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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...

The world needs a better World Health Organisation

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 THE GLASS and metal headquarters of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN’s health agency, contrast starkly with their bucolic surroundings in the hills around Geneva. The only...

Covid-19 is spurring the digitisation of government

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 KARINA CELIS and her fiancé James, covid-19 could not have come at a worse time. The couple planned to marry in May and to move from London to Salisbury, a small English city whose...

Worldwide covid-19 is causing a new form of collective trauma

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 THE NIGHTMARE began in earnest for residents of Parque das Tribos when their cacique, or local chief, died of covid-19. Messias Kokama had battled politicians, developers and drug gangs...

A row between Turkey and Greece over gas is raising tension in the eastern Mediterranean

AS NAVAL BATTLES go, it was not a classic. The Kemal Reis, a Turkish frigate named after a 15th-century Ottoman admiral who tormented the Venetian fleet, was one of five escorts sent to protect the Oruc Reis, an exploration ship designed to hunt for undersea oil and gas. The Limnos, an elderly Greek frigate charged with protecting Greece’s Exclusive...

The dereliction of American diplomacy

THE AMERICAN embassy escaped the blast in Beirut’s port unscathed. Many Western countries either have missions in the city centre or diplomats who live in the area. The wife of the Dutch ambassador was killed, as was a German diplomat. But America’s embassy sits in the mountain village of Awkar, five miles (8km) from the port. Security measures are...

How the internet is changing the experience of coming out

PROPPED UP BY his Union flag pillows, Tom Daley was at last ready to unburden himself. As the camera wobbled about, the then 19-year-old British diver—who the year before had won a bronze medal at the Olympics in London—told his fans he was ready to talk about his private life, though his darting eyes seemed to belie that assertion. After two minutes...

When covid-19 recedes, will global migration start again?

EVERY WEEKEND the removal vans come to a leafy suburb of Dubai. Expatriates are packing up. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which Dubai is part, will lose 10% of its population this year, reckons Nasser al-Shaikh, an ex-finance minister. Covid-19 has devastated the Gulf’s trade-and-transport hub. Emirates, Dubai’s airline, says it may cut 30% of...

The pandemic shows the urgency of reforming care for the elderly

“IT SMELLED LIKE death,” says Stephanie (not her real name) of her first day at Camilla Care Community, a nursing home in Mississauga, a city in Canada. She and other care workers were sent to help out at the 236-bed facility in April as covid-19 ripped through its narrow corridors and crowded wards. Dozens of staff fell ill or refused to work. By mid-July...

School closures in poor countries could be devastating

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 SUHANI, WHO is nine years old, wakes each day before dawn. She collects flowers to weave into necklaces which she flogs to drivers stuck in Dhaka’s endless traffic jams. Until recently...

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