The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition May 15, 2021

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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51 Edições

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2 minutos
endangered hunters

THERE ARE many unwritten rules for hunting in Taiwan. For members of the Bunun tribe, a community of indigenous people who live among the island’s mountains, flatulence and sneezing are bad omens (in addition to scaring off prey). Male deer are fair game, but females, who might be pregnant, are left in peace. Talum Suqluman followed these strictures in the summer of 2013, when he climbed into the hills of Taitung County, on the south-east coast, and shot two deer, a Formosan serow and a Reeve’s muntjac. They would provide a good store of meat for his ageing mother, with plenty left over to share with his village. There are some written rules, too. Mr Suqluman was arrested and charged with possession of an illegal firearm and for violating the Wildlife…

2 minutos
hydrogen de-bonding

THE MOTORS driving today’s electric cars use powerful magnets made from rare-earth metals. Not all rare earths are actually that rare. Neodymium, for instance, is about as abundant as tin. But good, workable deposits are scarce, and many are in China, which has, in the past, imposed export quotas. This, combined with an absence of substitutes, make rare earths pricey enough to constitute more than half of such a motor’s cost. Yet virtually none is recycled—a deficiency that extends also to the motors in computer hard drives, cordless tools and domestic appliances, and to the generators (essentially, electric motors in reverse) in wind turbines. The problem, says Allan Walton, who leads the Magnetic Materials Group at the University of Birmingham, in Britain, is that the process of shredding and separating usually…

5 minutos
uneasy rider

HAROLD WILSON once said that “if you can’t ride two horses at once you shouldn’t be in the ruddy circus.” To judge from his recent performance, Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour Party’s leader, can’t ride a pet donkey, let alone two horses. He declared that he took full responsibility for the May 6th massacre in local elections and a by-election, only to turn on the party’s popular deputy leader, Angela Rayner. The resulting outcry united the squabbling party against him and forced him to give her several new roles. With Labour’s two driving forces parting company, equestrian skill is increasingly important in Sir Keir’s job. The Labour Party has always depended on a “progressive alliance” between two very different groups—what were once called “workers by hand” and “workers by brain”. The…

8 minutos
the metals in the car go round and round

CAR SALES have, generally speaking, plunged during the coronavirus epidemic. But there has been one bright spot. Electric vehicles ( EV s) continue to grow in popularity. According to IH s Markit, a research firm, almost 2.5m battery-electric and plug-in-hybrid cars were sold around the world in 2020—and the company expects that number to grow by 70% this year. Bloomberg NEF , another researcher, reckons that by 2030 some 8% of the 1.4bn cars on the road will be electric, rising to more than 30% by 2040. It is not, moreover, just a matter of cars. There will also be electric lorries, buses, motorbikes, bicycles, scooters, ships and maybe even aircraft. And, when all of these machines come to the ends of their useful lives, they will need to be…

4 minutos
prince charming

AS A YOUNG buck, Muhammad bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, thought he could take on the world. He charged into Yemen, detained Lebanon’s prime minister and had his people chop up a mildmannered dissident, Jamal Khashoggi, in the Turkish city of Istanbul. When Western countries, such as Canada and Germany, criticised his human-rights record, he recalled his ambassadors. When President Barack Obama made overtures to Iran, a Saudi rival, Prince Muhammad threatened to sell the kingdom’s American assets. To the prince, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was akin to Hitler. He even tried to marshal an array of Arab and Sunni countries against Iran. Six years after his father, Salman bin Abdelaziz, became king, the prince, now in his mid-30s, may be changing, switching tactics from maximum pressure to…

5 minutos
a revolution and a rematch

Four decades after François Mitterrand’s victory, France’s left, and its mainstream right, are both in trouble FORTY YEARS ago on May 10th François Mitterrand made history, becoming France’s first Socialist president of the Fifth Republic. Next year, the party the wily leader carried triumphantly to power in 1981 could make history again, but for rather a different reason. The Socialist Party runs the risk of failing to make it to the presidential run-off twice in a row. A year ahead of any election, polls should be treated with caution. French history is littered with early favourites—Alain Juppé, Dominique Strauss-Kahn—who never made it to the Elysée. In May 2016, a year before the most recent presidential vote, not one poll tested the appeal of Emmanuel Macron, the eventual winner. Still, an average of…