A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, Democrats want impeachment hearings to change the public’s view of Donald Trump. That will be difficult. (10:50) The tangled politics surrounding a killing and its aftermath in Gaza. (16:30) And, for aircraft-carriers, bigger isn’t better.
This week our correspondent joined Emmanuel Macron on his visit to China. The French president is stretching his diplomatic wings, and has some striking views about Europe’s place in the world. The state of Texas has been reliably Republican for decades, but its demographics are changing; could it at last turn blue? And how Japan is dealing with its epidemic of public-transport groping.
As digital payments become the norm, will there be a need for cash? The Economist’s Finance editor Helen Joyce takes a look behind the scenes of the future, from Sweden to Shanghai. She explores how digital payments will transform the economy, and how they risk leaving some people behind.
Scientists believe they have located the ancestral home of one of humanity’s early ancestors—in northern Botswana. Tom Siebel, a Silicon Valley veteran and the founder of C3.ai, explains how digital transformation stops companies from going extinct. And, host Kenneth Cukier takes a trip to the Natural History Museum in London to learn about bias in species collection
From a The Economist online review:
“Agent Running in the Field” is narrated by Nat, a 47-year-old spy for British intelligence—known not as “the Circus” of yore but, more prosaically, as “the Office”.
After years spent handling secret agents overseas Nat has returned to London to take charge of the Haven, an “outstation” of the Russia department that doubles as “a dumping ground for resettled defectors of nil value and fifth-rate informants on the skids”. With Florence, his number two, Nat throws himself into Operation Rosebud, which involves the surveillance of a London-based Ukrainian oligarch with links to Moscow Centre. Then Florence unexpectedly resigns and won’t return Nat’s calls. Equally abruptly, the powers-that-be pull the plug on the operation.
WHEN JOHN LE CARRÉ’S third book, “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold”, was published in 1963, it presented the world of espionage in a harsh new light. Spies were not brave, suave heroes. “They’re a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors too,” explains the flawed and beleaguered protagonist, Alec Leamas. They are “sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives.” The novel preferred intrigue to adventure, gritty reality to escapist fantasy. Readers expecting a finale in which good conquered evil were instead offered convoluted twists and a bleak denouement.
From an Economist.com online article:
Collectors who have drunk most of their Pinot already may need another glass after seeing the results. By the end of 2018, red Burgundy had returned 497%, versus 279% for the s&p 500. (Our index does not extend to 2019, since many of the wines it contains have not been traded this year.)
The index has also been less volatile than stocks are, though this may be an artefact of how it is calculated: no one knows what each wine would have sold for in the crash of 2008-09. Bordeaux and Champagne rose by 214% in 2003-18; everywhere else did worse.
Wine collectors like to proclaim that “all roads lead to Burgundy.” They often wince at the plonk they drank when starting their hobby. In America and Australia, a common entry point is local “fruit bombs”: heavy, alcoholic wines that taste of plum or blackberry; bear the vanilla or mocha imprint of oak barrels; and should be drunk within a few years of bottling.
To read more click on the following link: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/08/24/burgundy-wine-investors-have-beaten-the-stockmarket?cid1=cust/dailypicks1/n/bl/n/20190828n/owned/n/n/dailypicks1/n/n/NA/299647/n