The Economist Continental Europe Edition September 11, 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

COVAX, a programme backed by the World Health Organisation to speed the distribution of vaccines to developing countries, cut its forecast of deliveries of the doses by a quarter for this year because of numerous problems. The news puts more pressure on rich countries not to hoard vaccines for booster shots. Scientists in South Africa said virus samples suggested that a worrying new variant of covid-19 first identified in the country was spreading at a slower rate than previous mutations. The European Union reached an agreement with Astra­Zeneca to deliver the region’s remaining vaccines by the end of March 2022. The deal ends a bitter court dispute about what was promised, and for when. In Vietnam a man was sent to prison for five years for spreading covid-19 by flouting local travel restrictions. →…

7 мин.
the world this week

Politics The Taliban announced an interim government for Afghanistan. The new cabinet included no women and few non-Pushtuns. Sirajuddin Haqqani, a man wanted for terrorism by America, is in charge of internal security. Mohammad Hassan Akhund, a former aide to the group’s founder, is acting prime minister. The jihadists seized Panjshir valley, the last pocket of resistance, and whipped female protesters in Kabul. Suga Yoshihide abruptly resigned as Japan’s prime minister ahead of a leadership election in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The winner of that race will become prime minister and lead the party into lower-house elections. Joe Biden surveyed the damage in New Jersey and New York from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, which killed 46 people in the area. The president said he would call for action on climate change…

5 мин.
america then and now

TWENTY YEARS ago America set out to reshape the world order after the attacks of September 11th. Today it is easy to conclude that its foreign policy has been abandoned on a runway at Kabul airport. President Joe Biden says the exit from Afghanistan was about “ending an era” of distant wars, but it has left America’s allies distraught and its enemies gleeful. Most Americans are tired of it all: roughly two-thirds say the war wasn’t worth it. Yet the national mood of fatigue and apathy is a poor guide to America’s future role in the world. Its capabilities remain formidable and its strategy can be retooled for the 21st century, provided the right lessons are drawn from the post-9/11 era. The murder of 3,000 people on American soil provoked a…

5 мин.
why nations that fail women fail

AFTER AMERICA and its allies toppled the Taliban in 2001, primary-school enrolment of Afghan girls rose from 0% to above 80%. Infant mortality fell by half. Forced marriage was made illegal. Many of those schools were ropy, and many families ignored the law. But no one seriously doubts that Afghan women and girls have made great gains in the past 20 years, or that those gains are now in jeopardy (see Asia section). The United States is “committed to advancing gender equality” through its foreign policy, according to the State Department. Bequeathing billions of dollars-worth of arms and a medium-size country to a group of violent misogynists is an odd way to show it. Of course, foreign policy involves difficult tradeoffs (see Leader). But there is growing evidence that Hillary Clinton…

3 мин.
age and enlightenment

NEITHER POPULISTS in general, nor Boris Johnson in particular, are known for tackling difficult problems if they can be left to future governments. Yet Britain’s prime minister did just that on September 7th when he unveiled a plan to break an election promise and raise taxes by an annual £12bn ($17bn), or 0.5% of GDP. The money will go to the National Health Service (NHS) and social care, including residential care for the elderly. Taxes could be raised more fairly. The government nonetheless deserves praise for taking on an issue that had seemed intractable. Britain, like many rich countries, is ageing. In 2011 there were four 15- to 64-year-olds for every person aged 65 or over; by 2028 there will be fewer than three. The consequences include a strained NHS and…

3 мин.
courting trouble

WHEN THE Texas legislature passed a law trying to ban abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, many Supreme Court-watchers expected it to be put on hold because it contradicted a right to abortion, enshrined in Roe v Wade, that the court has recognised for nearly 50 years. Instead the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, declined to do this on procedural grounds. The law has gone into effect which is, most obviously, bad for women in Texas. But it is also bad for the court itself and for the rule of law because, through their inaction, the justices in the majority have permitted America’s legal system to be hacked. The Texas law is ingeniously awful. Its novel enforcement mechanism was designed by a former clerk to the late Antonin Scalia,…