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The Economist UK edition The Economist UK edition

The Economist UK edition January 12, 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 America’s federal government remained shut down, as Democrats refused to fund Donald Trump’s wall on the Mexican border (which he had previously said Mexico would pay for). In his first televised speech from the Oval Office, the president said that migrants trying to cross the border illegally represented a “humanitarian and security crisis”. Democrats offered to reopen the government by funding everything bar the Department of Homeland Security. Mr Trump walked out of a meeting with them. John Bolton, Mr Trump’s national security adviser, assured allies that American troops would not be leaving Syria quickly, all but contradicting what Mr Trump had said a few days earlier. Mr Bolton said that, before any withdrawal, Islamic State had to be fully defeated and Turkey had to promise not…

access_time5 min.
red moon rising

A HUNDRED YEARS ago a wave of student protests broke over China’s great cities. Desperate to reverse a century of decline, the leaders of the May Fourth Movement wanted to jettison Confucianism and import the dynamism of the West. The creation of a modern China would come about, they argued, by recruiting “Mr Science” and “Mr Democracy”.Today the country that the May Fourth students helped shape is more than ever consumed by the pursuit of national greatness. China’s landing of a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon on January 3rd, a first for any country, was a mark of its soaring ambition. But today’s leaders reject the idea that Mr Science belongs in the company of Mr Democracy. On the contrary, President Xi Jinping is counting on…

access_time3 min.
how america’s shutdown ends

THE GOVERNMENT has partially shut down. Again. No other advanced democracy has government shutdowns. In America they have become almost routine. This is the third since Donald Trump became president and by far the most damaging. The others were resolved quickly; this is already the second-longest on record. It is not happening because America is in turmoil: the country is not at war, unemployment is as low as it has ever been. It is happening because that is what the president wants.What is playing out in Washington is the denouement of a political fight (see United States section). Mr Trump was elected on a promise to build a wall on the southern border, though Mexico was supposed to pay for it. The new Democratic majority in the House is…

access_time4 min.
still having its cake

AS THE DEADLINE for Britain’s departure from the European Union approaches, with an exit deal still elusive, MPs are haring off in every direction. Parliament has descended into guerrilla warfare, as backbenchers attempt to wrestle the initiative from the executive (see Britain section). Meanwhile the government organised a pretend traffic-jam of 89 lorries on the road to Dover, as part of preparations for a “no deal” exit. All it showed was that Britain is hopelessly unprepared for what happens next.Amid the chaos, on January 10th the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, stepped forward to propose a way out of the mess. Yet his speech, delivered as we went to press, merely doubled down on his policy of calculated equivocation. Labour will vote against the government’s draft Brexit deal…

access_time4 min.
praetorian penury

IT HAS FOR so long been a country of such unmet potential that the scale of Pakistan’s dereliction towards its people is easily forgotten. Yet on every measure of progress, Pakistanis fare atrociously. More than 20m children are deprived of school. Less than 30% of women are employed. Exports have grown at a fifth of the rate in Bangladesh and India over the past 20 years. And now the ambitions of the new government under Imran Khan, who at least acknowledges his country’s problems (see Briefing), are thwarted by a balance-of-payments crisis. If Mr Khan gets an IMF bail-out, it will be Pakistan’s 22nd. The persistence of poverty and maladministration, and the instability they foster, is a disaster for the world’s sixth-most-populous country. Thanks to its nuclear weapons and…

access_time3 min.
bad news for apple. good news for humanity

WHEN APPLE cut its revenue estimate for the last quarter of 2018 because of unexpectedly slow sales of iPhones, markets convulsed. The company’s share price, which had been sliding for months, fell by a further 10% on January 3rd, the day after the news came out. Apple’s suppliers’ shares were also hit. This week Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones by volume, which also sells components to other smartphone-makers, said its sales were weaker than expected for the quarter, too.Analysts reckon that the number of smartphones sold in 2018 will be slightly lower than in 2017, the industry’s first ever annual decline. All this is terrible news for investors who had banked on continued growth (see Business). But step back and look at the bigger picture. That smartphone…