Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 349

Posts Tagged ‘the economist’

What to read to become a better writer

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 29 settembre 2022

Who wouldn’t like to write better? Most people share the pain of getting strong words onto the page in the first place. Learning how to craft sentences that have an impact is not easy. At least guides exist, some of them truly entertaining, to help you along. We’ve picked our favourite five books on writing well—and explained why each is worth turning to—as a part of our “ Economist reads” series. I strongly recommend it. Others you might enjoy include our pick of books to read to understand the British monarchy, our Bello columnist on the must-reads on Latin America, plus a selection of books, and more, that address the energy crunch. As autumn encroaches in the northern hemisphere and energy bills rise you might get to grips with the experts’ explanations of shifts in that sector. Assuming the lights stay on, happy reading. By Adam Roberts Digital editor The Economist

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Why it’s OK not to be perfect at work

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 15 settembre 2022

If you happen to be a head of state, central-bank chief or a senator, you’ll find advice aplenty in many of our weekly columns that you can use in your daily toil. For the rest of us, however, I’d recommend turning first to Bartleby, who writes each week about the joys and miseries of working life. Whether you’ve returned to the office (and want to grasp why bosses are the ones who most like being there) or are trying to find ways to work from home (which days are best for doing so?), our columnist has guidance for you. Wherever you work (in the bathtub? From a mountain-top?) you may ponder Bartleby’s advice on the idea of bullshit jobs, the best ways to run meetings and (particularly helpful, in my view) why it’s perfectly fine not to be perfect at work. Adam Roberts Digital editor The Economist

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A special edition on “The Economist reads”

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 30 agosto 2022

No bad time exists for asking about the basics of economics. But right now looks like an exceptionally good moment to do so. The cost of living is surging, interest rates are creeping up, recession threatens in many countries, and an energy crunch is here. Understanding how economists think is the first step to getting to grips with it all yourself. So we asked our senior economics writer to recommend the best handful of books for getting started on the dismal discipline. I strongly recommend it. This is just one of our growing collection of such book lists, known as “The Economist reads”. Others I’d point you to include the best books for understanding AI, the works of Salman Rushdie and a guide to Germany’s troubled past. Look out, too, for country-specific recommendations, including ones on India, on China’s hidden past and—a favourite of mine—a guide to drought and fire in the American West. You can find the full collection at “The Economist reads” hub.Adam RobertsDigital editor The Economist

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Why the war in Ukraine has raised the risk of nuclear conflict

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 5 giugno 2022

Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine 102 days ago by threatening countries tempted to interfere with consequences “such as you have never seen in your entire history”. Russian television has since tantalised viewers with chit-chat about nuclear Armageddon. The moral revulsion that restrains the use of nuclear weapons has been weakening. Weapons are proliferating. As memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki fade, there is insufficient alarm at the prospect of how hard it will be to keep the peace if many states have a bomb. The invasion of Ukraine adds to this malaise. Russia is unlikely to use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine. But Mr Putin’s threat has prompted NATO to limit the support it is prepared to offer the government in Kyiv. Some have warned that inflicting a defeat on Russia could back its president into a corner with devastating consequences.One implication of this is that vulnerable states that see the world through Ukraine’s eyes may feel that the best defence against a nuclear-armed aggressor is to have weapons of their own. The other is that nuclear-armed states may believe that they can gain by copying Mr Putin’s tactics. One day someone somewhere will surely turn their threat into reality. That must not be this war’s devastating legacy. By 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 venerdì, 20 Maggio 2022

This week North Korea ordered cities to lock down after admitting to its first infections since the pandemic began. Even for a country accustomed to bad news, the outbreak is disastrous. North Koreans will now suffer the consequences of low vaccination rates and rudimentary health care. Further covid restrictions were announced across the border in China. A long lockdown has pushed daily cases in Shanghai well below their recent peak, but the outbreak has not been extinguished. Food deliveries have been banned in some areas and hospital visits must be approved. The pandemic has been particularly cruel for China’s homeless population. When covid spreads, they are often blamed. Our China section this week tells the story of a beggar called Mr Jiang. 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, 27 febbraio 2022

Hong Kong’s refusal to live with covid-19 is causing chaos. Having managed to keep the virus at bay for two years, the territory—which is attempting to replicate the Chinese mainland’s “zero-covid” approach—has seen a surge of infections. Mass testing of all its 7.4m people is planned throughout March.In England, meanwhile, coronavirus regulations are no more. Many public-health advisers fear they may have been scrapped too soon. But covid in England is no longer the same disease that shut down the country in 2020 and 2021.Nearly a year has passed since Congress approved the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), promising spending of $1.9trn, equivalent to 9% of GDP. Many, including The Economist, worried that such federal largesse looked excessive. These fears have been borne out. In the United States section, we examine how states are using, and misusing, funds from ARPA. Governors are benefiting politically today, but they are creating liabilities for tomorrow.Are some countries faking their covid death counts? A study casts doubt on some abnormally neat numbers. It finds the variance in reported death tolls to be suspiciously low in several countries—almost exclusively without a functioning democracy or a free press.Cities have often bounced back from crises—from pandemics and earthquakes to floods and fires. But with the mass return to office work still uncertain, the pandemic has sharpened debate about what the future holds for commercial hubs. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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An atrocious approach to covid protests

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 20 febbraio 2022

Will Canada’s populist protests outlast the pandemic? Now in its third week, the “freedom convoy”, which began as a protest against vaccine policies for lorry-drivers, seems to be nearing its end. The government is toughening its response. Justin Trudeau, the prime minister, has handled the protests atrociously. A vocal minority is fed up with burdensome pandemic restrictions. But by seeking to curb free speech, Mr Trudeau will aggravate the country’s divisions. BioNTech wants to use shipping containers as standardised vaccine factories, to expand capacity worldwide. The firm plans to send its containerised mRNA factories to parts of the world that lack their own manufacturing capabilities. The first will arrive in an undisclosed country in Africa towards the end of 2022. Africa accounts for just 3.6% of doses administered globally, partly because of hesitancy but mainly because it has struggled to get supplies and distribute them.And our Chaguan column this week focuses on Hong Kong. The city is about to endure its worst three months since the pandemic began with case numbers doubling every few days. It must choose between opening to the mainland or to the rest of the world. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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How high will interest rates go?

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 8 febbraio 2022

This week we look at the big worry hanging over the world economy: the future of interest rates. As inflation spikes, there is a growing sense that the Federal Reserve has lost its way. It appears as if America’s central bank is about to make an abrupt change of course by tightening monetary policy hard and fast. That prospect has battered stockmarkets. It has also led many firms and homeowners to ask if the long era of low rates is now over. For an answer, they need to look beyond Jerome Powell to the forces driving the economy. Monetary policy is anchored around the neutral rate of interest, the price of money needed to balance the global appetite to save with the desire to invest. As we explain, although there are signs of a pick-up in investment, the world’s ageing population should ensure that a plentiful supply of savings will keep a cap on long-term rates. As the world enters a sharp and potentially painful series of interest-rate rises, take what comfort you can. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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What to watch for in the week ahead

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 7 febbraio 2022

Watch, in the coming week, for the world’s diplomats to be overstretched. The crisis over Ukraine is not easing. Germany’s new leader, Olaf Scholz, flits to Washington to meet Joe Biden, where the question of how to handle Russia will be their main concern. May Mr Biden stiffen his visitor’s spine. Meanwhile Emmanuel Macron, the French president, heads to Moscow and then Kyiv. Talks between the leaders of France, Germany and Poland follow on Tuesday, even as Russia and Belarus launch joint military exercises—not far from the Ukraine border—on February 10th. Could those manoeuvres be cover for a real intervention? The Americans have said, repeatedly, some sort of invasion is looming. Ukraine’s president disagrees. Given all the diplomatic bustle our hunch is that fighting is unlikely this week, at least, but don’t hold us to it.Like buses, diplomatic crises clump together. The blowing-up of the latest leader of IS, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, as Americans raided his house in Syria, is unlikely to have many repercussions in the Middle East. More serious is the prospect of bringing back to life a deal struck years ago between America and Iran (with European support) for slowing Iran’s push to become a nuclear power. America, under Donald Trump, stomped away from that. Could Mr Biden restore it? Watch for the latest round of talks in Vienna in the coming days: negotiators see them as the endgame, and have never been as close to a breakthrough as they are now, but even a successful outcome would produce a worse deal than the one that existed before.Our business journalists are weighing a clash of a different sort. Disney reports its latest earnings this week, a chance to learn about the latest state of the streaming wars, as Amazon, Apple, Disney, Netflix and others compete. The spoils from that war seem to be smaller than the firms once hoped. And that’s before more of us quit our sofas, and cut down on our binge-watching, as the pandemic eases. Probably the biggest data point to watch this week: a report on American inflation in January. Prices are rising faster than they have in nearly four decades, and they in turn drive up expectations of rate increases by the Fed and other central banks. Any sign that inflation might have peaked would be met with joy. Other fare. Prolonged elections kick off in five Indian states. Most consequential is Uttar Pradesh, the country’s biggest state (with a population larger than Brazil’s). A Hindu nationalist, Yogi Adityanath, expects to win re-election there and he may yet dream of taking over as the country’s prime minister. I interviewed him once, nearly a decade ago. He’s not a terribly nice fellow.In Britain the queen is marking 70 years on the throne, but ceremonies are muted. Instead there’ll be public events in June. No British monarch has ruled for longer, but who will be prime minister by then? The steady drip-drip of troubles for Boris Johnson, as former allies and fellow MPs tell him to quit, doesn’t bode well for him. We expect him to hang on for this week, at least, but even he can’t be sure he’ll be around in four months’ time. Thanks again for your generous feedback. Sir Richard Gozney, who used to head a team in Britain’s cabinet office, helpfully suggested I guide readers on the likelihood of something coming to pass (it’s likely you’ve already spotted that we listened). Patricia asked for more focus on Latin America—we’ll try. And Greg Moseley asked for attention on Africa. As a former Africa correspondent, too, I’ll be keeping an eye on Cyril Ramaphosa’s state-of-the nation address in South Africa this week. By Adam Roberts Digital editor The Economist

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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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