Losing countTrump’s plan to shift congressional seats reaches the Supreme CourtHis attempt to exclude millions of immigrants from population tables may benefit the Republicans in the House of RepresentativesSINCE THE dawn of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, opposition to immigration has been his loudest and most persistent message. In office,...
Caught on videoA gagging bill could shield French police from charges of brutalityRecent incidents raise alarm about police violence and racism, and about a draft law to curb the publication of images that identify officersIN THE SPACE of one week, two separate incidents of police brutality have shaken France. The first...
A killing in AbsardThe father of Iran’s nuclear programme is assassinatedThe slaying of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh will complicate efforts by Joe Biden to rebuild a crumbling nuclear dealFEW KILLINGS arouse Iran’s feelings of victimhood and outrage like the assassination of its nuclear scientists. To get a sense of their prominence, head to...
Daily chartPlaying video games in lockdown can be good for mental healthWorries about too much screen-time may be ill-foundedWHEN THE pandemic put a stop to normal life, many people switched on their games consoles. Video-game internet traffic in America rose by 75% within a week in March, as many states went...
Week in chartsDemocracy in retreatCovid in America • Lockdown agonies • Bust budgets • Britain’s ugly farmsTHE WORLD is suffering a democratic recession, notably in the most populous of all democracies, India. Many cogs in India’s institutional machinery have grown complicit in a project that threatens to turn the country into...
Checks and BalanceSedate expectations—what makes an ideal president and how will Joe Biden match up?Our weekly podcast on democracy in AmericaPOLICY-MAKER, FATHER figure and stand-in king—the Olympian job description sets an impossible standard for any new president. But expectations of Joe Biden are more modest than for most. Solid picks for...
The Intelligence“I’m optimistic for Indian democracy—but right now it’s under strain”—and its institutions in decayAlso on the daily podcast: Sweden’s surprising struggle with gang violence and examining pandemic-era Black FridayMANY OF THE country’s institutions are being slowly hobbled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government; we ask whether the world’s largest democracy...
Shut Up ’n Play Yer GuitarThe making of Frank ZappaA new documentary draws on a trove of previously unseen footage of the zany singer-songwriterIN OCTOBER 1978 Frank Zappa appeared on “Saturday Night Live” as both host and musical guest. Alex Winter, a teenager at the time, watched him perform and was...
The Economist Asks: Nigella LawsonHow is our relationship with food changing during the pandemic?We ask Nigella Lawson, a British chef, author and host of television show “Cook, Eat, Repeat”THE BRITISH chef, author and host of television show “Cook, Eat, Repeat”, tells Anne McElvoy how to become a better cook. They talk...
Crossing boundariesA virtual festival demonstrates art’s role in the refugee crisisAn impressive series of broadcasts by the Imperial War Museum looks beyond the headlines“MAUS” INSPIRED Asia Alfasi (pictured) to draw her homeland. In the Pulitzer-prizewinning graphic novel Art Spiegelman, whose family migrated from Sweden to America in 1951, chronicled his father’s...
ChaguanThe first lesson of doing business in China: the state comes firstChinese entrepreneurs may draw their own conclusions from the tale of Zhang JianFOUR DECADES after China emerged from Maoist isolation, mystery surrounds some big questions about its rulers’ views of the world. Start with a topical one: what are the...
Loaded questionsOfficials in China abhor money-worship. A dating show glorifies itCensors frown on “If You Are The One”, but the programme is wildly popularFEW CHINESE television programmes command as loyal a fan base as “If You Are The One”, a matchmaking show now in its tenth year. In its early days,...
Barriers to SinologyAs China’s power waxes, the West’s study of it is waningCan democracies compete with China without understanding it?AMERICA’S PRESIDENT-ELECT, Joe Biden, says China is his country’s “biggest competitor”. Yet China’s centrality in the calculations of foreign-policy experts in Washington and throughout the West is hardly matched by the interest...
BanyanCould Australia’s government have handled China better?The Lucky Country is the object of an unusual amount of bileIT IS THE oldest move in the Communist Party’s playbook: to lock a country in the doghouse when it has offended the cosmic order. Yet even by China’s standards, the 14 grievances presented to...
A city reelsPublic order in Singapore has been shaken by a hand-drawn smiley faceAn activist who stood in a public place with the offending image has been charged with illegal assemblyIN MARCH AN activist named Jolovan Wham stood outside a police station, held up a piece of cardboard with a smiley...
The war withinSri Lanka’s Tamil minority has become more politically fracturedBut the island’s new nationalist government may change thatHANGING ABOVE the desk of Emmanuel Arnold, the mayor of Jaffna, are images of three Hindu deities, as well as the Buddha, Jesus and the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina. He has...
Prosecution complexSouth Korea’s president wants to take politics out of prosecutionsBut his reforms seem to be having the opposite effectTHE IMAGERY is funereal. The slogans attached to the sides of the vans outside the Ministry of Justice are framed in black, like pictures of someone recently deceased. They read, “Democracy is...
LexingtonThe end of the embarrassmentThe assumption that Republicans will remain in thrall to Donald Trump could be misplacedAPPALLING AS IT has been to witness an American president try to steal an election, Donald Trump’s efforts have amounted to less than the best-informed prognosticators feared. Back in June a bipartisan group of...
CharlemagnePoland and Hungary enjoy a physics lesson courtesy of the EUNewton’s laws apply to politics, tooINERTIA IS ISAAC NEWTON’S first law of motion. “Every body perseveres in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed thereon,”...
The resilience of democracyDemocracy contains the seeds of its own recoveryA global democratic recession need not go on foreverFOR ALL Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn this month’s election, American democracy never looked likely to buckle after polling day. Sure enough, on November 23rd, even as the president once again condemned “the...

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