The world’s two biggest economies are fighting a trade war, European growth is slowing and global manufacturing data looks grim. Financial markets are flashing warning signs. It’s been a decade since the last global recession and in 2019 so far, the data has started to turn down. Are we on the verge of an economic meltdown? And what can countries do to avoid recession or reduce its impact when it comes?
(A container ship being loaded in a harbour in Asia. Credit: Getty images)
Is Africa facing another debt crisis?
It’s been almost 15 years since a successful campaign to erase the crushing debts of Africa’s poorest countries. Now, debt levels are again creeping up, thanks in part to a risky mix of easy credit and easy spending. We hear from a former Liberian cabinet minister, a Mozambican anti-corruption campaigner, an expert in Chinese financial flows to the continent and the World Bank’s chief economist for Africa.
Presenter: Neal Razzell
(Photo: Protestors call for debt relief in Durban, South Africa. Credit: Rajesh Jantilal/Getty Images)
How can we save our forests?
In the afternoon of August 20th this year, the sky over Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo turned dark. The cause of this premature night was the smoke from fires burning thousands of kilometres away in the Amazon rainforest.
The scale of the fires caught the attention of the world, but the Amazon is one story among many. The global community has long worried about deforestation, five years ago nations agreed to work to halve global tree loss by 2020 and end it by 2030. This month, those targets were acknowledged to be missed.
This week we investigate what tactics are being used to preserve forests around the world, and ask if any of them are effective.
image: View of a burnt area of forest in Para state, Brazil, in the Amazon basin. Credit Joao Laet/Getty Images.
Is rock music doomed?
Bruce Springsteen is turning 70; rock’s gods are getting on. It’s not clear who’s there with electric guitars to replace them. Younger acts are failing to make hit singles. Veteran rock journalist Mark Coles believes rock music has lost its ability to surprise and innovate. Record label boss Vanessa Higgins describes how the writing of hit songs no longer favours the rock format. Music critic Michael Hann blames the high costs of making rock as part of the reason for its decline. But Chris Woltman, manager of the band Twenty One Pilots, believes bands have adapted rock for a new generation of fans and industry veteran Sat Bisla details how rock is making headway in non-traditional markets like India and Indonesia. With Neal Razzell.
Why the race to build a quantum computer?
Quantum computers could transform our lives. Based on a branch of Physics that even Einstein found "spooky", the machines are still in their infancy. But governments and corporations are spending billions trying to turn them into workable technology. Neal Razzell finds out why by talking to four experts:
Shohini Ghose, Professor of Physics and Computer Science at Wilfred Laurier University in Canada
Stephanie Wehner, Professor in Quantum Information at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands
Winifried Hensinger, Professor or Quantum Technologies at the University of Sussex
Jonathan Dowling, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Louisiana and author of 'Quantum Technology - The Second Quantum Revolution' and 'Schrödinger's Killer App - Race to Build the World's First Quantum Computer'.
Image: Professor Winfried Hensinger with a quantum computer prototype at the University of Sussex. Credit: Ion Quantum Technology Group, University of Sussex, UK.