Business et Finance
The Economist

The Economist

October 24, 2020

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51 Numéros

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1 min.
coronavirus briefs

Iran again broke its single-day record for covid-19 deaths. Hospitals in Tehran, the capital, ran out of intensive-care beds and suspended all nonemergency treatments. Israel eased a month-long nationwide lockdown, its second since the beginning of the pandemic. It has seen a significant decline in the number of new cases. Health experts cast doubt on the claim by a government panel in India that the virus had reached its peak in the country. Cumulative cases passed 7.7m this week. Ireland was put back into a strict lockdown. The government had resisted implementing the measures, which scientists were calling for. The go ahead was given in Britain for the world’s first “human-challenge clinical trials”, in which volunteers will be dosed with the virus. For our latest coverage of the virus and its consequences please visit economist.com/…

6 min.
who controls the conversation?

IT IS THE biggest antitrust suit in two decades. On October 20th the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that Google ties up phone-makers, networks and browsers in deals that make it the default search engine. The department says this harms consumers, who are deprived of alternatives. The arrangement is sustained by Google’s dominance of search which, because of a global market share of roughly 90%, generates the advertising profits that pay for the deals (see Business section). The DOJ has not yet said what remedy it wants, but it could force Google and its parent, Alphabet, to change how they structure their business. Don’t hold your breath, though: Google dismisses the suit as nonsense, so the case could drag on for years. Action against Google may seem far from the storm…

4 min.
seal the deal

BRITAIN’S CONSERVATIVES are fond of Australia, an Anglo-sphere place with a flourishing economy, fine weather and fabulous beaches. So when trade talks with the European Union were briefly suspended before resuming this week, and Boris Johnson told Britons they might end up not with the Canada-style free-trade agreement he wanted, but instead leave on “Australian terms”, he made the prospect sound beguilingly sunny. This is typical Johnsonian spin. If the latest face-to-face talks should collapse and Britain end up with no deal, the terms on which it leaves would not be those that apply to Australia, which has many side-deals and is seeking its own free-trade agreement with the EU. They would be closer to those of Afghanistan, Bhutan or Congo: Britain would have no trade deal at all with its…

3 min.
monsters of the deep

“CONSIDER THE subtleness of the sea,” warned Herman Melville in “Moby Dick”; “how its most dreaded creatures glide under water...treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure.” Nearly 170 years later, another marine horror is just becoming visible. Satellite and other imagery has revealed “dark fleets” of fishing boats that turn off their transponders and plunder the ocean’s bounty. Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing accounts for a staggering 20-50% of the global catch. It is one reason fish stocks are plummeting: just a fifth of commercial species are sustainably fished. Illegal operators rob mostly poor coastal states of over $20bn a year and threaten the livelihoods of millions of small fishermen. North Korean coastal waters have been so pillaged that its fishermen have to motor their rickety craft far out…

5 min.

The Uyghurs: China responds The Economist’s articles on Xinjiang made groundless accusations against China’s policy and was a gross interference in China’s internal affairs (“Torment of the Uyghurs”, “Orphaned by the state”, October 17th). The issues you raised have nothing to do with human rights, ethnic groups or religions, and everything to do with fighting violent terrorism, separatism and extremism. Extremist forces have carried out thousands of violent attacks in Xinjiang. For this reason its government has taken resolute action to crack down on such violence, in accordance with the law. The deradicalisation measures have curbed terrorist activities; there has not been a single attack for over three years. Feeling more safe, these measures have won the extensive and heartfelt support of people from all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. You described the…

5 min.
the known unknowns

If Donald Trump were to win re-election, how would he do it? AROUND THIS time four years ago, on October 28th 2016, the then director of the FBI, James Comey, announced the discovery of new emails that might be pertinent to his investigation into Hillary Clinton. Her polling lead in mid-October had been almost as big as Joe Biden’s is now. Twelve days later she was giving a concession speech. Election day is closer than it was when Mr Comey made his intervention—quirks of the calendar mean this year’s falls on November 3rd rather than November 8th, which is when Donald Trump won four years ago. So Mr Trump is running out of time to catch up. Still, that recent precedent has Americans wondering what they might be overlooking this time. Mr…