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12 issues for £12
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The coming crisis at the BBC
The BBC’s chief has quit ahead of what promises to be years of turmoil and conflict with a hostile government. Will the licence fee survive?
25 Jan 2020
Dominic Cummings: the "weirdos" take back control
The prime minister’s special adviser is planning big changes in the way the government machine works. What can we expect? Simon Wilson reports.
18 Jan 2020
A look at the state of Iran’s feeble economy
The Islamic Republic is a big player in regional geopolitics, but its economy is weak, its people in revolt and its enemies growing bolder. Simon Wils…
11 Jan 2020
Investors are experiencing a cannabis comedown
Things seemed to be turning out well for pot-heads in 2019 – and for the companies that seek to provide for their needs. Then a new, more depressing r…
1 Jan 2020
What's behind the great French pensions revolt?
Workers in France are on strike and taking to the streets to protest against President Macron’s reforms. We’ve seen this play before – but this time t…
21 Dec 2019
How the World Trade Organisation has been crippled
The World Trade Organisation (WTO), which has been the final arbiter in trade disputes for decades, has been crippled by the Trump administration. Why…
14 Dec 2019
Will Mexico make progress under AMLO, its controversial president?
Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), Mexico’s controversial president, has been in power for a year. Can he solve the country’s chronic problems and he…
7 Dec 2019
The political battle over the NHS
Politicians seeking votes are promising ever more money for the NHS. But there may be better ways to rescue the service from its decline.
30 Nov 2019
Labour's plan to bring full-fibre broadband to the whole country
Labour has a plan to bring full-fibre broadband to all of Britain's homes and businesses. But will it work, and how much will it cost?
23 Nov 2019
Tories and Labour turn on the spending taps
Austerity is officially over as both parties have outlined lavish spending plans. Overseas, too, spending and borrowing are back in fashion. Will the …
16 Nov 2019
The return of the wealth tax
The changing political climate, particularly in the US, has put the idea of wealth taxes back on the agenda. But does this make economic sense?
9 Nov 2019
Quantum computing: a giant leap forwards
Quantum supercomputers had existed only in the imaginations of physicists, but now Google says it has built one. What are the implications? Simon Wils…
2 Nov 2019
Artificial diamonds: a girl’s new best friend
Big names such as De Beers are grappling with a cyclical downturn – and a long-term challenge from artificial diamonds. It could change the market bey…
19 Oct 2019
Nuclear fusion – what it is, how it works and when it could be powering our lives
Securing unlimited clean, safe and carbon-free energy for the rest of time would be revolutionary for the world economy. Is this now within sight?
12 Oct 2019
Europe: the bumpy road to a single market
The aim of converting the European nations into a unified economic zone remains an ideal to achieve for the EU. Completing the task should be a primar…
5 Oct 2019
How Britain became a world leader in wind power
Wind power is getting cheaper all the time, making Britain’s aim to curb carbon emissions look ever more achievable. Simon Wilson explains how we got …
28 Sep 2019
The future of vaping – the "healthier cigarette"
A health scare has thrown doubt on the future of the industry catering for the growing numbers of “vapers”. Has Big Tobacco’s corporate strategy just …
21 Sep 2019
The end of the reign of King Dollar
The US dollar has dominated global trade since World War II. But the world has changed and its claim on the throne is under threat.
14 Sep 2019
Can Donald Trump really buy Greenland?
The US president’s idea of buying Greenland is not quite as preposterous as it might seem to modern minds, but why buy it when there are so many bette…
7 Sep 2019
What caused Britain’s blackouts?
More than a million households and businesses were left in the dark and commuters stranded when the lights went out earlier this month. What happened?…
24 Aug 2019
The next race to the moon begins
Fifty years ago man landed on the moon – a remarkable technological achievement that seemed to portend great changes. Those transformations didn’t com…
27 Jul 2019
US tech companies face a new tax on revenues
American technology companies make billions, yet pay pennies in tax. New levies in France and Britain seek to change that. But will they work as inten…
20 Jul 2019
Boris Johnson and the sugar tax
Our probable new prime minister wants to scrap the levy on sugary drinks introduced by some of his predecessors. Would that be a good move?
13 Jul 2019
Can the UK eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050?
The government wants to cut the UK's greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by the middle of the century. Is this realistic – or a staggeringly expens…
6 Jul 2019
Help to Buy: a crazy subsidy for housebuilders
The government’s Help to Buy scheme would appear to be a great success in terms of the numbers of people it has helped to buy a property. But it has a…
29 Jun 2019
Is the GDPR data protection law working?
Last spring’s GDPR is one of the most complex pieces of legislation the European Union has ever devised. But is it achieving what it was supposed to?
22 Jun 2019
How Britain became a global leader in tech stock “unicorns”
The UK has more billion-dollar technology companies, or “unicorns”, per capita, than China has. That’s cause for celebration, but they need nurturing.
15 Jun 2019
What is 5G and why does it matter?
5G, the next-generation system for delivering data to mobile phones promises to be better and faster in every way. But will it change how we do things…
8 Jun 2019
Is inequality on the rise?
Inequality isn’t rising – at least not in Britain – and not in purely economic terms as measured by income. But the big picture is more complicated. S…
1 Jun 2019
The future of the gig economy
It was hailed by boosters as the future of work, but court rulings are increasingly throwing a spanner in the works. Is the gig over for platform prov…
18 May 2019
Will age soon really just be a number?
Within years there may be drugs available that can slow down ageing process and keep us healthy and productive for longer. That presages a social revo…
11 May 2019
Britain’s crisis in care for the elderly
A government mired in Brexit has failed yet again to address an increasingly serious social issue. Yet there is an obvious way forward that has worked…
4 May 2019
In praise of idleness
Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire, thinks 12-hour work days are a “blessing”. Bertrand Russell thought four hours were plenty. Who’s right? Simon Wilso…
27 Apr 2019
Should we fear “insectageddon”?
The world’s insect population is facing mass extinction by the end of the century, according to some experts. That would have catastrophic implication…
6 Apr 2019
Britain is running out of water
Drier summers and a rapidly growing population mean parts of Britain will run out of water in 25 years. What can we do about it, and how much would it…
30 Mar 2019
China’s demographic crisis
In 2015, the 1979 policy allowing couples to only have one child was reversed. But the birth rate has continued to fall, which bodes ill for the econo…
23 Mar 2019
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