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The Economist - 30 March 2024

Скачать бесплатно журнал The Economist, 30 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: 96

The Al doctor will see you ...eventually

  • Artificial intelligence holds huge promise in health care. But it also faces massive barriers: leader, page 13.
  • Ais will make health care safer and better, reports Natasha Loder. It may even get cheaper, too: Technology Quarterly, after page 42.

Trump and the world

  • How to predict the former president s foreign policy in a second term: briefing, page 19.

Corpulent consultancies

  • The corporate world’s know-it-alls need some counsel of their own: leader, page 16.
  • Slower economic growth is not the CEO-whisperers’ only worry, page 57.

The triple shock facing Europe

  • After the energy crisis, Europe faces surging Chinese imports and the threat of Trump tariffs. What should it do? Leader, page 14.
  • Its economy is under attack from all sides, page 63.

Antarctica loses its brrrr

  • The world's largest refrigerator is defrosting, page 70.
  • Goings-on at the far end of the Earth need a lot more attention: leader, page 15.

The world this week Politics

  • Gunmen attacked a concert hall near Moscow, killing at least 139 people. It was Russia’s deadliest terrorist incident since the Beslan school siege in 2004. An affiliate of Islamic State in Central Asia claimed responsibility. Four of the alleged attackers appeared in court, severely bruised and beaten, to face charges of terrorism. The authorities say the men are from Tajikistan. The American embassy in Moscow had warned of an attack in early March, telling its citizens to avoid large gatherings. Russia ignored the warning. Vladimir Putin and Russian media have instead brazenly tried to link the attack to Ukraine. One television channel aired fake video clips of a Ukrainian official crowing over the incident.
  • Russia intensified its drone and missile assaults on Ukraine, steppingthem up shortly before the IS attack in Moscow. Kyiv, the capital, was hit and energy infrastructure targeted across the country. Poland scrambled fighter jets when a Russian missile strayed into its airspace.
  • Bulgaria seemed to be heading towards another election, its sixth in three years, as the country’s political parties failed to agree on a “unity” government, threatening Bulgaria’s attempt to adopt the euro as its currency in early 2025. Far-right and pro-Russian parties are gaining ground.
  • Simon Harris was chosen as the new leader of Fine Gael in Ireland and is set to become the country’s prime minister following the resignation of Leo Varadkar. Aged 37, Mr Harris will be the youngest person to hold the position.

It’s all about the symbolism

  • The UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas for the remainder of Ramadan, aided by the abstention of America, which had used its veto to block three earlier resolutions calling for a halt to the fighting in Gaza. Angered by America’s abstention, Israel cancelled a planned visit by a delegation to Washington and said it would not halt operations while Hamas still holds Israeli hostages.
  • Voters in Senegal turned out in large numbers to elect Bassirou Diomaye Faye, the opposition candidate, as president. Macky Sall, the outgoing president, had tried to postpone the election, causing a protracted constitutional crisis.
  • A court in South Africa ruled that a party backed by Jacob Zuma, a former president, can be on the ballot in the general election scheduled for the end of May. The uMkhonto we Sizwe party may get more than 10% of the vote, according to recent polls, which could push the ruling African National Congress to around 40%, forcing it to seek a coalition if it wishes to form a government.
  • America, Britain and New Zealand blamed China for a cyber-espionage campaign aimed at a variety of targets, including Britain’s Electoral Commission, New Zealand’s Parliament and critics of the Chinese Communist Party. America and Britain placed sanctions on an alleged front company for one group of Chinese hackers. They also placed sanctions on two alleged members of the group, while America brought criminal charges against them and five other men.
  • The High Court in Britain gave Julian Assange more time to fight against his extradition to America to face espionage charges, ruling that the American government had to provide more assurances about the fairness of a trial there, among other things. Mr Assange leaked a trove of classified information on his WikiLeaks site that the Americans say put lives in danger.
  • The candidate of Venezuela’s main opposition coalition was blocked from registering for July’s presidential election and missed the deadline. Corina Yoris, an 8o-year-old philosopher, had been drafted in at the last minute following the arrest of senior opposition figures. iMaria Corina iMachado won the opposition primary last year by a landslide, but was prohibited from running by the Supreme Court.
  • America’s State Department said it was tracking legal developments in India after the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi and a senior opposition politician. Mr Kejriwal’s arrest comes just weeks before the start of a general election. He was taken into custody for questioning over a corruption case relating to Delhi’s alcohol policy, which he says is “fabricated”.
  • America and Japan are preparing to strengthen their military alliance, the details of which will be announced when Kishida Fumio, Japan’s prime minister, visits the White House on April 10th. The plan includes a restructuring of the command chain that will smooth defence planning. Meanwhile, the Japanese cabinet sealed a deal to sell fighter jets that are bei ng developed with Britain and Italy to other countries, further eroding Japan’s pacifist stance.
  • The lower house of Thailand’s parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage and equalise rights on inheritance and so on. The bill is a priority for the government. If, as expected, the upper house and the king approve the law it will come into force by the end of the year, making Thailand the first country in South-East Asia to legalise gay nuptials.
  • Joe Biden signed a $i.2trn package of spending measures into law, after Republicans and Democrats yet again reached a last-minute deal to avoid a government shutdown. The legislation should have been passed six months ago. Rebellious Republicans in the House of Representatives yet again raised the possibility of ousting the speaker.
  • The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed after a container ship collided with one of its support columns. Six workers who were on the bridge died after falling into the water below. The port of Baltimore, a hub fortrade on America’s east coast, will be disrupted for months.

Even a cat has only nine lives

  • An appeals court agreed to Donald Trump’s request to pay just a portion of the $454111 penalty awarded against him in a civil fraud trial. The court told MrTrump he could post a bond of $i75m while he appeals against the original judgment. Mr Trump’s relief was shortlived, however. Soon after, a judge denied his plea to delay his criminal trial over hush-money payments to a porn star. The trial starts on April 15th.
  • MrTrump maybe able to scrape some cash from the sale of stock in his social-media company on the Nasdaq exchange. Truth Social’s share price rose by 16% on its first day of trading, making Mr Trump’s stake worth around $4.6bn.

The world this week Business

  • The top ranks of Boeing’s management were overhauled amid investor unease about safety checks on its airliners. In January a panel fell from a 737 Max 9 passenger jet soon after take-off. Several incidents have been reported since then, including a 777 that lost a landing-gear tyre when it was taking off. Boeing safety has become a meme on TikTok. Dave Calhoun is to step down as chief executive by the end of the year and Larry Kellner departs as chairman. The head of the commercial-aircraft division has been replaced with immediate effect.
  • America’s Justice Department lodged an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, accusing the tech giant of making it harder for customers to switch phones, undermining innovation in apps, and imposing “extraordinary costs” on developers, businesses and consumers. The complaint in effect attempts to stop Apple locking users into its ecosystem. Apple said the suit “threatens who we are” as a company and sets “a dangerous precedent, empowering government to take a heavy hand in designing people’s technology”. The case will take years to wind its way through the courts.
  • Meanwhile, the European Union opened investigations into Alphabet and Apple over competition practices at their app stores, and Meta over its use of personal information in advertising. It is the first official scrutiny of tech companies under the EU’s new Digital Markets Act. Had the issues been resolved with the companies by “mere discussion, they would have been solved by now”, said the EU’s antitrust commissioner.
  • Alibaba abandoned a planned IPO for its logistics division, instead offering to buy out minority shareholders in the business. Ayearago the Chinese tech giant announced its intention to split into six parts, with the potential foreach to pursue a stockmarket listing. But the plan hasn’t excited investors. Late last year Alibaba decided not to spin off its cloud unit and suspended the IPO of its supermarket arm.
  • Reddit’s share price held on to most of the gains reaped from its successful flotation on the New York Stock Exchange. The social-media platform’s stock soared by 48% on the first day of trading.
  • The yen fell to а 34-year low against the dollar, triggering warnings from Japanese officials that they might intervene in the currency markets. The Bank of Japan raised interest rates recently for the first time since 2007, which would normally cause the yen to strengthen, but its monetary policy remains comparatively loose.

Trussed up in debt

  • The director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office in Washington repeated his warning that America faced a looming crisis on its federal debt, which stood at $26trn, or 97% of GDP, at the end of 2023. Phillip Swagel raised the possibility that markets could lose confidence in America’s ability Turkey’s central bank surprised markets by lifting its main interest rate by five percentage points, to 50%. The rate was 8.5% a year ago. With inflation nearing 70% on an annual basis, the bank said it would retain a tight monetary policy until a “significant and sustained decline” in price rises was observed.
  • to repay debt, similar to the situation that the government of Liz Truss faced in Britain in October 2022. Earlier this year Mr Swagel said that America had entered “a slow spiral” of rising debt and concurrent debt payments.
  • The British government is no longer the controlling shareholder in NatWest Group, having reduced its stake to just below the 30% threshold that would define it as such. During the financial crisis of 2008 the government bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland to save it from collapse. In 2020 RBS was renamed NatWest Group (providing retail banking under the RBS and NatWest brands). Sixteen years after the crisis, the government still doesn’t expect NatWest Group to be fully private until 2026.
  • Visa and Mastercard agreed to cap credit-card swipe fees in America, ending a two-decade battle with retailers and potentially saving merchants $зоЬп over five years. The deal also allows retailers to charge customers for using the credit cards at tills while guiding them towards cheaper options.

Free-speech advocate

  • A judge threw out a lawsuit brought by X against the Centre for Countering Digital Hate for allegedly conducting a campaign to drive advertisers away from the platform. CCDH published a report purporting to show a rise in hate speech on Twitter, as it then was, which Elon Musk, its owner, described as scaremongering. But in a scathing decision, the judge found that the case had been all about “punishing the defendants for their speech”.

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