The Economist Asia Edition January 16, 2021

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.

United Kingdom
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Asia Pacific
51 期号


coronavirus briefs

New variants of the disease that are more infectious than the original strain were reported in Brazil and Ohio. Two cabinet ministers in Malawi died after contracting covid-19 as a second wave of the pandemic sweeps across sub-Saharan Africa. Hospitals in South Africa’s major cities have been overwhelmed, leading the government to close 20 border crossings. London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, declared a “major incident”. The death toll from covid in the city passed 10,000; 7,600 are being treated in hospital. British police toughened the use of new powers targeting a “stubborn number of people” wilfully flouting the rules. Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, promised to increase vaccination rates in his state, but also warned that “We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass…We will have nothing left to…

the world this week

Politics Protected by National Guard troops, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump for inciting the recent mob attack on Congress, the first time that an American president has been impeached twice. It is uncertain if and when the Senate will hold an impeachment trial. Meanwhile, the FBI has reportedly warned officials of further armed protests ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20th. Pro-Trump demonstrations are apparently being planned for all 50 state capitals as well as Washington, DC. Mr Biden nominated William Burns to head the cia. Mr Burns is a career diplomat who has been an ambassador to Russia and was instrumental in forging the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, which Mr Trump pulled America out of. The Trump administration announced that it was banning the import…

the roaring 20s?

FOR MUCH of the past decade the pace of innovation underwhelmed many people—especially those miserable economists. Productivity growth was lacklustre and the most popular new inventions, the smartphone and social media, did not seem to help much. Their malign side-effects, such as the creation of powerful monopolies and the pollution of the public square, became painfully apparent. Promising technologies stalled, including self-driving cars, making Silicon Valley’s evangelists look naive. Security hawks warned that authoritarian China was racing past the West and some gloomy folk warned that the world was finally running out of useful ideas. Today a dawn of technological optimism is breaking. The speed at which covid-19 vaccines have been produced has made scientists household names. Prominent breakthroughs, a tech investment boom and the adoption of digital technologies during the…

the reckoning

IN 230 YEARS the House of Representatives voted for the president to be impeached just twice. In only 13 months it has doubled the total by indicting Donald Trump twice more. Now the Senate should issue another historical rebuke by making him the first American president in history to be convicted. The article of impeachment that passed on January 13th accuses Mr Trump of inciting an insurrection (see United States section). Stand back, for a moment, and consider the enormity of his actions. As president, he tried to cling to power by overturning an election that he had unambiguously lost. First, he spread a big lie in a months-long campaign to convince his voters that the election was a fraud and that the media, the courts and the politicians who clung…

the sound of silence

THE FIRST reaction of many people was one of relief. On January 6th, with 14 days remaining of his term, the social-media president was suspended from Twitter after years of pumping abuse, lies and nonsense into the public sphere. Soon after, many of his cronies and supporters were shut down online by Silicon Valley, too. The end of their cacophony was blissful. But the peace belies a limiting of free speech that is chilling for America—and all democracies. The bans that followed the storming of the Capitol were chaotic. On January 7th Facebook issued an “indefinite” suspension of Donald Trump. Twitter followed with a permanent ban a day later. Snapchat and YouTube barred him. An array of other accounts were suspended. Google and Apple booted Parler, a small social network popular…

reaping what you sow

WHEN MOST of India’s laws on farming were adopted, in the 1950s and 1960s, the country was often on the brink of famine. In 1966 mass starvation was averted only by the arrival of 10m tonnes of American food aid. Small wonder that a Himalayan range of regulations rose up, to boost output and stop hoarding. Happily, much has changed since then. In 2020 India exported 14m tonnes of rice alone. The government has amassed grain stores of around 50m tonnes. Yet even as the food has piled up, the rules have remained the same. The bill for the subsidies has risen dramatically. So have the environmental costs, in the form of sinking water tables, for example, and choking smoke from the burning of stubble. The prime minister, Narendra Modi is…