October 21st, 2016
Episode 860 of 1091 episodes
Canada has criticised the European Union after last minute talks on the CETA free trade deal collapsed, because Brussels failed to convince the Wallonia region of Belgium to give the agreement a green light. Wallonia's reluctance has prevented Belgium from signing up and the deal cannot proceed unless all 28 EU member countries consent. We hear about the merits of the transatlantic free trade deal and the basis of the objections to it, from Piter Kleppe, the head of the Brussels Office for the Open Europe Think Tank. British American Tobacco has unveiled a $47 billion takeover for its American counterpart Reynolds. If the deal goes ahead the marriage of the two would create the world's biggest tobacco company, with cigarette brands like Camel, Lucky Strike and Dunhill. Professor Nigel Driffield, from Warwick Business School in the UK, gives us his analysis of the internationalisation of big tobacco. The authorities in Venezuela have used the courts to block attempts to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office. Senior political opponents have been ordered by judges not to leave the country. They had been finalising a plan to collect millions of signatures from voters to use the constitution to oust the president. It comes as Venezuela is suffering an economic crisis, with rampant inflation and shortages of food. Hanner Dreier, from the Associated Press in Caracas, tells us more about the turmoil in Venezuela. It has been another busy week for the BBC's Business News Team keeping you up to date on developments like the fallout from the US Presidential Debate, China's growing consumer debts and the possibility that artificial intelligence could either be the best or the worst thing to happen to humanity. We reflect on the week with Jason Abruzzese, from Mashable in New York and Darren Lazarus at the Wall Street Journal in London. (Picture: Protests against the planned EU CETA trade deal with Canada outside the Walloon in Namur, Belgium. Copyright AFP/Getty)
Welcome to the Brain Training Podcast, the daily audio workout for your head. In this podcast we have two games for you, each with three rounds which get progressively harder. To enjoy the full experience, relax, and avoid distractions whilst you listen.