'On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love sent to me a partridge in a pear tree ...' along with French hens, swans a-laying, lords a-leaping and a sackful of other online orders to put the logistics of Yuletide to the test. Andrew Hill's Christmas carol for delivery services everywhere
Serial, the hit podcast in which journalist Sarah Koenig investigated the conviction of Adnan Syed for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, has concluded its first series. It has been the most successful podcast ever, but it has also raised a lot of questions about journalism ethics, the role of social media in sensitive stories, and the future of the podcast form. After listening to the final episode, Sarah Gordon, the FT's business editor; Helen Warrell, FT public policy correspondent; Sarah O'Connor, employment correspondent, and Shannon Bond, US media and marketing correspondent, react to the questions left unanswered by the innovative series.
Richard Mullender is a former hostage negotiator for the UK Metropolitan Police. Listening has been key to his work, he says, and is an under appreciated skill. Today, he teaches it to business executives. He tells Emma Jacobs people need to stop asking questions and listen more to what's being said.
Manj Weerasekera is an executive coach in London. During the course of his work, he met many businessmen who would reveal that they were having relationship problems. A happily divorced man himself, he thought they needed a helping hand and now he says 40 per cent of his work is dedicated to guiding divorced men towards their ideal partner. He tells Emma Jacobs his story.
Without global action, drug-resistant infections will cause 10m deaths a year worldwide by 2050 and cost at least $100tn during the next 35 years, according to the first economic analysis of the problem. Clive Cookson, FT Science Editor, spoke to Jim O'Neill, former Goldman Sachs economist and author of the review, about its findings.
Europe's mainstream parties are facing a growing challenge from rightwing anti-immigration parties like the Front National in France and Ukip in Britain. But in Spain, the two parties that have ruled the country for decades have been unsettled by an upstart from the left. Podemos, which translates as “We Can” has managed in the space of 10 months to become one of the most popular political movements in the country. Fiona Symon talks to Tobias Buck about the rapid rise of the anti-establishment party.
Thousands of foreign fighters have flocked to Syria to help create an austere Islamic state harking back to the past. But as Erika Solomon, FT correspondent in Beirut, found out, they have retained their taste for modern-day snacks and gadgets. She spoke to Fiona Symon about what she discovered.
In his final autumn statement before the general election next year, Britain's Chancellor George Osborne offered a reform of the tax on house purchases and pledged to crack down further on corporate tax avoidance. However headlines have since focused on his admission that borrowing will be higher than forecast, and on dire predictions that public spending will fall to levels not seen since the 1930s if the Conservatives are re-elected. Michael Stott, UK news editor, discusses the politics of the statement with George Parker, political editor.
Some senior bank managers have been reported to be on the point of resignation because of the onerous nature of the new regulatory structure that is set to be imposed on the industry. Patrick Jenkins discusses the new rules and the objections to them with Anthony Brown, chief executive of the British Bankers Association.
Nigerian Islamist extremists have carried out a series of increasingly bold attacks against towns and villages in the north east of the country, which the government security forces have seemed powerless to prevent. Fiona Symon talked to William Wallis in Lagos about the seemingly unstoppable rise of Boko Haram
Qatar has been under pressure from fellow Arab Gulf states over its alleged support for Egypt's opposition Muslim Brotherhood, but according to Bahrain's foreign minister, it has now agreed to back the Egyptian government and curb the critical output of Al Jazeera - the TV network that once revolutionised the region's media with its fiercely independent voice. Simeon Kerr spoke to Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa about the deal.
Zimbabwe’s veteran president Robert Mugabe has tightened his vice-like grip on power as his ruling Zanu-PF party gears up for a critical conference next week. His vice-president Joice Mujuru has been sidelined amid allegations that she was plotting against him, and the party has amended its constitution to give him sole power to appoint a deputy - or de facto heir apparent. Many people think he is lining up his wife Grace for the role. Fiona Symon spoke to Andrew England about the country's murky politics.
The first Ebola vaccine to be tested on humans, developed by GlaxoSmithKline and the US National Institutes of Health, has shown promising results in early trials, paving the way for it to be tested on healthcare workers in west Africa in the new year. Fiona Symon spoke to Andrew Ward about the potential of the vaccine to address the Ebola crisis
Iraqi forces have begun to challenge the control of Islamist militants over parts of the Sunni province of Anbar west of the capital Baghdad. Fiona Symon talks to Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent, about the new tactics being deployed by Iraqi forces in their battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Russian and Saudi Arabian telecoms companies have been targetted by a sophisticated cyber snooping operation reminiscent of the Stuxnet worm that was developed by US and Israeli government hackers to target Iran. Fiona Symon talks to Sam Jones and Hannah Kuchler how the operation - known as the Regin malware - came to light and who is thought to be behind it.
Apple is once again preparing to shake up the way people listen to music. After almost single-handedly creating the legal download market a decade ago, the company is now planning to bundle Beats music, a monthly subscription, into its iOS operating system. About 500m people own apple iPhones and iPads - so this has big implications for the music business. Robert Cookson talks to Matthew Garrahan about what this means for competitors like Spotify.
Britain is at the midway point in an austerity programme intended to bring down the deficit. However, as the FT pointed out in a series of articles recently, the cuts to come are set to be worse than those imposed so far and politicians have not been forthcoming about the pain that lies ahead or the choices the electorate faces. Readers put their questions about the series to FT Economics Editor Chris Giles
Iraqi forces have taken near full control of the Baiji oil refinery north of the capital Baghdad. This is being claimed as a milestone in the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Fiona Symon discusses the development with Borzou Daragahi, FT Middle East correspondent
Patrick Jenkins talks to Marshall Bailey, president of the ACI, which represents the foreign exchange industry, about how best to reform the industry in the wake of the recent trading scandal and the record settlement reached by big banks last week.
Podcasts are undergoing a renaissance as millions download or stream audio recordings on their iPhones or through built-in apps in their cars. Robert Cookson talks to Shannon Bond about an industry that is starting to pull in serious money from advertisers and investors.
The landing of a European space probe on a comet 500m km away has caught the world's imagination. Philae, launched from the Rosetta satellite, is sitting on the head of the comet - its scientific instruments are working, but it is not properly anchored. Clive Cookson, FT science editor, asked space scientist Ken Pounds what the project may reveal about the history of the solar system.
Britain's nine-year programme to cut its budget deficit has reached the midway mark. The results have been surprising: economic growth has returned, foreign investment is strong and employment is reaching record levels, but progress has been slower than expected and it seems the toughest part still lies ahead. Michael Stott is joined by Chris Giles and Jim Pickard to discuss the political implications.
Chris Giles will answer questions about the cuts in a follow-up podcast next week. To take part, email firstname.lastname@example.org
An audio recording this week has raised fears that the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant has a growing presence in the Arab world's most populous country. Fiona Symon spoke to Borzou Daragahi about the implications for Egypt and the region.
Guo Guangchang may be the most powerful Chinese businessman most westerners have never heard of. He co-founded China’s largest private conglomerate, the Fosun Group, which is bidding for control of Club Med, the French holiday chain, and may soon be buying a famous brand near you. Patti Waldmeir spoke to him over a vegetarian lunch in Shanghai about his philosophy of life and about getting rich in China.
Big celebrations in Germany this weekend will mark the moment the cold war ended 25 years ago when the Berlin Wall, symbol of the iron curtain, fell. Quentin Peel and Stefan Wagstyl discuss what the anniversary means for Germany and its European partners.
The latest UN report on global warming found that the risk of runaway climate change can be prevented without seriously denting global economic growth. But it also warned that without deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, the frequency of climate-related disasters will rise. Fiona Symon discusses this, and the findings of another report warning about the depletion of groundwater resources, with Pilita Clark, FT environment correspondent.
Libya has had two rival governments since a militia group from the western city of Misrata seized the capital from the elected government in August, forcing it to relocate to the east of the country. Unless the two sides can resolve their differences, the country risks falling into the hands of pro-Isis forces. Fiona Symon spoke to Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent, about the conflict in the oil rich north African state.
Dilma Rousseff's re-election as president of Brazil this week prompted a currency and stock market sell off, giving a foretaste of the battle she faces to deliver the improvements to Brazilians’ living standards that her voters expect. Fiona Symon spoke to Joe Leahy, São Paulo correspondent, about the economic challenges she faces.
A Hungarian plan to impose the world's first internet tax has brought thousands onto the streets in protest. It has also drawn criticism from the European Commission, which said Viktor Orban's government should not be allowed to set a precedent with the proposed tax. Fiona Symon discusses the tax with Andrew Byrne, Budapest correspondent.
Ukrainian parties that back closer ties with Europe have began talks on forming a coalition after winning the majority of seats in the country’s elections. It is a political victory for the west in its dispute with Russia over the future of Ukraine. But this is overshadowed by economic and security worries as the conflict in the breakaway Donetsk region continues. Neil Buckley, East Europe editor, talks to Fiona Symon about the challenges Ukraine’s new government will face.
Tunisia was the first Arab country to throw off dictatorship during the Arab Spring of 2011 and it is the only one where the democratic revolution has lasted. But a weak economy has left many Tunisians disillusioned. On Sunday, they vote to choose a new parliament and Nahda, an Islamist party, is ahead in the polls, along with Nida Tunis, a secular party. Heba Saleh, who is in Tunis to cover the elections, spoke to Sayed Ferjani, one of Nahda’s leaders, about his party’s political hopes.
The Swedish military is on high alert and has been conducting a large search operation after reports that a submarine - possibly Russian - surfaced off the coast of Stockholm. Moscow has denied that the submarine is Russian, but it comes amid growing worries in the Baltics about Russia’s potentially hostile intentions. Fiona Symon spoke to Richard Milne, Nordic and Baltic correspondent, about the incident.
This week, fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis, have suffered reverses in their battle to capture the Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobani, but the jihadi organisation has made gains in battles elsewhere in Syria and Iraq. Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent, tells Fiona Symon about the latest developments
This week, UK broadcasters announced plans for televised election debates between the leaders of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, plus Ukip's Nigel Farage - but there was apparently no room for Green party leader Natalie Bennett. In an interview with the FT's Barney Thompson, Ms Bennett explained why the Greens deserve to be heard in the TV debates.
Professor Jean Tirole of the Toulouse School of Economics, who won the Nobel economics prize this year for his insights into market dominance, talks to Ferdinando Giugliano about his views on the evolution of regulation and whether economics has become excessively mathematical
The World Health Organisation has said it expects the Ebola epidemic in west Africa to peak by early December, before international action reverses the upward trend. Fiona Symon asked Clive Cookson, Science correspondent, about the findings
Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis, have been stepping up their attacks on two main fronts, the strategically important Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobani, and in the Iraqi province of Anbar to the west of the capital Baghdad. Fiona Symon spoke to Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent, about efforts to curb their advance
Frank Abagnale is a brilliant storyteller. But his story is more interesting than most. As a runaway teenager turned confidence trickster he swindled millions of dollars from banks and travelled free on airlines all round the world before serving time in prisons in France, Sweden and the US. His tale was immortalised in Steven Spielberg's film, Catch me if you Can. But for 38 years, he has been on the straight and narrow - offering his services free to the FBI and helping to combat fraud. Emma Jacobs spoke to him about how he turned his life around.
Britain's ruling Conservative party is under pressure from a rightwing rival the UK independence party, which wants the UK to leave the European Union and to curb immigration, but Ukip is challenging the leftwing Labour party in an election in Labour's heartland of Greater Manchester. Andrew Bounds has been covering the campaign and spoke to representatives of the two main rival parties
US-led air strikes in Syria have intensified in bid to prevent forces from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - known as Isis - from taking over a Syrian-Turkish border town inhabited mainly by Kurds. Turkey has been reluctant to offer military assistance but is under increasing pressure to do so. Fiona Symon asked Daniel Dombey, FT correspondent in Ankara, to explain the Turkish government’s position.
A UK government commission looking into the best way to improve Britain’s airport capacity will report its findings next year. In the run-up to the decision, the UK’s main operators have been lobbying for the commision to back their expansion plans. Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group, tells Andy Bounds that the UK does not need a hub airport and that he favours a ‘dispersed’ model to meet the country’s airport needs.
With a UK general election only eight months away, the main political parties were keen to come up with a winning formula at their party conferences. James Blitz is joined by Michael Stott and Kiran Stacey to discuss how well they did.
India’s prime minister has grabbed the headlines with high profile meetings with leaders of the US, Japan and China, and announcing a successful satellite mission to Mars. Many see him as the best hope India has had for years to transform the country into an industrial power. Victor Mallet, South Asia bureau chief, talks to Fiona Symon about Mr Modi's ambitions and the things that stand in his way.