in a Pennsylvania meadow in summer; Credit: Cwieders/Getty Images)

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  • 10.09.2020
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    Biotech: How can it stay safe?

    Genetically modified microbes could herald a new industrial revolution - but the technology also poses new dangers.Manuela Saragosa speaks to someone who used it to recreate the horsepox virus - a close cousin of smallpox - from scratch three years ago. Virologist David Evans explains why he did it, and what aspects of this rapidly evolving technology worry him most.One of the companies on the cutting edge is Boston-based Ginkgo Bioworks. It redesigns the DNA of bacteria and yeast in order to create everything from perfumes to fertilisers. Ginkgo's Patrick Boyle tells Manuela what they are doing to ensure that the microbes and DNA they create remain harmless.Producer: Laurence Knight(Picture: Anonymous vial containing a clear liquid; Credit: MirageC/Getty Images)

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  • 09.09.2020
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    The economics of banning alcohol

    After several countries banned alcohol as part of their lockdown measures, we ask if prohibition ever works?Ed Butler reports from South Africa, where a recent ban on alcohol was welcomed by some healthcare professionals and those fighting violence in the country. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron and University of California criminologist Emily Owens discuss whether limits on alcohol are ever really effective.(Photo: A man takes beers from a fridge inside a liquor shop in Soweto, Johannesburg, on June 1, 2020; Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Democracy for sale?

    Journalist Peter Geoghegan describes the many ways in which private money is corrupting democratic politics, encouraging chaos and fuelling public cynicism.In an extended interview with the BBC's Ed Butler, the Irish author and broadcaster explains a Brexit campaign advert that he happened to come across in a local newspaper while visiting the city of Sunderland in the north of England led him to investigate where the money funding the Leave campaign was coming from. It led him to explore how business and political interests - often from foreign countries - were able over decades to shift the political discourse in Western liberal democracies in their favour.(Picture: US flag made out of one dollar bills; Credit: Matt Anderson Photography/Getty Images)

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Why doesn’t the economy care about older women?

    Many women feel they are ignored by the larger economy after they reach a certain age, and some of them aren't willing to accept that.Tamasin Ford speaks to Bonnie Marcus, host of the Badass Women at Any Age podcast, who explains how women over 60 can deal with the double-whammy of sexism and ageism in business. Meanwhile, Tricia Cusden tells us about how she started up the cosmetics retailer Look Fabulous Forever - a business run by and for women in their older years. And Ruth Saunders, author of Female Entrepreneurs: The Secrets of Their Success, explains why the larger business community would be smart to think more about older women in the economy.Producer: Frey Lindsay(Picture: Older woman looking fabulous; Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Business Weekly

    As evidence mounts that Chinese authorities are continuing to incarcerate Uighur Muslims in work camps in the North West of the country we discuss the steps foreign companies should be taking to ensure their businesses don’t benefit from enforced labour. We also have a report on what could be the most severe housing crisis in the recent history of the US. In yet another consequence of the coronavirus pandemic; tenants are struggling to keep up rental payments and risk eviction. As lessons resume across many parts of the world we hear how some countries are managing to teach children who can’t go back to the classroom - and don’t have access to computers or the internet.Plus, as facemarks become compulsory in shared workplaces in France we hear from a top health expert who says mask wearing should be non-negotiable.Business weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produced by Clare Williamson.(Image: T-shirts hanging on a garment rail, Image credit: Getty Images)

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Africa's malware problem

    Many Africans are buying Chinese-made smartphones that steal their information. Investigations have shown that the cheap devices are pre-installed with a kind of malware that drains the data allowance and in some cases signs the user up to subscription services without their knowledge. Nathan Collier, from security firm Malwarebytes explains how it works. But David Li of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab says he's not convinced Chinese manufacturers are to blame for the problem. Meanwhile, with data literacy a big problem in Africa, Kenneth Adu-Amanfoh, Executive Director of ACDRO in Ghana says better consumer education is needed.(Picture: A woman on her phone in Nigeria. Picture credit: Getty Images)

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Would you buy a T-shirt made with slave labour?

    China is accused of detaining millions of people from the Uighur ethnic minority and forcing them to work in factories. Pressure is mounting on foreign businesses to ensure material they source from China does not benefit from that forced labour. Alison Killing, an architect and investigator has found that 268 detention facilities have been built in the Xinjiang province in North-West China in just the last few years. Supply chain expert Kate Larsen says companies are often more at risk of exposure to forced labour than they might realise. But Craig Allen of the US China Business Council says US protections already exist to keep companies away from Uighur labour. And Max Zenglein of the Mercator Institute for China Studies says there are substantial incentives for companies to look the other way.(Picture: An alleged Uighur detention facility. Picture credit: Getty Images.)

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Can Western universities survive without China?

    Some universities fear they have become too financially dependent on fee-paying Chinese students - and thanks to Covid-19, many of them are staying away this year.Salvatore Babones, an associate professor at the University of Sydney, says Australia is particularly vulnerable to this, while Vivienne Stern of Universities UK says it’s just one of a number of serious concerns for UK and US universities. We also hear from Chinese students already in the UK about whether they think it’s worth continuing.(Picture: An empty classroom at an Italian University; Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Restaurants adapting to survive

    Catering and hospitality are among the sectors worst hit by the global coronavirus pandemic, with many governments banning in-house dining. Manuela Saragosa speaks to New York Chef Anna Klinger, who owns and manages Al Di La, a Trattoria in Brooklyn. Ka Yi Ong who runs Mini Star, a Singapore eatery that specialises in stinky tofu tells us about its new and very successful delivery service. Michelin-starred chef Kevin Meehan of Kali restaurant in Hollywood explains how a creative make-over for his parking lot is helping business tick over and Elizabeth Hotson visits Coupette, a high end cocktail bar in London where manager Andrei Marcu is delighted to be mixing champagne piña coladas for drink-in customers. Plus, we hear from Richard Vines, chief food critic at Bloomberg News in London. (Picture description: A food vendor wearing a face mask at a hawker centre in Singapore by Roslan Rahman).

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Boredom: The secret to creativity?

    Why being bored might be good for us. Ed Butler speaks to Kate Greene, a science writer who experienced months of isolation as part of a project to test how astronauts might cope with the boredom of a long trip to Mars. John Eastwood from the Boredom Lab at York University in Toronto and Erin Westgate from the University of Florida discuss the impact boredom can have on our ability to work. Dr Sandi Mann, author of The Upside of Downtime argues that boredom can be the secret to creative thought.(Photo: A woman bored at work, Credit: Getty Images)

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Business Weekly

    Two ancient and archeologically priceless rock shelters in Western Australia were destroyed earlier this year by the mining company Rio Tinto. On this episode of Business Weekly we ask whether the punitive measures imposed on senior executives this week are tough enough. Could biotechnology transform the way we eat and the way we treat animals? We investigate the future of food and find out how a cat food made from mouse meat could be made without harming any mice. As workers in the UK are seemingly unwilling to return to city centre offices during the Coronavirus pandemic, we wonder what these spaces will look like in the years to come. And we look at the romance scammers who are conning lonely hearts on social media. Business Weekly is presented by Lucy Burton and produced by Matthew Davies.

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Biotech: The future of farming

    Does farming as we know it have a future? We hear from those who argue biotechnology is about to disrupt agriculture for good.Shifting diets and food sources will put one million US farming jobs at risk, according to futurist Tony Seba of the think-tank Rethink X.But cattle farmers are not about to give up their livelihoods so easily. We hear from British farmer Andrew Loftus and Danielle Beck of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in the US.Manuela Saragosa also speaks to Henning Steinfeld at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.Producers: Laurence Knight and Szu Ping Chan.(Photo: a cow in a field. Credit: Getty Images)

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