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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 04/28/2018

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 - Europe
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NOK 2,165
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8 min.
the world this week

Politics Dozens of people were killed in protests in Nicaragua. People are furious that the regime of President Daniel Ortega emptied the public pension pot and then ordered workers to top it up. The protests lasted for days, even after Mr Ortega backed down. Several ugly sculptures erected by his wife were wrecked by angry mobs. Independent news channels were blocked by censors; a journalist was killed while recording a broadcast. Mario Abdo Benítez won Paraguay’s presidential election, maintaining the ruling Colorado Party’s grip on power. The former senator beat Efraín Alegre, of the Liberal opposition. In the first of three televised debates, Mexico’s five presidential candidates sparred over how to reduce crime and violence. Most pundits thought Ricardo Anaya, the centrist candidate, gave the best performance, but polling gives Andrés Manuel López…

5 min.
within reach

BY MANY measures the world has never been in better health. Since 2000 the number of children who die before they are five has fallen by almost half, to 5.6m. Life expectancy has reached 71, a gain of five years. More children than ever are vaccinated. Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS are in retreat. Yet the gap between this progress and the still greater potential that medicine offers has perhaps never been wider. At least half the world is without access to what the World Health Organisation deems essential, including antenatal care, insecticide-treated bednets, screening for cervical cancer and vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. Safe, basic surgery is out of reach for 5bn people. Those who can get to see a doctor often pay a crippling price. More than 800m people…

3 min.
an eruption in nicaragua

AMONG Latin America’s handful of autocracies, that of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua once stood out for its stability. Mr Ortega was the most prominent leader of the revolutionary Sandinista regime of the 1980s, but lost an election in 1990. He later forged a dirty deal with a conservative rival that let him return to power with just 38% of the vote in 2006, and has since clung to office by nobbling democratic institutions. At the last election in 2016, he banned the main opposition. Nicaragua thus joined Venezuela, the only two Latin American countries to have regressed from democracy to dictatorship. Mr Ortega rules by combining left-wing rhetoric with mainly right-wing policies, letting the private sector and the Catholic church do what they like and avoiding quarrels with the United States.…

3 min.
yielding to pressure

ROUND numbers would be irrelevant if investors were rational. But they are not. This week the ten-year Treasury-bond yield passed the 3% threshold for the first time in over four years and investors shuddered. Their worry is that the long downward march in yields, which began in 1982, may at last be over. Is it? That question is not of interest just to bondholders, for whom higher yields mean lower prices. Government-bond yields set the benchmark for the borrowing costs of companies and consumers. When they rise, the weakest companies and the most indebted consumers are likely to get into difficulty. If the cost of government borrowing rises, it becomes harder to finance budget deficits. Politicians may be forced into cutting spending or raising taxes. If the breaching of the 3%…

3 min.
situation vacant

WANTED: qualified candidates to work for the world’s most scrutinised organisation. Applicants should be aware that the CEO has a history of undermining staff and firing them publicly. They should also know that his lawyer is under criminal investigation. Oh, and that the former head of the FBI is looking into how the CEO got the job. The successful candidate will face a televised inquisition by members of the Senate in which questions will be raised about their character. Fifteen months into the presidency of Donald Trump, nobody who chooses to join his administration can say they have not been warned. His former press secretary has said he regretted misleading the public, under instruction from Mr Trump, on the first full day of the presidency. His former communications director said she…

4 min.
taming crypto

THE wild ride seems to have calmed. Late last year speculators sent the price of cryptocurrencies soaring. The value of bitcoin, the best-known, has fallen by half since then. But the momentum behind all things crypto remains powerful. Bit-coin is still worth seven times what it was just a year ago. In the first quarter of this year, according to CoinDesk, a news service, $6.3bn was raised through initial coin offerings (ICOs), a form of funding in which firms issue digital tokens, more than in all of 2017. Last month the Student Loan Report, a website, found that one in five American students it asked had used part of their loan to join the crypto rush. No wonder regulators want to exert greater control over the crypto-sphere. The chance to raise…