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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 04/08/2017

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 chemical-weapons attack on a rebel-held town near the Syrian city of Idlib killed at least 85 civilians, the deadliest such assault in Syria’s long and bloody civil war since August 2013. Bashar al-Assad’s regime denied responsibility: only the Russians said they believed it. International condemnation came thick and fast, including at the UN Security Council. Donald Trump said Syria had crossed “many, many lines”, but did not say what, if anything, he would do. Israel authorised the construction of the first new settlement in the West Bank for more than 20 years, following the earlier dismantling of a settlement site at Amona that was illegal under Israeli law. Standard & Poor’s cut South Africa’s debt to junk status for the first time since 2000 after President Jacob Zuma sacked the respected…

4 мин.
the myth of cyber-security

COMPUTER security is a contradiction in terms. Consider the past year alone: cyberthieves stole $81m from the central bank of Bangladesh; the $4.8bn takeover of Yahoo, an internet firm, by Verizon, a telecoms firm, was nearly derailed by two enormous data breaches; and Russian hackers interfered in the American presidential election. Away from the headlines, a black market in computerised extortion, hacking-for-hire and stolen digital goods is booming. The problem is about to get worse. Computers increasingly deal not just with abstract data like credit-card details and databases, but also with the real world of physical objects and vulnerable human bodies. A modern car is a computer on wheels; an aeroplane is a computer with wings. The arrival of the “Internet of Things” will see computers baked into everything from road…

3 мин.
russia’s poisonous client

THE horror in Syria is never-ending. Its civil war, now entering a seventh year, has claimed about half a million lives, pushed 5m refugees out of the country and displaced millions more within it. Yet the chemical attack that killed at least 85 people in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun (see page 30) stands out as an act of infamy. In a murky conflict with few angels, it casts the spotlight on the worst perpetrator: the regime of Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia and Iran. The footage of choking children suggests the use of a nerve agent, probably sarin. Its manufacture, storage and use as a weapon usually requires the wherewithal of a state. No militia in Syria—not even the jihadists of Islamic State (IS), who have used chlorine and…

3 мин.
the valley and the delta

IT USED to be much easier to spot the difference between the presidents of America and China. One would argue for free markets and economic liberalism, the other for centralised control. One would endorse democracy and the rule of law, the other freedom from outside interference. As Donald Trump geared up to meet Xi Jinping for the first time this week, in a summit in Florida that was due to start after The Economist went to press, those differences have narrowed (and in some areas, such as climate change, the positions have flipped). This is partly a matter of style. Both Mr Trump and Mr Xi adhere to a personalised, “strongman” view of leadership. The American president is literally a brand; the Chinese are being encouraged to pledge personal fealty to…

3 мин.
dump jacob zuma

“AMANDLA” (“power” in Zulu and Xhosa), comes the cry from the podium. “Ngawethu” (“to us”), the crowd roars back. The old chants that once rumbled from South Africa’s townships are again ringing out. But this time they are directed not at apartheid but against a reckless attempt by Jacob Zuma, a president who faces 783 charges of fraud and corruption, to tighten his grip on power and install a pliant successor. The protests were sparked by a cabinet reshuffle last week. Mr Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas, the finance minister and his deputy. Both are well-regarded by investors and economists. They are credited with putting a lid on public debt and resisting the biggest of the president’s boondoggles, a plan to spend as much as 1trn rand ($73bn) building…

4 мин.
aparkalypse now

IN IRELAND people ask St Anthony to help them find parking spaces. In Chicago, if you shovel the snow from a space, it belongs to you. In Shanghai people beg their parents to reserve spaces by sitting in them. Everywhere parking is a big reason law-abiding people pay fines to the government and a cause of screaming rows between strangers. More important, it profoundly shapes cities—usually for the worse. Parking spaces seem innocuous, just a couple of lines painted on asphalt. Multiplied and mismanaged, though, they can create traffic jams, worsen air pollution and force cities to sprawl. The cost and availability of parking affects people’s commuting habits more than the rapid buses and light-rail lines that cities are so keen to build (see pages 18-20). Next to other worthy policies…