The Economist Continental Europe Edition June 19, 2021

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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1 мин.
coronavirus briefs

The number of infections continued to fall in India. Tourist attractions, including the Taj Mahal, re-opened to visitors. There are worries that easing restrictions will cause a new wave of cases. Officials in Moscow told people to work from home, as new daily cases in the city leapt to their highest level since December. California and New York lifted almost all their remaining restrictions. The number of new infections in both states are at their lowest levels since the start of the crisis. Tanzania said it would release data on covid-19 infections for the first time in more than a year. This would make the IMF and World Bank more likely to disburse funds. Tanzania’s late president, John Magufuli, had halted the publication of such statistics. He also denied there was covid in…

7 мин.
the world this week

Politics Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin met in Geneva for a summit. It lasted less than four hours, but both men described it as constructive. The two sides agreed to return their ambassadors, who were recalled earlier this year, and said they would work on new nuclear-arms-control measures. Mr Biden criticised Russia’s human-rights record, but said the topic should be dealt with separately from other matters, such as security and climate change. Mr Putin denied that Russia engages in cyber-attacks. China rejected criticism made by G7 countries at their summit in Britain. The G7 had called for peace in the Taiwan Strait and asked China to respect human rights, especially in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. A Chinese official said America was sick and the G7 should give it medicine. Meanwhile, 28 Chinese…

5 мин.

TWENTY YEARS ago, it might have been the plot of a trashy airport thriller. These days, it is routine. On May 7th cybercriminals shut down the pipeline supplying almost half the oil to America’s east coast for five days. To get it flowing again, they demanded a $4.3m ransom from Colonial Pipeline Company, the owner. Days later, a similar “ransomware” assault crippled most hospitals in Ireland. Such attacks are evidence of an epoch of intensifying cyberinsecurity that will impinge on everyone, from tech firms to schools and armies (see Briefing). One threat is catastrophe: think of an air-traffic-control system or a nuclear-power plant failing. But another is harder to spot, as cybercrime impedes the digitisation of many industries, hampering a revolution that promises to raise living standards around the world. The first…

3 мин.
worth the air miles

THE AIM, President Joe Biden said, before setting off on a European tour that ended in a summit with his Russian counterpart on June 16th, was to “make it clear to Putin and China that Europe and the United States are tight”. He achieved that, more or less. After meetings of the G7 and NATO and an EU-American pow-wow, it is clear that the rich countries of Europe and North America (and Japan) share common concerns about the two great autocracies that confront them. Whereas Donald Trump showed a strange fondness for dictators, Mr Biden is doing a fair job of uniting democracies to call the autocrats out. Mr Putin and Mr Biden arrived in Geneva without much room for manoeuvre. Mr Biden wants to look tough on Russia, but finds…

4 мин.
the benefits of foresight

EVERY BUSINESS cycle, as it runs out of puff, reveals problems that seem obvious in hindsight. Twenty years ago, when stockmarkets slumped, accounting frauds came to light at Enron, an energy-trading firm, and WorldCom, a telecoms outfit. Less spectacular were the revelations that many companies had cut corners or behaved recklessly. The actions of titanic bosses ruling over General Electric and Vivendi, a French media group, ended up hobbling them for decades. After 2008, the emperors of Wall Street were revealed to be wearing no clothes, with Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and others collapsing under the weight of huge losses—and their bosses’ giant egos. Guessing where tomorrow’s cautionary tale may lie is not easy. But investors seeking to avoid blow-ups should pay special attention to securities, companies and bosses that encapsulate…

4 мин.
peace gives a chance

SINCE THE overthrow of Saddam Hussein, a blood-soaked despot, Iraq has lurched from crisis to civil war and back again. Today, as the country prepares for an election in October, many Iraqis say they are too disgusted to vote (see Middle East & Africa section). What is the point, they ask, when the government they will elect can barely govern, when politicians are useless and corrupt, and when the country is really run by militias, factions, tribal chiefs and foreign powers? Yet there is cause for hope. The main one is that Iraq is less violent than it was. As recently as 2014, a third of its territory was controlled by Islamic State (IS), a group that enslaved women and burned people in cages. Since the “caliphate” was crushed in 2017,…