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Twice a week the New Statesman politics team - Stephen Bush, Anoosh Chakelian and Ailbhe Rea - discuss the latest in UK politics. From Boris Johnson's latest battle with backbenchers to the machinery behind the Labour Party's opposition attack lines, this is the debrief you need to understand what's really happening in Westminster and beyond. New episodes Tuesday and Friday. Send your questions at youaskus.co.uk.
 
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday he was “anxious” about a rise in the UK of the coronavirus variant first identified in India, after a closely-monitored study of infections in England found the strain is becoming more prevalent just ahead of the next big easing of lockdown restrictions.“It is a variant of concern, we are anxiou…
 
Chris Deerin hosts the fourth and final special Scottish Election episode of the New Statesman podcast, featuring an interview with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and analysis from Ben Walker, Dani Garavelli and the Spectator's Alex Massie. Read Chris Deerin's full interview with Nicola Sturgeon on NewStatesman.com Watch the full conversation with …
 
Is the idea of simply not wanting to have any relationship with men extremism? In most parts of the world, the answer should be “no”, but apparently not in China.In April, Douban, a Chinese social media platform favoured by liberal internet users, shut down several feminist groups that were associated with a brand of feminism known as “6B4T”. Origi…
 
The United States needs new trade law tools to head off anticompetitive threats from China against key American high-technology industries, rather than reacting once harm is done, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said on Thursday.Tai told a US House Ways and Means Committee hearing that existing trade law tools are more aimed at protecting US …
 
This is the fifth in a series of stories about China’s once-a-decade census, which was conducted in 2020. The world’s most populous nation released its national demographic data on Tuesday, and the figures will have far-reaching social policy and economic implications.The exodus of people from China’s central region and north-eastern rust belt acce…
 
Mainland Chinese businesses and their Asia-Pacific neighbours are increasingly directing their focus towards supply chains and investments closer to home as fears over trade disputes and protectionism rise, according to a poll by multinational law firm Baker McKenzie.Among Chinese business owners, most are sticking close to the reliably large Chine…
 
Israeli air and ground troops launched a blistering assault on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, sweeping aside international appeals for de-escalation after four days of aerial bombardments failed to quell the heaviest militant rocket fire yet on Israeli communities from the Palestinian enclave.The Israeli army had announced early on Friday that its troop…
 
At least 192 Vancouver care home residents died of Covid-19, and more than 1,000 people were infected, at facilities that deliberately did not declare outbreaks when a “low risk” worker first contracted the virus, a South China Morning Post investigation has found.Vancouver’s two health authorities, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Fraser Health,…
 
Xiaomi Corp scored a rare victory on Wednesday as it became one of the first Chinese tech giants to scrape its name off a US government trade blacklist and the smartphone maker’s success could give hope to others caught in the crosshairs of the US-China tech war, analysts say.The Beijing-based company reached an agreement with the US Department of …
 
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday advised that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors and can avoid wearing them indoors in most places, updated guidance the agency said will allow life to begin to return to normal.The CDC, which hopes the guidance will prod more Americans to get vaccinated, als…
 
Former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying has revived a controversial housing idea that was shot down by the current government and is pushing again for public flats to be built on the fringes of a protected country park, this time also suggesting they should be sold for less than under the existing policy.His tone and detailed policy-like approach h…
 
An internet radio personality facing sedition and money-laundering charges failed to secure bail after a judge found he posed an “extremely high” risk of absconding given his connections in Taiwan, Hong Kong’s judiciary has revealed.In a judgment published on the judiciary website on Thursday, High Court Judge Esther Toh Lye-ping explained her deci…
 
Chinese inflation is likely to rise moderately in the immediate future, but will avoid an unexpected spike like that seen last month in the United States, analysts said.Still, a sharp rise in raw material prices recently will put pressure on the profit margins of Chinese firms, with some small companies at risk of going out of business.US consumer …
 
Hong Kong police must be more transparent in investigating their No 2 national security officer after he was caught at an unlicensed massage parlour during a raid, legal experts have said, stressing the public deserved to know whether the force suspected any crime had been committed.While patronage of the establishments was legal, Senior Assistant …
 
Mixing doses of different Covid-19 vaccines could help tackle supply shortages, but more trials are needed to find the best combinations and dose intervals, experts say.The latest study, led by the University of Oxford, suggested that a vaccine cocktail of AstraZeneca’s shot followed by Pfizer’s four weeks later increased side-effects such as fatig…
 
Covid-19 vaccine developers are making ever bolder assertions that the world will need yearly booster shots, or new vaccines to tackle concerning coronavirus variants, but some scientists question when, or whether, such shots will be needed.In interviews with Reuters, more than a dozen influential infectious disease and vaccine development experts …
 
More than 80 per cent of residents are willing to return plastic bottles for recycling if they receive HK$1 (12 US cents) for each container but only about 20 per cent will make the effort for the 10 cents the Hong Kong government intends to offer, a survey has found.The findings underscore the challenge the government faces in reducing the city’s …
 
This is the fifth in a series of stories about China’s once-a-decade census conducted in 2020. The world’s most populous nation released its national demographic data on Tuesday, and the figures will have far-reaching social policy and economic implications.Zhao Baidong, a 28-year-old property agent in Beijing, would like to travel when he retires,…
 
Singapore confirmed 24 locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the largest daily jump since July last year, with infections linked to a cluster at Changi Airport ballooning to 46.Four of the 24 cases could not be traced, health authorities said. This brings the seven-day moving average of unlinked cases in the country to 2.14 – the highest …
 
Tech powerhouse Taiwan resumed power early in the evening on Thursday following several hours of phased blackouts island-wide, a problem that briefly impacted major semiconductor firm TSMC.Around 4 million homes were affected on the island of 24 million people after an outage at a coal- and gas-fired power plant that was connected to a failure of t…
 
Myanmar’s Buddhist monkhood led an earlier struggle against military rule but is split on the coup that ended the country’s nascent democracy, with some prominent religious leaders defending the new junta.Three months of turmoil have followed the February predawn raids in which soldiers arrested civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her top allies, …
 
China has moved to shore up ties in Central Asia through pledges for vaccines and connectivity under its Belt and Road Initiative, amid growing criticism in the West of Beijing’s repression in the neighbouring Xinjiang region.Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered to deepen regional cooperation on Covid-19 vaccines and the development of Chinese-funded i…
 
Hong Kong health authorities have stepped up Covid-19 screening requirements for arrivals quarantining in designated hotels, increasing testing frequency and only allowing more experienced medical staff to take samples.The new measures were announced on Thursday night in response to the recent community detection of cases involving mutated strains …
 
In the second of two episodes looking at the results of the May 6 elections, Stephen, Anoosh and Ailbhe are joined by Chris Deerin to dissect the consequences of the results in Scotland. In You Ask Us, they're joined by polling expert Ben Walker to discuss the wider picture of the local votes around the UK. In the first part of this double episode,…
 
As the dust settles on Keir Starmer's mystifying reshuffle of the Labour party following the local elections, Stephen, Anoosh and Ailbhe discuss what it all means. In an extended 'You Ask Us' they take on as many listener questions as possible from the deluge the New Statesman received in the wake of the election results. This is part one of a two-…
 
As the UK heads to the polls on 'Super Thursday', Anoosh, Stephen and Ailbhe discuss the things they are most interested to learn from this wide-ranging vote. Then, in You Ask Us, they take your questions on whether Labour are setting out a positive view of their plans for the UK. If you'd like to submit a question for You Ask Us, please email podc…
 
Anoosh, Stephen and Ailbhe are joined by data journalist Ben Van De Merwe to discuss the New Statesman's exclusive research showing how many years of life the UK has lost to Covid-19. Ailbhe is in Hartlepool where she's been following candidates on the campaign trail in a decidedly 'un-electiony' election. And You Ask Us, who will replace Arlene Fo…
 
Chris Deerin's guest this week is Kate Forbes, SNP Cabinet Secretary for Finance and young star of the independence movement. She responds to the Institute of Fiscal Studies report which claims the manifestos for the May 6th Scottish Parliamentary elections are united by a "lack of credibility". Also, New Statesman polling analyst Ben Walker joins …
 
Stephen Bush, Anoosh Chakelian and Ailbhe Rea address the ongoing public war of words between Boris Johnson and former advisor Dominic Cummings. They discuss allegations (which Number 10 have denied) that the Prime Minister said he'd rather let "bodies pile high in their thousands" than go into a third national lockdown - and why questions over who…
 
Can Labour make lasting political capital from Boris Johnson's texts with James Dyson? Stephen Bush and Ailbhe Rea discuss the fallout of leaked texts from the Prime Minister's phone, and whether it is an effective opposition attack line. Then, in You Ask Us, they take your questions on whether we're heading for a poll on a united Ireland. To submi…
 
Chris Deerin, the New Statesman's Scotland editor, hosts a special edition of the New Statesman podcast. In this episode Chris is joined by Ricky Ross and Darren McGarvey, both musicians and activists for the case of Scottish independence, to discuss the state of the independence movement and why so many artists seem to be in favour of a second ref…
 
The announcement that 12 European football clubs intend to form a 'super league' occupied the top of the news agenda for most of the day on Monday. Why does football - a game designed for entertainment, predominantly followed by men - occupy such a significant place in Britain's public discourse? In this episode of the New Statesman podcast, Stephe…
 
The lobbying scandal rumbles on, enveloping senior civil servants as well as MPs - and Labour are determined to make this a story about 'Tory sleaze'. In this episode Stephen Bush, Anoosh Chakelian and Ailbhe Rea discuss whether public outrage over the story is at a tipping point, and what damage it might do to the Conservative establishment. Then,…
 
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