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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition October 15, 2016

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 Donald Trump had the worst week so far of his presidential campaign. A tape from 2005 caught him making obscene and aggressive comments about women, which prompted many senior Republicans, including John McCain, to withdraw their support. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, said he would now focus only on elections for Congress. In the debate, Mr Trump threatened to lock up Hillary Clinton if he wins the White House. There is a little over three weeks left until campaigning is over. A judge in Florida, the biggest of the battleground states that will decide the election, extended the deadline for voter registrations in the state by a week because of the disruption caused by a hurricane. The American government formally accused Russia of authorising the hacking of Democratic Party e-mails,…

5 мин.
the debasing of american politics

HOW do people learn to accept what they once found unacceptable? In 1927 Frederic Thrasher published a “natural history” of 1,313 gangs in Chicago. Each of them lived by a set of unwritten rules that had come to make sense to gang members but were still repellent to everyone else. So it is with Donald Trump and many of his supporters. By normalising attitudes that, before he came along, were publicly taboo, Mr Trump has taken a knuckle-duster to American political culture. The recording of him boasting about grabbing women “by the pussy”, long before he was a candidate, was unpleasant enough. More worrying still has been the insistence by many Trump supporters that his behaviour was normal. So too his threat, issued in the second presidential debate, to have Hillary…

3 мин.
bad medicine

DUCHENNE muscular dystrophy is a horrible disease. Afflicting mainly boys, it weakens their muscles and eventually confines them to wheelchairs. In the end, typically when they are in their 20s, it kills them. Patients and parents are understandably elated, therefore, at the decision taken last month by America’s drug agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to approve the first treatment for Duchenne. No one could fail to be moved by their campaign to win approval. At an FDA meeting this year one sufferer pleaded: “please don’t let me die early.” Nonetheless, the decision bodes ill for drug discovery in America. Sarepta Therapeutics, the firm behind the drug, did not meet the usual standards for approval to market it. Staff at the FDA’s drug-evaluation division are sceptical about the efficacy of…

4 мин.
the forgotten war

THE air strike that blasted a funeral in Sana’a on October 8th did more than kill around 140 civilians and wound 500: it drew rare attention to Saudi Arabia’s 20-month war in Yemen and strained its alliance with America, which is now reconsidering its military support for the campaign (see page 32). Critics say it is time for the West to abandon its embarrassing alliance with the Saudis. How, they ask, can the West denounce the carnage in Syria when its own ally is bombing civilians in Yemen? If the Saudis, with Western support, can intervene to defend the government of Yemen, why should Russia not defend Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria? Morally and perhaps legally, America and Britain are implicated in Saudi actions: they sell warplanes and munitions to the…

3 мин.
rotten foundations

JUST over a year ago, policymakers were having conniptions about China’s tumbling stockmarkets. Now it is China’s frothy property market that is causing worries at home and abroad. Because the property sector accounts for about a quarter of demand in the world’s second-largest economy, a market collapse would have far more than a local impact. In fact, for now, China can probably avoid a disastrous crash (see page 63). But it shows little sign of being able to implement the fundamental reforms needed to fix the distortions that make the market so volatile and, in the long run, dangerous. One reason for optimism that a crisis can be averted is that the risk has been identified. With property prices in many big cities soaring—by more than 30% a year in Shanghai,…

3 мин.
taking a pounding

RARELY do people compare the British pound to the Nigerian naira, Azerbaijani manat or Malawian kwacha. But on a measure of year-to-date change against the American dollar, sterling is near the bottom of the 154 currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The pound is down by 15% on a trade-weighted basis since the Brexit vote, and is plumbing the depths it reached in the 2008-09 financial crisis (see Buttonwood). The cause of sterling’s fall is the realisation that Theresa May’s government is moving towards a “hard” Brexit, which involves Britain leaving the European Union’s customs union and its single market. It is also driven by the fear that Britain is turning into a xenophobic, interventionist and unpredictable place, with calls to clamp down on foreign workers and foreign capital. For a country that…