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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition 11/11/2017

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.

United Kingdom
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
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8 мин.
the world this week

Politics As many as 500 people were arrested in Saudi Arabia in what the government said was a clampdown on corruption. Critics say that Muhammad bin Salman, the crown prince, is trying to concentrate power. Among those jailed are prominent royals and businessmen. Saad Hariri resigned as prime minister of Lebanon, saying that his life was in danger and blaming Iran for meddling in Lebanon. His father, Rafik, was assassinated in 2005 in an attack blamed on Hizbullah. Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of Robert Mugabe’s most thuggish deputies, was sacked and then fled to South Africa. The 93-year-old Mr Mugabe is thought to be paving the way for his wife Grace, an avid shopper, to succeed him as president of Zimbabwe. Some 1,000 soldiers deployed in Somalia as part of a 22,000-strong African Union mission…

5 мин.

A YEAR ago this week Donald Trump was elected president. Many people predicted that American foreign policy would take a disastrous turn. Mr Trump had suggested that he would scrap trade deals, ditch allies, put a figurative bomb under the rules-based global order and drop literal ones willy-nilly. NATO was “obsolete”, he said; NAFTA was “the worst trade deal maybe ever”; and America was far too nice to foreigners. “In the old days when you won a war, you won a war. You kept the country,” he opined, adding later that he would “bomb the shit out of” Islamic State (IS) and “take the oil”. So far, Mr Trump’s foreign policy has been less awful than he promised. Granted, he has pulled America out of the Paris accord, making it harder…

3 мин.
scam or substance?

MARKETS and manias go together. The latest frenzy is for all things crypto. The price of the best-known digital currency, bitcoin, has risen by nearly 700% this year and is now about $7,500; one enterprising firm recently quadrupled its share price simply by adding the word “blockchain” to its name. But nowhere do alarm bells ring more loudly than in the realm of “initial coin offerings” (ICOs), a form of crowdfunding in which firms issue digital “coins” or “tokens” in return for a payment (typically in ether, another crypto-currency). ICOs have raked in more than $3.2bn this year, rivalling the money flowing to internet startups from early-stage venture capital. Although most of these tokens are supposed to be used in exchange for the companies’ products, as in a corporate loyalty scheme…

4 мин.
a palace coup in riyadh

IN A kingdom where change comes only slowly, if at all, the drama of recent days in Saudi Arabia is astounding. Scores of princes, ministers and officials have been arrested or sacked, mostly accused of corruption. Many of those arrested are being held in the splendour of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh. About $800bn-worth of assets may have been frozen. At the same time a missile fired from Yemen was intercepted near Riyadh, prompting Saudi Arabia to accuse Iran of an “act of war”. Upheaval at home and threats of war abroad make a worrying mix in a country that has, hitherto, held firm amid the violent breakdown of the Middle East. The world can ill afford instability in the biggest oil exporter, the largest Arab economy and the home of…

3 мин.
reform the reform

THE last time Republicans controlled both the White House and Congress, under President George W. Bush, they passed a package of temporary tax cuts. This time they are displaying more ambition. The tax bill unveiled in the House of Representatives on November 2nd can properly be called a reform. It would slash deductions that distort the economy: for debt and mortgage interest, state taxes and manufacturers. The savings would go towards reducing most marginal tax rates. The principle of scrapping deductions in order to lower rates is exactly the right one. But the House bill is flawed. Despite leaving the top rate of personal income tax unchanged, the bill’s benefits are unduly skewed towards the rich. And rather than boost growth, as President Donald Trump wants, the bill may slow the…

3 мин.
the shadow justice system

THE elements that make up a criminal-justice system are familiar from a thousand courtroom dramas. Detectives interview witnesses and examine crime scenes. Forensic scientists coax secrets from bloodstains and cigarette ash. Judges and juries weigh the facts and pronounce on guilt and innocence. But in many countries, behind this system lies a quicker, rougher one. It is plea-bargaining, in which prosecutors press lesser charges or ask for a lighter sentence in return for a defendant pleading guilty or incriminating others. Long crucial to the operation of American justice, this shadow system is now going global (see page 55). One study of 90 countries found that just 19 permitted plea bargains in 1990. Now 66 do. In many countries, including England and Australia, pleas now account for a majority of guilty verdicts.…