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Covid-19 has shone a light on racial disparities in health

“I STOPPED COUNTING how many people I knew from my community,” says Marina Del Rios, a doctor in an emergency ward in Chicago, of the flood of desperately ill covid-19 patients. Infection rates among Latinos in Chicago are double those of the city’s African-Americans and triple those of whites. Of the city’s 15 worst-affected zip codes, 11 are predominantly...

What the world wants from Joe Biden

ON THE MORNING after the polls closed last week, America withdrew from the Paris agreement on climate change. The effects will be short-lived. President-elect Joe Biden has promised to rejoin the pact as soon as he enters the White House. Donald Trump’s defeat has evoked strong reactions around the world. The main one “is relief”, says Andreas Nick,...

Even as traditional globalisation has slowed, a new kind has sped up

HAIRPORT, A BARBER SHOP, could be anywhere in the world. A smart logo on its doors shows a pirate in a tricorn, flanked by crossbone-style scissors. Giant photos of tattooed and bearded hipsters cover its walls. Two stylists trim the beards of jeans-clad customers. The owner, Ahmed Zia, a 31-year-old who founded the place in 2018, explains the logo,...

The pandemic may be leading to fewer babies in rich countries

WHEN KAMPALA went into covid-19 lockdown, singletons in the Ugandan capital were looking for “lockdown partners”, says Allan Creed, who works in digital marketing. He and his friends couldn’t get to their local shops to buy contraceptives. Mr Creed has been relying on free condoms doled out by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) via a local motorbike...

Illegal fishing fleets plunder the oceans

For more coverage of climate change, register for The Climate Issue, our fortnightly newsletter, or visit our climate-change hub FOR SOME years wooden fishing boats, from another time as much as from another place, have been washing up on the western shores of Japan’s main island. Now numbering in the hundreds, these ghost boats are usually empty....

The pandemic has eroded democracy and respect for human rights

PEOPLE WERE hungry during lockdown. So Francis Zaake, a Ugandan member of parliament, bought some rice and sugar and had it delivered to his neediest constituents. For this charitable act, he was arrested. Mr Zaake is a member of the opposition, and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has ordered that only the government may hand out food aid. Anyone...

Covid-19 is helping wealthy countries talk about death

UNTIL THIS year many New Yorkers had never heard of Hart Island, where the city’s unclaimed dead are buried. Then, in the midst of the pandemic, video of contractors digging long trenches there went viral. Around 120 bodies were sent to the tiny islet every week, as burial grounds and crematoriums struggled to keep pace with covid-19. One funeral home...

Working-class parents are becoming more like middle-class ones

LIKE MANY children around the age of two, Madison has decided not to do what her mother wants. She will not speak above a whisper. She does not want to read “Big Red Barn”. She will not identify her colours or her shapes, even though she knows them. So, for half an hour, her mother patiently cajoles, persuades, distracts and redirects. “You want me...

The pandemic is plunging millions back into extreme poverty

Editor’s note: Some of our covid-19 coverage is free for readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. For more stories and our pandemic tracker, see our hub FOR MORE than a decade Suresh Aryal has flogged momos, steamed dumplings from Nepal, on the streets of New Delhi. On a good day the 32-year-old could take home as much as 6,000 rupees...

Citizens’ assemblies are increasingly popular

SHIRLEY ISLAM has little faith in politics. Elected representatives “are either bickering on TV, or wasting taxpayer money, or trying to sell something,” says the 48-year-old care worker from West Lothian, in Scotland. “They are all saying the same thing,” she sighs. But she has felt a little more hopeful of late. Her optimism is a result of her involvement...

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