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The Signal

ABC

88
Followers
1.6K
Plays
The Signal

The Signal

ABC

88
Followers
1.6K
Plays
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About Us

The Signal is the ABC's daily news podcast that helps cut through the noise to cover the biggest stories, explaining not only what is happening but why. It's an entertaining 15-minute show, perfect for the daily commute.

Latest Episodes

COVID-19's mysterious origins

You probably think the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic are broadly clear cut. The virus originated in a live animal and seafood market, in a big central Chinese city called Wuhan, and jumped from bats to humans, possibly via a pangolin, in December 2019. Early data seemed to support that theory, but research emerging now is calling some details into question. There's even a preprint of a study from Spain that suggests COVID-19 was present in wastewater there eight months before the first cases were reported in China. So how is that even possible? And what other things do we still not know? Today on The Signal we ask whether piecing together a clearer picture of where COVID-19 came from could help us defeat it. Featured: Raina MacIntyre, Professor of Global Biosecurity, University of New South Wales, Sydney

12 MIN1 d ago
Comments
COVID-19's mysterious origins

Why would Australia ban TikTok?

TikTok's reputation is changing. It used to be known as a Gen Z haunt and lip sync repository, but now there's growing anxiety about its links to the Chinese Government. India has gone so far as to ban the social media app, and the same option is being discussed in Australia and the US, among other countries. So what's motivating the concerns about TikTok's links to China? How is the company answering back? And would Australia really ban it? Featured: Ariel Bogle, Technology Reporter, ABC Science Unit

18 MIN2 d ago
Comments
Why would Australia ban TikTok?

How border closures failed in 1919

100 years ago, when we were up against the Spanish Flu, Australia failed to contain the pandemic, and the weak spot was the border between Victoria and New South Wales. After that, the disease spread throughout the country, infecting hundreds of thousands and killing at least 15,000 people. The parallels to 2020 are striking. So will Australia’s containment measures succeed where they failed a century ago? Featured: Dr Peter Hobbins, Principal historian, Artefact Heritage Services and Honorary Affiliate, Department of History, University of Sydney

18 MIN3 d ago
Comments
How border closures failed in 1919

Is the Arctic too far gone?

On the eve of the northern hemisphere summer solstice last month, a Siberian town inside the Arctic circle, cracked 38 degrees Celsius for the first time. It’s a point scientists didn't think we’d reach so soon, but here we are. The current Arctic heatwave is not just a product of climate change. It’s also an accelerant for it. So has the warming in the Arctic passed a point of no return? Featured: Profession Will Steffen, Climate Council of Australia

14 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Is the Arctic too far gone?

Are all lockdowns equal?

It's Australia's harshest COVID-19 lockdown yet. This morning, 3,000 people living in 1,345 units across nine public housing towers in inner Melbourne are starting their second day locked down inside. They can't leave for food, essential work, or even to stretch their legs. So why are these people being forced to follow tougher rules than everyone else? Today on The Signal, we ask why the nine towers have been targeted in particular, and look at how the pandemic is revealing some uncomfortable truths about housing and inequality in Australia. Featured: Rebecca Bentley, Professor of Social Epidemiology, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

15 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Are all lockdowns equal?

Why Hong Kongers take the risk

China's new National Security Law that Hong Kongers were dreading didn't keep them from protesting this week. Thousands turned out, and hundreds were arrested. The risks they're taking are greater than ever: not only is there an ongoing pandemic, but protesters face life in prison if they're arrested and convicted of any of a suite of new offences that were created on Tuesday. So why do they keep showing up, even when they feel no hope? Today on The Signal, we speak to three women from the pro-democracy movement, to try to understand what drives them to keep taking the risk. Featured: 'Jas', Hong Kong pro-democracy protester 'P', Hong Kong pro-democracy protester 'Hannah', Hong Kong pro-democracy protester

20 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Why Hong Kongers take the risk

Surviving a poor, dangerous, disorderly world

Australia is stocking up on weapons to protect itself against an increasingly "poor" and "disorderly" world. To that end, Scott Morrison wants to spend $270 billion on defence over the next decade. The shopping list includes long-range missiles, satellites and under-sea sensors, and the clear subtext is that we might need those things to protect ourselves from China. So how much danger are we actually in? And will the new defence budget keep us safe? Today on The Signal, we're glimpsing the Government's vision of the hostile new world that's likely to surround us in years to come, as well as its blueprint for a more aggressive Australia to meet it. Featured: Ashley Townshend, Director, Foreign Policy and Defence, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney

16 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Surviving a poor, dangerous, disorderly world

Victoria's backslide into lockdown

Millions of Victorians are adjusting to news of their second COVID-19 lockdown. Ten postcodes covering 35 suburbs will effectively wind back the clock by months in the fight against the virus, as the state struggles to contain a spike in cases. So how did Victoria find itself in this position? And are the new measures enough to get the situation back under control? Featured: Tony Blakely, Professorial Fellow in Epidemiology, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

14 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Victoria's backslide into lockdown

How the West looks from China

Australia's relationship with China at the moment is toxic and dangerous, and Chinese state media isn't helping. Yesterday, under the headline "Australia wages espionage offensive against China", the Chinese Communist Party tabloid Global Times accused Australia of trying to bug the Chinese embassy in Canberra, citing one anonymous source. It also suggested that Australian spies had been caught "red-handed" with a compass, a USB drive, and a paper map of Shanghai, and said Australia had been planting fake stories about China in western media. It all seems pretty strange, and some of the basic details are wrong. So why do stories like this find a receptive audience within China? Today on The Signal, there's a version of 20th century history you've probably never heard, but that every Chinese citizen learns in school. It's feeding into pretty much every dispute China has with the West in 2020, whether it's to do with Hong Kong, espionage or COVID-19. So how do Australia and the West l...

17 MIN1 w ago
Comments
How the West looks from China

America's war on its health officials

America just had one of its worst ever weekends in the fight against COVID-19. In a terrible new milestone, the country is now recording more than 40,000 new cases each day, and states including Florida and Texas are reversing plans to reopen their economies. But as the virus spreads, health officials working to protect the community are being targeted. Some have been stalked, others abused or threatened with violence, and dozens have gone into hiding or quit their jobs altogether. Today on The Signal, we ask why so many Americans are taking their fury out on the medical professionals trying to help them. Featured: Dr Marcus Plescia, Chief Medical Officer, US Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

16 MIN1 w ago
Comments
America's war on its health officials

Latest Episodes

COVID-19's mysterious origins

You probably think the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic are broadly clear cut. The virus originated in a live animal and seafood market, in a big central Chinese city called Wuhan, and jumped from bats to humans, possibly via a pangolin, in December 2019. Early data seemed to support that theory, but research emerging now is calling some details into question. There's even a preprint of a study from Spain that suggests COVID-19 was present in wastewater there eight months before the first cases were reported in China. So how is that even possible? And what other things do we still not know? Today on The Signal we ask whether piecing together a clearer picture of where COVID-19 came from could help us defeat it. Featured: Raina MacIntyre, Professor of Global Biosecurity, University of New South Wales, Sydney

12 MIN1 d ago
Comments
COVID-19's mysterious origins

Why would Australia ban TikTok?

TikTok's reputation is changing. It used to be known as a Gen Z haunt and lip sync repository, but now there's growing anxiety about its links to the Chinese Government. India has gone so far as to ban the social media app, and the same option is being discussed in Australia and the US, among other countries. So what's motivating the concerns about TikTok's links to China? How is the company answering back? And would Australia really ban it? Featured: Ariel Bogle, Technology Reporter, ABC Science Unit

18 MIN2 d ago
Comments
Why would Australia ban TikTok?

How border closures failed in 1919

100 years ago, when we were up against the Spanish Flu, Australia failed to contain the pandemic, and the weak spot was the border between Victoria and New South Wales. After that, the disease spread throughout the country, infecting hundreds of thousands and killing at least 15,000 people. The parallels to 2020 are striking. So will Australia’s containment measures succeed where they failed a century ago? Featured: Dr Peter Hobbins, Principal historian, Artefact Heritage Services and Honorary Affiliate, Department of History, University of Sydney

18 MIN3 d ago
Comments
How border closures failed in 1919

Is the Arctic too far gone?

On the eve of the northern hemisphere summer solstice last month, a Siberian town inside the Arctic circle, cracked 38 degrees Celsius for the first time. It’s a point scientists didn't think we’d reach so soon, but here we are. The current Arctic heatwave is not just a product of climate change. It’s also an accelerant for it. So has the warming in the Arctic passed a point of no return? Featured: Profession Will Steffen, Climate Council of Australia

14 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Is the Arctic too far gone?

Are all lockdowns equal?

It's Australia's harshest COVID-19 lockdown yet. This morning, 3,000 people living in 1,345 units across nine public housing towers in inner Melbourne are starting their second day locked down inside. They can't leave for food, essential work, or even to stretch their legs. So why are these people being forced to follow tougher rules than everyone else? Today on The Signal, we ask why the nine towers have been targeted in particular, and look at how the pandemic is revealing some uncomfortable truths about housing and inequality in Australia. Featured: Rebecca Bentley, Professor of Social Epidemiology, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

15 MIN5 d ago
Comments
Are all lockdowns equal?

Why Hong Kongers take the risk

China's new National Security Law that Hong Kongers were dreading didn't keep them from protesting this week. Thousands turned out, and hundreds were arrested. The risks they're taking are greater than ever: not only is there an ongoing pandemic, but protesters face life in prison if they're arrested and convicted of any of a suite of new offences that were created on Tuesday. So why do they keep showing up, even when they feel no hope? Today on The Signal, we speak to three women from the pro-democracy movement, to try to understand what drives them to keep taking the risk. Featured: 'Jas', Hong Kong pro-democracy protester 'P', Hong Kong pro-democracy protester 'Hannah', Hong Kong pro-democracy protester

20 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Why Hong Kongers take the risk

Surviving a poor, dangerous, disorderly world

Australia is stocking up on weapons to protect itself against an increasingly "poor" and "disorderly" world. To that end, Scott Morrison wants to spend $270 billion on defence over the next decade. The shopping list includes long-range missiles, satellites and under-sea sensors, and the clear subtext is that we might need those things to protect ourselves from China. So how much danger are we actually in? And will the new defence budget keep us safe? Today on The Signal, we're glimpsing the Government's vision of the hostile new world that's likely to surround us in years to come, as well as its blueprint for a more aggressive Australia to meet it. Featured: Ashley Townshend, Director, Foreign Policy and Defence, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney

16 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Surviving a poor, dangerous, disorderly world

Victoria's backslide into lockdown

Millions of Victorians are adjusting to news of their second COVID-19 lockdown. Ten postcodes covering 35 suburbs will effectively wind back the clock by months in the fight against the virus, as the state struggles to contain a spike in cases. So how did Victoria find itself in this position? And are the new measures enough to get the situation back under control? Featured: Tony Blakely, Professorial Fellow in Epidemiology, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

14 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Victoria's backslide into lockdown

How the West looks from China

Australia's relationship with China at the moment is toxic and dangerous, and Chinese state media isn't helping. Yesterday, under the headline "Australia wages espionage offensive against China", the Chinese Communist Party tabloid Global Times accused Australia of trying to bug the Chinese embassy in Canberra, citing one anonymous source. It also suggested that Australian spies had been caught "red-handed" with a compass, a USB drive, and a paper map of Shanghai, and said Australia had been planting fake stories about China in western media. It all seems pretty strange, and some of the basic details are wrong. So why do stories like this find a receptive audience within China? Today on The Signal, there's a version of 20th century history you've probably never heard, but that every Chinese citizen learns in school. It's feeding into pretty much every dispute China has with the West in 2020, whether it's to do with Hong Kong, espionage or COVID-19. So how do Australia and the West l...

17 MIN1 w ago
Comments
How the West looks from China

America's war on its health officials

America just had one of its worst ever weekends in the fight against COVID-19. In a terrible new milestone, the country is now recording more than 40,000 new cases each day, and states including Florida and Texas are reversing plans to reopen their economies. But as the virus spreads, health officials working to protect the community are being targeted. Some have been stalked, others abused or threatened with violence, and dozens have gone into hiding or quit their jobs altogether. Today on The Signal, we ask why so many Americans are taking their fury out on the medical professionals trying to help them. Featured: Dr Marcus Plescia, Chief Medical Officer, US Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

16 MIN1 w ago
Comments
America's war on its health officials

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