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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition October 12, 2019

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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 Turkey invaded northern Syria to crush Kurdish militias, after Donald Trump said he would pull American troops out of the region, giving Turkey a green light. President Trump was widely condemned for abandoning the Kurds, who fought alongside America against Islamic State and still guard captured IS prisoners in camps. He justified the betrayal by claiming that the Kurds “didn’t help us in the second world war”. Actually, they did. Kurds of the Assyrian Parachute Company fought for the Allies in Greece and Albania, among other places. Protests against the government continued in Iraq. The authorities responded with force, killing more than 100 people and wounding 4,000. The government also shut down the internet and imposed curfews, but it has been unable to fix the economy or curb graft. An election observer…

5 мин.
the world economy’s strange new rules

RICH-WORLD economies consist of a billion consumers and millions of firms taking their own decisions. But they also feature mighty public institutions that try to steer the economy, including central banks, which set monetary policy, and governments, which decide how much to spend and borrow. For the past 30 years or more these institutions have run under established rules. The government wants a booming jobs market that wins votes but, if the economy overheats, it will cause inflation. And so independent central banks are needed to take away the punch bowl just as the party warms up, to borrow the familiar quip of William McChesney Martin, once head of the Federal Reserve. Think of it as a division of labour: politicians focus on the long-term size of the state and…

3 мин.
the man without a plan

BEHOLD THE “great and unmatched wisdom” of President Donald Trump. On October 6th he announced that American troops would withdraw from northernmost Syria, all but endorsing a Turkish offensive against America’s Kurdish allies in the region. He did not warn the Kurds, who had fought bravely against the jihadists of Islamic State (IS). It was time to let others, such as Russia and Iran, “figure the situation out”, he said. But hours later, after even his Republican colleagues objected, Mr Trump stepped back. Turkey, he warned, should not do anything that he considers “off limits”. Ignoring him, Turkish forces launched a campaign on October 9th that threatens not only to revive IS, but also to condemn Syria to yet another cycle of slaughter. The conflicting signals, sent by Mr Trump in…

4 мин.
traffic, jammed

FEW IDEAS have enthused technologists as much as the self-driving car. Advances in machine learning, a subfield of artificial intelligence (AI), would enable cars to teach themselves to drive by drawing on reams of data from the real world. The more they drove, the more data they would collect, and the better they would become. Robotaxis summoned with the flick of an app would make car ownership obsolete. Best of all, reflexes operating at the speed of electronics would drastically improve safety. Car- and tech-industry bosses talked of a world of “zero crashes”. And the technology was just around the corner. In 2015 Elon Musk, Tesla’s boss, predicted his cars would be capable of “complete autonomy” by 2017. Mr Musk is famous for missing his own deadlines. But he is not…

4 мин.
a big stink on the brink

IMAGINE A CENTRAL bank tweeting that, yes, there are rumours of “certain” banks facing deposit runs but “there is no need to panic”. Would you feel reassured? That is the unenviable position Indians found themselves in last week as a financial storm rumbled on in the world’s fifth-biggest economy with no sign of the authorities getting a firm grip. In the latest fiasco a co-operative bank, PMC, is accused of fraud, prompting depositors to yank their cash out. Meanwhile shares in Yes Bank, a private lender, have collapsed by 40% in the past month as rumours swirl. These are not isolated incidents. Roughly a third of the financial system is on crutches or under suspicion. Dazed by the scale of the task, the government and the Reserve Bank of India…

3 мин.
how to keep your ill-gotten loot

SO YOU’VE STOLEN a billion dollars. That was the easy part. The country of which you are president may be poor, which is a pity, but it is also lawless, which creates opportunities. The auditors, police and prosecutors who should have slapped the hand you put in the treasury chose to kiss it instead. So your pockets are bulging with ill-gotten loot. There is just one snag: the world has grown less tolerant of kleptocrats. Back in the good old days of the cold war, strongmen could be strongmen. When Mobutu Sese Seko, the late dictator of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, robbed his country into a coma, no one cared. (Apart from his subjects, of course.) When his household drained 10,000 bottles of pink champagne a year…