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The EconomistThe Economist

The Economist June 8, 2019

Get The Economist digital magazine subscription today and explore domestic and international issues, business, finance, current affairs, science, technology and the arts.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Economist Newspaper Limited
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51 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time8 min.
the world this week

Politics Two days of ceremonies commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings of 1944. The queen and Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, were joined by President Donald Trump of America, President Emmanuel Macron of France and many other national leaders from across the world. The events followed a state visit by Mr Trump to Britain, which included a state banquet at Buckingham Palace. However, the visit was also greeted by mass protests on the streets of London. Honey, honey Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, said his former wife had “cured” him of homosexuality. He then accused a critical senator of being gay. Gay-rights groups decried the implication that homosexuality was both a disease and a slur. Thailand’s parliament chose the incumbent, Prayuth Chanocha, as prime minister. As army chief, Mr Prayuth…

access_time5 min.
weapons of mass disruption

WHEN DONALD TRUMP arrived in the Oval Office he promised to restore America’s might. His method has turned out to be a wholesale weaponisation of economic tools. The world can now see the awesome force that a superpower can project when it is unconstrained by rules or allies. On May 30th the president threatened crippling tariffs on Mexico after a row over migration. Markets reeled, and a Mexican delegation rushed to Washington to sue for peace. A day later preferential trading rules for India were cancelled. Its usually macho government did not put up a fight and promised to preserve “strong ties”. China faces a ratcheting up of tariffs soon, and its tech giant, Huawei, has been severed from its American suppliers. The country’s autocratic leaders are enraged, but on…

access_time3 min.
treaty or rough treatment

AFTER THE fall of the Berlin Wall and before central and eastern European countries began joining the European Union in 2004, officials in Brussels strongly encouraged bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between the bloc’s members and their neighbours to the east. BITs are inter-governmental agreements that govern disputes between foreign investors and host states. Their purpose is to protect investors against discrimination and expropriation (disputes between companies are handled separately). The European Commission hoped they would stimulate investment in the region to the benefit of both investors and newly liberated former Soviet-bloc countries. They did. Thanks in part to these treaties, inflows of capital soared. Germany, in particular, became a big investor in Hungary and the Czech Republic. BITs have become a common way to seek redress in bust-ups originating in…

access_time4 min.
you ain’t seen nothing yet

IN 2007 MORE humans lived in cities than outside them for the first time. It was a transition 5,000 years in the making. The internet has been quicker to reach the halfway mark. Over 50% of the planet’s population is now online, a mere quarter of a century after the web first took off among tech-savvy types in the West. The second half of the internet revolution has begun. As our briefing describes, it is changing how society works—and also creating a new business puzzle. Most new users are in the emerging world; some 726m people came online in the past three years alone. China is still growing fast. But much of the rise is coming from poorer places, notably India and Africa. Having seen what fake news and trolling has…

access_time3 min.
head south, young chinese

IT HAS BEEN a tense few days for the Communist Party in Beijing. Officials were afraid that dissidents would try to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the crushing of the Tiananmen Square protests on June 4th. Censors scrubbed any allusion to it within the Great Firewall. Police kept activists under close watch, escorting some of them out of the capital for an enforced “holiday” during the sensitive period. But what is extraordinary about the decades since Tiananmen is how the party has largely succeeded in erasing the massacre from the public’s consciousness. About 40% of the population was not even alive then. Most Chinese would say that the economic boom, which began three years after the bloodshed, has had a far bigger impact on their lives. China’s defence minister, Wei Fenghe,…

access_time3 min.
let magic into the daylight

“IT WAS LIKE when you defrag the hard drive on your computer. I experienced blocks going into place, things being rearranged in my mind. I visualised, as it was all put in order, a beautiful experience with these gold blocks going into black drawers that would illuminate and I thought: ‘My brain is being defragged! How brilliant is that!’” said Patient 11 in a small trial carried out at Imperial College, London, into the effects of psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms, on people with depression resistant to available treatments. Six months on, the experience had left its mark. “My mind works differently. I ruminate much less, and my thoughts feel ordered, contextualised.” The rehabilitation of psychedelic drugs, banned in most countries, is under way (see International section). Oakland, California,…

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