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The Economist - 23 March 2024

Скачать бесплатно журнал The Economist, 23 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: 84


  • At a moment of military ascendancy, Israel looks vulnerable: leader, page 13.
  • The invasion may topple Hamas without making Israel safer: briefing, page 21.
  • America wants Binyamin Netanyahu out. But his exit is fraught with dangers, page 42.
  • The Palestinians' new prime minister, page 43.
  • Senator Chuck Schumer’s landmark speech: Lexington, page 30.

Why Hispanics like Trump

  • In the battleground state of Arizona, a growing Latino electorate should help Democrats in November. Yet Donald Trump is gaining ground, page 25.

China, Iran and Russia v the West

  • Just how close will they become? Page 64.

Don’t curb abortion pills

  • America’s Supreme Court should not cut access to mifepristone: leader, page 14.
  • The first abortion case since scrapping Roe v Wade, page 28.
  • Americans are having more abortions, page 27.

Al music: algorithm and blues

  • Artificial intelligence promises to transform music-making—for better and worse, page 72.
  • Which businesses are getting rich in the Ai boom? Page 56.
  • Will anything constrain Nvidia’s Al-evangelising rock star? Schumpeter, page 63.

The world this week Politics

  • Tens of thousands of Russians used a federal election to protest against Vladimir Putin, bravely displaying anti-war banners in queues for polling stations and silently marking their ballots with the name of Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader who died in an Arctic penal colony last month. No serious opponents to Mr Putin were allowed to stand in the tightly managed election. The president decided to allot 87% of the vote to himself, ten percentage points more than in the previous sham poll in 2018.
  • America, Britain and the EU condemned the Russian authorities for suppressing opposition to Mr Putin’s regime. The election was also held in the regions of Ukraine that Russia has invaded, including Crimea, which Lord Cameron, the British foreign secretary, described as “abhorrent”. China, India, Iran and North Korea congratulated Mr Putin.
  • The European Union’s member states and the European Parliament reached a deal that extends the liberalisation on imports of Ukrainian goods for a year. In a nod to protesting farmers, some products, such as poultry and oats, were added to a list of items that are safeguarded against imports flooding the market. Wheat and barley were not on the list.
  • Leo Varadkarsaid that he would step down as prime minister of Ireland, an announcement that took his countrymen, and his own deputy prime minister, by surprise. He said his reasons were personal and political without giving any further details, though his government recently suffered heavy referendum defeats over altering the constitution. Fine Gael, which heads the governing coalition, will choose a new leader in the coming weeks.
  • Vaughan Gething was confirmed as the new first minister of Wales by the Welsh Parliament. He is the first black person to hold the post. For the first time none of the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland or the British prime minister is a white male.


  • Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader in America and one of Israel’s staunchest supporters in the Democratic Party, called for early elections, saying that Binyamin Netanyahu, the country’s prime minister, had “lost his way”. Joe Biden endorsed the message. Mr Netanyahu agreed to send officials to Washington to discuss Israel’s plan for an invasion of Rafah—which the American president has suggested is a “red line”. iMr Netanyahu insisted that the offensive was still necessary.
  • Antony Blinken, America’s secretary of state, said that Gazans were facing “acute food insecurity” and that it was the first time an entire population had been so classified. He is pushing Israel to prioritise the provision of humanitarian aid. Israeli forces again raided al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza. Israel said that it was targeting Hamas officials who had regrouped there, despite Israel’s claim to have control over the area.
  • Jake Sullivan, America’s national security adviser, confirmed that Marwan Issa, the deputy commander of Hamas’s militarywing, had been killed in an Israeli airstrike. He is the group’s most senior leader to die since October 7th.
  • The military junta in Niger revoked a military accord with America, under which roughly 1,100 American troops have been based in the country to help fight jihadists in the Sahel. The announcement came after senior American diplomats told the junta they were concerned about its growing ties to Russia and Iran.
  • The UN warned that 5m people in Sudan could face “catastrophic” levels of hunger because of civil war and because both sides in the conflict, the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, are obstructing the delivery of aid. The UN said it has not been able to cross the front lines to reach parts of Khartoum, the capital, since October.
  • Donald Trump cannot raise $454m to pay the penalty awarded against him in a civil trial, according to his lawyers. The penalty was handed down by a judge to Mr Trump for fraudulently inflating the value of his assets. He has asked an appeals court to put the judge’s decision on hold while he launches an appeal against it.
  • Overim abortions were performed in America last year, 10% more than in 2020 and despite the Supreme Court’s removal of women’s constitutional protections for abortion in 2022. The Guttmacher Institute, which compiled the data, said abortions had surged in states that border the 14 states where the procedure has been banned. Abortions were up by 72% in Illinois and 257% in New Mexico, for example.
  • Hong Kong passed a new security law covering acts such as insurrection and sabotage. Critics fear it will be used to target dissidents. The authorities in Hong Kong moved quickly to approve the measure at the behest of China’s central government, which has tightened its grip on the territory.
  • Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party forced the resignation of Vo Van Thuong as president. He had been in the job a little over a year following the similarly abrupt dismissal of his predecessor. The sudden exit appears related to an anticorruption drive by the party. Analysts worry that the campaign is beginningto threaten the country’s political stability as competing party factions use it to tarnish rivals.
  • Singapore’s opposition leader, Pritam Singh, pleaded not guilty to two charges of lying to a parliamentary committee. Mr Singh’s Workers’ Party has been challenging the People’s Action Party, which has ruled Singapore since 1959, ahead of a planned transition of power. The prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, is preparing to hand over his job to his deputy, Lawrence Wong, before an election that is due by November next year.
  • fair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s president from 2019 to 2022, could face a criminal indictment for the first time, after police proposed that he face charges of altering his covid-certification card to say he’d had a vaccine in order to travel to America in 2022. Mr Bolsonaro insists he has never had the jab and denies any knowledge of his records being interfered with.

We’re melting

  • The World Meteorological Organisation confirmed that 2023 was the warmest year on record, with the average global surface temperature at 1.45°C above pre-industrial levels. The UN agency listed some of the effects of a warmer world: the global mean sea level reached a record high, the extent of Antarctic sea ice hit a record absolute low and food insecurity has increased.

The world this week Business

  • The Bank of Japan raised interest rates for the first time since 2007. The target rate for overnight Ioans was raised from between minus 0.1% and zero to between zero and 0.1%, making the Boj the last central bank to end a negativeinterest-rate policy (it first took rates below zero in 2016). The bank also ditched its уieId-curve controls, which capped the yields on long-term government bonds. The change in direction had been signalled for months, but Ueda Kazuo, the bank’s governor, said it would maintain “accommodative financial conditions” The bank will still buy about ¥6trn ($40bn) a month in government bonds.
  • The Federal Reserve left rates unchanged at its meeting. Investors were more interested in the Fed’s “dot plot” of the path for interest rates, which suggested that it still expects to make three quarter-point cuts this year. Markets soared.
  • Reddit priced its shares at $34 ahead of its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, the top end of the price range it had submitted to investors. The social-media platform’s IPO was heavily oversubscribed.
  • After years of fighting his extradition from Britain and ten months under house arrest, Mike Lynch went on trial in San Francisco over claims that he fraudulently misstated revenues at Autonomy, a software firm that he sold to Hewlett-Packard in 2011 for $10.3bn. HP subsequently took a huge write-down on the value of its acquisition and alleged that Mr Lynch, Autonomy’s founder, had deceived the company. The prosecution says it is the biggest case of fraud in Silicon Valley’s history. Mr Lynch denies the charge. His defence countersthat HP mismanaged Autonomy.

A rocky road

  • Under pressure from activist investors, Unilever set out a restructuring plan that could see it shed 7,500 jobs, about 6% of its workforce. The consumer-goods conglomerate is also spinning off its ice-cream division, which includes the Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s brands. Ice-cream accounts for 16% of Unilever’s sales, but prospects for the business’s growth are melting.
  • Apple reached a $490m settlement over claims that it misled investors in 2018 about strong demand for the iPhone in China. In January 2019 the tech giant admitted that its business in China was struggling. The lead plaintiff in the investors’ lawsuit is the pension fund for the English county of Norfolk. Apple denies wrongdoing.
  • Intel is to receive $8.5bn in government grants and up to $nbn in public loans to build or expand factories in Arizona, Ohio, New Mexico and Oregon, the biggest beneficiary yet of the Biden administration’s programme to boost chipmaking in the United States and ensure the country dominates the market for high-end chips. Intel is pledging to invest $ioobn in American chip manufacturing. The public money it receives will be tied to production benchmarks.
  • Meanwhile, Nvidia unveiled the Blackwell graphics-pro-cessing unit, its latest line of chips for use in artificial intelligence, which will greatly increase the computing power of large language models. Containing 208bn transistors, the new chips could cost up to $40,000 each.

May the force be with you

  • George Lucas said he supported Disney and its chief executive, Bob Iger, in its fight against Nelson Peltz, an activist investor who is seeking two seats on the board in order to overhaul the business. Mr Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars”, is one of Disney’s biggest individual shareholders. His Lucasfilm production company has been a Disney subsidiary since 2012 and his endorsement is a big boost for the company. Mr Peltz takes his proxy battle to the annual general meeting on April 3rd.
  • The Biden administration unveiled sweeping new vehicle-pollution rules which it hopes will ensure that most new cars and light trucks sold in America are either pure-electric or hybrid by 2032. The new standards require carmakers to raise caps gradually on the amount of exhaust-pipe pollution their vehicles emit, but it does not ban them. The regulations come amid a weakening demand for EVs in America, and will probably be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court.
  • Xiaomi, one of China’s biggest makers of smartphones, published a solid set of quarterly earnings. The company is making a diversion into the EV market, delivering its first electric caron March 28th.
  • Bentley Motors reported its second-best ever annual profit. The luxury carmaker made lots of money from record levels of customers ordering bespoke vehicles. One customer reportedly wanted wood from his personal forest to furnish his car’s interior.

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