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The Economist Asia EditionThe Economist Asia Edition

The Economist Asia Edition August 3, 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.

國家/地區:
United Kingdom
語言:
English
出版商:
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Asia Pacific
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51 期號

本期

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the world this week

Politics Russia’s main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was taken from prison to hospital to be treated for what the authorities called an allergic reaction but supporters said may have been poisoning. He was later returned to prison, where he is in custody for organising an illegal protest, according to the Kremlin. More than 1,000 people were arrested at a demonstration in Moscow demanding that independent candidates be allowed to stand in a citywide election. More protests are planned. Boris Johnson spent a busy first week as Britain’s prime minister. He created a new office to administer lifelong support for veterans of the armed forces; pledged resources for several projects; and promised to open the spending taps for public services. This included a pledge to put 20,000 more police officers on the streets…

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deathwatch

ALTHOUGH ITS cradle is the sparsely wooded savannah, humankind has long looked to forests for food, fuel, timber and sublime inspiration. Still a livelihood for 1.5bn people, forests maintain local and regional ecosystems and, for the other 6.2bn, provide a—fragile and creaking—buffer against climate change. Now droughts, wildfires and other human-induced changes are compounding the damage from chainsaws. In the tropics, which contain half of the world’s forest biomass, tree-cover loss has accelerated by two-thirds since 2015; if it were a country, the shrinkage would make the tropical rainforest the world’s third-biggest carbon-dioxide emitter, after China and America. Nowhere are the stakes higher than in the Amazon basin—and not just because it contains 40% of Earth’s rainforests and harbours 10-15% of the world’s terrestrial species. South America’s natural wonder may be…

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an opportunity

AMERICA’S ECONOMY is caught in two stalemates. The first involves its central bank. On July 31 the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point, the first reduction since 2008. The Fed is determined not to let the economy succumb to a recession. But nor will the economy warm up enough to let the Fed raise rates to normal levels. The other stalemate is with China. Talks this week in Shanghai confirmed that the trade war is unlikely either to end soon or escalate soon. All the signals point to continuing sluggish expansion in America which, after 121 months, is already the longest on record (see Finance section). Less well appreciated is that such tepid conditions have a potential silver lining for the billions of people living…

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saving charm city

DONALD TRUMP likes to grab the news with a barrage of tweets. Just weeks after insulting four Democratic congresswomen, all from minority backgrounds, the president has found another target. On July 27th it was Elijah Cummings, a black Democratic congressman from Maryland’s seventh district, home to much of the city of Baltimore, who attracted the president’s wrath. Mr Cummings, who as chairman of the House Oversight Committee has been investigating Mr Trump, comes from “the worst run and most dangerous” district in America, the president jeered. Much of the city, he said, is a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess”, in which “no human being would want to live”. Mr Trump’s invective smacks of bigotry: congressmen from poor white districts do not receive insults in the same vein. And Baltimoreans are…

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the dash from cash

FOR THE past 3,000 years, when people thought of money they thought of cash. From buying food to settling bar tabs, day-today dealings involved creased paper or clinking bits of metal. Over the past decade, however, digital payments have taken off—tapping your plastic on a terminal or swiping a smartphone has become normal. Now this revolution is about to turn cash into an endangered species in some rich economies. That will make the economy more efficient—but it also poses new problems that could hold the transition hostage. Countries are eliminating cash at varying speeds (see Graphic detail). But the direction of travel is clear, and in some cases the journey is nearly complete. In Sweden the number of retail cash transactions per person has fallen by 80% in the past ten…

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if it bleeds, pay heed

WHEN CONGOLESE blood is spilled by machete-wielding militiamen, outsiders barely notice. Was the death toll from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s civil war 800,000 or 5m? No one kept an accurate tally. By contrast, when blood spills out of Congolese Ebola victims, the world pays attention. The World Health Organisation says that 1,707 people have so far died in Congo’s current Ebola outbreak. On July 17th it declared it a global health emergency. It is obvious why an infectious and often fatal virus concerns everyone. Unchecked, it might spread into neighbouring Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and beyond. More cases have been reported in the bustling border city of Goma. The world is right to take this epidemic seriously, and to pour resources into fighting it. However, it should also spare a…

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