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A random story from the archives

Furore as the EU scraps the mandatory retirement age as anachronistic and unaffordable
Dateline: 7 December 2010
The European Union debate over Europe’s pension deficit and the mandatory retirement age has been one of the fiercest in its history. Last night, insults were exchanged across the floor amidst a chaotic scene at the EU Parliament in Brussels, as mem-bers debated the scrapping of the mandatory retirement age. The bill was narrowly passed....

Older stories

Air Force None
Combat drones take over from fighter pilots
Dateline: 12 May 2029
It’s the end of an era; the end of daredevil fighter jocks, who could outmanoeuver and outshoot enemy planes in heroic dogfights, and wreak havoc on their targets. The end of pilots with the ‘right stuff’. They’ve been made redundant by technology. Artificial intelligence, missiles, and drones are the new face of the Air Force....
Digital yuan decimates offshore deposits
Smart logistics breeds trusted trading
Dateline: 8 May 2029
For the past 10 years, China has been reinventing the financial side of global trade, using smart logistics to automate shipping contracts, and digital cash for settlement. As early as 2019, the People’s Bank of China had been testing a digital yuan, using Ant Financial’s mobile payments platform. By 2022 they were ready to roll...
Desperately seeking a new hobgoblin
The dark side of defeating Covid
Dateline: 1 May 2023
On the first official day of spring in the global north, we’re looking forward to a glorious summer – a summer without Covid deaths, for the first time in years. That dread disease has been defeated by biotech innovation and public health programs, and is now on the wane, worldwide. Infections are falling fast, and...
SpaceX reinvents airfreight
Starlifters will ship your cargo from Shanghai to New York in 60 minutes
Dateline: 23 April 2028
You can’t blame Elon Musk for having a big fat grin on his face. He’s taken on the aviation and shipping giants, like Boeing, FedEx and DHL, and he’s winning. But instead of using Jumbo Jets, he’s got a fleet of Starships. As the pioneer of reusable orbital rockets, SpaceX has been launching satellites and...
Globalization is dead
Welcome to the new Cold War
Dateline: 16 April 2026
The last five years have seen a roller coaster ride to a new growth spurt on world markets, following the 2020 coronavirus crash. The boom-bust-boom cycle has been characterized by supply chain disruptions and both shortages and surpluses of critical components and products – from vaccines to silicon chips to rubber tires. On the other...
Please get richer, Jeff Bezos
The world needs more value and growth
Dateline: 9 April 2025
Once again, Jeff Bezos is top of the Forbes World’s Billionaires list, just as he was four years ago in 2021. Jeff founded Amazon. Jeff got rich (it wasn’t quick). Now we need him to become even richer, and quickly. The world needs it; we need the value he creates, and the growth he enables....
Suez Canal closed forever
Egypt decries lost money-spinner
Dateline: 1 April 2037
It sounds like an April Fool’s joke, but it’s true – after 160 years of easing world shipping routes, the Suez waterway will be closed for container shipping. There’s just not enough demand to warrant the enormous expense of keeping the route open and operating. The abrupt turnaround has caught owners of megaships by surprise,...
Around the world in 80 seconds
Big Tesla is watching us drive
Dateline: 27 March 2023
The global Tesla fleet travels over 60,000km per minute, on average. That’s about 1.5 times around the world. Every minute of every day, on average. So it’s more like ‘round the world in 40 seconds. And as we all know, every Tesla is packed with cameras, and enough artificial intelligence to make race car drivers...
You can’t spell alive without AI
Being a modern human means depending on smart systems
Dateline: 19 March 2027
When you’re evolved and you know it, be grateful. You’re alive, you’re healthy, you’re – hopefully – wealthy. Well, at least not poor. Compared to our ancestors and long-gone relatives, we’re pretty well off. We’ve conquered famine, disease and (almost) war. Life has never been so good for so many, worldwide. Sure, we’ve got social...
Bitcoin batteries power the energy internet
Turning curtailed energy into cash the easy way
Dateline: 15 March 2023
Everybody knows that solar power is the most efficient way to generate electricity – and the most affordable. But how do you balance surplus solar with peak demand at night, when the sun isn’t shining? You need storage solutions, and that’s the problem. Energy storage is costly and inefficient. Even the latest battery packs have...