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The Economist - December 16 2023

Скачать бесплатно журнал The Economist, December 16 2023

Год выпуска: December 2023

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


Journalism and the 2024 presidential election

  • Next year's election in America will test whether a healthy democracy needs a common set of facts: leader, page 7.
  • No institution that enjoys the trust of Republican voters can stand up to Trump, page 19.
  • Lexington's account of being ejected from the New York Times, page 20.
  • Our data-crunching shows American journalism sounds much more Democratic than Republican, page 21.

London, the invincible city

  • Its resilience is a lesson to policymakers everywhere: leader, page 10.
  • Despite Brexit and covid-19, London thrives: briefing, page 14.

Iran is weaker than it looks

  • That reality should inform American policy: leader, page 9.
  • Iran's ageing rulers are preoccupied with succession, page 37.

Russia's overheating war economy

  • Wartime spending means Russia's economy is running dangerously hot, page 60.

The seismology of 70,000 Swifties

  • Their excitement can shake the Earth, page 64.

The world this week Politics

  • The UN global summit on climate change produced an agreement that, for the first time, calls on countries to transition away from fossil fuels. Some delegates attending COP28 had hoped for a more forceful phrasing on phasing them out. Dirty fuels, especially coal, will be used for some time. The words of the text need to be put into action, but still, the industry minister of the United Arab Emirates, which hosted COP28, described it as historic.
  • The uae recently held a mass trial of more than 80 dissidents on fabricated charges of supporting terrorism, according to Amnesty International. The government does not allow charges or judgments concerning political prosecutions to be made public or reported on.
  • In a rare criticism, Joe Biden described Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza as "indiscriminate” and is pressing its government to scale back its operations. Jake Sullivan, America's national security adviser, has been dispatched to Israel to discuss a timetable to that end. The un General Assembly voted for a ceasefire. Israel’s foreign minister said a ceasefire now would be a "gift” to Hamas, and that the war will continue “with or without international support”.
  • Ernest Bai Koroma, a former president of Sierra Leone, has been placed under house arrest, according to the opposition. Mr Koroma has been questioned by police about what the government describes as an attempted coup in November that was mounted by his former bodyguards.
  • Luis Caputo, the new economy minister in Javier Milei’s cabinet in Argentina, announced a sweeping package of measures. The official exchange rate of the peso was devalued by half and public spending was slashed. The imf, which has supported the beleaguered economy with a $4ßbn loan, welcomed the shock therapy.
  • Irfaan Ali, the president of Guyana, agreed to meet Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s autocratic leader. Earlier this month Venezuela held a dodgy referendum, in which 95% of respondents agreed to annex two-thirds of its neighbour. Mr Ali has repeatedly stated that “Guyana's land boundary is not up for discussion.”
  • Efforts by a circle of elites to keep Guatemala’s presidentelect Bernardo Arevalo from taking power in January intensified. The attorneygeneral said the electoral result should be nullified because of fraud (of which there is no evidence). But the electoral tribunal reiterated that the results are "unalterable”. The United States condemned the attempt to undermine Guatemala’s troubled democracy.

The new American elite

  • Harvard’s governing body decided that Claudine Gay should remain president of the university, after she came under intense criticism for her ambiguous answers at a congressional hearing into the surge of antisemitism on American campuses. But Elizabeth Magill stepped down as president of the University of Pennsylvania. She got in trouble at the same hearing responding to a question about the genocide of Jews.
  • The House of Representatives formalised an impeachment investigation into Joe Biden that centres on the business dealings of his son, Hunter, who said he would be willing to testify to a public committee. The Republicans have been probing the Bidens for almost a year now.
  • In Germany Olaf Scholz unveiled a deal that seeks to fill a budget shortfall caused by the Constitutional Court striking down the government’s previous spending plan. The chancellor said that the budget, which contains lots of new green levies, would retain money for supporting Ukraine and adhere to the “debt brake”, which limits government debt.
  • Alexei Navalny has been removed from the penal colony where he had been imprisoned on trumped-up charges of supporting extremism, according to his spokeswoman, and has not been heard from for days. It was expected that Russia's opposition leader would be placed in an even harsher prison. Meanwhile Vladimir Putin confirmed that he would stand for a fifth term as president in 2024.
  • Donald Tusk was sworn in as Poland’s prime minister, bringing an end to eight years of rule under the populist Law and Justice (pis) party. Mr Tusk heads a coalition of centrist parties, which together took the most seats at an election in October, though pis remains the single biggest party in parliament. He was Poland's prime minister from 2007 to 2014 and then president of the European Council until 2019, and promises to repair ties with the eu and to fully support Ukraine.
  • The eu prepared for a summit to discuss extra funding for Ukraine and a path to its membership of the bloc, both of which are opposed by Hungary. Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington to drum up more financial support for Ukraine’s defence against Russia. The Ukrainian president met politicians in Congress in the face of Republican opposition to giving any more money to his country. His pleas fell on deaf ears.
  • Rishi Sunak survived a vote on his controversial bill declaring Rwanda to be a safe country for asylum-seekers to be sent to. The British prime minister introduced the bill after the Supreme Court ruled against the Rwanda scheme last month. No Conservative MPs voted against the government, though dozens abstained.

Back in the game

  • In Pakistan a court revoked a conviction for corruption that had been handed down to Nawaz Sharif, a former prime minister, which his supporters claim all but assures that he can run for office again in an election in 2024. Meanwhile, militants linked to the Pakistan Taliban said they carried out an attack on an army base near the Afghan border that killed 23 soldiers.
  • Four ministers resigned from the Japanese government amid a fundraising scandal. The biggest beast to fall was Matsuno Hirokazu, the powerful chief cabinet secretary. All four are members of a faction in the Liberal Democratic Party that supported Abe Shinzo before his assassination in 2022 and which is at the centre of allegations about missing party funds. The approval rating of Kishida Fumio, the prime minister, has plummeted since the scandal broke a month ago.
  • An MP in Thailand was sentenced to six years in prison under the country’s lese-majeste law. Rukchanok Srinork, from the reformist Move Forward party, was accused of criticising the monarchy on social media, which she denies. She is seeking bail. A 26-year-old man was also sentenced to prison but given bail, for shouting at a royal motorcade.

The world this week Business

  • The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate on hold at a range of between 5.25% and 5.5%, but it also published projections that suggested it would cut rates three times in 2024. That delighted investors. Stockmarkets surged, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing at a new all-time high. The Fed’s decision came after data for November showed that America’s annual inflation rate had slowed only slightly to 3.1%, and the core rate, which excludes food and energy, had remained at 4%.

An Epic battle

  • A federal jury in San Francisco found that Google’s Play app store was a monopoly, a victory for Epic, the gaming company behind the "Fortnite” series. Epic brought the case, accusing Google of rigging competition in the market for Android apps so that it could charge excessive fees. Epic wanted to use its own payments system that avoided the fees. Epic lost a similar case against Apple in 2021, though that was decided solely by a judge. The matter will probably end up in the Supreme Court.
  • Anglo American’s share price plunged by 19% on the day it announced plans to curtail production, including its iron-ore operations in South Africa. The mining company has been hurt by a number of factors, such as higher costs and lower market prices for diamonds.
  • There was more consolidation in the energy industry, as Occidental agreed to buy CrownRock, a privately held shale-oil producer, in a transaction valued at $i2bn. Unhindered by institutional shareholders with an eye on esg targets, CrownRock has happily ramped up production in the Permian basin in recent years.
  • bp said that Bernard Looney, its former chief executive, would forfeit up to £32.4111 ($4im) for "serious misconduct” that led to his resignation in September. The board alleges that Mr Looney misled it about his personal relationships with employees.
  • Oil prices fell sharply, as markets pondered American oil production, China’s economy and other factors that affect supply and demand. Brent crude traded at six-month lows of a little over $72 a barrel.
  • A federal judge in Texas upheld the state’s ban on public-sector employees using TikTok on government-issued devices. The judge found that, although this prevented public universities carrying out research on the Chinese-owned video platform, Texas had an interest in protecting privacy. The ruling is narrower in scope than the recent decision by a judge in Montana to impose an injunction on a total statewide-ban on TikTok there.
  • The European Union’s member states and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on regulating the use of artificial intelligence, the details of which are now being worked out by officials. The deal includes mandates to assess the risks from large language models that power ai tools such as ChatGPT and measures to mitigate them.
  • Emmanuel Macron, the French president, warned that the new act could stifle innovation at European firms.
  • Eli Lilly’s stock took a brief dive, when a study found that non-diabetic obese patients who took its fat-loss treatment, Zepbound, regained weight a year after halting injections. The Food and Drug Administration only recently approved the treatment. Eli Lilly is one of the pharmaceutical companies that have seen their fortunes rise on the mania for weight-loss drugs.

Christmas on 34th Street

  • Macy’s share price surged amid reports that it has received a buy-out offer from a property investor. The retailer’s sales have struggled of late, but the value of its properties in prime locations like midtown Manhattan has stood up well. The news comes shortly after Neiman Marcus was said to have rejected a takeover offer from Saks Fifth Avenue.
  • Christmas has been ruined for workers at Hasbro. Over 1,000 are being laid off, a fifth of the workforce, according to reports. The toymaker, which counts Monopoly, Play-Doh and My Little Pony among its brands as well as the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, has seen sales slide since the pandemic.
  • Netflix published its first "engagement” report, counted by viewing hours. Hollywood writers and actors had demanded more transparency from streaming services during their recent strike. Between January and June "The Night Agent” was the most popular programme (viewed for 812m hours) followed by season two of "Ginny & Georgia” (665m) and "The Glory” (623m). Only four shows in the top 50, including “Pablo Escobar” (170m) and "New Amsterdam” (153m), were produced before 2020.

скачать журнал: The Economist - 16 декабря 2023