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The Economist UK edition The Economist UK edition

The Economist UK edition

October 19, 2019

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.

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The Economist Newspaper Limited - UK
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51 Issues


access_time8 min.
the world this week

Politics Turkey continued its invasion of northern Syria, despite Western pressure to stop. Turkey’s autocratic president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, aims to crush Syria’s Kurds, who have been ditched by President Donald Trump. The Kurds have turned to Syria’s despot, Bashar al-Assad, for protection. Russia, which backs Mr Assad, strolled into abandoned American outposts. Mr Trump, who has been criticised even by fellow Republicans for creating a power vacuum in the Middle East, said he would impose sanctions on some Turkish officials and raise tariffs on Turkish steel. Later, he said the conflict has nothing to do with America. Kais Saied trounced his opponent in Tunisia’s presidential election. The former law professor and political outsider spent little on his campaign. Voters chose him in the hope that he will tackle corruption and take…

access_time3 min.
beyond the summit

AS WE WENT to press on October 17th Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, announced that a Brexit deal had been reached. Any agreement made in Brussels would still have to be approved by Britain’s cantankerous House of Commons, which threw out the deal that was struck late last year and may scupper any future one, too. Nonetheless, the new—and welcome—willingness of both sides to compromise suggests that, whatever happens in the next few days, the odds of a chaotic no-deal exit have lengthened considerably. That is a relief for all parties, and particularly Britain, which stood to suffer the most from crashing out. Yet it is hardly time to celebrate. The outlines of a draft deal that were being circulated as the European…

access_time4 min.

SLOWLY BUT surely, climate change is taking a prominent place in the rich world’s political debates. Extinction Rebellion protests, backed by hedge-fund managers and barristers as well as students and celebrities, shut down parts of London for several days this month. The Green Party is now the second-most popular political force in Germany and the main opposition party. Some 57% of Americans, and 84% of self-declared Democrats, say climate change is a big threat. As public opinion shifts, politicians are reacting by adopting new policies. One of the most popular is to set targets to reach “net zero” carbon emissions within a defined geographical border. These targets have plenty going for them. They are easy to understand, galvanising and will spur countries to shift their energy mix towards renewables. They also…

access_time4 min.
nordic noir

IF A BANK is accused of money-laundering or sanctions-busting by Uncle Sam, the fallout is often devastating. Consider the case of Halkbank, a big Turkish lender, which was indicted this week by prosecutors in New York for evading sanctions on Iran. When the news broke, its share price sank and yields on its bonds soared as investors worried that it might face crippling punishment. Yet the surprising thing is that, notwithstanding America’s tough approach, dodgy business by international banks remains common, even in jurisdictions that you might think were squeaky clean. In particular, Europe seems to have a serious money-laundering problem that it needs to get a grip on (see Finance section). The most egregious recent case involved Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest lender. For a while a single office with a…

access_time5 min.

The states and the nation The gist of your briefing on Europe’s single market was that if the EU further liberalises cross-border exchange, it will achieve dynamism “much like America, with nothing to impede the free movement of goods, services, people and capital” (“An unconscious coupling, September 14th). This underestimates the barriers to business across American states. Consider these examples. Europe has unified goods standards; American states often have their own. Europe has mutual recognition of most professions; American states have nothing of the sort. Europe strives to liberalise public procurement; American states can ban out-of-state providers entirely. You mentioned the impediments in Denmark to foreign ownership of law firms. Similar rules are pervasive among American states. Overall, the American economy enjoys high mobility and cross-border exchange (and the concomitant economic benefits)…

access_time3 min.
ma’am’s manifesto

THE QUEEN glittered. Flunkeys wore regalia that made them look like Christmas crackers. The leader of the House of Lords stood bearing the “cap of maintenance”, which looks a bit like a Santa hat, on a stick. The state opening of Parliament on October 14th, in which the government lays out its policy agenda, was much like any other, but for one exception. With the government 45 seats short of a majority, the chances of its proposals passing into law this parliament are nil. They may, however, soon be adorning election posters. Boris Johnson’s speech, read out by the queen, was an election pitch rather than a programme for government. The 26 bills introduced ranged from making it easier for leaseholders to install broadband to preparing for the Birmingham Commonwealth games…