News from The Economist

The world’s deepest ocean trenches are packed with pollution

The world’s deepest ocean trenches are packed with pollution

NOT far off the coast of Guam lies the deepest point on Earth’s surface, the Mariana trench. Its floor is 10,994 metres below sea level. If Mount Everest were flipped upside down into it, there would still be more than 2km of clear water between the moun

13 February 2017 in Science &Technology
 
How to keep cool without costing the Earth

How to keep cool without costing the Earth

ABOUT 6% of the electricity generated in America is used to power air-conditioning systems that cool homes and offices. As countries such as Brazil, China and India grow richer, they will surely do likewise. Not only is that expensive for customers, it a

13 February 2017 in Science &Technology
 
How to determine a protein’s shape

How to determine a protein’s shape

ABOUT 120,000 types of protein molecule have yielded up their structures to science. That sounds a lot, but it isn’t. The techniques, such as X-ray crystallography and nuclear-magnetic resonance (NMR), which are used to elucidate such structures do not w

9 February 2017 in Science &Technology
 
A plan to clean up Britain’s toxic air

A plan to clean up Britain’s toxic air

GAZING out over London’s chimneys, Liverpool’s docks or Edinburgh’s spires can cloud a tourist’s judgment. Air pollution “plagues” Britain, says one UN official. The capital is particularly nasty, and compares poorly with other European cities (see chart

9 February 2017 in Politics
 
Britain’s delusions about the green belt cause untold misery

Britain’s delusions about the green belt cause untold misery

IF ANYTHING deserves the label “wasteland”, this place does. Pylons and tangles of bramble high as houses tower over a lonely oil drum and a collapsed metal fence. In the distance planes approaching Stansted airport whine; refrigerator units at a nearby

9 February 2017 in Politics
 
What the break-up of the British Empire can tell us about Brexit

What the break-up of the British Empire can tell us about Brexit

India had Gandhi, Britain has Farage IF THE current crop of Whitehall mandarins think they have their hands full negotiating an exit from the European Union, they should spare a thought for their predecessors. Britain’s withdrawal from its empire in the

9 February 2017 in Politics
 
Song of the ichnologist

Song of the ichnologist

The pocket gopher’s pocket plaza The Evolution Underground: Burrows, Bunkers, and the Marvellous Subterranean World Beneath Our Feet. By Anthony Martin. Pegasus; 405 pages; $28.95. To be published in Britain by W.W. Norton in March; £22.99. IN THE card g

9 February 2017 in Art & Culture
 
Mapping history

Mapping history

Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe. By Kapka Kassabova. Granta; 379 pages; £14.99. To be published in America by Graywolf in September; $16. TRAGEDIES and mistakes are strewn across Europe’s borderlands. Nowhere more so than in the continent’s mount

9 February 2017 in Art & Culture
 
Remaking American financial regulation

Remaking American financial regulation

AT FIRST blush, there is little to be excited about. The eighth executive order of Donald Trump’s infant presidency, signed on February 3rd, lists seven “core principles” for regulating America’s financial system. These include the prevention of bail-out

9 February 2017 in Business
 
Brexit: the New Zealand precedent

Brexit: the New Zealand precedent

THE future of British trade after Brexit is shrouded in uncertainty. It is an unprecedented process, so it is hard to know where to look for clues as to how it may work out. One possibility is a country whose trading patterns were perhaps more disrupted

9 February 2017 in Business
 
The multi-billion-euro exit charge that could sink Brexit talks

The multi-billion-euro exit charge that could sink Brexit talks

THE mother of parliaments has spoken. On February 8th a large majority of MPs backed a bill authorising the government to begin Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union by triggering Article 50 of the EU treaty. (A few dissenters were told off for si

9 February 2017 in Politics
 
The elderly, cognitive decline and banking

The elderly, cognitive decline and banking

“THE older the wiser” may ring true for much of life, but not for our ability to handle money. Studies suggest financial decision-making ability tends to reach its peak in a person’s mid-50s, after when deterioration sets in. “Age-friendly” banks are beg

8 February 2017 in Business
 
Bubbles are rarer than you think

Bubbles are rarer than you think

BUBBLES put the fun into financial history. Who can resist stories about Dutch tulips that were worth more than country estates or the floating of an “undertaking of great advantage but no one to know what it is”? Ever since the financial crisis of 2007-

8 February 2017 in Business
 


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