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The Economist Middle East and Africa edition

The Economist Middle East and Africa edition

October 24, 2020

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.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Middle East and Africa
Frequency:
Weekly
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51 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
coronavirus briefs

Iran again broke its single-day record for covid-19 deaths. Hospitals in Tehran, the capital, ran out of intensive-care beds and suspended all nonemergency treatments. Israel eased a month-long nationwide lockdown, its second since the beginning of the pandemic. It has seen a significant decline in the number of new cases. Health experts cast doubt on the claim by a government panel in India that the virus had reached its peak in the country. Cumulative cases passed 7.7m this week. Ireland was put back into a strict lockdown. The government had resisted implementing the measures, which scientists were calling for. The go ahead was given in Britain for the world’s first “human-challenge clinical trials”, in which volunteers will be dosed with the virus. For our latest coverage of the virus and its consequences please visit economist.com/…

7 min.
the world this week

Politics New Zealand’s Labour Party romped home to secure a fresh term at a general election, winning 49% of the vote and an overall parliamentary majority, the first for any party in the country since proportional representation was adopted in 1996. Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, has been praised for her handling of the covid-19 outbreak. The centre-right National Party was crushed, taking just 27% of the vote, a defeat it did not envisage when it chose Judith “Crusher” Collins as its leader in July. The authorities in Thailand lifted curbs that had been imposed on protests against the government and the role of the monarchy. The restrictions did not work: they enraged people and spurred them to attend huge rallies calling for the prime minister to resign. The police force in Sindh,…

6 min.
who controls the conversation?

IT IS THE biggest antitrust suit in two decades. On October 20th the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that Google ties up phone-makers, networks and browsers in deals that make it the default search engine. The department says this harms consumers, who are deprived of alternatives. The arrangement is sustained by Google’s dominance of search which, because of a global market share of roughly 90%, generates the advertising profits that pay for the deals (see Business section). The DOJ has not yet said what remedy it wants, but it could force Google and its parent, Alphabet, to change how they structure their business. Don’t hold your breath, though: Google dismisses the suit as nonsense, so the case could drag on for years. Action against Google may seem far from the storm…

5 min.
letters

The Uyghurs: China responds The Economist’s articles on Xinjiang made groundless accusations against China’s policy and was a gross interference in China’s internal affairs (“Torment of the Uyghurs”, “Orphaned by the state”, October 17th). The issues you raised have nothing to do with human rights, ethnic groups or religions, and everything to do with fighting violent terrorism, separatism and extremism. Extremist forces have carried out thousands of violent attacks in Xinjiang. For this reason its government has taken resolute action to crack down on such violence, in accordance with the law. The deradicalisation measures have curbed terrorist activities; there has not been a single attack for over three years. Feeling more safe, these measures have won the extensive and heartfelt support of people from all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. You described the…

12 min.
the great clean-up

WITHIN HOURS of the publication of a New York Post article on October 14th, Twitter users began receiving strange messages. If they tried to share the story—a dubious “exposé” of emails supposedly from the laptop of Hunter Biden, son of the Democratic presidential nominee—they were told that their tweet could not be sent, as the link had been identified as harmful. Many Facebook users were not seeing the story at all: the social network had demoted it in the news feed of its 2.7bn users while its fact-checkers reviewed it. If the companies had hoped that by burying or blocking the story they would stop people from reading it, the bet did not pay off. The article ended up being the most-discussed story of the week on both platforms—and the second-most…

4 min.
the sacred right to offend

France clamps down on Islamism but vows to protect freedom of expression IN A COURTYARD at the Sorbonne, the paramount French symbol of learning, President Emmanuel Macron on October 21st paid homage to a teacher slain “for embodying…the freedom that is transmitted and sustained at school.” Samuel Paty (see Obituary) was a middle-school history teacher in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a genteel town north-west of Paris. Earlier this month he had shown pupils caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad from the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo during a class on freedom of expression. Those pupils who might be offended, he suggested, could choose not to look at them. On October 16th, after threats against him by a parent and on social media, Mr Paty was beheaded in an attack that police are treating as an act…