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The Economist - 27 августа 2022

Скачать бесплатно журнал The Economist, 27 августа 2022

Год выпуска: август 2022

Автор: The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group

Жанр: Экономика/Политика

Издательство: «The Economist Newspaper Ltd»

Формат: PDF (журнал на английском языке)

Качество: OCR

Количество страниц: 72


  • The lessons from a new era of economic warfare: leader, page 7.
  • Sanctions have been less effective than hoped—but they will eventually impair Russia’s economy, page 55.
  • Few expected the Russian economy to be holding up six months into the war, page 58.
  • As fighting in Ukraine drags on, the costs for Europe are mounting: Charlemagne, page 22.

China’s changing debt diplomacy

  • Faced with an overseas debt crisis, will the world’s biggest official lender change its ways? Leader, page 8, and analysis, page 43.

Gene tweaking: a new era begins

  • Science has made possible a new genetic era. Now let it flourish: leader, page io, and briefing, page 13.
  • A genetic edit that makes soyabean plants 20% more productive, page 63.

How diversity training can backfire

  • Workplace antidiscrimination programmes often fail: graphic detail, page 73.

Streaming wars: dragons v hobbits

  • A big-budget battle between old and new Hollywood, page 50.

The world this week Politics

  • Ukraine celebrated its independence day, coincidentally on the six-month anniversary of the Russian invasion. Kyiv put on a display of ruined Russian military equipment, to mock Vladimir Putin’s reported plan to hold a victory parade there six months ago. Rumours that Russia would lob missiles at Kyiv this week proved unfounded, but a Russian strike on a train station in Ukraine’s east killed 22 people. Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, pledged to drive Russian forces entirely out of the country, and said that Ukraine had been “reborn” in the conflict.
  • Daria Dugina, a fiery nationalist pundit in Russia, was killed by a car bomb. Some speculated that the intended target was her father, Alexander Dugin, another nationalist commentator who is said to influence Mr Putin. Without evidence, Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out the killing. Pro-Kremlin mouthpieces cited it as a reason to escalate the war in Ukraine.
  • In Pakistan the government filed a case against Imran Khan, the rabble-rousing former prime minister, under anti-terrorism laws. Mr Khan is accused of threatening a judge and senior police officers. His supporters accused the state of persecuting him because he is popular. It is unclear whether he will actually be arrested.
  • Malaysia’s highest court upheld a guilty verdict against Najib Razak, a former prime minister. He had been convicted of various crimes related to a colossal scam in which $4.5bn was looted from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund. Some $700m was found in Mr Najib’s personal account; he insisted it was a political donation from an unnamed Saudi royal. It was Mr Najib’s last appeal; he was immediately sent to prison to start a 12-year sentence.
  • The Constitutional Court in Thailand suspended Prayuth Chan-ocha from his position as prime minister until a decision is reached as to whether he has breached the eight-year term limit codified in a constitution that was written by a committee favourable to him. Mr Prayuth, a former general, took power in a coup in 2014. His supporters argue that his term only started either in 2017, when the constitution took effect, or in 2019, when he became a civilian head of government.

Don’t cut the cake just yet

  • Singapore’s prime minister said his government would repeal Section 377A of its penal code, which criminalises sex between men. Gay-rights groups have long fought for the provision, which was rarely enforced, to be struck down. However, the government also said it would seek to amend the constitution to give Parliament the right to define marriage. Most Singaporeans oppose gay weddings.
  • Raila Odinga asked Kenya’s Supreme Court to nullify the result of a presidential election on August 9th, which he narrowly lost to William Ruto. The court has two weeks in which to reach a verdict.
  • Mali’s military government, which has promised to hold elections in 2024, replaced its ailing civilian prime minister with a colonel. Since both president and prime minister are now soldiers, the military’s grip on power looks tighter.
  • Al-Shabab, a Somali jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda, stormed a hotel close to the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, and held it for 30 hours, leaving at least 20 people dead. The attack was a challenge to the new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who had recently appointed one of the founders of al-Shabab to his cabinet.
  • A humanitarian truce between Ethiopia’s government and rebels in the northern region of Tigray, enabling food and other aid to reach thousands of famished civilians, appeared to break down. Fighting flared up in Tigray. A separate rebellion intensified in the south and west of the country.
  • Angola held what was expected to be its tightest ever presidential election. However, few expect the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (mpla) or the incumbent head of state, Joao Lou-ren^o, to give the opposition National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (unita) a fair chance of winning.
  • Reports circulated that the nuclear deal between Iran and six major countries, which had been signed in 2015 but aborted by Donald Trump in 2018, might soon be revived. The eu has suggested revisions to the text. America and Iran were said to be demanding lastminute assurances.
  • The Democrats won a special election in a highly competitive congressional district in New York state. The Democratic candidate, who took 52% of the vote, talked about abortion during his campaign; his Republican candidate focused on inflation. These themes are likely to feature prominently in the run-up to November’s mid-term elections.
  • Donald Trump said his constitutional rights had been breached by the fbi’s search of his home in Florida, and sought legal protection. He asked a judge to appoint an independent legal officer to review the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago and to stop the Justice Department from assessing them.
  • Joe Biden announced a plan to wipe $10,000 from the student debts of Americans who earn up to $125,000, and an extra $10,000 for those who received federal aid to attend college. Economists decried the plan as costly and regressive. Yet it may be popular.
  • California readied new regulations that will ban the sale of new petrol-powered cars by 2035, giving force to an executive order signed by the governor, Gavin Newsom, in 2020. The state reckons that 16% of cars sold this year have been zero-emission vehicles, up from 8% in 2020.
  • Almost 1,300 illegal migrants tried to reach Britain in a day by crossing the Channel, a new record. Over 22,560 have been recorded traversing the busy shipping lane so far this year, compared with 12,500 at the same point in 2021.
  • Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the vice-president of Argentina, faced further allegations of corruption. A federal prosecutor requested that Ms Fernandez be jailed for 12 years and barred from holding public office. She is accused of giving publicworks contracts to a friend. She denies all charges.

I’ll respect the result, if I win

  • Jair Bolsonaro, the populist president of Brazil, appeared on television and repeated his claim that a presidential election in October, which he is expected to lose, might be rigged. He offered no plausible evidence. He said he would honour the results, but only if they were “clean and transparent”.
  • A whistleblower claimed that Twitter had “egregious deficiencies” in data privacy and other sensitive areas, and had misled regulators over its cyber defences. Peiter Zatko was head of security at Twitter from late 2020 until his sacking earlier this year. The company said his allegations were full of “inconsistencies”. Mr Zatko’s claims about the handling of fake accounts parallel Elon Musk’s reasons for wanting to ditch his takeover of Twitter. Mr Musk’s lawyer said a subpoena had been issued to Mr Zatko. A subpoena has also been handed to Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s former boss, ahead of a trial that will determine if the deal should go ahead.
  • Vodafone decided to sell its operations in Hungary to 4iG, a telecoms firm, and a state holding company. Concerns have been raised that the deal will tighten the grip of Viktor Orban, Hungary’s autocratic prime minister, on the country’s telecoms industry.
  • In Russia the government strengthened its hold over the internet when vk, the state-controlled social-media company, agreed to buy the news assets and homepage of Yandex, the country’s biggest search engine. Yandex has been criticised for complying with the Kremlin’s line on Ukraine on its news site. It now wants to focus on other aspects of its business.
  • Xiao Jianhua, a Chinese financier connected to China’s political elite, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for several corruption crimes, including bribery. Mr Xiao was abducted by Chinese agents from the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong in 2017, sending a strong signal to China’s business community at the time about the reach of the authorities.
  • China’s benchmark mortgage lending rate was cut for the third time this year. Coming on top of other easing measures, the government is walking a fine line of trying to shore up demand, notably in the housing market, while not stoking inflation. It has also announced зооЬп yuan ($44bn) of infrastructure stimulus.
  • The euro fell below parity with the dollar again to its lowest level in two decades. The weaker euro increases the cost of imports, pushing up prices, notably for energy. These are factors that may help tip Germany into recession over the coming months, according to the country’s Bundesbank.

I’ll do it my way

  • Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once again ruled out increasing interest rates, despite annual inflation running at 80%. He spoke after the central bank surprised markets by cutting its main rate by one percentage point, to 13%, the latest in a series of unorthodox moves. “Economics theories aren’t valid everywhere”, snorted Mr Erdogan.
  • Revised figures showed that the British economy shrank by 11% in 2020, the largest fall in gdp since 1709. The economy fared worse in the second quarter, the start of the pandemic, than had been thought; the recovery in subsequent months was also weaker.
  • A regulator gave Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway permission to buy up to 50% of Occidental Petroleum. Mr Buffett backed Occidental’s takeover of Anadarko in 2019. This year he has spent around $iobn buying Occidental’s shares, giving his investment company a stake of 20%.
  • Zoom’s earnings disappointed investors. Revenue at the videoconference company grew by just 8% in the three months to July 31st, year on year. That is down from 54% in the same period of 2021 and the first time it has reported single-digit growth. It has lowered its profit forecast.
  • Building on the momentum of the Chips Act, which subsidises American chipmakers, Intel secured investment from Brookfield Infrastructure Partners to develop a $30bn factory near Phoenix. Intel has also announced plans for a $2obn plant in Ohio and $3obn of investment in Europe as it tries to claw back market share from tsmc in Taiwan and Samsung.

The end of the rocky road

  • A federal judge denied a request from Ben & Jerry’s to halt the sale of its business in Israel to a local distributor. Unilever, which owns Ben & Jerry’s, decided to sell up when the ice-cream maker in effect boycotted Israel, believing that its policies in the West Bank are “inconsistent” with the brand’s social values. The judge found that Ben & Jerry’s had failed to prove it would be harmed by the deal.
  • Cineworld said it was considering bankruptcy protection. The world’s second-biggest cinema chain, which owns the Regal brand in America, has accumulated a mountain of debt. A string of recent blockbusters, such as “Top Gun: Maverick”, one of the highest grossing films of all time, has boosted the industry, though not even the return of Tom Cruise in his fighter-pilot uniform has put enough bums on seats. Box-office sales are still down by a third this year compared with 2019.

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