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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 05/20/2017

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 America’s Justice Department unexpectedly appointed Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate claims about Russian links to the Trump administration. Mr Mueller is a former head of the FBI. He was appointed to lead the Russian investigation by Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney-general; Jeff Sessions, the attorney-general, has recused himself from the matter because of his previous meetings with the Russian ambassador. Meanwhile, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee asked the FBI to hand over all documents related to meetings between the president and James Comey, who has been sacked by Donald Trump as director of the bureau. This followed reports that Mr Trump had asked Mr Comey to drop an investigation into Russian contacts. In yet more White House intrigue, Donald Trump reportedly let slip highly sensitive information to…

5 мин.
why israel needs a palestinian state

THE victory of Israel over the Arab armies that encircled it in 1967 was so swift and absolute that, many Jews thought, the divine hand must have tipped the scales. Before the six-day war Israel had feared another Holocaust; thereafter it became an empire of sorts. Awestruck, the Jews took the holy sites of Jerusalem and the places of their biblical stories. But the land came with many Palestinians whom Israel could neither expel nor absorb. Was Providence smiling on Israel, or testing it? For the past 50 years, Israel has tried to have it both ways: taking the land by planting Jewish settlements on it; and keeping the Palestinians unenfranchised under military occupation, denied either their own state or political equality within Israel (see our special report in this issue).…

3 мин.
wise counsel

A SHORT but strikingly powerful phrase—“in the public interest”—underpinned the welcome announcement, on May 17th, that a former FBI chief, Robert Mueller (pictured), is to serve as a special counsel investigating Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election and whether members of Donald Trump’s campaign colluded in that attack on democracy. Mr Mueller was appointed by the deputy attorney-general, Rod Rosenstein, who explained that he was acting to ensure the American people have “full confidence” that their nation is grounded in the rule of law, without regard to partisan politics. It says something about the perils of this moment that Mr Rosenstein, a career prosecutor, needed to spell out that reasoning. Still, after weeks of inappropriate and suspicious behaviour by Mr Trump and his aides, shameful foot-dragging by Republican leaders in…

3 мин.
the worm that turned

IT SOUNDS like a Hollywood disaster film. A group of hackers use a stolen cyber-weapon to try to extort money from people worldwide. The attack cripples hospitals, causing ambulances to be diverted and operations to be cancelled. Then a lone security researcher stumbles across a way to halt the bug in its tracks. Yet that is exactly what happened last week when a piece of ransomware called WannaCry, which infects computers running outdated versions of Microsoft’s Windows operating system, hit not just Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) but Russia’s interior ministry, Chinese universities, Germany’s state railways and plenty more besides. It could have been much worse. WannaCry does not seem to have been a deliberate attack on hospitals, but a criminal money-making scheme in which the NHS was collateral damage (see…

3 мин.
the latest scourge

THE roadside billboards in some American towns do not advertise fast-food chains or home insurance. Instead, they tell people what to do in case of a drug overdose. Deaths in America from opioids, pain-relieving drugs that include both prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and illegal ones such as heroin, have almost quadrupled over the past two decades. In some states the share of babies who are born with withdrawal symptoms has increased by 300% since 1999; at least 8,000 were born suffering from them in 2013. Each day 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose. Much of this catastrophe stems from the over-prescription of legal painkillers. In 2015 some 650,000 prescriptions were handed out on an average day. But when prescriptions end, addicts sometimes turn to illicit substances. The latest one…

3 мин.
deformative action

WHAT government would not like to reduce racial disparities and promote ethnic harmony? The tricky part is knowing how. One country that claims to have found a way is Malaysia. Since 1971 it has given preferential treatment in everything from education to investing to bumiputeras—people of indigenous descent, who are two-thirds of the population but poorer than their ethnic-Chinese and -Indian compatriots. On the face of things, this system of affirmative action has been a success (see page 44). The gap in income between Malays (the biggest bumiputera group) and Chinese- and Indian-Malaysians has narrowed dramatically. Just as important, there has been no repeat of the bloody race riots of 1969, when Malay mobs burned Chinese shops in Kuala Lumpur, prompting the adoption of the policy. And the economy—typically an instant…