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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition January 7, 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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4 мин.
the world this week

Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and imposed new economic sanctions in retaliation against Russian hackers’ interference in America’s election. American intelligence agencies say that Russia released stolen e-mails of Democratic Party officers in order to aid the campaign of Donald Trump. Vladimir Putin declined to strike back, winning praise from Mr Trump. A gunman attacked a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’s Day festivities, killing at least 39 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility. Turkish religious authorities who had criticised new year’s celebrations as un-Islamic condemned the attack. It came two weeks after a policeman shouting “Don’t forget Aleppo!” fatally shot the Russian ambassador to Turkey. Relations between Israel and America became strained when John Kerry, the soon-to-retire secretary of state, said that the Israeli government was undermining the prospects for a…

5 мин.
now we’re talking

ANY sufficiently advanced technology, noted Arthur C. Clarke, a British science-fiction writer, is indistinguishable from magic. The fast-emerging technology of voice computing proves his point. Using it is just like casting a spell: say a few words into the air, and a nearby device can grant your wish. The Amazon Echo, a voice-driven cylindrical computer that sits on a table top and answers to the name Alexa, can call up music tracks and radio stations, tell jokes, answer trivia questions and control smart appliances; even before Christmas it was already resident in about 4% of American households. Voice assistants are proliferating in smartphones, too: Apple’s Siri handles over 2bn commands a week, and 20% of Google searches on Android-powered handsets in America are input by voice. Dictating e-mails and text messages…

3 мин.
the second divine wind

JAPAN’S prime minister, Shinzo Abe, was the first foreign leader to meet Donald Trump after his improbable election victory. The photographs show him smiling almost as broadly as the new president-elect. But not even Mr Abe could have guessed how much he would have to smile about. The prospect of stronger spending in America, which has raised bond yields and strengthened the dollar against the yen, has rekindled some optimism about Abenomics, Mr Abe’s campaign to lift the economy out of its decades-long stagnation. At the Bank of Japan’s most recent meeting, one policymaker said that the prospects for growth and reflation stand at a “critical juncture”. They likened conditions to those of 2013 and early 2014, when the currency was cheap, the stock-market was buoyant and inflation was rising. That…

3 мин.
men of steel, houses of cards

IT MUST seem to Donald Trump that reversing globalisation is easy-peasy. With a couple of weeks still to go before he is even inaugurated, contrite firms are queuing up to invest in America. This week Ford cancelled a $1.6 billion new plant for small cars in Mexico and pledged to create 700 new jobs building electric and hybrid cars at Flat Rock in Michigan—while praising Mr Trump for improving the business climate in America. Other manufacturers, such as Carrier, have changed their plans, too. All it has taken is some harsh words, the odd tax handout and a few casual threats. Mr Trump has consistently argued that globalisation gives America a poor deal. He reportedly wants to impose a tariff of 5% or more on all imports. To help him, he…

3 мин.
first peace, then law

EIGHT years ago Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart wrote a book called “Fixing Failed States”. Now Mr Ghani is in a position to follow his own advice. He is the president of Afghanistan, a state that failed in the 1990s and could fail again. State failure causes untold misery (see page 43). Broadly defined, it is the main reason poor countries are poor. Its chief cause is not geography, climate or culture, but politics. Some countries build benign, efficient institutions that foster economic growth; others build predatory ones that retard it. South Sudan is an extreme example of predation. Its politics consist of warlords fighting over oil money. The warlords also stir up tribal animosity as a tool to recruit more militiamen. The state makes Big Men rich while ordinary folk…

5 мин.
theresa maybe

WITHIN hours of the Brexit referendum last summer David Cameron had resigned, and within three weeks Theresa May had succeeded him as prime minister. The speed of her ascent to power, on July 13th 2016, without a general election or a full-blown Tory leadership contest, meant that Mayism was never spelt out in any manifesto or endorsed by the electorate. Yet the new prime minister soon made clear the scale of her ambitions for Britain. Not only would she make a success of Brexit, she would also set in motion a sea-change in social mobility to correct the “burning injustices” faced by the downtrodden, and reshape “the forces of liberalism and globalisation which have held sway...across the Western world.” Her allies talked of an epochal moment, comparable to Margaret Thatcher’s…