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The case for splurging on covid-19 vaccines

Aug 7th 2020MORE THAN 150 covid-19 vaccines are being developed worldwide. Six are in final, large-scale clinical trials. Governments have invested $10bn in them and are reckoned to have made forward purchases of about 4bn doses. Effectiveness is not assured: 20% of vaccines fail in final trials and some covid-19 vaccines rely on new technologies, raising...

Zimbabwe’s white farmers are promised a speck of compensation

Aug 7th 2020TWO DECADES after President Robert Mugabe began to steal most of the 5,000-odd farms owned by whites in Zimbabwe, an agreement to give them a morsel of compensation has been struck—on paper. Whether it will add up to a sheaf of tobacco leaves or go up in a puff of smoke is too soon to say. “If we got something, that would be wonderful,”...

“They hope their stories will deter the world from ever using these weapons again”—atom-bomb tales

Aug 7th 2020SURVIVORS OF the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings are now in their eighties. A new generation is learning to tell their tales, in hopes of preventing more atomic tragedies. Belarus’s president of 26 years will probably win in Sunday’s election, but an invigorated—and unexpected—opposition has him on the back foot. And the horror movie that...

European banks expect fewer bad loans than their American rivals

Aug 6th 2020ANALYSTS HAD expected a blistering earnings season for European banks, which reported their second-quarter results in late July and early August. And painfully hot it was, with profits melting away as lenders made provisions for future loan losses. On August 3rd HSBC, Europe’s largest bank by assets, said that its post-tax profits had fallen...

Can philanthropy help save the American Dream?

Aug 6th 2020THE CORONAVIRUS pandemic has widened inequality in America but has also supercharged charitable giving. Host Anne McElvoy asks Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, whether philanthropy can help save the American Dream. Will companies that proclaim the new era of "stakeholder capitalism" actually sideline their shareholders?...

Covid-19 will be painful for universities, but also bring change

Aug 8th 2020Editor’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 hubIN THE NORMAL run of things, late summer sees airports in the emerging world fill with nervous 18-year-olds, jetting off to begin a new life in the rich world’s universities....

Covid-19 could push some universities over the brink

Aug 8th 2020Editor’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 hubDUE TO BE completed in 2022, Boston University’s $141m data-sciences centre will tower over the city like an uneven Jenga tower, providing 350,000 square feet of space. The University...

Covid-19 seems to have changed lifestyles for good

Aug 8th 2020Editor’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 hubCOVID-19 HAS altered life as we know it. When governments imposed lockdowns in March, people transformed their homes into makeshift offices, gyms and pubs. For many, crammed...

Microsoft wants a slice of TikTok

Aug 8th 2020ON JULY 29TH the bosses of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook endured a five-hour videoconference with a congressional subcommittee on antitrust. Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft, America’s other technology titan, spent the day talking to investors, recruiting new hires and reviewing the latest quarterly numbers. His presence...

“It’s unbelievable negligence even on the scale of the perennially negligent government”—Beirut blast

Aug 6th 2020SOME 300,000 people are homeless after an explosion of unthinkable size. The culprit appears to be sheer negligence, brought on by a broken system of governance. The Economist’s data team has updated its excess-death tracker, giving ever-better insight into just how deadly covid-19 is. And the tricky trade-offs for both bosses and workers...

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