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Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 25

Posts Tagged ‘the economist’

The Economist: 12 briefings that defined 2021

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 28 dicembre 2021

The Economist’s briefings section is something of a Swiss Army knife; it does what the paper needs doing when it needs it done. Its subjects can range widely, from what is wrong with Mexico’s president to how big European companies have become also-rans and what they might do about it. When our data journalism reveals something remarkable, such as the true scale of the covid-19 epidemic, the briefing can be a showcase for it; when we think there’s a big change in the world to which people are not paying enough attention, such as the rise of open-source intelligence gathering, it is where we tell them about it. It can look at the present—the way repression is coming to Russia, say, or to Hong Kong—or the past, capturing the sweep of American foreign policy since 9/11. And it can open up the future by showing what else the technology that lies behind mRNA vaccines could be used for, or by warning against the results of failing to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.This selection from 2021’s offering has no claim to objectivity. It does not reflect what click-by-click analysis tells us about how widely read the pieces were or how many letters we received on the subject, it does not attempt to cover the biggest news stories of the year and it was certainly not the subject of internal discussion. They are just some of the ones which, when I looked back on the year, stood out most prominently.The results are not presented in any imagined order of merit. What is more, though I was asked to choose just a top ten, I gave up on whittling down when I reached 12. Whether this makes me generous or indecisive, I could not say (an inability which pushes slightly towards the former). By Oliver Morton Senior editor, Essays, Briefings and Technology Quarterlies The Economist

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Special edition The Economist: Ten stories that defined our covers in 2021

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 28 dicembre 2021

Cover-making events come in many different forms and we spend a lot of time trying to spot them in all their fascinating variety. Some of the biggest are shocks that strike suddenly and echo across the year. The storming of the Capitol in Washington, DC, in January and the threat to democracy in America were still making headlines in December. Four months after Kabul’s catastrophic collapse in August, we asked what America would fight for. Other long-running sagas featured on the cover more than once. Our issue featuring the miseries of living in a world 3°C above industrial temperatures was a prelude to our cover on COP26. Likewise, our editorial on the long, bumpy end to the pandemic reflected issues featuring the efficacy of vaccines and big government. Sometimes we try to spot trends. We sent Alice down the rabbit hole in pursuit of decentralised finance, or DeFi, in September, having looked at central bank digital currencies a few months earlier. We had a crack at the philosophical thinking behind wokery. We first worried about inflation in March and our anxiety grew as supply chains gummed up and new variants spread. Our warning about Russian aggression towards the West had been foreshadowed by the attempt to kill Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader. But perhaps the subjects that overshadowed all others were Xi Jinping’s attempts to assert control over China, especially its consumer-technology firms, and the growing confrontation between China and the United States, including over Taiwan, which in May we called the most dangerous place on Earth. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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What would America fight for?

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 12 dicembre 2021

America is tiring of its role as guarantor of the liberal order. Its resolve is faltering and its enemies are testing it. President Vladimir Putin is massing troops on the border with Ukraine and could soon invade. China is buzzing Taiwan’s airspace with fighter jets, using mock-ups of American aircraft-carriers for target practice and trying out hypersonic weapons. Iran has taken such a maximalist stance at nuclear talks that many observers expect them to collapse. Meanwhile, a coalition of hawks and doves in Washington is calling for “restraint”. The doves say that by attempting to police the world, America inevitably gets sucked into needless conflicts abroad that it cannot win. The hawks say that America must not be distracted from the only task that counts: standing up to China. And the relentless manufactured drama of partisan politics, over such things as disputed elections and mask-wearing, makes America seem too divided at home to show sustained purpose abroad. If the liberal order is to be preserved, argues our cover story this week, other powers will have to take on more of the burden⁠—both to prepare for a world in which they have less help, and to keep America engaged. Few tasks are more important, or harder. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist.

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Where has it all gone wrong for Joe Biden?

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 8 novembre 2021

After a very bad week for President Joe Biden and his party, our cover looks at the hole they are in. Having received more votes than any candidate in history, Mr Biden has seen his approval ratings collapse. At this point in a first term, only Donald Trump was more unpopular. The Democrats have just lost the three top statewide offices in Virginia, which Mr Biden won by ten percentage points a year ago, and only narrowly won in New Jersey, one of their strongholds. This augurs poorly for next year’s mid-terms, when Democrats will probably lose their congressional majorities. Part of their problem is the inbuilt swing away from the incumbents, part of it the fact that Mr Biden, for all his human qualities, is not a politician blessed with the once-in-a-generation talents that his job demands. But it is also that ordinary voters are alienated by the narrow obsessions and preening presumptions of the Democrats’ left fringe. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The Economist: A special edition on our coronavirus coverage

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 30 ottobre 2021

Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of crimes against humanity in Brazil. A thousand-page Senate inquiry into the country’s disastrous handling of covid-19, leaked this week, is far more damning than expected. Its authors say that his “macabre” approach to the pandemic, including organising large gatherings of his supporters and disparaging scientists, constitutes a “crime against public health”.Almost every day over the past two weeks countries across Asia have revealed plans to loosen pandemic-induced restrictions on inbound visitors. Restarting tourism will be harder than shutting it down and it seems the countries that are most dependent on holidaymakers’ money are taking the most cautious approach to reopening.Our data journalists have been studying the impact of vaccine mandates. Their effect is modest, they conclude, but potentially crucial. That is why allowing loopholes and exceptions sharply reduces mandates’ effectiveness.They also consider whether a winter wave of coronavirus infections could be looming in the northern hemisphere. Masks, which the majority of people in western countries tell pollsters they wear in public, and booster vaccinations should help keep covid at bay in the rich world.In the Business section, our Free Exchange columnist looks at how soaring energy costs could hobble the recovery from the pandemic. Past energy shocks have been associated not only with inflation, but deep recessions, too, as exemplified by the economic travails of the 1970s. What does the latest crunch hold in store?Health-care systems everywhere scrambled to respond to covid—it would be a waste if the new infrastructure isn’t kept running, says Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford. In a “By Invitation” article he argues that the newly-built health infrastructure could be the basis of a preventative, global adult-vaccination programme. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The economist

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How the pandemic will end

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 ottobre 2021

Welcome to our weekly newsletter highlighting the best of The Economist’s coverage of the pandemic and its effects.All pandemics end eventually. Covid-19 has started down that path and will gradually become endemic. In that state, circulating and mutating from year to year, the coronavirus will remain a threat to the elderly and infirm. But having settled down, it is highly unlikely to kill on the monstrous scale of the past 20 months. In a Briefing this week, we examine how the world will eventually learn to live with covid. Though the destination is fixed, the route to endemicity is not and, in a leader, we argue that the difference between a well-planned journey and a chaotic one could be measured in millions of lives. The end of the pandemic is therefore a last chance for governments to show they have learned from the mistakes they made at its start. Meanwhile, China has decided it does not want to live with the virus. Since the early days of the pandemic, that country’s aim has been to eliminate the coronavirus entirely from within the mainland’s borders. But even as the handful of other countries with “zero-covid” policies, including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, move to relax them, China is holding out. We ask how long China can maintain such a strict policy. The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on the physical health of millions of people but new research shows that its mental-health effects could prove even more enduring. Covid-19 has led to a sharp increase in depression and anxiety around the world. Women have fared worse than men.More than 2.1m people in Latin America and the Caribbean have died of covid-19; the death rate in the region is easily the highest in the world, according to The Economist’s excess-mortality tracker. The economic toll has also been crushing: output dropped by 7% in 2020, the steepest decline of any region. In our Americas section, we argue that Latin America’s economies now have an opportunity to grow but it would help if their governments overcame their protectionist instincts.More broadly, the IMF warns that the global economic recovery will be grossly uneven—the economic prospects of most poor countries remain far worse than those of rich ones. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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Why we’re living in a shortage economy

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 15 ottobre 2021

Our cover this week focuses on what we are calling the shortage economy. For a decade after the financial crisis the world economy’s problem was a lack of spending. Worried households paid down their debts, governments imposed austerity and wary firms held back investment while hiring from a seemingly infinite pool of workers. Now spending has come roaring back, as governments have stimulated the economy and consumers let rip. The surge in demand is so powerful that supply is struggling to keep up and inflation is biting. The immediate cause of the problems is covid-19. Yet the shortage economy is also the product of the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy and the fact that trade has become less about economic efficiency and more about goals such as labour standards and national security. Decarbonisation and protectionism will be much longer-lived than the pandemic and—for policymakers—just as hard to cope with. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The mess Merkel leaves behind

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 29 settembre 2021

We have two covers this week. In Europe we look forward to the German elections. In her 16 years in the chancellery, Angela Merkel has weathered a string of crises, from economic to pandemic. Her abilities as a consensus-forger have served her country and Europe well. But her government has neglected too much, nationally and internationally. Germany is prosperous and stable. Yet trouble is brewing. And as Mrs Merkel prepares to leave office when a new government forms after an election this weekend, admiration for her steady leadership should be mixed with frustration at the complacency she has bred. After a lacklustre campaign that has failed to grapple with Germany’s looming problems, the world should expect post-election coalition talks to last for months, poleaxing European politics while they drag on. And at the end of it all, the country may well end up with a government that fails to get much done. That is the mess Mrs Merkel has left behind.In North America and Asia, we report on the aftershocks of AUKUS, the defence deal announced last week for America and Britain to supply Australia with at least eight nuclear-powered submarines. AUKUS’s true significance is as a step towards a new balance of power in the Pacific. It is a decades-long commitment and a deep one: America and Britain are transferring some of their most sensitive technology. The three countries’ co-operation promises to embrace cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and more besides. For this the Biden administration deserves credit. And yet the deal still amounts to only half a strategy. America’s relations with China involve more than a military stand-off. In the search for coexistence, America also needs to combine collaboration over issues like climate change with rules-based economic competition. The missing parts involve all of South-East Asia, home to some of the countries most vulnerable to Chinese pressure. And here American policy is struggling. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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What is the pandemic’s true death toll?

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 7 settembre 2021

Welcome to our weekly newsletter highlighting the best of The Economist’s coverage of the pandemic and its effects.Officially, covid-19 has killed around 4.5m people. But according to our own model, that is a dramatic undercount: we estimate that the actual death toll is 15.2m people, and may be as high as 18.1m.Last year, covid-19 in effect shut down the world’s economy. People stopped travelling and going to restaurants and concerts; they did not need to update their wardrobes, or buy much other than Netflix subscriptions and groceries. The Delta variant is different: it saps growth less dramatically but has fired up inflation.Partly because the virus has stopped tourism—Madagascar’s main source of hard currency—the country’s economy is shrinking dramatically, contributing to a near-famine in the country’s south. Our leader argues that in the short-term, Madagascar’s people need aid, and a lot of it; in the long-term, they need better governance. Vietnam’s economy, by contrast, has continued to grow, albeit slowly, driven by trade, foreign investment and remittances. That has helped lift its people out of poverty; whether they can become rich is less clear.Britain’s response to covid was helped by the sterling reputation of its National Health Service—the country’s strongest brand. When Islamic State set up its own health service, its logo mimicked the NHS’s sans-serif, right-leaning block capitals against a blue background.Finally, our business section ponders the future of meetings as people start returning, whether eagerly or reluctantly, to their offices. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The threat from the illiberal left

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 5 settembre 2021

Our cover this week warns that classical liberalism is under threat. One danger comes from the Trumpian right. The attack from the left is more surprising and harder to grasp. On the face of it illiberal progressives and classical liberals like The Economist want many of the same things. Both believe that people should be able to flourish whatever their sexuality or race. They share a suspicion of authority and entrenched interests. They believe in the desirability of change. And yet the two camps could hardly disagree more over how to make progress. Classical liberals believe that the best way to navigate disruptive change in a divided world is through a universal commitment to individual dignity, open markets and limited government. The illiberal left prefers to enforce ideological purity, by no-platforming their enemies and cancelling allies who have transgressed. The stakes could hardly be higher. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist.

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Welcome to our weekly newsletter highlighting the best of The Economist’s coverage of the pandemic and its effects

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 29 agosto 2021

This week, even more than last, chaos and misery in Afghanistan have nosed covid-19 out of the headlines. But the virus continues to spread. As Americans prepare to send their children back to school, our weekly polling with YouGov shows that most parents have either had their kids jabbed or plan to, and most back mask mandates.Early in the pandemic, Australia appeared a shining success story. By closing its borders, tracing contacts and rigidly enforcing quarantine restrictions, its “covid zero” strategy seemed to be working. (Geography helped, too: it is easier to keep a virus at bay on a remote island than in a country with long land borders.) The Delta variant has ended that strategy. As one doctor in Melbourne noted, even if contact-tracers find an infected person within 30 hours, that person’s contacts would already have passed the virus down several chains of transmission. The country is now putting its hopes in vaccines, and will allow cases to rise as long as hospitals can cope.China, where covid began, has been anxious about the World Health Organisation’s investigation into the disease’s origins. It vehemently rejects any suggestion that covid-19 escaped from a lab, but globally, infections acquired in labs are disturbingly common. China is coping with another sort of outbreak: African swine fever, which is harmless to people but is decimating the country’s immense pig population. The pandemic has sparked social and economic experimentation, as well as public-health innovations. It was long an article of faith, at least among right-leaning economists, that increasing the amount people receive from unemployment insurance (UI) would depress jobs. America’s experience during the pandemic suggests that is not true: states that restricted UI saw rises in hardship, but not employment. Adam Tooze, a historian, has written an “instant history” of the pandemic’s sizeable economic costs. And our Bartleby columnist ponders why women seem more eager than men for remote work to end and office life to resume. Zanny Minton Beddoes.Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The Economist this week: Highlights from the latest issue

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 14 agosto 2021

Our cover this week examines President Xi Jinping’s assault on China’s $4trn tech industry. Chinese regulators have mounted over 50 actions against scores of firms for a dizzying array of alleged offences, from antitrust abuses to data violations, costing investors around $1trn. Mr Xi’s immediate goal may be to humble tycoons and give regulators more sway over unruly digital markets. But the Communist Party’s deeper ambition is to redesign the industry so as to sharpen its country’s technological edge while boosting competition and benefiting consumers. In this, it echoes many of the concerns that motivate regulators and politicians in the West: that digital markets tend towards monopolies and that tech firms hoard data, abuse suppliers, exploit workers and undermine public morality. China is about to become a policy laboratory in which an unaccountable state wrestles with the world’s biggest firms for control of the 21st century’s essential infrastructure. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The Economist this week: A special edition on our coronavirus coverage

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 3 agosto 2021

Throughout the United States, covid-19 is spreading rapidly, mostly owing to the highly contagious Delta variant. This fourth wave of infections is strongest in the heartland and southern states: cases per 100,000 people are highest in Arkansas, Florida and Louisiana; Missouri has the highest hospitalisations.Identifying the causes of vaccine hesitancy can help policymakers decide where to target their efforts. According to surveys and modelling by The Economist, the single greatest predictor of whether an American has been vaccinated is whether they voted for Joe Biden or Donald Trump last November.In many middle-income countries around the world, from Brazil to Belarus, the pandemic is stirring unrest. People are angry about economic hardships, and they see how the rich and well-connected go to the front of the queue for vaccinations, medical treatment and government help. They are angry that their leaders have not done a better job of containing the coronavirus. At the same time, people’s suffering has created a sense of solidarity which is fanning grievances that smouldered long before anyone had heard of covid-19.In England, it looks like Boris Johnson’s gamble to unlock society will pay off. When Mr Johnson lifted restrictions on July 19th, many observers predicted disaster. More than a week of liberty later, without masks and with clubbing, cases are still falling. Indeed, daily case counts have fallen by roughly half since the rules were relaxed. Meanwhile our Bagehot columnist observes that, with the return of summer parties, a sense of normality is returning to Westminster. A strange era in British politics could be coming to a close.Among the many emergency measures introduced by state governments in America during the pandemic, one stood out for the jollity it heralded: a change in the law to allow bars and restaurants to sell cocktails-to-go. The change in states’ alcohol laws looks set to stay. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The Economist this week: In a 3°C world, there is no safe place

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 25 luglio 2021

The ground under the German town of Erftstadt is torn apart like tissue paper by flood waters; Lytton in British Columbia is burned from the map just a day after setting a freakishly high temperature record; cars float like dead fish through the streets-turned-canals in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou. All the world feels at risk, and most of it is. Six years ago, in Paris, the countries of the world committed themselves to avoiding the worst of climate change by eliminating net greenhouse-gas emissions quickly enough to hold the temperature rise below 2°C. Their progress towards that end remains woefully inadequate. But even if their efforts increased dramatically enough to meet the 2°C goal, it would not stop forests from burning today; prairies would still dry out tomorrow, rivers break their banks and mountain glaciers disappear. And even if everyone manages to honour their pledges, there is still a risk that temperatures could eventually rise by 3°C above pre-industrial levels. Our cover this week explores what that means for the climate and for climate policy. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The economist

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The Economist this week: Biden’s China doctrine

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 19 luglio 2021

Our cover this week is about President Joe Biden’s China doctrine. Between them, Mr Biden and Donald Trump have engineered the most dramatic break in American foreign policy in the five decades since Richard Nixon went to China. Optimists long hoped that welcoming China into the global economy would make it a “responsible stakeholder”, and perhaps bring about political reform. Today Mr Biden foresees a struggle that pits America against China—a struggle that he says can have only one winner. The administration believes that America must blunt China’s ambitions, by building up its strength at home and working with allies abroad. Much about Mr Biden’s new doctrine makes sense, but the details contain a lot to be worried about—not least the fact that it is unlikely to work. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The Economist this week

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 15 luglio 2021

A special edition on our coronavirus coverage.A poll for The Economist shows that people in Britain seem to support lockdowns. Two-thirds think masks, social distancing and travel restrictions should continue for another month after July 19th, dubbed by some as “freedom day” because that is the date after which nearly all the remaining anti-covid measures in England will be lifted. A majority of Britons, however, would support the continuation of restrictions until covid-19 is controlled worldwide, which may take years.Russia is in the midst of its third and most severe wave of covid-19, with more people dying daily than at any other point in the pandemic. This is in spite of the fact that the country registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine. Mixed messages and mistrust of the government are to blame, as we hear on our daily podcast, “The Intelligence”.In the Business section, we look at which airlines will soar after the pandemic. An uneven recovery will boost big carriers in America and China, and cheap and cheerful ones in Europe.Jair Bolsanaro, Brazil’s president, finds himself in the spotlight because of murky procurement negotiations for two covid-19 vaccines in the country.Meanwhile our data journalists have been busy examining the impacts of covid-19. In one study they found that in-person voting in November’s elections in America really did accelerate covid-19’s spread in the country. In a separate study, economists found that labour markets in the rich world are recovering from covid-19—but low-paid workers and the young may continue to struggle. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The Economist We have two covers this week

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 6 luglio 2021

In most of our editions we highlight our new normalcy index. Taking the pre-pandemic average as 100, it tracks such things as flights, traffic and retailing across dozens of countries comprising 76% of the Earth’s population. Today it stands at 66—double the level in 2020, but still well below the pre-pandemic benchmark. One reason for this is that covid-19 is still ravaging many countries, as a lack of vaccines leaves them open to highly infectious new variants. But even vaccinated countries such as America remain far from normal. And that may be because it is becoming clear that the new normal will be profoundly different from the old one. In our American edition we write about the battle to defend American democracy. Democrats believe that the threat to elections centres on who is able to vote. The greater worry is what happens after votes have been cast. Across America, Republican state legislatures have come under pressure from Donald Trump and his allies, who continue to insist that Joe Biden did not really win the presidential election. As a result, they are passing laws that will turn vote-counting into a partisan battleground. This raises the spectre of a contested election that the courts are unable to resolve. Long after the hysteria over the 2020 election has abated, America’s voting system will bear the scars. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist.

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The Economist this week: A special edition on our coronavirus coverage

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 giugno 2021

Welcome to our weekly newsletter highlighting the best of The Economist’s coverage of the pandemic and its effects. At last Europe’s vaccination campaign has gathered pace, with supply bottlenecks starting to ease. Eastern Europe, however, still lags behind. In Britain, Boris Johnson has said he is “absolutely determined” that no school child should be held back because of the educational disruptions caused by covid-19. However, this week his “education-recovery commissioner” resigned because of a lack of ministerial determination. Sir Kevan Collins, a widely-respected former teacher, was trying to convince the government to support a package of measures costing around £15bn ($20bn) over three years. He stepped down hours after it was announced that the government’s proposed budget for school catch-up programmes would be around £3bn ($4.2bn). In the United States, new research suggests that Hispanic Americans are most vulnerable to covid-19. Researchers still do not understand why.In its latest Economic Outlook, the OECD argues that economies are likely to diverge, as some (America and China) recover from the pandemic faster than others (many poor countries). Covid-19 has also struck different sectors differently: tech and pharmaceutical firms prospered; transport and energy firms suffered. Our data journalists find that covid-19 deaths in Wuhan seem far higher than the official count. Partial data suggest that the city’s initial outbreak may have been two or three times worse than reported by Chinese officials.On “The Jab”, our podcast reporting from the sharp end of the vaccination race, we look at how scientists are trying to understand the best way to administer jabs. Can mixing vaccine types boost immunity to the coronavirus? What is the best interval between doses? And should children be jabbed? Airborne transmission is one of the main ways in which the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads—so why has it taken so long to be officially recognised? We investigate on our science podcast, “Babbage”.In our sister magazine, 1843, Shreevatsa Nevatia writes that covid-19 has exposed the great fiction of middle-class life in India: domestic staff are part of the family. Now he sees that that was a lie. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The Economist this week: Highlights from the latest issue

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 25 Maggio 2021

Our cover this week is about race in America a year after the murder of George Floyd. Mr Floyd’s death prompted the biggest civil-rights protests in American history. The policeman who killed him was, unusually, convicted of murder. And institutions in America and beyond looked at themselves in a different light. Something needed to change. But what exactly? Most racial disparities in America come about when three things collide: secular economic trends; the aftershocks of slavery and segregation; and present-day bigotry and racism. The first two are usually the biggest causes of bad outcomes for African-Americans, but the third—racism today—gets most of the attention. This is backwards. Racism remains a curse, though it is less widespread than 30 years ago, let alone in the civil-rights era. But, since it is lodged in bigoted minds, rooting it out is largely beyond the power of any government. Poverty and the structural legacy of racism in institutions are different. Take the Biden administration’s new child tax credit, which looks likely to reduce child poverty by 40%. Because African-Americans are disproportionately poor, this race-neutral policy should halve the number of poor black children. Our leader argues that this approach is not just popular and effective, it is also right. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The Economist: A special edition on our coronavirus coverage

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 25 Maggio 2021

This week we look forward to the Olympics, due to start in Japan in July. As their country endures a wave of infections, 60% of Japanese tell pollsters that they would sooner not host the games at all. One of the worries is that athletes arriving from across the world could help spread dangerous new variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19. A cautionary tale is unfolding in Britain, which sequences the genes of circulating viruses more assiduously than any other country. B.1.1.7, the variant first identified in Kent, is being displaced by a variant from India, B.1.617.2, especially in Bolton—where a community with ties to the Indian subcontinent also happens to have taken up vaccines less readily than the national average.Levels of protection are also a worry in America, where the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have issued advice that vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear a mask in most situations. Only 38% of Americans are fully vaccinated. Given that the threshold for herd immunity could be 70-80%, that leaves plenty of scope for further spread of the virus.New Zealand and Australia face an entirely different problem. Having successfully followed zero-covid strategies they have imposed semi-permanent restrictions on foreign visitors, who risk bringing the virus in with them. As the pandemic eases in some countries, economic activity is partly returning to something closer to normal. Our data team reports that shoppers are going gangbusters. But as recovery creates jobs in industries that have been locked down, there seems to be a severe shortage of workers to fill them. What has gone wrong? Our economics staff investigate this conundrum.On Economist Radio we have been expanding on our work to show the real death toll from covid-19—which we released last week. Officially a little over 3.4m people have died, but we have designed a statistical model that estimates how many people went uncounted—and reached a central estimate of 10m. Our weekly podcast on vaccination, “The Jab”, discusses what we found and its significance, and “The Intelligence”, our daily news podcast, contains a segment on how to vaccinate the world.Finally, getting oxygen into people with covid-19 has been a problem throughout the pandemic. Ventilators have been in short supply. And the intubation of patients has caused them harm. Our science section reports on an alternative—oxygen enemas. It sounds mad—and painful—but it really could work. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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