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The Economist Asia Edition

The Economist Asia Edition November 7, 2020

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 - Asia Pacific
51 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
coronavirus briefs

America recorded 100,000 new cases in a day. The number of daily deaths in Italy hit its highest level since early May. Hospitals in Germany were urged to postpone non-urgent operations to make beds available. The French health minister said that in Paris one person was becoming infected every 30 seconds, and hospitals were admitting someone with the disease every 15 minutes. Saudi Arabia allowed foreign pilgrims back into Mecca. They must self-isolate for three days and submit to frequent testing. Machu Picchu reopened to tourists after eight months of shutdown. The majestic Inca site is restricting visitor numbers; Peru has a high death rate from the disease. An ancient ritual marked the reopening, along with prayers to the gods. With luck they are listening. For our latest coverage of the virus and its consequences…

7 min.
the world this week

Politics America’s presidential election was closer than the polls had suggested. In the electoral college Joe Biden won Michigan and Wisconsin, two states that helped hand victory to Donald Trump in 2016; Mr Trump took the key state of Florida, and by a bigger margin than in 2016. Mr Biden had the edge in the vote-count, which the Trump campaign challenged in court. When the final results are tallied the Democrat will have won the nationwide popular vote by perhaps five percentage points. Early results suggested that the Republicans would retain the Senate. The Democrats gained two seats, but a Republican took one back in Alabama, defeating a Democrat who had won a special election in 2017 after his rival was embroiled in a sex scandal. Republicans picked up several seats in…

5 min.
when every vote counts

MONTHS OF FRANTIC electioneering, $13.9bn of campaign spending, a raging pandemic and mass protests over race: in spite of all the sweat and tears, America was still determining as we went to press if its next president really would be Joe Biden or whether Donald Trump might somehow wrangle a second term. Congress is likely to be split between a Democratic House and a Republican Senate—though even that result may remain in doubt until a run-off in January. In the coming days politicians should take their cue from voters, who turned out in greater force than in any year since 1900 and who made their choice without violence. Vote-counting must run its course and disputes between the two campaigns be settled within the spirit of the law. The biggest threat to…

3 min.
ethiopia is poised to unravel

IT STARTED AS a border skirmish in 1998, between Ethiopian policemen and Eritrean soldiers in Badme, a small village on a barren mountain. One observer at the time likened it to “two bald men fighting over a comb”. It grew into a two-decade-long war in which two of the world’s poorest countries bled themselves to exhaustion. Waves of young men charged across the no-man’sland between their trenches, in battles reminiscent of the first world war in Europe. Perhaps 100,000 soldiers died, and half a million civilians were forced from their homes. Among those who fought in Badme was a young Ethiopian radio operator who briefly left his foxhole to position his antenna. When he came back to it, he found his unit had been wiped out in an artillery strike. “War…

4 min.
fixing the plumbing

THIS HAS been an extraordinary year for American government debt. The Treasury market is usually the world’s most liquid bond market and a haven in stormy times. But in March it seized up as panic about the pandemic led to fire sales and failed trades. The Fed fixed the problem by buying, in two months, nearly as many Treasuries as it did during five years of quantitative easing after the global financial crisis. The market is now being drenched with new issuance as the federal government spends like mad. Since the start of April it has raised a net $3.3trn to fund its stimulus programmes, expanding the outstanding stock of bonds by 19%. Over the past week bond yields have seesawed as investors have weighed and reweighed the likelihood of…

3 min.
voltaire’s heirs

SAMUEL PATY told his pupils to look away if they might be offended. He knew that caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad are deemed blasphemous by Muslims. But since the images in question were published by Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine whose staff were massacred by jihadists in 2015, they were also relevant to a class about free speech. The teacher thought his pupils old enough to decide for themselves. For this, he was beheaded. In the age of social media, outrage can swiftly go global. The parent who denounced Mr Paty was not in the classroom, and lied when he said his daughter had been. The jihadist who killed the teacher did so after watching a Facebook video posted by that parent. And when Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, decried the…