Category: Daily

The three pillars of Merkelism

ANGELA MERKEL is the longest-serving head of government in the EU. When she became chancellor, in 2005, her international counterparts were George W Bush, Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac. She became leader of the CDU during the Clinton administration. Yet…

‘Triple talaq’ abolition is only the start of a larger campaign for gender justice in India

The egregious practice that some Muslim men employ to divorce their wives instantaneously and without their consent, merely by uttering the word talaq (divorce) three times, has finally been declared unconstitutional and illegal by the Indian Supreme Court. The country’s…
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Ecuador’s school food is bad for kids — and the environment

Each year, malnutrition costs Ecuador the equivalent of 4.3% of its gross domestic product, as the resulting health burden and reduced potential productivity places an economic toll on society. That was the unsettling conclusion of the World Food Programme’s 2017…
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India’s ‘instant divorce’ ban: the end result or the first step in reforming Islamic law?

“Un-Islamic, arbitrary, unconstitutional.” That was the judgement of the Indian Supreme Court as it announced a ban on the contentious practice of instant “triple-talaq”. Triple-talaq is a form of Islamic divorce which allows a husband to dissolve his marriage instantly…
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China’s ‘sponge cities’ aim to re-use 70% of rainwater – here’s how

Asian cities are struggling to accommodate rapid urban migration, and development is encroaching on flood-prone areas. Recent flooding in Mumbai was blamed in part on unregulated developmentof wetlands, while hastily built urban areas are being affected by flooding across India,…
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As Rohingyas flee Myanmar, India needs to drop religious criteria in its refugee law

More than 90,000 Rohingyas, victims of a new surge of violence in Myanmar, are fleeing the country and pouring into Bangladesh, while 30,000 people are still trapped near the border. At the same time, the government of the prime minister…
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Does being religious or spiritual make you more ethical at work?

Can religion and spirituality promote ethical behaviour in the workplace? It’s a contentious issue, but our research comprising interviews with forty Indian top level executives suggests it might. We found that virtues embedded within the various traditions of religion and…
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Caught between police and gangs, Rio de Janeiro residents are dying in the line of fire

In Rio de Janeiro, where murder rates this year have soared to their highest levels in a decade, violence stalks even the youngest residents. In July an unborn child was struck by a stray bullet, which severely damaged his spine…
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Germany’s TV debate was a missed opportunity

PERHAPS the problem was the format. Germany’s main television broadcasters had proposed livening up the country’s TV debate by introducing a studio audience and splitting the four (four!) presenters into two shifts. But Angela Merkel said no. The chancellor also…
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How Angela Merkel speaks

THE first and only televised debate between Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz, her Social Democrat (SPD) challenger, takes place tonight from 20:15 local time. This is his best chance to draw the chancellor into combat. Until now she has declined…
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Mumbai floods: what happens when cities sacrifice ecology for development

As the storm that was hurricane Harvey deluged the areas around Houston, Texas, large parts of northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh also experienced heavy rains. And the city of Mumbai was hit by another major flooding espisode. Several people have…
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The rise and rise of Iran: How Tehran has become pivotal to the future of the Middle East

Iran and the US are once again on a dangerous collision course. President Trump’s search for excuses to decertify the July 2015 nuclear deal, negotiated by the Obama administration, is exacerbating new tensions in their frayed relations. The US, in…
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What would the FDP do?

THERE is a decent chance that the pro-business Free Democrats will join the next German government under Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), either as her sole coalition partner or alongside the Greens in a so-called “Jamaica” formation (black-yellow-green, like the…
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An interview with Christian Lindner

CHRISTIAN LINDNER is the leader of the Free Democrats (FDP), the pro-business Germany party whose political revival—and possible participation in Angela Merkel’s next coalition government—is covered in this week’s issue. On August 24th he sat down with The Economist for…
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On almost every indicator, Germany’s south is doing better than its north

GERMANY’S north and south have always been different. One half was mostly outside the Roman Empire, the other mostly inside it. The characteristic divide in dialects of German is the “Uerdingen” isogloss separating low forms of the language (where the…
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How Germany responds to “blood and soil” politics

TO VIEW the footage of crowds in Charlottesville yelling Nazi slogans and flying Swastika banners is troubling anywhere. But do so from Berlin is particularly so. America in 2017 is not Germany in 1933. But the chants about “blood and…
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Germany’s election: a primer

POSTERS have gone up around Germany. Angela Merkel is back from her holiday. The chancellor begins her election tour tomorrow, August 12th, with a rally in Dortmund. Next week she travels on to the Rhineland and the north-western city of…
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Angela Merkel, the G-Zero chancellor

IT WAS a tableau to sum up an age. Leaders of the world’s 20 main industrial powers, plus a dusting of international institutions and secondary powers, posed for a photo at the Hamburg Congress Centre. In the middle, among the…
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Gay marriage and the six rules behind Angela Merkel’s political longevity

ON SUNDAY Martin Schulz declared that he would sign no coalition agreement that did not introduce equal marriage in Germany. The Social Democrat (SPD) chancellor candidate was not alone. The Greens and the free-market Free Democrats (FDP) have made similar…
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The Free Democrats and Greens weigh the risks of a coalition with Angela Merkel

CHRISTIAN LINDNER can pull a crowd. On a scorching afternoon on June 19th hundreds of students at Frankfurt’s Goethe University crammed into a lecture hall to hear the sharp-suited leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) preach the liberal gospel:…
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