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The Economist - 16 March 2024

Скачать бесплатно журнал The Economist, 16 March 2024

Год выпуска: March 2024

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: 92


  • America's growth keeps defying the pessimists. Can that last? Leader, page 9.
  • Against the odds, the country has escaped a hard landing, but there are still pitfalls ahead: briefing, page 16.
  • Share prices are surging. Investors are delighted—but also nervous, page 61.

Time's up for TikTok

  • To stay on Western screens, the video app must cut its ties to China: leader, page 11, and analysis, page 53.

Inside Putin's Russia

  • The West doesn't have a strategy for dealing with a resilient rogue state. It needs one, fast: leader, page 10.
  • Russians go to the polls in a sham election, page 41.
  • A window into wartime Russia. How the invasion of Ukraine is transforming Vladivostok, page 42.

Crazy rich Indians

  • The country's new wealthy elites are younger and more adventurous, page 29.

A special report on the oil industry

  • For the past 50 years the business and politics of oil have been dominated by matching supply to ever-increasing demand. The next 50 years will look different, argues Vijay Vaitheeswaran, after page 40.

The world this week Politics

  • Ariel Henry agreed to step down as prime minister of Haiti once a new governing council is in place. Mr Henry has been out of the country for several weeks. In his absence Haiti became even more chaotic, with armed gangs, who now wield the real power, roaming at will. Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier (above), a prominent gang leader, had called for Mr Henry to go. Earlier America evacuated most of its embassy staff from Port-au-Prince.
  • The Venezuelan government announced the arrest of another prominent opposition member. It claims that Emill Brandt Ulloa had taken part in violent protests and insulted an official. Maria Corina Machado, the main opposition leader, who has been banned from running in July’s presidential election, said Mr Brandt had been "kidnapped”.

A fox guarding the hen house

  • Juan Orlando Hernandez, president of Honduras from 2014 to 2022, was found guilty by a court in New York of trafficking cocaine. Mr Hernandez’s election campaign promised to crack down on narcotic gangs. While he was in office Honduras received more than $50111 from America towards his war on drugs. His wife is running for president in 2025.
  • Israel and Hamas failed to reach a deal that would have seen the release of some of the remaining hostages in Gaza in exchange for a temporary ceasefire and the freeing of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Negotiators had hoped that an agreement could be finalised before the start of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. Joe Biden suggested that an invasion of Rafah, the city in southern Gaza where many Palestinians are now sheltering, was a "red line” and seemed to imply that America could limit its supply of weapons if Israel crossed it.
  • Mr Biden announced that America will build a pier off the coast of Gaza to enable the delivery of far greater quantities of humanitarian aid. Separately a boat bringing 180 tonnes of food left Cyprus. It is the first shipauthorised to deliver aid to Gaza since Hamas took control of the coastal strip in 2007.
  • Almost 31η children in Sudan are acutely malnourished and nearly 230,000 children, pregnant women and new mothers may die in the coming months without urgent aid, according to Save the Children. A civil war that erupted last April has caused the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, with 8m Sudanese forced from their homes, according to the UN.
  • More than 300 pupils have been abducted from schools in Nigeria in recent weeks. In all more than 1,400 pupils have been kidnapped since 2014.
  • Groups of fighters who are based in Ukraine but claim to be Russian said they had conducted raids across the border into Russia to draw Kremlin troops away from the front line. The fighters say they oppose Vladimir Putin—his government said it had repelled the assault. Russia also had to defend itself against a wave of Ukrainian drone attacks, some of which targeted oil refineries.
  • Meanwhile the head of the Russian navy was reportedly sacked. Ukraine’s offensive against Russia’s Black Sea fleet has been highly effective. America thinks Ukraine has sunk 15 Russian ships over the past six months alone.
  • Nevertheless, the head of the CIA and the director of us national intelligence said that Russia was gaining the upper hand in the war in Ukraine, had increased its production of artillery shellsand secured a supply of drones. The officials said that an American aid package to Ukraine, which is stalled in Congress, would enable it to hold the front line.
  • Portugal took a turn towards the right at a general election. The centre-right Democratic Alliance won the most seats in parliament but fell short of a majority. The Socialists lost 43 seats, pushing them into second place. Chega, a rightwing populist party formed in 2019, came third with 18% of the vote, giving it 48 deputies. Luis Montenegro, the DA's leader, has said he will not ask Chega for help in forming a government.
  • Geert Wilders conceded that he would not become prime minister of the Netherlands as talks continued to form a government, four months after an election. Mr Wilders's far-right Party for Freedom (pvv) won the most seats in the poll and still wants to be part of a new right-wing coalition.
  • Voters in Ireland overwhelmingly rejected two amendments to the constitution on family and the role of women. The first amendment sought to change marriage as the basis on which a family is founded to one that includes "durable relationships”. The second wanted to scrap a reference to a woman providing care within the home. Opponents to both amendments maintained that the replacement wording to the constitution was confusing, and would have excluded non-family members in a new definition of "caregivers”.
  • England’s health service confirmed that it would no longer routinely prescribe puberty blockers following a reviewof a number of studies. It concluded that there was not enough evidence to allay safety concerns. It has decided that access to the blockers for children and young people with gender dysphoria should be available only in research programmes.

A move backwards

  • Thailand’s Election Commission took the first legal step towards banning Move Forward, a reformist party that came first in last year’s election but was blocked from taking power by the royalist establishment. The commission bases its reasoning on a ruling by the Constitutional Court, which held that Move Forward’s aim of changing the country’s lese-majeste laws, which forbid any criticism of the monarchy, was illegal.
  • The government in India implemented a controversial law that eases the path to citizenship for members of some religious minorities from neighbouring countries but excludes Muslims. Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and others who fled to India from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan before 2015 will be granted citizenship. Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, for example, cannot apply. The government denies that the law is discriminatory.
  • Joe Biden and Donald Trump both won enough delegates in the latest batch of primaries to secure their parties’ nomination for president. Mr Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party was formalised with the election of his champions to leadership roles on the Republican National Committee. Michael Whatley, a key ally, is the party's new chairman. Lara Trump, the wife of Eric Trump, one of Mr Trump's sons, is his deputy. Around 60 RNC staff were purged immediately after the appointments were made.

The world this week Business

  • America’s House of Representatives passed a bill which would require ByteDance, the Chinese firm that owns Tik-Tok, either to sell the platform or to stop operating in America, TikTok’s biggest market. The bill’s supporters worry that China could lean on Tik-Tok to massage content to its liking. TikTok became popular with its quirky video clips, but has morphed into a big provider of factual media. A third of American adults under 30 use it to catch up on the news. The bill now goes to the Senate.

All's well that ends well

  • Sam Altman was restored to the board at OpenAi. Mr Altman was sacked as chief executive by the previous board last November but swiftly reinstated in that job following a revolt by employees and investors. An independent review into those events has concluded that there was a "breakdown in the relation-shipand loss of trust” between the prior board and Mr Altman.
  • Saudi Aramco reported a net profit of $i2ibn for 2023, more than the combined profits of the West’s five biggest oil companies. Aramco increased its dividend pay-out to $98bn, a big source of income for the Saudi state, and promised even higher payments this year.
  • America’s annual rate of inflation rose slightly in February, to 3.2%. Separate data showed that American employers created 275,000 jobs last month. Although that was more than expected, January’s red-hot figure of 353,000 new jobs was revised down to 229,000. Neither set of figures changed investors’ expectations that the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates in June.
  • In Argentina the annual rate of inflation surged again, to 276% in February. But the month-on-month increase in prices slowed to 13%, from 21% in January. Javier Milei, the country’s president, has embarked on economic reforms that he acknowledges are painful. Unicef has warned that 70% of Argentine children could be living in poverty. Meanwhile, the government rolled over $5obn-worth of debt that was to mature this year for securities that are due next year, the largest debtswap in Argentina’s history. And the central bank cut its benchmark interest rate from 100% to 80%.
  • France increased its share of the global arms-export market to 11% in 2019-23 from 7.2% in 2014-18, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. France gained by selling more weapons to countries such as India, the world’s biggest arms importer, taking some of Russia’s business. Russia’s share of the global market dropped to 11% from 21%.
  • Reddit, a social-media platform, will float its shares in New York on March 21st, according to Bloomberg. Reddit hopes to raise nearly $750m, which could be one of the biggest IPOs so far this year.
  • Applesaid it would allow developers to sell apps in the European Union for download onto an iPhone without having to use its App Store. It is a big concession to European regulators; a new Digital Markets Act came into force this month. Developers will still have to comply with Apple’s stringent safety standards, and be a "member of good standing” in its developer programme for at least two years.
  • One of China’s biggest smartphone-makers accelerated its move into the electric-vehicle business. Xiaomi is launching its SU7 sedan on March 28th, with the first deliveries taking place soon after. The car will be available only in China. It will join a crowded market; existing EV-makers have started another round of price cuts to entice buyers.
  • Cathay Pacific reported an annual net profit of HK$9.8bn ($1.25bn), its first since 2019 and its biggest since 2010. The Hong Kong airline lagged behind most other international carriers in returning to post-covid profitability because of the pandemic measures that the city lifted at only the end of 2022. It expects to return to providing 100% of its pre-pandemic flights in the first quarter of next year.
  • By contrast, Adidas posted its first annual net loss in 30 years. Sales in North America dropped by 16%, in part because of the "negative Yeezy impact”, according to the German sportswear company. Adidas cut its ties with Ye, formerly Kanye West, over his antisemitic remarks in 2022. But it has been selling off its inventory of Ye-branded products, which are still popular.

Market demand

  • Britain's Office of National Statistics updated the basket of goods and services that it uses to calculate inflation. Reflecting the changing tastes of consumers, new additions include vinyl albums ("a record revival”, according to the normally humourless number-crunchers), air fryers (which are "cooking up a storm” in sales) and gluten-free bread. Out go such things as hand sanitisers, sofa beds and roasting tins.

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