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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 09/16/2017

The Economist is the premier source for the analysis of world business and current affairs, providing authoritative insight and opinion on international news, world politics, business, finance, science and technology, as well as overviews of cultural trends and regular Special reports on industries and countries.

Land:
United Kingdom
Sprache:
English
Verlag:
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
Erscheinungsweise:
Weekly
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8 Min.
the world this week

Politics Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in 13 Caribbean countries, killing scores of islanders and leaving thousands homeless. Nearly all the buildings on Barbuda were destroyed, as were two-thirds on St Martin. Some islands suffered from food shortages and looting. Many governments pledged aid, but Unicef said it would not be enough without private donations. In Florida, 6.5m people were ordered to leave their homes. Over 30 people died in America, including eight in a nursing home when the storm knocked out the building’s air conditioning. An earthquake of magnitude 8.1 hit Mexico. Centred off the coast of the state of Chiapas, it killed at least 96 people. Guatemala’s congress passed legislation that reduces the punishment for campaign-finance crimes and protects lawmakers from prosecution. They said the vote was a matter of “national urgency”,…

5 Min.
closing in on cancer

THE numbers are stark. Cancer claimed the lives of 8.8m people in 2015; only heart disease caused more deaths. Around 40% of Americans will be told they have cancer during their lifetimes. It is now a bigger killer of Africans than malaria. But the statistics do not begin to capture the fear inspired by cancer’s silent and implacable cellular mutiny. Only Alzheimer’s exerts a similar grip on the imagination. Confronted with this sort of enemy, people understandably focus on the potential for scientific breakthroughs that will deliver a cure. Their hope is not misplaced. Cancer has become more and more survivable over recent decades owing to a host of advances, from genetic sequencing to targeted therapies. The five-year survival rate for leukemia in America has almost doubled, from 34% in the…

3 Min.
caribbean confetti

BEFORE tearing up parts of Florida, Hurricane Irma ravaged whole Caribbean islands. In doing so, it exposed the strange territorial shreds that make up the region: it destroyed Barbuda, Antigua’s poorer partner in their independent state; it wrecked most dwellings on St Martin, an island divided between France and the Netherlands; it flattened Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands, and St John in the American-owned half of the same archipelago. The storm did not kill huge numbers of people—around 40 before it hit the American mainland and probably fewer than 80 all told—but the economic toll in small island territories is immense. In the United States the property damage wrought by Irma and Harvey, an earlier storm that struck Houston, is equivalent to about 1.5% of GDP. Irma’s…

3 Min.
shia crescent rising

THE long-feared “Shia crescent”, stretching from Iran to Lebanon, is now materialising. As the Sunni jihadists of Islamic State (IS) are crushed by disparate military coalitions, their place is being filled by radicals of the Shia sort sponsored by Iran—Lebanon’s Hizbullah group, local militias and mercenaries recruited from as far as Afghanistan and Pakistan. The prospect of Iranian hegemony is raising alarm across the region (see Briefing). Israel is holding large military exercises to prepare for a future war against Hizbullah. Saudi Arabia, fearing the rise of a Hizbullah-like group in Yemen, has waged a poorly run campaign against the Shia Houthis. Gulf states are spending billions on new weapons. Now President Donald Trump may be about to make everything worse by, in effect, reneging on Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with…

4 Min.
dangerously vacant

ONE of the many fears about President Donald Trump was that he would pack the Federal Reserve with loyalists. That concern has been replaced by another: the central bank’s top echelons are unpacked with anyone. On September 6th Stanley Fischer, a seasoned policymaker and crisis-fighter (see Free exchange), announced that for personal reasons he was retiring early as vice-chairman. That means a fourth vacancy has opened up on the Fed’s board; as a consequence, four of the 12 seats on the Fed’s interest-rate-setting committee are also up for grabs. That number could rise to five in February, when Janet Yellen’s term as Fed chair is due to end. Mr Trump has been slow to make senior appointments of any kind. But an underpowered Fed is a particular concern. Its policies help…

3 Min.
learning the lessons of equihack

EQUIFAX, like all credit-monitoring firms, trades on its ability to handle sensitive financial information. So there was grim irony in the news that the firm has been the victim of a particularly big and damaging data breach. The company reckons that more than 143m people, mostly Americans, have been affected. The pilfered data include addresses, credit-card details and Social Security numbers. The Social Security numbers are especially valuable: they are the closest thing America has to a centralised national-identity system, and are far harder to change than a password on a compromised account. A series of self-inflicted wounds made things much worse (see page 65). A rickety website set up so that customers could check whether they had been affected seemed to require them to waive their right to sue (not…