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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 12/01/2018

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 Ukraine imposed martial law for 30 days after Russia fired on and seized three of its vessels near the Sea of Azov. Since grabbing Crimea, a big chunk of Ukrainian territory, Russia has been throttling Ukrainian shipping through a strait it now controls. A new Russian bridge over the strait is, by an amazing coincidence, too low for big ships to sail under. The gilets jaunes (yellow jackets), motorists protesting against higher fuel taxes, blocked more French roads. Some called for President Emmanuel Macron to resign. Britain’s Treasury estimated that GDP will be 3.9% smaller in 15 years’ time than it would otherwise have been if the country leaves the European Union under the deal recently agreed with EU leaders. Under a no-deal Brexit, it would be 9.3% smaller. Theresa May, the…

5 min.
chip wars

THE TRADE disputes President Donald Trump relishes have an old-fashioned feel. Tariffs are the principal weapons. Old-economy markets, from cars to steel, are the main battlefields. Farmers and factories preoccupy the president. And his personal chemistry with other powerful men can make or break deals. Hence the focus on the meeting between Mr Trump and Xi Jinping at this week’s G20 summit, which takes place in Buenos Aires after The Economist has gone to press. Yet the trade conflict that matters most between America and China is a 21st-century fight over technology. It covers everything from artificial intelligence (AI) to network equipment. The fundamental battleground is in semiconductors. The chip industry is where America’s industrial leadership and China’s superpower ambitions clash most directly. And whatever Messrs Trump and Xi say at…

3 min.
amlo’s errors

SINCE WINNING Mexico’s presidential election in July, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a left-wing populist, has been in power but not in office. In October AMLO, as he is known, summoned Mexicans to vote on whether to cancel a huge airport under construction for Mexico City. A small sample voted to scrap it; he promised to do so, thus preventing the expansion of links between Mexico and the outside world. His Morena party and its allies, in control of congress since September, passed a law barring any civil servant from earning more than the president, who plans to take a 60% pay cut. AMLO will be inaugurated on December 1st (see Americas section); the omens for his six-year term already look worrying. Voters chose AMLO out of desperation, having rejected him as…

4 min.
the great inaction

IT IS MORE than a quarter of a century since the leaders of the world, gathered in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, committed their countries to avoiding “dangerous anthropogenic interference in the climate system” by signing the UN convention on climate change. The case for living up to their words has only become stronger. The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere grows unremittingly. Average global temperatures have risen, too, to about 1°C above those of the pre-industrial era. The science that links the two is incontestable. Recent extreme-weather events, from floods in Hanoi to fires in California, were made more likely by the change that the climate has already undergone. Things will only get worse—perhaps catastrophically so. In a sense the world is already equipped for the task at hand.…

3 min.
unholy alliance

CARLOS GHOSN was dubbed “Le Cost Killer” for his work transforming Renault, a French carmaker. After Renault rescued Nissan in 1999, he also became known as the “Keiretsu Killer” for severing the tangle of cross-shareholdings that had almost brought the Japanese firm to its knees. Nearly two decades later, Mr Ghosn’s creation, an alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, has become the world’s biggest car-maker. But his arrest in Japan has shed light on what a tangled and acrimonious cross-shareholding it, in its turn, has become. The time has come to overhaul it. No one emerges with any credit from the scandal that has landed Mr Ghosn, one of the world’s highest-flying chief executives, in a poky jail cell in Tokyo. If one thing is clear, it is that his imperious…

3 min.
the baby crisperer

HUMANITY’S POWER to control the four-letter code of life has advanced by leaps and bounds. A new gene-editing technology called CRISPR-Cas9, which was not discovered until 2012, has been the subject of particular excitement. It allows DNA to be edited easily, raising hopes that it could eventually be used to relieve human suffering. This week, however, CRISPR has caused more unease than optimism, because of claims by a Chinese scientist that he edited the genomes of twin girls when they were embryos, as part of IVF treatment. He Jiankui, of the Southern University of Science and Technology, in Shenzhen—which was not involved in the work—says he edited a gene, CCR5, that allows HIV to infect human cells (see Science section). Mr He claims to have created one baby resistant to HIVinfection,…