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The EconomistThe Economist

The Economist 11/10/2018

Get The Economist digital magazine subscription today and explore domestic and international issues, business, finance, current affairs, science, technology and the arts.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Economist Newspaper Limited
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51 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time8 min.
the world this week

Politics In America’s mid-term elections, the Democrats won the House of Representatives for the first time in a decade. They gained a firm majority, helped by a surge in support from white women and from voters aged under 30. Just under a quarter of the new House will be female. Two Muslim women and two Native American women won seats, a first for both groups. Nancy Pelosi said she would stand for Speaker, again, but has said she would be a “transitional” figure. A good night for the Democrats in the House wasn’t replicated in the Senate, where the Republicans increased their majority by picking up Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota and probably Florida. Mitt Romney will embark on a new career after winning a Senate seat in Utah. Beto O’Rourke, the darling…

access_time5 min.
where next?

FOR ONCE, the outcome that was predicted actually occurred. Democrats took the House of Representatives in America’s mid-term elections on November 6th, and will provide some welcome oversight of the White House when members of the new Congress take their seats in January. Republicans held the Senate—with a bigger majority, which will make presidential appointments easier to confirm. Both sides declared victory. A starkly divided country now has a divided government. Underpinning the results, though, is the deepening of a structural shift in American politics that will make the country harder to govern for the foreseeable future. Democrats represent a majority of America’s voters, but Republicans dominate geographically. Democrats won the popular vote for the House of Representatives by a comfortable margin. Their position as the party that enjoys most support…

access_time3 min.
eu and whose army?

NORWAY’S COUNTRYSIDE teemed with European soldiers in the past two weeks. A Montenegrin platoon drilled within a Slovenian company, which was wrapped in a Spanish battalion, which in turn was inside an Italian brigade. All were part of NATO’s biggest exercise since the cold war (see Europe section). Yet this is not quite what President Emmanuel Macron had in mind when he called for a “true European army” on November 6th. Striking a Gaullist pose, Mr Macron urged Europe to free itself from military dependence on America. Mr Macron did not say precisely what he meant. Even so, his loose talk of a Euro-army is confused, quixotic—and reckless at a time of growing transatlantic uncertainty. European federalists have long dreamed of defence integration, but they have had little to show for it…

access_time3 min.
electoral troll

IN MANY WAYS, Bangladesh is a role model for South Asia. Its economy grew by an average of 6.3% a year over the past decade. Last year it expanded by 7.3%—faster than India’s or Pakistan’s. Once the region’s poorest big country, its GDP per head is now higher than Pakistan’s, when measured at market exchange rates. Better yet, it boasts lower infant mortality, higher school enrolment and longer life expectancy than its peers. With 165m citizens, it is the world’s eighth-most-populous country. But its fertility rate is lower than that of the region’s other giants. No one, however, would envy Bangladesh’s politics. They are characterised by an all-or-nothing, no-holds-barred aggression between two parties, the ruling Awami League and its main rival, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Disputes are most commonly settled…

access_time4 min.
on the extinction of species

EXTINCTIONS ARE seldom cause for celebration. Humans are wiping out species at a frightening rate, whether hunting them into history or, far more threateningly, damaging the habitats on which they depend. But occasionally, the destruction is warranted. Smallpox was officially eradicated in 1980, and no one laments the fate of the virus that caused it; campaigns to save the virus that causes polio are thin on the ground. How, then, to think about a new technology that will make driving a species to extinction far easier? That technology is known as a gene drive, so called because it uses genetic engineering to drive certain traits through a population. Those characteristics need not be deleterious: they might include greater resilience to disease among crops or, perhaps, greater tolerance to warming waters on…

access_time3 min.
the price of free

MORAL PANICS over new media are old hat. The social effects of novels, films, comic books and pop music were condemned by the grumpy reactionaries of the time. In recent years video games have been a popular villain. Exasperated parents and opportunistic politicians have long fretted that they make players lazy and listless, or else unpredictable and violent. Those concerns turned out to be largely misplaced. But new worries about the addictiveness of games, and the danger that poses to children in particular, have more substance to them and are already prompting a regulatory crackdown. The industry would be wise to get ahead of the problem. China, the world’s biggest video-game market, is leading the charge. The government clamped down on the approval of new games earlier this year, and stopped…

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