The Week Unwrapped: Korean succession, terror by algorithm and German disquiet

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days. With Sorcha Bradley, Jamie Timson and Arion McNicoll.

You can subscribe to The Week Unwrapped wherever you get your podcasts:

  • Spotify 
  • Apple Podcasts
  • Global Player 

In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Kim Jong Un’s daughter

Is the future female in North Korea? Since the country’s foundation in 1948, the secretive authoritarian state has been ruled by three – all-male – generations of the Kim family. But North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has recently appeared at several official military events with his young daughter by his side. It has prompted speculation from Western media that Kim Ju Ae, thought to be around ten years old, is being primed to take over one day. But is all the speculation just a distraction from deeper issues in the country?

Algorithms in court

This week saw two cases at the US Supreme Court that could irreparably change the internet as we know it. They concern Section 230, US legislation that removes a website’s liability for potentially harmful posts created by other people. Now though victims of ISIS claim that the social media platforms and their advanced algorithms aren’t doing enough to protect vulnerable people. But should Facebook, Twitter and Google be liable? And if regulation is the answer, who decides what that looks like and how it happens?

Disquiet on the German front

The standout success at the Baftas this week was All Quiet On The Western Front, a film also tipped for Oscars glory. But German critics have been increasingly vocal in their dislike for the adaptation. Their objections are two-fold: that it is historically inaccurate and that it diverges too far from Erich Maria Remarque’s novel. Are they right to call for a more faithful treatment of either the reality of the First World War or the fictional source material? Or, after a century of war and peace, should the film be judged afresh on its own merits.



Sounds of the city: should urban dwellers expect noise?


Cormac McCarthy obituary: a novelist of the ‘apocalyptic sublime’


How to get a bursary at an independent school


Neurotechnology: how does new mind-reading technology work?