China is lending Pakistan billions of dollars as part of an ambitious policy to disrupt global trade. Beijing is six years into a trillion-dollar plan that's been dubbed the new Silk Road. The project – officially known as One Belt One Road – aims to connect Asia with the Middle East, Africa and Europe, through a network of new trade routes.
Vivienne Nunis visits Lahore in Pakistan, where Chinese-funded infrastructure projects are transforming the face of the city. So how do Pakistanis feel about the increasingly close economic ties with their much larger eastern neighbour? Vivienne hears from Rashed Rahman, the former editor of Pakistan’s English language newspaper, the Daily Times. China expert Joshua Eisenman, from the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, explains the thinking behind Beijing’s big-spending plans.
(Picture: Road at Khunjerab Pass on the China-Pakistan border; Credit: pulpitis/Getty Images)
The US Government Shutdown
At what point will the standoff in Washington DC start doing serious harm to the US economy?
Vishala Sri-Pathma speaks to two victims of the shutdown. As a prison officer, Eric Young is currently not getting paid by the government, even though he is still legally required to turn up for work. He is also a national union representative, and is calling on the government to start planning for a lockdown of jails as staffing numbers dwindle. Meanwhile Bob Pease, head of the Brewers Association, says that small craft beer makers could be facing real a crisis if the government doesn't start issuing licences again soon.
So how much longer can this all go on for? We ask Megan Greene, chief economist at US asset managers Manulife, and the BBC's North America reporter Anthony Zurcher.
(Picture: A signs says the Renwick Gallery museum is closed because of the US federal government shutdown; Credit: Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images)
Ghosting at Work
When is it acceptable to vanish from a job without warning or explanation, and why are more and more people doing it?
Ed Butler hears one woman give her reasons for doing just that, while web design entrepreneur Chris Yoko retells the tale of one no-show employee who took the art of ghosting to a whole new literal level. He also talks to the founders of the Japanese company Exit, which offers to provide resignation letters and phone calls for those too afraid to do it in person.
But why is ghosting - a cold shouldering tactic that first came to the fore in the online world of social media and online dating - becoming more commonplace in the real world of employment? Chris Gray of recruitment firm Manpower UK blames the booming jobs market, while Dawn Fay of US employment consultants Robert Half says whatever the reason, just don't do it!
(Picture: Co-workers have a business meeting while a man waits in the background; Credit: ER_Creative/Getty Images)
Judgement Day For Brexit Deal
UK MPs have voted down Theresa May's deal for leaving the European Union. Rainer Wieland, German Member of the European Parliament gives the view from Brussels. David Phinnemore, Professor of European Politics at Queen's University Belfast explains the intricacies of the Irish Border. We have economic and financial analysis from Gabriel Feldmayr, Director of the ifo Center for International Economics and Sophie Kilvert of 7 Investment Management. And all through the show the BBC World Service UK Political Correspondent Rob Watson will comment on the day’s political developments.
Decarbonising the Atmosphere
Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is becoming technologically feasible, but will it ever be commercially viable at the scale needed to halt climate change?
Ed Butler speaks to Louise Charles of Swiss-based Climeworks - one of the companies that claims it is already turning a profit from the direct capture of carbon from the air. They're selling the CO2 to greenhouses. But what the world really needs to do to stop global warming is bury the stuff in the ground, and who is willing to pay money for that? Ed asks Princeton ecology professor Stephen Pacala, and Gideon Henderson, professor of earth sciences at Oxford University.
(Picture: A Reykjavik Energy employee stands next to a carbon capture unit designed by the Swiss company Climeworks; Credit: Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)