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Business Matters


Global business news, with live guests and contributions from Asia and the USA.

Global business news, with live guests and contributions from Asia and the USA.


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Global business news, with live guests and contributions from Asia and the USA.




Japan imposes further covid restrictions

A surge of Covid cases in parts of Asia has brought new restrictions on businesses - we speak with an expert epidemiologist in India to look at how it is spreading in the region. A big fine for Amazon shows that the battle over data privacy is starting to get pricey, and we'll hear from one of the most high profile women on Wall Street about her fears that women are being financially left behind by the pandemic. We discuss all this with Sharon Brettkelly - presenter of the Detail podcast for...


President Biden announces vaccine requirement for US federal workers

President Biden has announced federal employees will be required to get a Covid vaccine or submit to regular testing in order to work. The announcement comes as US economic growth for the second quarter brought the economy back to pre-pandemic levels. We'll hear from Cary Leahy of Decision Economics. Also in the programme, thirty years after the overthrow of President Siad Barre in Somalia, the country is still struggling to rebuild. We take a closer look at its prospects, and Professor...


Trillion dollar US plan voted on

President Biden welcomes Senate Republicans and Democrats coming together to agree a trillion dollar infrastructure package - Dr Iris Tien specialises in structural engineering and infrastructure at Georgia Tech University and tells us the benefits to US buildings and technology. The US’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, has given its outlook for the US economy after its latest policy meeting – although there is positive news for the economy, cheaper money in the form of low interest may...


Google owner posts record profits

Google owner Alphabet makes record financial successes – we hear from Sean Hollister at tech site The Verge about how the company made such an impressive post-pandemic recovery. The International Monetary Fund tells us about vaccine inequality in the world – Petya Koeva Brooks says there’s ‘no better investment’ than in reducing the gap. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has called for e-cigarettes to be regulated, warning that they are dangerous to health, and can lead children and...


Sales at luxury goods group LVMH up 84%

The world's biggest luxury brand made sales of $17 billion in the three months to June. Its sale for the first half of the year were also 11% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Julie Zerbo is the founder and editor of The Fashion Law website and tells us how LVMH has survived the pandemic. Also in the programme, Sweden and Germany are taking different approaches to encouraging Covid-19 vaccinations. Whilst Sweden is trialling a system to pay young people to encourage them to get vaccinated,...


Bangladesh imposes strict lockdown

Bangladesh has imposed strict lockdown measures after a spike in coronavirus infections. The BBC's Nagib Bahar in Dhaka explains the new restrictions. We also get reaction from Rubana Huq of Mohammadi Group, which makes clothing products including shirts and blouses, on the news that Bangladesh's garment factories will also have to close for the lockdown. China's president Xi Jinping has visited Tibet, the first official visit to the region by a Chinese leader in 30 years. Howard Zhang, head...


Major firms hit by global internet outage

Several popular websites were sent offline due to a problem connecting users, or a DNS error. Companies affected included AirBnB, McDonald's, HSBC and British Airways. We speak to Jason Crabtree, founder and CEO of cybersecurity company Qomplex, who explains what happened. More and more people in the UK are being notified - or 'pinged' - by a Covid tracing app that they should self-isolate, causing labour shortages for many industries and food shortages in supermarkets. The BBC's technology...


China faces extreme flooding

Zhengzhou, a central Chinese city, with 10,000,000 inhabitants has been paralysed by record-breaking floods and more rain in one day than it usually gets in a year. So how the climate crisis be tackled? We get analysis from Micheal Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University and the author of The New Climate War. Also in the programme, UNESCO has decided to strip Liverpool of World Heritage status, saying new developments resulted in a "serious...


India's coronavirus deaths could be in the millions

The Centre for Global Development claims that excess deaths in India are ten times higher than normal, meaning the death toll from coronavirus could be in the millions, rather than the official estimate of around 400,000. We hear from Arvind Subramanian, one of the study's authors; he's a former chief economic adviser to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. New York's attorney general has reached a $1.1bn settlement with a number of pharmaceutical firms over their alleged role in the...


US advises citizens against UK travel

In a blow to the UK's tourist and aviation industries, the CDC has advised US citizens against travel to the country. We hear more from travel expert, Simon Calder. In Germany, catastrophic flooding has left at least 160 people dead and more than 170 others missing; later this week, Angela Merkel is expected to roll out an emergency aid package for those affected. We hear from the BBC's Damien McGuinness in the village of Nuerburg. And we examine the causes of last month's collapse of...


World leaders pledge to tackle effects of the pandemic

The 21 leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation have met today (albeit virtually) to pledge urgent action to tackle the health and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Eric Martin of Bloomberg News in Washington DC gives us more context about what was discussed. China has launched the world's largest carbon trading market in a bid to curb emissions. The BBC's Andrew Walker explains how such schemes work, and we ask Sha Hua of the Wall Street Journal whether the new market is...


Merkel makes last visit as chancellor to White House

With catastrophic floods back home in Germany, Chancellor Merkel is in Washington - with a big agenda to get through with her host, Joe Biden - including climate change. We speak to Matthias Matthijs who teaches at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. Also in the programme, the Korean palm oil giant Korindo has been ejected from the world's leading green certification body, the Forest Stewardship Council, in the wake of a BBC investigation. We find out more...


EU unveils sweeping climate change plan

The European Union has announced a raft of climate change proposals aimed at pushing it towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. We chat to Dr Timothy Johnson, Professor of the Practice of Energy and the Environment at Duke University in the US. Meanwhile, Professor René Rojas from Binghamton University in upstate New York tells us about activists in Chile who are driving a campaign to have the national constitution redrafted by an equal number of women and men. Plus, the former...


Food and used car prices push US inflation to 5.4%

The annual rate of inflation is at its highest in the US since 2008, as the economy reopens after coronavirus lockdowns. We get analysis from Jason Furman, professor of the practice of economic policy at Harvard University and former adviser to the Obama Administration. We have an exclusive interview with former Nissan and Renault boss Carlos Ghosn. Now living in Lebanon, he describes how he fled Japan in November 2018 after being arrested over allegations he misused company funds. Also in...


Dozens arrested in Cuban anti-government protests

Thousands of people have joined the protests, which are taking place across the island - and are the largest demonstrations in decades. Dr Christopher Sabatini, senior fellow at independent policy institute Chatham House, tells us what this could mean for the future of Cuba's government. Also in the programme, we have an interview with Sundar Pichai, chief executive of search engine Google and its parent company Alphabet. Plus, ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games, there's controversy about a...


World's Youngest Country Turns 10

It's ten years since South Sudan won its independence -we look at why it's not achieved as much as it should have. The football transfer market is suffering as Covid continues to affect the game. Tournaments winding up this weekend in Europe and Latin America have had a very different commercial market to those previous. And we look at the latest technology in harvesting strawberries in England - ready for the huge surge in demand as the world-famous Wimbledon tennis tournament continues. We...


Fans largely barred from Tokyo Olympics

Imagine it, an Olympic games, without any spectators. The opening ceremony of the Olympics in Japan will take place on July 23rd and the games look as though they will essentially be a television event, which of course will have serious economic implications, but also make a huge impact on the athletes, as Andrew Zimbalist explains. UK oil firm Cairn Energy can seize Indian state assets following a French court ruling. It is part of a dispute with New Delhi over a $1.7bn award to Cairn by an...


Turmoil in Haiti after killing of President

As details are still emerging about the killing of Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse in the nation's capital, Port-au-Prince, Fritz Jean, the former governor of the Haitian central bank, founding member of the Haitian Stock Exchange and one-time interim Prime Minister of Haiti, joins the programme to discuss the mood in the country right now, and all the challenges keeping the Haitian economy in dire straits. Also in the programme, former US president Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against...


What next for Chinese tech apps?

China is trying to exert more control over Hong Kong - efforts which are making the tech giants of Silicon Valley nervous. The authorities are trying to crack down on what's become known as "doxxing" that’s revealing someone’s personal information without their permission - police officers in Hong Kong have been frequent targets of this during anti-government protests. Asia Internet Coalition, a group representing firms including Amazon, Facebook and Twitter, has written to the Hong Kong...


Most Covid rules set to end in England

Face masks will no longer be legally required and distancing rules will be scrapped at the final stage of England's Covid lockdown roadmap, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed. The rule of six inside private homes will be removed and work-from-home guidance abolished as 16 months of on-off restrictions on daily life end. But is it too soon? Chinese authorities have frozen several prominent apps that recently listed in New York. What is behind the dispute, which includes preventing...