May 18th 2019

Politics this week

Politics this week

The ruling African National Congress won South Africa’s general election with 58% of the vote. The party had never before received less than 60% at a national poll. Many voters were put off by the corruption that flourished under Jacob Zuma, president from 2009 to 2018. The ANC might have done worse but for Cyril Ramaphosa, who replaced …

Business this week

Business this week

China said it would increase tariffs on a range of American goods. This was in retaliation for Donald Trump’s decision to raise duties on $200bn-worth of Chinese exports following the breakdown of talks that had tried to end the two countries’ stand-off over trade. In addition, American officials said they were seeking to extend levies to …

China v America A new kind of cold war

China v America A new kind of cold war

How to manage the growing rivalry between America and a rising China FIGHTING OVER trade is not the half of it. The United States and China are contesting every domain, from semiconductors to submarines and from blockbuster films to lunar exploration. The two superpowers used to seek a win-win world. Today winning seems to involve the …

You couldn’t make it up Some politicians are their own best satirists

You couldn’t make it up Some politicians are their own best satirists

Legislators are the unacknowledged comics of the world A CURIOUS FEATURE of these turbulent times is the rise of comedian-politicians. Volodymyr Zelensky, president-elect of Ukraine, is only the most recent. But the anti-elite protest propelling comedians into politics is also nurturing comic talent in politicians. President Donald Trump is the master blender of performance and politics, …

The second-biggest democratic show on Earth The European Parliament elections are responding to a changed world

The second-biggest democratic show on Earth The European Parliament elections are responding to a changed world

What does it mean to be the Europe that protects? UNDER POWDER-BLUE Peloponnesian skies, amid the olive groves and cypress trees where zealous athletes once competed for glory, Manfred Weber, a centre-right Bavarian politician, raises a hand to touch one of the ancient columns of Nemea, affecting contemplative wisdom. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of the Greek centre-right, …