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The Economist Asia EditionThe Economist Asia Edition

The Economist Asia Edition

April 27, 2019

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 - Asia Pacific
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51 Issues


access_time8 min.
the world this week

Politics Jihadists in Sri Lanka suicide-bombed three churches and three hotels on Easter Sunday, killing more than 350 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility. The Sri Lankan authorities blamed a little-known local group, which they say may have had external help. The government received several detailed warnings, but does not seem to have acted on them. The president asked his chief of staff and the head of the police to resign. It emerged that the president had been excluding the prime minister and his allies from national security meetings. Joko Widodo won re-election as president of Indonesia, beating Prabowo Subianto, a former general who also ran against him in 2014. Now as then, Mr Prabowo has refused to concede defeat, saying the election was rigged. Kazakhstan’s ruling party named the…

access_time5 min.
south africa’s best bet

SINCE THE days of Nelson Mandela, one of the most effective slogans of the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party, has been “a better life for all”. The contrast with the old apartheid regime, which promised a good life only for whites, has never needed spelling out. As the party that helped liberate black South Africans from votelessness and segregation, the ANC has ruled uninterrupted since apartheid ended in 1994, always winning national elections by wide margins. The trouble is, when one party has nearly all the power, the kind of people who seek power in order to abuse it and grow rich flock to join that party. Corruption, always a problem, became so widespread under Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s atrocious president from 2009 to 2018, that…

access_time5 min.

Reprogramming life“Liberation biology” indeed. Your otherwise excellent Technology quarterly on bioengineering was marred by its concluding section (April 6th). Small groups using gene splicing and artificial intelligence will not only be able to make catnip-flavoured roses and bring back long-lost species, they also will be able to make more contagious anthrax and plague bacteria and revive smallpox and polio. The technology is so relatively inexpensive that small countries and even wealthy individuals and criminals will be able to afford it. Perhaps you could write a follow-up on why new technologies are invariably greeted with quasi-religious adoration by journalists.HAYDON ROCHESTER JR Onancock, Virginia I’m glad you got around to mentioning Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”. I was beginning to worry that you normally reasonable people at The Economist had become…

access_time4 min.
us and them

DURING THE evening of April 17th, only a few hours after polling stations had closed, Prabowo Subianto, one of the two candidates in Indonesia’s presidential election, declared himself the winner. His rival, Joko Widodo, the incumbent president, who is usually known as Jokowi, was more cautious: he told his supporters to wait patiently for the final count. But as both men surely knew, despite Mr Prabowo’s bluster, Jokowi had the election in the bag.Official results will not be announced until May, but early estimates known as “quick counts”, based on samples of actual returns, are usually accurate to within a percentage point or so. Most show that Jokowi was the clear winner, with about 55% of the vote. Mr Prabowo’s claim that he won 62% is implausible, but he…

access_time2 min.
the green light

THAILAND BECAME the first country in South-East Asia to approve the use of medical marijuana last year, and the first facility growing it opened in Pathum Thani province, north of the capital, Bangkok, in February. The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO), a state enterprise, has burned 100m baht ($3.1m) on the place. The indoor farm covers 100 square metres and its aeroponic system bathes plants in pinkish light for up to 20 hours a day. Advanced scanners and other gadgets prevent thieves from grabbing them. The first batch of 2,500 bottles of sublingual allergy drops—each containing 5ml of the product—should appear in July.The plantation is part of an attempt by the military government to create a national industry around medicinal marijuana. Under the new law, only official agencies and their…

access_time4 min.
vote terror

NARENDRA MODI, India’s prime minister, likes to talk tough on terror. On the campaign trail he tirelessly projects himself as a fear-inspiring avenger. If Pakistan returns a captured fighter pilot, as recently happened following an airstrike India says hit a Pakistan-based terror camp, it is because the neighbouring state is scared of him, he says. Referring to the carnage at Easter in Sri Lanka, he claims that no such attacks have occurred in India during his five years in office. “Under Modi they cannot escape punishment,” boasted the prime minister, who often refers to himself in the third person, at a rally ahead of the third phase this week of India’s seven-stage general election. His opponents, he insinuates, are soft on terror.Yet Mr Modi is not against all terrorism,…