Daily chartRepublicans introduce a torrent of new laws to restrict votingThere are nearly seven times as many such proposals in state legislatures than there were a year agoON FEBRUARY 18TH Barry Fleming, a Republican state representative from Georgia, introduced a bill to the newly created Special Committee on Election Integrity that,...
After BrexitCounting the cost of Brexit’s impact on tradeThe government talks of teething troubles, but the red tape is here to stayTWO MONTHS after Britain left the single market and customs union in favour of a trade and co-operation agreement (TCA), complaints are multiplying, from seafood sellers and pork exporters to...
BabbageCollusions and collisions—are the tech giants’ cosy monopolies under threat?Our podcast on the science and technology making the news. Also this week: the big business of “zero-day” hacking, and what chatty whales can tell us about the sea floorAFTER FACEBOOK reached a deal with Australia, the tech giants are coming under...
Covid and geneticsDNA from Neanderthals affects vulnerability to covid-19One genetic legacy is protective. Another is harmfulAS BEST AS palaeontologists can tell, Neanderthals died out around 40,000 years ago. But they did not vanish from the Earth entirely. In the past decade it has become clear that Neanderthals mated with the ancestors...
Meet the new bossKiller whales v great white sharksWhat happens when one apex predator elbows out anotherIT USED TO be a common sight. These days it is rare. On January 18th members of Shark Spotters, a South African charity, recorded a juvenile great white shark as it breached close to Strandfontein,...

What is COVAX?

The Economist explainsWhat is COVAX?The vaccine-sharing scheme is designed to help poor countries compete in the vaccination raceMORE THAN 200m doses of covid-19 vaccines have been administered around the world since December, when Britain approved the first rigorously tested jabs for mass vaccination. But as rich countries have rushed to inoculate...
The Intelligence“This is really do-or-die for the Tokyo games”—Olympic-sized risks in JapanAlso on the daily podcast: how Britain decarbonised so quickly and South Korea’s many noisy neighboursPLANNERS 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 Economist explainsHow dangerous are aircraft-engine failures?Two dramatic engine breakdowns—in America and the Netherlands—cause concernTHERE ARE few things as bone-chilling as the thought of an aircraft engine exploding in mid-flight, particularly if you happen to be in a seat close to the fast-flying debris. Such accidents are exceedingly rare. But two...
The odd coupleVladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have formed a brotherhood of hard powerBut the bond is brittleTHE KREMLIN has accused NATO of trying to overthrow Vladimir Putin. It has portrayed Alexei Navalny, Mr Putin’s most prominent challenger, as America’s agent. It has called the European Union, which condemned Mr...
UnTetheredTether is fined by regulators in New YorkA “stablecoin” is branded anything but, adding to jitters in crypto-marketsIS THAT HISSING noise the sound of air coming out of the crypto-bubble? On February 21st bitcoin hit a new high of more than $58,000, after a host of big firms and investors, led...
Money TalksPricing pollution—could the European carbon market provide a model for the world?Our podcast on markets, the economy and business. Also this week: how the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards fintech and why an unlikely new asset is surgingCOULD THE success of the world’s biggest carbon market provide a model...
Daily chartThe benefits of acing China’s most important academic examHigh scorers in the gaokao go to better universities and earn higher wagesCHINESE STUDENTS hoping for a reprieve from this year’s gruelling university-entrance exams are out of luck. Unlike America, where many top-tier universities have waived standardised testing requirements amid the covid-19...
Creatures of the shallowsMinyoung Choi’s fish are symbols of confinementThe artist has been beguiled by the creatures since she was a child. She began painting them more frequently in 2020“BATH” DEPICTS a canary-yellow fish in a tank, surrounded by plants, a sponge and fish food. The container is much too small—there...
The Economist explainsWhat is an earmark?A reviled method of distributing federal spending returnsTHE CAPE HENRY lighthouse, built in 1792 from the same Aquia Creek sandstone as much of Washington, DC, was America’s first federally funded public-works project. Though it no longer serves its original purpose, it still stands at the windswept...
The Lone Star’s scarsTexas’s big freeze may not bring the reforms it showed are neededThe state’s aversion to big government and regulation runs deep“TEXAS IS A mirror in which Americans see themselves reflected, not life-sized but… bigger than life,” wrote John Bainbridge in “The Super-Americans”, a book published in 1961 about...
The Intelligence“It’s highly diverse racially but, broadly, not that diverse ideologically”—Biden’s cabinet picksAlso on the daily podcast: the forgotten reforms of Congo’s president and the global rap scene’s London accentPRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S top posts are shaping up as Senate confirmation hearings continue—but some controversial nominations await a vote. We look at...
Nukes of hazardAmerica’s ICBMs are ageing. Does it still need them?Joe Biden has vital decisions to make about the future of America's nukesWHEN THE Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) entered development, Lyndon Johnson was president, the Vietnam war was in full swing and the first series of “Star Trek” was...
Daily ChartThe benefits of a rapid vaccine roll-outAs America’s covid-19 toll nears 500,000, in Britain inoculations are helping to reduce deaths and hospitalisationsTHE SECOND wave of the pandemic has been devastating in much of the world. Since September 1st covid-19 has claimed the lives of 1.6m people, compared with 850,000 in...
Green mathsWhat is the cheapest way to cut carbon?Bill Gates is the latest to grapple with a thorny questionIN THE TRENDIER parts of Berlin, cargo bikes are the rage. Locals use the bicycles, which have a wheelbarrow-sized box attached at the front, to do the weekly shop or ferry children around....
The taxman comethManhattan’s prosecutor will see Donald Trump’s financial recordsTrump v Vance is just the beginning of the former president’s legal perilLAST SUMMER the Supreme Court rejected Donald Trump’s assertion of “absolute immunity” from being investigated while in office. Cyrus Vance, Manhattan’s district attorney, had subpoenaed Mazars USA, Mr Trump’s accounting...

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