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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition September 24, 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.

United Kingdom
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
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8 мин.
the world this week

Politics A UN convoy attempting to supply aid to rebel-held areas in Syria was bombed, apparently by Russian jets. Twenty people were killed. The UN and other humanitarian groups briefly suspended aid deliveries. John Kerry, America’s secretary of state, called on Russia and Syria to stop flying warplanes over northern Syria, as he tried to salvage a ceasefire that began only recently. Iraq’ finance minister, Hoshyar Zebari, was sacked by parliament over allegations of corruption. Mr Zebari is a prominent Kurdish politician who had served as foreign minister and was well known to international creditors and donors. Israel saw a surge in attacks on soldiers and policemen by Palestinians armed with knives, shattering several months of relative calm. Some of the attackers were killed. At least 44 people were killed in the Democratic Republic…

5 мин.
the low-rate world

THEY do not naturally crave the limelight. But for the past decade the attention on central bankers has been unblinking—and increasingly hostile. During the financial crisis the Federal Reserve and other central banks were hailed for their actions: by slashing rates and printing money to buy bonds, they stopped a shock from becoming a depression. Now their signature policy, of keeping interest rates low or even negative, is at the centre of the biggest macroeconomic debate in a generation. The central bankers say that ultra-loose monetary policy remains essential to prop up still-weak economies and hit their inflation targets. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) this week promised to keep ten-year government bond yields around zero. On September 21st the Federal Reserve put off a rate rise yet again. In the wake…

3 мин.
potemkin euro-armies

THE idea of a European army is as old as the hope for European unity. After creating the European Coal and Steel Community, the embryo of today’s European Union, the six founding members agreed in 1952 to form a supranational European force. But the plan was voted down by the French parliament; thereafter countries focused on gradual economic integration. Now that the EU is in trouble and Britain has voted to leave, the idea of military integration is being revived (see page 25). Some countries talk of a “European Defence Union”. Others, evoking the “Schengen” passport-free travel area, envisage a “Schengen for defence”. Eurocrats want to show there is life in the EU after Brexit: with the British gone, they say, the biggest obstacle to defence integration will be gone, too.…

4 мин.
indecision time

ON SEPTEMBER 26th two candidates will debate against each other on live television during what will probably be the most-watched political broadcast in American history. One of them is a former First Lady, senator and secretary of state. The other has never been elected to any office before and was, until last year, the host of “Celebrity Apprentice”. Yet this is not the most remarkable thing about America’s presidential election. What is truly extraordinary is that the polling currently suggests that these two candidates are, if not quite tied, then far closer than most people expected them to be at this stage of the race. After the Democratic National Convention at the end of July, betting markets gave Donald Trump just a 20% chance of becoming the 45th president. His attacks…

3 мин.
adulterers beware

FOR decades Malaysia’s Islamist opposition party, PAS, has been agitating for the adoption of bloodthirsty Islamic punishments, such as amputations and stonings. It had seemed a forlorn quest. Malaysia is a multi-religious, multi-ethnic country, with Muslims (most of them ethnic Malays) accounting for only 60% or so of the population. The Indian and Chinese minorities and indigenous people from the Malaysian part of Borneo are largely Buddhist, Christian and Hindu. The governing coalition includes parties representing each group. Successive governments, with the backing of Malaysia’s moderate Muslims, have shrugged off PAS’s demands. Malaysia’s current government, alas, is unlike its predecessors. It lost the popular vote at the most recent election, remaining in power thanks only to assiduous gerrymandering. Since then news has emerged of the looting of hundreds of millions of…

3 мин.
the road to surfdom?

WHOEVER controls the internet’s address book has the power over life and death on the network. Delete a domain name (economist.com, for example), and a website can no longer be found and an e-mail no longer delivered. Such authority currently falls under the auspices of America, but not for much longer. On October 1st the federal government is scheduled to let lapse a contract that gives it control over part of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body that oversees the internet’s address system. Some—notably Ted Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas, who seems willing to risk a shutdown of the government to block the transfer—argue that this amounts to giving away the internet. He says that the handover would allow governments in autocratic countries such as…