The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition July 4, 2020

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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.

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The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
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1 min.
coronavirus briefs

More states in America reimposed lockdowns amid a surge in covid-19. The number of daily cases nationally passed 50,000 for the first time. In California, which had been considered an early success, restaurants and other businesses in 19 counties were ordered to shut. In Arizona, where infections have doubled in the past two weeks, the governor ordered gyms, bars and cinemas to close again for at least a month. Leicester, a city in Britain, was put back under lockdown as cases there continued to rise, to three times that of the city with the next-highest rate. The European Union reopened its borders to residents from 14 countries where the virus is under control, such as Canada and New Zealand. The list does not include Brazil, Russia or the United States. China will…

7 min.
the world this week

Politics Police in Hong Kong made the first arrests under a draconian national-security law imposed from Beijing. Hong Kongers can now be jailed for life for vaguely defined crimes such as “subversion” or “conspiring” with anyone abroad to provoke “hatred” of the communist regime. Mainland secret police can now operate in Hong Kong. America’s House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to put sanctions on banks that do business with Chinese officials who implement the crackdown. Boris Johnson reiterated his promise that Hong Kongers who were born before 1997, when the territory was handed back to China, could settle in Britain. The handover agreement back then stipulated that the city would retain its basic freedoms until at least 2047. Following months of talks, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for a…

5 min.
retro or radical?

WHEN THE history of the Trump presidency is written, a photo-op in Lafayette Square at the beginning of June might just mark the turning-point. Since he announced his run for the White House in 2015, Donald Trump’s political method has been to maximise at all times the amount of attention directed at him. The Lafayette Square escapade offended Christians, because the president waved a Bible around like a prop. It embarrassed the country’s most senior military commander, who later apologised for joining a political show that involved the teargassing of peaceful protesters. More important, it did not work. Rather than being in command, Mr Trump seemed desperate. When power is based on appearances it can slip away suddenly. Before covid-19 hit America, Mr Trump looked likelier than not to be re-elected,…

3 min.
a safe harbour no more

THE CHINESE government is spreading fear in Hong Kong. The first shock came in May, when it announced plans to impose a sweeping national-security law on the territory, without the say-so of its legislature. Then it drafted the bill behind closed doors, keeping details secret even from Hong Kong’s administration. After the law was passed on June 30th by China’s rubber-stamp parliament, hours passed before it was published at close to midnight. The 18-page bill, which took effect that day, was harsher than the gloomiest analysts had predicted. It is one of the biggest assaults on a liberal society since the second world war (see China section). Chinese officials argue that they are doing nothing wrong: national-security laws are common around the world, even in democracies. But that is disingenuous. This…

4 min.
the way we live now

IT IS ASTONISHING how rapidly the pandemic has spread, despite all the efforts to stop it. On February 1st, the day covid-19 first appeared on our front cover, the World Health Organisation counted 2,115 new cases. On June 28th its daily tally reached 190,000. That day as many new cases were notched up every 90 minutes as had been recorded in total by February 1st. The world is not experiencing a second wave: it never got over the first. Some 10m people are known to have been infected. Pretty much everywhere has registered cases (Turkmenistan and North Korea have not, though, like Antarctica). For every country such as China, Taiwan and Vietnam, which seems to be able to contain the virus, there are more, in Latin America and South Asia, where…

3 min.
inside game

IF YOU LOOK at the headline figures, foreign companies still appear to be piling into India even as its economy reels from the pandemic. Since the country went into lockdown in March some $20bn of cross-border deals have been announced, with the likes of Facebook and KKR, a private-equity giant, sticking cash into digital firms, solar parks and more. Optimists argue that India could soon become a place to build factories, as firms seek to diversify their supply chains away from China. Yet look closely, and a different picture emerges (see Business section). Foreign firms are often on the wrong end of regulatory changes. Investors increasingly prefer to take minority stakes alongside local tycoons, rather than set out on their own. And Narendra Modi, the prime minister, is veering towards a…