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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 02/11/2017

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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8 мин.
the world this week

Politics A Russian court reaffirmed the conviction for embezzlement of Alexei Navalny, the country’s most popular opposition politician. The conviction relates to business Mr Navalny conducted with a state timber company, and is widely seen as a pretext to disqualify him from running in the country’s presidential elections in 2018. His initial conviction in 2013, just before his campaign in the Moscow mayoral race, was declared invalid by the European Court of Human Rights. François Fillon affirmed he will not drop out of the presidential election in France despite a scandal over employing his wife and children at taxpayers’ expense. Mr Fillon, the Republican candidate, has been unable to prove that his wife performed any work. The affair has hurt him in the polls and could pave the way for Emmanuel Macron,…

5 мин.
courting russia

GEORGE W. BUSH looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and thought he saw his soul. He was wrong. Barack Obama attempted to “reset” relations with Russia, but by the end of his term in office Russia had annexed Crimea, stirred up conflict elsewhere in Ukraine and filled the power vacuum that Mr Obama had left in Syria. Donald Trump appears to want to go much further and forge an entirely new strategic alignment with Russia. Can he succeed, or will he be the third American president in a row to be outfoxed by Mr Putin? The details of Mr Trump’s realignment are still vague and changeable. That is partly because of disagreements in his inner circle. Even as his ambassador to the UN offered “clear and strong condemnation” of “Russia’s aggressive actions”…

3 мин.
if you build it, they will fight

ON FEBRUARY 6th Israel aimed a nasty blow at what remains of its peace process with the nearly 5m Palestinians who live in the territories it seized 50 years ago. Its coalition government, led by Binyamin Netanyahu, voted a bill through the Knesset which allows, in certain circumstances, for the legalisation of Jewish construction on privately owned Palestinian land. One effect could be that around 50 “outposts”, scattered around the West Bank and illegal under Israeli law, will now be safe from the threat of demolition. Condemnation quickly flowed in from around the world—not just from among the 138 countries that recognise Palestine as a state, but from many that do not, including Britain, France and Germany, Israel’s most reliable friends outside America (which stayed silent). Germany’s government said that the…

4 мин.
time to pick up the tab

THESE are exhilarating times for the 52% of British voters who last summer opted to leave the European Union. After months of rumours that an anti-Brexit counter-revolution was being plotted by the Europhile establishment (who even won a Supreme Court case forbidding the government from triggering Brexit without Parliament’s permission), it at last looks as if independence beckons. This week the House of Commons voted to approve the process of withdrawal. The prime minister, Theresa May, will invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty next month, beginning a two-year countdown to freedom. But the triumphant mood is about to sour, for a reason few people have grasped. The first item on the agenda in Brussels, where divorce terms are to be thrashed out, will be a large demand for cash. To…

4 мин.
the litter of the law

THE prospect of deregulation helps explain why, since Donald Trump’s election, no bit of the American stockmarket has done better than financial firms. On February 3rd their shares climbed again as Mr Trump signed an executive order asking the Treasury to conduct a 120-day review of America’s financial regulations, including the Dodd-Frank act put in place after the financial crisis of 2007-08, to assess whether these rules meet a set of “core principles”. To critics of Dodd-Frank, this is thrilling stuff. They see the law as a piece of statist overreach that throttles the American economy. Plenty in the Trump administration would love to gut it. The president himself has called it a “disaster”. Gary Cohn, until recently one of the leaders of Goldman Sachs, a big bank, and now Mr…

3 мин.
the paradox of choice

FOR couch potatoes and bookworms, filmgoers and music-lovers, this is a golden age. The internet provides an almost endlessly long menu of options to meet the almost infinitely quirky tastes of humanity. Smartphones have put all kinds of entertainment—from classic rock to prestige television to silly YouTube clips—at the fingertips of billions across the planet. Yet, as our special report this week describes, these same technologies have a paradoxical effect. Although they expand choice, they concentrate attention on the most popular hits and the biggest platforms. Perhaps because entertainment is a social activity, perhaps because consumers are baffled by the range of choices, they depend on the rankings and recommendation algorithms of platforms like Netflix, YouTube and Spotify to guide them to their next dose of content. And they are drawn…