The Economist Asia Edition May 22, 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

India recorded 4,529 deaths for May 19th, the most of any country during the pandemic. Recorded cases fell, although infections are thought to be surging in the hinterland. America’s Centres for Disease Control said that people who are fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask in most situations. Some health professionals criticised the CDC for causing confusion. States decide on mask mandates. Maryland and Virginia immediately ended the requirement to mask up; California and New Jersey are delaying their dates to go maskless. An easing of lockdown measures in France allowed bars and restaurants to offer outside dining and non-essential shops to open. New York City also returned to a sense of normality as many businesses were allowed to reopen. And the unlocking of pubs and restaurants for inside drinking…

the world this week

Politics The fighting in Israel and Gaza ebbed, as international pressure for a ceasefire grew. More than 230 people have been killed, most of them Palestinian. Israel said the toll included 150 militants. The violence spilled into the West Bank, where at least 20 Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces. The Israeli army also exchanged fire with militants in Lebanon. Ebrahim Raisi and Ali Larijani, two leading conservative candidates, filed their papers to run in next month’s presidential election in Iran. All 300 candidates will be vetted by the theologians on the Guardian Council. Spain deployed troops in its enclave of Ceuta, on the Moroccan coast, when 8,000 migrants breached border fences. Morocco did little to stop the influx. It is upset with Spain for accepting Brahim Ghali for covid-19 treatment.…

race in america

WHEN GEORGE FLOYD was killed by Derek Chauvin a year ago, the sense of injustice was tinged with despair. Why, many Americans asked, is this still happening in our country? Why, many foreigners asked, does the story of race in America never seem to change? Except this time was different. Mr Floyd’s death prompted the biggest civil-rights protests in American history. Mr Chauvin, unusually, was convicted of murder. And institutions in America and beyond looked at themselves in a different light. Something needed to change. But what exactly? The Biden administration and the Democratic Party have made reducing racial disparities an organising principle of government. That sounds straightforward, but it is not. Despite the gains in legal and political rights made by African-Americans since the civil-rights era, measures of relative poverty…

the curious case of the disappearing worker

AS RICH COUNTRIES loosen lockdowns, an economic puzzle is emerging. Businesses are voicing ever-louder concerns about labour shortages, even as millions of people remain out of work. In America a surge of spending is creating job openings, but few people seem willing to fill them. The number of vacancies, at over 8m, has never been so high. Worker shortages are a growing problem elsewhere, too. British publicans, who opened their doors to indoor drinkers on May 17th, are searching for pint-pullers. In Australia vacancies are 40% above their pre-pandemic level. Europe has been slower to come out of its lockdown, but even there unfilled positions from Switzerland to Germany are higher than before. Some see news of worker shortages as welcome. If human labour is still in demand, then perhaps predictions of…

forgotten, but not gone

IN FEBRUARY WE and many others breathed a sigh of relief after Mario Draghi agreed to become prime minister of Italy. For had not “super Mario” saved the euro, in 2012, with his promise that he, and the European Central Bank he then headed, would do “whatever it takes” to stop the project unravelling? Those three words were enough to calm markets, bringing down interest rates on the debt of the zone’s weaker members. Over the nine years since then, those countries have saved tens of billions of euros thanks to reduced borrowing costs. With Mr Draghi at the helm, the yield on Italian debt is currently only around 1.2 percentage points above that of Germany. The government he leads can count on a large majority of seats in parliament, and…

hot air

INVESTORS ARE all too familiar with the rise of Tesla. Shares in the electric-vehicle maker are now worth nearly nine times what they were at the start of 2019. But it is not an exception. As political leaders across the world start to send clearer signals about their willingness to tackle climate change, the private sector is getting enthused, too, and a green boom is under way. Over 40 green firms have seen their share prices triple since the start of 2019. Six have outperformed Tesla. The beneficiaries include all manner of emission-sparing companies, from solarpanel firms to makers of hydrogen fuel cells. Meanwhile many big companies in other industries have taken to boasting about their green credentials. Renewable-energy shares have paused in recent weeks, in part because investors worry about the…