1 May 2020

America's 'chronic ills' and bushfire broadcasting: What we're reading

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Is America a failed state? What's it like to live for weeks surrounded by bushfires? Are the world's philanthropists giving enough away?

These are some of the questions — and stories — that caught our attention this week.

We are living in a failed state

George Packer / The Atlantic

When COVID-19 arrived in the United States, Packer writes, it found a country already riddled with "chronic ills", including "a corrupt political class, a sclerotic bureaucracy, a heartless economy, a divided and distracted public."

__Warren Buffett and the Gateses: 200-plus billionaires and 10 years later, is the Giving Pledge a success?

Sam Hill / Newsweek

Ten years ago, some very rich people made a promise to give the majority of their wealth away. Is it happening?

Forget-me-not postcard from the embers

Tessa Akerman / The Australian

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia has launched a fantastic new podcast that shares the experiences of the communities affected by the recent bushfires. The series is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.

Khashoggi fiancée: stop Saudi takeover of Newcastle United or be complicit

Stephanie Kirchgaessner / The Guardian

Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has called on the Premier League to scupper Saudi Arabia's plans to buy Newcastle United, saying the deal would tarnish English football and make it complicit in the "cover-up".

Coronavirus: how will China’s role in the global economy change when faced with pandemic backlash

Zhou Xin / South China Morning Post

"Whether China can maintain its position in the global economy or ends up isolated after the pandemic is brought under control, will be one the most important questions post-crisis."

Image CC-Licensed by Unsplash via Martin Sanchez.