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The Intelligence

The Intelligence

Get a daily burst of global illumination from The Economist?s worldwide network of correspondents as they dig past the headlines to get to the stories beneath?and to stories that aren?t making headlines, but should be.

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Owing to the pandemic: Britain?s budget

The finance minister has a plan that will keep many safeguards in place?for now. We ask how the country will then dig itself out of a financial hole. As countries aim for net-zero emissions, how to pick the policies that do the most good for the least cash? And why every fruit tree in Zanzibar has an owner. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-03-03
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A dark picture emerges: atrocities in Ethiopia

It is becoming more certain that war crimes are being committed in the northern region of Tigray. Yet, despite increasing international pressure, there is little hope the suffering will soon end. In China anti-capitalist sentiment is growing online; overworked youth have a decidedly Maoist view of the country?s biggest businesses and tycoons. And the uphill struggles of France?s skiing industry.

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2021-03-02
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Coup fighters: Myanmar?s persistent protesters

The temperature keeps rising: as demonstrations continue to grow, the army is becoming more brutal. We ask how the country can escape the cycle of violence. In a pandemic, laws against misinformation have their merits?but are also easily put to work for censorious governments. And why British dependencies want to get growing in the medical-marijuana game.

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2021-03-01
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Mutual-appreciation anxiety: Putin and Erdogan

The presidents of Turkey and Russia make an odd couple; their former empires have clashed over centuries. We look at the fragile?but nonetheless worrisome?alliance between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. India?s economy is recovering but a longstanding drag on growth persists: the overwhelming fraction of women absent from the labour force. And an unlikely protest anthem rattles Cuba?s regime. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-02-26
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Hell for Tether: a cryptocurrency crimped

The notionally dollar-pegged ?stablecoin? quietly underpins many crypto-market moves. We ask what the currency issuer?s clash with New York authorities means for the wider crypto craze. In many African countries, parliamentarians are asked to fill public-service gaps?at great personal cost. We examine moves toward a fairer forking out of funds. And why physical-education exams are popping up in China.

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2021-02-25
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Let the games be thin: Tokyo?s Olympic tussles

Planners are in a corner. Delaying or cancelling the summer tournament looks like defeat; pressing ahead looks like a danger. We take a look at the sporting chances. Britain has decarbonised faster than any other rich country, but getting to ?net zero? will be a whole lot harder. And why South Koreans have such trouble with noisy neighbours.

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2021-02-24
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Confirmation biases: Biden?s cabinet picks

President Joe Biden?s top posts are shaping up as Senate confirmation hearings continue?but some controversial nominations await a vote. We look at who is on the docket. Politics in the Democratic Republic of Congo has become messy, at the expense of some promised and much-needed reforms. And why the global rap scene is picking up a London accent. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-02-23
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Contrary to popular opinion: Mexico?s president

Andrés Manuel López Obrador roared into office with a grand ?fourth transformation? agenda. Even after two years of policy failures and power-grabbing, he remains wildly popular. An eye-catching new report implores economists to take biodiversity into account?and puts some sobering limits on growth. And a chat through the state of the art in conversational computers.

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2021-02-22
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Have I not news for you: Facebook?s Australian battle

A media code that would obligate tech giants to pay for linking to news stories looks set to pass. In response, Facebook pre-emptively took down those links?and a whole lot more. So-called honour killings persist in the Arab world; we examine the support for such murders and look at attempts to reform lax laws. And remembering the jazz-fusion giant Chick Corea.

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2021-02-19
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Watts the problem: Texas?s energy failings

Crippling blackouts can be explained in part by the state?s unique energy market, but the disaster exposes wider failures that must be confronted amid a changing climate. Today?s landing of another Mars rover broadens the hunt for evidence of extraterrestrial life?an effort that is expanding faster and farther than ever before. And soft rock shakes off its milquetoast manner.

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2021-02-18
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The next of 1,000 cuts: Hong Kong activists on trial

It is not violent young protesters in the dock: the accused are the architects of the territory?s democracy. Our correspondent examines the city?s descent into authoritarian rule. In Colombia, activists are disappearing or being killed at a horrific rate. We ask why, and what can be done. And weighing up Oregon?s daring drug-decriminalisation experiment.

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2021-02-17
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Desert stands: France in the Sahel

Terror groups and separatists run riot in the sprawling region, and France has had some success in keeping the peace. But how, and when, to draw down its troops? Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the World Trade Organisation?s history-making new leader, has quite the task ahead to rebuild trust in and among the institution?s members. And the worrying shifts in subsea soundscapes. Additional audio courtesy Jana Winderen. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-02-16
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No Capitol punishment: Trump?s acquittal

Donald Trump was all but certain to be cleared in his Senate trial, and so it went. But the few Republican votes to convict are telling. What next for the former president? A look into Swiss efforts to track down a missing $230m raises disturbing questions. And why women aren?t getting the laughs as stand-up comedy grows in China.

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2021-02-15
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Exit-stage plight: Brexit?s costs come due

Stock-trading is shifting to the continent; businesses are bound up in red tape; border issues are still simmering. There is far more than mere ?teething problems? as Britain and Europe adjust to their new relationship. Our correspondent looks at the slippery nature of risk by speaking with wing-suited daredevils. And in Kenya the flower-industry bounce-back is blooming great news.For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-02-12
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The coup is on the other foot: Myanmar

A power-grab by the army?s commander, Min Aung Hlaing, is not turning out to be easy: the greatest protest movement in a generation is gathering steam. Debates over trans rights are particularly fraught in criminal-justice systems. We examine the balancing act going on in America. And a historical tour of autocrats? luxuriant bathrooms reveals there?s a lot to loos. 

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2021-02-11
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Like hell out of a bat: SARS-CoV-2?s origin

The World Health Organisation unveiled preliminary findings, suggesting the coronavirus probably jumped to humans via an intermediary animal and all but ruling out a laboratory leak. We examine the many remaining questions. Nefarious regimes find it ever easier to reach across borders, subjecting dissidents to repression and surveillance abroad. And why it?s so hard to buy a car in Algeria. 

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?The Jab from Economist Radio? is our new weekly podcast at the sharp end of the global vaccination race. Listen to the trailer and subscribe now

 

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2021-02-10
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Very long covid: the lasting risks to Africa

So far it seems the continent has weathered the pandemic well. But current numbers mask a future reckoning that is likely to have dire human and economic costs. We look into the ?predatory trading? that in part explains recent, frenzied action in stockmarkets. And a surprising discovery about the plastics that sink to the oceans? depths. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-02-09
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The art of the done deal: Trump on trial, again

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump will make history, but its outcome is assured. We ask what the proceedings say about the Republican Party. China?s youth are making their own way, even as the Communist regime tries to win greater loyalty from them; we examine the country?s future leaders. And another, overlooked pandemic: that of loneliness at work. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-02-08
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Ballot bonanza: Latin America?s year of elections

Ecuador?s elections on Sunday kick off a packed year of polls in the region. Democracy?s foothold in South America looks assured; in Central America, less so. Engineers are vastly improving the core technologies in televisions. We preview the viewing pleasure to come. And remembering Nikolai Antoshkin, a Soviet general who faced unknowable danger to save untold lives.

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2021-02-05
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Cheques notes: getting America?s stimulus right

Congress is on the cusp of pushing through a $1.9trn stimulus bill. But would it be money well spent? We examine the economics. Nearly half of India?s students attend cheap, efficient private schools that have been hit harder by the pandemic than the state-run kind. And the latest bid to clean up Earth?s celestial neighbourhood?and how to finance it.

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2021-02-04
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Rise above the cloud: Amazon?s new chief executive

Jeff Bezos is relinquishing the reins?partly?of the firm he founded. We take a look at Andy Jassy, who will replace him as chief executive at a profitable but tricky time. Our annual Democracy Index isn?t brimming with great news; we examine how democratic norms are faring worldwide. And the capture of the biggest drug lord you?ve probably never heard of. 

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2021-02-03
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As a general rules: Myanmar?s coup

The army already had plenty of political power, but following a landslide election loss it dramatically seized more. After five years of democracy, will the country abide a return to military rule? The wind-power boom has driven a scramble for balsa wood?harming the Ecuadoreans who live where it grows. And a better way to test the language skills of would-be citizens. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-02-02
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More needles in the haystack: vaccine candidates proliferate

That a coronavirus vaccine could be developed in a year is astonishing?and promising candidates just keep coming. How will the virus?s variants change the dynamic? Palestine may at last hold elections, after 15 years of promises. But Mahmoud Abbas, the incumbent president, may end up as the only viable candidate. And the probable first big market for lab-grown meat.

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2021-02-01
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Tug of warheads: the nuclear order

Successful arms-control diplomacy has kept proliferation at bay for decades. But many states now have nuclear ambitions; we look at an increasingly worrying shift. Rapid development in sub-Saharan Africa has led to a ?double burden? of malnutrition: obesity is skyrocketing even as undernourishment continues. And the riches and the tensions to be found at a Greenland rare-earth-minerals mine. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-01-29
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Conte?s inferno: political crisis in Italy

The president is scrambling to pull together a workable government following Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte?s resignation?and the instability has big implications for Europe?s post-pandemic plans. We examine the staggering rise of shares in GameStop and the day traders trying to stick it to the hedge-funders. And the sport of back-country skiing gets a lift in America.

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2021-01-28
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Vials and tribulations: the EU?s vaccine push

The European Union?s vaccine rollout was slow and fragmented even before pharma companies warned of supply shortfalls; we ask what?s gone wrong. Australia?s proposed law that would force tech titans to pay news providers is just one front in a battle that might upend a foundational principle of the internet. And the bawdy baked goods that have captured Egyptians? attention. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-01-27
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Party down: Vietnam?s Communist leaders meet

At this week?s five-yearly congress there will be pride in the handling of the pandemic?but broader discontent and mounting protests should worry party bigwigs. We ask our education correspondent why so many American schools remain empty and what the long-run costs will be. And differentiating the difficult character of Patricia Highsmith from the litany of difficult characters she conjured.

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2021-01-26
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Vlad tidings: demonstrations across Russia

The arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny?and an exposé he released alleging deep corruption?fuelled vast weekend protests, chipping away at President Vladimir Putin?s legitimacy. Having left the European Union Britain must find a new foreign-policy foothold in the world; we examine its options and its moves so far. And a shocking revelation about haggis ahead of Scotland?s Burns Night celebrations. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-01-25
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Biting the hands that would feed: Ethiopia

There are signs that the federal government is obstructing humanitarian aid to the war-torn region of Tigray, putting millions of civilians at risk of famine. We draw lessons from Israel?s vaccine rollout to predict what still lies ahead for many countries. And what can be learned by striking a deal with Bali?s larcenous monkeys. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-01-22
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Much to repair: Biden?s first day on the job

The watchword was unity as Joe Biden took office?he struck a calming tone and got immediately to work. We analyse the gargantuan tasks that lie ahead. Messaging services such as WhatsApp provide a needed online forum; as users flood to new apps we examine questions of privacy and security. And the Parisian street artist depicting brutal protests to unsettling effect.

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2021-01-21
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Costly disbelief: covid-19 ravages Brazil again

Desperate scenes in the city of Manaus may foretell a dire wave throughout the country. A misguided sense of ?herd immunity? has worsened matters, as has the president?s persistent scepticism. We examine history to see how lasers progressed from practical impossibility to utter ubiquity?and the scientific frontiers they are still illuminating. And how clams are protecting lives in Poland. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-01-20
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Hell no, we won?t grow: Indian farmers? mass protests

Hundreds of thousands of farmers have participated in protests around Delhi, demonstrating against laws that they say threaten their livelihoods. We ask how the standoff will end. Today America will designate Yemen?s Houthi militants as terrorists, but that is likely only to harm a population already facing starvation. And what?s behind a boom in African comics. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-01-19
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Landed, in trouble: Alexei Navalny returns to Russia

The opposition leader was detained as soon as he arrived?but President Vladimir Putin has no good options for dealing with his most vocal opponent. Germany?s ruling CDU party has a new leader; we examine the challenges that lie ahead for him, his party and his country. And the kerfuffle behind an American-made film relegated to the Golden Globes? foreign-language category. 

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2021-01-18
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Bold Wine in new battles: Uganda?s election

After a violent campaign in which the opposition candidate Bobi Wine was extensively intimidated, authorities imposed an internet blackout. President Yoweri Museveni will almost certainly cling to power?a worry for Uganda and the wider region. Wikipedia turns 20 today; we ask how, against long odds, it has survived and grown. And the video game that?s sparking a moral panic in Afghanistan.

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2021-01-15
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Two-timer: Trump impeached, again

Some House Republicans broke ranks, joining Democrats to hand President Donald Trump an ignominious distinction. Our deputy editor lays out why the Senate should now convict and remove him. Under South Africa?s ruling ANC party a powerful black middle class bloomed, but the party?s fiscal mismanagement threatens their loyalty. And the boom in ?spirits? with no booze but plenty of branding. 

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2021-01-14
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Trial ensnarer: human-rights law?s new tool

War criminals and their ilk often evade justice solely because of squabbling over who can be tried where. But a rise in ?universal jurisdiction? trials is tightening the net. Recent lockdowns? hits to global economies are not nearly as deep as they were the first time around; we explore why. And Cambodian rat-catchers reckon with boom and bust. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-01-13
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You don?t say: tech?s Trump bans

Moves to shutter the president?s accounts and to crimp corners of the internet given to right-wing extremism raise thorny questions, both about free speech and social-media firms? business models. Our public-policy editor takes a broad look at girlhood: how women?s adolescence has changed for the better but is challenged mightily by covid-19. And science?s bid to save more snake-bite victims? lives.

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2021-01-12
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Wrest wing: the bid to oust Trump

Today Democratic lawmakers will begin attempts to remove President Donald Trump. It could fail, or be delayed?or Republicans could see a political opportunity. Even amid a global vaccination drive, the hunt for covid-19 treatments continues; we examine two existing arthritis drugs that appear to save lives. And the synthesiser that conquered music in the 1980s and then stuck around. Additional audio courtesy of Nate Mars and Daniel Reid. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-01-11
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The longer arm of the law: Hong Kong

A national-security law imposed by Beijing had not, until this week, bared its teeth; the arrests of dozens of pro-democracy figures reveals how much it can crimp opposition. At the American Economics Association?s annual shindig, a scholar implores economists to recalibrate just how self-interested they take people to be. And the inspiring life and untimely death of a beloved, goat-herding refugee. 

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2021-01-08
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Riot act: Biden confirmed amid chaos

After previously unthinkable scenes played out in Washington?s legislature, we ask what the violence will mean for the president, Republican lawmakers and American democracy. Argentina?s move to liberalise its abortion laws reflects slowly changing attitudes across Latin America, and may spur wider change. And examining the history of Ethio-jazz, a unique musical melting pot. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2021-01-07
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Run-off, their feat: Georgia?s Senate races

Democrats look set to win both the run-off elections that will determine control of the Senate?and how President-elect Joe Biden will be able to govern. Quantum computing is still nascent, its power yet to be truly tapped. But the finance sector is already looking to squeeze it for analytical advantage. And how Confucianism still influences society in South Korea.

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2021-01-06
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Stresses of strains: emerging coronavirus variants

It is no surprise that more-transmissible coronavirus variants are cropping up. We ask how worrisome the strains found in Britain and South Africa are. American authorities have lodged a landmark case against Walmart for its role in the country?s worsening opioid crisis?a problem with clearly more than one cause. And dealing with the pile of unused vacation days from 2020.

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2021-01-05
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Arms within reach: Israel's vaccination lead

Aggressive purchasing, solid logistics and a competitive health-care system have led to a world-beating rate of immunisation?but, as ever, politics is playing a role, too. Big oil had a terrible 2020, but the sector?s troubles pre-date the pandemic; we look at the supermajors? varying approaches to an uncertain future. And how covid-19 is reshaping China?s clubbing scene.

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2021-01-04
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Isle talk to EU later: a vote on a scant Brexit deal

Britain?s parliament will vote today on its last-gasp agreement with the European Union. But that will only mark the start of more negotiations for years to come. And we examine the shortlist from The Economist?s annual ?country of the year? debate?New Zealand, Malawi and Taiwan?and unveil the winner. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2020-12-30
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Cheques, imbalances: America?s fraught stimulus

After months of deadlock, a covid-19 relief package has passed, but the battles continue. We ask how things got so dire and what President-elect Joe Biden will inherit. A deadly shootout in London more than a century ago still resonates today; we examine one of the world?s first breaking-news stories. And the colour black reaches new depths in art. 

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2020-12-29
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Going around the bloc: Europe?s vaccination push

The first inoculations are happening across the continent as part of a co-ordinated push?but levels of both supply and uptake remain uncertain. Our correspondent explores South Korea?s obsession with hiking and why it means different things to different climbers. And looking back on a troubling year for Britain?s royals.

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2020-12-28
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Old acquaintance not forgot: the notable deaths of 2020

In a year marked by more than a million and a half deaths, mortality has rarely been so front of mind. Our obituary editor looks back through the notable figures she has memorialised, from George Floyd to Vera Lynn. For full access to print, digital and audio editions of The Economist, subscribe here www.economist.com/intelligenceoffer

 

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2020-12-23
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Bubbles in the market: Mexico?s Coca-Cola obsession

For decades, the country has been an almighty consumer of the fizzy drink. But amid a woeful covid-19 situation politicians are highlighting the health concerns it brings. In getting to know a sleepy French village, our correspondent finds a nuanced view of isolation in the pandemic age. And the lavish books providing a never-before-seen perspective on the Sistine Chapel?s frescoes.

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2020-12-22
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Get the lead out: Zambia?s toxic mine

A site that closed more than a quarter-century ago is still slowly poisoning the residents of Kabwe with lead; a class-action lawsuit is at last seeking redress. Our correspondent visits the ancient monastery behind the international Shaolin brand, learning the subtle story of its abbot and chief executive. And flicking through The Economist?s staff picks for books of the year.

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2020-12-21
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Rehousing project: Bangladesh?s Rohingya

The country?s refugee camps are packed and squalid, so the government is moving perhaps 100,000 Rohingya Muslims to a tiny island. Will life for them improve? Military tactics can be misleading; sometimes they are outright trickery. Our defence editor looks at the past and future of military deception. And why Christmas dinner involves such different fare around the world.

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2020-12-18
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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