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BRITAIN’S first national sperm bank opened to the public in Birmingham on October 30th: a sign that the country is at last dealing with the fact that demand for sperm donors far outstrips supply.The number of single British women seeking sperm rose...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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Helmand comes to Staffordshire REMEMBRANCE DAY, the annual commemoration of Britain’s war dead on November 11th, will be especially poignant this year for two reasons. Britons will mark the centenary of the start of the first world war. Already, sombre...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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 J.M.W. TURNER, one of Britain's finest ever painters, is the centre of attention again, 163 years after his death. The focus of an exhibition at Tate Britain in London (“Late Turner: Painting Set Free”, which travels to the Getty Centre in Los...
From: The Economist | Friday, October 31, 2014
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ON SUNDAY scientists and physicians from around the world will be descending on New Orleans for the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), the world's leading convention on tropical diseases. The auspiciously...
From: The Economist | Friday, October 31, 2014
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PAPA JOE, owner of a namesake barbecue restaurant in Decatur, loves political rallies. It’s “a whole lotta fun,” he says, to serve up pulled pork and ribs to hungry Democrats, as he did in a mall’s car park on October 27th. The festive, party-like...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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PATTON OSWALT, an American comedian, once told a story about a text exchange with his girlfriend. “I love you,” she texted. Mr Oswalt began to reply “I love you too.” Only the grouchy comic got as far as “I…” and the predictive texting...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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A MAJOR UN report on climate change, a new EU commission meets for the first time and America’s midterm electionContinue reading...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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The link between happiness and income is frayingA SURVEY of 43 countries published on October 30th by the Pew Research Centre of Washington, DC, shows that people in emerging markets are within a whisker of expressing the same level of satisfaction with...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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Mayfair, Manhattan, Juneau HEY finance hotshot! Want to trade in the London penthouse and 90-hour working week for something totally different? Do you prefer big mountains to big buildings, long summer evenings to long commutes and yet want to pursue...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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ON A road called Glyders, in Benfleet, east of London, it looks as though every house is on the market. But the crucial words “for sale” are missing from the estate agents’ signs, and have been replaced with “RAGE: Residents Against Glyders Expansion”....
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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IT WAS billed as a dramatic showdown between the French miscreants and the European Union’s enforcers. But in the end the clash never came. On October 29th the European Commission decided not to request revisions to France’s budget for 2015, despite...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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PITY the pension-fund manager. Cash pays close to zero in many developed economies and ten-year Treasury bonds offer a yield of 2.3%. But many managers need much higher returns if they are to pay the benefits they have promised. That forces them to pile...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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TO LOOK at Scotland’s two main political parties six weeks after its independence referendum, you would not know that Scots had rejected secession. The Scottish National Party (SNP), which led the failed case for separation, is buoyant. By contrast...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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HAMLET, Shakespeare’s Danish prince, may blame “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” for his plight, but those watching often conclude that indecisiveness lies at the root of his troubles. Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest financial firm,...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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THE scene, perhaps the most dramatic in modern Australian politics, was replayed so often that it was a wonder the tape survived. Gough Whitlam, prime minister since 1972, now sensationally made ex-prime minister at a stroke by Her Majesty’s representative,...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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Mr Qiao’s last stand FOR most of the past 70 years Qiao Shuzhi’s family supported the Communist Party, and the party took good care of the family. Mr Qiao’s father, an underground member during the war against Japan in the 1930s and 1940s, helped...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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Ramelow on the high road to power NEXT weekend Germany celebrates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Yet a few days before that, Die Linke (The Left), the party that descends from the communists who ran the old East Germany, may take...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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Hun Sen is shopping, just like Japan Inc IT IS not every day that the opening of a shopping centre attracts a prime minister, but then Aeon Mall in Phnom Penh is not any old shopping centre. The Japanese-built complex is Cambodia’s biggest, complete...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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OFTEN the trickiest part of being a corrupt bureaucrat is not how to find new ways to extort money or accept bribes, but how to hide the ill-gotten gains. No one wants to end up like “Uncle House”, as a district official in the southern province...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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“YES, but if you were him, what would you do?” This is a question Bagehot has been asked repeatedly this week by Conservative MPs and functionaries. It is nice to play at being prime minister and undeniable that David Cameron, the pronoun in question,...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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Bulk discount GETTING out of a pricey monthly gym membership has traditionally been as hard as squeezing into lycra after the Christmas break.But at Fitness4Less, a low-cost gym in east London, membership is more flexible. Customers pay £15.99 ($25)...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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Mr Nelson’s tipple HOME brew was once a phrase that struck terror into the heart of the civilised drinker. In the 1970s, a friend offering to crack open a bottle of foul muck made in a cupboard under the stairs was a common threat and the prelude to...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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WAITING for a bus on a drizzly winter morning is miserable. But for London commuters Citymapper, an app, makes it a little more bearable. Users enter their destination into a search box and a range of different ways to get there pop up, along with real-time...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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SIR JAMES MATHEW, an Irish judge at the turn of the 20th century, is said to have quipped that justice in England is open to all, “like the Ritz Hotel”. Some worry that it is going that way again. Until last year, even those who could not afford...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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IN A lengthy document published on October 28th the Communist Party called for no less than an “extensive and profound revolution” in the way China is governed. This would involve establishing “rule of law” by 2020 and giving new emphasis to...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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FIVE years ago this month, the discovery of a black hole in Greece’s public finances marked the start of the euro-zone crisis. Policymakers have scrambled to contain it ever since. The outcome of their latest ploy, a probe of the continent’s banks...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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THE ending of QE3, the third phase of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing programme, was hardly a big surprise. For the markets, the more alarming news in yesterday's Fed statement was the relative hawkishness about the timing of the first interest...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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MANY of the large-scale political murals that bloomed across London in the late 1970s and early 1980s have been destroyed. But there’s good news for those that remain: political street art is becoming fashionable once more and local councils are recognising...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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VIKTOR ORBAN has finally hit a speed bump. The popular Hungarian prime minister had been on an unstoppable roll this year, winning a two-thirds majority in parliament and waving off foreign criticism of his increasingly illiberal policies. But this...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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A FOUR-YEAR battle ended yesterday, when Singapore's highest court upheld the constitutionality of Section 377(a) of the country's penal code, which renders any man convicted of committing "or abet[ting] the commission of...any act of gross indecency"...
From: The Economist | Thursday, October 30, 2014
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ON OCTOBER 29th the Federal Reserve said it would end “QE3”: the programme of asset purchases it first announced in September 2012 and began shrinking last December. Quantitative easing, or the buying of assets with newly created money, has been...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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BILL DE BLASIO, New York City’s mayor, spent some of today painting a room in the Coney Island home of Margurie Batts, an octogenarian. Two years to the day after Hurricane Sandy battered her Brooklyn neighbourhood, Ms Batts’s home is still in need...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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AMERICAN AIRLINES and US Airways, which are merging, will combine their frequent flyer programmes from the second quarter of 2015. The two airlines announced the details of the changes on Tuesday. The combined scheme will be similar to American's current...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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A REVEALING video is going viral, showing Shoshana B. Roberts, an actress, walking alone around New York. In ten hours strolling the streets Ms Roberts, who is young and attractive but plainly dressed, receives a hundred catcalls (watch below). Some...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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LATELY the Czech Republic has become one of the weaker links in Europe's efforts to punish Russia for its interference in Ukraine. For months, critics, especially in Poland and the Baltic states, have accused Czech leaders of insufficient vigilance against...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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NO ONE yet has invented a time machine. But Barack Obama is trying. At a rally in a poor, largely black district of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he did his best—and it was an excellent effort–to make it feel like 2012 or even 2008 again. A huge crowd chanted...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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AT THE height of the protests in Ferguson in August, Dan McMullen, the owner of a local insurance company, was already thinking about the future. A grand jury trial weighing what happened the night that Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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MANY of us have felt that almost irresistible urge to make a sarcastic quip to a security official while trying to board a plane—and then quickly thought better of it. For sound reasons, airport staff like straight talking. No matter how proudly you...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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OCTOBER’S index follows the party conference season which featured speeches from the political leaders primarily focusing on the economy, immigration and the NHS. These three again unsurprisingly dominate the top mentions by the British public of what...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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EVEN seasoned taxi drivers confess that they are finding it difficult to navigate sections of Christchurch. Portions of New Zealand’s second-largest city have become unrecognisable since an earthquake hit in February 2011, killing 185 people and injuring...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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WHILE the UK dodged the bullet of Scottish independence in September's vote, there is plenty of political risk ahead. In May next year, there will be a general election, which looks to be as unpredictable as any since 1974. Recent polls have shown the...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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THIS blog often applauds the impact that low-cost carriers have on the travelling habits of everyday consumers. Thanks to a canny mixture of operational efficiency and commercial flexibility, these airlines are opening up the world to vacationers like...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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A GROUP called "hooligans against Salafists" had registered the action in central Cologne for October 26th as a legal demonstration against Jihadist Islam. But on Facebook and Twitter the call quickly spread, and some 4,800 people, mostly male and looking...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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Doing business in Europe's periphery is made harder by slow legal systems THE World Bank released its annual "Doing Business" report on October 29th, ranking the world's 189 countries by how attractive they are to companies. That tiny Singapore led...
From: The Economist | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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THE riposte to doubts about Abenomics, the three-part plan of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, to shake the country from its economic torpor, is more of the same, and a lot more. On October 31st the Bank of Japan (BoJ) stunned the financial markets...
From: The Economist | Friday, October 31, 2014
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WITH “Mr Turner”, Mike Leigh may have created the ultimate biopic for people who don’t usually like such films. The story of the last years of J.M.W. Turner, arguably the greatest ever landscape painter, it is certainly more understated than most...
From: The Economist | Friday, October 31, 2014
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IT IS getting chilly in Kiev. During parliamentary elections on October 26th, as temperatures hit 7° Celsius, polling-station officials huddled in padded coats; one warmed her hand over an electric heater while handing out ballots with the other. President...
From: The Economist | Friday, October 31, 2014
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The end of quantitative easing in America ON OCTOBER 29th the Federal Reserve brought to a close the monetary-stimulus programme known as "QE3". The Fed first began using quantitative easing—the purchase of assets like government debt and mortgage-backed...
From: The Economist | Friday, October 31, 2014
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The Bank of England is set to announce its view on the leverage ratio, a key regulatory tool for ensuring the safety of banks.  James Titcomb has written a piece for the Telegraph purporting to explain the leverage ratio.  The piece makes the following...
From: The Economist | Friday, October 31, 2014
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IF THE markets were suffering from withdrawal symptoms after the Fed's halting of QE on Wednesday, they did not have to wait long for their next hit. This morning, the Bank of Japan today announced an increase in its annual target for expansion of the...
From: The Economist | Friday, October 31, 2014
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