The Week Unwrapped: Chinese protests, supersonic jets and university cheats

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Chinese homes

Economic data reported by China on Monday revealed was much weaker than expected, prompting its central bank to unexpectedly cut two key interest rates to try and shore up growth – the opposite problem to what we have in the West. Some of the worst figures came from the property market, which has been rocked by bankruptcies and, more recently, widespread mortgage strikes. Is this unusual outbreak of civil disobedience a sign of more trouble to come?

Supersonic travel

A return to supersonic air travel is a step closer after American Airlines announced that it will buy 20 Boom Overture aircraft, which will be capable of flying from London to New York in three and a half hours. The plane is yet to fly, but unlike other post-Concorde concepts, has a realistic chance of taking wing: production is set to start in two years’ time and test flights are expected in 2025. But is the Overture out of step with 21st-century environmental sensibilities – and will anyone be able to afford it?

University admissions

This Thursday marked A-level results day for the first group of teenagers to sit the exams since 2019. Nerves were higher than ever in the run-up to the big day amid warnings that this year’s admissions round would be “the hardest in living memory” thanks to increased competition. And with more students battling it out for university places than ever before, young people have increasingly been turning to extreme, unethical methods in attempts to secure their spots.



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