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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 08/12/2017

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 Tensions rose between North Korea and America. The regime of Kim Jong Un threatened to strike at American armed forces in Guam, a response to a warning from Donald Trump to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if the regime continued to threaten America with its nuclear weapons. The heated rhetoric worried many and eclipsed an earlier decision by the UN Security Council to impose stringent new sanctions on North Korea. Myanmar’s official investigation into the human-rights abuses committed by the army in a crackdown against the Rohingya minority last October concluded that no such crimes had occurred. Earlier this year the UN reported mass killings, rapes and beatings committed against the Muslim Rohingya and called on the government to hold those responsible to account. Myanmar’s response…

6 мин.

“HUMAN inventiveness… has still not found a mechanical process to replace horses as the propulsion for vehicles,” lamented Le Petit Journal, a French newspaper, in December 1893. Its answer was to organise the Paris-Rouen race for horseless carriages, held the following July. The 102 entrants included vehicles powered by steam, petrol, electricity, compressed air and hydraulics. Only 21 qualified for the 126km (78-mile) race, which attracted huge crowds. The clear winner was the internal combustion engine. Over the next century it would go on to power industry and change the world. The big end But its days are numbered. Rapid gains in battery technology favour electric motors instead (see page 13). In Paris in 1894 not a single electric car made it to the starting line, partly because they needed battery-replacement stations…

4 мин.
long walk to cronyism

THE most striking thing about the vote over whether to sack Jacob Zuma was the claims his supporters did not make. During the debate, in South Africa’s parliament on August 8th, no one said: “Let’s keep Mr Zuma as our president because he has done such a splendid job of running the country.” Some MPs from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) did not mention him by name at all, so embarrassing has his record become. Instead, they accused the opposition of all manner of skulduggery and, of course, racism. The defence minister likened the motion of no confidence in Mr Zuma to a coup. The arts minister called the opposition parties that supported the motion “Mickey Mouse organisations”. Shortly after Mr Zuma narrowly survived the vote, his police minister…

3 мин.
not evil, just wrong

THE talk in Silicon Valley just now is as likely to be about sex as software. Women in tech firms feel badly treated. And they are right: they rarely get the top jobs, they are sometimes paid less than men and many suffer unwanted sexual advances. Most of their male colleagues sympathise; at the same time some feel they cannot express unorthodox opinions on gender. And they are right, too: they can easily fall foul of written and unwritten rules, and face drastic consequences. The charged atmosphere helps explain why “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber”, a memo by a young software engineer, James Damore, has caused such a stir (see page 46). It says that the firm’s efforts to hire more women are biased. After circulating internally, it went viral. On August…

3 мин.
dangerous games

NEXT month Russia will hold what is expected to be the biggest military exercise in Europe since the end of the cold war. According to NATO estimates, it will involve at least 100,000 troops (see page 17). Revived from Soviet times by Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, the Zapad (West) drills, as they are known, take place every four years. Although the Kremlin insists that the scenarios it is playing out are purely defensive, that is not always how they have looked to its neighbours. Countries that have borders with Russia or Belarus, the operational focus of Zapad 2017, are especially worried. The climax of Zapad 2009 was a dummy nuclear strike on Warsaw, which rather stretches the meaning of “defensive”. Zapad 2013 was less overtly aggressive, but much of the new…

3 мин.
an english solution

UNIVERSITY used to be for a privileged few. In some countries it is now almost a rite of passage. Although that is excellent news, few countries have worked out how to pay for it. In some of continental Europe, where the state often foots the bill, the result has usually been underinvestment. In America, where students themselves pay, many have little choice but to take on huge debts. English policymakers thought they had struck the right balance, with a mix of student fees and generous state loans that has found admirers abroad. But, nearly two decades after youngsters were first required to contribute to tuition costs, the system has dwindling support at home. Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s leader and many students’ favourite political philosopher, speaks as though it were designed to keep…