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The Economist UK edition The Economist UK edition

The Economist UK edition March 23, 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_time8 min.
the world this week

Politics A gunman killed 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, streaming part of the atrocity live on Facebook. The attacker, an Australian who had been living in New Zealand for two years, was motivated by fears that immigration was threatening “white” culture. The government vowed to tighten gun-control laws and monitor right-wing extremists more carefully. Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s strongman president of 30 years, resigned abruptly. He retains considerable influence; his daughter is the new chairman of the Senate and the constitution gives him lifetime immunity from prosecution. The capital, Astana, is to be renamed Nursultan after him. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s president, was challenged for her party’s nomination in next year’s presidential election by Lai Ching-te, a former prime minister. No sitting Taiwanese president has faced a primary before. The Philippines withdrew from the…

access_time5 min.
europe takes on the tech giants

“THE BIRTHDAY of a new world is at hand.” Ever since Thomas Paine penned those words in 1776, America has seen itself as the land of the new—and Europe as a continent stuck in the past. Nowhere is that truer than in the tech industry. America is home to 15 of the world’s 20 most valuable tech firms; Europe has one. Silicon Valley is where the brainiest ideas meet the smartest money. America is also where the debate rages loudly over how to tame the tech giants, so that they act in the public interest. Tech tycoons face roastings by Congress for their firms’ privacy lapses. Elizabeth Warren, a senator who is running for president in 2020, wants Facebook to be broken up. Yet if you want to understand where the…

access_time3 min.
too close to the son

ALMOST TWO years ago Masayoshi Son, a Japanese tycoon, broke all the rules of investing by setting up a new vehicle to back tech firms. The Vision Fund was unusual in several ways. Worth $100bn, it was enormous. Some $45bn of that came from Muhammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, who got the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund to contribute. It took huge bets on trendy “unicorns”—unlisted firms worth over a billion dollars, such as Uber. And it gave almost total control to Mr Son. Many sceptics dismissed the Vision Fund as a vast pot of tainted money squandered on hyped-up assets. And by October last year it looked as if they were right. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist, cast Saudi Arabia and the fund into disrepute, while the…

access_time4 min.
the new face of terror, much like the old

A FANATIC WALKED into a house of worship and opened fire. Men, women, children; he made no distinction. Brenton Tarrant showed no mercy because he did not see his victims as fully human. When he murdered 50 people, he did not see mothers, husbands, engineers or goalkeepers. He saw only the enemy. The massacre in New Zealand on March 15th was a reminder of how similar white-nationalist and jihadist killers really are. Though the two groups detest each other, they share methods, morals and mindsets. They see their own group as under threat, and think this justifies extreme violence in “self-defence”. They are often radicalised on social media, where they tap into a multinational subculture of resentment. Islamists share footage of atrocities against Muslims in Myanmar, Syria, Xinjiang and Abu Ghraib.…

access_time3 min.
market power

AT THE HEART of economics is a belief in the virtues of open competition as a way of using the resources you have in the most efficient way you can. Thanks to the power of that insight, economists routinely tell politicians how to run public policy and business people how to run their firms. Yet when it comes to its own house, academic economics could do more to observe the standards it applies to the rest of the world. In particular, it recruits too few women. Also, many of those who do work in the profession say they are treated unfairly and that their talents are not fully realised. As a result, economics has fewer good ideas than it should and suffers from a skewed viewpoint. It is time for…

access_time3 min.
plague without locusts

“BE AFRAID. BE very afraid,” says a character in “The Fly”, a horror film about a man who turns into an enormous insect. It captures the unease and disgust people often feel for the kingdom of cockroaches, Zika-carrying mosquitoes and creepy-crawlies of all kinds. However, ecologists increasingly see the insect world as something to be frightened for, not frightened of. In the past two years scores of scientific studies have suggested that trillions of murmuring, droning, susurrating honeybees, butterflies, caddisflies, damselflies and beetles are dying off. “If all mankind were to disappear”, wrote E.O. Wilson, the doyen of entomologists, “the world would regenerate…If insects were to vanish the environment would collapse into chaos.” We report on these studies in this week’s Science section. Most describe declines of 50% and more over…

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