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The Economist UK edition The Economist UK edition

The Economist UK edition February 2, 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.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Economist Newspaper Limited - UK
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51 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time7 min.
the world this week

Politics More Venezuelans took to the streets to demand that Nicolás Maduro, who rigged an election last year, step down in favour of the head of the national assembly, Juan Guaidó, as the constitution prescribes. Mr Guaidó is recognised by most Latin American democracies, as well as the United States and Canada. Several European countries said they would recognise Mr Guaidó unless elections are called soon. Mr Maduro, whose misrule has led to hyperinflation and food shortages, retains the support of Russia, Turkey and, lukewarmly, China. Mr Guaidó said he had held secret talks with the Venezuelan army to persuade it to switch sides. America said that payments for oil imports from Venezuela would be put into accounts that would be available only to a democratic government.A court in…

access_time5 min.
the battle for venezuela

IF PROTESTS ALONE could oust a president, Nicolás Maduro would already be on a plane to Cuba. On January 23rd at least 1m Venezuelans from across the country took to the streets demanding Mr Maduro step down. They were answering the call of Juan Guaidó, who last week proclaimed himself the rightful head of state. Mr Guaidó has won the backing of most of Latin America, as well as the United States and Europe. Protests planned for February 2nd promise to be even bigger. But Mr Maduro is supported by the army as well as Russia, China and Turkey. As The Economist went to press, he was still holding on to power.Much is at stake. Most important is the fate of 32m Venezuelans made wretched by six years under…

access_time3 min.
talking to the taliban

AFTER MORE than 17 years, it is the longest war in American history. American forces are no closer to defeating the Taliban—the repressive Islamist militia that ruled most of Afghanistan before 2001—than they were a decade ago. In fact, the share of the country under full control of the elected, American-backed government is humiliatingly small. The conflict has reached something close to a stalemate, but a bloody one: some 10,000 police and soldiers, 3,400 civilians and an unknown number of insurgents died in 2017 alone. Since then, the authorities have stopped releasing data on military casualties—not, presumably, because things have got better.The news that America and the Taliban are making headway in negotiations to end the conflict is therefore welcome (see Asia section). Zalmay Khalilzad, America’s chief negotiator, says…

access_time4 min.
how to handle huawei

ON JANUARY 28TH Liu He, a Chinese vice-premier, landed in Washington ready for talks to calm the trade war between America and China. Instead he was met by a geopolitical tempest. That day America’s attorney-general charged Huawei, one of China’s biggest firms, with 23 crimes, including sanctions-busting, stealing corporate secrets and obstructing justice. American officials also made clear that they view Huawei as a threat to national security, since it builds the telecoms networks that underpin modern societies. Some 170 countries that use Huawei must now decide whether doing business with it is safe.That decision is hard, because Huawei has more than one guise. The first is benign: it is China’s most successful global firm. Last year it booked $110bn of sales and shipped 200m smartphones. It has built…

access_time4 min.
over to eu

THERESA MAY has become so used to losing votes in the House of Commons that when, on January 29th, the prime minister got MPs to back her on a motion regarding her Brexit deal, it was treated as a breakthrough. “She did it!” announced one front page the next morning. Another hailed “Theresa’s triumph”.Alas, it is anything but. MPs agreed that they would support the exit deal she has agreed to with the European Union, so long as the Irish “backstop” was removed (see Britain section). But on the crucial question of what might replace it—something that negotiators in Brussels have spent almost two years scratching their heads over—the motion suggested no more than unspecified “alternative arrangements”. Mrs May vowed to take this vague demand to have her cake…

access_time3 min.
a way through the warren

DURING HIS lesser-known run for president, which began in 1999, Donald Trump proposed levying a wealth tax on Americans with more than $10m. He may soon find himself campaigning on the other side of the issue. That is because Democrats are lining up to find ways to tax the rich. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who wants Mr Trump’s job, has called for an annual levy of 2% on wealth above $50m and of 3% on wealth above $1bn. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a prominent new left-wing congresswoman, has floated a top tax rate of 70% on the highest incomes.In one way these proposals are a relief. Left-wing Democrats have plenty of ideas for new spending—Medicare for all, free college tuition, the “Green New Deal”—that would need funding. Mainly because America is ageing,…

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