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The Economist Asia Edition

The Economist Asia Edition November 28, 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

Several Asian countries, including Japan, Malaysia and South Korea, reported an increase in cases. In Japan the government suspended a campaign in some areas to encourage people to travel. Some European countries outlined plans to ease restrictions over Christmas. In Britain three households will be able to meet up over a five-day period. France will start reopening shops on November 28th and most other restrictions will end on December 15th. Restaurants will remain closed until January 20th, however. Germany went in the other direction and tightened its measures until at least December 20th. The Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria reopened their border. It was shut in July, and flights between Sydney and Melbourne cancelled, amid a surge of the virus in Victoria. After a rigid lockdown, it has reported…

7 min.
the world this week

Politics Federal forces in Ethiopia said they had surrounded Mekelle, the capital of the northern region of Tigray, and were about to attack the city to crush a rebellious regional government. They warned civilians to leave or receive “no mercy”. Ethnic clashes are exploding. Non-Tigrayans are being targeted in Tigray—perhaps 600 were massacred in one town. Tigrayans are being singled out elsewhere. Many have been arrested. Tigrayan soldiers in the national army have been disarmed. Pre-election violence claimed at least 45 lives in Uganda. Bobi Wine, an opposition candidate, was arrested yet again. His supporters protested. Security forces shot several of them. Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, travelled to Saudi Arabia to meet Muhammad bin Salman, the powerful crown prince. There was no hint that the Saudi regime was about to recognise Israel.…

6 min.
the resilience of democracy

FOR ALL Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn this month’s election, American democracy never looked likely to buckle after polling day. Sure enough, on November 23rd, even as the president once again condemned “the most corrupt election in American history”, he agreed that the federal government should give Joe Biden the resources he needs to prepare for office. Mr Trump has still done harm, as have the Republican leaders who indulged him (see Lexington). Given that four in every five Republican voters say the vote was “stolen”, trust in the fairness of elections has been shaken and Mr Biden unjustly undermined from the very start. Henceforth in close votes routine jobs like counting and certifying votes will risk being part of the battleground. That is not a threat to the republic’s existence,…

4 min.
what doesn’t kill you

AS THE PROSPECT of a widely distributed vaccine draws nearer—this week AstraZeneca and Oxford University announced results for their jab (see Science section)—bosses and investors are turning one eye away from the immediate struggle of coping with the pandemic and looking instead at the longer-term competitive picture. Who has won and who has lost? Like viruses, recessions usually come for the weakest first. Companies with sickly balance-sheets or frail margins quickly succumb. As promising startups become crushed closedowns, it is often the incumbents that have the resources to wait it out. Yet the covid-19 recession has been sharper than normal, and more complicated. The world economy is expected to shrink by over 4% this year, the deepest downturn since the second world war, and there is still a risk of a…

3 min.
preventing war crimes

FIRST, THE police and militia shut the roads out of Mai Kadra, a farming town in Ethiopia’s northern province of Tigray. Then they went from door to door, checking ID cards and singling out non-Tigrayans. They destroyed SIM cards to stop people phoning for help. Then, on November 9th, members of a Tigrayan youth group stabbed, hacked, burned and strangled hundreds of Am-hara men, according to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC). When federal government troops entered the town the next morning at least 600 people were dead, says the EHRC. Because of an internet and telephone blackout, as well as restrictions on journalists and NGOs, it is hard to be sure exactly what happened. But there is no doubt that a massacre occurred. Amnesty International has videos of bodies strewn…

3 min.
the right kind of discipline

ECONOMIC FORECASTERS could be forgiven for feeling a sense of whiplash. As covid-19 runs rampant in Europe and America the world economy is taking another hit from the pandemic. America’s consumers are gloomy; Europe’s service sector is contracting. At the same time the growing prospect of mass vaccination in 2021 raises the prospect of an imminent recovery. In 2020 economists were too pessimistic about how fast growth would rebound after the first wave of infection, especially in America. A vaccine might allow another snapback in 2021. A springtime consensus that governments should spend big on rescue packages has given way to bickering and confusion. In America Steve Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, is bringing to an end some of the Federal Reserve’s emergency programmes (see Finance section). Janet Yellen, whom President-elect Joe…